Skillet Meal: Quick Lasagna Recipe

This skillet lasagna recipe is a quick weeknight meal with all the classic flavors at a fraction of the time. 30 minute meal anyone?

Easy mid-week meals that can be cooked effortlessly are my kind of meals. This Skillet Lasagna recipe takes the intensive labor out of traditional baked lasagna and yet it’s filled with the classic flavors we all love.

this quick skillet lasagna is an easy 30minute weeknight meal

I’m back with another recipe that is sure to be a winner in your kitchen. I recently shared my Oven Roasted Lemon Rosemary Chicken Recipe as part of my partnership with Wolf. Together, we hope to inspire you to reclaim your kitchen and make more homemade meals.

Hundreds of you commented on the post and shared your love for recipes that keep on giving. I also received dozens of emails asking me about what it’s like to cook in the middle of the bewitching hour, with kids that are hungry, managing homework from the kitchen, and how I stay motivated each day to continue cooking meals for my family.

this skillet lasagna is easy to make. it gets done in one pan from start to finish.

When I first got married, I wasn’t a very good cook. I was hesitant to make meals outside my comfort zone for us and I wasn’t very creative when it came to food. My mother-in-law is an exceptional home cook; so I used to take the opportunity to ask questions about her methods whenever we went to eat at their house.

I wanted to become a better cook for my husband, my future kids, and for my own health. I’ve always known that fresh and real ingredients are best; I just didn’t know how to cook a variety of meals that wouldn’t be repetitive on our newlywed budget.

I also didn’t want to spend an eternity in the kitchen making our meals from scratch. Unfortunately, at the time, the Internet wasn’t filled with recipes and YouTube videos showing me how to cook a recipe. Like below. You can click and learn how to make this recipe in less than 3 minutes!

Eventually, I learned my way around the kitchen enough that I began planning out our meals. Furthermore, I began to enjoy planning our meals and cooking!

simple and real ingredients make this skillet lasagna a winner. with the classic flavors everyone will love!

While this was over a decade ago, I haven’t forgotten where I started. Making recipes as easy as possible for my readers is something I think about constantly. I feel privileged to partner with brands, like Wolf, to bring some of that creativity to fruition and work on campaigns that will help my readers cook more for their families.

This series of posts are just that. Wolf and I want to encourage you to Reclaim your Kitchen, try new recipes for your family, and get the inspiration you need to make it happen in the midst of your busy every day life.

Being able to cook homemade meals every day while working full time can be tough to do. I know many of you struggle with that as well. The ability to pull it off really depends on our commitment to plan ahead.

make this skillet lasagna recipe with traditional pasta or gluten free. Easy to make and it's the ultimate kid pleaser!

I typically sit down for ten minutes once a week and write down on a notepad the meals I plan on cooking. I also look at our schedule and tailor the recipes to the amount of time needed for cooking. Monday night, our busiest night, the crockpot comes to the rescue.

Most of the time, however, I make 30-minute meals like this skillet lasagna or my Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe.

My awesome large skillet does all the cooking and I know the quality of the ingredients that go into it. Served with a fresh salad, this is one meal your family will love.

If you need a place to start, head over to Wolf’s Reclaim the Kitchen website and browse through their recipes and resources. Regardless of where you are in your cooking journey, a little inspiration goes a long way!

Where did you learn how to cook? Where do you find your inspiration for your weeknight meals? Do you have any favorite family meals you can whip up in a hurry?

Skillet Lasagna Recipe – Quick Weeknight Meal

make this skillet lasagna recipe with traditional pasta or gluten free. Easy to make and it's the ultimate kid pleaser!
  • Author: Laura Fuentes
  • Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil*
  • 1 pound Italian sausage, removed from casings
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 24 ounces tomato sauce (omit seasonings below if sauce is seasoned)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons oregano
  • 1 ½ teaspoons basil
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces farfalle pasta (bowties)*
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese (more for serving)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large (5 quart/ 12 inch) skillet over medium-high heat, add coconut oil and Italian sausage. Cook until sausage is nearly browned and cooked through, then add minced garlic. Finish cooking the sausage with the garlic.
  2. Stir in tomato sauce and seasonings (if sauce isn’t seasoned) to the cooked sausage. Add in 2 cups of water and pasta to the skillet and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook until pasta is tender, about 12 additional minutes (this will vary depending on the pasta you use).
  3. When pasta is cooked, remove from heat. Stir in mozzarella and combine. Top with small mounds of ricotta cheese and Parmesan, cover and wait a couple of minutes for ricotta to heat and melt in.
  4. Serve immediately with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.

Notes

I personally use coconut oil but you can use your favorite cooking oil. Use bowtie pasta or whatever shape you have in your pantry. This recipe doesn’t work well with spaghetti or angel hair pasta. You can use gluten-free pasta as well. Cooking times will vary so please check your box.

From time to time, I work with awesome companies to develop recipes for this website.  Today’s post was brought to you by SocialMoms and Sub-Zero Wolf Blogging Program.  All opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that encourage my creativity.

Leave a Reply 275 comments

Meggan | Culinary Hill - March 19, 2015 Reply

Great weeknight meal idea! 3 cheeses…. yum. I’d eat this for breakfast this instant!

    Laura Fuentes - March 20, 2015 Reply

    haaaahaa. who wouldn’t want cheesy goodness for breakfast? For sure!

      angie - March 22, 2015 Reply

      I learned to cook with my mom and grandma.
      My inspections come from your emails,ffood network,pinterest:)
      My quick meal everyone loves is Asparagus with pasta.I cook pasta while asparagus roast in oven.Drain pasta out add roasted asparagus drizzle a Lil olive oil,garlic salt and grated parmigiano cheese.I sometimes add leftover chicken if available. If not we will eat without.Thanks for all your advice and inspiration.Angie

      Emily - March 23, 2015 Reply

      My inspiration is my kids! I have five to feed and they rely on me for their safety and care-why wouldn’t I want to give them the best food I can as an integral part of that?? Teaching them the importance of proper nutrition has to come from the home kitchen-where else will they learn it?

    Cassie - March 22, 2015 Reply

    I was so excited to read this after reading the email! What a great recipe!
    I learned to com from my mom arms now with the internet from you tube!

    Susan - March 23, 2015 Reply

    I learned to cook by trial and error and reading cookbooks! My mom was scared to let me help in the kitchen!

    Week nights are recipes that are tried and true or new inspirations from here, friends or Skinnytaste.

    Favorites in a hurry are Ono Chicken, grilled sausages or breakfast for dinner. Apparently I need more ideas!

Carrie Williams - March 22, 2015 Reply

Mmm… your skillet lasagna looks tasty! Can’t wait to try it!

I continue to learn to cook by teaching myself… my mom gave the the very basics (like how NOT to boil all of the water out of the pan when boiling cabbage) and I’ve worked to build on those skills since becoming a wife and mother to five little people who have a variety of special dietary needs. I’ve reached a point where I can improvise and create my own simple recipes, and enjoy surprising my family with the occasional twist on an old favourite!

Elizabeth - March 22, 2015 Reply

Learned on my own since I was living away from family. My Better Homes & Gardens cookbook was my bible!!

Dona Perkins - March 22, 2015 Reply

My family’s favorite meals are the ones we have on repeat right now: grilled cheese paninis, chicken salad, spaghetti, pizza, and nachos. Not very original, but fast, filling, and all four of us will eat these meals! 😉

Stephanie - March 22, 2015 Reply

I really love your website and your posts seem to come at just the right times! I’ve been learning to cook since I was five years old! I loved to watch and help my grandma in the kitchen – my favorite thing to do with her was to make fudge the old fashioned way where you stir, stir, stir and then drop a piece into a cup of water – if it forms a ball it is ready! Mostly I have learned through trial and error on my own, and now I have three daughters and a son of my own who love to cook right along side of me which makes it much more enjoyable!

Amy Freidin - March 22, 2015 Reply

Yummies! I learned to cook from my dad. He is an amazing cook! I’m trying to take his recipes and make them a tad healthier for my family.

Janelle - March 22, 2015 Reply

When I discovered that my kidneys needed a little TLC and pre-packaged or convenience-type meals were suddenly off-limits, I had to quickly find new, healthy alternatives that fit into our busy family schedule. Following the kidney- and heart-healthy recipes from the American Heart Association’s cookbooks has really helped me revamp my family’s eating habits; now I’m filling their plates with healthy, well-rounded meals instead of fillers and questionable ingredients. I also love websites like this, where the recipes have been tested and tried by real women for their families. My comfort in the kitchen has skyrocketed and I don’t shy away from scary-sounding dishes anymore. Thank you for giving me even more quick and healthy options for my family!

Melissa Slayton - March 22, 2015 Reply

I come from a long line of fabulous cooks, so it’s in my genes. I love to try new recipes, sometimes following the directions and sometimes winging it. 🙂 I think it comes down to just spending time in the kitchen, getting ccomfortable with cooking and with yourself.

Ambery - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my mom and my Grammy! 4-H helped. Now I’m relearning healthier versions with fresh ingredients that are also gluten free. Blogs and Grammy’s trusty Pillsbury Cookbook are my go to places for recipes.

gayla allen - March 22, 2015 Reply

Learned to cook from my mom and grandma. I am inspired to try new recipes from momables and various websites! Thanks for the chance to win!! Gayla

Meghan Edwards - March 22, 2015 Reply

I’m still learning to cook. My quick go to is a chicken pot pie. I try to buy chicken when it’s on sale and cook and use it to freeze. It thaws quick and with frozen veggies I can whip it up in 30-45 minutes.

Tara - March 22, 2015 Reply

Yay for awesome one skillet dinners! I have one I’ve made a half dozen times with butternut squash, but bowtie pasta?? Definitely going to try next time its on the menu.
I am a newbie in the kitchen…. my boyfriend… now husband always loved to cook. He taught me how to make spaghetti sauce from scratch (apparently plain tomato sauce didn’t cut it!), then I moved up to sous chef haha… See how he suckered me into this cooking thing?!! Five years later I am trying to cook for my two year old and crazy busy husband without cooking the same thing over and over- except pizza… homemade pizza-almost-every-Friday yum!

Carrie - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned how to cook from my mom and also my mother-in-law. We have two favorite meals in our house, chili and tacos! Two things my daughter is always asking for!

Valerie W - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from recipe cards. I’m still learning creativity in the kitchen. I’m learning more with food sensitivities and how to balance.

Abbey - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook through trial and erro. Oh and many nights spent drinking wine at my aunts kitchen counter watching her cook!

Natalie - March 22, 2015 Reply

Cooking was not my favorite thing growing up but I did learn some key dishes from my mom and even my sister. As I got older, I asked everyone what they made for quick dinners.

I love to browse momables.com and other gluten free sites and save recipes with my Evernote web clipper!

My favorite meal to whip up are my crock pot pork chops. I love this recipe because I make it in the morning after the kids leave and don’t have to worry about it until it is time to eat!

Lisa - March 22, 2015 Reply

Learned to cook from family and on my own. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

Lisa Thatcher - March 22, 2015 Reply

I get my inspiration for weeknight dinners (and breakfasts, snacks, kids’ lunches, desserts, etc…) from a variety of sources. I love Laura’s website and emails and I have made dozens of her recipes. Thank you, Laura! Magazines, cookbooks, and family recipes are other sources for me. I listen to podcasts and watch cooking shows while I’m on the treadmill at the gym. Whenever I get excited about a recipe (which is several times a day), I incorporate it into my menu plan. The fact that I try several new recipes each week makes menu planning a joy, not a chore. It keeps the kitchen a fresh and happy place to be.

Stacie - March 22, 2015 Reply

I had no idea how to cook when we got married. It was a lot of trial and error. 15 years later, we now try to make most things from scratch! If I failed to plan ahead, our favorite go to is pancakes. Who doesn’t love breakfast for supper? Plus, it is quick!

