Beans on toast and ready meals may be a staple of student cooking, but if by your mid-twenties you still haven't progressed from the simple (lets face it, often terrible) meals that were whipped up in halls, then it's time to refresh your culinary repertoire.
"Cooking is not about just joining the dots, following one recipe slavishly and then moving on to the next. It's about developing an understanding of food, a sense of assurance in the kitchen, about the simple desire to make yourself something to eat," says Nigella Lawson in How to Eat (Vintage, £14.99).
Below, we've shared some of the best easy-to-achieve dishes from our award-winning food writers – 30 dishes, from bung-it-in-the-oven baked fish to a crowd-pleasing shepherd's pie, that are well worth mastering before you hit 30.
This easy pasta dish can be on the table in under 20 minutes; simply combine a few store-cupboard staples.
Xanthe Clay's roast chicken requires only five ingredients but the result is beautifully succulent and bronzed.
Necessity is the mother of invention, and this comforting classic given some modern enhancements – is a great example of that.
This hearty and traditional sauce from Northern Italy lends itself well as a base sauce for pasta, pizza and lasagne.
Stir-fries are healthy, quick and very versatile – perfect weeknight supper material.
Don't be intimidated by fish: it's a cinch to roast in the oven with whatever other ingredients you have to hand.
Throughout the winter months, you just can't beat a warming bowl of Vietnamese-style pho.
These fluffy American-style pancakes with vanilla ice cream are sure to go down a treat.
Knowing how to make a good fish pie is an essential skill for any cooks' repertoire.
Perfect for celebrations of any kind. Angela Hartnett's combines lashings of dark chocolate and coffee, finished with a glossy, double-chocolate icing.
This basic tomato sauce is incredibly versatile: use it on pasta, on pizza or even dolloped into soups and stews.
This no-fuss, one-pan fry-up has all of the best bits, with none of the mess.
A classic chicken pie is ideal for a dinner party, and this one delivers a great flavour.
A classic British dessert, made even better by adding whisky and raspberries.
Arguably the ultimate British summer dessert. Try this one with fresh strawberries and subtle kick of chilli.
Save your pennies and create an authentic 'fakeaway' at home with this creamy Keralan-style chicken korma.
Stop spending half your salary at Byron; Claire Thompson's beef burgers with chimichurri are just as delicious.
The perfect Sunday night pudding. Once you've mastered apple, experiment with other fruits.
Succulent chicken with juicy pomegranate seeds and fresh yogurt – what's not to love?
An easy and comforting accompaniment to countless meals.
Make a big batch of this beef chilli with guacamole at the start of the week and it will last you for days.
This stunning cheesecake looks harder to make than it is, but the results are delicious.
Impress your friends with this take on traditional lasagne using button mushrooms and courgettes.
Not just good with pasta – try smearing it on bread with tomatoes, stuffing it into a roast chicken or stirring a spoon into stews.
Ultra-comforting and creamy, Diana Henry's take on macaroni cheese features bacon and whisky.
This roasted tomato soup with goat's cheese and thyme toasts is so good, you'll never reach for Heinz again.
Once you've mastered it, all you need to do is roll it out and add a few toppings.
So much nicer than the stuff in a bottle, and cheaper too.
There's no point trying Bake Off-style showstoppers until you've mastered the simplest cake of all.
This vibrant dip is good with nachos, in fajitas, or just eaten out of the bowl really...