22 Basic Recipes Every Home Cook Should Know How to Make

By Alexandra Caspero on May 26, 2023

Getting started in the kitchen can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not sure where to begin. That’s why it’s important to start with the basics.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced cook, these recipes will help you develop your cooking skills.

22. Basic Salad Dressing

Photo Credit: Delish Knowledge.

Perfect for chopped salads, marinades and more! This tangy Italian salad dressing is so much better and healthier than bottled dressing.

Make the recipe: Italian Dressing Recipe

21. Crowd-Pleasing Pasta Bake

Serving the pasta bake with a wooden spoon
Photo Credit: Delish Knowledge.

A big pan of cheesy pasta is great for a hearty dinner that feeds a crowd. It’s also the go-to dish to share for new parents, to feed a broken heart or to welcome new neighbors with.

This pasta bake is made with no bake noodles, making it even easier to put together for busy weeknights!

Make the recipe: Pasta Bake with No Bake Noodles

20. The Best Chocolate Birthday Cake

Photo Credit: Delish Knowledge.

A classic chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. The perfect birthday cake or decadent dessert recipe.

Get the recipe: The Best Chocolate Cake Recipe

19. Homemade Bread

No Knead Instant Pot Bread
Photo Credit: Delish Knowledge.

You don’t have to be an amateur baker to make this loaf. No-knead and proofed in the Instant Pot (with directions for proofing in the stove) for an effortless and simplified crusty bread.

Get the recipe: No-Knead Instant Pot Bread recipe

18. Homemade Salsa

Close up shot of salsa roja
Photo Credit: Delish Knowledge.

This roja salsa is made with simple, pantry ingredients and made in the blender! Ready in just 10 minutes and perfect on tacos, enchiladas, taco bowls, burritos and more.

Make the recipe: Salsa Roja

17. Easy Fried Rice

egg fried rice

The perfect back pocket meal. Quick and easy Chinese egg fried rice recipe with fluffy scrambled eggs that coat each grain of rice! Ready from start to finish in 15 minutes!

16. Chili

vegetarian white bean chili
Photo Credit: Delish Knowledge.

Chili is a staple in cold weather months and while there are as many different versions as there are opinions about what makes a good chili– this white bean version is somehow both unexpected and a classic.

Packed with spice and so much rich flavor and topped with sour cream and cheese.

Make the recipe: White Bean Chili

15. The Perfect Breakfast Muffin

Honey Pear Muffins Recipe
Photo Credit: Delish Knowledge.

A muffin should be not too sweet (it’s not a cupcake) and wholesome enough to enjoy for both breakfast and a snack. These honey pear muffins are made with fresh pears, oats, walnuts and wheat flour. Perfect for breakfast, as a snack or with coffee! 

Recipe: Honey Pear Muffins

14. Simple Pasta Salad

pasta salad recipe
Photo Credit: Delish Knowledge.

A must for potlucks and picnics, this pasta salad recipe takes just minutes to prep and because it’s mayo-free, can be made ahead of time for any summer gathering.

Make the recipe: Simple Pasta Salad

13. Easy Vanilla Muffins

easy vanilla muffins

The best Vanilla Muffins are moist, delicious & super easy to make from scratch. With ingredients you probably already have at home this is a recipe you can throw together anytime – yummy just as they are and perfect as a base for your favorite cupcake toppings. Step by step pictures included!

12. Vegetable and Bean Soup

Photo Credit: Delish Knowledge.

A soup made with inexpensive beans and whatever leftover vegetables you have is a must-know recipe for any home cook. This Italian farro soup recipe has beans, farro, tomatoes and vegetables in an aromatic broth. Simple, healthy and easy.

Make the recipe: Italian Farro Bean Soup

11. Impressive Chocolate Chip Cookies

chocolate chip cookies on a plate
Photo Credit: Delish Knowledge.

Every home cook should have a good chocolate chip cookie recipe. These are the best chocolate chip cookies, made with brown sugar and plenty of chocolate chips.

