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30 recipes you should master by the age of 30

Telegraph Food
Whether you’re looking for a speedy supper or show-stopping Sunday lunch, we’ve got the basics covered - Shutterstock

Beans on toast and ready meals may be a staple of student cooking, but if by your mid-twenties you still haven't progressed from the simple (lets face it, often terrible) meals that were whipped up in halls, then it's time to refresh your culinary repertoire.  

"Cooking is not about just joining the dots, following one recipe slavishly and then moving on to the next. It's about developing an understanding of food, a sense of assurance in the kitchen, about the simple desire to make yourself something to eat," says Nigella Lawson in How to Eat (Vintage, £14.99).

Below, we've shared some of the best easy-to-achieve dishes from our award-winning food writers – 30 dishes, from bung-it-in-the-oven baked fish to a crowd-pleasing shepherd's pie, that are well worth mastering before you hit 30. 

Spaghetti with garlic, chilli and parsley

This easy pasta dish can be on the table in under 20 minutes; simply combine a few store-cupboard staples. 

Credit: HAARALA HAMILTON AND VALERIE BERRY

The ultimate roast chicken

Xanthe Clay's roast chicken requires only five ingredients but the result is beautifully succulent and bronzed.

The ultimate roast chicken

Shepherd's pie

Necessity is the mother of invention, and this comforting classic  given some modern enhancements – is a great example of that. 

Credit:  Andrew Twort

Bolognese ragù sauce

This hearty and traditional sauce from Northern Italy lends itself well as a base sauce for pasta, pizza and lasagne. 

Credit: Andrew Twort

A cracking stir fry

Stir-fries are healthy, quick and very versatile – perfect weeknight supper material. 

Credit: DONAL SKEHAN 

Whole-roasted fish  

Don't be intimidated by fish: it's a cinch to roast in the oven with whatever other ingredients you have to hand.

Credit: Liz and Max Haarala Hamilton

Noodle soup

Throughout the winter months, you just can't beat a warming bowl of Vietnamese-style pho. 

Credit:  Andrew Crowley

Pancakes

These fluffy American-style pancakes with vanilla ice cream are sure to go down a treat. 

Credit:  ANDES SHONNEMANN

Fish pie

Knowing how to make a good fish pie is an essential skill for any cooks' repertoire. 

Credit: HAARALA HAMILTON

Chocolate cake

Perfect for celebrations of any kind. Angela Hartnett's combines lashings of dark chocolate and coffee, finished with a glossy, double-chocolate icing. 

Credit: HAARALA HAMILTON

The ultimate tomato sauce

This basic tomato sauce is incredibly versatile: use it on pasta, on pizza or even dolloped into soups and stews.

Credit: Ben Anders

Full English breakfast

This no-fuss, one-pan fry-up has all of the best bits, with none of the mess. 

Credit: Martin Poole 

Chicken pie 

A classic chicken pie is ideal for a dinner party, and this one delivers a great flavour. 

Credit: HAARALA HAMILTON

Bread and butter pudding

A classic British dessert, made even better by adding whisky and raspberries.

Credit:  YUKI SUGIURA

Pavlova

Arguably the ultimate British summer dessert. Try this one with fresh strawberries and subtle kick of chilli. 

Credit: Steve Parle 

Chicken curry

Save your pennies and create an authentic 'fakeaway' at home with this creamy Keralan-style chicken korma. 

Credit: STEVEN JOYCE

​Homemade beef burger

Stop spending half your salary at Byron; Claire Thompson's beef burgers with chimichurri are just as delicious. 

Credit:  STEVEN JOYCE

Apple crumble

The perfect Sunday night pudding. Once you've mastered apple, experiment with other fruits.

Credit: ANDREW CROWLEY

Roast chicken with a twist

Succulent chicken with juicy pomegranate seeds and fresh yogurt – what's not to love? 

Credit:  HAARALA HAMILTON

Potato dauphinoise

An easy and comforting accompaniment to countless meals.

Credit: LAURA EDWARDS

Beef chilli 

Make a big batch of this beef chilli with guacamole at the start of the week and it will last you for days.

Credit: ANDREW TWORT & ANNIE HUDSON

Cheesecake 

This stunning cheesecake looks harder to make than it is, but the results are delicious.

Credit:   YELDA YILMAZ

Vegetarian lasagne 

Impress your friends with this take on traditional lasagne using button mushrooms and courgettes. 

Credit:  ISSY CROKER

Pesto

Not just good with pasta – try smearing it on bread with tomatoes, stuffing it into a roast chicken or stirring a spoon into stews.

Pesto

Macaroni cheese

Ultra-comforting and creamy, Diana Henry's take on macaroni cheese features bacon and whisky. 

Credit: HAARALA HAMILTON 

Classic roast tomato soup

This roasted tomato soup with goat's cheese and thyme toasts is so good, you'll never reach for Heinz again.

Credit: HAARALA HAMILTON

Easy pizza dough

Once you've mastered it, all you need to do is roll it out and add a few toppings. 

Credit:  STAN SEATON

Simple salad dressings

So much nicer than the stuff in a bottle, and cheaper too.

 Simple salad dressings

Victoria sponge

There's no point trying Bake Off-style showstoppers until you've mastered the simplest cake of all. 

Credit: ANDREW TWORT

Red pepper salsa 

This vibrant dip is good with nachos, in fajitas, or just eaten out of the bowl really...

Credit:  STEVEN JOYCE
Have you perfected any of the recipes above? Tell us in the comments below