15 Surprising Cooking Tips We Learned at Culinary School

Get started with our most-shared recipes.

Taste of Home

Cheeseburger Soup

A local restaurant serves a similar cheeseburger soup but wouldn’t share its recipe with me. So I developed my own, modifying a recipe for potato soup. I was really pleased with the way this all-American treat turned out. —Joanie Shawhan, Madison, Wisconsin

Get Recipe

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

Need to bring a dish to pass this weekend? This make-ahead strawberry pretzel salad will disappear quickly at any potluck. —Aldene Belch, Flint, Michigan

Get Recipe

Italian Brunch Torte

We always serve this impressive layered breakfast bake with a salad of mixed greens and tomato wedges. It is one of our most requested dishes and can be served warm or cold. —Danny Diamond, Farmington Hills, Michigan

Get Recipe

Creamy Coleslaw

For me, this is the best coleslaw recipe because a package of shredded cabbage and carrots really cuts down on prep time. This creamy coleslaw recipe is great for potlucks or to serve to your family on a busy weeknight. —Renee Endress, Galva, Illinois

Get Recipe

White Bean Chicken Chili

My sister shared this white bean chicken chili recipe with me. I usually double it and add one extra can of beans, then serve with cheddar biscuits or warmed tortillas. The jalapeno adds just enough heat to notice but not too much for my children. —Kristine Bowles, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Get Recipe

Amish Sugar Cookies

These easy-to-make, old-fashioned sugar cookies simply melt in your mouth! This is one of the best Amish cookie recipes I’ve ever had. I’ve passed this one around to many friends, and after I gave it to my sister, she entered the cookies in a local fair and won the best of show prize! —Sylvia Ford, Kennett, Missouri

Get Recipe

Grilled Huli Huli Chicken

I got this grilled chicken recipe from a friend while living in Hawaii. It sizzles with the flavors of brown sugar, ginger and soy sauce. Huli means “turn” in Hawaiian. This sweet and savory glaze is fantastic on pork chops, too. —Sharon Boling, San Diego, California

Get Recipe

Peanut Butter Chocolate Dessert

The desserts of my dreams have both chocolate and peanut butter. So, when I came up with this rich chocolate and peanut butter dessert, it quickly became my all-time favorite. It’s a cinch to whip together because it doesn’t require any baking. My family loves thie chocolate peanut butter cup lasagna! —Debbie Price, LaRue, Ohio

Get Recipe

Simple Taco Soup

We first tried this thick-as-chili soup at a church dinner. It’s a warm dish ideal for a cold day and easy to prepare with kitchen staples. So what are you waiting for? Dig in! —Glenda Taylor, Sand Springs, Oklahoma

Get Recipe

Scored Potatoes

These well-seasoned baked potatoes are a fun alternative to plain baked potatoes. It’s easy to help yourself to just the amount you want, too, since the potato halves are scored into sections. — Barbara Wheeler, Sparks Glencoe, Maryland

Get Recipe

Barbecue Pork and Penne Skillet

I’m the proud mother of wonderful and active children. Simple, delicious and quick meals like this BBQ pork skillet are perfect for us to enjoy together after school activities, especially if I have leftover pulled pork. —Judy Armstrong, Prairieville, Louisiana

Get Recipe

Pumpkin Bread

I keep my freezer stocked for our harvest crew with home-baked goodies like this deliciously spicy, easy pumpkin bread recipe. —Joyce Jackson, Bridgetown, Nova Scotia

Get Recipe

Bacon Macaroni Salad

This pleasing pasta salad is like eating a BLT in a bowl. Filled with crispy bacon, chopped tomato, celery and green onion, the sensational salad is coated with a tangy mayonnaise and vinegar dressing. It’s a real crowd-pleaser! —Norene Wright, Manilla, Indiana

Get Recipe

Bacon Cheeseburger Slider Bake

I created this dish to fill two pans because these cheeseburger sliders disappear fast. Just cut the slider burgers recipe in half if you only want to make one batch. —Nick Iverson, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Get Recipe

Lovely Lemon Cheesecake

Wait for the oohs and aahs when you present this luxurious lemon cheesecake recipe. The lemon flavor gives it a bright, tangy flavor. —Margaret Allen, Abingdon, Virginia

Get Recipe

Egg Roll Noodle Bowl

We love Asian egg rolls, but they can be challenging to make. Simplify everything with this deconstructed egg roll made on the stovetop and served in a bowl. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas

