Share on Facebook

35 Absolutely Essential Recipes You Should Know Before You Turn 35

Everyday healthy meals, quick and easy snacks, decadent treats—learn to make these essential recipes and you'll be equipped for any occasion.

1 / 35
Taste of Home

In Your Teens

By your teens, you should master a few snacks, basic meals, and classic sweets. This basic buttermilk pancake recipe is easy to whip up for Sunday brunch (or a sweet supper). Plus, check out these breakfast-for-dinner recipes.

Get the Recipe for Buttermilk Pancakes

2 / 35
Taste of Home

Spinach-Mushroom Scrambled Eggs

“My husband and I had breakfast at a hotel and enjoyed an amazing mushroom and egg dish. As soon as I got home, I made my own rendition.” —Rachelle McCalla, Batesville, Arkansas. You can also use eggs to make these recipes that aren’t for breakfast.

Get this Spinach-Mushroom Scrambled Egg Recipe

3 / 35
Taste of Home

The Ultimate Grilled Cheese

“These gooey grilled cheese sandwiches taste great for lunch with sliced apples. And they’re really fast to whip up, too.” —Kathy Norris, Streator, Illinois. 

Get the Ultimate Grilled Cheese Recipe

4 / 35
Taste of Home

Fudge Nut Brownies

“There’s no brownie recipe or mix I’ve ever tried that’s better than this! And it’s so easy—you can mix it in one bowl in just a few minutes. My husband’s grandmother passed the recipe on; now our son makes these brownies for after-school snacks.” —Becky Albright, Norwalk, Ohio  

Get the Fudge Nut Brownie Recipe

5 / 35
Taste of Home

Strawberry Lemonade Smoothie

“We love the perfect blend of sweet and citrus in this refreshing smoothie. It’s so easy to throw together, I often find myself making one for breakfast or a midday snack.” — Jamie King, Duluth, Minnesota. Before you start cooking, make sure you know about these cooking mistakes that could ruin your food.

Get the Strawberry Lemonade Smoothie Recipe

6 / 35
Taste of Home

Blueberry Muffins

“For a wonderful addition to your brunch menu, try these delicious muffins. The applesauce adds another layer of flavor which will have your guests trying to figure out what that taste is.” —Katrina Shaner, Stronghurst, Illinois

Get this Blueberry Muffins Recipe

7 / 35
Taste of Home

Hard-Boiled Eggs

Our home economists share this recipe for hard-cooked eggs that can be eaten plain or used in various recipes.

Get this Hard-Boiled Eggs Recipe

8 / 35
Taste of Home

Big & Buttery Chocolate Chip Cookies

“My version of the classic cookie is based on a recipe from a bakery in California called Hungry Bear. It’s big, thick and chewy—perfect for dunking.” —Irene Yeh, Mequon, Wisconsin

Get this Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

9 / 35
Taste of Home

Early 20s

Time to master the basics, like sauces and grains, plus easy everyday healthy recipes, like this garlic lovers’ chicken. These brilliant kitchen shortcuts will help you cook faster.

Get the Recipe for Garlic Lover’s Chicken

10 / 35
Taste of Home

Roasted Tomato Soup with Fresh Basil

“Roasting really brings out the flavor of the tomatoes in this wonderful soup. It has a slightly chunky texture that indicates it’s fresh and homemade.” —Marie Forte, Raritan, New Jersey  

Get this Roasted Tomato Soup Recipe

11 / 35
Taste of Home

Seasoned Brown Rice

Rice can be one of the most versatile players in your mealtime lineup. It’s also one of the simplest to make. “For maximum flavor, use your fingertips to crumble the dried basil directly into the cooked rice.”—Betsy Larimer, Somerset, Pennsylvania

Get this Seasoned Brown Rice Recipe

12 / 35
Taste of Home

Get-Up-and-Go Granola

“My family loves to have this soul-warming granola before hiking, biking or even when camping. It smells delicious while baking up and you can easily make in large batches for special occasions or to send in gift packages to family and friends.” —Sabrina Olson, Otsego, Minnesota. Don’t miss these food hacks for a healthier breakfast, too.