Shannon Paskin - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my mom and my grandmother. I follow different cooks , exercise trainers and cookbooks I find who cook with simple ingredients and spices more like the way my grandmother used to cook. I find most of the recipes i got from my mom growing up was just part of that generation and wasn’t always the healthiest. Love learning to cook good healthy food simply and quickly and so excited to learn more here. Thanks for the chance to win.

Camara - March 22, 2015 Reply

I can’t cook, but I’m trying like hell to learn. Every day is a struggle even when I follow the recipe to a “t”. I continue to try though because making healthy meals for my son is a priority, now all I need to do is get it to taste good LOL

Amy - March 22, 2015 Reply

My inspiration comes from saving money, feeding my family healthy meals and hearing, “Mom, you hit a home run with this one!” from my boys. 🙂

Janet - March 22, 2015 Reply

My mom made a skillet lasagna whenI was growing up and it was one of my favorite meals! I taught myself how to cook using a cookbook my mom’s friend gave me as a graduation present.

Gwendolyn - March 22, 2015 Reply

My favorite go to is homemade sloppy joes. It’s healthier and tastes better than any canned version – plus I sneak in extra veggies and the kids don’t seem to mind!

Becky - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned how to bake simple cakes at home, but I didn’t start cooking entrees until fall break of my freshman year at college. I called my mom to make sure I had all the ingredients and steps right! I browse cookbooks and blogs for recipe ideas. A quick weeknight meal that everyone in our house will eat is pasta with marinara (usually homemade and already in the fridge or freezer) and sausage.

Alexandra - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook by hanging out with my mom in the kitchen. My kids love being involved in the kitchen too.

Maria - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my parents. I love any one pot meal but getting the little people on board isn’t always easy. I continue to browse websites and the cookbooks I have. This one I can definitely do after work one night. Thanks

Christie Kontz - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook when I was big enough to stand on a chair at the stove. My Italian grandma lived with us, and she taught us to make everything from scratch, like pasta of all kinds, pastries, ravioli, sauces, and of course, killer lasagna. My Celtic/Irish mom taught us how to make everything else from scratch, like cakes, puddings (her chocolate pie filling is so rich you can’t even eat a whole slice!), a mean tuna casserole, summer salads, and meats of all kinds. Then my caterer sister taught me to make all sorts of gourmet meals (her Beef Stroganoff is off the charts!), and I still call her all the time with questions – “how do I make your perfect fried chicken?”

I learned quick, healthy meals by watching Xanthe Clay’s weekly show on the UK Telegraph website, “Ten Minutes to Table” and later “Five Minute Foods.” My favorite quick, healthy family dinner is her Parmesan Chicken with tomato salad and quinoa. The chicken is not breaded, and the Parmesan is freshly grated in a larger shred. Egg makes it stick, then it’s fried in a pre-heated HOT, dry skillet – no fat or oils at all. It’s crispy, cooks quickly, and comes out moist and tender. I’m not as expert as Xanthe, of course, so it takes me 20 minutes to put this dinner together, but it’s still faster and healthier than calling out for pizza! And Xanthe’s show got me so interested in cooking that I took a course in cooking at our local culinary academy, where I got a certificate.

    Laura Fuentes - March 22, 2015 Reply

    What a great journey Christie! You are now certified!! wow. please share the stroganoff recipe -if you can. That’s my favorite!

Allison Zarkos - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook by trial and error when I had my first baby. I was not a good cook at all because I never had to, my hubby always did! I got a lot of support from him and my parents. My go-to meal is Vegan burrito bowl. I always have rice/quinoa, beans & fixins around! Filling, tasty & healthy! I’m inspired by Momables, various Pinterest recipes & my passion for health & wellness!

Susan Smith - March 22, 2015 Reply

Still trying to get in a good routine for planning meals. I get over-whelmed so easily, that I tend to just give up 🙁

Rachel - March 22, 2015 Reply

I’m definitely still in the learning phase too. I need recipes… I feel pretty comfortable modifying breakfast and baked typed recipes, but come dinner time I need a recipe (cookbook, Pinterest, or a favorite blog). Breakfast for dinner is a definite favorite of mine since that is where I’m most comfortable. Fish is something else I can handle on the nights we need something extra quick. Thanks for all you share Laura!

Nina - March 22, 2015 Reply

My husband taught me a lot of what I know about cooking! I came into our marriage with very few skills in the culinary department. Over the years, I have expanded on my skills, thanks largely to following recipes I’ve gotten from friends or see online. I’ve also had to learn a lot due to having a child who has many food allergies. Cooking does not come naturally to me but I have come to learn to enjoy the creativity of cooking and I love to nourish my family with healthy, home-cooked meals.

Ruby - March 22, 2015 Reply

My mother-in-law gets credit for teaching me to cook. A sweet Christian lady and a hard worker, she was a housewife supreme. I believe my greatest strength in meal preperation has been the process of learning that it takes time and experience to save time and gain experience. Planning ahead and being organized is the secret of stress free meal times. Take the time to prepare bulk meals, prepackage staples in premeasured containers, set up ‘Select A Meal’ days with titles such as “Mama’s Choice”, “Daddy’s Favorites”, “Kid’s Free-For-All”, “Meatless Wonders”, or “Let’s Have Fun!” Don’t be afraid to experiment. All experiences set you up for maximum success. Give fun names to favorite dishes, keep the kids involved in prep work. Make sure you teach hubby some survival meals. Fifty years of cooking/life experience and still having a blast. Let the olders teach their secrets to the youngers per God’s plan!

Wendi - March 22, 2015 Reply

Our current favorite quick family meal is Buffalo (meat not flavoring) Kale Tacos! It’d be the perfect recipe for this skillet!

    Laura Fuentes - March 22, 2015 Reply

    Wendi, I’d love to hear more about these kale tacos!

      Wendi - March 24, 2015 Reply

      I haven’t been home but I will email you our recipe soon. It has grated carrots and chopped onions with the buffalo meat! Making my mouth water.

Rachael S - March 22, 2015 Reply

I just did trial and error to learn and followed recipes then adapted them to what we like. Crockpot cooking is my favorite.

Sarah - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my mom and my grandma. They some how worked all day and almost always we had a good dinner to eat ! It’s just me on my own now and I sometimes only have energy to make hummus and carrots !

Brenda - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my mom, dad, and a cooking class in school. I find my inspiration for weeknight meals from the cooking magazines I subscribe to, and my cookbooks. I have several family meals I can make quick, especially fish recipes.

Laurie - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my momma back on the farm growing up. We also had a family catering business that was my summer job through high school and college. My cooking has changed in some ways since then, but I still make some of the old family favorites. Weeknight meals are much the same as any other meals. I check the garden, freezer, root cellar, fridge and pantry to see what needs to be used up, or make whatever I have a taste for.

For quick meals, i love stir fries and loaded omelets. The boys can manage homemade spaghetti and tacos quite reliably now, so I’ll have them make those meals if I’m stuck with a tight deadline for blogging.

Megan Owens - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook with my dad. We would make Chinese food in a real wok at his house on sundays. He taught me how to prep and follow a recipe. I’ll always remember those meals that we made together!

Laurie - March 22, 2015 Reply

My go-to meal is grilled chicken. When I buy chicken breasts, I always bag and marinate enough for one meal. Then, I quickly defrost and grill them when life throws my weekly meal plan for a loop.

Dana - March 22, 2015 Reply

I’m still learning how to cook! Our kitchen was pretty small when I was growing up, so I wasn’t able to watch my mom cook (admittedly I wasn’t very interested in cooking at that time in my life). I don’t really like to cook, so I really appreciate all of your helpful tips and recipes.

Christina - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook by watching my parents, following recipes for baking and trial and error on most everything else! The inspiration for my weeknight meals comes from the produce aisle: whatever looks the freshest and has a decent price. Then I just switch up the proteins all week. Our meal in a hurry is steamed salmon steaks, stir-fried veg (whatever we have on hand) and boiled rice for those who can eat grains. There is a yummy teriyaki sauce at Costco that we put on the veggies sometimes.

Terri - March 22, 2015 Reply

This looks delicious! I find inspiration for quick meals by frequenting our local “Let’s Dish” store – the meal prep place 🙂 Fresh, healthy ingredients; you can customize meals, they’re mostly one pan meals and/or really simple to prepare, and most now come with a side dish too! I spend about an hour or two, once a month “dishing” with my husband and we end up with 8 to 24 meals to throw in our freezer to make at will. (Number of meals depends on how many dishes on the menu look good to us.)

Tami - March 22, 2015 Reply

I taught myself how to cook!

Amanda - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my mom. I grew up with home cooked meals every night and I inspire to do that with my family.

Christine - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook slowly, with the basics, spaghetti, Salads. My husband thought me how to cook a roast when we were just dating. Now I follow recipes, ask for tips or recipes from my mother in law, try new methinks and new things. Now I give recipes to my mother in law! I use the meal plans mostly for dinners and it helps me to keep to our budget if I have a specific list to follow 🙂

Donna Martz - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook helping my mother when growing up, working in restaurants, and studying cookbooks and practice.
I am unfortunately in a rut right now, disliking my cooking and getting no pleasure out of it. I need some inspiration- recipes like this that are quick and easy with limited cleanup. Thanks!

Nicole - March 22, 2015 Reply

I’ve taught myself how to cook. Growing up with 4 kids my mom did not prefer to have us in the kitchen so when I moved out I lived on processed/packaged food. Since having kids I’ve been working on my cooking skills. I try to let my kiddos in the kitchen as much as I can so they move out with more cooking skills than just toast. Sadly, breakfast for dinner is my best quick dinner meal. With a 4 yr old, 2 yr old and 3 month old I sometimes don’t have time for something more than pancakes and eggs. I make up a bunch of batches of your pancake mix and keep them in the fridge (since I use spelt flour) so they are super quick to throw together. Thanks for your all your inspirational emails 🙂

Annie - March 22, 2015 Reply

I’m still learning how to cook! 🙂

For inspiration, I love the ideas from your website and newsletters. I also look to the few I am on regularly 🙂

My favorite one pot meal is either pasta with some kind of meat and veggie or fried rice with brown rice, tofu, eggs, and veggies.

sarah - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook when I introduced a a cooking and nutriton program called Cookshop to my second grade class. We had to prepare a meal together each week, and i learned the basics along with my class. Now i can prepare healthy meals for my family.

Alma M. - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook watching the Food Network. I regularly watched Giada and Ina. I even met Giada in San Francisco during a book tour in 2006. After watching different chefs and experimenting I kept wanting to try more and new things. I love Indian!

Annie - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook with my mom, who gave my younger brother and I full reign of the kitchen when I was only 13! My quick family favourite is now taco salad – I even freeze pre-cooked and seasoned Turkey or beef to make the meal prep extra quick for the super busy days. We find a lot of our weeknight inspiration from the Looneytunes and Rachel Ray 30 Minute Meals cookbook- great for a quick prep meal that everyone enjoys!

Chelsea - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to bake as a child, but didn’t really learn to cook until I moved out on my own in college. My mother mostly cooked from the hip, rarely using recipes (at least, that I noticed) unless she was baking something. Now, I find my inspiration from a few sources. Pinterest is a main, source, which is how I found several of my go-to recipe blogs (Momables, DamnDelicious, etc.). Homemade mac ‘n cheese is probably my go-to whip up in a hurry meal. I generally use Alton Brown’s recipe, but have been known to try others.

mari - March 22, 2015 Reply

looks good! i trace my learning how to cook to two things. first, my mom always let us help in the kitchen. i especially remember her letting us make our own concoctions of whatever we thought would be good. we’d mix some eggs, sugar, butter and whatever else we could think of together and then cook it for a while. then we’d proudly feed it to our parents! i think the second, and equally important, reason i learned how to cook was i took a job as a hostess on a sailing boat that took 10 people out on 3 day 2 night cruises. my job was to make all the meals (!). there was a fixed menu, but then i got to play also. and on my time off i could use all the leftovers. and i had a cookbook (nikki and david gold beck’s American Wholefoods Cuisine) with me that i read through cover to cover at least three times as i adjusted ingredients to fit what i had on hand. that experience was priceless!