Get Recipe

Rustic Italian Tortellini Soup

This is my favorite tortellini soup recipe. It’s quick to fix on a busy night and full of healthy, tasty ingredients. It originally called for spicy sausage links, but I’ve found that turkey sausage, or even ground turkey breast, is just as good. —Tracy Fasnacht, Irwin, Pennsylvania

Get Recipe

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

Get Recipe

Easy Fresh Strawberry Pie

For my mother’s birthday, I made this strawberry pie recipe instead of a cake. Since it was mid-May in Oklahoma, the berries were absolutely perfect. It was a memorable occasion for the whole family. —Josh Carter, Birmingham, Alabama

Get Recipe

Crustless Spinach Quiche

I served this quiche recipe at a church lunch, and I had to laugh when one guy told me how much he disliked vegetables. Many people were surprised by how much they loved this veggie-filled crustless quiche—and he was one of them! —Melinda Calverley, Janesville, Wisconsin

Get Recipe

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

A must for any Mexican meal at my house, try these enchiladas as a main dish or include them as part of a buffet. —Cheryl Pomrenke, Coffeyville, Kansas

Get Recipe

Mamaw Emily’s Strawberry Cake

My husband loved his Mamaw’s strawberry cake recipe. He thought no one could duplicate it. I made it, and it’s just as scrumptious as he remembers. —Jennifer Bruce, Manitou, Kentucky

Get Recipe

Artichoke & Lemon Pasta

While sailing in the Mediterranean, we tasted a lemony artichoke pasta. I developed my own version of it that our guests love. Try it with shrimp and kalamata olives. —Peter Halferty, Corpus Christi, Texas

Get Recipe

Slow-Cooker Pot Roast

I work full time, so this slow cooker roast beef is my go-to when I want a hearty, home cooked meal. It’s a comfort to walk in and smell this simmering slow cooker pot roast that I know will be fall-apart tender and delicious. —Gina Jackson, Ogdensburg, New York

Get Recipe

Lemon Blueberry Bread

Of all the quick breads we had growing up, this beautiful lemon blueberry bread is the best! The citrus glaze adds a lustrous finish and locks in moisture. —Julianne Johnson, Grove City, Minnesota

Get Recipe

Mom’s Meat Loaf

Mom made the best meatloaf, and now I do, too. When I first met my husband, he didn’t care for homemade meatloaf, but this won him over. —Michelle Beran, Claflin, Kansas

Get Recipe

Mama’s Potato Salad

This old-fashioned potato salad recipe doesn’t have many ingredients, so it isn’t as colorful as many that you find nowadays. But Mama made it the way her mother did, and that’s the way I still make it today. Try it and see if it isn’t one of the best-tasting potato salads you have ever eaten! —Sandra Anderson, New York, New York

Get Recipe

CokeCola Cake

We live in Coca-Cola country, where everyone loves a chocolaty, moist sheet cake made with the iconic soft drink. Our rich version does the tradition proud. —Heidi Jobe, Carrollton, Georgia

Get Recipe

Fiesta Pinwheels

Whenever I serve this make-ahead, easy pinwheel recipe, they disappear fast. When a friend at the office shared them with me, I knew in one bite I’d be taking her Mexican pinwheels home for the holidays. —Diane Martin, Brown Deer, Wisconsin

Get Recipe

Favorite Skillet Lasagna

Whole wheat noodles and zucchini pump up nutrition in this delicious, family-friendly dinner. Topped with dollops of ricotta cheese, it has an extra touch of decadence. No one will believe this one’s lighter. —Lorie Miner, Kamas, Utah

Get Recipe

Broadway Brownie Bars

I named these dessert bars for Broadway because they’re a hit every time I serve them. I especially like to make them as a gift for anyone with a sweet tooth! —Anne Frederick, New Hartford, New York

Get Recipe

Never-Fail Scalloped Potatoes

Take the chill off any blustery day and make something special to accompany meaty entrees. This is the best scalloped potatoes recipe ever, and my family loves when I serve it. —Agnes Ward, Stratford, Ontario

Get Recipe

Chicken Quesadillas

This chicken quesadilla recipe has an impressive look and taste with little preparation. The leftover chicken gets Mexican flair from cumin in this fun main dish. —Linda Wetzel, Woodland Park, Colorado

