8 Stupidly Easy Recipes That Will Impress Your Friends

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Written by: Lindsey Ferguson | July 17

Alright everyone, listen up!

There is a serous problem lurking in the apartments, flats, duplexes, lofts and houses of twenty-thirty somethings all across the country: stoves and ovens are going unused. Microwaves have become an acceptable appliance for cooking every meal.

Seriously people?! C’mon!

This may have been acceptable in your early college years, but heating up Easy Mac and Hot Pockets isn’t making the cut anymore.

I’ve never understand how people “can’t cook”. It’s not some kind of Einstein-level science. If you can follow directions — you can cook. So consider me your millennial-friendly recipe Sherpa. I’m here to guide you through a list of 8 stupidly easy recipes, that I have made, know taste amazing, and are sure to impress your friends.


Recipes for salads? Yes, you read that correctly. Don’t be scared to make your own dressings people! Not only is it better for you, but you can completely control the flavor!

This thai chopped kale salad is packed with delicious veggies, nuts, and edamame. It’s also vegan-friendly! A note on the dressing: in my experience, three cloves of garlic tends to be a little much, so try starting out with two or even one if it’s a large clove. Add a little peanut butter and you’ve got yourself a thai peanut dressing!

Also, try this spinach salad with warm bacon vinaigrette. It might not be the healthiest salad ever (the dressing is made with bacon grease) but this wilted salad is sure to fill you up and impress your friends! *Notice* the bacon grease will solidify so make sure the dressing stays warm and serve immediately!

Flickr / Michael Verhoef

Flickr / Michael Verhoef


So I have a confession: I am obsessed with soup! There’s something comforting about it and I find it suiting for all seasons (but I might be a little bias). Soups are great if you’re having friends over or if you’re just cooking for yourself and want left-overs.

Stop everything now, and make this creamy parmesan tomato tortellini soup! I guarantee it will be your new favorite recipe and your friends will beg you to make it all the time. I personally prefer to leave the spinach out and add some spicy Italian chicken sausage. Or leave out the add-ins all together and it makes a great tomato soup. If you’re trying to keep it a little lighter, swap the heavy cream for evaporated milk — it tastes exactly the same and you save on some calories.

Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) is the food god’s gift to mankind. Versatile and super delicious, pho can be vegan friendly or a carnivore’s dream. Super authentic pho takes hours of simmering, but this quick, thirty-minute version is a good alternative if you’re pressed for time and feeling adventurous.


So yah, everyone knows how to boil pasta and dump a can of jarred garbage on top, so lets make some grownup pasta — k? Pasta is another great food for your dinner party for the following reasons: it makes a crap-ton, it’s cheap, and who doesn’t like pasta?

Behold, penne with sun-dried tomato cream sauce. This was my go-to dinner party dish for years! Keep it vegetarian friendly or add your favorite protein. Spice it up with some crushed red pepper or keep it mild. The recipe is pretty versatile so don’t be afraid to get creative!


Now if you’re not a fish person, sorry. Salmon is one of my most favorite things to cook for dinner. It’s versatile (if you can’t tell I have a thing for that) and it’s healthy.

Honey salmon tastes like it took you hours slaving away in the kitchen to prepare, but you’ll laugh at how simple it was to make and how heavenly it tastes. Pair it with a lemon-mint potato salad and you’ve got an awesome date night dinner.


Every millennial cook needs to have a couple solid chicken recipes in their arsenal as it is both cheap and delicious when paired with the right ingredients.

This creamy chicken and mushroom skillet will blow not only your mind, but the socks off your dinner guests. You will also find wine to be your new favorite ingredient for everything. Use a sauvignon blanc for this recipe and serve over mashed potatoes. Again, if you want to save some calories, use evaporated milk in place of heavy cream.

If you find yourself jonesing for some Mediterranean inspired fare, try this greek marinated chicken recipe. Simple and delicious, make sure you have at least an hour to marinate for the flavor to really sink in, or try overnight for some of the most flavorful chicken you and your friends have ever tried!

So there you have it, 8 stupid easy and delicious recipes that you can add to your beginner’s cookbook. You really have no excuse to not get cooking; your appliances are bored!

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Lindsey Ferguson

Lindsey Ferguson is a native Floridian and a graduate of The Florida State University. When she's not contributing awesome articles to Ambitious, she's a project manager on the Association of Experts, Writers, and Speakers. Lindsey enjoys the simple things like good food and good beer, and spends her free time cooking, traveling (when she can afford it), watching Netflix and cuddling with her puppy sidekick Meeko (yes, he's named after Pocahontas's pet raccoon...Pocahontas is Lindsey's favorite Disney princess).

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