100 Easiest Recipes You Can Make
Experienced cooks tend to forget there was once a time they didn't yet know how to boil water to make pasta. But we remember. We also remember that once we learned how, it changed everything. Knowing how to boil pasta meant we could move onto learning how to make a nice tomato sauce. Learning how to make tomato sauce made us feel ready to tackle pesto. Chopping up basil and garlic gave us the courage to try whipping up a chimichurri. And the pesto itself seemed like a good thing to tuck into an omelet, so we tried our hand at that next. Once we figured out how to beat eggs, we realized we could try a cake recipe. And so on.
Suddenly, it dawned on us that we could read a recipe without feeling overwhelmed. We knew how to measure both brown sugar and flour. We knew how to tell a simmer from a rolling boil. We understood not only what "golden brown" looks like but how quickly things can go from there to overcooked. It was, at once, magical, empowering, and humbling, and it all began with learning a few "basic" recipes, which, upon reflection, we realize aren't basic at all, but rather, foundational. Here are 100 such recipes, each of them delicious, each of them within anyone's grasp, and each a secret passcode to the world of cooking.
For more, check out these 15 Classic American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback.
There's nothing intuitive about boiling pasta. Yet many pasta recipes don't offer much beyond "cook pasta according to directions on box." And the box often offers little beyond how many minutes it takes for the pasta to cook. So we're clearing up the mystery right here and now with these four simple steps:
- Heat a pot of saltwater big enough to accommodate your cooked pasta plus an inch or two of pasta water (for a pound of pasta, you'll want four quarts).
- When it's boiling (you'll see big bubbles in the water and steam rising from the pot), add your pasta.
- After it comes to a boil again, set a timer to the minutes specified on the pasta box, adjusting the flame downward if it begins boiling over, which sometimes happens.
- When the timer goes off, drain and rinse the pasta in cool water to stop the cooking process.
All that's left is adding the sauce. Might we recommend this simple one made from garlic and oil ((and from which we adapted our pasta-cooking instructions)?
Get our recipe for Pasta Aglio e Olio.
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Cooking rice isn't any more intuitive than pasta. First, there's the question of whether to rinse before cooking. In most cases—except for sushi rice, Thai sticky rice, and risotto—the answer is "yes." To rinse rice, measure it, put it in a colander, and rinse in cool water until the water runs clear. Then there's the question of whether to start the rice in cold water, to which the answer is also generally "yes." You'll find the simplest step-by-step instructions in this Minimalist Baker post.
Try it once, and you'll be ready to move on to this super-easy veggie rice bowl recipe, which, as a bonus, offers instructions on how to fry an egg. So now you'll know that, too.
Get our recipe for a Vegetarian Rice Bowl.
Cooking eggs doesn't have to be complicated, even if TV chefs might make it look that way. As proof, take a look at how to cook eggs perfectly every way. But don't take our word for it; try this celebrity chef-approved recipe for an omelet. It's the only omelet recipe you'll ever need.
Get our recipe for the Best-Ever Omelet.
The only thing that makes scrambling eggs complicated is that people tend to have very specific scrambled egg-spectations: wet versus dry, hard versus soft, whether or not to crack the eggs directly into the pan, what to add to the eggs before scrambling, etc. This post from Inspired Taste explains it all in simple terms, which should prepare you for any recipe requiring scrambled eggs, including this one for an updated version of good ole lox and eggs.
Get our recipe for Scrambled Eggs with Salmon, Asparagus, and Goat Cheese.
At one point, before COVID-19, some restaurants prepared guacamole to order right at your table. Despite that you could see with your own eyes how easy it is, the theatrical spectacle lent a mystique that we shall now demystify once and for all with this simple recipe that anyone can put together and come off looking like a pro. And because it might come in handy, here's the chef-approved method for cutting an avocado.
Get our recipe for Guacamole.
Grilled Chicken Avocado Salad
So…remember that time you learned to cut avocados for our easy guacamole recipe? We bet you do, and here's another opportunity to practice. Like avocado, these other salad fixin's are super-easy to prepare (some require nothing more than measuring). And the payoff is refreshing and delish. And now, because you're ready, here are five more easy chicken recipes.
Get our recipe for Grilled Chicken Avocado Salad.
If you've got five minutes and a bunch of fresh basil, you're halfway to a ridiculously easy pesto sauce that's virtually indistinguishable from any you'll order in the finest of Italian restaurants. Seriously, just toss that basil into a blender with some garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Level up by adding pine nuts, and you've got something you can swirl into scrambled eggs as easily as you can use it to top fresh linguine.