Theresa O - March 22, 2015 Reply

Thank you for providing inspiration from your kitchen to mine! I learned to cook from my mom who would ask me to help start dinner many weeknights before my parents got home. A lot of it was microwaved or pre-packaged, but as I start my own family, I’m thankful for those chances to be trusted to provide for my family as a teen. Now, I’m learning new takes on old favorites and how to make meals more wholesome and real. Thanks again for being there on my journey.

Abby Lee - March 22, 2015 Reply

This skillet lasagna looks awesome! My go to quick meals are grilled cheese ( I put sun dried tomatoes in them) & soup and homemade Mac & cheese.

Susan - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my mom and through lots of practice and trial and error on my own. (I’ve been at this for years…have 4 kids age 18-25.) Am still learning new tricks! I love that my 25 yr old son is an avid cooking show fan, likes to cook, and loves to teach me new things too. Because of recent health issues/food allergies and sensitivities I have had to abandon many of my old tried and true recipes and been forced to learn and develop new recipes and meal plans. Am still learning and refining!!! Baking used to be my passion. On the back burner is learning to bake grain free, dairy free, and egg free. Blogs like yours are very helpful!

Nicole Campbell - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook mostly from my hubby (who went to culinary school) but I wanted to learn because I’m a stay at home mom of 3 kids and I cook 99% of our meals.

Georgie Hashmi - March 22, 2015 Reply

I mostly learned to cook by trial and error. There were a few things that I learned from my Mom, (creamy, lump free gravy every time!!).

I have just found your site and am in love with it!!!

I am adopting my Granddaughter and have just learned that she is Glute intolerant. Life has just gotten more interesting….Thank you.

Tami - March 22, 2015 Reply

Love your website!

Answer to Question “How did you learn to cook”: I taught myself to cook, or should say am teaching myself to cook. I follow recipes pretty closely but am starting to very slowly feel comfortable making changes. I use cookbooks, the internet and YouTube to learn new skills (like taking apart a whole chicken, how to cut a mango, etc). I love cooking but would like to get better at it and better at “winging” it with no plan, no recipe, just ingredients on hand that need used up and be able to whip up something without breaking a sweat!

Davina Cropp - March 22, 2015 Reply

Nobody really taught me how to cook. Most of what I know is self-taught or learned from reading magazines, cookbooks, or internet. I feel I have come a long way, but still learning everyday. I made three new vegan recipes this week, and they all turned out great!! Very exciting!

Megan Chandler - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook (and bake!) from my mother, who majored in home economics. She is a fantastic cook!
If I’m looking for new recipes, I usually look at a few websites like everydayfood.com, then if I don’t find what I’m looking for, I check through my stash of cookbooks and magazines.
Our favorite quick meal I one pot pasta. Cook any short pasta, 2 minutes before its done, add vegetables (broccoli & bell pepper are favs at our house). Just before straining, add pre-cooked meat (leftover chicken, canned tuna or salmon). Strain and return to pot with 1 Tblsp butter. Once melted, dish up kids. Then add red pepper flakes for adults. Top with parmesan cheese.

Julie - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from mom. My mother-in-law stepped in once I got married. But mostly I’ve learned by practicing myself 😉

Karlie - March 22, 2015 Reply

My mom taught me how to cook. I was also in a cooking/sewing 4-H group for many years when I was growing up and learned a lot of skills there and even won prizes for entries in the county fair, which was great!

Priya Bradfield - March 22, 2015 Reply

A favorite family recipe is turkey chili. It’s hearty, easy, and everyone loves it. Plus it’s great in any season.

Neela Sheth - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from recipes. I also helped my mom prep vegetables for her South indian meals, but I’ve never been brave enough to just throw in pinches and handfuls of spices like she does, so I rarely make any South Indian food. My sister-in-law from India has also taught me a few quick recipes as well. I love Italian food, and so does the family, so this is the kind of recipe (the one you wrote above) I make on a regular basis but I omit the meat. We eat a lot of quick pasta meals and I throw in veggies and a meat-free protein since we are vegetarian. I am going to try this recipe out tomorrow night and hope it goes well! Thank you for sharing all your wisdom. I have truly learned so much…still have a ways to go!

Martha Chitwood - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook by watching my mom, and then doing some on my own while in High School to help the family while parents worked.
I had always like to bake, so did that along the way.

Aubri wing - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook by my mom and just practicing. I love to find new recipes and try them out!

Jennifer Littler - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook when I was younger, my mom worked nights and my dad would either take us out to eat or burn food on the grill. So I took it upon myself to start cooking.

Nissa - March 22, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from a variety of sources – watching my parents woke growing up, trial and error as a grown up, cook books, websites and cooking shows! I like cooking but wish I didn’t have to cook every day. One of my fast go-to meals is chicken stir fry.

Ann - March 22, 2015 Reply

I love your recipes. Your recipe is very close to one of mine which my son calls “Three Cheese Pasta, so of course, it sounds great! I throw in some minced carrots, celery and onion to sneak in some more vegies. About age 10-11 I learned to cook from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook in the afternoons after school trying to make things we didn’t have around the house. As a kid with no preconceived notion of what goes together or doesn’t, I tried making my own concoctions as well. I remember making my own version of ‘candy’ from corn flakes which turned out so well that it became a sweet snack for years. Not everything was a success, failures were common, but the food was nearly always edible and that made it worth trying again to get better.

Kristy - March 22, 2015 Reply

I had to learn to cook for myself and after, family. Unfortunately I grew up in the foster system. Not to much teaching went on there:(. Now I show my love for husband and family through our meals. The Internet is awesome!! Favorite in my house is taco’s. Without the fresh mushrooms!!

Cristina - March 22, 2015 Reply

I have been learning to cook on my own for health reasons and the desire to give my husband and kids healthy meals. I still get overwhelmed and frustrated, though.

Kirsten Oliphant - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook after I was married. I cooked a little before, but mostly would eat cereal for meals or eat out when I was single. I couldn’t find a job at first, so I would sit in our tiny apartment and think about dinner. It was so fun! Once I gained confidence, I really stated to like cooking more.

Anne Farias - March 23, 2015 Reply

I love all of your meal plan ideas and how to take short cuts when you can! 🙂

I mainly learned to cook from my mom and also have learned a thing or two from my husband. He likes to just throw things and spices together when it comes to dishes and desserts, but I’m more a recipe kind of person. I need a list to work from! I’ve become better about letting go of that and if I don’t have something listed, I try to sub it with something else.

I have a deep admiration for all mothers out there who give their all at work (including SAHM’s– that’s work too!) and then find the energy to juggle the precious little time left before bedtime to bathe, feed, put their kids to sleep (thank goodness my kids don’t have homework. Yet.) as well as do dishes and prepare meals for everyone for the following day! I really love the stories behind the recipes I pin on Pinterest, especially ones about mamas and their little ones!

The meals that my husband loves are my spinach lasagna, spicy killer shrimp and won ton soup. Of course these were all recipes I learned from and adapted in my own way. 🙂 The first two aren’t really fast “whip up” type recipes, but I’ve made them so often that I don’t worry about the outcome!

Margie Osburn - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook by watching my mom and one of my older sisters. Then I started experimenting on my own when I was older. Love your website!!

Trisha - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my mom…ah, who am I kidding, I’m 37 and I still call my mom with cooking questions. She is able to create a meal out of anything and she has an amazing gift at being able to turn one meal’s left-overs into a completly different and appealing meal…it’s like magic.
My inspiration for cooking comes from many resources…of course calling my mom to talk me through one of her creative recipes (that only exists in her mind because she won’t write it down), also 100 days of real food and Momable as of lately, and I can’t forget my crock pot go to recipe book with 5 ingrediants or less recipes.
When I’m in a hurry and need to throw something together, it’s usually a frozen pizza (thanks for not judging me), tuna melts, fish sticks, etc.
I’m kinda knew to this whole cooking healthy and real thing, still working out the bugs. You have a been a great resource and encouragement. Thank you.

Michelle Collazo - March 23, 2015 Reply

I would say I’m mostly a self-taught cook. Lots and lots of trial and error, using cookbooks and watching cooking shows, getting advice from my mom (she’s an amazing home cook), and reading blogs! My go-to, pull-together-quickly meal is chicken and black bean enchiladas, using Trader Joe’s yummy sauce. No recipe required, and my picky-eater in the family says, “Mom! You make the best enchiladas!”

Anna - March 23, 2015 Reply

The kids will love cooking this one! I learned to cook very young out of necessity. I was the oldest and my single mom worked a lot. If I wanted more than a PBJ while she was at work, it was up to me. Now I cook with my kiddos and they love it!

Susan Brabanr - March 23, 2015 Reply

I have loved food for as long as I could remember especially trying new things. My dad loved to cook and taught me the adventures of cooking however my real skills came from watching the cooks on Food Network. For fast recipes it seems to involve eggs or pasta like a frittata or pasta and fresh tomatoes or an easy red pepper sauce from jarred roasted peppers warmed and cooked with garlic, creme and a limitless broth then use an immersion blender to smooth it out.

yvette - March 23, 2015 Reply

How did you learn to cook?
Food network and just cooking for myself when I became a vegetarian and it was difficult to find meals to eat out of the home.

Where do you find your inspiration for quick weeknight meals?
I use my pinterest board to pin recipes that would work for week night meals, then I do online shopping for the ingredients and then I am easily able to prepare meals with all the ingredients. I still have to use recipes for inspiration and to cook, i’m not quite there with cooking just from my head and what is in the fridge.

Do you have any family favorite meals you whip up in a hurry?
I love saag paneer and lentil dahl;
Black Bean Nachos
Salmon Soft Tacos

Molly - March 23, 2015 Reply

My family’s favorite go-to meal is penne with spicy ground sausage, peppers, tomato sauce, and cream cheese mixed in with it. Not only is it absolutely delicious…. But it takes me between 20-30 minutes to make. I make sure to have those ingredients on hand at all times for when I’m in a pinch, or when nothing else sounds any good!!

Meadow - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook…well I’m still learning. I have never been good at cooking what’s in my fridge. I can’t seem to put the ingredients together in my head. I usually have a recipie in mind and then have to go to tge store to get ingredients. It’s frustrating but I have been reading your emails and blogs and have finally started weekly lunches for my 2 boys in school. I am able to use what I have so thats great. I occasionally throw a lunch in for me and that is becoming more frequent. So, your message is coming through and sinking in. Thank you for all you do!

djanira - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook by watching my mum, but didn’t hone my skills until I left university and started following recipes. I now am confident enough to make things up according to what is in my fridge and I love that feeling of creativity combining different flavours, textures and colours to create something delicious.
My go to quick meal is pasta with vegetables and pesto. I cook frozen spinach and peas in the witg the pasta drain then stir in pesto. Delicious quick and i always have the ingredients in my kitchen.

Lindsay - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook by watching shows on the food network. I love Ina Garten! My favorite go to weeknight meal is probably pasta. I always have pesto in the freezer and I always throw in whatever veggies I have in the fridge.

    Laura Fuentes - March 23, 2015 Reply

    I love Ina too! Basic yet beautiful classic food.

