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30 Classic Recipes You Should Master in Your 30s

From perfect roast chicken to flaky apple pie, these are the classic recipes you need to know.

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Roasted Chicken with Rosemary

Herbs, garlic and butter give this hearty meal in one a classic flavor. It's a lot like pot roast, except it uses chicken instead of beef. —Isabel Zienkosky, Salt Lake City, Utah
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Classic Beef Stew

This easy beef stew recipe is my favorite. The rich beef gravy helps the hearty flavor of the potatoes and carrots to come through. It's the perfect homemade dish for a blustery winter day. —Alberta McKay, Bartlesville, Oklahoma
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Basic Homemade Bread

If you'd like to learn how to bake bread, here's a wonderful place to start. This easy white bread recipe bakes up deliciously golden brown. There's nothing like the homemade aroma wafting through my kitchen as it bakes. —Sandra Anderson, New York, New York
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Apple Pie

I remember coming home sullen one day because we'd lost a softball game. Grandma, in her wisdom, suggested, "Maybe a slice of my homemade apple pie will make you feel better." One bite, and Grandma was right. If you want to learn how to make homemade apple pie filling, this is really the only recipe you need. —Maggie Greene, Granite Falls, Washington
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Deluxe Mashed Potatoes

When it comes to mashed potatoes recipes, this is one of my favorites because they can be made ahead, refrigerated and then popped into the oven just prior to dinnertime. When my grandchildren come for dinner, I have to double this recipe. They love it! —Vivian Bailey, Cedar Falls, Iowa
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Oven-Roasted Salmon

When I’m starving after work, I want a fast meal with no-fail technique. Roasted salmon is super tender and has a delicate sweetness. It’s also an easy wowza for company. —Jeanne Ambrose, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Big & Buttery Chocolate Chip Cookies

My take on the classic cookie is inspired by a bakery in California called Hungry Bear. It's big, thick and chewy—truly the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. —Irene Yeh, Mequon, Wisconsin
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Fabulous Fajitas

I've enjoyed cooking since I was a girl growing up in the Southwest. When friends call to ask me for new recipes to try, I suggest these flavorful fajitas. It's wonderful to put the beef in the slow cooker before church and come home to a hot delicious main dish. —Janie Reitz, Rochester, Minnesota
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Traditional Cheesecake

Our Test Kitchen shares this recipe for a basic cheesecake that tastes great alone or with any number of garnishes. Try serving it with Raspberry Sauce and Sour Cream Topping.
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The Best Ever Pancakes

I'm not joking when I say I make pancakes every weekend. I love them in any form and variation. —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor
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The Ultimate Chicken Noodle Soup

My first Wisconsin winter was so cold, all I wanted to eat was homemade chicken noodle soup. Of all the chicken noodle soup recipes out there, this type of soup is my favorite and is in heavy rotation from November to April. It has many incredibly devoted fans.—Gina Nistico, Denver, Colorado
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Special Occasion Beef Bourguignon

I've found many rich and satisfying variations for boeuf bourguignon, including an intriguing peasant version that used beef cheeks for the meat and a rustic table wine. To make this stew gluten free, use white rice flour instead of all-purpose. — Leo Cotnoir, Johnson City, New York
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Baked Mac and Cheese

Baked Mac and Cheese

Even people who have had their own homemade baked macaroni and cheese recipe for years ask for mine when they taste this crumb-topped version. For the best baked mac and cheese, use extra-sharp white cheddar cheese for more flavor. —Shelby Thompson of Dover, Delaware
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All-American Hamburgers

We do a lot of camping and outdoor cooking. This all-American, homemade hamburger recipe is on our menu more than any other food. —Diane Hixon, Niceville, Florida
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Kansas City-Style Ribs

Our family recipe for ribs has evolved to near perfection. These country-style beauties are a legend in our close circle. —Linda Schend, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Shrimp Fried Rice