Get our recipe for Pesto.
One can of tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil is all it takes to make this bright, sweet, and slightly tangy tomato sauce, which can be used as is over pasta, pizza, and veggies. Or if you're feeling adventurous, go ahead and doctor it up with caramelized onions, which, as it turns out, is super-easy, too.
Get our recipe for Tomato Sauce.
If you've ever wondered "how do they do that?" when savoring a forkful of melt-in-your-mouth savory-sweet caramelized onions, we're here to tell you there's nothing that complicated about it. Caramelized onions are as easy to prepare as they are to love.
Some recipes use butter. Ours uses olive oil, which works equally well, and the result is virtually indistinguishable. Some recipes use yellow onions. Ours uses red, which makes the result even sweeter.
Get our recipe for Caramelized Onions.
This herb-based Argentinian sauce couldn't be easier to prepare. Just throw the eight ingredients into a food processor, and a few pulses later, you'll have a delicious spread/dipping sauce for sandwiches, meats, veggies…you name it. And now that you're comfortable with one, here are 17 creative uses for a food processor.
Get our recipe for Chimichurri.
Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri
If you can make chimichurri, you can tackle this recipe, for which the only unknown will be how to grill flank steak. But no worries: The instructions are simple, and our experience with flank steak is that it's incredibly cooperative. It's as if it wants to make you feel good about yourself as a cook.
While you're waiting the three to four minutes for yours to cook to perfection, have a look at this steak doneness guide, complete with precise temperatures (and yes, we wholeheartedly endorse using a meat thermometer, although the touch test works well, too).
Get our recipe for Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri.
Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Chimichurri
This recipe for a grilled chicken sandwich assumes you already know how to make chimichurri. Well, guess what? You do.
Get our recipe for a Grilled Chicken Sandwich with Chimichurri.
Pico de Gallo
Pico de gallo, also known as salsa cruda, is essentially a deconstructed salsa. Like traditional salsa, it's a simple mix of tomatoes, onions, peppers, and cilantro. But while salsa is blended until the various components are almost indistinguishable from one another, pico de gallo is chopped so the flavors mingle without losing their identities.
If there is anything at all challenging about making pico de gallo, it's that it involves chopping and mincing, but don't worry: We explain that all right here. Your reward will be a condiment for dipping chips and crudites or for jazzing up grilled meat, chili, eggs, and salads.
Get our recipe for Pico de Gallo.
Cranberry Orange Relish
Like pico de gallo, cranberry relish can be used as a condiment, a spread, or even a dip. Also like pico de gallo, it's seriously easy to make. If you're not so into chopping and mincing, then cranberry relish is even easier. Apart from grating a bit of fresh ginger, it involves no "sharps" whatsoever. All you'll have to do is empty a package of frozen cranberries into a pot or a pan and simmer over medium heat with the juice of an orange and a bit of sugar.
Get our recipe for Cranberry Orange Relish.
Blackening spice can turn any meat into its Cajun cousin using just seven dry ingredients you probably already have in your spice cabinet. We especially love it on the blackened fish sandwich that's up next. Love Cajun flavors? Check out these 15 Iconic New Orleans Recipes.
Get our recipe for Blackening Spice.
Blackened Fish Sandwich
Now that you know how to mix up a batch of blackening spice, you pretty much know everything you need to make our favorite blackened fish sandwich, which uses sliced avocado as a cool contrast to our blackening spice. Well, you might not know exactly how to cook a fish fillet, but as you'll see from this recipe, it's super simple and takes less than eight minutes.
Get our recipe for a Blackened Fish Sandwich.
Like our blackening spice recipe, our taco seasoning recipe calls for just a handful of dry ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Also like our blackening spice recipe, our taco seasoning recipe is fast, easy, and super-versatile. You can use it in any of these 12 Healthy Taco Recipes.
Get our recipe for Taco Seasoning.
If the idea of pickling foods conjures images of a weekend-long project involving strange-looking equipment and the patience of a saint, our recipe for pickled onions will change your mindset, with just a handful of ingredients and a few minutes on the stove. Plus, you've now unlocked the secret "sauce" that makes our recipe for shrimp tacos so irresistible.
Get our recipe for Pickled Onions.
Pickled jalapeños add a sweet and spicy kick to just about anything, from scrambled eggs to sandwiches to stir-fries. And don't tell anyone, but they're even easier to make than pickled onions.
Get our recipe for Pickled Jalapeños.