Heather - March 23, 2015 Reply

Looks yummy and I’m going to try subbing coconut oil in more often! I learned to cook from both of my parents and hope to pass on skills to my two boys. I’m find inspiration from many of my fellow foodie coworkers as we compare notes on how to feed our young kiddos. I was also inspired by The Lego Movie to institute Taco Tuesday at our house – no joke! Not a new concept but it’s one night that’s easy and my 6 year old loves it! Another go to meal that’s fast and happens at least every 2 weeks is breakfast for dinner. I can stuff all kinds of healthy things in pancakes with eggs.

virginia - March 23, 2015 Reply

i learned more how of not to cook from my grandma(she burned a lot cause she liked to put everything on high) and continue to have insperation from my son and his food allergies, so we try to cook new and gret things that are safe for him

Mauren - March 23, 2015 Reply

i learned to cook , from my Mother, Still learning. i love to read cook books and websites,

Mauren - March 23, 2015 Reply

i learned to cook from my Mother. Still learning, i love to read cook books and websites,

Samantha c - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my mom and grew up on food network! Now my go to for a quick week night meal is pinterest!!

Kim Ingersoll - March 23, 2015 Reply

I grew up with my Dad so we taught each other to cook LOL. I get most of my quick meal ideas from surfing the net or my Mom friends. Turkey Robinson kids my favor quick meal served with rice and salad.

Airial - March 23, 2015 Reply

My crockpot is a favorite way to whip up a quick meal. Though it may cook “all day” the prep to get an entree started is typically minimal. My kids love homemade crockpot meatballs. I add jarred sauce and fresh veggies into the mix for a hearty, kid friendly supper! I love it when there’s left overs to freeze, too:)

latanya - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook by watching and helping my mother. Fave to go meals are spaghetti and chicken salad.

Kim - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook mostly from trial and error – and great resources from the internet. Love all your ideas, thanks so much, very helpful!

Erin - March 23, 2015 Reply

Laura, I loved hearing that you learned to cook through following recipes to gain confidence in the kitchen. This is how I learned (and still learning!!) as well, and I was inspired because I just assumed you were a natural born cook!! As a full time working mom with two young children, my motivation is to provide a healthy variety of foods to my girls to instill good eating habits as well as promote a healthy body image. Thank you for your blog, your creative recipes and your dedication to the momables community!!

    Laura Fuentes - March 23, 2015 Reply

    thank you Erin! Yes, I was definitely not a trained chef! I am still learning daily and I love discovering new things. I hope to share many more recipes with you!

Melissa Kling - March 23, 2015 Reply

When I first got married, I was an awful cook. I can admit I it…. My mom had tried to teach me the basics, and I could do simple things but I had not really “tried” to learn when she tried to teach me. As a teenager, I thought it was not something that I needed to do…. So once I got married, I ended up learning from the Internet. I followed other people’s suggestions and ideas and learned to become a good cook. I am still not great at whipping something up from scratch (I think I will be a recipe follower for life), but I have tried to have my kids learn from a younger age that it is fun (and important) to learn to cook!

Sara Bhatia - March 23, 2015 Reply

The recipe looks delicious! I learned to cook from a cookbook, while I was in college.

Katie Henderson - March 23, 2015 Reply

I am learning to cook from my mother and from the Internet thanks to talented bloggers such as yourself or my girlfriend Amy from MomAdvice. Even 10 years of marriage and 3 kids I learn something new every day. Except how to boil an egg. I have to look that each time!
For a quick go to meal we like quinoa and chicken “fried rice”. I can toss in any leftover fixed veggies from the week and add a bit sesame oil and soy sauce for that fried rice taste. We also use crock pot quite a bit on those busy days and busier evenings.
One thing I have learned over the years is that great quality kitchen products will help you to get great quality results. I wasn’t a bad cook in college, I just had the world’s cheapest pots and pans, no wonder that everything burned on the bottom!

Dona Coffey - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook when my mom went to work. I was the first one home from college so I was in charge of cooking. I love to cook and have come up with some easy week night meals. When my boys were home I relied on the crockpot on the weekends to make meals that would take us into the week when life got really busy. Now it is just my husband and myself and it is even easier but some of our week nights are still crazy. I can’t wait to try this lasagna. My husband and I love lasagna but our sons didn’t so I have made it more inthe last 2 years than the 10 years before that.

Love your emails and your blogs. It gives me great ideas to make for myself for lunch.

Carol Gamble - March 23, 2015 Reply

Yum – looks good! I’m still in the process of learning how to cook – it is not my favorite thing but with recipes like this, hopefully I’ll continue to get better.

Tara Kidd - March 23, 2015 Reply

This looks great! My mom taught me to cook. She worked and I would have to help start dinner many nights. I love it now and make sure that my toddler is always int he kitchen with me learning and loving how to cook

Katie - March 23, 2015 Reply

Looks great! I will have to try this!!

I learned to cook from my Mom and Husband. My husband is the better cook by far, but is rarely home early enough to cook. My favorite, easy weeknight dinner is salsa verde enchiladas.

Tammy - March 23, 2015 Reply

How did I learn to cook?
My Mom is my biggest mentor when it comes to cooking. She’s great at throwing things together to make a yummy meal and I’m still working on that skill. I mostly follow recipes but love to try new ones all the time – that in itself can be more time-consuming than I’d like. I’m currently trying to put a list together of my family’s favourite meals that I can return to try to simplify meal time.

Heather - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook working along side my mom. I truly gained confidence when she let me bake my first boxed cake mix! Cooking for your husband and family is a bit different than that, but you learn as you go and practice makes almost perfect. My husband is vegetarian and I was raised in a meat and potatoes family. I’ve had to learn a lot! We are now a family of 10 with allergies. I love skillet meals. One of our favorites is using leftovers from taco night to make mexican skillet!

Jessica K - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my dad, cookbooks, and now the internet!

Kellie Leonard - March 23, 2015 Reply

I’m still learning to cook and become more adventurous in the kitchen. I learned the basics from my mother. Thank goodness for the internet!

Carin - March 23, 2015 Reply

Where did I learn to cook? I’m not sure I ever did — lol. I just keep trying, using your recipes and other incredible blogs as inspiration, and when all else fails, whipping up our family favorite of breakfast for dinner. Thanks for all that you do.

Sonda Bevilacqua - March 23, 2015 Reply

I’ve loved to cook since I was young, but don’t always have the time, so love sites like yours that help with quick, healthy ideas. My go-to dinner lately when we don’t have a lot of time is burrito bowls with rice, beans, and whatever veggies I have on hand. I sprinkle a little cheddar cheese on top, and the kids eat it up!

Catherine - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my mother. I would watch her make cakes, frostings, bread, beef stew, etc. I learned patience from my mom. I watched how she was so calm, nothing razzed her. She would also let me try. I remember cracking an egg on the side of the Kitchen Aid and it fell in the bowl (shell and all). I felt so bad, it ruined the mixture. I thought mom was going to be upset. All she said was, no problem, we will just start over.

She allowed me to make mistakes and enjoy baking and cooking. Because she loved it, I enjoyed it as well. It is hard not to be in the kitchen and think of my mom.

Laura, I have enjoyed watching you “grow” as a blogger, author, and cook. You are always there for a quick word of encouragement, a quick word about how something you made failed, and a quick word to say keep plugging along. I like what you said in a recent email about your journey. You said I am not where I want to be, but I am not where I was. What a perfect summation for those who fear growth.

Thanks for all you do!!!

Jamie - March 23, 2015 Reply

I’m still learning to cook. I still get frazzled with making dinner once I get home from work…my go to meal is grilled cheese. I’ll usually add a fresh veggie on the side. I find inspiration from your website or pinterest. Thank you for keeping your recipes simple so someone who isn’t quite comfortable cooking yet isn’t overwhlemed by trying to make a helathy meal for her family!

Karri Heneman - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my two grandmas. They were Italian and polish.

Kimberly - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned how NOT to cook from my mother. I love her dearly but she would always overcook meat – so I never liked meat. Since I learned how to use an oven thermometer, now I cook meat to a certain degree instead of too much time! Taste so much better. In my mother’s defense, she didn’t have the internet to help her along. We ate the same rotation of meals every week. I totally understand why now – she wasn’t into planning much so she knew exactly what to get from the store. Sad thing is she was a stay at home mom, so she had much more time than I do with working full time. Makes me feel good when I can accomplish things like plan a week’s worth of meals successfully! But I couldn’t do it without the help of Momables.

    Laura Fuentes - March 23, 2015 Reply

    there is always that saying that we learn form example… even if it’s now “not” to do something 🙂 Thank you for subscribing and following my recipes!

Mary - March 23, 2015 Reply

My mom had my sister and I take turns cooking every summer holiday. We would pick a recipe and she would help direct us. A part from that I have mostly learned from doing. I am still learning! I would love to spend more time learning and trying.

Amanda - March 23, 2015 Reply

This recipe looks yummy and all but my special diet one could eat it. I love quick meals with 4 kids a husband who loves to eat and all the activities! I have been trying to use my crockpot more because even the the best laid plans don’t work out some nights. I made 22 crockpot meals for the freezer yesterday and will finish some more with the rest from my store trip today:)

    Laura Fuentes - March 23, 2015 Reply

    22 crockpot meals! You are amazing!

Mamiko Lewis - March 23, 2015 Reply

My mom taught me how to cook. Sometimes when she was busy, I’d cook for my family instead. But I’m still learning. After the kids, I’m finding it more challenging. I often look up recipes on Pinterest and that’s how I found your wonderful recipes! My go to dish is fried rice. I’m Japanese, so we almost always have cooked rice and all you have to do is to throw some veggie and egg in the pan. I also love pasta, like yours 🙂

Kathy C - March 23, 2015 Reply

I’m still learning to cook. My mom was a great cook but I didn’t pay much attention while growing up, and she just did all the cooking and didn’t involve us kids in the preparation. Our job was always dishes. I learn a lot by watching Food Network and just by trying different recipes I find on the internet and Pinterest. I love to try recipes though and the ones that don’t work out to so well, we pitch those recipes.

Karissa - March 23, 2015 Reply

Where did you learn how to cook? In my own home while attempting to make great tasting meals for my husband and myself and to entertain house guests and friends.

Where do you find your inspiration for your weeknight meals? In a variety of places. This blog and also 100 Days of Real Food. I also make recipes I have seen prepared on the Food Network. Occasionally I will modify recipes I find from Kraft.

Do you have any favorite family meals you can whip up in a hurry? Pancake dinner is probably one of our fastest homemade favorite meals. My recipe makes a ton of leftovers too so then I have breakfasts ready for the nest week or so as well!

Summer - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook by watching my dad, grandma, and even now my mother in law. She is awesome at making the classics- pot roast, meatloaf, meatballs, etc…. I know my husband will be happy when I cook one of her meals.

Kristin - March 23, 2015 Reply

My mom taught me how to cook, my inspiration now comes from various websites , some of my quick family favorites are an enchilada casserole and skillet taco rice. Love your website and recipes!

Leah - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from the Betty Crocker cookbook! My mom gave it to me when I got married and I literally followed the directions and pictures in the book. After a while, I became more comfortable making my favorite recipes. Next thing you know, I was branching out and making my own recipes! Thanks, Betty! 🙂

Meredith - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from both my mom & dad. Most of my dinner inspirations come from Pintrest. I love looking at what others are doing and trying new things for our family. 🙂

Trish - March 23, 2015 Reply

Where did you learn how to cook?
My parents hired a babysitter/housekeeper when I was very young (not yet in school) and she let me “help” with little things like stirring the pudding (back then you had to cook any pudding) or mixing ingredients.

Where do you find your inspiration for your weeknight meals?
I enjoy looking at cookbooks and clicking on recipe ideas from a variety of online sources.

