May 24, 2011

10 Easy Main Dishes for the Beginner Cook

I like cooking. I like the money that I save by not buying fast food for dinner. I like knowing what's in my food. But what I don't like, at least at this point in my life, are complicated recipes. The key word for these recipes is easy. These aren't healthy, whole foods recipes by any means - one uses cream of chicken soup, and one uses Pillsbury crescents. But all of them  have five ingredients or fewer, at least the way I prepare them, and don't require a lot of work.

Here are 10 favorites from my limited cooking repertoire. I've listed the ingredients I use for each recipe, and the recipe names link to the directions for them.

: : 1 : :
Pork chops
Brown sugar
Dried basil
Olive oil

The recipe calls for boneless pork chops, but I use bone-in.

 : : 2 : :
 Lean ground beef
Italian-style tomato sauce
Shredded mozzarella cheese
10-ounce package  refrigerated biscuits

 : : 3 : :
Tuna Macaroni
1 box macaroni and cheese
1 can light tuna, packed in water
1 can cream of chicken soup

 My favorite version of tuna noodle casserole is actually not a casserole, and not the version pictured. All I do is make a box of Annie's Mac & Cheese, then mix in the soup and tuna. No baking required! We sprinkle chow mein noodles on the individual servings.

: : 4 : :
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Seasoned bread crumbs
Grated Parmesan cheese
Dried basil

: : 5 : :
 Canned salmon
Sseasoned dry bread crumbs
Olive oil


: : 6 : :
  Pillsbury® Refrigerated Crescent Dinner Rolls
Thinly sliced ham
Sliced cheddar cheese

: : 7 : :
 Boneless skinless chicken breast halves
Minute® White Rice
Cream of chicken soup

  : : 8 : :
 Cod fillets
Margarine or butter
All-purpose flour
Shredded Cheddar cheese

It tastes better than it looks in the photo! 
I make this with 12 oz. of pollock and scale the other ingredients in half.

: : 9 : :
Boneless chicken breasts
Cream of Cheddar cheese soup
Salt and pepper
Garlic powder

  : : 10 : :
 Ground turkey
  Italian seasoned bread crumbs

I pour barbecue sauce over mine before baking and serve over rice. 

What are your favorite easy recipes?


  1. Great list! I wouldn't consider myself a beginner cook, but I could always use new easy recipes! :)

  2. Great little list. I love to make a roast using Lipton Onion Soup, water and beef at 450 degrees for one hour then at 325 degrees for 3 to 4 hours. Tender, delicious meat.

  3. I love easy recipes with few ingredients! My favorite is chili. 1 can tomato soup + 1 cup water + pork n beans + Heinz chili beans + chili powder. Super easy and yummy!


Let me know your thoughts on this. I love reading all my comments!