It's so easy to make a homemade balsamic vinaigrette. And the result is so much better than what you can buy in a bottle from the supermarket, that after you make it once, you'll understand why relying on store-bought dressing is on our list of 20 salad mistakes you should avoid at all costs.
Get our recipe for Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Ginger Lime Vinaigrette
Add this Asian-inspired vegan vinaigrette to your list of reasons why homemade salad dressing is so much better than store-bought. It's bright with ginger and lime, and as a bonus, you will now know exactly how stir-fry gets one of its most distinctive flavors (spoiler alert: it's the sesame oil).
Get our recipe for Ginger Lime Vinaigrette.
Homemade Ranch Dressing
By now you've probably come to realize that making a vinaigrette is not only doable but incredibly easy. But what about creamy dressing? Yup, it can be easy too. This recipe for ranch dressing has fewer ingredients than either of the two vinaigrette recipes we just mentioned. And it gets its tang from high-protein Greek-style yogurt.
Get our recipe for Homemade Ranch Dressing.
Homemade Nut Butter
Homemade nut butter? Yes, you can make it, and here's the best part: When you make it at home, you know exactly what's in it.
Get our recipe for Homemade Nut Butter.
Six ingredients and 45 minutes on the stove. What's not to love about this delicious and ridiculously easy dish? We almost don't need to mention the fact that it clocks in at under 250 calories per serving…but look what we did there.
Get our recipe for Chicken Adobo.
Chicken Mole Enchiladas
Fans of the cult-favorite television show Schitt's Creek may remember David and Moira Rose struggling when their enchiladas recipe called for them to "fold" in the cheese. If only these two hapless home cooks had had our recipe for authentic chicken mole enchiladas. There's no folding required, just a sprinkling of cheese at the end. To paraphrase Alexis Rose, "Yum."
Get our recipe for Chicken Mole Enchiladas.
Instant Pot Creamy Chicken with Spinach
Dinner for eight in under 30 minutes? Why, yes, please. Oh, and thank you, Instant Pot. Want to love your Instant Pot even more? Here are 15 Instant Pot hacks that will change your dinner game.
Get our recipe for Instant Pot Creamy Chicken with Spinach.
Instant Pot Buffalo Wings
The truth about Buffalo-style chicken wings is they're not all that difficult to make, whether you use an Instant Pot or not. But using an Instant Pot to cook the wings before broiling uncovers the long-standing mystery of how to make sure your wings get crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
Get our recipe for Instant Pot Buffalo Wings.
Spanish Garlic Shrimp
The good news about shrimp is it cooks incredibly fast. If there's bad news about shrimp, it's that it cooks so fast, your entire cooking experience is over in a flash. Also, you do have to concern yourself with not overcooking it, but that is precisely what a kitchen timer is for. Add that to the list of kitchen essentials you'll want to keep on hand.
Get our recipe for Spanish Garlic Shrimp.
Butter-Baked Salmon and Asparagus
Salmon makes our list of the healthiest fish you can eat. It also makes our as-yet-unpublished list of the easiest fish to cook. Salmon is just rippling with omega-3 fatty acids, which happen to be on our list of the 20 healthiest fats that help with weight loss. These fatty acids impart a firm and fleshy structure so your salmon won't fall to pieces like flakier fish (e.g., flounder). Plus, this keto-friendly recipe features asparagus and a mere 10 minutes of hands-on time.
Get our recipe for Butter-Baked Salmon and Asparagus.
Sheet Pan Pork Chops
Meet your new best friend, the sheet pan, the foundation on which dinner's easiest solutions are built. With this one item, you can make what might be the healthiest—and most flavorful—pork chops and veggies dinner recipe in history.
Get our recipe for Sheet Pan Pork Chops.
This simple recipe for baked potato chips is even simpler if you have a food processor with a 1/8-inch slicer. But using a knife is fine too.
Get our recipe for Baked Potato Chips.
Smoked Paprika Potato Chips
So, you've made our baked potato chips, and now you're ready for a challenge. How about tossing your russet slices in a mixture of olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika before baking them? Try our version of smoked paprika baked potato chips, which, truth be told, won't be all that challenging because you already know your way around a batch of baked potato chips.
Get our recipe for Smoked Paprika Potato Chips.
Smoky Baked Beans
If we hesitated to include this dish on our list of 100 delicious dishes anyone can cook, it's only because it requires sautéed onions. But you already know how to cook onions, thanks to our aforementioned caramelized onion recipe. Now put that knowledge to good use, and while you're at it, level up with these pro tips for storing onions.
