We all know how it goes… Wake up, quick breakfast (maybe), class, quick lunch, class, work, quick dinner, work, sleep, repeat. Between classes, work, and other commitments, it’s often hard to eat healthily let alone cook for yourself, during the week. Different variations of sandwiches tend to lose their appeal.

What we need is a source for inspiration, motivation, and simplification. If you, like me, spend far too much time on YouTube when you really shouldn’t be, why not use that time to help with our food problem? There are many food related YouTube channels and these are five channels that I’ve found particularly useful to cook along to when I’m in a rush or just in a cooking rut.

Food Wishes

vegetable, macaroni, sauce, basil, pasta, spaghetti
Shun Matsuhashi

Food Wishes is probably the closest thing to a one stop shop for simple and approachable recipes that YouTube has to offer. The host, Chef John, is funny and very easy to listen to. The channel has great visuals and over 1,000 videos of great recipes.

I love to put on a Food Wishes video and cook along as Chef John talks me through the recipe and highlights the purpose behind each step as he expertly performs it. Recipes range from simple and concise to extravagant and time consuming, but there are definitely videos suitable for a quick lunch or dinner.

Peaceful Cuisine

acorn squash, squash, pumpkin, vegetable, sweet, rice
Kendra Valkema

For those who prefer a vegan or vegetarian diet and also appreciate absolutely gorgeous, minimalist aesthetics, Peaceful Cuisine is the channel for you. The recipes aren't quite as quick and easy as some other channels, but if you have a good breadth of ingredients on hand and enjoy trying different variations on common recipes, they're worth checking out.

Did I mention how beautiful these videos are? Seriously, these are some of the most well shot and edited cooking videos I’ve seen.


beer, coffee, tea
Parsa Lotfi

Cooking is, after all, a science, and ChefSteps caters to those of us who really enjoy the technical and scientific side of cooking. ChefSteps gained a lot of popularity by being one of the first groups to bring sous vide cooking to the masses and their channel  leans heavily on this method. If you're fortunate enough to own a sous vide cooker, ChefSteps is a must for easy and fast sous vide cooking.

If you don’t have a sous vide cooker, don’t worry; ChefSteps still has plenty of delectably technical and simple recipe videos. The hosts are all high energy and enjoyable to watch. You won’t be disappointed with any of these recipes. Sometimes adding precision and scientific understanding to the cooking process makes all the difference.


lettuce, pepper, tomato, vegetable, salad
Erin Arnold

Tasty’s videos are almost constantly viral on Facebook and for good reason. If quick and easy is your number one priority and you’re willing to sacrifice an entertaining video or a high energy host, then queue up a Tasty video and get cooking.

Tasty’s videos are well made, simple, and right to the point. IMO, they can skimp a little on the quality of the recipes to hit that sweet spot of being super simple, but most of their food still turns out great. Tasty has hundreds of videos to choose from so you don’t have any excuse to skip on making lunch.

You Suck at Cooking (YSAC)

egg yolk, chicken, egg
Jocelyn Hsu

If you’re lucky enough to already be familiar with YSAC, then it needs no further explanation. This quirky variation of a cooking channel masks some really great recipes behind a comical and ridiculous facade. For those times when you really just need a good laugh and a good meal at the same time, pull up a YSAC video.

The host targets his recipes at people who may not be particularly gifted in the kitchen (hence the channel’s name) and everything is always simple and quick. Don’t forget to follow along with the egg-based film noir mini-series as you watch through YSAC’s videos.

YouTube is a great resource for all things food, and recipes are no exception. When you feel a cooking slump coming on, or just want an extra bit of motivation to get into the kitchen, be sure to check out some popular channels to help you out. These five channels are just the beginning when it comes to video-based culinary inspiration. If you find yourself rocking out to some of YSAC's jingles while you're cooking, go out and find more new and creative channels to watch and cook along to.