10 Easy, Reliable Recipes for Beginners


If you are in the middle of building your recipe bank, I know it can be challenging to find recipes that are relatively easy to cook, aren’t too complicated to plan for, and actually taste good 🙂

To help, I have gathered some of the meals that made me feel more confident in my early days of regular cooking and meal planning. I hope these will help you in the same way!

I’ve included a variety of recipes: one-pot, 30-minute , crockpot/slow cooker, meatless, and even some meals that rely heavily on frozen/canned goods so you can stretch out your groceries.

1. Chickpea & Spinach Stew

Photo by Oh My Veggies

This is a great meal you can easily adapt to have an almost non-perishable meal. You can use canned chickpeas and tomatoes, instant rice, or frozen spinach (or you can pre-cook dry ones and freeze them), and BOOM, this meal is in your back pocket for any time you need it 🙂 Also, I normally don’t use harissa because I just use red pepper flakes.

2. Chicken Tortilla Soup

Photo by Pioneer Woman

Such an easy and flexible soup! You can add corn, spinach, extra beans, or whatever you want. This is actually one of the very first meals I started cooking in college, and it’s still one I look forward to every time I plan it! Plus, I can’t complain that it takes less than 10 minutes to throw together the night before.

3. White Chicken Chili

Photo by Gimme Some Oven

Another Mexican soup but it is SO. GOOD. and could not be any easier! I also am a huge fan of Ali at Gimme Some Oven so do yourself a favor and spend some time looking at other recipes on her site.

4. Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

Photo by The Girl Who Ate Everything

Alright, I’m gonna let you in on a secret with this one… I don’t even make the sauce. I took this “Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu” and made it “Practically Foolproof Chicken Cordon Bleu.” I’m sure it’s awesome with the sauce, but I kind of forgot it was even part of the recipe, and it totally rocks on its own! It is amazing with some rosemary potatoes and veggies, and I still feel a little fancy every time I make it. (Is that embarrassing?)

5. Italian Chicken Pasta Soup

Photo by One Hundred Dollars a Month

Very easy soup, although I tend to crank up the spices for flavor. You just can’t beat a good crockpot meal!

6. Caribbean Jerk Salmon Bowls

Photo by Pinch of Yum

I found this more recently, and it does have a few moving parts, but it is SO fresh and very good.

7. Rustic Ratatouille

Photo by Epicurious, Georgia Downard

I love, love, love this recipe, and added bonus- my husband likes to make it for some reason? It is so much simpler than the perfectly-lined version, and (just to reveal how committed I am to easy recipes & easy grocery store trips) I often just use extra zucchini if I can’t get eggplant conveniently or cheaply. Sometimes we eat this over rice, pasta, or mostly just by itself!

8. Lentil Tacos

Photo by Eat at Home

This is an incredibly simple & tasty meatless meal, which quickly became a staple around here. I’m not going to say that lentils can actually replace ground beef or turkey, but lentils are a neat and very cheap variation.

9. Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos

Photo by Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

I know, I know- so many Mexican recipes- but this one is different! Sweet potatoes are way more versatile that given credit for, and this recipe is the perfect example.

10.  Sweet Potato Fries

This isn’t a meal (although I have no judgment if you make it one) but they make an incredible side to just about anything. These are really easy to make and keep my fast-food cravings in check!


Moving Forward

As you might have noticed, some of my absolute favorite recipes come from Gimme Some Oven, Pioneer Woman, Budget Bytes, and Damn Delicious. When in doubt, camp out on those sites!

You also can surprisingly find some great recipes if you Google the few ingredients you have on hand. One night, I had some sweet potatoes I needed to use up and some ground turkey in the freezer- a quick search later, I found a really filling, comforting meal from Primavera Kitchen.

I hope this helps as you gather recipes you love! Stick with what is easy and has ingredients you like as you start, then branch out later once you feel more confident.


Related Resource: 7 Essential Strategies to Get Better at Meal Planning (+ templates)

Related Resource: Your Guide to Reusable, Rotating Meal Plans (+ free workbook!)

Related Resource: 4 Time-Saving Ways to Batch & Freeze Meals (+12 Recipes)

easy recipes for beginners

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