33 Old-Fashioned Recipes Just Like Grandma Used to Make

turkey and mushroom bolognese
Photo: Chris Simpson

There's nothing like the taste of Grandma's home cooking. The old-fashioned recipes in this collection are like leafing through her favorite cookbook. You'll find comfort food classics like tuna casserole, chicken and dumplings, and breaded pork chops. And of course, Grandma always had something sweet waiting for you when you visited, whether it was butterscotch pudding or pineapple upside-down cake. Her food felt like a warm hug—and these old-time recipes capture that cozy, nostalgic feeling.

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Old-Fashioned Apple Pie


The name says it all: This time-honored dessert regularly tops the list of favorite pie recipes. Grandma made it on the regular, and you should too. The buttery crust is the perfect contrast to the soft apple filling.

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Chicken and Dumplings

Romulo Yanes

A true comfort dinner, fluffy drop dumplings finish this hearty chicken dish. Our recipe uses shortcuts— precooked chicken and store-bought stock—that grandma might or might not have approved of.

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The Best Banana Bread

Best Banana Bread KC

Of course Grandma baked the best banana bread. She probably used Martha's recipe.

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Tuna Casserole

tuna casserole
Con Poulos

Buttery panko breadcrumbs bring crunch to this classic comfort food. Grandma says you should use elbow macaroni because it holds the sauce so well; good-quality canned tuna packed in oil is another must-have ingredient, and that's simply because it tastes better than other alternatives.

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Peach-Blueberry Cobbler

Peach-Blueberry Cobbler

It's like a taste of summer gone by, this biscuit-topped dessert scents the kitchen as it bakes. Grandma might have made her cobbler just with peaches but we love the filling with berries, too.

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Classic Meatloaf

classic meat loaf
Christopher Baker

Made with equal parts of ground beef, veal, and pork, plus breadcrumbs for texture and Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce for flavor, this is truly a classic.

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Chicken Tetrazzini

Chicken Tetrazzini
David Loftus

A cozy, comforting chicken casserole, this easy recipe calls for shredded rotisserie chicken and linguine. The result is an easy, family-friendly dinner that will remind you of Grandma.

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Martha's Banana Cream Pie

Bryan Gardner

This dreamy dessert is packed with old-fashioned flavors. Our recipe is a classic, with a graham cracker crust, sweet custard, and plenty of homemade whipped cream.

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Pot Roast

Rob Tannenbaum

Chuck roast is braised with turnips, new potatoes, and carrots, until it's rich, tender, and succulent. It's the ultimate Sunday dinner.

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Lasagna with Meat Sauce

ultimate lasagna slice on plate with fork
Justin Walker

Everyone always looked forward to Grandma's lasagna. This recipe uses ground beef and sweet Italian sausage, plus no-boil noodles which saves prep time.

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Test Kitchen's Favorite Chicken Noodle Soup

chicken soup
Armando Rafael

This is a traditional take on a beloved soup—and one that Grandma would approve of. The recipe starts with a whole chicken, which gives you a mix of light and dark meat, and is cheaper than buying pre-cut chicken pieces.

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Butterscotch Pudding

John Kernick

Dark brown sugar and pure vanilla extract bring rich, caramelized flavor to this timeless dessert recipe.

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Green Bean Casserole


It's a dish that's a must-have for holidays and family get together. Our genius upgrade on green bean casserole skips the canned soup mix for a creamy mushroom sauce with fresh button mushrooms, chicken broth, and whole milk. A sprinkle of crispy fried shallots on top takes this dish to the next level.

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Chicken Marsala

Bryan Gardner

Just like Nonna made! This classic chicken recipe is defined by its signature sauce made with cremini mushrooms, Marsala wine, garlic, and lemon juice.

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Cheddar-Topped Shepherd's Pie


Don't tell her we added cheddar to the recipe! A touch of cheese in the mashed potatoes makes for a most irresistible topping.