Make the recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookies

10. Strawberry Jam

cropped-Instant-Pot-Strawberry-Jam-Piping-Pot-Curry-7.webp
Photo Credit: Piping Pot Curry.

Homemade jam is easier to make than you may think, and this strawberry jam recipe only needs a handful of ingredients: strawberries, lemon juice, sugar and pectin.

9. Homemade Tomato Sauce

Photo Credit: Delish Knowledge.

Jarred sauce is fine, but knowing how to make your own from canned tomatoes doesn’t take that much more effort. This spicy homemade tomato sauce is made with crushed red pepper and lots of garlic.

Make the recipe: Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce

8. Homemade Granola Bars

Photo Credit: Delish Knowledge.

DIY healthy granola bars! A mix of rolled oats, dried fruit, almond butter and whatever other mix ins you want. Perfect as a snack bar or a breakfast bar.

Make the recipe: Homemade Granola Bars

7. Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Photo Credit: Delish Knowledge.

This simple enchilada sauce takes 15 minutes to make and is perfect in your favorite enchilada recipe. Once you try it, you’ll never go back to regular canned enchilada sauce again.

Make the recipe: Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce

6. Beans from Scratch

how to cook black beans

Knowing how to make beans from scratch is a must-know for all home cooks. Not only are dried beans less expensive than canned, they also taste better too.

Below is a complete primer for how to cook black beans from scratch. Tips for slow cooker, Instant Pot and on the stove.

How to Cook Black Beans from Scratch

5. Crowd-Pleasing Breakfast Casserole

vegan french toast casserole
Photo Credit: Delish Knowledge.

Whether you have weekend company or are entertaining for a shower or the holidays, having a great crowd-pleasing breakfast casserole in your back pocket is a must.

This french toast casserole is perfect for crowds. Make it at night and it’s ready in the morning!

Make the recipe: French Toast Casserole

4. Crispy Tofu Cubes

crispy baked tofu recipe
Photo Credit: Delish Knowledge.

If you think you don’t like tofu, it’s just because you don’t know how to cook it. This foolproof recipe makes for crispy tofu cubes that you can use in any recipe– try bowls, salads, as a side dish and more.

Make the recipe: Crispy Tofu Cubes

3. Vegetables that Will Make You Love Vegetables

Photo Credit: Delish Knowledge.

Any home chef should know how to make killer vegetables. Consider in-season vegetables spring peas, artichokes, asparagus and more.

Learn how to cook asparagus like a chef! We’ll cover how to cook asparagus in the oven, steamed on the stove, sautéed in a pan, and blanch.

Make the recipe: How to Cook Asparagus

2. Simple Mashed Potatoes

mashed potatoes

A side dish that goes with everything. These Mashed Potatoes With Creme Fraiche And Roasted Garlic are creamy and so flavorful. Put this recipe in your cookbook, it’s going to become your favorite mashed potato recipe ever!

1. Pico de Gallo

The best pico de gallo recipe! If you are looking for a fresh homemade salsa recipe, you must try this one. With only 5 ingredients, you’ll want to make this pico de gallo recipe all year.

Favorite Copycat Recipes

Get ready to impress your family and friends with restaurant-quality meals that you can make at home. These are your favorite copycat recipes from Chipotle, Panda Express, Chili’s, Starbucks and more!

Favorite Copycat Recipes

16 Easy Dessert Recipes

Whether you’re in the mood for a classic chocolate chip cookie, fruity fudge, or a decadent chocolate brownie sundae, these recipes require minimal prep time and use simple ingredients you probably already have on hand.

Easy Dessert Recipes

28 Top-Rated Cookie Recipes

chocolate sprinkle cookies
Photo Credit: Karen Kelly

If you love cookies, then you’ll want to save these 28 mouthwatering cookie recipes. From classic chocolate chip to sugar cookies to sprinkles, these are the must-make cookie recipes to make now. 

Top-Rated Cookie Recipes

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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