Best Recipes to Start Your From Scratch Cooking Journey

These 10 best recipes to start your from scratch cooking journey are wholesome and simple! Cooking from scratch doesn’t have to take tons of time or feel overwhelming. These recipes are the perfect way to start swapping out pre-made items in your kitchen. 

grid of photos of chocolate sauce, whipped cream, hot chocolate, and peach pie filling
Source: Plum Branch Home

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The excuse I hear the most when it comes to cooking from scratch is, “I don’t have time.” But what they really mean is that it’s not a priority. Yes, it does take more effort, but it doesn’t necessarily take more time!

You can whip up mac and cheese from scratch in 7 minutes—the same amount of time it takes to make a box of Kraft. Sure, it takes more time to make tortillas from scratch than to pull them from the bag. But guess what? If you’ve got 30 minutes on a Sunday, whip up a batch and freeze them for later.

My biggest tip for cooking more food from scratch is to make basic staples ahead of time when you have the time. Making a meal from scratch most nights doesn’t mean you have to make everything right then. You could pull out the tortillas from the freezer and use the homemade ranch in the fridge.

10 Best Recipes to Start Your From Scratch Cooking Journey

Below, you’ll find 10 super easy recipes to start your journey. From the easiest mashed potatoes to simple sheet pan granola, you’ll find 10 items to start making at home instead of buying them at the grocery store. 

jar of chocolate with a spoon drizzling the chocolate above
Homemade Chocolate Syrup (better than Hershey’s)
This homemade chocolate syrup recipe will have you ditching the store-bought versions. I'll let you in on a little secret, it's better than Hershey's! Once you've had a taste, you'll never go back. We've always got a batch ready to go in the fridge. I know you will love it as much as we do!
Check out this recipe
jar of dressing on the counter and seasoning around it
Best Ranch Dressing From Scratch
The best ranch dressing is always made from scratch at home. Once you try homemade ranch you'll never go back to store-bought. It's got the creamiest texture and is full of flavor. Between the buttermilk and garlic, it's hard to resist!
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mix of oats, nuts, seeds on a pan
Simple Homemade Vanilla Granola
My simple homemade vanilla granola has chunks of dried mango, pistachios, and cashews creating a balanced blend of sweet and savory. When mixed with maple syrup and vanilla extract, the flavors create a harmonious flavor that I know you'll love! P.S. It tastes 100 times better than any store-bought version!
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cashew cream
The Best Cashew Cream (For Recipes, Coffee, and Tea)
Transform your dishes, coffee, and tea with the versatility of homemade cashew cream—an affordable and wholesome alternative to store-bought options.
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homemade oat milk
Homemade Oat Milk (Not Slimy)
Finally, a homemade oat milk that tastes good and isn't slimy! It's creamy smooth texture will have you reaching for seconds.
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peaches with a wooden spoon for stirring and a bowl of peach filling
Fresh Peach Pie Filling From Scratch
Fresh peach pie filling can be used in many recipes. From homemade pies to cobblers and even scooped over ice cream. In our house, we love using this filling for a variety of treats but our favorite is in homemade sourdough Danish pastries.
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spoon full of whipped cream coming out of the bowl
Coconut Whipped Cream Recipe From Scratch
This coconut whipped cream recipe is made from scratch in only 35 minutes! With simple steps and a quick cooling process, my recipe eliminates wasted time. It's the perfect topping for pies, chocolate chia pudding, and even cobblers.
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bowl of mashed potatoes with a square of butter melting and a wooden spoon beside it
Old Fashioned Mashed Potatoes
This old fashioned mashed potatoes recipe is so simple yet so divine. This recipe is easy to follow and tastes like home.
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bamboo ladle getting homemade brown gravy out of pot
Easy Homemade Brown Gravy From Scratch
This homemade brown gravy is one of the easiest holiday recipes you'll try. It pairs perfectly with mashed potatoes or poured over slices of turkey.
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glass mug of hot chocolate with a towel laying beside it
Healthy Hot Chocolate From Scratch
This healthy hot chocolate has a smooth silky texture, the perfect amount of cocoa, and is sweetened with honey.
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From Scratch Cooking FAQ

What counts as cooking from scratch?

Anything that is made from basic ingredients that are not premade or processed is made from scratch.

Is it really cheaper to cook from scratch?

Yes, it is almost always cheaper to cook from scratch. To get the best savings, buy ingredients in bulk at stores like Costco. It’ll save you tons.

How to make cooking from scratch easier?

Make staples ahead of time so they’re already made and ready to go in the fridge or freezer. This makes it so much easier and faster.

What are two advantages of cooking from scratch?

My favorite two advantages are how much healthier the food is and how much money you save. 

Is cooking from scratch healthier?

Yes, it is so much healthier than buying premade food at the grocery store. It’s always best to cook with wholesome ingredients with little to no additives. 

More Recipes From Scratch To Try

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  1. Oh wow! So many great recipes! I am going to try Peach Pie Filling! Thanks 😊