Get our recipe for Smoky Baked Beans.
The only thing you have to prep here is lime juice. You can easily purchase it pre-squeezed, but we're about to let you in on the secret to squeezing limes and lemons. Everything else in the ingredients list is something you can easily slice or dice, or just buy in the supermarket.
Get our recipe for Chicken Nachos.
Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Harissa
Harissa is a spicy, Middle Eastern-influenced chili paste that's most often associated with Tunisia. And while you're welcome to go ahead and make it yourself, you don't have to. You can buy it prepared and use it on grilled mahi-mahi in this recipe for an easy yet complex dinner that's as deeply flavored as it is healthy.
Get our recipe for Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Harissa.
Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Salsa Verde
Now that you're onto the fact that making mahi-mahi is an eight-minute cinch, why not try it with different sauces like this salsa verde, which, if you've made chimichurri, will feel comfortingly familiar. Want more sauces to try lavishing over your grilled mahi-mahi? Try one of these five-ingredient salsa recipes.
Get our recipe for Grilled Mahi-Mahi with Salsa Verde.
Grilled Mexican-Style Corn
Next time you're in the mood for Mexican street-style corn, just follow these simple directions, which will teach you not only how to grill corn-on-the-cob to perfection but also why mayo is a great swap for butter. That's true not just in this recipe, but also to make your grilled cheese a perfectly golden crisp.)
Get our recipe for Mexican-Style Corn.
Grilled Fruit Kebabs
While you've got that grill fired up, how about an easy recipe for grilled fruit kebabs with a tangy dipping sauce made of Greek yogurt and honey?
Get our recipe for Grilled Fruit Kebabs.
Grilled fruits are wonderful thanks to the Maillard Reaction, which, in this case, turns ordinary apricots into a warm, sweet, and savory delivery system for another Greek yogurt-based dipping sauce, this time with a hint of maple and walnut.
Get our recipe for Grilled Apricots.
Grilled Strawberry Shortcake with Balsamic
You're about to discover that it's not just fruit that can benefit from the Maillard Reaction. In this deceptively simple grilled dessert recipe, you'll learn to caramelize the otherwise mildly flavored angel-food cake into a decadent host for balsamic-vinegar spiked strawberries.
Get our recipe for Grilled Strawberry Shortcake with Balsamic.
Dark Chocolate-Dipped Bananas
The only trick to making chocolate-dipped fruit is exercising patience to let the chocolate set up before you give in to temptation. This recipe for chocolate-dipped bananas is a great first foray into making chocolate-dipped fruit because bananas are nice and sturdy, especially if you chill them for a few minutes before dipping them.
Get our recipe for Dark Chocolate-Dipped Bananas.
Easy Kiwi Acai Bowl
Making smoothies and smoothie bowls is as easy as tossing stuff into a blender, albeit in the right combinations and proportions. As a result, using a recipe has a lot to offer in terms of figuring out which fruits go well with one another. This one finds the sweet spot in a mixture of bananas, blueberries, acai, and kiwi. And did you know you don't even need to skin the kiwi?
Get our recipe for an Easy Kiwi Acai Bowl.
Acai Blueberry Smoothie Bowl
Now that you understand how easy it is to make a smoothie bowl, try this one, which features mixed berries, pecans, and the tangy creaminess of Greek yogurt.
Get our recipe for an Acai Blueberry Smoothie Bowl.
Avocado Berry Smoothie
Smoothie bowls are easy to make but require a few moments of sitting down to enjoy the "fruits" of your labor. Smoothies, on the other hand, are easy to make and are ready to go wherever you're going. Here's what happens when you drink a smoothie every day.
Get our recipe for an Avocado Berry Smoothie.
Peach and Cherry Smoothie
This paleo-friendly smoothie recipe is not only easy to blend up but is also flexible. You can make it either exactly as written, or you can make either the peach or the cherry part and enjoy it sans swirl.
Get our recipe for a Peach and Cherry Smoothie.
Chocolate Coconut Banana Smoothie
Sounds decadent, huh? It tastes decadent too. But in truth, this chocolate coconut banana smoothie gets its intense chocolate flavor from unsweetened cocoa, its sweetness from bananas, and its tropical lilt from just a tablespoon of flaked coconut. Simple and healthy.
Get our recipe for a Chocolate Coconut Banana Smoothie.
Looking for a slightly more decadent version of a cool and creamy dessert? Look no further than affogato, which sounds way fancier than its recipe reveals it to be. Think two ingredients: One is ice cream and one is espresso. Scoop, pour, savor.
