26 recipes every young home cook should learn to make
“It’s more of a process than a recipe, but once you learn it, you can make an endless variety of meals.”
Like most things in life, cooking is a skill you can hone and craft. And if you’re a young beginner cook, mastering certain dishes will help you gain skill and confidence in the kitchen. So Redditor u/GloomyProfessional80 asked, “What recipe do you swear every 20 year old should learn? Here’s what people said.
“Egg fried rice. I learned to make it too late in life because it’s so game-changing. Now I make large batches of rice, keep it in the fridge, and whenever I need of a quick dinner, I sauté with eggs.”
“Learn some classic Italian pastas like carbonara or arrabbiata. They usually only require a handful of ingredients, and with a little practice, you can make restaurant-quality dishes at home.”
“Beef stew. I started with a basic recipe, then branched out and added things I liked in other recipes. I learned the right time to add different ingredients and how thinking about the combination of flavors. Many different aspects of cooking came together for me while working on the beef stew.”
“Subscription Cooking Boxes. I know it’s not just one recipe, but honestly these subscription boxes helped me learn a lot about cooking. I used Blue Apron, which helped me learned how to cook steak and fish, but more importantly it helped me expand my palate to new flavors and dishes. It’s not cheap, but it helped me learn how to cook at home.
“Risotto. This dish isn’t about following a recipe. Rather, it’s about constantly adapting texture and flavor. Any recipe that requires you to do this is a good teacher.”
“It’s more of a process than a recipe, but stir-fry. It’s a great base for an endless variety of meals. Choose your base (like rice or noodles), your protein (chicken, beef, tofu, shrimp , beans, etc.), all vegetables and seasonings ranging from garlic and ginger to chili and fish sauce.Once you feel comfortable with the basic stir-fries, you can let yourself tempt with things like curry paste, coconut milk and nuts.
“A favorite family recipe…any recipe you grew up eating or that reminds you of home. For me, it’s my mom’s chicken with apricots served with rice pilaf. It’s a dish that my family eats all the time, especially during Jewish holidays like Passover. It’s delicious and comforting and tastes like home. Before I left home, my mother taught me how to make it myself Now that I live away from home, I can cook it and instantly feel a sense of comfort and nostalgia.”
“Roasted vegetables. My parents always made frozen vegetables in the microwave. But once I started roasting them with a little oil, salt and pepper, it was an eye opener to see how well the good vegetables could have taste. As an adult, mastering the basics of roasting vegetables really changed my eating and cooking habits.”
“Cacio e pepe. It’s a simple dish made with just three ingredients. It taught me how to cook pasta with water, pay attention to heat levels, the importance of proper ingredients (like freshly ground pepper) and the idea that sometimes the result can be so much more than the sum of its parts. What a joy it was to finally make a delicious Cacio e Pepe on my eighth attempt.
“Roast Whole Chicken. Roasting a whole bird may seem intimidating, but it’s actually really hard to mess up and so delicious. You don’t need much more than salt, pepper and some fresh herbs, but of course , you can get fancier. It will also introduce you to new techniques like brining and spatchcocking. It’s the most versatile meal for so many occasions, from weekday family dinner to dinner.
“A basic white sauce (bechamel) can be used on its own, or it can become so many other things like Alfredo sauce, cheese sauce for mac’n’cheese, a base for au gratin potatoes, lasagna or creamed vegetables. do it, all you need is butter, flour and milk.”
“Bolognaise. You can start with a simple recipe in your twenties and improve steadily throughout your life. Even the most basic version will still impress a date or guests.”
“Tacos. It’s such an easy meal and a great default thing to do when you can’t think of anything else to do. You can make them with anything from scrambled eggs to ground beef.”
“Frittatas. They’re basically scrambled eggs baked with whatever veggies you want and cheese. It’s a great way to use up leftovers; you can eat it with just about any meal, and it’s warming good.”
“Boiling a chicken and making chicken soup. It’s really, really easy, but more importantly, it’s cheap. You can get multiple meals out of it, and you can really vary the flavors depending on the ingredients you add to it. .”
“A simple tomato sauce from scratch. It’s easy for anyone to make but impossible to ‘master’. Plus, once you get the hang of it, you can make endless variations using what you need. is in your pantry.”
“Sheet dinners! You can prepare many different dishes with this one technique. Take an everyday recipe like chicken thighs or slices of sausage scattered on a sheet pan with assorted vegetables cut into evenly sized pieces. Add a few cloves of garlic, drizzle everything in olive oil, salt, pepper and any aromatic seasonings you like Roast at 400°F in a single layer until tender baked or lightly browned, the options are endless.
“Potato soup. This was a staple for me when I was young and broke. All you need are potatoes, cream and broth or broth, plus anything you can afford like bacon or scallions. It’s filling and you can make large quantities to eat for days.”
“Brilliant instant ramen noodles. Learn how to add a few extra ingredients to your ramen to turn it from a $2 meal into something that tastes gourmet. Try adding boiled eggs, mushrooms, cabbage , etc. Or skip the seasoning packet and dress up ramen noodles with peanut butter, chili flakes, and sriracha.”
“Learn how to make a basic omelette. It’s cheap, delicious, and easy…the perfect trifecta. Best of all, you can eat it for breakfast or dinner.”
“French bread pizza, which is supermarket bread topped with marinara sauce and mozzarella or any of your favorite pizza toppings. It’s cheaper than delivery, better than pizza frozen, and extremely easy and quick to prepare.”
“Invest in a slow cooker and learn how to use it. You can take any inexpensive cut of meat like a chuck roast and turn it into a delicious feast. It’s also really handy for preparing your meal in the morning, turn on slow cooker, and come home from work for a nice dinner.”
“Shakshuka, aka eggs cooked in tomato sauce. All you really need are tinned tomatoes, eggs, onion and seasonings. It’s affordable, no frills and great anytime of the day.”
“Chili. There are endless variations you can make once you have a homemade chili recipe as a springboard. You can make it with any carb, vegetable, meat, or bean you have on hand.”
“Mac ‘n’ cheese. Homemade mac is really, really simple if you keep it basic, and it tastes better than the canned stuff. As you master the cooking, you can play around with different seasonings and cheeses to amp it up.”
“Finally, breaded chicken cutlets. You can use Italian breadcrumbs or panko, and you can incorporate it into many different cuisines, from chicken parmesan to katsu. It’s then versatile and fairly simple to make. Plus, you can do a whole bunch of them at once if you’re cooking meals.”
What’s a dish every young beginner home cook should learn to make? Or what is the meal that taught you the most about cooking? Tell us in the comments!