40 Classic Diner Food Recipes You Can Recreate at Home

Gluten-Free Buttermilk pancakes
Photo: Bryan Gardner

When you can't make it to your favorite diner, bring that much-loved eatery's best meals straight into your kitchen with our best diner food recipes. We have classic, comforting options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can whip up diner-style pancakes, a club sandwich, or even a meatloaf special with these recipes.

Make the Greek salad that is your favorite diner lunch, or enjoy a comforting bowl of soup. If your local diner doubles as a bakery with donuts and pies that are hard to resist, try our recipes for these sweet treats. And if your diner fix is a burger and a milkshake? We've got you covered too.

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Turkey Club Sandwich

Turbo Turkey Club
David Malosh

A club sandwich should be a carefully balanced creation, like this triple decker. Sliced turkey, smoky bacon, Gouda cheese, and beefsteak tomatoes come together to make a lunch packed with flavor and texture. Don't forget the pickles and potato chips when you serve this iconic sandwich diner-style.

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Strawberry Milkshake


The milkshake is a diner classic that's as easy to whip up at home as it is to enjoy at the counter. Get out the blender and make strawberry milkshakes with frozen berries, strawberry ice cream, and milk.

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Breakfast Hash

Hash is a dish you order at the diner but think is too hard to make at home. Wrong! Our breakfast hash takes 40 minutes and will set you up for the day. It's made with russet potatoes, onions, bell peppers, sausage (we use dried chorizo), and eggs. Toast on the side is not optional—it's essential for that diner feel.

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Classic Cheese Omelet

american omelet with tomatoes
Chris Simpson

Order up! Start your morning with an egg dish that never goes out of style—this classic cheese omelet. Our version is filled with shredded cheddar cheese, but feel free to spice it up with pepper jack or go funky with goat cheese.

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Test Kitchen's Favorite Buttermilk Pancakes

buttermilk pancakes
Armando Rafael

How do you get fluffy, golden brown pancakes that rival those at your favorite diner? With this master recipe, of course. The key is to not over-mix the batter and keep some lumps, which helps the pancakes to stay airy.

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Hash Browns


Whether you order it on the side or stuffed into an egg and cheese sandwich (an epic move that we highly recommend), this potato side dish is a favorite diner food recipe. Use a combination of butter and oil for flavor and crispiness when you make hash browns at home.

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Baked Cake Donuts

baked donuts
Bryan Gardner

Make a baker's dozen of these sweet treats. We have three variations—glazed, powdered sugar, and coconut—and they may well replace your favorite diner donut.

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Easy Eggs Benedict

easy eggs benedict
Chris Simpson

A brunch favorite—that's eggs Benedict. Use our recipe to make perfect poached eggs, creamy Hollandaise sauce, and crispy Canadian bacon, then pile it all high atop an English muffin.

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Quick Fried Chicken and Waffles

fried chicken waffles

The ultimate sweet and savory treat, you can make this take on the soul food classic in under one hour. Whether you serve it for breakfast, dinner, or enjoy it late night, it's sure to be a hit.

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Lemon Poppy-Seed Muffins

Mike Krautter

Here's a sunny way to wake up. A 1/4 cup of lemon juice—plus a few tablespoons of zest—brighten the batter for these favorite muffins, while poppy seeds add some texture.

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Slow Scrambled Eggs

slow scrambled eggs
Johnny Fogg

This recipe makes scrambled eggs for a crowd and keeps them creamy and moist throughout. The trick is using plenty of butter, low heat, and stirring frequently to prevent them from drying out.

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Buttermilk Waffles

buttermilk waffles
Reed Davis

Kids and adults alike go crazy for crisp, buttery waffles. Our recipe is classic, but you're welcome to take it to the next level with any of four spectacular toppings: maple-walnut sauce, blueberry sauce, banana-caramel sauce, and a berries-and-cream.

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Fried Bacon

breakfast in bed

What's a diner-style brunch without bacon? Use your favorite brand and cook it in a cast-iron skillet, which will help the meat to get super crispy, just the way you like it.

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Classic French Toast


Grab a fork and knife and prepare to dig into a perfect stack of French toast. Use good-quality, thick bread such as brioche, challah, or Texas toast, which will be able to absorb the rich custard without getting soggy.

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Boston Cream Pie


End your diner dinner on a sweet note with this New England dessert. A rich custard is piled high between two layers of vanilla cake, then a silky chocolate ganache tops it all off.

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Chicken Club Salad

chicken salad

This low-key salad is delicious for lunch or dinner. Start by baking both bacon strips and chicken breasts until they're cooked through, then toss with tomatoes, celery, red onion, and mayonnaise and pile everything into hot dog buns.

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Perfect BLT Sandwich

David M. Russell

The best thing about diner food is that it's not too fussy and always delicious. Since there aren't too many ingredients in a BLT make sure that each one is good quality so the flavors shine.

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Split-Pea Soup with Spinach and Barley

spinach split-pea soup with barley topped with yogurt
Kate Mathis

Hearty and comforting, this creamy green soup is also meat-free (unlike many diner versions which include ham). It gets plenty of flavor from leeks, carrots, split peas, and baby spinach.