Get our recipe for Affogato.
Ice Cream Sandwiches
This playful recipe is so simple, it's intended to introduce kids to "cooking." But that doesn't mean you can't have a little fun with food-prep too.
Get our recipe for Ice Cream Sandwiches.
Savory Olive Oil Ice Cream
If you can open a bottle of olive oil and drizzle it, you're more than halfway to this savory olive oil ice cream. We recommend Breyer's. Here's why some of the other store-bought brands aren't worth the fat and calories.
Get our recipe for Savory Olive Oil Ice Cream.
Avocado Ice Cream
Think you can't make handmade artisanal ice cream? Think again. All you need to know to make our version of avocado ice cream is how to cut an avocado and how to squeeze a lime. And if you're following along, you know both of those things by now. Although it helps if you have an ice cream maker (here are seven of the very best), it's not essential.
Get our recipe for Avocado Ice Cream.
Here's a super-easy, super-healthy dessert that's as much fun to make as it is to eat. It works as well as the ice cream sandwiches recipe for teaching kids about following a recipe, and it's much higher in protein.
Get our recipe for a Yogurt Parfait.
Grilled Banana Split
Making a banana split is as easy as plopping a few scoops of ice cream on top of a split banana and then spooning on the toppings. Our grilled version levels up by caramelizing the banana and offering a nice, warm place where those scoops can rest before they get gobbled up.
Get our recipe for a Grilled Banana Split.
Ice Cream Bread
Ice cream and self-rising flour are the only two ingredients you need to make ice-cream bread, which is a shortcut to quick-bread, which doesn't require yeast to rise. That's because the ice cream contains sugar, fat, and liquid, and the self-rising flour provides starch and baking powder. This recipe uses peach ice cream, but go ahead and try any flavor, and feel free to cut out all the other ingredients for an easier, healthier version.
Get the recipe from The Baker Mama.
Now that we're solidly into the baking realm (and it wasn't so difficult, was it?), it seems like a good time to try your hand at this classic Southern recipe that gets its sweetness and light texture from Coca-Cola. Enjoy its sticky sweetness and know in your heart that it was super-easy to put together and bake.
Get our recipe for Coca-Cola Cake.
We should mention that if you don't have store-bought buttermilk on hand for your baking needs (and you'll need it for the Coca-Cola cake discussed above), you can make it in a mere 10 minutes with just two ingredients.
Get our recipe for Buttermilk.
No-Bake Cookie Dough
Here's where the keto diet, food safety, and utter deliciousness intersect with simple instructions. These cookie dough bites are delicious, keto-friendly, and use almond flour, rather than wheat flour, to eliminate the risk of flour-borne salmonella (uncooked wheat flour is one of the 17 foods most likely to give you salmonella).
Get our recipe for No-Bake Cookie Dough.
Peanut Butter Cookies
You won't believe you can make sugar-free, gluten-free, low-carb, keto-friendly peanut butter cookies from just three ingredients until you try it, and we highly encourage you to go ahead and do so.
Get our recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies.
The truth is, all shortbread is easy to make. By definition, shortbread is sugar, butter, and flour. You don't even have to crack an egg. But what makes these shortbread cookies special is that they're keto-friendly, made with almond flour and a sugar substitute called Lakanto.
Get our recipe for Shortbread Cookies.
For many cooks, the most challenging aspect of pie-making is figuring out exactly how to get the crust just flaky enough, just structured enough, and not soggy on the bottom. Well, forget all of that for the moment and just enjoy the simplicity of this recipe for what are essentially pumpkin hand pies. The crust has just three ingredients, and there are no magic tricks involved. Just stir, pat, and bake. The filling is even easier, and most importantly, the result is healthy and delicious.
Get our recipe for Pumpkin Pie Bars.
Coconut Vanilla Fudge
The only thing you'll find challenging about this recipe is exercising portion control after you've mixed it up and let it set in the fridge. With the seductive flavor of tahini tucked within, this maple, vanilla, and coconut fudge is calling your name. Good thing it's keto-friendly.
Get our recipe for Coconut Vanilla Fudge.
Raspberry Cheesecake Mousse
Please join us now as we wax poetic about the simple grace of this fluffy cheesecake filling flavored with fresh raspberries. While it requires a bit of labor (you'll have to clean a blender, an electric mixer, and a mesh sieve), it's also so easy to make, we're going to go out on a limb and call it practically foolproof.
Get our recipe for Raspberry Cheesecake Mousse.
