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These Recipes Are Impossible to Mess Up

Put down the frozen dinner—these homemade recipes are so simple that anyone can make them.

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Easy Puppy Chow Exps Qebz20 247121 B01 29 4b 16

Easy Puppy Chow

This easy puppy chow recipe uses a whole package of cereal, so there’s less messy measuring. And it makes enough to feed a hungry crowd. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Bean Burritos Exps Ft20 8898 F 0521 1 Home 3

Bean Burritos

I always have the ingredients for this cheesy bean burrito recipe on hand. Cooking the rice and shredding the cheese the night before save precious minutes at dinnertime. —Beth Osborne Skinner, Bristol, Tennessee
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Caprese Salad Exps Ft20 50347 F 0610 1 Home 7

Caprese Salad

My husband and I love Caprese salad, but not the high prices we pay for it in restaurants. Here, we created our own version which tastes incredibly close, if not better, than any restaurant version we’ve tried. —Melissa Pearson, Sandy, Utah
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Quick Garlic Toast

Mom knew how to easily round out a meal with this crisp, cheesy garlic toast. We gobbled it up when she served it alongside slaw or salad…and used it to soak up gravy from her stew, too. —Teresa Ingebrand, Perham, Minnesota
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Easy Chicken Strips Exps Ft20 43833 F 0417 1 Home 5

Easy Chicken Strips

I came up with these one night when I was looking for easy chicken strip recipes. They make great appetizers, especially when served with barbecue or sweet-and-sour sauce for dunking. I’ve been told they’re restaurant-quality. —Crystal Sheckles-Gibson, Beespring, Kentucky
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Simple Saucy Potatoes

Simple Saucy Potatoes

These rich and creamy potatoes are simple to prepare for potlucks. This saucy side dish always gets rave reviews wherever I take it. —Gloria Schroeder, Ottawa Lake, Michigan
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Pork Chops With Apples And Stuffing Exps Thedscodr20 15365 B03 12 2b 3

Pork Chops with Apples and Stuffing

The heartwarming taste of apples with cinnamon is the perfect accompaniment to tender pork chops. This dish is always a winner with my family. Because it calls for only four ingredients, it’s a main course that I can serve with little preparation. —Joan Hamilton, Worcester, Massachusetts
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Peanut Butter Cornflake Bars Exps Ft19 121171 F 1101 1 1

Peanut Butter Cornflake Bars

Peanut butter cornflake bars were one of my favorite treats when I was a little girl. If you like chocolate, I have a friend who spreads 1 cup of melted chocolate chips over the top. Let the chocolate set before cutting into the bars. —Laura Campbell, Lisbon, Maine
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Quick Ravioli Spinach Soup Exps Ssmz21 109720 E10 13 8b 6

Quick Ravioli & Spinach Soup

I love my Italian American traditions, but I never had time to make a classic Italian wedding soup. So I created this shortcut version with ravioli. —Cynthia Bent, Newark, Delaware
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Oven Fries Exps Ft20 39966 F 0609 1 Home 18

Oven Fries

I jazz up my fries with paprika and garlic powder. Something about the combination of spices packs a punch. The leftovers are even good cold! —Heather Byers, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Chicken Veggie Fajitas Exps Opbz18 25998 B06 27 1b 5

Chicken Veggie Fajitas

Our family loves the spicy flavor of these fajitas. I also appreciate the fact that they’re fast to fix. —Eleanor Martens, Rosenort, Manitoba
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Antipasto Skewers Exps Tohpp19 180617 B08 22 14b 3

Antipasto Skewers

This elegant-looking appetizer is quick and easy to make. It's perfect for dinner parties, cocktail parties and everything in between! —Amanda Dekrey, Fargo, North Dakota
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Ice Cream Bread Exps Diyd19 36844 B04 22 1b 3

Ice Cream Bread

Ice cream gets a whole new use in this tender bread recipe that I pared down to serve two. Be sure to use full-fat ice cream for best results. —Katherine Kuehlman, Denver, Colorado
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No Fuss Pork Chops Exps Sdfm18 10549 C10 04 1b 4

No-Fuss Pork Chops

These tender chops taste like sweet-and-sour pork but require little attention or time. I prepare them year-round, whenever I'm on a tight schedule but still want something scrumptious. —Sally Jones, Lancaster, New Hampshire
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Ravioli Casserole Exps Ft20 8609 F 0528 1 Home 1