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Classic Burger-Joint Cheeseburger

burger lettuce tomato pickle cheese
Armando Rafael

This cheeseburger reaches new heights when you add in all the fixings—melty American cheese, juicy tomatoes, dill pickle slices, and shredded iceberg lettuce.

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Jelly Donuts

strawberry jam-filled doughnut getting sprinkled with powdered sugar
Will Anderson

Here's a soft pillowy dough with fruit jam that oozes out of the center and down your chin. These jelly donuts are even better than you remembered.

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Sweet Potato-Parmesan Fries

Linda Pugliese

Sweet potatoes have plenty of flavor on their own, but the addition of sharp, salty Parmesan cheese makes them to die for. They're like your favorite diner's version—with a hint of something extra-special.

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Chicken Noodle Soup

chicken soup
Armando Rafael

Whether you're feeling under the weather or just craving something low-key and cozy, chicken noodle soup always hits the spot. Our recipe utilizes a whole chicken, which has more flavor than using just one cut—and is more economical, too.

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Baklava with Lemon-Honey Syrup

cut baklava with lemon honey syrup in pan
Mikkel Vang

Three kinds of nuts—almonds, pistachios, and walnuts—are packed between flaky phyllo dough glazed with lemon honey for a sweet diner dessert.

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Perfect Caesar Salad

Lennart Weibull

Caesar salad is all about the dressing—ours contains oil-packed anchovy fillets, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, and an egg yolk. Don't forget the Parmesan cheese—an entire cup of it is used to garnish the salad.

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Crab-and-Avocado Eggs Benedict

Stephen Kent Johnson

Dress up eggs Benedict with jumbo lump crabmeat and avocado slices. It's inspired by a fancy diner menu offering—who would say no to that?

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Morning Glory Muffins

morning glory muffins
Yuki Sugiura

Start your morning with these muffins and you know it will be a good day. They're super moist and get plenty of texture from grated carrots, grated Granny Smith apple, unsweetened shredded coconut, golden raisins, and pepitas.

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Greek Salad

Greek Salad

Every great American diner has a great Greek salad on its menu. Our recipe combines romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, sliced red onion, sliced cucumber, and pitted Kalamata olives. The ingredients are tossed with a simple oil and vinegar dressing—and the result is spectacular.

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Martha's Favorite Onion Rings


A favorite diner side is onion rings. Our recipe calls for them to be dipped in beer batter, which keeps the coating airy, crunchy, and never greasy.

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Martha's Banana Cream Pie

Bryan Gardner

The star of the rotating dessert case, banana cream pie takes center stage at every diner. The cool, creamy filling featuring ripe banana slices compliments our Perfect Graham Cracker Crust and the whipped cream topping.

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Bryan Gardner

Every ingredient in this sandwich brings something flavorful to the mix. Thinly sliced corned beef is layered with sauerkraut, sliced Swiss cheese, and a potent Russian dressing.

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Easy Cobb Salad

easy Cobb salad
Con Poulos

There's a little bit of everything in this classic salad and that's what makes its so delicious; roasted chicken breasts, hard-boiled eggs, diced avocado, crumbled blue cheese, and chopped plum tomatoes.

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Simple Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes


The secret ingredient in these simple pancakes? Light brown sugar—it adds a caramelly molasses flavor that brings these berry-packed pancakes to the next level.

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Milk-Chocolate Pudding Pie

milk-chocolate pudding pie
Kate Mathis

Using vanilla wafer cookies instead of the usual graham cracker in this pie crust is pure genius. And the rich chocolate filling topped with pillowy whipped cream is absolutely irresistible.

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Perfect Fried Eggs


Keep things simple at breakfast with our go-to recipe for fried eggs. Will you enjoy them with white or wheat toast, hash browns or home fries, and coffee or tea?

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Bryan Gardner

Greek diners have plenty of American staples but one thing we always look for is their spinach-and-phyllo pie. Try your hand at making it at home—our recipes serves 12, so it's perfect for when you're making brunch for a crowd.

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Classic New York-Style Cheesecake

New York Style Cheesecake
Bryan Gardner

Even if you can't do dinner at a diner in the Big Apple, you can certainly enjoy its MVP at home. A rich combination of cream cheese, sour cream, and five eggs are the base of this delectable dessert.

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Chicken-Salad Club Roll

Chicken-Salad Club Roll
Chris Simpson

Upgrade a basic chicken salad sandwich by serving it with avocado, bacon, cherry tomatoes, and Little Gem lettuce. The inclusion of fresh tarragon puts this creamy staple in a league of its own.

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Mozzarella Sticks

plate of mozzarella sticks
Bryan Gardner

Do a diner dinner right by starting the meal with mozzarella sticks. You'll be amazed at just how easy they are to make from scratch—don't forget the marinara sauce for dipping!

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Test Kitchen's Favorite All-Beef Meatloaf

two plates of meatloaf potatoes and broccolini
Lennart Weibull

We say this moist, flavorful meatloaf is better than any you've had at a diner. Our secret is cooking it on a baking sheet—rather than in a loaf pan—so that each side gets crispy.

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Home Fries

Home Fries

Is it really a diner breakfast without home fries? Start by boiling small Yukon gold potatoes until they're fork tender, then sauté bacon until crisp and brown. Add some peppers and onions and season accordingly.

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