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6 Classic Dishes Everyone Should Know How to Make

6 Classic Dishes Everyone Should Know How to Make

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When you’re feeling nostalgic, sometimes classic childhood comfort foods are just the trick. The problem is– what do you do if Mom isn’t around to feed you? Put down that phone and forget about another night of greasy Chinese food, because we have a solution. Here are some simple recipes for comfort food dishes– plus, they’re the basic dishes that any beginner chef should have under their belt. Simply turn to these delicious and easy recipes next time you’re in need of a taste of home.

1. Chicken Noodle Soup (above)



  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 quarts chicken stock (recipe follows)
  • 8 ounces dried wide egg noodles
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

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Place a soup pot over medium heat and coat with the oil. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme, and bay leaf. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned.Pour in the chicken stock and bring the liquid to a boil. Add the noodles and simmer for 5 minutes until tender. Fold in the chicken, and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

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Chicken Stock:

  • 1 whole free-range chicken (about 3 pounds), rinsed, giblets discarded
  • 2 carrots, cut in large chunks
  • 3 celery stalks, cut in large chunks
  • 2 large white onions, quartered
  • 1 head of garlic, halved
  • 1 turnip, halved
  • bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorn


Place the chicken and vegetables in a large stockpot over medium heat. Pour in only enough cold water to cover (about 3 quarts); too much water will make the broth taste weak. Toss in the thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns, and allow the liquid to slowly come to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and gently simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, partially covered, until the chicken is done. As it cooks, skim any impurities that rise to the surface; add a little more water, if necessary, to keep the chicken covered while simmering.

Carefully remove the chicken and place it on a cutting board. When it’s cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones. Then, hand-shred the meat and put it into a storage container.

Carefully strain the stock through a fine sieve into another pot to remove the vegetable solids. Use the stock immediately, cover, and refrigerate for up to one week, or freeze.

Serves 4

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2. Meat Lasagna
89368 1267806998 6 Classic Dishes Everyone Should Know How to Make

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (28 ounce) jar sausage-flavored spaghetti sauce
  • 1 (8 ounce) can of tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 (8 ounce) package mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces provolone cheese, shredded
  • 1 (15 ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.In a skillet over medium heat, season the ground beef with garlic powder and oregano. Brown the meat and drain excess liquid.

In a large saucepan, add spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, and oregano; set aside. In a skillet heat olive oil, add garlic and onions, and saut for about 5 minutes. Mix the cooked onions and garlic in with the meat and put mixture into the sauce. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes.

Combine mozzarella and provolone cheeses in a medium bowl. In a separate medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, eggs, milk, and oregano.

Layer a 9×13 inch baking pan with just enough sauce to cover the bottom of the pan. Lay three lasagna noodles in the pan. Cover with sauce, then spread a layer of the ricotta mixture and sprinkle with mozzarella/provolone mixture; repeat layering. Finish with a layer of noodles and remaining sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Bake covered in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 15 minutes.


3. Beef Stew
89369 1267807492 6 Classic Dishes Everyone Should Know How to Make

  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 2-inch pieces and patted dry
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 cups dry red wine
  • 3 carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 (1 pound) bag frozen pearl onions, thawed and patted dry


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until the fat is rendered; transfer to a platter. Pour all but 2 tablespoons of the fat into a heatproof cup and increase the heat to medium-high.

Working in batches, adding more bacon fat as needed, add the beef and cook until well browned, about 8 minutes; transfer to the platter.

Add the yellow onion, garlic, thyme and bay leaf to the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the onion is softened. Add the beef and bacon, sprinkle with the flour, season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Stir in the wine and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Cover, transfer to the oven and bake for 1 3/4 hours. Then, stir in the carrots and cook until the meat is very tender for another 30 to 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until browned; transfer to a plate. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and the pearl onions to the skillet and cook over medium heat until golden.

Transfer the beef and carrots to a bowl; cover. Let the braising liquid stand, then skim the fat from the surface. Return the beef and carrots to the liquid, add the mushrooms and onions, and rewarm gently.

