33 Old-School Recipes That Deserve a Comeback
It's fun to try new recipes, but sometimes you can't beat a time-tested classic. These retro recipes for dinners, appetizers and salads might seem like a blast from the past, but they still hold up today.
Chicken Noodle Casserole
Everyone who tries this comforting, cheesy chicken noodle casserole asks for the recipe. It’s so simple to make that sometimes I feel like I’m cheating! —Kay Pederson, Yellville, Arkansas
Crisp Waldorf Salad
This crunchy salad is a perfect side to accompany a heavy meal. With its light and crisp flavors, it’ll be the hit of the party. —Susan R Falk, Eastpointe, Michigan. Don’t miss these brilliant kitchen shortcuts you’ll wish you knew sooner.
Winter Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie
We seem to eat for comfort during the holidays… but comfort foods aren’t necessarily healthy. To make a classic comfort food dish more healthy, I came up with this lovely take on shepherd’s pie. It’s perfect for putting out on your holiday buffet table. —Ann Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts
Best-Ever Meat Loaf
The combination of onion, carrots, parsley, and cheese—plus the tomato-mustard topping—makes this meatloaf really colorful. The recipe lends itself easily to being doubled or halved to suit the number you’re cooking for, and it freezes well, too. It’s the best meatloaf ever! —Anna Baker, Blaine, Washington
Classic Beef Stew
Out of all my beef stew meat recipes, this one is my favorite. Here’s a good old-fashioned stew recipe with rich beef gravy that lets the flavor of the potatoes and carrots come through. This is the perfect hearty dish for a blustery winter day. —Alberta McKay, Bartlesville, Oklahoma
Contest-Winning Chicken Wild Rice Casserole
While this special chicken and wild rice casserole is perfect for a company dinner, it’s also just too good not to make often for everyday family meals. We think it is very nice served with some crusty rolls or French bread. —Elizabeth Tokariuk, Lethbridge, Alberta
I got this easy recipe from my daughter, who lives in France. It’s become my go-to fondue, and I make it often for our family. —Betty A. Mangas, Toledo, Ohio
Tenderloin Steak Diane
Sometimes, I add more mushrooms to this recipe when my son’s eating dinner—he loves them, and they are just fantastic with the steak. —Carolyn Turner, Reno, Nevada. Don’t miss these super easy recipes.
My husband and I are oyster farmers, and this classic dish always delights our guests. It’s deliciously simple! —Beth Walton, Eastham, Massachusetts
Old-World Puff Pancake
My mom told me her mother-in-law showed her how to make this dish, which became popular during the Depression, on their “get acquainted” visit in 1927. At that time, cooks measured ingredients as pinches, dashes, and dibs. But through the years, accurate amounts were noted. My wife and I continue to enjoy this dish today, particularly for brunch. —Auton Miller, Piney Flats, Tennessee
Crown Roast of Pork with Mushroom Dressing
It looks so elegant that everyone thinks I really fussed when I serve this roast. But it’s actually so easy! The biggest challenge is to remember to order the crown roast from the meat department ahead of time. —Betty Claycomb, Alverton, Pennsylvania
Italian Sausage-Stuffed Zucchini
I’ve always had to be creative when getting my family to eat vegetables, so I decided to make stuffed zucchini using the pizza flavors that everyone loves. It worked! We like to include sausage for a main dish, but it could be a meatless side dish, too. —Donna Marie Ryan, Topsfield, Massachusetts.
Creamed Spinach & Pearl Onions
When I was a culinary student, this creamy dish wowed me, and I don’t even like spinach. This side is a keeper! —Chelsea Puchel, Pickens, South Carolina
Slow-Cooked Chicken a La King
When I know I’ll be having a busy day with little time for cooking, I prepare this tasty main dish. Brimming with tender chicken and colorful vegetables, it smells so good while cooking. —Eleanor Mielke, Snohomish, Washington
Ambrosia Fruit Salad
My mom’s ambrosia salad, with its tasty combination of fresh fruits and creamy yogurt, is a family favorite, and a great addition to a backyard barbecue. —Colleen Belbey, Warwick, Rhode Island
Classic Beef Wellingtons
Perfect for holidays, this beef wellington is also impressively easy. Find ready-made puff pastry sheets in the frozen food section. —Kerry Dingwall, Ponte Vedra, Florida. Don’t miss these 15 secret pantry ingredients that will make your recipes better.
Pork Chops ‘n’ Pierogi
This meal-in-one dish is a different way to use pierogi. The tart apple slices make an unexpectedly delicious addition on your plate. —Greta Igl, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
Creamy Celery Beef Stroganoff
Cream of celery soup adds richness to a recipe that has become a family favorite. Besides the delicious flavor of the dish, I love the ease of preparing it. —Kim Wallace, Dennison, Ohio
German Red Cabbage
Sunday afternoons were a time for family gatherings when I was a kid. While the uncles played cards, the aunts made German treats such as this traditional red cabbage. —Jeannette Heim, Dunlap, Tennessee. Here are 20 easy appetizer recipes in 20 words or less.
Potato Clam Chowder
I ran across this recipe in one of my antique cookbooks. It’s a timeless classic I like to prepare for friends and family throughout the year, but especially during the holidays. —Betty Ann Morgan, Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
A wedge salad gets the creamy treatment when topped with blue cheese dressing. Keep it as a topper, or make it a dip for Buffalo wings. —Jenn Smith, East Providence, Rhode Island.
Favorite Sloppy Joes
I’ve prepared these sandwiches for years. I’ve tried many sloppy joe recipes, but this one is the best by far. It also travels well for picnics or potlucks. —Eleanor Mielke, Snohomish, Washington
These well-seasoned meatballs in a rich tomato sauce are one of my mom’s best main dishes. I used to love this meal when I was growing up. I made it at home for our children, and now my daughters make it for their families. —Darlis Wilfer, West Bend, Wisconsin
Cheesy Cheddar Broccoli Casserole
People who don’t even like broccoli casseroles beg me to make this comforting broccoli cheese casserole recipe. It’s similar to a classic green bean casserole, but the melted cheese just puts it over the top. —Elaine Hubbard, Pocono Lake, Pennsylvania
Cabbage and Beef Soup
When I was a little girl, I helped my parents work the fields of their small farm. Lunchtime was always a treat when Mother picked fresh vegetables from the garden and simmered them in her big soup pot. We loved making this delicious recipe. —Ethel Ledbetter, Canton, North Carolina. Check out these 35 recipes everyone should know before they turn 35.
Grandma’s Pea Soup
My grandma’s pea soup recipe was a family favorite. What makes it different from any other pea soups I have tried is the addition of whole peas, spaetzle-like “dumplings” and sausage. Try it once and you’ll be hooked. —Carole Talcott, Dahinda, Illinois. Here are 20 more recipes just like Grandma used to make.
Spaghetti Pie Casserole
My family adores this casserole. It’s old-timey comfort food. —Patricia Lavell, Islamorada, Florida
Mom’s Swedish Meatballs
Mom fixed this Swedish meatball recipe for all sorts of family dinners, potluck suppers, and PTA meetings. The scent of browning meat is intoxicating. Add to that the sweet smell of onions caramelizing, and everyone’s mouth starts watering. —Marybeth Mank, Mesquite, Texas
Salisbury Steak Deluxe
This recipe is so good that I truly enjoy sharing it with others. I’ve always liked Salisbury steak, but I had to search a long time to find a recipe this tasty. It’s handy, too, because it can be prepared ahead, kept in the refrigerator, and warmed up later. —Denise Barteet, Shreveport, Louisiana.