Gina Florio
April 06, 2017 11:55 am

There are a lot of pros to learning how to cook. It’ll save you money, help you eat healthier, and prevent you from sifting through your roommate’s questionable leftovers late at night. There are some important recipes that you should definitely learn how to cook at some point in your life. Whether it’s a classic lasagna or a special curry, these are the basic dishes that will get you through pretty much every important moment in your life, whether it’s a busy weeknight or a celebratory dinner party.

You don’t have to be an expert to know how to cook these meals, which is the good news. Read on if you want to sharpen your cooking skills and enjoy high quality food — without ever having to leave your house.

Here are 11 meals you should learn to cook before you turn 25.


A Cozy Kitchen

This classic dish from Spain is a hearty combination of rice, seafood, and delicious spices. It’s the perfect dish to serve at a dinner party or on a lazy weekend evening. Most of us get nervous about approaching a paella recipe because we’re afraid we’re going to mess it up. You’ll never get good at it until you actually try it, though. Try this paella recipe from A Cozy Kitchen.

2Macaroni and Cheese

Naturally Ella

Duh, right? This is the childhood favorite that captured our hearts before we could even form full sentences. You simply must learn how to make mac ‘n’ cheese so you can upgrade from the box variation. Besides, what better comfort food to eat when you’re feeling blue? This Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese with Spinach from Naturally Ella is a delicious grown-up version you’ll love.

3Cinnamon Rolls

Foodie Crush

Yes, cinnamon rolls constitute as a meal. That’s what Sunday breakfast was created for. Here’s a heart-warming and satisfying brunch that will make anybody in your house happy, including and especially you. When you turn 50 and the apocalypse happens, you’ll thank us, because you’ll at least be able to make cinnamon rolls. Have a go with this classic cinnamon roll recipe from Foodie Crush.

4Noodle Stir Fry

Cook Nourish Bliss

When you’re home after a long night out and there’s nothing open, you’re going to want to know how to make your own version of takeout. A basic noodle stir fry dish will become your best friend. Once you know how to make the foundation of it, you can experiment and add on whatever protein or veggies you’re craving. This Spicy Carrot Broccoli Noodle Stir Fry from Cook Nourish Bliss is the perfect start.


Naturally Ella

Do we even need to explain? Come on. Everyone deserves nachos at the drop of a hat, and when you’re just too tired to get your ass to the nearest Tex Mex restaurant, turn your attention to this Chorizo-Spiced Vegetarian Nachos recipe from Naturally Ella. Add meat if you’d like!

6Chana Masala

Smitten Kitchen

Being able to whip up a classic Indian curry-like dish at any moment is a skill you definitely want to acquire in your 20s. This one pot dish is super easy and you probably already have everything in your kitchen already (except maybe the spices). Take a hint from this Chana Masala recipe from Smitten Kitchen.


Foodie Crush

Eggs may sound like a really simple thing to make, but perfecting a frittata isn’t exactly the easiest thing in the world. It’s worth knowing how to make, though, because it’s a meal that will come in handy when you’re feeling bougie or you’re about to entertain for a brunch. Foodie Crush will teach you the basics with this Bacon Broccoli Potato Frittata. Mix and match the protein and veggies as you see fit.

8Fish Tacos

Foodie Crush

Excuse us while we wipe the drool away. Nobody doesn’t like fish tacos. Seriously, find one person on the planet who would turn down a fresh fish taco. These are pretty easy to make, but there are a few different moving parts you have to master — the fish itself (don’t overcook it!), the sauce or salsa, the veggies, etc. These Blackened Fish Tacos with Creamy Avocado Sauce from Foodie Crush are a good start.


Foodie Crush

Being able to make a killer lasagna pretty much makes you the most coveted friend on the planet. You’ll have people begging you to cook for them every other day. There’s no emotional ailment that lasagna can’t cure. Here’s a basic recipe you can learn everything you need from: The Cheesiest Spinach and Cheese Lasagna by Foodie Crush.

10Spaghetti alla Puttancesca

Cookie and Kate

When you’re craving pasta, spaghetti alla puttanesca is a choice you’ll never get sick of. It’s a tomato-based sauce made with olives, capers, garlic, red pepper, and parsley. It looks like it might be complicated, but it’s such an easy thing to make, even if you don’t have that much time on your hands. Here’s a Vegan Spaghetti alla Puttanesca recipe from Cookie and Kate — don’t be scared to replace the zucchini spirals for spaghetti if you’re v hungry.

11Roast Chicken

Foodie Crush

Julia Child would be so proud if she knew you were learning how to make the perfect roast chicken. When you have a few hours to spare on the weekend, it’s a great idea to make a roast chicken. Not only is it a deliciously satisfying dinner to eat with your loved ones, but you’ll have leftovers to make a yummy sandwich for lunch during the week. Flip through these juicy roast chicken tips from Foodie Crush.