Skip To Content
    Updated on May 26, 2020. Posted on May 23, 2020

    21 Simple Yet Timeless Recipes That'll Help Make You A Better Cook

    These recipes never go out of style, and mastering them will make you a better cook.

    With plenty of time on our hands and many restaurants closed, now is the perfect time to hone your cooking skills and become a better home chef. Here are some simple yet timeless recipes to master.

    1. Ina Garten's Roast Chicken

    The Cozy Cook / Via

    There are few meals more satisfying than a moist roasted chicken with golden, crispy skin. Season the bird with salt and pepper, stuff it with thyme, garlic, and lemon, and brush the skin with butter. Roast it in the oven an hour and a half and chow down. Get the recipe for Ina Garten's roast chicken here.

    2. Fluffy Homemade Pancakes

    The Schmidty Wife / Via

    Sure, you could used the boxed pancake batter, but making these babies from scratch is next-level good. Get the recipe for fluffy homemade pancakes here.

    3. Meat Lasagna

    Layered lasagna with meat and cheese.
    Dinner Then Dessert / Via

    Lasagna seems complicated, but it's actually pretty simple. Layer no-boil noodles, homemade meat sauce, and four cheeses in a baking pan. Cook it in the oven for about 40-50 minutes until the noodles are cooked through and the cheese is melty. Get the recipe for meat lasagna here.

    4. Baked Mac 'n' Cheese

    Recipe Tin Eats / Via

    This decadent mac 'n' cheese features a mix of mozzarella and Gruyère seasoned in garlic powder, onion powder, and mustard powder, sprinkled with a healthy dose of panko breadcrumbs for that extra crispy topping. Get the recipe for baked mac 'n' cheese here.

    5. Easy Spaghetti and Meatballs

    Once Upon a Chef / Via

    Everyone needs a good homemade meatball recipe on hand. You can make a big batch and freeze them for lazy nights. Get the recipe for easy spaghetti and meatballs here.

    6. Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

    Sunday Supper Movement / Via

    This comforting meal starts with a whole chicken or, if you want to reduce the cooking time, chicken parts. Add egg noodles or really whatever pasta you have in your kitchen. Get the recipe for homemade chicken noodle soup here.

    7. Easy Tomato Soup With Grilled Cheese

    Simply Delicious Food / Via

    You can start with fresh or canned tomatoes for the base of the soup. Simmer with garlic, olive oil, balsamic, sugar, and basil. The icing on the cake is the four-ingredient grilled cheese, made with just bread, mozzarella, sharp cheddar, and butter. Get the recipe for easy tomato soup with grilled cheese here.

    8. Caramelized Onion Frittata

    The Modern Proper / Via

    Breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner, there's no bad time for this baked egg dish. This recipe calls for caramelized onion, kale, and feta, but you can toss in whatever's in your kitchen. Get the recipe for caramelized onion frittata here.

    9. Cast-Iron Skillet Steak

    Simply Home Cooked / Via

    The secret to this charred exterior and tender inside is letting the steak sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking it. Pat it dry with a paper down and season generously with salt and pepper. Get the recipe for cast-iron skillet steak here.

    Completely Delicious / Via

    Making Caesar dressing from scratch requires a little extra legwork, but the result is totally worth it. The key ingredient: Anchovy paste. It might sound fishy, but it's totally delicious and blends right in with the other ingredients. Get the recipe for Caesar salad with homemade dressing here.

    11. Italian Chicken Cutlets

    Duck Soup Kitchen / Via

    Dredged in egg, flour, and breadcrumbs then pounded out until thin and fried in hot oil, crispy chicken cutlets are a dinner hero. Toss them onto a salad, in a sandwich, or on a plate with some grains and veggies. Get the recipe for Italian chicken cutlets here.

    12. Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

    Tastes Better From Scratch / Via

    It's hard to go wrong with this single sheet pan dinner. Take sliced boneless skinless chicken breast, onions, and peppers and toss everything in a handful of spices like cumin, chili powder, and paprika. Roast it all in the oven and serve in tortillas. Get the recipe for sheet pan chicken fajitas here.

    13. Eggplant Parmesan

    Munchkin Time / Via

    Roasted eggplant gets dredged in flour and egg, breaded, and sautéd in oil, then it's cooked in tomato sauce with mozzarella cheese and topped with chopped parsley or basil. Get the recipe for easy eggplant parmesan here.

    14. Shepherd's Pie

    A casserole dish filled with freshly baked shepherd's pie.
    Savory Nothings / Via

    One of the ultimate comfort foods, shepherd's pie is an easy, crowd-pleasing meal that you can make in advance and freeze for later. Get the recipe for shepherd's pie here.

    15. Shrimp Scampi Linguine

    A big plate of linguine with garlicky shrimp scampi.
    Aberdeen's Kitchen / Via

    You can start with fresh or frozen shrimp. Sauté it in butter and olive oil with garlic and white wine. Then, toss with linguine or your favorite pasta. Get the recipe for shrimp scampi linguine here.

    16. Classic Meatloaf

    Two slices of meatloaf with ketchup glaze on a bed of mashed potatoes.
    The Cozy Cook / Via

    You can use all ground beef or a mixture of ground beef, pork, and veal for an extra moist loaf. The best thing about meatloaf is that it freezes beautifully, so you can prepare it on day and serve it whenever you're feeling too lazy to cook. Get the recipe for classic meatloaf here.

    17. Baked Salmon With Dill

    Oven-baked salmon on a sheet pan.
    Tastes Better From Scratch / Via

    Baked salmon can be prepared with dozens of marinades so it always tastes like a totally new meal. Try coating it in lemon and butter, honey and soy, or mustard and garlic. Get the recipe for baked salmon here.

    18. Bakery-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Handle The Heat / Via

    Get the recipe for bakery-style chocolate chip cookies here.

    19. Blueberry Crumb Muffins


    Breakfast or dessert...when it comes to homemade muffins, the choice is yours. Get the recipe for blueberry crumb muffins here.

    20. Banana Bread

    Chew Out Loud / Via

    When life gives you overripe bananas, turn them into moist and delicious banana bread. Get the recipe for banana bread here here.

    21. Lemon Bundt Cake

    A Latte Food / Via

    Bundt cake is the perfect dessert for so many occassions, whether it's a summer picnic, spring brunch, or anything in between. Don't skimp out on the three-ingredient icing made with powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Get the recipe for lemon bundt cake here.