This delectable shrimp fried rice is filled with color and taste that makes it vanish fast. Our family of four can't get enough of it. Bacon adds crispness and a hint of heartiness. Consider it when you need a different main dish or brunch item. —Sandra Thompson, White Hall, Arkansas
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Best Lasagna

Want to know how to make lasagna for a casual holiday meal? You can't go wrong with this deliciously rich meat lasagna recipe. My grown sons and daughter-in-law request it for their birthdays, too. —Pam Thompson, Girard, Illinois
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French Omelet

This cheesy, full-of-flavor omelet is modeled after one I tasted and loved in a local restaurant. Mine is so hearty and rich-tasting that no one will guess it's lower in fat. —Bernice Morris, Marshfield, Missouri
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Effortless Black Bean Chili

My mom found the inspiration for this chili in a slow-cooker cookbook. After a few updates, all of us love it (even those of us who steer clear of beans). We think it's even better served over rice. —Amelia Gormley, Ephrata, Pennsylvania
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Ganache-Topped Chocolate Cake

To say this cake is elegant would be an understatement. It’s worthy of special occasions, but it’s so easy to whip together that you can enjoy it any day of the week. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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My Best Spaghetti & Meatballs

One of my favorite childhood memories is going to the Old Spaghetti Factory with my family and ordering a big plate of cheesy spaghetti, meatballs and garlic bread. My homemade recipe reminds me of those fun times and satisfies everyone's craving for good Italian food. —Erika Monroe-Williams, Scottsdale, Arizona
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The Best Ever Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Spreading a mixture of mayo and butter on the bread creates a delightfully crispy crust with the well-loved, wonderful flavor of butter one expects on a grilled cheese sandwich.—Josh Rink, Taste of Home Food Stylist
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Best-Ever Fried Chicken

Crispy, juicy and perfectly seasoned, this really is the best fried chicken recipe, ever. Summer reunions and neighborly gatherings will never be the same. When I was growing up, my parents had a farm, and every year, Dad would hire teenage boys to help by haying time. They looked forward to coming because they knew they would be treated to some of Mom's deep fryer recipes, including this delicious fried chicken. —Lola Clifton, Vinton, Virginia
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Gnocchi with Pesto Sauce

Perk up gnocchi and vegetables with a flavorful pesto sauce. If you don't have pine nuts for the topping, skip or substitute any nut you like. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Garlic Beef Enchiladas

Beef enchiladas are typically prepared with corn tortillas, but my husband, Jeff, and I prefer flour tortillas. I use them in this saucy casserole that has irresistible home-cooked flavor and a subtle kick. —Jennifer Standridge, Dallas, Georgia
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Ultimate Pot Roast

Dutch oven pot roast recipes are the ultimate comfort food. When juicy pot roast simmers in garlic, onions and veggies, everyone comes running to ask, "When can we eat?" The answer? Just wait—it will be worth it. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Quick Chicken & Broccoli Stir-Fry

This Asian chicken and broccoli stir-fry is a household best bet. The spicy sauce works with chicken, seafood, pork or beef. Add whatever veggies you have on hand. —Kristin Rimkus, Snohomish, Washington
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Grilled Marinated Ribeyes

These juicy steaks are a favorite meal of ours when we go camping. Let them sit in tangy, barbecue-inspired marinade overnight and you've got a rich and hearty dinner ready to grill up the next day. —Louise Graybiel, Toronto, Ontario
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Southern Buttermilk Biscuits

The recipe for these four-ingredient biscuits has been handed down for many generations. —Fran Thompson, Tarboro, North Carolina
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Cider-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

This is a super-easy recipe full of sweet fall flavor. The maple flavor really shines through. —Susan Stetzel, Gainesville, New York

Camille Berry
Part of the third generation in a family of restaurateurs, Camille was born with a passion for cooking and food. She embarked on a career in hospitality where she excelled as a sommelier and wine director. This hospitality experience has given her a wealth of first-hand knowledge about how to pair all manner of drinks with food—plus some serious kitchen skills. These days, she's hung up her wine key in favor of a pen and covers all aspects of food and drink.
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