Easy Dinner Recipes for Beginners

Dinnertime doesn’t have to be difficult to be delicious! Here are our top easy dinner recipes for beginners.

Easy dinner recipes for beginners

Dinnertime can be difficult: especially if you’re short on time or expertise in the kitchen! Here at A Couple Cooks, we started as beginners back in the day. Because we started with no knowledge of how to cook, all of our recipes are designed to be easy enough for beginners. With a little bit of advanced planning, you’ll learn how to get dinner on the table in no time!

Here we’ve collected our top easy dinner recipes for beginners! For these recipes, you need limited knowledge of the kitchen. Each recipe is written with beginners in mind: but at the same time, none of these easy dinner recipes are dumbed down. The unique flavors and cooking methods have integrity and there are no store bought shortcuts. So, at the same time as you’re getting dinner on the table, you’ll learn a little bit about cooking methods too.

And now, our top easy dinner recipes for beginners!

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Seared salmon poke bowl

Easy Weeknight Poke Bowl

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 4.57 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 29 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 minute
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This delicious spin on a poke bowl features seared salmon and veggies in a colorful bowl, an easy dinner recipe perfect for beginners!


  • 1 1/2 cups dry white rice
  • 4 medium fillets salmon
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari, divided
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sriracha
  • 1/4 medium red cabbage (2 cups shredded)
  • 1 large English cucumber (3 cups shredded)
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 avocado
  • 3 green onions
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Kosher salt


  1. If frozen, thaw the salmon according to the package instructions
  2. Make the rice using How to Cook Rice or Instant Pot Rice.
  3. With the salmon lying flat on a cutting board, run a sharp knife between the skin and the flesh to remove the skin. Cut the salmon into 1 inch squares and add it to a medium bowl. Note that thinner parts of the salmon may shred a bit (this is okay). Add 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, and the sriracha to the salmon and stir gently. Allow to marinate while preparing the vegetables.
  4. Thinly slice the cabbage (2 cups). Place it in a medium bowl and mix it together with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1 tablespoon rice vinegar.
  5. Julienne the cucumber into long thin strips (3 cups; we used a handheld julienne peeler). Place in a medium bowl and mix with 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil.
  6. Peel the carrots into long ribbons using a vegetable peeler. Place in a medium bowl and mix with 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds.
  7. Dice the avocado (if using). Slice the green onions on the bias.
  8. Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over high heat. When hot, add the salmon and cook for about 30-45 seconds until just cooked. Immediately remove to a clean bowl and add the green onions, a sprinkle of sesame seeds, and 1 or 2 pinches of kosher salt.
  9. To serve, scoop rice or quinoa into bowls, then top with the vegetables and salmon. If desired, garnish with additional sesame seeds.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Easy Dinner Recipes for Beginners, Poke Bowl, Weeknight Poke Bowl

Looking for more dinner recipes?

Outside of these easy dinner recipes for beginners, here are a few more collections of dinner recipes:

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

1 Comment

  • Reply
    Nathaniel Lee
    October 26, 2019 at 3:12 am

    These recipes looks deliciously healthy. Thanks for sharing!

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