13 Recipes Everyone Should Know How to Cook by Age 30

by Claire Gillespie
Jan 3, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. ET
Everyone should know how to cook these recipes by age 30.
Image: JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Getty Images

OK, so we're not teenagers anymore. Burnt toast and takeout pizza just won't cut it now that we're proper adults and expected to do proper adult things, like throwing dinner parties. Here's the good news: we don't need a fancy menu or the culinary skills of a Michelin star chef to cook our guests delicious food. Often, the best dishes are the simplest ones (and those Michelin star chefs would probably agree). 

By the age of 30, we should all have some basic, fundamental recipes in our skill set — for ourselves, our families and those last-minute dinner guests. The key is to start with recipes we love to eat, like a really great pasta dish, an exquisite chocolate cake or a stack of buttery pancakes. We'll love them even more once we've made them ourselves. And once we've mastered those, well, the sky's the limit.  

This post is sponsored by Red Gold Tomatoes.

1 /13: Pancakes

1/13 :Pancakes

Master pancakes and save a fortune at IHOP. 

2/13 :Salsa

Whip up salsa year-round with this easy recipe that mixes diced canned tomatoes, cilantro and lime juice with a few other choice ingredients

3 /13: Basil pesto

3/13 :Basil pesto

Keep a jar of homemade pesto in the fridge to liven up pasta, noodles, pizza, sandwiches and salads.

4 /13: Tomato soup

4/13 :Tomato soup

Brown sugar brings a whole new dimension to this roasted tomato soup.

5 /13: Grown-up grilled cheese

5/13 :Grown-up grilled cheese

Finely diced jalapenos add heat to this gooey grilled cheese. Pair it with the roasted tomato soup on the previous slide for a full-on meal.

6 /13: Pasta carbonara

6/13 :Pasta carbonara

You need at least one creamy, decadent pasta recipe in your tool kit, so how about pasta carbonara?

7 /13: Fish tacos

7/13 :Fish tacos

These fish tacos with lime and cilantro aioli made with canned petite diced tomatoes will quickly become your go-to dinner.

8 /13: Baked salmon

8/13 :Baked salmon

Baked salmon in only 20 minutes, with minimal cleanup? Pass the parchment paper. 

9 /13: Spaghetti and meatballs

9/13 :Spaghetti and meatballs

It's hard to go wrong with the comfort of spaghetti and meatballs, especially when served with homemade sauce.

10 /13: Mac & cheese

10/13 :Mac & cheese

The ultimate comfort dish: mac and cheese

11/13 :Curry

Cooking a curry is simpler than you think, and a slow cooker makes it even easier. 

12 /13: Lasagna

12/13 :Lasagna

A go-to lasagna recipe like this one with meat sauce never gets old.

13 /13: Chocolate cake

13/13 :Chocolate cake

Birthdays, anniversaries, Tuesdays... there's always an occasion for a homemade chocolate cake