Recipes

The Best Classic Recipes Your Grandma Used to Make


Nothing, and we mean nothing, beats grandma’s cooking. And it’s safe to say that this is something everyone agrees with. Our editors at Eat This, Not That! spent a few moments reminiscing about some of our grandmother’s favorite dishes, so we decided to round up a few. From spaghetti and meatballs to homemade chocolate chip cookies, here’s what our editors—and even a few of our grandmothers—had to say about grandma’s favorite recipes.

And for more, check out these 15 Classic American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback.

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

There’s nothing more comforting than a bowl of oatmeal from grandma! One of our editors says no matter how hard she tries, her oatmeal is never as good as her grandmother’s.

Get our recipe for Oatmeal with Peanut Butter and Banana

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Potato salad
Shutterstock

One of our editors said that her grandmother’s potato salad was so good, people even offered her money for it. She never took the money, of course, she was far too nice.

Get our recipe for Potato Salad

cream cheese cucumber lemon dill toast on grey plate marble counter
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

While the idea of a cucumber sandwich sounds odd, for one of our editors, it was the comfort food that he looks fondly to from his grandmother.

Get our recipe for Cucumber Toast

Trail mix popcorn
Jason Donnelly

Grandma always makes the best popcorn, especially when it’s mixed with other sweet and salty treats!

Get our recipe for Trail Mix Popcorn.

close up of Italian meatballs plate
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Nothing beats a pot of steaming Italian meatballs with homemade sauce, all made by hand from grandma herself. This recipe is even from one editor’s grandma who shared her secret tips for the best Italian meatballs!

Get our recipe for Classic Italian Meatballs

RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

Healthy split pea soup
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Grandma sure does love her pea soup, especially when she gets to add other filling, hearty vegetables to it!

Get our recipe for Split Pea Soup

Copycat cracker barrel pancake recipe for breakfast with butter and syrup
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Throwing together a pile of pancakes is grandma’s favorite way to spend Saturday morning with her grandchildren. It’s certainly one of grandma’s all-time favorite recipes to make.

Get our recipe for Copycat Cracker Barrel Pancakes

Healthy spinach sausage pepper pizza
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Grandma loves to cook with Italian sausage, especially if it means adding it to a homemade pizza for dinner!

Get our recipe for Homemade Spinach, Sausage, and Pepper Pizza

vegan sausage sheet pan
Carlene Thomas/Eat This, Not That!

Another great way grandma loves to cook sausage is roasted on a sheet pan with some fresh vegetables.

Get our recipe for Vegan Sausage and Vegetables

Healthy orecchiette broccoli rabe
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This dish is full of grandma’s favorite things: Italian sausage, broccoli rabe, pasta, and fresh grated cheese.

Get our recipe for Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe

Healthy chicken parm
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Nothing beats the comforting dish of homemade chicken parm! Pair it with a healthy serving of sauteed spinach for a well rounded meal.

Get our recipe for Chicken Parm with Spinach

Vegan garlic lemon spinach in a bowl
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

When it comes to cooking up vegetables, grandma loves cooking up an entire bag of spinach. It’s especially delicious with toasty garlic and juicy lemon!

Get our recipe for Garlic-Lemon Spinach

Paleo teriyaki pork chop with apple
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

The combination of apples and pork chops are always a favorite for grandma, especially if it means making a pot of homemade apple sauce.

Get our recipe for Teriyaki Pork Chops with Sautéed Apples

Paleo roast pork loin with white beans
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Roasting a pork loin is an easy way for grandma to get dinner on the table for the entire fam! Pair it with some white beans and spinach for an easy dinner for the whole fam.

Get our recipe for Roast Pork Loin

Beef stew recipe in black lined glass bowl
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

This hearty stew is a comforting meal that soothes every soul—just like grandma does.

Get our recipe for Beef Stew in Red Wine

Healthy chicken and dumplings
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Chicken and dumplings are a classic comfort food, especially for one of our editors who always loves digging into a bowl of her grandma’s chicken and dumplings.