Serves 6


4. Roast Chicken
89370 1267808123 6 Classic Dishes Everyone Should Know How to Make

  • 1 roasting chicken (about 4 pounds) at room temperature
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 bunches watercress (optional), for garnish


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.Rinse chicken inside and out, then pat dry. Remove excess fat from the cavities and season with salt and pepper. Place half of the lemon inside. Tie legs together with kitchen string and place in a roasting pan.

In a saucepan, melt the butter with the olive oil over low heat. Squeeze the remaining lemon half into the mixture. Brush butter mixture over the chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in the center of the oven, basting often with the drippings, until juices run clear, about 1 hour. The temperature should be 175 degrees F when a meat thermometer is placed in the thickest part of the thigh.

Remove chicken from the oven and transfer to a carving board; let rest for 10 minutes. Remove the lemon from the cavity and squeeze it into the pan juices. Stir in the water. Bring the pan juices to a low boil, scraping up the brown bits, and cook until the sauce is reduced, about 2 minutes. Skim fat from the sauce.

Carve the chicken and arrange on a large platter. Pour the sauce over it and garnish with watercress. Serve immediately.

Serves 4


5. Chili
89371 1267809015 6 Classic Dishes Everyone Should Know How to Make

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped jalapeno chile peppers
  • 1 (29 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (16 ounce) can chili beans, undrained
  • salt and pepper to taste


In a large saucepan over medium high heat, combine the ground beef, onion, and bell peppers. Saut for about 5 minutes, or until beef is browned. Drain excess fat.

Add the chili powder, garlic, bay leaf, cumin, chile peppers, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Stir in the beans and heat through.

Serves 6


6. Chocolate Cake
89372 1267810049 6 Classic Dishes Everyone Should Know How to Make

  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar
  • 14.5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, 4 ounces coarsely chopped and 10.5 ounces finely chopped
  • 15 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces and chilled
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream


Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper, then grease the parchment. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

In a saucepan, dissolve 2 cups sugar in 2 cups water over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat, add the coarsely chopped chocolate and 6 tablespoons butter and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the cocoa powder. Beat in the eggs, then stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla. Add the flour mixture, whisking until incorporated. Divide the batter between the prepared pans and bake until the cakes are springy to the touch and have pulled away from the sides of the pans, about 30 minutes. Transfer to racks and let cool for 10 minutes. Remove from the pans and place on the racks. Let cool completely.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the finely chopped chocolate and the remaining 9 tablespoons butter, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. In a medium saucepan, bring the cream and remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar to a boil. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and let stand for 2 minutes, then stir the mixture until smooth. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until thickened to a spreadable consistency, about 1 hour 15 minutes.

Lay 4 strips of parchment paper around the border of a cake stand. Remove the parchment from 1 of the cake layers and place the layer on the cake stand. Place about 1 cup of the chocolate frosting in the center of the layer and spread to within 1/4 inch of the edge. Remove the parchment from the second cake layer and place the layer on top of the first. Apply a thin coating of frosting around the sides of the cake, rotating as you go. Top the cake with the remaining frosting and spread from the top of the cake down and around the sides. Discard the parchment paper strips.

Serves 10.


Getting ready for dinner is another story, check out these Hairstyle Tips to cook in Style!

  • michael

    Oh,no.there is a problem.Fantastic,I also have a website about food,you can find many yummy food here.

  • Dan

    Any vegan alternatives?

  • Bryan

    What nutrients only found in red meat are those? the transfats or the saturated fats? Is it the added growth hormones? Or perhaps the carcinogens that form by cooking animal protein? Meat ain’t that good for you. Fact. I suggest you look into human nutrition and biology. We aren’t meat eaters by our structure.

  • Jess

    Bryan, I suggest you also look into a bit of biology. Anatomy of the digestive system, to be exact. Maybe then you’ll figure out we have the digestive system of a carnivore, and can’t possibly digest plant matter without symbionts in our small intestine. Not to mention we have the sharp incisors made for tearing flesh and a version of carnassial teeth used for shearing meat. Fact.