Get Recipe

Coconut-Pecan German Chocolate Pie

This German chocolate pecan pie combines the ingredients everyone loves in its classic cake cousin. It’s so silky and smooth, you won’t be able to put your fork down. —Anna Jones, Coppell, Texas

Get Recipe

Amish Breakfast Casserole

We’ve enjoyed a few hearty breakfast casseroles while visiting an Amish inn. When I asked for a recipe, one of the ladies told me the ingredients right off the top of her head. I modified it to create this quick and easy breakfast casserole my family loves. —Beth Notaro, Kokomo, Indiana

Get Recipe

Skillet Mac & Cheese

This super creamy mac ‘n’ cheese is so simple it seems almost too easy! Kids really go for the rich cheese flavor, but I’ve never met an adult who didn’t love it too. —Ann Bowers, Rockport, Texas

Get Recipe

Giant Cinnamon Roll

This must-try cinnamon roll is all about the pillowy texture, the sweet spices and the homemade caramel drizzle. —Leah Rekau, Taste of Home food stylist

Get Recipe

Corn Pudding

Jiffy mix and canned corn make this Southern corn pudding casserole a snap to prepare. Now this is real comfort food! —P. Lauren Fay-Neri, Syracuse, New York

Get Recipe

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

This recipe was inspired by my daughter’s favorite food—Buffalo wings! It tastes as if it came from a restaurant. —Melissa Millwood, Lyman, South Carolina

Get Recipe

Sandy’s Chocolate Cake

Years ago, I drove 4-1/2 hours to a cake contest, holding my entry on my lap the whole way. But it paid off. One bite and you’ll see why this velvety beauty was named the best chocolate cake recipe won first prize. —Sandra Johnson, Tioga, Pennsylvania

Get Recipe

Lemon-Parsley Baked Cod

After trying a few baked cod recipes, this was the first fish recipe that got two thumbs up from my picky meat-only eaters. The tangy lemon gives the cod fish some oomph. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho

Get Recipe

Buffalo Chicken Dip

This is the best buffalo chicken dip recipe! Whenever I bring buffalo dip to a tailgate or potluck, everyone asks for the recipe. —Peggy Foster, Florence, Kentucky

Get Recipe

Raspberry-Rhubarb Slab Pie

“Slab pie” is a pastry baked in a jelly-roll pan and cut in slabs like a bar cookie—or a pie bar, if you will. My grandfather was a professional baker and served pieces of slab pie to his customers back in the day. Here is my spin, featuring rhubarb and gorgeous red raspberries. —Jeanne Ambrose, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Get Recipe

Cauliflower Soup

Every other cauliflower soup recipe I tried lacked flavor, but this cheesy recipe packs a tasty punch! We like it with hot pepper sauce for a little extra kick. —Debbie Ohlhausen, Chilliwack, British Columbia

Get Recipe

Taco Lasagna

If you like foods with southwestern flair, this just might become a new favorite. Loaded with cheese, meat and beans, the layered casserole comes together in a snap. There are never any leftovers when I take this dish to potlucks. —Terri Keena, Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Get Recipe

Banana Pudding

I didn’t see my son, Lance Corporal Eric Harris, for more than two years after he enlisted in the Marines after high school. And when I saw him arrive at the airport, I just grabbed hold of him and burst out crying. When we got home, the first thing he ate was two bowls of my easy banana pudding recipe. He’s a true southern boy! It’s a dessert, but you can have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. —Stephanie Harris, Montpelier, Virginia

Get Recipe

Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce

There’s nothing like fresh salmon, and my mom bakes it just right so it nearly melts in your mouth. The sour cream dill sauce is subtly seasoned with horseradish so that it doesn’t overpower the delicate salmon flavor. —Susan Emery, Everett, Washington

Get Recipe

Easy Crab Cakes

Ready-to-go crabmeat makes these delicate patties easier than other crab cake recipes. You can also form the crab mixture into four thick patties instead of eight crab cakes. —Charlene Spelock, Apollo, Pennsylvania

Get Recipe

Farmer’s Casserole

Between family and friends, we average 375 visitors a year! This casserole is handy—you can put it together the night before, let the flavors blend, then bake it in the morning. —Nancy Schmidt, Center, Colorado