If you're a cheesecake lover and you haven't yet discovered mascarpone cheese, what are you waiting for? Mascarpone is a cultured, slightly acidic spoonable cheese—it's almost like a wonderful cheesecake without the added sugar. And who needs sugar when you have fresh strawberries and a bit of shaved chocolate?
Get our recipe for Strawberry Mascarpone.
Grilled Cheese with Apples and Bacon
Our love for cheese and fruit has evolved quite a bit from the cream cheese and jelly sandwiches of our childhood. But just because we enjoy a bit of fig jam with our brie or some pear slices with our gorgonzola doesn't mean we don't still fall for the magic of apples tucked into grilled cheese—especially when we're talking Granny Smiths and cheddar.
Get our recipe for Grilled Cheese with Apples and Bacon.
Ultimate Club Sandwich
Just mix a little mustard into your mayo and you're ready to start building this triple-decker sandwich layer by layer. This ultimate club sandwich practically makes itself.
Get our recipe for Ultimate Club Sandwich.
Sunrise Sandwich Ham
Yes, you have to fry an egg for this swoon-worthy sandwich, but that's not difficult, as you'll see from the recipe (just break an egg into a hot, buttery pan and wait for the white to set). After that, just build it from the bread up. When serving, be sure to slice it down the center. Then slowly, dramatically, push the two halves apart. When you feast your eyes on that egg yolk dripping over the layers of the sandwich and onto the plate, you'll understand.
Get our recipe for a Sunrise Sandwich.
Healthy BLT Sandwich
Our high-protein BLT sandwich also makes genius use of a fried egg. The egg seems so natural here, we have to wonder why the BLT wasn't invented as a BELT.
Get our recipe for a Healthy BLT Sandwich.
Turkey Reuben Sandwich
For this turkey version of the classic Reuben sandwich (the classic is made with corned beef), you don't even have to mix up the Russian dressing. Sure, you could buy it from the store. But as we've been saying, what you make at home is almost inevitably so much better, and, as you now know, shockingly easy.
Get our recipe for a Turkey Reuben Sandwich.
Avocado Crispbreads with Everything Bagel Seasoning
How do you keep your toast from getting soggy when making avocado toast? Try swapping in crispbreads instead of toast. And for a bonus, add a sprinkle of Everything Bagel Seasoning.
Get our recipe for Avocado Crispbreads with Everything Bagel Seasoning.
Avocado with Everything Bagel Seasoning
For a Whole30-friendly version of avocado crispbreads with everything bagel seasoning, just top avocado halves with everything bagel seasoning.
Get our recipe for a Breakfast Avocado.
Chicago Hot Dogs
Making a hot dog, itself, is pretty basic, especially because most hot dogs come pre-cooked. What makes any hot dog special is what you put on top, and here are 16 toppings to distinguish your dog. But before you dive down that rabbit hole, why not start with the simple classic that inspired all the others?
Get our recipe for Chicago-Style Hot Dogs.
Cranberry Orange Granola
Back before Chex Mix came ready-made in a bag, kids were making a cooking project out of it. Why? Because it was delicious and easy. The same goes for homemade granola. This one gets some autumn-inspired flavor from dried cranberries, orange zest, and a hint of real maple syrup.
Get our recipe for Cranberry Orange Granola.
Honey Pecan Cherry Granola
With honey, pecans, and coconut, this homemade granola has a Southern feel and makes a heavenly summer-weekend breakfast. And speaking of summer, it also happens to be an amazing topping for homemade ice cream.
Get our recipe for Honey Pecan Cherry Granola.
Dark Chocolate-Covered Almond Clusters
Here are four different recipes for spiced nuts that are a cinch to make. But if you're craving something sweet and nutty, go with this recipe for dark chocolate-covered almond clusters.
Get our recipe for Dark Chocolate-Covered Almond Clusters.
Banana Bread Pancakes
The fundamental tenet of the Whole30 diet is the emphasis on whole foods and the elimination of sugar, alcohol, grains, soy, dairy, and ingredients you can't pronounce. As you might expect with any recipe that fits within the Whole30 philosophy, these banana bread pancakes are made with just a few whole ingredients. Just blend them and then cook on a hot skillet.
Get our recipe for Banana Bread Pancakes.
This combination of nuts, seeds, and spices (and a hint of nut flour) is a perfect and perfectly easy breakfast option that works for Whole30 dieters. Just measure out the ingredients and stir in warm milk for an easy breakfast that doesn't come with a mid-morning crash.
