10 Deceptively Easy Recipes Every Beginner Cook Should Master

Cooking can be a burden when running on a tight schedule. Everyone who has been laser-focused on their career has had to decide between taking the time to create a well-rounded dinner or just order takeout. To avoid facing this dilemma, it is handy to have a handful of simple, versatile recipes at your disposal.

Navigating the kitchen can feel like a dream for those born to do it, but even if you are not as gifted, the experience can still be enjoyable. After all, the end product is something you can admire and eat. Variety is said to be the spice of life, and when it comes to our diets, it is a necessity; keep a healthy rotation of easy dishes with diverse vegetables, starches, and protein to ensure you never get sick of any of it.

We selected 10 familiar easy recipes for beginner cooks that are simple enough for any budding chef to pull off without a hitch. Many of these will be dishes you have had a million times before, so why not try your hand making it from scratch? Pick your favorites and get started below. 

Spaghetti Bolognese

Easy Recipes for Beginner Cooks — Spaghetti Bolognese
Courtesy of Carlsbad Cravings

Bolognese refers to how the chunky, meaty sauce in this dish is cooked. The sauce is simmered to the point that just about all of the liquid vanishes, and with the addition of cream or milk, it becomes rich and delicious. For the perfect spaghetti bolognese, try this recipe from Carlsbad Cravings.

Beef Stroganoff

Easy Recipes for Beginner Cooks — Beef Stroganoff
Courtesy of Le Creme de la Crumb

Anything is easy with a slow cooker. Throw every ingredient of this beef Stroganoff from Le Creme de la Crumb into the pot before you leave for work, and when you get home, a tantalizing aroma will greet you at the door.

Sloppy Joe

Easy Recipes for Beginner Cooks — Sloppy Joe
Courtesy of Carlsbad Cravings

A sloppy joe is not what we think of when we imagine meals for adults, but it is so easy to make that it would be inappropriate to exclude. The spices from this recipe by Carlsbad Cravings turn this from a dull sandwich into a memorable meal.

Mashed Potatoes

Easy Recipes for Beginner Cooks — Mashed Potatoes
Courtesy of

To make really great mashed potatoes, you have to put your back into it. Figuratively of course: Contrary to popular belief, there are numerous ways to mash without all the physical exertion. This recipe from Chelsea’s Messy Apron is a prime example—instead of using force, a ricer will break up the potato.

One Skillet Cheesy Penne

Easy Recipes for Beginner Cooks — One Skillet Cheesy Penne
Courtesy of

There are few recipes as straightforward as this penne pasta from Carlsbad Cravings. When pressed for time, cutting corners may seem like a smart idea, but you will end up losing the excitement in the flavors when you skimp on tomatoes or cheese.

French Toast

Easy Recipes for Beginner Cooks — French Toast
Courtesy of Chelsea's Messy Apron

Need an easy but sturdy breakfast? Go for the fast carbs of French toast with this recipe from Chelsea's Messy Apron. Any household well-stocked on dairy will have no issue with this rich dish.

Baked Lemon Garlic Butter Salmon

Easy Recipes for Beginner Cooks — Baked Lemon Garlic Butter Salmon
Courtesy of Carlsbad Cravings

Sauces and dressings always seem like the most intimidating part of any recipe, but they are not to be feared. So long as you keep all the ingredients on hand, meals such as this baked salmon from Carlsbad Cravings will be the perfect quick selection after a long day or when money is tight.

Sugar Cookies

Easy Recipes for Beginner Cooks — Sugar Cookies
Courtesy of

While sugar cookies could use some dressing up with frosting or sprinkles, even just the basic cookie like this recipe from Chelsea's Messy Apron can deliver a cloud-nine experience. And it is remarkably simple to make; just be sure you mix your butter and sugar vigorously at the start to ensure a smooth batter.

Turkey Chili

Easy Recipes for Beginner Cooks — Turkey Chili
Courtesy of Carlsbad Cravings

Add this turkey chili from Carlsbad Cravings to your box of recipes too easy to mess up. Add all your favorite chili components at the right time and let it all simmer until it is ready to devour. Don’t forget your toppings either!

Italian Veggie Soup

Easy Recipes for Beginner Cooks — Italian Veggie Soup
Courtesy of Carlsbad Cravings

The sheer number of spices and vegetables on the ingredient list from this Italian veggie soup by Carlsbad Cravings may make you sweat, but like any easy meal, the trick is to patiently add them all at the proper time. There are no other tricks to it, making it all the more satisfying when you eat it.

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