10 Easy Recipes for the Beginner Cook

By Polly Conner

These 10 beginner recipes are a perfect place to start for any new cook!

We all had to start somewhere.

When young gals tell me they have no idea how to cook, my advice to them is, “Take one recipe at a time.”

Aside from a few basics I learned from my parents, that is how I learned. I still remember making my first pork tenderloin about 5 years ago and feeling incredibly accomplished. I had never seared anything before OR used a meat thermometer so these new tasks were a bit scary but empowering once I figured them out.

The great thing about cooking is that for the most part, if you can follow directions, you can cook!

This post is for the peeps out there who just need some starter recipes. These are a collection of simple recipes that will make you look and feel like a skilled chef or baker. I’ve scoured our Recipe Index for the simple-yet-delicious recipes for the new cook to try out.

If you’re seasoned in the kitchen (no pun intended), pass this post on to the person in your life that has declared they can’t cook. Pass it on to the college student or the newlywed who has all new kitchen gadgets but no idea how to use them. Hopefully, it will empower some self-declared non-cooks out there!

1) Chicken Parmesan Casserole

Simple and delicious. Simply layer a few ingredients together and bake. This will quickly become a go-to recipe in your home. Like the slow cooker? Then, try our Chicken Parmesan Sliders instead.

Newbie Tip: Buy a fully-cooked rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, pull off the meat, and you’ve got an even quicker and easier meal. Hey, and don’t forget to save the chicken bones to make some broth to freeze for later. Wow, you’re really cooking now!

2) Oven Roasted Broccoli

Once you’ve had broccoli this way, you will never go back. I wish I would have known about this trick 10 years ago. I would have eaten many more veggies back in the day.

3) Powerball Cookies

These healthier, no-bake cookies are super easy to put together. I love to freeze them and pull a few out at a time to have as an afternoon snack. No baking necessary!

4) Ham and Cheese Sliders

This has become my “people are coming over” dish of choice. Simple ingredients, easy to assemble and make ahead of time, and impressive in taste.

5) Homemade Granola

SO many people have asked me for this recipe over the years. Most are amazed at how simple and easy it is to make, too. Store for weeks in the fridge for a quick and healthy breakfast or snack.

6) Whole Grain Pizza Bread

It’s hard to mess this recipe up. Makes for a great meal for all ages, too! Top with your favorite pizza toppings.

7) Southwest Grilled Chicken Tenders

We LOVE this recipe. I didn’t realize how easy it was to make either! Impressive results for very little work and cooking skills. Once you’ve made the chicken tenders, you can toss them into Southwest Chicken Bacon Wraps or Southwest Chicken Burritos Bowls.

8) Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork is not complex. At least cooking it this way isn’t.

9) Easy Breakfast Casserole Muffins

A great recipe to kick off the day! Assemble a few ingredients and simply bake. You can customize it to what ingredients you like. These refrigerate well, so make them ahead of time and enjoy all week long. You may also like our Oven Omelet.

10) Baked Oatmeal with Fruit

Oh, my blessed baked oatmeal. Everyone should have this recipe in their back pocket. It’s hearty and packed with good ingredients to start your day. Try our other variations too:

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