Easy Meals to Cook for Beginning Chefs

When you're first moving into a place where you have to provide for yourself when it comes to food, it's easy to get swept up in getting food delivered, going out to eat, and having microwave meals. This style of life, however, is both unhealthy and will drain your bank account faster than you think. Using a kitchen for the first time can be scary (especially if you don't have a family member there to keep an eye on the oven and help you out), but it's easier than you think to start cooking! Here are some super easy meals to help ease you into cooking for yourself, and when you're ready, you can start cooking more complicated stuff! These meals may be simple, but they'll still taste good and will be healthier than something out of the microwave!


  1. 1. Pasta

    Everyone loves pasta! It's super easy to make, and while we all love a fancy pasta dish from an Italian restaurant, it can still taste delicious with limited ingredients. To make pasta, you simply have to boil a pot of water on the stove, add the pasta, and stir. After about ten minutes, taste-test it to make sure it's cooked, then strain it to get rid of the water. Congratulations! You made pasta. Throw some butter on there and some grated cheese, and you have a super simple but delicious meal.

  2. 2. Salad

    For this dish, you don't even have to cook! Plus, one of the best things about a homemade salad is that you can customize it as much as you want. Get whatever kind of lettuce you want (or don't even use lettuce - one of my favorite things is a salad made of chunky-cut veggies and no lettuce!), any vegetables that you like, and any dressings you want. You can also put on add-ins like croutons or fruit. Mix it all up, and you have a salad!

  3. 3. Rice and Veggies

    Everyone likes rice, but it can be a little boring on its own. Add some vegetables to it, and you have a meal! This can be any vegetables you want, and they can be fresh or frozen. Cut them up and throw them in a pot to boil, and cook the rice the same way you would make pasta - boiling water on the stove. Make sure you mix it, otherwise the rice will stick to the bottom of the pot. Once it's all done, mix together the rice and the vegetables, throw on some salt, and enjoy!

  4. 4. Eggs

    There are so, so, so many ways to prepare eggs, and most of them are pretty simple! In my opinion, the easiest way to make an egg is over easy (shown above). You put some oil in a frying pan on the stove, and when it's hot, crack an egg directly onto the pan. No stirring, mixing, or other ingredients required! Give the egg a little time to cook, then use a spatula to flip it over. After about a minute on the other side, scoop it up onto the plate. Dippy eggs in no time! Scrambled eggs and omelettes are also super simple. Mix together some eggs with some milk and pour it into a pan on the stove. If you want an omelette, let it sit and cook. For scrambled eggs, mix them up in the pan until they're cooked. Make some toast to go with it and you'll be all set!

Cooking is scary, but don't let it intimidate you! Once you start doing it, you'll find that it's fun and relaxing, and it's super satisfying to eat a delicious meal and know that you made it, no matter how simple it is. Just be aware of the smoke detectors wherever you are; I had a mishap earlier this week when I burnt some garlic and the smoke alarm in my apartment went nuts. I hadn't even considered it, so now I cook with the windows open and the fan on...anyway, safe cooking and happy eating! If you make a delicious meal, make sure to take a picture and tag us on Instagram (@hercampusmillersville) so we can be inspired to try it!

HCXO, Lola