10 Easy Italian Recipes If You’re Just Starting Out

updated Dec 1, 2023
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Credit: Leela Cyd

If you’re in the early stages of learning how to cook, there may be a couple of things you already comfortably lean on. For me, it was scrambled eggs and pasta tossed in jarred marinara sauce. The latter was especially a go-to. Italian food is one of the most comforting cuisines, and a great entry into cooking because so many of the classic dishes are really quite simple.

So if you’re looking to go beyond jarred sauce, these 10 recipes are where to start. They’re beginner-friendly, yes, but also timeless, so it’s a guarantee you’ll be making them for years to come.

Easy Italian Recipes

1 / 10
Simple Arugula Salad
A quick and easy, unfussy arugula salad tossed in a lemon vinaigrette and finished with shaved Parmesan.
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2 / 10
Learn how to make classic meatballs with this step-by-step cooking lesson that makes tender and rich meatballs every time.
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3 / 10
Spaghetti Aglio e Olio
A classic Italian recipe for spaghetti with olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and parsley.
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4 / 10
Chicken Parmesan
Master the classic dish of chicken Parmesan by starting with the chicken, choosing a marinara sauce you love, and using a trio of cheese.
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5 / 10
How To Make Easy Oven-Baked Risotto
Move your pot to the oven to serve creamy restaurant-style risotto with a fraction of the effort. Our version has pancetta, pesto, and peas for a savory bite.
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6 / 10
Weeknight Skillet Lasagna

This shortcut lasagna skips the precooking of noodles and layering of ingredients but is no less homey and satisfying. It’s a dish that’s fit for weeknights and weekends alike.

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7 / 10
One-Pot Shrimp Scampi

This one-pot shrimp scampi is ridiculously easy and yet it will both look and taste kind of fancy. So whip this recipe out when you’re looking to impress someone (or even just yourself).

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8 / 10
5-Ingredient Creamy Tomato Baked Orzo
A one-pan, no-boil baked orzo casserole that requires just 5 ingredients.
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9 / 10
Marinara Pasta Sauce

Here’s your chance to break up with your jarred marinara sauce. Making a great homemade version is surprisingly simple and this recipe proves it.

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10 / 10
Brûléed Ricotta
A fast and easy dessert recipe for honey-sweetened ricotta that's brûléed and finished with fresh fruit.
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