Do you have any favorite family meals? Crock-pot stroganoff, pesto, chicken enchiladas

Laura B - March 23, 2015 Reply

I’m still learning to cook 🙂 I usually get ideas from websites like this one, or Pinterest. I’m a recipe follower. Family favorite meals are probably our taco nights

Cathie - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook in my parents’ kitchen. Some meals were stock faves; others were thrown-together conglomerations of whatever was in the fridge. If you know enough about what flavours work together, anything can make a meal!

With two littles in the family, now, we have to limit our creativity in the kitchen. Our weeknight meals are pretty standardized with an occasional “new” taste added only when there’s a recognized food also being served.

My quick’n’easy suppertime meal is steamed bok choy with cubed tofu and ramen or soba noodles. Sprinkle with soy sauce and sesame oil, and dump the steamer water over the whole thing to make it “soup.”

Kay - March 23, 2015 Reply

I taught myself to cook when I started living on my own in college! Also when I studied in Italy for a semester I took cooking classes there – and loved cooking there – farmer’s markets every day! Can’t wait to try the skillet lasagna.

Neldys - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook by watching my parents. I felt it gave me a great foundation. I continue learning by trial and error. I do not always follow recipes to the T and I often great awesome meals that I can not recreate because I did not write it down, lol. But that encourages me to keep going because by some luck I will recreate it again.

Courtney - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook when my employer at an assisted living facility asked me to help fill in in the kitchen when they were short of help. I had very little cooking skills but said I would try. Each day there was one cook who was responsible for cooking all three homestyle meals for 30 residents almost from scratch. My cooking skills improved tremendously and I learned many kitchen shortcuts. I did have some flops but overall I became one of the residents’ “favorite” cooks. I ended up being a part time cook there for over two years.

Candy - March 23, 2015 Reply

Unfortunately I still don’t know how to cook. I follow recipes and sometimes they work out. I keep trying though (not sure my family is quite happy about that) ! Lol

Amanda - March 23, 2015 Reply

I have learned some things from my mom, some from my husband, but mostly just from following recipes and hoping all is well.
I am just beginning this journey so I all of my recipes still have a lot of processed foods. I will keep plugging away, but there is a pretty quick and yummy corn chowder that can be done in 1/2 hour.
All kinds of websites inspire me, but I have got to find the time to get organized (Work fulltime, husband travels, kids sports and going to school for my MBA). I will get there.

    Laura Fuentes - March 23, 2015 Reply

    Amanda, one day at a time and one recipe at a time. 🙂

Desi-Ann - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from watching my older sister and from testing recipes from several sources. I tend to focus mostly on recipes for 30-minute meals because as a working mother of two and a husband with a demanding job, I need to have food on the table as quickly as possible.

Mandy M - March 23, 2015 Reply

I taught myself to cook and it’s still an ongoing process. I learned just by trying, first using recipes from cookbooks, and then ones that I found from various websites and blogs (including yours!). I get my inspiration for weeknight meals from all of these places still. My toddler is pretty picky so I don’t get super creative in the meals I make for him, but I do like to switch it up and try new things a couple times a week. My super quick go to dinner recipe is greek pasta – it’s just pasta, feta, tomato, black olives, olive oil, basil & garlic.

Kay - March 23, 2015 Reply

This skillet lasagna looks delicious! I wonder how it would be using alfredo sauce instead of tomato? My 4 1/2 yr old won’t touch tomato- anything!

I became interested in cooking as a child because it was a way for me to connect with my father. He always made breakfast for the family on weekends and worked hard during the week. This time in the kitchen with him was priceless! We started with scrambled eggs. I still have the wooden flat-edged spatula he taught me with. He said it had more surface area to help scramble all the eggs! He was one of those cooks that could go into the cupboard or pantry and add a little of this or that for a delicious meal. Me, I need a recipe, and I continue to learn new tricks in the kitchen.

    Laura Fuentes - March 23, 2015 Reply

    Kay, I’ve never tried it using alfredo sauce, but I imagine it would work!

Jill - March 23, 2015 Reply

I am a working mom with a 1 year old and 3 year old so my recipe inspiration comes from time, ease, and being a break from our general recipe rotation. (I love new recipes that break the mealtime rut!) An easy shortcut for saving time in the kitchen that I learned since having kids: when I have some time to spare I cook up a pound or two of ground beef to put in the freezer. It’s amazing how much time/effort this saves when I need to get a meal started fast.

Jessica - March 23, 2015 Reply

Learning to cook is a constant adventure! I can’t say when because I’m always learning and trying new things… which is the fun when my daughter is by my side helping.

Angela Smith - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my mom but also through trial and error. You can watch someone else do it all you want, but until you do it yourself (and burn a few things along the way), you don’t get it.

Barb - March 23, 2015 Reply

What a great post! I learned to cook from my mom and my Oma; how I miss her. One of my favourite go-to meals is homemade Mac ‘n Cheese or chilli (by the time the rice cooks, the chilli is done! My family is so good to me and, in general, they will eat whatever I prepare. I love to cook, so I guess that makes a difference. My inspiration for fast, healthy meals is from necessity, of course. I have two busy kids and a husband who works long hours. When I reuturned to work almost 6 years ago, my style of cooking needed to change pronto!!

wendy - March 23, 2015 Reply

I received a Betty Crocker cookbook the day I moved out on my own. I still refer to it for all the basics and then add a little twist of my own. Of course watching You Tube has added a lot to my weekly meals.

Kelly - March 23, 2015 Reply

I have learned to cook by trying new recipes: trial and error is the key to learning.

N bux - March 23, 2015 Reply

I never really liked to cook. Then after I got married, I knew I had to learn one way or the other. My mother lived near by so she would come over to help cook (basically just cook it for me) so that didn’t do any good for me, I still didn’t attempt it or learn for that matter. Then I moved away to another state & that is when it hit me, I couldn’t cook. Then it took several high phone bills to finally learn. I learned my cooking over the phone. I would talk to my mom, who walked me through the recipes step by step, measurements & all to finally get it done. I can never forget that year. Now it’s been 4 years since then, & two kids later, I can say that I cook like a pro. But still is not one of my fav things to do.

Debbie J. - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my mom, cooking shows and blogs like this one!

Kari - March 23, 2015 Reply

My Mom taught me how to read and follow a recipe. My Dad taught me how to look into the fridge and cupboard to see what was available and throw it all together into something delicious…much to the chagrin of my Mom, who never really mastered this skill! My current go-to meal when we’re in a hurry is a family recipe that my husband loved as a child that I’ve modified to make healthier. It’s a ground beef and rice skillet curry. I grate a bunch of vegetables into it, and the kids don’t even notice they’re there! My kids (surprisingly) love the curry, and I make it a little spicier every time I make it to gradually grow their taste for ‘hot’ foods!

Sarah - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from a young age, my mum and dad both can cook great food, each with their own twist. My sister and I both picked up a love of cooking when we were little and would take turns cooking a couple of times a week to give our parents a break – my best dish was always Lasagne and yours looks so yummy Laura, I can’t wait to try it out on my family too.

Amy - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook by cooking with my mom as a kid, and then just cooking things a lot. When my husband and I started living together we made a point to do one new/experimental meal per week. I also watched a lot of Barefoot Contessa, who is one of my heroes in the kitchen.

Becky Byrne - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from a variety of sources, with lots of mistakes (not quite failures 🙂 ). My aunt used to call me Becky Crocker because I always seemed to make a laughable mistake when she was visiting – like breaking spaghetti noodles up instead of down, so they went all over the kitchen instead of into the pot! I spent my 18th birthday learning to can beets with my sister. I learned to hardboil eggs from a Senior Chief in the Navy. And I learned a lot from my husband. I still cannot cook successfully without a recipe, but am recently more open to trying new things – whether or not my kids like them! Thanks for all of the insight and ideas Laura!

Catherine - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my mom and by just trying out new recipes. I also love to watch cooking shows!

Brenda - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook some from my grandmother and mostly on my own- reading, experimenting, and observing. I guess I just did it by doing and researching and I am continually educating myself!

Katie - March 23, 2015 Reply

My family’s favorite quick meal is spaghetti with homemade sauce. I make up a big batch of sauce once a month and freeze it. During the week all I have to do is cook the noodles, thaw the sauce, whip up a salad and some homemade bread in the breadmaker. Yum! Thanks for the great recipes and lunch ideas!

Deena O - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook by following recipes. When I was 16 years old, my mom was working alot so my younger sister and I would make dinners. We did our best but basically made rice, cooked chicken, and poured a jar of ‘Chicken Tonight’ over the top. My cooking today at age 41 has evolved a bit more (for the better I think) mostly through trial and error!

Renee Martin - March 23, 2015 Reply

I’ve learned to cook through trial and error. I’m not afraid to say well that didn’t turn out, anyone else want a sandwich? Hahaha! We always try new things and create new favorites

Rhonda Bunte - March 23, 2015 Reply

I really learned to cook when my son with many food intolerances started eating solids (beyond the purees I made for baby food). Since he was intolerant to dairy, soy, corn, eggs, tomatoes, wheat and some other random things, it meant making everything from scratch. And getting very creative to make my son’s breakfasts and lunches to match what daycare would be serving that day, so he didn’t feel so left out.

Heather - March 23, 2015 Reply

My mom taught me the basics (although she was worried that I would starve when I left for college lol). Like you said it takes practice and trial and error to become better.
My inspiration often comes from Allrecipes.com, Pinterest, and Facebook although I do love my Joy of Cooking cookbook 🙂
Pasta & pizza are our In-a-hurry-We’re-Hungry favorites.

Heather - March 23, 2015 Reply

I am still not a good cook. Part of the problem is the picky eaters in my household. No matter what I make there is always someone who wrinkles their nose. This recipe though looks like I may actually have no complainers for a change!

Ann J - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook by both my mom and trial and error. As my confidence grew I started trying new recipes so now I love to follow blogs (like this one) and trying out some of the recipes posted.

Bethany - March 23, 2015 Reply

Thank you for the great inspiration you provide when it comes to cooking. I appreciate your candid way of admitting it’s a growing and learning process. I often feel I’m falling on my face when it comes to cooking, as I’ve just learned it all as I go. Without a recipe I’m lost. Luckily my husband is the “take what we’ve got and whip something up” type, so when my recipes fail or I forget what that chicken was supposed to be used for he’s great at filling in.

Mary Lou - March 23, 2015 Reply

Sorry, Mom, but the Food Network has taught me how to cook. Right now, it’s more head-knowledge (I can name the technique, answer the Jeopardy food questions, correctly pronounce some French words) than actual cooking successes, but I’m getting braver and trying new things.

This skillet lasagna looks delicious. Can’t wait to try it.

Geri - March 23, 2015 Reply

Meal planning is one of the most stressful aspects of my life! As a full-time working mom of 4 who is married to a pastor, meal planning is one of the most stressful aspects of my life. I am getting more healthy and enjoying getting inspiration from my two weekly meal plans from eMeals!

Bonnie N - March 23, 2015 Reply

My mom taught a 4H cooking class got some friends and me when we were about 8. Since then I always helped my mom in the kitchen and loved the chances I had to spend time with my Grandmothers cooking and baking with them. In high school I was responsible for making dinner a couple nights of the week. I’ve loved my time in the kitchen and professional bakeries since then!

Jerie - March 23, 2015 Reply

Unfortunately I didn’t pay attention when I was growing up to the wonderful women present in my life, so now as an adult with my own family I am still learning how to cook.

