Some people take food very seriously, whether they’re cooking or eating it, and I happen to be one of them (more on the eating than cooking side, though). And it’s not just the quality, process, and taste that matters: Many believe—half-seriously, I assume—that certain recipes have life-altering powers, from Glamour’s famed “Engagement Chicken” to Refinery29’s recent “Come Fuck Me Penne a la Vodka.” Silly cooking lore aside, I do think there are some recipes that everyone should know (or try to learn) how to make.
All the recipes you’ll find ahead are classics, from a healthy omelet and comforting chicken noodle soup to steak skewers and a perfect chocolate cake. Whether you’re hosting a dinner, planning a date night in, or just seeking reprieve from takeout, these 25 breakfasts, appetizers, entrées, and dessert dishes will never go out of style.
Originally published August 2016. Updated September 2017.