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Easy Recipes for Perfect Home-Cooked Meals

Easy Recipes for Perfect Home-Cooked Meals



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Nothing beats a home-cooked meal

Courtesy of Karrite Truman, Happy Money Saver

Looking for a cozy dinner recipe? These classic dishes are homemade food at its best. From a decadent chicken pot pie to a bowl of creamy tomato basil soup, we’ve compiled 25 recipes that are the perfect pick when you want to make a home-cooked meal.

Grandma's Lasagna

© Azurita/Dreamstime.com

Spinach and Sausage Lasagna

Alison Miksch/Photolibrary via Getty Images

Mac and Cheese

Courtesy of Karrie Truman, Happy Money Saver

Instant Pot Beef Chili

LauriPatterson/E+ via Getty Images

A piping-hot pot of chili – no matter what the regional style – is a great remedy for a tiring day. This instant pot beef chili is super simple to make, and you can add or subtract any ingredients to your liking, including modifying the spice level. Not only is it flavorful and low-maintenance, but it also makes a large serving size, so you can enjoy leftovers that will be just as good the next day.

For the Instant Pot Beef Chili recipe, click here.

Tomato Basil Soup

Courtesy of Karrie Truman, Happy Money Saver

Silky tomato soup is nostalgic and fuss-free. Pair it with a simple grilled cheese sandwich for a comforting lunch or dinner. The savory flavors of roasted garlic and fresh basil and a sprinkle of salty parmesan cheese are what make this made-from-scratch soup rich and deeply satisfying. To make this recipe vegan-friendly, simply substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth, and when it’s time to add the cream, either omit it completely or add a splash of coconut milk.

Chicken Pot Pie

Courtesy of Karrie Truman, Happy Money Saver

This hearty classic is bursting with chicken, potatoes, peas, carrots and onions tossed in a creamy filling. You can save some time during prep by using rotisserie chicken and mixing the shredded pieces right into the gravy. And instead of rolling out pastry dough, use store-bought puff pastry sheets or a ready-made pie crust. This delicious homemade chicken pot pie recipe uses a bag of frozen hash browns for added ease.

Baked Chicken with Spinach Stuffing

Courtesy of Pillsbury

This recipe won the grand prize at the 2006 Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest, and the old-fashioned chicken dish is still a winner for dinner. There’s a few unconventional ingredients that take this homemade meal over the top: a combination of maple-flavored syrup, peach preserves and Worcestershire sauce. And the spinach stuffing reminiscent of Thanksgiving flavors is a fitting side dish.

Air-Fryer Chicken Wings

LauriPatterson/E+ via Getty Images

Chicken wings are a game day staple, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make them at home whenever you feel like it. With a trendy air fryer, you can make chicken wings that are crispy and tender without all that frying grease. This recipe is easy and requires only a few basic ingredients: chicken wings, salt and pepper, garlic powder, olive oil and your favorite wing sauce.

Sweet Milk Homemade Waffles

Courtesy of Karrie Truman, Happy Money Saver

It’s possible to make delicious diner-style waffles at home. The secret to fluffy, pillowy waffles is beaten egg whites gently folded into the batter followed by a drizzle of melted butter. Traditional, from scratch and absolutely decadent with some maple syrup and a cloud of whipped cream, this sweet milk homemade waffle recipe will score you a ton of brunch points.

Twice-Baked Potatoes

Maytals/E+ via Getty Images

Twice-baked potatoes are loaded with creamy mashed potatoes, sour cream, cheese and any topping you like. They’re ideal for an easy homemade meal, served alongside some vegetables and soup. The addition of crispy, crumbled bacon takes these perfect twice-baked potatoes to the next level.

Potato Pinwheels

Courtesy of Pillsbury

Another comfort dish that uses potatoes as a base is potato pinwheels. They’re perfect for a dinner party or a random weeknight dish. Simply spread the filling onto rolled-out refrigerated crescent dough and tightly roll it into a log. When you cut them before baking, you’ll see impressive swirls filled with potatoes, bacon and cheese.

Spaghetti and Tomato Sauce

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Is there anything more classic than spaghetti tossed in tomato sauce? And when you take the time to make your own homemade marinara, it’s a different experience altogether. The key is using perfectly ripe tomatoes, high-quality extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil leaves and fresh cloves of garlic. The garlic- and basil-infused olive oil in this recipe gives the tomato sauce a rich, authentic flavor. It’s a homemade meal you'll want to make over and over again.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

LauriPatterson/E+ via Getty Images

The flavors in this soup taste like they took hours and hours to come together, but it’s pretty easy to make. For this dish, chicken breasts, a can of diced tomatoes, cilantro, warm spices like cumin and chili powder and other ingredients are simmered together in a base of chicken stock and bay leaves. The classic Tex-Mex chicken tortilla soup is topped with crunchy tortilla strips, Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream and cubed avocado. Now that's a brilliant way to use your leftover chicken.

Chicken Parmesan

Courtesy of Emily Paster, West of the Loop

Chicken parmesan, or chicken parmigiana, is a quintessential Italian restaurant pick, right up there with a wood-fire pizza. But when you’re in need of some home-cooked food, you should have this recipe in your back pocket. The dish is made with a chunky, homemade marinara sauce, pan-fried breaded chicken cutlets and thick slices of mozzarella cheese. The ingredients are layered and baked until the cheese is melted and bubbling.

Cheeseboard-Stuffed Appetizer Bread

Courtesy of Pillsbury

This stuffed bread won the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest in 2019 and was inspired by a trip to Dublin, Ireland, a top travel destination. It has everything you’d want on a cheeseboard packed inside a French bread loaf. For the filling, you’ll need Irish white cheddar, sliced salami, honey goat cheese, fig preserves, dried apricots and some fresh arugula. If you have guests over, they might not believe you made this cheese-and meat-stuffed bread loaf at home.

BBQ Chicken Flatbread

Courtesy of Emily Paster, West of the Loop

Homemade pizza dough can be time-consuming, but once it’s risen and ready to bake, it’s well worth the wait. But for something like this BBQ Chicken Flatbread, you could always use pre-made dough and take a “semi-homemade” approach. For this recipe, toss cooked and shredded chicken in your favorite barbecue sauce, saute some onions and peppers, spread the sauce on a rectangular rolled-out dough, and start topping. Flatbreads are incredibly versatile, and you can make endless variations.

For the BBQ Chicken Flatbread recipe, click here.

Steak Fajitas

LauriPatterson/E+ via Getty Images

To make this restaurant favorite at home, marinate a skirt steak in lemon juice, olive oil, fresh garlic and Worcestershire sauce before you cook it on a sizzling grill top. These steak fajitas are best served with sauteed peppers and onions and warm flour tortillas. Of course, don’t forget the pico de gallo and guacamole.

Gluten-Free Beet Gnocchi with Mushrooms and Leeks

Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

Homemade Basil Pesto

Courtesy of Emily Paster, West of the Loop

Cranberry Orange Rolls

Courtesy of Pillsbury

Southern Sausage Balls

kajakiki/E+ via Getty Images

Mediterranean Stuffed Tomatoes

Philip Wilkins/Photolibrary via Getty Images

Texas Sheet Cake

Cynthia Davison/Shutterstock

Chicken Noodle Soup

Courtesy of Karrie Truman, Happy Money Saver