Ravioli Casserole

The whole family will love the fun, cheesy flavor of this ravioli casserole. It's like lasagna—without all the fuss! Timesaving ingredients, including prepared spaghetti sauce and frozen ravioli, hurry the preparation along. —Mary Ann Rothert, Austin, Texas
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Red Pepper Meat Loaf

This recipe is a nice substitute for the usual beef meat loaf. It's plenty moist and so flavorful with the sweet red pepper. Leftovers are great for sandwiches the next day.
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Chocolate Pecan Fondue

When our kids have friends sleep over, I like to surprise them with this chocolate treat. Our favorite dippers include fruit, marshmallows, cookies and pound cake. —Suzanne McKinley, Lyons, Georgia
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Oven-Baked Asparagus

I like to use recipes that call for fresh produce I've grown in my garden. Here's a simple way to make baked asparagus to bring out the flavor while maintaining that bright green color. —Robert Foust, Indianapolis, Indiana
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Easy Salsa Sloppy Joes Exps Gbbz19 23248 B11 28 5b 6

Easy Salsa Sloppy Joes

I created these sandwiches when I realized I did not have a can of sloppy joe sauce. The sweet brown sugar in this recipe complements the tangy salsa. —Mrs. Krista E Collins, Concord, North Carolina
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Peanut Butter, Strawberry and Honey Sandwich

Who needs jam when you have fresh strawberries? A drizzle of honey and a bit of mint make this sandwich stand out. —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor
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Zucchini Pico de Gallo Salsa

I love veggies and fresh ingredients this time of year. I make big bowls of this salsa, which we eat with pretty much everything in the summer when tomatoes are bountiful. My kids love it, though I leave out the jalapeno when making it for them. —Amy Gattuso, Madison Heights, Michigan
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Quick Tortilla Pinwheels

Prepare these easy, cheesy rollups several days in advance if desired. Serve with your choice of mild or hot salsa or picante sauce. —Barbara Keith, Faucett, Missouri
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Nectarine Smoothies Exps Ft19 104129 F 0717 1 4

Nectarine Smoothies

This nectarine smoothie recipe tastes great on a warm summer day. Enjoy it on your patio or at a picnic! —Joni Rodriguez, Silverton, Oregon
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Easy Berry Cheesecake Parfaits

These sweet little parfaits take everything that's wonderful about cheesecake and make it way easier. You get the rich creaminess, graham cracker crunch and bright berry flavor all in fun individual portions. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Pumpkin Butter Exps Pcbbz19 86531 E04 11 8b 6

Pumpkin Butter

Biting into this spiced butter on a hot biscuit or toast is absolutely heavenly. With a dash of whipped cream, you might think you were eating pumpkin pie! —June Barrus, Springville, Utah
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Veggie Meatball Soup

It's a snap to put together this hearty soup before I leave for work. I just add cooked pasta when I get home, and I have a few minutes to relax before supper is ready. —Charla Tinney, Tyrone, Oklahoma
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Frozen Banana Cereal Pops

When we want a healthy snack, we dip bananas in yogurt, roll 'em in cereal, then freeze. Ta-da! —Scarlett Elrod, Newnan, Georgia
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Guinness Float

That very first sip of a Guinness is what inspired this quick and easy dessert. The rich, creamy foam that gathers on the top of a freshly poured draft made me think of vanilla ice cream. At that point, I knew I had to combine the two in a Guinness float. —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor
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Exps193156  Sd163324d08 06 5b 5

Easy Pistachio Tube Cake

Mixes make this light cake easy, and a fluted tube pan gets it holiday party-ready. Go for the pistachios on top—the extra crunch is worth it. —Dina Crowell, Fredericksburg, Virginia
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Chicken Gnocchi Pesto Soup Exps Chkbz18 72834 B10 12 1b 6

Chicken Gnocchi Pesto Soup

After tasting a similar soup at a restaurant, I created this quick and tasty version. The pesto adds an extra-nice Italian flavor that is often missing from other gnocchi soups. —Deanna Smith, Des Moines, Iowa t
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Pineapple Chicken Casserole Exps Ft20 20479 F 0122 1 9

