15 Recipes to Master by 30

Cooking skills, classic recipes, and a few cocktails mixed in for good measure--here are 15 recipes that everyone should master by the time they are 30.

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    1. Gooey Chocolate Pudding Cakes

    Any recipe with "gooey" and "chocolate" in the name has to be one to master. Perfect any time of year, for casual dinner parties or family celebrations, these single-pot Gooey Chocolate Pudding Cakes are showstoppers that will showcase your culinary talents and leave everyone asking for more.

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    2. Butter Basil Roasted Chicken

    One tray, one dish, one happy dinner table. This recipe for Butter Basil Roasted Chicken from the Kitchy Kitchen takes one-tray baking and elevates it to a sophistication that everyone should master by the time they are 30. Simple enough to make on a busy midweek night and elegant enough to serve at a dinner party.

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    3. Mulled Wine

    Cheers to the perfect cup of simmering mulled wine, the perfect complement to those cold autumn and winter nights. Everyone should have a signature party drink recipe, and this classic recipe for Mulled Wine from Coryanne Ettiene delivers all the traditional accents of mulled wine with a modern twist that packs a party punch.

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    4. Classic Alfredo Sauce

    Everyone should have a signature sauce that they can whip up without hesitation, and this creamy classic alfredo sauce is perfect for those last-minute dinners, not just because it uses so few ingredients, but because it takes so little time to make. Not just for pasta, this sauce elevates casseroles or pizzas, and it makes simple, steamed broccoli taste like a culinary masterpiece. Get the recipe and watch the video for this classic alfredo sauce here.

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    5. Grilled Romaine Hearts Salad

    The much-loved Caesar salad is a summer must, but when you grill the romaine hearts and make them the center of attention, the salad is something altogether more remarkable. This Grilled Romaine Hearts Salad from Dang That's Delicious is one that everyone should put to memory. With its light aromatic dressing, perfectly grilled leaves, and homemade croutons, it will be hard to forget.

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    6. American Dinner Rolls

    No one can resist a buttery, pull-apart, melt-in-your-mouth dinner roll, and this classic recipe from Scott Peacock is one that everyone should put to memory. Not just for dinner, these rolls are a great go-to ingredient for bread and butter puddings, homemade croutons, or sandwich rolls. And they're heavenly with a slathering of jam. A bonus is the "no-knead" approach to baking.

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    7. Macaroni and Cheese

    Few dishes out there bring as much comfort as macaroni and cheese. With so many variations to this classic recipe, the trick is to master the basic recipe and then add your own personal touch once you have the confidence to play with more complex ingredients. Baked or hot out of the pan, here are a few tips and a Test Kitchen recipe for Macaroni and Cheese.

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    8. Coq au Vin Blanc

    It doesn't get any easier or any more charming than a simmering pot of Coq au Vin Blanc served at a dinner party, or any given Wednesday night. The art of this rustic dish is captured in this easy-to-follow recipe from Taste Love and Nourish. All you need is a heavy pot and a loaf of crunchy bread to get started on a dinner that will never disappoint.

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    9. Modern Mai Tai

    Between chasing your professional dream and hosting the perfect party, there are many reasons to master the art of making a mai tai. Don't be fooled, this is not your grandmother's summer cruise cocktail. This Modern Mai Tai with Hibiscus Thyme has been re-imagined by With Food and Love to capture the sweet and fresh taste of a classic mai tai and making it nothing short of irresistible with an herb twist.

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    10. Banana Bread Muffins

    Any occasion is a good occasion for Banana Bread Muffins, and these muffins from Savory Simple capture everything that is wholesome and comforting about this classic favorite. For a housewarming or brunch--or everyday moments in life when you have a few overripe bananas on your counter--this is one recipe that everyone should master and share with the ones they love.

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    11. Olive Tapenade

    If there is one thing for certain, it is that at some point in your 20s, a party will spring up out of nowhere and you will be tasked with hosting a group of friends with nothing more that what you have on hand. Which is why you should always have a can of olives in your pantry to whip up an Olive Tapenade. And this recipe from Vanilla and Bean shows you just how simple it is to make this savory spread.

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    12. Mexican Hot Chocolate

    With a recipe that oozes sophistication, you can skip the floating marshmallows and master a cup of Mexican Hot Chocolate by Lauren Kelp food writer Elizabeth Van Lierde. This recipe takes everything you love about your childhood hot cocoa and elevates it to a smoothness that is irresistible any time of year--not just because it carries a hint of spice, but because it smells as good as it tastes.

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    13. Classic Beef Chili

    Once you master this crowd-pleasing Beef Chili from Girl Carnivore, you will never turn up to a potluck or tailgate empty-handed again. Seasoned with the right balance of tang and heat, this timeless recipe is exactly right when you need a big dish with bold flavor.

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    14. Classic Vanilla Cake

    Baking from scratch is no simple feat, especially when you aim to do it from memory. But this recipe for Classic Vanilla Cake is simple to follow and easy to commit to memory, and it made our top list because once you master a basic vanilla cake, you can master them all. This Classic Vanilla Cake will be your ticket to birthdays, bridal parties, and baby showers for years.

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    15. Broiled Cherry Whiskey Sour

    We love this drink for two reasons. The first is that it teaches you how to use your broiler, and the second is that it has a cherry on top, and who doesn't want a drink served with a sweet, broiled cherry on top? Master this broiled whiskey sour by The Cookie Rookie and we guarantee you will enjoy drinking it more than you ever did those Shirley Temples when you were 7.

  • Next Slideshow Grocery Items You Can Make Better at Home

    Grocery Items You Can Make Better at Home

    Forget home-style packaged foods; these 100-percent-homemade recipes are the real deal. Make your own convenience items, such as sauces, nut butters, and baking mixes, as well as treats like chips, fruit leather, and snack cakes. Each of these grocery store faves is made with fewer (and more pronounceable) ingredients than anything you'd buy in a store. It's nothing but the good stuff!
    Begin Slideshow »
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