Samantha - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned from my grandma (memaw) who was an awesome cook. She would always cook things from scratch but the one thing I really loved making with her was her homemade buttermilk biscuits and gravy. Her cakes and pies were really good too.

kathy - March 23, 2015 Reply

i learned to cook at home with my mom

Jess Miller - March 23, 2015 Reply

I’m still learning! Pinterest and blog posts (like yours) are helping a lot. I feel like I have the basics down, but now I need to focus on quick, healthy week-night meals so I’m really excited to try this skillet lasagna w/my family.

Lizzy - March 23, 2015 Reply

My mom and Granny taught my how to cook while I was growing up. I am constantly looking for new recipes for my family to enjoy so that we aren’t eating the same thing over and over.

Brandi - March 23, 2015 Reply

Hey Laura! I can’t wait to try this lasagna recipe! How fun. I learned how to cook by cooking with my dad as I grew up. He was a very experiemental cook and we enjoyed making up our own “concoctions” that we could never remember how to reproduce! I learned to start writing them down and have created a few family favorites that we still make! Our go to(s) on a busy night are: Chicken and noodles, baked chicken and veggies or freezer burgers!!! 🙂 Love your posts and your recipes!

Gina - March 23, 2015 Reply

Your post really speaks to me– I’m not very confident in the kitchen and I don’t feel that I have ‘learned to cook’ yet. I do like to try new recipes and I just follow them very closely. I’m working on making meal planning a habit so your post gives me inspiration. I am always asking friends what their family favorites are and have a growing list for my own family. One meal I make often is a huge batch of chicken and wild rice soup in the crock pot so I can freeze most of it and pull it out to thaw for the quick weeknight meals when I never made it around to meal planning!

Debbie - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my Dad. Our favorite meal to cook was Thanksgiving. We would plan for days. These days when I cook, I get warm memories of the two of us sharing the kitchen.
I’m excited to try this dish.

Agricola - March 23, 2015 Reply

This recipe is just how I like it, healthy,tasty and not time consuming:) I grew up taking care of my little brother and sister while my single dad would work to keep a roof over our heads. This meant doing all the things a mom should do but I was only 13. Not being able to really be a kid, I always had a negative attitude when it came to preparing food. But coming from a big family with a lot of happy memories which were often around a great home-cooked meal. Now that I have my own little ones and am more knowledgeable, i have grown to love the process, especially when you make a recipe a success among a family of pickies:) When I was pregnant with my first I would pass the time with cooking shows on everything under the sun and when I figured to replace them with organic whole foods, all else came loose. I love cooking now and even more when I know that it is a recipe packed with healing nutrients! And have grown to the point that when I have nothing planned I can easily throw something together, healthy and tasty. My kids favorite would have to be a quick bean and cheese(homemade beans of course!I always make a big pot of these, it is an essential when you come from Spanish roots;) ) topped with healthy sour cream, cabbage, onions, tomatoes and some fresh garden salsa:) You can even ad a hot enchilada sauce to make it even tastier;)

Emily - March 23, 2015 Reply

I’m sorry to say that I never really did learn to cook. I’m working on it though! I love to look through recipe books at all the wonderful things I could make. I just often fall short in actually getting around to trying them (either because it seems to difficult or I’m not sure anyone else in the family will eat it).

Sarah Hudson - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook a little from my mom and mostly from practice once I was married

Pinterest is my main inspiration

Our go to last min meals are usually quesadillas and frozen veggies or breakfast for dinner.

Jennie - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook by watching my grandmas and my mom. I adapted my own style and learned to cook healthy on my own. Most of the recipes that I use come from my family, just with a healthy make over and the rest of I find online – mainly Pinterest. I rotate the same recipes every week, but throw in something different once in a while on the weekends. It’s cheaper and easier planning the same meals. I would LOVE a pan like this!

Gillian - March 23, 2015 Reply

Weight Watchers’ Make It In Minutes cookbook is my go-to as well as Momables and your cookbook (we love them all!), Skinnytaste, and 100 Days of Real Food. All offer delicious, relatively simple and quick instructions, and easily accessible ingredients.

Shauna - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my Mom… she never measured anything for favorite recipes, so neither do I, even with fairly new ones, I just eyeball it! My inspiration is my pantry, just look in there to see what I can throw together… and our go to family favorite is tacos, easy to pull together quickly, and loved by all!

Rosalie - March 23, 2015 Reply

I don’t think I have ever properly learned to cook, but my father is an amazing cook so I guess I picked up a few things along the way. I am in no way a good cook though I do have occasional successes, cooking stresses me out but I would like to provide an as healthy as possible diet for me and my son, so no choice 
I usually think about what is in my refrigerator and what I can do with that in the shortest amount of time during the day – while I am at work, in a meeting and on the drive home. I know, organization is queen but we are so busy on the weekends that my good intentions almost always end with “oh, I’ll think of something” on Sunday nights.
It is more my favorite than my family’s – Ramen noodles. I always have vegetables and homemade chicken broth on hands, so I would either make noodles soup with miso paste and shrimp – or stir fried noodles, same ingredients minus the broth.
I love your website, if only I could get and stay organized on the weekend, I would benefit from it so much more. As it is, we already have a few favorites that I am getting pretty good at.

Pam - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my mother and grandmother. I now have have my go to evening meal of pasta alfredo with broccoli. I am raising my granddaughter, who is 4, and pasta alfredo with broccoli is her favorite. We can mix it up fast. I sometimes steam broccoli on the side and made pasta with garlic shrimp. Most of my inspiration now comes from cooking for my granddaughter and watching her try new things. She is a joy to cook for and I also use your ideas for healthy lunches she can take to school.

Lesley - March 23, 2015 Reply

How did I learn to cook? Lol I’m still learning so I’m not all that great. But I am slowly learning by following recipes and asking my husband for tips (he’s a great cook!) I think I’ll get there eventually though…. Hopefully.

Ara Henry - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from 2 different sources. (1) the women in my family; my mom, and both my grandmothers just being in the kitchen with them gave me so many skills I didn’t even know I was learning. (2) from this base I began watching the food network after I was married to learn how to cook new and interesting food my husband and I would enjoy.

My inspiration to cook week night meals comes from living in the middle of nowhere and not having other options. I have to be ready for 2 weeks worth of supper for my family of five and we don’t like to eat the same thing every night. My oldest is a very picky eater and finding ways to get her to try new food is important to me so planning ahead is the best way to make this happen.

The meal I can guarantee everyone to eat is not that exciting but it is good. BBQ chicken, steamed carrots and BBQ potatoes. Everyone eats it and I finish supper with a sense of calm and accomplishment.

brenda - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cooking by watching my father cook…I am now 72 years old, and recently my grand daughter asked me why when I am cooking I always have my pointer finger up in the air…my father was missing his pointer finger, so I also learned how to hold the pots the way he did without even realizing it..

Krista - March 23, 2015 Reply

I love these simply but tasty meals, thank you! I learned to cook from watching whoever was cooking but mostly from just doing. I feel bad for my Mom and the inedible food she ate because I made it when I was very young 🙂 Bless her heart, she would just make suggestions for next time, hahaha.

Joann KW - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook watching my mom, and cooking. My mom started us early and when we were old enough, we got a meal to cook for all during the summer. It was fun, and good training. I wish I had a family favorite – between the one who doesn’t like cheese (gasp) and the one who doesn’t like beans (more gasping), and the two who don’t like fish, I have family favorites that at least one member is on his own when served!

Jennifer - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my Mom and Aunt. They were both excellent cooks – everything was from scratch – nothing ever came out of a box. Made it tough to find something to make that was quick – they were famous for the 3 hour pot roast or stew. I have found that using my pressure cooker – cuts the time down to about an hour – which is still a long time. One of our favorites is Kielbasa and Sauerkraut with mased potatoes. We have it down to a science and can put it on the table in 20 minutes (making the potatoes int he microwave really speed up this process!!!

Chrystyna - March 23, 2015 Reply

I’m still not sure I’ve learned how to cook. What’s that old saying… Fake it til you make it 😉 LOL!

Jennifer - March 23, 2015 Reply

I grew up on TV dinners and Hamburger Helper. I’m now a nurse and know I need to feed my family healthier meals. Since my children and I have food allergies, it was a necessity to learn to cook. I finally learned to cook by following recipes, blogs, and reading cookbooks. I just took out a delicious batch of Momables pancake muffins. They smell delicious! Thank you for your posts and allergy sensitive recipes.

Jenny Young - March 23, 2015 Reply

Pinterest and your site give me my inspiration to feed my picky kids!

jennifer - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my grandmother and mother. Now I am teaching my daughter and she loves it!

Cathy - March 23, 2015 Reply

My family is my inspiration for quick healthy weeknight meals. Thank you for your inspiring us too!

Jennifer H. - March 23, 2015 Reply

Although, my dad & older sister happen to be excellent cooks, my earliest inspiration for cooking came from my mom. Somehow my mom always managed to make a fabulous meal out of anything in the kitchen – literally anything! Now, my go-to inspirations are my amazing husband and 6 children. We frequently enjoy baked chicken, maple glazed salmon, a variety of veggie casseroles, & the all-time favorite home made mac n’ cheese! These recipe ideas are so great – so much so that my children saw this recipe and asked multiple times to “please, please, please make this one!!” Thanks – so yummy!

Missy - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my mom and from trial and error. My inspiration comes from trying to feed my kids and my husband healthy, real foods. On busy days, I like to put soup in the crock pot early in the day, so we can just eat whenever we get to it.

lisa h - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my mom who was raised on a farm, but i grew up in So. Cal. so there was a conflict of cultures. Went through my hippie beans, soups and homemade bread phase of cooking (anyone remember Laurel’s Kitchen?), but I really believe that you only become a good cook when you do it often and practice mindfulness of all your senses.

Now I get my inspiration from the bloggers I follow (like Laura), and my favorite week night meal is stir fry using up what is in the fridge. we are gluten-free as well.

Kris - March 23, 2015 Reply

you have inspired me to try this recipe – I normally do the same 10 meals over and over!

Teal - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my Mom and from watching Julia Child on tv when I was a little girl. I love to cook!

Tracey Gray - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learnt to cook by necessity. The first meal I made when I left home was cornflakes and milk! Since then I studied cookbooks and learnt various family recipies which became our staple. However, I have had to learn how to cook all over again this past year as my husband left and my 8 year old daughter decided the only control she had over her life was through food and so refused to eat meat. I have therefore adapted how I cook to cater for just the two of us and learnt how to cook vegetarian meals. (I am still working on getting her to eat anything other than chocolate spread in her sandwiches though…I need to resubscribe to your meal plan!)
Inspiration comes from things I see on the internet…what I have in the cupboard and from posts like this where I can switch the meat for quorn and still have a meal that tastes good.
Our favourite meal in a hurry is quorn fahitas…so quick and easy and my daughter will eat it every time without a fuss

Linda Koenig - March 23, 2015 Reply

I got married when I was 17 and didn’t have a clue about cooking. I would call my granny and mother to find out how to cook. After awhile I started buying cookbooks which I still do today

Deborah DeLucia - March 23, 2015 Reply

I absolutely LOVE your ideas and MOMables recipes!! I’m excited to check my email for a change! Thank you for all you do; especially for those of us that are allergy-challenged cooks/moms/kids.

My daughter is a newly-competing gymnast. We have very little time during the week for dinners that take more than 30 minutes. Over the weekend, I freeze the main ingredients I need for a dish in individual ice cube trays. When the time comes for cooking, I pop the frozen ingredients into the pot and voilà! It’s ready in no time (e.g. crushed tomatoes, parsley, basil, onion and garlic for tomato sauce; beaten eggs, cream and parmesan cheese for alfredo sauce; peppers, onions, and garlic for skillet sloppy joes or taco mix, etc.)

A 12-inch skillet would come in handy for all of my one-pot needs. Thank you so much!