Get our recipe for Grain-Free Oatmeal.
Sausage and Mushroom Frittata
A frittata is an Italian egg dish that might be described as a quiche crossed with an omelet. But unlike a quiche, it requires no crust. And unlike an omelet, when you make one, you can serve the entire family. And if you drizzle a bit of marinara on this one, you can almost imagine you're eating pizza.
Get our recipe for a Sausage and Mushroom Frittata.
Healthy Spring Vegetable Frittata
Fresh dill, feta cheese, and leeks give this spring vegetable frittata a unique and fresh taste that, as the name suggests, tastes distinctively spring-y. As a bonus, once you make this frittata, you'll know how to wilt spinach, which means you'll know how to wilt any leafy green for one of the easiest vegetable side dishes ever.
Get our recipe for a Healthy Spring Vegetable Frittata.
Garlic Lemon Wilted Spinach/slidetitle]
With your newfound knowledge of how to wilt spinach, it will be a cinch to make this easy side dish composed of the three ingredients that give it its name, plus salt and pepper.
Get our recipe for Garlic Lemon Wilted Spinach.
[slidetitle num="79"]Broccoli Cheese Eggs in a Mug
Grab a mug big enough to hold two eggs and a handful of shredded cheese, and get cracking (literally). After 45 seconds of microwave time, you'll have a hot, healthy breakfast and only one dish to clean up.
Get our recipe for Broccoli Cheese Eggs in a Mug.
Goat Cheese Veggie Scramble
Another super-easy breakfast, this goat cheese veggie scramble is pretty close to a cross between wilted spinach and scrambled eggs, except you're also tossing in mushrooms and goat cheese. The point is, it doesn't get much simpler than this to enjoy a hot, healthy breakfast. Plus, this one serves four.
Get our recipe for a Goat Cheese Veggie Scramble.
Deviled Eggs with Bacon
Deviled eggs are devilishly easy. Just make up a batch of boiled eggs (you can use this as a guide), halve 'em, scoop out the yolks, mix with mayo and seasonings, and then spoon the yolk mixture into the egg white halves.
Get our recipe for Deviled Eggs with Bacon.
Turkey Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash
If "hash" is in the name, a recipe has to be simple—hash was invented as a simple way to use up leftovers. This version blends sweet potatoes, turkey sausage, and bell peppers for a hash that goes perfectly with eggs for breakfast.
Get our recipe for Turkey Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash.
Who doesn't love waking to the intoxicating scent of French toast sizzling on the griddle? French toast is such a yummy treat, you might forget how easy it is to make.
Get our recipe for French Toast.
As a big fan of cauliflower rice, I'm a little humbled to admit I never before thought about making it myself. And a little ashamed, because now that I've read the recipe and tried it out, I realize it takes almost no more effort than heating store-bought cauliflower rice. Plus, it tastes so much better.
Get our recipe for Cauliflower Rice.
This spicy, tangy, sweet and sour pepper dish smells so good while it's cooking, one almost wishes it would take longer to cook. Alas, it takes just minutes. On the bright side, it lasts up to a week in the fridge, as pickled foods do.
Get our recipe for Pepperonata.
Sweet and Sour Onions
Because our recipe for sweet and sour onions calls for pearl onions, there's no knife-work involved here at all. That makes for one very easy onion dish that would be good as a side dish or a condiment, and which I'm planning on using instead of raw onions the next time I make a Chicago-style hot dog, as we mentioned before.
Get our recipe for Sweet and Sour Onions.
Sweet Potato Toast
Who knew that turning sweet potatoes into crunchy toasts could be this simple? Thank you, sweet potato toast, for coming into our lives and giving us this gluten-free, vitamin B- and vitamin A-rich alternative to crunchy bread. Try it with any or all of the toppings included in this recipe. You may find yourself taking a break from avocado toast for a bit.
Get our recipe for Sweet Potato Toast.
Instant Pot Cheeseburger Soup
If you start with store-bought mirepoix and use an Instant Pot, you can have a low-carb version of cheeseburger soup that practically makes itself.
Get our recipe for Instant Pot Cheeseburger Soup.
Rosemary Butternut Squash Soup
Root vegetables like butternut squash might as well have been invented for making hearty winter soups. The first time you make this one, you'll marvel at how easy it is, especially if you eliminate the knife-work by buying your butternut squash pre-cut.
Get our recipe for Rosemary Butternut Squash Soup.