Get this Granola  Recipe

13 / 35
Taste of Home

Classic Hummus

“We love hummus, and this version is really amazing. If you have a pressure cooker, this is an easy, tasty reason to pull it out! We pair hummus with fresh veggies for a meal or snack.” —Monica and David Eichler, Lawrence, Kansas

Get this Classic Hummus Recipe

14 / 35
Taste of Home

Herb-Happy Garlic Bread

“You’ll love the fresh garlic and herbs in this recipe. The mild cheesy duo that’s sprinkled on top makes it extra rich and wonderful.” —Taste of Home Test Kitchen. If you run into trouble, here’s how to fix the most common cooking disasters.

Get this Herb-Happy Garlic Bread Recipe

15 / 35
Taste of Home

Stamp-of-Approval Spaghetti Sauce

“My father is very opinionated, especially about food. This recipe received his almost unreachable stamp of approval. I have yet to hear a disagreement from anyone who has tried it!” —Melissa Taylor, Higley, Arizona. 

Get this Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

16 / 35
Taste of Home

Yellow Cupcakes

“Nothing is better than homemade cupcakes. They are so delicious and fluffy. Choose whatever frosting you want to top these treats.” —Taste of Home Test Kitchen. Here are some healthy desserts that can help you lose weight, also.

Get this Yellow Cupcakes Recipe

17 / 35
Taste of Home

Raisin Nut Oatmeal

“There’s no better feeling than waking up to a hot ready-to-eat breakfast. The oats, fruit and spices in this homey meal cook together while you sleep!” —Valerie Sauber, Adelanto, California

Get Raisin Nut Oatmeal Recipe

18 / 35
Taste of Home

Best-Ever Banana Bread

“Whenever I pass a display of bananas in the grocery store, I can almost smell the wonderful aroma of this bread. It really is good!” —Gert Kaiser, Kenosha, Wisconsin

Get this Banana Bread Recipe

19 / 35
Taste of Home

Tangy Balsamic Vinaigrette

When made well, vinaigrette is a perfectly balanced dressing that spruces up any salad or vegetable it touches, and it’s so simple to make. “I like to use balsamic vinegar, which gives it a tart, refreshing flavor.” -Alcy Thorne, Los Molinos, California

Get this Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

20 / 35
Taste of Home

Sweet & Tangy Salmon with Green Beans

“I’m always up for new ways to cook salmon. In this dish, a sweet sauce gives the fish and green beans some down-home barbecue tang. Even our kids love it.” —Aliesha Caldwell, Robersonville, North Carolina. Before you start this one, make sure you haven’t been cooking fish wrong! 

Get this Sweet & Tangy Salmon  Recipe

21 / 35
Taste of Home

Mom’s Chicken Noodle Soup

“My mother was a pastor’s wife, and she did a lot of cooking for potlucks. This recipe’s one she created herself. I serve it frequently to my husband and to our four children. Every one of them is a hearty eater!” —Marlene Doolittle, Story City, Iowa

Get this Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe

22 / 35
Taste of Home

Homemade Guacamole

“Nothing is better than fresh guacamole when you’re eating something hot. It’s easy to whip together in a matter of minutes and quickly tames anything that’s too spicy.” —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas

Get this Guacamole Recipe

23 / 35
Taste of Home

Quick Bacon Potato Salad

“My family was tired of the same old potato salad at family functions, so I created this with the ingredients I had on hand. Now I’m always asked to bring it to potluck gatherings.” —Tami Gallagher, Eagan, Minnesota 

Get this Bacon Potato Salad Recipe

24 / 35
Taste of Home

Classic Beef Stew

“Here’s a good old-fashioned stew with rich beef gravy that lets the flavor of the potatoes and carrots come through. This is the perfect hearty dish for a blustery winter day. I make it often this time of year.” —Alberta McKay, Bartlesville, Oklahoma   

Get this Classic Beef Stew Recipe

25 / 35
Taste of Home

Late 20s & Early 30s

Time for more advanced recipes that rely on technique to get restaurant-worthy results. Think homemade bread and pizza dough, great steak, and more. Read up on these cooking tricks that are only taught in culinary schools.