Pineapple Chicken Casserole

I'm always looking for one-dish dinners like this Hawaiian chicken casserole that save time and cleanup. I love to cook, but with teaching school, playing handbells at church and juggling my husband's and teenage twins' schedule, I have little time in the kitchen. —Susan Warren, North Manchester, Indiana
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Cowboy Cornbread

This cornbread is richer and sweeter than others I’ve tried, and especially luscious alongside ham and beans. —Karen Ann Bland, Gove, Kansas
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Simple Guacamole

Because avocados can brown quickly, it’s best to make this guacamole just before serving. If you have to make it a little in advance, place the avocado pit in the guacamole until ready to serve. —Heidi Main, Anchorage, AK
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Quick Ambrosia Fruit Salad Exps Bmz19 41971 B11 29 11b 6

Quick Ambrosia Fruit Salad

I start this with plenty of fruit, add the yogurt for dressing, then mix in just enough marshmallows and coconut so it tastes like the fresh and creamy version I grew up with. It’s a well-loved recipe in my home now. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Slow-Cooked Smokies

I like to include these little smokies smothered in barbecue sauce on all my appetizer buffets since they're popular with both children and adults. —Sundra Hauck, Bogalusa, Louisiana
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Easy Buffalo Chicken Dip Exps Wrsm17 42043 C04 14 4b 7

Easy Buffalo Chicken Dip

Everyone will simply devour this savory and delicious dip with shredded chicken throughout. The spicy kick makes it a perfect football-watching food, and the recipe always brings raves. —Janice Foltz, Hershey, Pennsylvania
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Zesty Beef Stew

Preparation couldn't be simpler for this hearty no-fuss stew! I created this dish when I didn't have some of my usual ingredients for vegetable beef soup. My husband says it's the best I ever made! —Margaret Turza, South Bend, Indiana
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Nacho Chicken Exps Chbz19 14424 B10 23 6b 2

Nacho Chicken

I have been serving this rich and zippy chicken casserole for years, and it's a favorite of my family and friends. It disappears quickly at bring-a-dish gatherings, too. —Thom Britton, Three Rivers, Michigan
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Potato Chowder Exps Hscbz 15397 D08 02 1b 14

Potato Chowder

One of the ladies in our church quilting group brought this savory potato soup to a meeting, and everyone loved how the cream cheese and bacon made it so rich. It's easy to assemble in the morning so it can simmer on its own all day. —Anna Mayer, Fort Branch, Indiana
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Easy Tortellini Spinach Soup Exps Sddj18 199438 C08 04 6b 2

Easy Tortellini Spinach Soup

This is the easiest soup you will ever make—believe me! I always keep the ingredients on hand, so if I'm feeling under the weather or just plain busy I can throw together this comforting soup in a flash. —Angela Lively, Conroe, Texas
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Chipotle Ham N Cheese Dip Exps Hscbz17 34817 C07 21 3b 2

Chipotle Ham 'n' Cheese Dip

If you enjoy throwing dinner parties for friends, you can't beat a convenient slow-cooker recipe like this one. Who wants to be stuck in the kitchen? Just set the slow cooker on low and have fun visiting with guests. —Lisa Renshaw, Kansas City, Missouri
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Herb Biscuit Loaf Exps Cpbz19 15475 E11 06 8b 4

Herb Biscuit Loaf

These buttery, pull-apart biscuits are a sure way to make any meal special, from Thanksgiving dinner to a weekday supper. Their wonderful herb flavor makes my husband think I fussed. —Amy Smith, Maplewood, Minnesota
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Pumpkin Pecan Frozen Yogurt

I always keep fat-free frozen yogurt on hand. By combining it with just four other ingredients, I can quickly whip up this great-tasting treat.—Anne Smithson, Cary, North Carolina
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Bacon Pea Salad Exps Thjj17 166658 D02 02 5b 4

Bacon Pea Salad

My husband absolutely loves peas. My middle son isn't the biggest fan, but he loves bacon. So, I combined the two, and it was perfect! This pea salad is an awesome side dish, especially for barbecue. —Angela Lively, Conroe, Texas
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Exps34760 Ff163882c01 12 1b 2