Copycat Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings
As big fans of classic Southern cooking, we've seen our fair share of recipes for this Southern comfort food classic, but none are as simple and straightforward as this copycat of the beloved Cracker Barrel version, which puts most of the emphasis on the chicken and the dumplings. If you find yourself longing for veggies and herbs in the soup, then feel free to add them, pre-cooked, at the same time that you add the cooked chicken back into the pot.
Get our recipe for Copycat Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings.
Copycat Wendy's Chili
What makes this chili recipe so accessible for cooks of all levels is that it doesn't require the sorting and soaking of beans or the dicing and saucing of tomatoes. For someone who is finding their way through the kitchen, that's huge. It also teaches an important lesson: Canned beans and tomatoes are perfectly wonderful, and if you're not into the aforesaid sorting, soaking, slicing, saucing thing, then, by all means, open a can or two or three. It's not for nothing canned beans and canned tomatoes made the top two spots in our roundup of 10 foods you should always keep in your pantry.
Get our recipe for Copycat Wendy's Chili.
Pumpkin Potato Mash
Canned pumpkin is notoriously pumpkin-challenged, with much of the canned pumpkin you'll find in stores containing no pumpkin whatsoever. But we're here to tell you not to let that stop you from using canned pumpkin. Here are 20 things you can and should make with canned pumpkin, including a healthier, more flavorful version of mashed potatoes.
Get our recipe for Pumpkin Potato Mash.
Spicy Sweet Mashed Potatoes
Here's another version of a sweet and spicy root veggie mash, this one made with sweet potatoes, rather than pumpkin. With a hint of chipotle, it brings the heat and the sweet.
Get our recipe for Spicy Mashed Sweet Potatoes.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
There's a reason we have so many mashed dishes in this roundup. Mashed foods are extremely forgiving so that you can focus on the basics of taste, texture, and aroma, rather than worrying about whether your spatchcocking skills, for example, are up to snuff. And because they're often virtually goof-proof, mashed dishes like our garlic mashed potatoes are wonderfully confidence-building.
Get our recipe for Garlic Mashed Potatoes.
Only lately have we discovered that cauliflower makes such a nice stand-in for rice and pizza crusts. But we've known for ages that mashed cauliflower can handily hold its own in any competition with mashed potatoes. And it doesn't have nearly as many calories.
Get our recipe for Mashed Cauliflower.
Instant Pot Cauliflower "Mac" & Cheese
Continuing with our cauliflower love-fest, this Instant Pot Mac & Cheese recipe makes cauliflower cooking even easier because it doesn't require that you break apart a raw cauliflower, which can be messy. Instead, you plunk the entire head into your Instant Pot, cook it until it's soft, and then break it up before topping with shredded cheese.
Get our recipe for Instant Pot Cauliflower "Mac" & Cheese.
Roasted Shrimp Cocktail
Shrimp cocktail is a dish almost anyone can make, and we're referring to both the shrimp and the cocktail sauce. The shrimp, itself, cooks in mere minutes. As for the sauce, why buy it bottled when you can so easily make it yourself?
Get our recipe for Roasted Shrimp Cocktail.
Shrimp Scampi Linguine
If you know how to boil pasta, and we're guessing by now you do, this dish is in your wheelhouse. You can even use pre-cooked shrimp if you're so inclined, although would you want to miss out on the scent of shrimp sautéing with freshly chopped garlic?
Get our recipe for Shrimp Scampi Linguini.
Gnocchi with Peas and Prosciutto
There's a pretty good chance that gnocchi is not the first pasta you'll cook with. But when you do get around to cooking with gnocchi, you'll wonder why that is. It's quite a bit easier to work with than long, stringy pasta, it cooks faster than any dried pasta, and it floats to the surface when it's cooked, so there's no doubt (unlike with other kinds of pasta). This easy-to-prepare gnocchi dish uses peas and prosciutto, and you can use any gnocchi you'd like. But perhaps consider trying Trader Joe's Cauliflower Gnocchi?
Get our recipe for Quick Gnocchi with Peas and Prosciutto.
Vegetarian Pesto Gnocchi
This quick and easy pesto gnocchi dish is meatless, but you won't notice because it gets so much wonderful flavor from basil pesto, which you can buy premade or make it yourself. Or, as the recipe suggests, you might want to consider making pesto from something other than basil. Kale? Sun-dried tomatoes? Fennel? The choices are endless.
Get our recipe for Vegetarian Pesto Gnocchi.
And for more ways to make meal prep easier, don't miss these 52 Life-Changing Kitchen Hacks That'll Make You Enjoy Cooking Again.