You’re in the real world now. That means it’s time to cook like the young professional you are. If you’re clueless and without any cookbooks, have no fear. Cooking is easier than you think, and you can whip up some gourmet meals in no time. Spoon University is here to help with easy recipes that’ll seamlessly transition you into the real world.


1. Gourmet French Fries: French fries are a hard-to-resist American staple, but this recipe takes French fries to a whole new level — beyond your basic ketchup and fries combination. Add them as a side to any main dish for instant impressive points. (Photo via Chelsea Hawk)


2. Glammed-Up Popcorn: There’s more to life than microwave popcorn. Homemade popcorn is a lot easier than you’d expect. It only takes five minutes, and there’s a lot more room for customization (Nutella popcorn, anyone?). Kick back after an impossible day and treat yourself. (Photo via Andrea Kang)


3. Spaghetti Sauce: Ditch those grocery store jars of spaghetti sauce and make your own with fresh, wholesome ingredients. You can make it in a skillet or let the slow cooker do all the work. (Photo via Judy Holtz)


4. Truffles: Truffles are a simple, decadent dessert for when you’re in a treat-yo’self mood. This raspberry truffle recipe is simple and only requires three ingredients. Give them as a gift or keep all the truffles to yourself. You do you. (Photo by Hana Ezaldein)


5. Donuts: You’ll stop going to Dunkin’ Donuts forever once you realize how easy it is to make donuts at home. You can spice these up by adding your own toppings and glazes. (Photo via Phoebe Melnick)


6. Cheese Bread: Cheese bread is perfect for almost any time of day (when is it not a good time for cheese?). Pair cheese bread with coffee, like they do in Brazil, and you’re good to go. (Photo via Alina Polishuk)


7. Granola: Granola is a great easy-to-carry snack and a perfect healthy treat at work. Make granola yourself and customize it to your liking by adding your favorite ingredients. Munch on it at your desk or save it for lunch break. (Photo via Parsa Lotfi)


8. Sushirrito: This sushirrito is a fun spin on classic sushi, and it’s incredibly easy to bring to work. Just wrap it in parchment paper and you’re good to go. Bonus: It’s healthy and only takes 15 minutes. (Photo via Lily Lou)


9. Molten Chocolate Cake: A perfect cure for your chocolate cravings, it’s sweet, decadent and fluffy, and it’s perfect for a night in with friends or a dinner date, or all to yourself. (Photo via Helena Lin)


1o. Red Wine Chocolate Cupcakes: What do you do when two amazing things combine to form something even better? Of course, you make a ton of them. These red wine chocolate cupcakes take cupcakes to a whole new level, satisfying both your inner child and adult. (Photo via Caty Schnack)


11. Honeydew Mojito: We’re not doctors here, but we do know that the vitamin C in lime juice helps you fight stress, while honeydew keeps you hydrated. (Photo via Christin Urso)


12. Salad That You Actually Enjoy: Many people dread salads, but those who do just haven’t found “the one” yet. Learn how to make your own salad from scratch and customize it with your own mix-ins and dressings. Wrap it up and take it to work for a healthy lunch. (Photo via Katherine Martinelli)


13. Shrub: Shrub is a fun and delicious cocktail element that you can make with only five ingredients. It can be made hot or cold. Either way, it’s delicious. (Photo via Julia Murphy)


14. Homemade Whipped Cream: Who doesn’t love whipped cream? And who doesn’t love whipped cream when it only takes one minute and six seconds and three ingredients to make? Use it on everything, from fruit and cupcakes to ice cream and more. (Photo via Marissa Arnett)


15. Pork Chops: Pork chops are an American classic, perfect for those nights when you’re unsure what to have for dinner. Add a few roasted vegetables or a side salad, and you’re good for the night. (Photo via Hannah Lin)

16. Better Pancakes: Just because you’re an adult now doesn’t mean you can’t make some delicious pancakes. The best part about growing up is that you get to try all the different flavors and get to use as much whipped cream as you want to top your pancakes. (Photo via Malia Hu)


17. Classic Carbonara: Carbonara is what you should make when you’re low on ingredients. You only need seven ingredients, and you probably have most of them in your cupboard already. Just put them together in a pan and you have elegant Italian on the cheap. (Photo via Lucy Rubin)


18. Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies From Scratch: A classic treat get an upgrade with these mocha chocolate chip cookies. More caffeine = more energy = more productivity = more reasons to make these. (Photo via Framed Cooks)


19. Raspberry Mojito: It’s almost summer, the season of fruity drinks. Mojitos are so perfect for celebrating the weather that you’ll forget you still have to work. (Photo via Vedika Luthra)


20. Burger: Ditch the McDonald’s and start making this Southwest Burger. It spices up the classic hamburger by adding hot sauce and a few other spices. Plus, it’s probably healthier than fast food burgers. (Photo via Bonnie Wu)


21. Huevos Rancheros: Huevos Rancheros paired with sangria is one of the best hangover cures you can make. It’s fast, customizable and cheap. Plus, it’s great for drunchin’. (Photo via Gabby Phi)


22. Shakshuka: Shakshuka will warm you up on a cold winter day. It’s a one-pot recipe, so you will not have to worry about washing dishes. (Photo via Yair Sakols)


23. Risotto: When you get tired of eating pasta, make risotto. It’s easy to put together and there are tons of different variations: spinach and mushroom, beet and barley or just the classic. (Photo via Vedika Luthra)

ice cream

24. Homemade Ice Cream: Ice cream is probably one of the most delicious desserts you can make for any season (especially summer). It gets way better when you can customize it and make your own flavors (no ice cream machine needed). Peanut Butter Oreo Fudge Swirl, anyone? (Photo via Vedika Luthra)


25. Cheesecake: Cheesecake is sure to impress anyone (who doesn’t love cheesecake?), and for the lazy, there are always no-bake cheesecakes. (Photo via Allie Dang)


26. BBQ Ribs: With so many different variations (coffee, brown sugar, Italian, margarita), you’ll never get tired of some think juicy ribs. And with this recipe, there’s no grilling required. (Photo via Rafi Letzter)

hair of the dog

27. Hair of the Dog: This festive spiked peppermint hot chocolate will help you bear the winter cold (and your terrible hangover). (Photo via Andrea Kang)


28. Mason Jar Salad: They’re fun, portable and healthy. (Photo via Bernard Wen)

29. Flaky Pie Dough: Pie crusts are the best part of the pie, so don’t depend on store-bought versions. Make your own with five ingredients (one of them is water) in under 10 minutes. (Video via Karina Myrtil)

Do you have any other must-know recipes? Let us know in the comments!