Putting together fresh, homemade meals becomes easier once  you’ve got a few basic recipes for soups, sauces, and simple dinners under your belt. Here's some simple steps and recipes for beginning to cook homemade!

By Brandy, Contributing Writer

Putting together fresh, homemade meals becomes easier once  you’ve got a few basic recipes for soups, sauces, and simple dinners under your belt.

Make Your Own Stock

Many recipes begin with a simple beef or chicken stock.  You can learn how to make these nourishing, simple soup bases by reading this tutorial.

If a recipe calls for a cream soup, here’s a simple recipe for making that from scratch, too.

From these stocks and cream soups, you can create the most delicious meals from light chicken broth to hearty chicken and rice casserole, and many other delicious dinners!

Make Your Own Soups

Did you know that even the soups with “healthy” labels are often packed in BPA-laden cans?  Not to mention the sodium and unwanted other ingredients?  When possible, it’s best to make your own soups from scratch.  I promise, they’re tastier, too!

Here are a few easy, nutritious soup recipes:

Make Your Own Sauce

One simple pasta sauce can become your best friend as it will serve for limitless pasta dishes.  Ladle over your favorite noodles and serve simply, or layer into lasagnas or baked ziti or spaghetti and top with fresh mozzarella.

Once you make this simple pasta sauce, you’ll never want to buy canned or jarred sauce again.  It’s just that good.  And with the irresistible aroma of fresh garlic and olive oil wafting through your house, you’ll never be lonely in the kitchen again.

Make Your Own Seasoning Mixes

No need to buy taco seasoning packets that are loaded with MSG and ingredients you can’t pronounce any longer. Simply mix up your own using a few pantry staple herbs and spices.  Here’s  an easy recipe for taco seasoning that works great for ground meat, as well as shredded chicken. (Click here for quick tip for easily shredding chicken.)

Again, no need to buy a packet.  Make your own chili by simply browning meat, draining grease, and then adding spices from your pantry.

Some Simple, Easy Dinner Ideas

Simple Sides

It’s not hard once you get the hang of a few basics.  And really, once you start cooking your favorite things, you develop a deeper sense of taste and preference for those foods, which motivates you to explore even more.

Other posts in the series:

Real Food Made Simple: A Beginner’s Guide to Eating Better

First Steps to Real Food

What Is Real Food?

Cutting Your Kitchen Prep Time in Half — Or More!

Confessions of a Formerly Picky Eater

How to Read Food Labels

The Grain Controversy: Should We Eat Them or Not?

Second Steps Towards Eating Real Foods: Switching Your Food Sources

Sweeteners: How They Affect You, Which Ones are Best, and How to Use Them

Simple Steps to Begin Cooking Homemade: Pantry Staples

5 Strategies to Help Your Husband and Kids Transition to Real Food 

7 Foods to Avoid

Finding Real Food in the Grocery Store

20 Easy Real Food Switches and Substitutions {with Free Printable Chart}

First Steps to Eating for Fertility

Keeping Costs Down in a Real Food Kitchen

Raising Kids on Real Food

5 Ways to Get More Fruits & Veggies into your Diet

Food Is Not Cheap: 4 Steps to Budgeting in Real Food

Simple Steps to Begin Cooking Homemade: Baked Goods

Simple Roast Chicken (And Fabulous Side Dish Recipes!)

17 Homemade Spice Mixes {with Recipes & Why You Should Use Them!}

5 Ways Green Living and Real Food are Connected

Where are you on your real food journey?  What are you favorite simple dinners?