10 Real Food Recipes Every Cook Should Know!

Cooking real food is basically cooking from scratch, which means no more store bought cans of broth, tubes of biscuits, boxes of pancake mix, packets of powder, or jars of salad dressing. You now get to make all these things yourself! Which honestly isn’t as bad as it sounds once you know the basics – exactly what I’m sharing in today’s new post. Thanks to some feedback on my Facebook page, these are the top 10 real food recipes every cook should know! And therefore a great list to start cooking through if you are new to cutting out processed food.

10 Real Food Recipes Every Cook Should Know on 100 Days of Real Food

10 Real Food Recipes Every Cook Should Know!

  1. Red Sauce – Marinara/Spaghetti
    10 Real Food Recipes Every Cook Should Know on 100 Days of Real Food - Spaghetti Sauce
    Spaghetti Sauce (with optional meat)
    Slow Cooker Sunday Sauce (with meat)
    Spaghetti and Meatballs
    – Slow Cooker Marinara Sauce (in my new Fast & Fabulous cookbook)
  2. Whole Chicken – Roasted or Slow Cooker
    10 Real Food Recipes Every Cook Should Know on 100 Days of Real Food - Roasted Chicken
    The Best Whole Chicken in the Crock Pot (one of our favs – save the bones for the broth/stock below!)
    Roasted Whole Chicken
  3. Broth/Stock and Chicken Noodle Soup
    10 Real Food Recipes Every Cook Should Know on 100 Days of Real Food - chicken stock
    Overnight Chicken Stock in the Crock Pot
    Chicken Noodle Soup (use your homemade stock, of course!)
  4. Pancakes (no more boxed mix – it’s not hard!)
    10 Real Food Recipes Every Cook Should Know on 100 Days of Real Food - Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes
    Whole-Wheat Banana Pancakes
    – Applesauce Oatmeal Pancakes (in my new Fast & Fabulous cookbook)
  5. Sandwich Bread
    10 Real Food Recipes Every Cook Should Know on 100 Days of Real Food - Whole Wheat Bread
    Honey Whole-Wheat Sandwich Bread (for bread machine)
    Whole-Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread (for bread machine)
  6. Roasted Vegetables
    10 Real Food Recipes Every Cook Should Know on 100 Days of Real Food - Roasted Vegetables
    Four Ways to Roast Vegetables
    Roasted Summer Vegetable Pasta
  7. Salad Dressing
    10 Real Food Recipes Every Cook Should Know on 100 Days of Real Food - Mustard Vinaigrette
    Simple Mustard Vinaigrette
    Green Goddess Dressing
    Caesar Dressing (on a Kale Salad)
    – Fresh Ranch Dressing (in my new Fast & Fabulous cookbook)
  8. Mac & Cheese
    10 Real Food Recipes Every Cook Should Know on 100 Days of Real Food - Macaroni and Cheese
    Creamy Mac & Cheese (pictured)
    Whole-Wheat Mac & Cheese
    – Mac & Cheese Casserole (in my first cookbook)
  9. Pizza Dough
    10 Real Food Recipes Every Cook Should Know on 100 Days of Real Food - Whole Wheat Pizza
    Whole-Wheat Pizza Crust
  10. Biscuits
    10 Real Food Recipes Every Cook Should Know on 100 Days of Real Food - Biscuits
    Melt-in-your-Mouth Cream Biscuits (pictured)
    Super Easy Whole-Wheat Biscuits
    Buttermilk Biscuits
    Cheddar Garlic Drop Biscuits

Anything you would add to this list? If so, please share in the comments!

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39 thoughts on “10 Real Food Recipes Every Cook Should Know!”

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  1. Lisa’s granola
    Cinnamon Raisin Quick Bread
    Slow cooker pulled pork with homemade bbq sauce (first cookbook I believe)
    Any of the coleslaw in Lisa’s second cookbook (love that sour cream is used)
    Spelt pumpkin muffins (these are addicting)

  2. As of tonight, I would add the skillet cornbread from the new cookbook. Even my pickiest eater went back for seconds! This is my new go-to cornbread recipe. Thanks, guys.

  3. Good start, but I think a veggie soup and a beef stew should be on the list, and certainly a hearty omelette or quiche. Meatloaf, a grilled fish and roast pork loin are staple recipes, too. No one needs biscuits—all that fat and flour, for what? Everyone should also be able to whip up some salsa, hummus and guacamole for parties, as well. Finish with chocolate chip or oatmeal-raisin cookies—or a fresh fruit salad. So, I think you need a Top 25 list!

  4. I love ‘The Best Whole Chicken in a Crockpot’. I use the spices on chicken breasts in the oven when I haven’t planned ahead also. Everyone has loved this chicken and so easy to make!