  • Alan

    On the first recipe; the chicken soup, there is only the steps for the broth.
    The author should amend to let everyone know what to do wit the first set of ingredients.
    Most seasoned cooks will, but newcomers may not.
    They look great other than that.

  • scholar4lyfe

    Absolutely love this, thank you!

  • William Bell

    Wa, I like it. Welcome to my blog.

  • E

    You guys are petty brats. make the food or don’t.

  • Foxman

    Splendid article. I am very proud to say that the first, third, fourth and fifth dishes are Chinese food. We often cook such delicacy at home in China.

  • Brandon

    Yum Yum get you some

  • Ken

    Classic dishes, indeed! Some of you may wish to scour the internet for “Classic Vegan Dishes.” This article includes EXACTLY what it advertised, “Classic Dishes.” Here is a marvelous link for you vegans out there: VEGAN Dishes

  • John

    The Cake is a lie!

  • Julie Online

    mmmmm Ok, enough work for today! Off to the kitchen, feel like a good choc cake!! Thanks for sharing, great stuff.


  • Jonathan

    Not a single vegan recipe. Not one vegetarian recipe in the five main meals. When you say “everyone should know how to make”. Presumably you mean non-vegetarians.


    Yes, it is for the non-vegetarians; the majority of the human race. If you chose to go against the way we are built,as omnivores,then that is your right. To tell you to STFU is my right; because I don’t care what you eat. I am a member of PETA and I am proud of it. People Eating Tasty Animals. 8^}

  • Matthew

    All the petty bickering aside, I would suggest not basting the chicken. Basting doesn’t really do anything helpful but let heat out of the oven.

    Season well with salt, maybe some oil first and the rest is excellent. It’s amazing how many folks can be intimidated by roasting a chicken – which is quite simple as you show. The sauce may cause pause, but the meat’s easy and delicious.

    These are some swell recipes, and definitely ones folks ought to know. Hope some folks learn a little something here.

  • Cindy

    Which part of “CLASSIC DISHES” is so misleading? These recipes deliver as advertised. DUH

  • Henry Howard

    In cooking school this is considered Basic Cooking Skills 101…If you cannot master the simpler dishes such as chicken soup then you cannot move on to things such as GRAVY…

  • STFU

    Here is a great link for vegans assistant

  • Joris

    Hi, great receipes, just wanted to say that it’s a real shame none of them are vegetarian (except the chocolate cake of course). Meat is really a food of the past that we cannot continue to eat in the quantities we do now, for a lot of environmental reasons. I am not into the whole animals have feelings too reason for vegetarianism, but to produce a kilo of meat 11 times more nutrients are necessary than to produce a kilo of sojabeans, or other vegetables. With the population the size that it is now, to feed everyone on meat would require the earth to be a whole lot bigger. Anyhoo, great cooking, eat some meat, but I urge everyone to not eat meat every day, just a couple of times each week. A lot of these dishes can be converted into very nice vegetarian dishes as well.

    Regards, Joris

  • Johnson williams

    Good work keep it on.I also love to have some1 who can prepare all these as my wife.Interest lady shld contact me 2ru my

  • Dennis R Carty Sr.

    Good grief people; Joris has the right idea. Vegan or not, use u’r imagination. Sounds like some good ideas for ‘food’. Why kill the messenger?

  • Grace

    How about the vegetarian folk out there? We’ll stick with the chocolate cake. The nifty looking chocolate cake :)

  • rgray222
  • Angela

    Geez @ the doofs talking about vegan food and what not.. Go look up alternative dishes. Most people eat meat of some type (even if its only chicken if they dont care for beef) I hope you are all taking the proper vitamins because theres a vitamin that we normally get from animal protein that you’ll be missing when you’re 60 years old and have the memory and motor skills of a 90 year old.

    Good list, basic stuff. They’re definate “must knows”

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