Cheesy Quesadillas

We serve these quesadillas as chili dippers or load them up with salsa and sour cream for a super starter. —Terri Keeney, Greeley, Colorado
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Peanut Butter Fudge Cups

My husband often travels during the week, and this fast-to-fix microwave peanut butter fudge recipe is perfect for just my 2-year-old and me. —Lori Brow, Manhattan, Illinois.
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Cheese Chicken Soup Exps Bfbz19 42311 E01 17 7b 6

Cheese Chicken Soup

Kids won’t think twice about eating their vegetables after tasting this cheesy soup. —LaVonne Lundgren, Sioux City, Iowa
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Quick Biscuits Exps Cimz19 586 B01 08 6b 6

Quick Biscuits

These biscuits make a satisfying accompaniment to any meal. I never made biscuits until I tried this two-ingredient recipe, now my husband wants them all the time! —Diane Hixon, Niceville, Florida
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Simple Vegetarian Slow-Cooked Beans

When I have a hungry family to feed, these tasty beans with spinach, tomatoes and carrots are a go-to dish. This veggie delight is frequently on our menu. —Jennifer Reid, Farmington, Maine
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Simple Turtle Cheesecake Exps139653 Sd142780d08 14 4bc Rms 2

Simple Turtle Cheesecake

For an almost instant dessert, I spread homemade ganache and caramel sauce over premade cheesecake. It always makes busy holidays feel slightly less hectic. —Laura McDowell, Lake Villa, Illinois
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Creamy Tarragon Chicken Exps Chkbz18 39420 C10 24 4b 7

Creamy Tarragon Chicken

Break out the slow cooker and start the week off on an easy note with this all-in-one recipe. A cup of chicken broth may be substituted for the water and chicken bouillon granules.
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Peanut Butter Milk Shakes

You’ve got milk, peanut butter, and probably vanilla ice cream, too. Using just a few ingredients, you can whip up this peanut butter milkshake recipe in seconds. —Joyce Turley, Slaughters, Kentucky
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Exps140919 Sd143203d10  24 6bc Rms 5

Easy Cake Mix Bars

I take this dessert to work for Friday pick-me-ups. It's one of my favorite yellow cake bar recipes. I love to share them because they're so easy to eat, easy to make and easy on the wallet. —Amy Rose, Ballwin, Missouri
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Quick And Easy Stromboli Exps Thso17 205763 C04 21 9b 11

Quick and Easy Stromboli

Sandwich fixings get rolled into this dinner favorite, thanks to refrigerated pizza dough. Use any combo of cheese, deli meat and veggies that you like or whatever you have on hand. —Catherine Cassidy, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Simple Poached Salmon

I love this recipe because it's healthy and almost effortless. The salmon always cooks to perfection! —Erin Chilcoat, Central Islip, New York
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Peanut Butter Cookies Exps2733 5bs29733292b03 15 3bc Rms 14

3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

It is amazing how much flavor these simple 3-ingredient peanut butter cookies without brown sugar have. I make them very often because I always have the ingredients on hand. —Maggie Schimmel, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
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Open-Faced Egg Sandwiches

Open-Faced Egg Sandwiches

I always experiment with different herbs on my eggs, since I eat them every morning. This one became one of my favorites! —Valerie Belley, St. Louis, Missouri
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Quick Mango Passion Fruit Sorbet Exps Tohfm20 238674 B09 20 3b 4

Quick Mango Sorbet

Last summer I decided to try my hand at making a passion fruit and mango sorbet. But fresh fruits require more prep and are difficult to find ripened at the same time, so I experimented using frozen fruit and juice. And voila! Both are readily available and inexpensive, too. —Carol Klein, Franklin Square, New York
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Magic Bars Exps Bwcr21 34719 E07 14 9b 3

Magic Bars

These rich bar cookies will melt in your mouth! They’re ideal to have on hand for a snack. —Pauline Schrag, Theresa, New York
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Easy Strawberry Salsa Exps Hc17 118833 D07 29 5b 2

Easy Strawberry Salsa

My salsa is sweet and colorful, with just a little bite from jalapeno peppers. I love to use fresh strawberries and my own homegrown vegetables, but you can also use produce that is available year-round. It's delicious with tortilla chips or even as a topping for grilled chicken or pork. —Dianna Wara, Washington, Illinois

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.

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