Cooking for Beginners: 4 Easiest Meals to Learn
Whether you’ve just picked up the frying pan for the very first time or you’re looking for a simple meal to cook this evening, look no further than this article. We’ve gathered together four of the easiest meals to learn, all of which taste fantastic.
Contrary to popular belief, cooking really isn’t all that hard. Once you know how to cut vegetables, adjust the temperature on the oven, and fry bacon in hot oil, there’s only one thing you’re missing, and that’s timing.
That’s right, we argue the hardest thing about cooking is timing. When you’ve got multiple pans on the stove and shelves stocked in the oven full of goodies, if you mess the timings up the whole meal may go to waste.
This article will provide you with four easy, simple to learn meals to learn at home, all of which aren’t too reliant on timings.
If we can give one tip to beginner cooks, it would have to be having confidence in yourself and your ability. Follow the recipes, trust your gut, and see what you make - learn to love cooking and you’ll make some truly delicious dishes.
That’s right, an all-time classic, spaghetti bolognese. No matter who you speak to, they’ll likely tell you they make a mean bolognese. However, don’t be fooled, mastering this dish is easy, heck you don’t even need to make your own sauce if you don’t want to.
What you’ll need:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 good sized handful fresh parsley chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ½ pound spaghetti
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until lightly golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and fry another minute.
- Add the ground beef; fry until fully cooked and no pink shows at all in the meat (about 8 minutes). Add the oregano and tomato paste and mix with the meat.
- Add the tomatoes, parsley, and bring to a boil. Season with the salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and cook for at least 15 minutes (you can cook longer for a deeper flavor).
- In the meantime, cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions. Drain and serve topped with the sauce and cheese (if using).
An underrated yet highly delicious dish, sausage pasta. If you’re ever unsure what to make, grab any old sauce, fry up some sausages and create this delicious meal.
What you’ll need:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- packet of 8 sausages (the best your budget will allow), cut into chunky pieces
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 14 oz can chopped tomatoes
- 10 oz short pasta such as fusilli or farfalle
- Put a large pan of water on to boil.
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan and fry chunky pieces of 8 sausages on a fairly high heat until they are golden brown all over.
- Now turn the heat down and add 1 large chopped onion and 2 crushed garlic cloves, cooking them until they have softened.
- Stir in 1 tsp chili powder and 14 oz chopped tomatoes with the sausages, bring the sauce to boil then turn the heat down and let it bubble for about 10 minutes while you cook the pasta.
- Drop 10 oz of pasta into the pan of boiling water and cook according to the package instructions.
- Drain the pasta, then tip it into the frying pan with the sausage sauce, mixing well to coat. Dish up immediately with crusty bread.
Tuna Pasta Bake
The tuna pasta bake is an all-time family favorite in many households, and rightfully so. Requiring little to no preparation and cooking time, this makes for a great meal when you’re short on time.
What you’ll need:
- 14 oz (400g) rigatoni pasta
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 onion peeled and chopped finely
- 1/3 cup (40g) plain/all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups (600ml) milk
- 2 1/2 packed cups (250g) strong cheddar, grated
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 11 oz (320g) canned tuna (albacore tuna if possible) drained and flaked
- 11 1/2 oz (330g) canned sweetcorn drained
- 1 cup (150g) frozen petit pois (or green peas)
- large handful chopped parsley
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- Boil a large pan of water, add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes.
- While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a saucepan, add in the onion and cook on low for 6-8 minutes until the onions are very soft.
- Turn up the heat to medium and stir in the flour. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Slowly add the milk, using a whisk to stir (just stir, don’t whisk) it in. Once all the milk is incorporated, continue to heat while stirring until the sauce thickens. Then stir in ⅔ of the cheese until melted. Season with the salt and pepper.
- Drain the pasta and pour into a 9”x13” baking dish. Pour over the white sauce, then add the tuna, sweetcorn, petit pois and all but 1 tbsp of parsley. Mix together, then sprinkle on the remaining cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 15-20 mins until the cheese is golden brown. Top with the reserved parsley before serving.
If you want to make tuna pasta without the ‘bake’ you can also do this. Simply add the tuna to the pasta, season, and serve, as opposed to adding the white sauce and baking in the oven until crispy on top.
Who says you can’t be creative when just starting out? Pita pizza has never been easier, you can even cook it on the grill for a crispier taste if you’d like.
What you’ll need:
- 1 pita bread
- 2 tablespoons spaghetti or 2 tablespoons pizza sauce
- 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- spices (oregano, basil, garlic powder) or dried herbs (oregano, basil,
- garlic powder)
- olive oil (optional)
- Brush on a little olive oil on the pita.
- Spread sauce on top of the pita.
- Sprinkle on the shredded cheese.
- Sprinkle on pinches of desired herbs and spices and add any toppings you'd like.
Place on baking sheet, bake for 5-7 minutes at 400°, or until cheese is melted (times
- Slice with pizza cutter and enjoy!
When cooking as a beginner, not all dishes are super hard to learn. No. In fact, many dishes, such as those listed in this article are easy to pick up. The more confident you get with your cooking ability the more you can play around with the recipe, mixing and matching different ingredients and flavors, and maybe even hosting your own dinner party.