Deborah DeLucia

Julie Zeh - March 23, 2015 Reply

I taught myself to cook! Out of necessity to eat healthier and cheaper.

paula - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from watching my mom and a lot of trial and error

Autumn - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook at a younger age by failing in the kitchen. After bad stomach issues i became the only vegitarian in an 8 person family. After a lot of baddies finally came some good stuff so i never gave up.

Now my picky kiddoes are my dinner inspirations. It’s hard getting them to agree on foods they’ll actually eat, so we still play around learning new recipes. Your meal plans look super helpful, and this skillet lasagna looks like it could work in our home. I’ll be trying it soon. The meal they both agree on so far is a lasagna cupcake i found that uses rice wonton wrappers as the noodle. It isn’t super quick to do, but if they eat it all or take leftovers in the lunch box -totally worth the time.

Thanks for all of the fun recipes and inspiration!

Valerie Re - March 23, 2015 Reply

I love hoe all your MOMable emails are SO relatable! Thank you for all your ideas and recipes.
I would have to say, I learned how to cook, well, really cook, after I got married. I used to watch my Mom cook when I was young, but seemed like magic back then. When I finally got married I knew I had to get crackin’ at the cooking. Then, I got ill, I was diagnosed with Lupus and cooking a meal after working a full day at work was too much to do. I felt like a failure. But, God had better plans for me as I recently understood. I had to quit my job, but it was ultimately for the better; for me and my family. I could now take better care of them and more importantly, COOK for them! Better meals for me and my family meant so much to me that I now know all of what happened in the past ended up being the best for me and my family. I started with simple recipes I found on the Internet and eventually started trying to incorporate new foods into our meals. (My son is the pickiest of eaters!) I’m still learning and BOY do I have a LOT to learn! But I love trying new things and see how the family likes it. Thanks a bunch!

    Laura Fuentes - March 23, 2015 Reply

    I love the “get cracking’ at the cooking”! And on a serious note, I am glad you put yourself first and made the decision that was best for you. God will use your gifts and talents and give you a renewed purpose. Healing and remaining healthy is just part of the process. Thank you for reading my emails each week.

Faith - March 23, 2015 Reply

Trial and error is how I learn to cook!

Caitie - March 23, 2015 Reply

I love to cook! I learned how to cook from my mom and grandma from a very early age. When I started dating my now-husband, I had to learn other ways to cook and bake from his mom because he has severe egg and dairy allergies. Our adopted 2yr old son has DS so he can’t have dairy as it constipates him and gluten has started bothering him too. So I’ve had to modify recipes more and more. It’s a lot of fun for me to cook and bake still, everything just has to be made from scratch so my family can eat it 🙂
love your site with recipes and all!

Marissa - March 23, 2015 Reply

I didn’t help in the kitchen much growing up. I didn’t have to, my sister lived that kind of stuff and was always there, I’d rather do academic things anyway. Right before I left for college, my mom helped me compile a recipe book of all my favorites. My mom had lots of wonderful recipes that were clear and easy and mostly quick to follow and make. My meals quickly became favorites of all my roommates. Because of this success, I adapted the philosophy, “if you can read, you can cook.” I have later added “can follow directions, and have a good quality recipe,” but I still find this to be true and continue to collect good recipes.

Gaby - March 23, 2015 Reply

One of our family favorites is a chicken lasagna that I learned from my mom when I was young. Over the years, I have tried different veggies like fresh asparagus or artichoke hearts instead of mushrooms and tried spicy arrabiata sauce instead of traditional tomato and basil and every time is a big yummy cheesy success.
Thank you for sharing all your wonderful recepies. I will never stop learning! 🙂

Sylvia - March 23, 2015 Reply

I grew up WATCHING my mom cook, but it wasn’t until I was married that I began the ol’ trial and error! It’s been 13 years and have to say, it’s turned out pretty good! My family loves to be in the kitchen and we make most things from scratch–healthier and cheaper!
Pasta meals are a weeknight favorite for sure.

Shannon - March 23, 2015 Reply

Oddly enough I kind of learned to cook from my husband! We have been married since I was 22 and my Mom never really taught me, so thankfully he is a great cook and now with the internet’s help I think I’m getting better! I just found your site and I’m loving it. I made your homemade chicken nuggets for my kids over the weekend and they ate them. Made me so happy!

mary cole - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to “cook” when my mom went to work outside the home. I was about 12. we had tacos, spaghetti, and meatloaf pretty often. Now, I jok that weeknights at my house are like an episode of Chooped – grabbed 4 things out of the fridge and make dinner in 45 min or less. Tacos are still in the go-to rotation (leftover filling gets made into burritos for lunchboxes)

Anne - March 23, 2015 Reply

Where did you learn how to cook? From my Mom and my Mother-in-Law and in
4-H for 6 years.
(I pledge my head to clearer thinking,
My heart to greater loyalty,
My hands to larger service,
and my health to better living,
for my club, my community, my country, and my world.)
Where do you find your inspiration for your weeknight meals? What-ever I can cook fast and healthy for my 3 very picky eaters 9, 5 and 3.
Do you have any favorite family meals you can whip up in a hurry? My favorite family meal recently is Mac and Cheese, made with shredded cheese and macaroni noodles with a side of fruit.

    Laura Fuentes - March 23, 2015 Reply

    Anne, I am so inspired by you. I’ll admit that I had to look up what 4-H was but I love it! I’m glad there are some fabulous organizations that hands on help the youth. Thank you for sharing!

Paula - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned how to cook while working in the kitchen at boarding school. My family likes haystacks. They are tacos with corn chips instead of tortillas. They are really quick and almost anything can be put on them.

Kelly Devine Rickert - March 23, 2015 Reply

Where do you find your inspiration for your weeknight meals?

As a Registered Dietitian and mom of 4, I find inspiration from my clients. It’s not always easy to cook every night but I try to practice what I preach so I try and find short cuts to get a healthy, homemade dinner on the table faster!

Andrea Williams - March 23, 2015 Reply

I find all the inspiration for my cooking from the internet nowadays. I was scared of cooking for a long time, but now it is easy to search out and try new recipes that suit our tastes and have been made by home cooks like me. Food blogs are my favorite place to find recipes.

Lynann - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from following recipes. My mom tried to get me to cook before leaving home, but we butted heads so badly that I really didn’t learn anything. I remember calling and asking basic questions when I was in my twenties. My dad loves to tell about the time I asked about boiling water. As a newlywed, I cooked regularly, but always followed a recipe and then somehow…just slowly stopped. We have two children now, and I really need to get back in the kitchen more often. My kitchen issues are compounded by the fact that I work evenings and my husband is responsible for dinner on there nights I’m at work. He’s a worse cook than I am. Thank goodness I only work part-time.

A. Shoemaker - March 23, 2015 Reply

I usually go to the internet. I check out your site or a couple of other trusted sites to find something with ingredients I already have on hand or that I can quickly pick up at my local Sprouts. My favorite thing to whip up in the summer is grilled chicken Caesar salads and in the summer is turkey sloppy joes.

Jessica - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook by watching my mom and grandmother. The smells that came out of the kitchen whenever they made something on the stove were what made me want to make it just as good as them!

Laura - March 23, 2015 Reply

I am still learning to cook. What I know I learned from my mom who was the first to say she wasn’t a good cook!! My family has gotten used to my disasters – the last minute call to have pizza delivered when one of my failures happen. I love the idea of the one skillet meals and this meal looks like a good option. My regular lasagne is actually one of the few things I make that everyone agrees is a success!

Amy - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook with my mom, who I thought was a great cook while growing up. Now, my opinion has changed. She’s good, that’s for sure, but she relies on too many processed ingredients, I feel. So in effect, I’m going to step out on a limb here and say that I actually “learned” to cook in my own kitchen that I have now–by refusing to go the cheapest/processed route and by spending the time necessary to develop the different taste personalities among the members of my family.

Laura G. - March 23, 2015 Reply

Well,I started cooking in high school a little, but my step mom was not very interested in sharing her kitchen, so I didn’t really get cooking until I had to feed myself in college. Lots of cookbooks! Then, the internet came along and gave me an overwhelming amount of recipes to try. My kids are fairly picky, so we tend to get stuck on a meal, like tacos, or crockpot beef and beans, until everyone is tired of it. We have your cookbook and my girls are learning to prepare some of their own foods, which they are enjoying! Made this lasagna last weekend, and it was a big hit. Doubled it and only had a few servings left!

Patricia McConley - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned how to cook from my mom. I started in the kitchen at 6 years old and I have been cooking every since. I usually let my kids pick put 2 meals a week so they feel involved in the kitchen. Then I usually shop the sales adds and see what’s on sale and start plannning. A few times a week I cook from the crock pot mon thru Thursday, but sometimes we do Sandwhiches, tacos or something quiDo . I work two jobs on these days so a fast dinner is a must. My number 1 fast meal to cook I chicken tacos with rice. Most of the cooking is in cutting up the toppings and the kids and hubby love it. Thank you for this recipe. I can’t wait to try it.

Yvonne - March 23, 2015 Reply

I get inspiration from blogs like yours, and I learned how to cook from following recipes fastidiously!

Barb - March 23, 2015 Reply

My mom didn’t learn to cook until she was 30, never enjoyed cooking – and it showed!! As a child, I did anything to get an invitation to my friends’ houses for dinner because the food was always better than at home, and their moms seemed to love cooking and take pride in feeding their families delicious food and celebration of sharing food with those they love. I started learning to cook in 4-H when I was 9 years old, then tried recipes out of magazines, and hung around watching neighbors cooking – asking questions and soaking up tips.
Mom didn’t object to my cooking – she pretty much gave me free reign in the kitchen. My brothers had a hay-day with a few of my disasters, but they gobbled up all the baked goods anyway! Thanks to the generosity of lots of wonderful women, and a huge collection of recipes and recipe books, I’ve become a great cook – as long as you don’t count yeast breads!

Shante' - March 23, 2015 Reply

i love anything lasagna !!!! I learned how to cook by watching my mom and granny in the kitchen. I am constantly on the internet exploring and trying new things. I am so thankful for your blog and challenging me to step outside my comfort zone. I’ve come a long way and I’m still learning. A new stove to oven skillet would be awesome, Especially with a 2 years old and a 2 months old.

Kim - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned how to cook from my mom and following recipes online when I moved out.

Candice Lesure - March 23, 2015 Reply

Learned to cook from my momma, have your new book and have been trying some really quick tings there, but my new rave is this site called yummly with all these great friendly recipes. And I love to make lasagna roll ups, they are easy, reheat well and kids gobble them up!!!!!!

Kellie - March 23, 2015 Reply

I’m still learning to cook – from blogs, sisters, and youtube! I love to look at cookbooks, but I find the dishes I really try to make are from recipes I stumble on while “surfing” the net. I keep getting wonderful ideas from you! and your positive words help me to continue to try even when I think I’m failing! Thank you!!!!!

Sarah - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook after I got married. My mom and grandmothers shuffled children out of the kitchen so we wouldn’t interfere, but that meant we never learned anything! My mom bought me my first cookbook at 25 and I still have it. It was a bumpy few years though. And when I think of all the boxes of scalloped potatoes, jars of sugared pasta sauces, and frozen dinners my poor husband suffered through in those first years I am amazed he stuck it out. .:) because his mother is a fabulous from-scratch cook. But we all survived. My favorite one pot meal right now is the Italian WonderPot

Leslie - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my mom and grandma. My cooking and baking have definitely changed in the last few years though after my younger son was diagnosed with multiple food allergies.

I like making tacos for a quick meal everyone enjoys.

Kristin C. - March 23, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook over many years and many trials and errors. What I’m come to enjoy with cooking is simple dishes with things that I mostly have around or that are seasonal – not the fancy, only going to use one, expensive ingredients.

