75+ Easy Tried and True Recipes for Regular People to Cook

On this page, I share our family’s favorite, tried and true recipes in every category: main dishes, appetizers, sides, desserts, etc.
We have 4 small children, so almost all my go-to recipes are relatively quick & simple weeknight dinner recipe types. And they’ve all been tried and tested on my family. (No children were harmed in the making of these recipes… although some acted like they were being poisoned.)
Many of these meals are healthy or could be modified to fit a keto/ paleo diet, but some are plain old comfort food. We love every version of tacos and I make some version of them once a week. I’ll link several ideas below in the “Main Dishes: Taco” section. 
I print every recipe we love, and throw it in a recipe binder. Then, I keep a cheat sheet like this in the front of my recipe binder. When I meal plan for the month (in under an hour), I take most of my ideas from here. 
recipe cheat sheet monthly meal plan for beginners
I’m constantly adding to my recipe collection, so consider this page under construction.  Let’s be clear: this is not a food blog. There are not very many beautiful pictures of food. (What can I say? Every time I try to take a picture of soup, it looks quite unappetizing.) 
The links below will either take you to:
  • a recipe I wrote on this blog
  • my google doc recipe file
  • someone else’s website with a recipe I use frequently.
I have invented almost ZERO of these recipes. I merely made these recipes, and added them to this page if they were good enough to be considered “tried and true” because…

I want to share my tried and true recipes with you lovely people.

If you try any, let me know how they turn out. And if you have any suggestions for recipes I should try, please send them my way! Because sharing is caring and I’m always looking for a good new tasty thing to try. (IF it takes less than 30 minutes and can be prepared with the help of plus or minus a couple toddlers.) 

One more thing. The other place I compile favorite internet recipes is on my Recipes I Actually Use Board on Pinterest. Follow this board for more recipes we actually use.

Follow my “Recipes I Actually Use” Board on Pinterest!

Related: Beginner’s guide to meal planning: plan for the month in under 1 hour. (Lots of 15 minute meal ideas in that post too!) 

Side note: I have no idea why the list doesn’t *look* linked – but each item below links off to the actual recipe. Enjoy!

{Main Dishes: Chicken}

Our favorite marinades for grilling – work on a variety of meat 
Chicken Parmesan – low carb/ carb free optional 
Chicken Bacon Rollups– full disclosure, these would be hard to make while holding a toddler 🙂 
Grilled Peanut Chicken & Broccolini – I just use regular people broccoli, but this is BOMB. A guest favorite for sure.

{Main Dishes: Pasta}

Baked Beef Ravioli – like lasagna but faster & easier. Win! 
Cajun Chicken Pasta
– can substitute shrimp or omit meat
Caprese Tortellini Pasta Salad 
– could be main or side; I LOVE bringing this to potlucks or meals with other people in the summer

Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce
Pasta with Pesto Cream Sauce
Skinny 3 Cheese Penne Pasta Bake

Spaghetti Carbonara

{Main Dishes: Beef}

Baked Beef Ravioli
Beef & Broccoli fakeout takeout
Meatball Stroganoff
Honey Garlic Meatballs
Runza Casserole

{Main Dishes: Pork}

Bacon Guacamole Grilled Cheese
BBQ Ribs [crockpot]
Pork Lettuce Wraps
Pork Tenderloin
Egg Roll in a Bowl
Stirfry – we like pork, mushrooms & broccoli, but you can just use whatever is around.

{Main Dishes: Fish}

Best fish tacos ever (and I don’t even like fish tacos)
Easy 10 minute Tilapia
Parmesan Broiled Tilapia
** even my kids gobble this one 🙂 
Easy Salmon – my oldest child loves salmon. I have no idea where she came from, but she picks it for her birthday ever year. HA! 

{Main Dishes: Vegetarian}

{Main Dishes: Crockpot}

BBQ Ribs
Chicken enchilada soup
Chicken Fajitas
Chicken and Wild Rice Soup [crockpot or stovetop]
Honey Garlic Meatballs [crockpot]
Honey sesame chicken
Vegetable Beef Soup

{Sides & Appetizers}

Beer Bread
Herb Roasted Potatoes

Hummus (Barefoot Contessa)
Roasted Asparagus

Spinach Artichoke Dip (the best!!)
Ham & Swiss Sliders – these can be a meal or appetizer. They are ALWAYS gobbled up by EVERYONE. 
Boursin Cheese – This super yummy (and easy) Boursin cheese dip is always a crowd favorite. I like it with Wheat Thin crackers but you can serve with any crackers or raw veggies. 
Crab Artichoke Dip – random newspaper recipe from my mom that is amazing. 


Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars
Cathy’s Chocolate Chip Cookies – these are basically famous where I grew up.
Macadamia Nut Fudge
Peanut Butter Chocolate Bonbons– this is the BEST version of these that exists, if I do say so myself. Ha! 


Wine & Cheese overnight omelet – different from every other breakfast casserole EVER and super easy. I leave the sour cream off, or only on half. Everyone loves this!
Like I said, this isn’t a food blog. But I do spend a lot of my life cooking, and perhaps you do too!? So, I figured I’d share some of our favorite recipes. If you want to drool over beautiful food pictures, you’d be better off reading Pioneer Woman or Budget Bytes or Meg’s Everyday Indulgence.
tried and true recipes

2 thoughts on “75+ Easy Tried and True Recipes for Regular People to Cook”

  1. The comments on my site are turned off now, but I'd love to hear from you on Instagram! Follow me there & tag me in a comment or DM me. Xo I'm @MrsReneeCook on Instagram!
  2. Oh my!! So many recipes I want to try. I have been making the same stuff over and over. I need to try these. Chicken enchilada soup might be my first try. Thank you for sharing!

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