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Fried Chicken


Did your Grandma use a buttermilk brine on her fried chicken? This one includes dry mustard powder and ground paprika, which keeps the chicken super moist and adds so much flavor to this classic recipe. It's best enjoyed hot while it's still super crispy.

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Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Good Old-Fashioned Double Upside-Down Cake
Bryan Gardner

An old-fashioned dessert with timeless appeal, this version is made in a nonstick skillet, which creates an easy release for a picture-perfect finish every time.

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Monkey Bread


Another much-loved and much-requested recipe, this version of Monkey Bread uses a classic yeast dough and a combination of melted butter, light brown sugar, and cinnamon to create the beloved sticky sweet and subtly spiced flavor that makes this coffee-time treat so irresistible.

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Easy Creamed Spinach

easy creamed spinach
Diana Chistruga

A combination of milk and cream cheese make this simple vegetable side dish super indulgent.

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Pea Soup

Split-Pea Soup with Ham
David Loftus

Skip the canned variety for this old-fashioned soup with green split peas, glazed ham, and chicken broth. A tablespoon of lemon gives this deeply savory soup a hint of sunshine.

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Honey Glazed Ham

Anna Williams

Everyone loves Grandma's honey-baked ham on Easter or Christmas. To make the sweet and sharp glaze, mix together honey, Dijon mustard, brown sugar, and ground cloves.

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Cream of Broccoli Soup

Cream of Broccoli Soup
Romulo Yanes

We're sure this recipe would be Grandma approved. It requires six ingredients: unsalted butter, yellow onion, all-purpose flour, chicken broth, broccoli florets, and heavy cream. The end result is a smooth, delicious, and totally classic soup.

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Scalloped Potatoes

scalloped potatoes

With its crispy-crunchy top and cheesy sauce, this potato side dish is must-make for Sunday dinner and every holiday.

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Stuffed Cabbage with Beef and Rice

Stuffed Cabbage with Beef and Rice
Marcus Nilsson

One of Martha's favorite recipes, this stuffed cabbage recipe has a hearty filling of crushed tomatoes, long-grain white rice, and ground beef chuck.

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Chicken Cacciatore

Quentin Bacon

Using a whole chicken is a time-honored, economical, and efficient way to get both light and dark meat for this Italian-inspired recipe that also calls for cremini mushrooms, onion, bell peppers and plenty of garlic and crushed tomatoes.

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Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers

Chicken sausage, diced tomatoes, and couscous might not be how Grandma made them but we think she'd approve of this filling that's light, nutritious, and flavorful. It's stuffed into hollowed red bell peppers and topped with shredded Monterey Jack cheese.

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Stuffed Artichokes


This is a classic preparation for artichokes and can be served as a starter or a side.

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Swedish Meatballs

Swedish meatballs

A combination of ground beef and pork makes for flavorful meatballs, but the real star of the show is the cream sauce. Don't skip the fruit jelly on the side.

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Quick Collard Greens

José Manuel Picayo Rivera

If you grew up enjoying Grandma's southern cooking, this recipe for collard greens will appeal.

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Corn-Kernel Cornbread


Combining cornmeal and frozen corn kernels makes this cornbread extra homely. It's baked in an ovenproof skillet and is an easy, family-friendly dish.

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Breaded Pork Chops with Thyme


Raise your hand if you grew up eating pork chops! We made Grandma's classic recipe even more flavorful by brining the pork chops in a mixture of water, sugar, salt, peppercorns, and orange zest before breading and frying.

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Easy Creamy Rice Pudding


The key to soft and creamy rice pudding is using arborio rice, which releases its starches as it cooks low and slow with milk, vanilla extract, granulated sugar, and cinnamon. One ingredient that Grandma probably didn't use? A 1/4 cup of Champagne.

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Seared Lamb Loin Chops

Seared Lamb Loin Chops
Bryan Gardner

This lean cut of lamb is just as spectacular on a holiday as it is for a weeknight dinner. Grandma served it both ways and we will, too.

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