Karen Fratti
Updated Sep 26, 2017 @ 5:54 pm
kale hummus bowl
Credit: A Simple Pantry

Making dinner at home is full of all sorts of issues. Like, you know it’s better for you because you’re using *real food* and not just eating greasy takeout every night. You also know that’s likely cheaper in the long run, especially if you’re using all of your leftovers and stuff, but… Well, you have to know how to cook to make it worthwhile. Luckily, there are delicious dinner recipes for the worst cooks out there, you just have to do your homework. And know your skill set.

Despite what anyone tells you, cooking can be really hard.

When you watch your best friend just whip something restaurant-worthy up on a random Tuesday night, it looks so easy! Boil the water, marinate the chicken, roast your veggies — How hard can all of this really be? Hard, friends, very hard.

You don’t need a master class, but you do need practice to know how to throw certain ingredients together to make them taste good or what spices you can substitute on the fly. You will likely under or overcook Engagement Chicken on both your first and fifth try. It happens.

But until you morph into Julia Child, here are some super easy yet also impressive dinner recipes to try out.

1Lentil, kale, and butternut squash tacos

Credit: A Better Happier Sebastian

Tacos are always an easy weeknight dinner since you can legit throw anything in a tortilla with a little sauce. These tacos are vegetarian, and yes, you will have to cook some lentils and cut up some squash, but we promise it is easier than it looks. (Directions for lentils are usually on the bag or box you bought them in.)

If you can’t handle grains, since they’re so easy to overcook, leave the lentils out or substitute some shredded chicken breast or other protein instead. You can do this.

2Crispy crunchy winter hummus bowl with kale, sweet potato, and apple

kale hummus bowl
Credit: A Simple Pantry

This particular recipe screams fall. All you have to do is chop up some veggies and fruits, roast a sweet potato (which should be considered essential, since sweet potatoes are crazy yummy) and toss some hummus on top. You could make your own hummus but why would you do that? Once you see how all the components work together, you can try variations and change with the season.

3Creamy linguine with mint, thyme, and lemon

Credit: Big Girl, Small Kitchen

OK, if you are a terrible or broke cook, knowing how to make creamy pasta is essential. It’s hearty, always tastes good, and looks fancier than it is. Once you master this basic dish, you can start throwing throwing in veggies or switching it up entirely. (Buy frozen peas and toss them into this particular pasta and you are basically Giada. Looks fancy, costs $2 a plate.) Sure, you could dress up some boxed mac and cheese or a jar of alfredo sauce, but this is the grown-up way.

4Vietnamese chicken salad

Credit: Urban Poser

You actually don’t even have to cook anything for this unless you want to do the chicken yourself. You can also just buy a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket and shred that up. Make the dressing, chop your veggies, and you’re on the couch watching HBO with dinner in no time.

5Slow cooker beef and broccoli with quinoa

Credit: Wholefully

If you feel like you can’t cook, slow cookers are your BFF. Make your own beef and broccoli with super healthy quinoa instead of ordering from your local Chinese joint on the corner. The leftovers will make delish lunches later in the week.

6Fresh huevos rancheros

Credit: Cookie + kate

Why not have breakfast for dinner? This simple huevos rancheros recipe will satisfy you for dinner and is so much better than eating cereal yet again because you can’t bear to turn on the stove.

7Mediterranean Salmon Sheet Pan Dinner

Credit: Food Fanatic

If you’re trying to eat healthy, what better way to do it than with some delicious salmon and veggies? In this recipe, all you have to do is literally buy the salmon and throw everything on a cookie sheet. Toss it in the oven, open a bottle of wine, and it definitely tastes and looks like you knew your way around the kitchen.