  5. Chocolate Cake and frosting for those times you need a dessert, or pie crust. You can do a lot with pie crust and a chocolate fudge filling is quick and easy as an alternative to chocolate cake. You can make chicken pot pie, pasties, jam tarts, fried applesauce pies, homemade pop tarts, or pizza pockets, quiche, and other meat or vegetable pies. Plus… pie, yum!

  6. A staple in our house, now just 2 seniors, is soup. It can be vegetable based, or meat/ poultry based, we like ’em all. Home made are economical and healthy. It amazes me how many people say they don’t know how! I think a basic soup recipe should be included in your list of basic recipes.

  7. Thank yOh so much for posting all of the comments and recipes for basic items. I am no longer overwhelmed about making this change!!

  8. Mae ... OTP in the ATL

    You know, I see suggestions for freezing foods and real-food meals all the time. What I don’t see often, though, is how to reheat that bounty.

    Instructions on how to spread the warmth WITHOUT USING A MICROWAVE would be so-o-o appreciated!

    Hey, can an old-fashioned, non-programmable crockpot be used to reheat and hold warmed foods?

      1. Mae ... OTP in the ATL

        Thank you so much for that link regarding reheating chilled and/or frozen food without a microwave oven. (It even answered my crockpot question, too!). Now I can cook to my heart’s content and NOT have to worry about jeopardizing my family’s health later, down the road :)

    1. In a frying pan or a saucepan on the stove, the same way our Mothers and Grandmothers reheated food when the family ate st different times. When Grandpa had to work late Grandma kept his supper warm in a Pyrex pie plate over a pot of simmering water.

  9. Thanks to you I now make my own whole chickens, dressings, biscuits (then I just freeze extras!), spaghetti sauce, all muffins and plan on working on the mac n cheese and pancakes next! They look so easy and all the other stuff really is not that time consuming
    Once you’re used to making them all the time….I just make ALOT at once then freeze! That’s the trick to saving time when eating real food!

  10. I came from a family where we did not used boxed ANYTHING. No boxed cakes. No boxed pancake mixes. I guess I’m a snob, because I can’t stand either of those things! If I’m going to make them, they’re going to be from scratch! Definitely two things to have in your arsenal! (I also make my own pizza crust and spaghetti sauce). There’s just something so satisfying about making things from scratch!

  11. We are a family of 9 oldest son 17 youngest 3. I have been making some of the recipes on here. I question can this be done on a budget with a family my size? Grass fed beef is like 15. For less than a pound here in Michigan. I want nothing more than to be able to do this for me and my family. Thank you

    1. Do you have Kroger in Michigan? I know the Simple Truth Organic brand of ground beef (1 pound) is grass fed and ranges from 6.59-6.99 depending on the fat content in OH. You should also look into US Wellness Meats online, it’s also cheaper – especially if you buy in bulk! Don’t get discouraged! Lisa has a lot of recipes that call for cutting the meats (like taco meat) with veggies/beans – to stretch it! Congratulations to you for doing your best!

      1. Local farms have the best meat, and it’s usually reasonable price(especially if you have the freezer space to buy lots)

    2. It may involve more travel, but you could also look to see if a farm or farmer’s market near you carries local grass-fed beef. We are lucky here and can get all of our meat directly from a local farm, but I know everyone doesn’t have that option.

  12. I’d like to see recipes to replace often used recipe ingredients such as cream of mushroom / chicken soup. Thanks!

    1. I melt 3 TB butter. Then whisk in 3 TB whole wheat flour. Add 1/2 cup organic whole milk and 1/2 cup homemade chicken stock. Whisk until it thickens. This replaces one can of cream of chicken soup. It is super easy and so delicious!

  13. Over Christmas break I made the whole chicken in a crockpot one day, the homemade broth the next day and ended up making chicken noodle soup with the leftovers on the third day. My daughter ate a bowl of the chicken noodle soup and exclaimed that this is the soup that she wants for lunch every day! And she was serious, she does bring chicken noodle soup to school for lunch every day.

    1. Here’s one:
      2/3 cup mayonnaise
      1 small onion, finely diced
      1/8 cup ketchup
      1 tbls sweet chili sauce
      1 tbls vinegar
      1 tsp paprika
      1-3 tbls milk (opt) (I used almond or coconut milk)
      Combine all in a pint sized mason jar and shake well to combine. If dressing is too thick, add some milk one tablespoon at a time to thin it to your desired consistency.

      (And, of course, you make your own ketchup, mayo and chili sauce, right?!)

  14. My husband surprised me with the new book ( already had your first one) and I’ve made half a dozen recipes already. Most of the book is tabbed and I have a couple weeks of meals planned. The slow cooker marinara sauce is wonderful. I don’t think I could ever be happy with jarred sauce again. Thanks for all the great recipes and tips!