Get Recipe

Crispy Fried Chicken

If you’ve wanted to learn how to make crispy fried chicken, this is the recipe for you. Always a picnic favorite, this deep fried chicken recipe is delicious either hot or cold. Kids call it my Kentucky Fried Chicken! —Jeanne Schnitzler, Lima, Montana

Get Recipe

Moist Chocolate Cake

This chocolate cake recipe with coffee reminds me of my grandmother because it was one of her specialties. I bake it often for family parties, and it always brings back fond memories. The cake is light and airy with a delicious chocolate taste. This recipe is a keeper! —Patricia Kreitz, Richland, Pennsylvania

Get Recipe

French Toast Casserole

Topped with cinnamon and sugar, this fuss-free overnight French toast casserole is my favorite way to make the breakfast favorite. Since you assemble this baked French toast the previous night, you save time in the morning, and if you have an extra hungry crowd, it’s easy to bake up a few batches. —Sharyn Adams, Crawfordsville, Indiana

Get Recipe

Contest-Winning New England Clam Chowder

This is the best clam chowder recipe, ever! In the Pacific Northwest, we dig our own razor clams and I grind them for the chowder. Since these aren’t readily available, the canned clams are perfectly acceptable. —Sandy Larson, Port Angeles, Washington

Get Recipe

Sheepherder’s Breakfast

My sister-in-law always made this delicious breakfast dish when we were camping and had to come up with good breakfast ideas. Served with toast, juice and milk or coffee, it’s a sure hit with the breakfast crowd! One-dish casseroles like this were a big help while I was raising my nine children. Now I’ve passed this recipe on to them. —Pauletta Bushnell, Albany, Oregon

Get Recipe

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

Get Recipe

True Belgian Waffles

It was on a visit to my husband’s relatives in Europe that I was given this Belgian waffle recipe. These homemade waffles are great with any kind of topping: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, fried apples, powdered sugar or whipped topping. —Rose Delemeester, St. Charles, Michigan

Get Recipe

Favorite Chicken Potpie

Chock-full of chicken, potatoes, peas and corn, this recipe makes two golden pies, so you can serve one at supper and save the other for a busy night. This is the best chicken potpie recipe to have on hand when company comes over. —Karen Johnson, Bakersfield, California

Get Recipe

Favorite Banana Cream Pie

Homemade banana cream pie is my mom’s specialty, and this dreamy dessert has a wonderful banana flavor. It looks so pretty, and it cuts easily, too. —Jodi Grable, Springfield, Missouri

Get Recipe

Italian Stuffed Shells

A dear friend first brought over this stuffed shells recipe. Now I take it to other friends’ homes and to potlucks, because it’s always a big hit! —Beverly Austin, Fulton, Missouri

Get Recipe

Chocolate Chip Cookie Delight

This is a simple chocolate delight recipe for any type of potluck occasion, and the pan always comes home empty. —Diane Windley, Grace, Idaho

Get Recipe

Traditional Lasagna

My family first tasted this rich, homemade lasagna recipe at a friend’s home on Christmas Eve. We were so impressed that it became our own holiday tradition as well. I also prepare it other times of the year. This classic lasagna recipe is requested often by my sister’s Italian in-laws—I consider that the highest compliment! —Lorri Foockle, Granville, Illinois

Get Recipe

Shrimp Scampi

This shrimp scampi recipe looks elegant enough to serve to company, but it’s easy to prepare. The bright flavors of lemon and herbs enhance the shrimp. Serve it over pasta and wait for the compliments. —Lori Packer, Omaha, Nebraska

Get Recipe

Rhubarb Custard Bars

Once I tried these rich, gooey bars, I just had to have the recipe so I could make them for my family and friends. The shortbreadlike crust and the rhubarb and custard layers inspire people to find rhubarb that they can use to fix a batch for themselves. —Shari Roach, South Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Get Recipe

Sour Cream Cucumbers

It’s been a tradition at our house to serve this cucumber onion salad with the other Hungarian specialties my mom learned to make from the women at church. It’s especially good during the summer when the cucumbers are fresh-picked from the garden. Cucumber salad with sour cream is the perfect summer dish. —Pamela Eaton, Monclova, Ohio

Get Recipe

Creamy Grape Salad

Everyone raves when I bring this refreshing, creamy salad to potlucks. For a special finishing touch, sprinkle it with brown sugar and pecans. —Marge Elling, Jenison, Michigan

Get Recipe

Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Post