Get the Recipe for Crusty Homemade Bread

26 / 35
Taste of Home

Traditional Lasagna

“My family first tasted this rich, classic lasagna at a friend’s home on Christmas Eve. We were so impressed that it became our own holiday tradition as well. I also prepare it other times of the year. It’s requested often by my sister’s Italian in-laws—I consider that the highest compliment!” —Lorri Foockle, Granville, Illinois

Get this Lasagna Recipe

27 / 35
Taste of Home

Balsamic Roast Chicken

“When the aroma from this dish fills your house, your family will think you spent all day cooking. But this elegant, Sunday-special roast chicken, flavored with rosemary, wine and balsamic vinegar, is surprisingly simple to make.” —Tracy Tylkowski, Omaha, Nebraska 

Get this Roast Chicken Recipe

28 / 35
Taste of Home

Heirloom Tomato Salad

“This is a simple yet elegant dish that always pleases my guests. Not only is it tasty, but it is healthy, too. The more varied the colors of the tomatoes you choose, the prettier the salad will be.” —Jess Apfe of Berkeley, California

Get this Heirloom Tomato Salad Recipe

29 / 35
Taste of Home

Blueberry French Toast

“This is the best breakfast dish I’ve ever tasted. Luscious blueberries are tucked into the French toast and in the sauce that goes over the top. With the cream cheese and berry combination, this dish reminds me of dessert. The recipe was shared with me by a local blueberry grower.” —Patricia Walls, Aurora, Minnesota

Get this Blueberry French Toast Recipe

30 / 35
Taste of Home

Grilled Marinated Ribeyes

“These juicy steaks are a favorite meal of ours when we go camping. Let them sit in tangy, barbecue-inspired marinade overnight and you’ve got a rich and hearty dinner ready to grill up the next day.” —Louise Graybiel, Toronto, Ontario. Don’t miss these other foods you didn’t know you could grill.

Get this Grilled Marinated Ribeye Recipe

31 / 35
Taste of Home

Homemade Chicken Broth

“Rich in chicken flavor, this traditional broth is lightly seasoned with herbs. Besides making wonderful chicken soups, it can be used in casseroles, rice dishes and other recipes that call for chicken broth.” —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Get this Homemade Chicken Broth Recipe

32 / 35
Taste of Home

Cinnamon-Sugar Apple Pie

“Apple pie baked in a cast iron skillet is a real stunner. This beauty, with its flaky, tender crust, also works in a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate.” —Renee Schettler Rossi, New York, New York 

Get this Cinnamon-Sugar Apple Pie Recipe

33 / 35
Taste of Home

Thin Crust Pizza Dough

“My family loves this pizza crust, and this is our go-to recipe. It’s healthier and less expensive than delivery and tastes so much better.” —Theresa Rohde, Scottville, Michigan

Get this Pizza Dough Recipe

34 / 35
Taste of Home

Slow Cooker Short Ribs

“These ribs are an easy alternative to traditionally braised short ribs—you don’t need to pay any attention to them once you get them in the slow cooker.” —Rebekah Beyer, Sabetha, Kansas. Find out the slow cooker mistakes you didn’t realize you were making.

Get this Slow Cooker Short Ribs Recipe

35 / 35
Taste of Home

Sandy’s Chocolate Cake

“Years ago, I drove 4-1/2 hours to a cake contest, holding my entry on my lap the whole way. But it paid off. One bite and you’ll see why this velvety beauty won first prize.” —Sandra Johnson, Tioga, Pennsylvania. Next, find out the quick, healthy meals doctors make every day.

Get this Chocolate Cake Recipe

Originally Published on Taste of Home