Trisha - March 24, 2015 Reply

The Internet usually provides my inspiration for weeknight meals. I assess what’s in the fridge, then do a search using the main ingredients. I usually find something I can whip up.

Deyra - March 24, 2015 Reply

ohh Wow!!! another great one to add to my desperate hurry-up delicious recipes!! thanks

By the way I learned how to cook, watching my father experimenting with his cooking skills (not so high level, but which such love and dedication that it is still priceless for me), then I was motivated by this to experiment also and as soon as I reached over the stove, to start cooking for him and my brothers, crazy great recipes.

My Inspiration comes from within, If my body is asking for something specific, but to this I add the likes (or the surprise effect it may bring him) of my fiancé who is always so amused by how simple, fast cooked and delicious my recipes turn out to be (I ‘ll admit sometimes I really don’t know what to expect from his reaction)

My Go to recipe in a hurry is an almost 20 minutes overall dish, with grilled (over the pan) vegetables (all the vegetables I can find in the fridge) and Soba Noodles, or organic pasta (they are done in 3-4 minutes, and extremely healthy/low calorie), ginger, oregano, salt/pepper and with a little bit of soy sauce for the color (this is inspired by him he loooves this sauce and ginger), sometimes paired up with some fresh salads..but most of the times, with sooooo many different vegetables in the pasta/noodles is enough!!!

Perfect hurry-up combination of taste and speed 😉

Dana Russell - March 24, 2015 Reply

I learned how to cook at least initially from my mom. She worked full time so my sister and I would sometimes start dinner before she came home. I didn’t really hone my cooking skills until I got married and started cooking for more than just me on a daily basis and practice became my primary teacher. Now I sometimes try new recipes found online (only if they have great reviews). I’ve also exchanged recipes with coworkers, friends and people from church and seek out others family favorites in the hopes they’ll become favorites among my kids.

Jennifer - March 24, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from Americas test kitchen and local cooking classes. I had always liked to cook and experiment but I got tired of wasting ingredients and money on bad recipes. Now I can look at a recipe and get a good idea if its going to work or not, especially bread. I’m not creative in the sense I can pull together my own meal from scratch. I still like to have a recipe to follow but now I can sub out ingredient to put my own touch on it.

Kelly Connolly - March 24, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my mom. She is a wonderful cook and I always loved helping her in the kitchen growing up.

Krista G - March 24, 2015 Reply

wow this looks delish! Quick weeknight meals are typically leftovers or breakfast for dinner. and of course if there is fish in the house that is always a quick dinner

Kristine - March 24, 2015 Reply

My husband does most all of the cooking in our house. And it’s always delicious but sometimes I like to take a stab at it. So I’m learning just by following recipes I find on your site or other real food sites.

Sarah Troxel - March 24, 2015 Reply

I love cooking and I am learning more all the time. I “discovered” cooking and baking from my grandmother who used to cook huge Thanksgiving meals for our large extended family in her little NYC apartment kitchen. I remember sitting on a chair nearby watching and helping, while she would tell me stories of her Bubi (grandmother) teaching her to cook. I also loved cooking with my mother, and continue to learn from great cook books and recipes, including Laura’s!

Laura N. - March 24, 2015 Reply

Yum! This recipe looks great! My mom and grandma were my original teachers for cooking. Now I have a large cookbook collection that I love to pull ideas from, and blogs and websites I follow (you!) to get inspiration. I would love a large skillet like this because recipes that get whipped up and sent straight to the oven sound so appealing!

    Laura Fuentes - March 25, 2015 Reply

    I too love cookbooks 🙂

Lesley - March 24, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from watching my mom (a lot of failures) and cooking with my grandmother. I think you need to start with some family favorites, and get comfortable with them, then add new recipes a little at a time.

Holly - March 24, 2015 Reply

This looks yummy, and I will be trying it soon!

My favorite quick and easy meal, which I always have the ingredients for (because I always have boneless, skinless chicken breasts and a package of tortilla wraps in the freezer!) are chicken enchiladas with sides of spanish rice and corn. My kids absolutely love them, and they whip up so fast and go into the oven to bake. While they are baking in the oven, and spanish rice and corn is cooking on the stove top, I unload the dishwasher from the night before. I can make this meal on autopilot, while talking to the kids about their day. 🙂

Brenda Bauer - March 24, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my mom. I was a recipe only cook forever, but having been a mom for 8 years, I have certainly learned to whip something up with the contents from the fridge. I think the key is giving myself permission to substitute ingredients and flavored to fit what’s available or our nutrition needs. We eat mostly wheat free and dairy free so, there are ways to tweet and sub to make many recipes work. My go to is probably an Asian inspired stir fry. So easy to slice a protein, toss with a bag of frozen veggies and add a light soy or teriyaki. Serve with noodles or rice!

Cristina - March 24, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my mother. She is an immigrant from Italy and all she knew was whole food cooking. There weren’t any boxed meals where she grew up. I still learn from her today. She is a genius in the kitchen!

Cynthia R - March 24, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my mom. I find new recipes and techniques in cook books, and I have a few go-to websites. My husband has also taught me some of his family’s recipes. My go-to dinner when I have little time and nothing in the freezer is grilled cheese, often with fruit or veggies on the side. It’s quick, easy, and always yummy. If I have a bit of time, especially if I already have prepared rice in the freezer, I make huevos con chile with a side of arroz. We eat it with warm white corn tortilas.

Now I need to see if I can tweak this recipe to be a veggie lasagna instead of a meat one.

Talainya Loomis - March 24, 2015 Reply

I grew up in a meat and potatoes family with canned veggies on the side or boxed food like hamburger helper. When I got out on my own and realized there was a lot more food options out there I was excited! I started watching the food network and then I discovered recipes online. I used to spend hours looking for easy recipes with not a lot of ingredients but it has to be real food, no processed stuff for us. But now I use your blog and your cookbook and I recommend you all the time. I love that you are a working mom helping the rest of us working moms provide good food for our kids. There are a couple other blog I go to but this one is my favorite. good luck on your new cookbook I can’t wait!

    Laura Fuentes - March 25, 2015 Reply

    Thank you so much Talainya for supporting my work! It makes me happy that you find inspiration in my recipes!

Heather - March 24, 2015 Reply

I learned how to cook from my mom. For the longest time, I was a working mom, so I didn’t have time to be creative with our meals. I had a few recipes that were in my regular rotation but we ate out a lot. Now that I’m a stay at home mom, I finally have time to experiment in the kitchen.

Pinterest has been an inspiration to me at meal times, but your book was a huge inspiration to be more creative with my children’s lunches. I found my thermos and sent a nice warm pasta dish that I read about in your book and it was a hit with my daughter.

I enjoy cooking now that I have the time to seek out new recipes. Thank you. I can’t wait to buy your book, I first borrowed it from the library but it’s on my wish list and I’m hoping to get it soon.

Polly - March 24, 2015 Reply

My mother told me, if I could make a good gravy, that’s all I needed to know to become a great cook! But then my second son became gluten intolerant 2 years ago, and I’ve had to relearn all my cooking skills! We are eating more healthy now, and your sight has been really helpful to get me thinking outside the box for lunch ideas!! When I was first married I subscribed to Southern living magazine (Before internet), and got many recipes from there. My favorite family recipe is Chicken Broccoli Bake which was very easy to modify for a gluten free diet, and we’ve all been able to still like it!! I just recently tried yours with come chili powder to give it a mexican flare! Yay! it was a hit!

Natalia Berardo - March 24, 2015 Reply

I find inspiration everyday. Like Laura, I am always looking for new recipes for my family. I can not always please 5 people but I try. Today I was chatting with a friend and she told me about her favorite Moroccan chicken. And even more recently I found inspiration on this email! Thanks!!!

Angela - March 24, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook somehow – I do not really know. I know I had free-reign of the kitchen since I was old enough to stand in a chair to reach the top of the stove. My mother worked & then worked on the farm in the evenings. She also had no real interest in cooking other than out of necessity. So, I just cooked. I cooked a lot of southern Appalachian food that my family grew & killed & put up. Once I moved away, I learned to cook food to enhance the food’s natural flavor – and with a lot less frying & breading.

Beth - March 24, 2015 Reply

While growing up on canned, boxed and frozen foods, I learned cooking by osmosis during the 70s and 80s by watching PBS! We didn’t have cable, and the Food Network didn’t exist yet, so my teachers were Julia Child, who taught me not to take cooking so seriously and to enjoy my time in the kitchen, and Martin Yan (“If Yan can cook, so can YOU!”) who taught me everything I know about chopping, dicing and slicing. I learned to be adventurous with my seasonings with The Cajun Cook and Paul Prudhomme, and I learned tools and technique from the Frugal Gourmet. I learned all about Italian food from Lidia Bastianich and Mary Ann Esposito. And I still have a huge chef-crush on Ming Tsai, who taught me how to fuse cultures and flavors in a single recipe.

Once I was out of college, I joined a cookbook club and read cookbooks like they were novels, rarely cooking the recipes, but remembering the tastes, techniques and ideas I found interesting. Somehow, all of the information in my head managed to gel and I was able to improvise in the kitchen and create dishes that my husband and I thrived on in our first years of marriage.

My inspiration is my huge appetite, lol! 🙂 I love food – it’s just so delicious! So whatever my taste buds are craving (coupled with whatever is on sale at the store or leftover in the fridge) points me in the direction of what’s for dinner.

Our quick go-to dinner (which we had tonight!) was very similar to yours! But with four kids and a husband who all have issues (allergies, aversions, intolerances, we’ve got them all) I set up a pasta bar and let everyone build their own perfect dinner. Farfalle with olive oil, salt and pepper in one bowl, crumbled Italian turkey sausage in another, steamed broccoli on the side, our favorite natural jarred tomato sauce in one gravy boat and a quick homemade alfredo in another. Everyone left the table happy! I do the same thing with asian flavors; plain noodles, stir fried or steamed veggies, and diced leftover meat with two or three simple sauces on the side. Each person builds what they like and I can eat dinner with no one crying – everyone wins!

Katie - March 24, 2015 Reply

I am not a good cook and really don’t like to cook. However, I have 3 precious little boys (5, 4 and 1) and a hungry husband so I attempt to cook delicious meals. Some turn out ok and others are not good at all. I judge if it’s a good meal by the amount of hot sauce my husband puts on his food. If it’s a little amount then he likes it but if it’s a lot then it’s not good and I usually don’t make that one again. Then my parents and a friend told me about momables. You are amazing and helped changed my outlook in the kitchen. I am now learning about healthier ways to feed my family and I’m starting to enjoy it more. Thanks Laura!!!
I leaned to cook from my mom. She Doesn’t really like to cook but she always had a hot meal for us and she tried really hard.

Heidi J - March 24, 2015 Reply

Our favorite go-to meal is burritos. Some sort of seasoned meat, plus beans, cheese, veggies, hopefully avocado for me, or whatever is in the fridge. It’s flexible enough to accommodate different tastes, but easy to make sure we include some veggies. (I love sauteed squash, with black beans and mozzarella.)

Jolene - March 25, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook mostly by having countless generations of cooks before me and also my Mom taught me some smart things. Our go to meal is fried potatoes, cottage cheese, and green onions. Sometimes we’ll put some canned meat in a pan and fry it to go with our potatoes. YUM!!!

Melissa H - March 25, 2015 Reply

I learned to cook from my mother in law. When my husband and I were first married I couldn’t boil water, so once a week my mother in law would have me over and we would cook a meal together. It was amazing because I learned to cook meals that my husband loved and I also got hands on experience from a great cook!

Jaclyn Quade - March 25, 2015 Reply

I taught myself to cook by trial and error. I am always looking at websites magazine’s and cookbooks for new recipes. My go to meal is spaghetti because it is super easy!