Get our recipe for Chicken and Dumplings

boneless barbecue ribs and broccoli on plates on wooden background
Jason Donnelly

One editor says that her grandmother loves to make BBQ ribs so much, it’s a classic any time they’re together.

Get our recipe for Boneless BBQ Ribs

Low-calorie smokey ribs with peach bbq sauce
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Prefer bone-in ribs? This easy ribs will do the trick, and grandma will certainly approve!

Get our recipe for Smoky Ribs in a Peach BBQ Sauce

Two bowls of copycat Olive Garden pasta fagioli with parsley and parmesan cheese
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

This recipe was inspired by a grandma who always loves to throw together a bowl of her famous “bean stew” for her family. Not one, but two Eat This, Not That! editors said that Pasta Fagioli is easily one of grandma’s favorite recipes.

Get our recipe for Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli

Chicken and Dumplings served with traditional Cracker Barrel sides
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Another comforting plate of chicken and dumplings that you can easily make in one pot!

Get our recipe for Copycat Cracker Barrel Chicken and Dumplings

Slices of meatloaf on a plate with sides.
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

While nothing beats grandma’s meatloaf, this meatloaf recipe will taste just like home.

Get our recipe for Copycat Cracker Barrel Meatloaf

Copycat Cracker Barrel mac and cheese in a skillet
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

You can’t go wrong with a pan of homemade mac and cheese, especially if grandma makes it!

Get our recipe for Copycat Cracker Barrel Mac and Cheese

Low-calorie bourbon glazed ham with peach chutney
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

One editor says her grandma likes to make ham steaks baked with pineapple rings. While this ham recipe is slightly different, pairing it with a peach chutney will still give the ham that sweet/savory combo that grandma loves.

Get our recipe for Bourbon-Glazed Ham with Peach Chutney

Healthy oatmeal–chocolate chip cookies
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

If you didn’t try sneaking a few chocolate chip cookies from grandma’s cookie jar, did you even visit her? Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are easily one of grandma’s favorite recipes to make!

Get our recipe for Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Low-calorie ricotta cheesecake with warm blueberries
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Cheesecake is an easy dessert that grandma loves to throw together, especially when paired with some warm berries.

Get our recipe for Ricotta Cheesecake with Warm Blueberries

Low-calorie apple pie with crunch topping
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

A grandma with an apple pie will surely solve any problem! This apple pie lightens the dessert a smidge, and is delicious when topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Get our recipe for Apple Pie

Healthy apple-sausage stuffing
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

When Thanksgiving rolls around, nothing beats enjoying turkey with grandma’s famous apple-sausage stuffing.

Get our recipe for Apple-Sausage Stuffing

apple cranberry crisp in while bowls with spoons and red gingham napkin on wooden background
Jason Donnelly

After a long summer day, nothing beats a bowl of grandma’s warm apple crisp with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Get our recipe for Apple Cranberry Crisp

Maple cashew apple toast
Jason Donnelly

Sure, grandma makes a great supper, but a simple piece of toast with peanut butter is just as comforting—and easily one of grandma’s favorite recipes. Especially when it’s topped with a few slices of fresh apples.

Get our recipe for Maple Cashew Apple Toast. 

Low-carb vanilla-bourbon french toast
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Why throw out good bread when you can easily save it with some homemade french toast? It’s one of grandma’s favorite recipes, especially when it means saving a stale loaf of bread!

Get our recipe for Vanilla-Bourbon French Toast

Chocolate pudding with olive oil and sea salt
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

You can’t mess with simplicity, and grandma loves whipping up some homemade chocolate pudding!

Get our recipe for Chocolate Pudding with Olive Oil and Sea Salt

Paleo swedish meatballs
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Whether it’s a hearty appetizer or the main course, grandma is always game for making a steaming pot of Swedish meatballs.

Get our recipe for Turkey Swedish Meatballs. 

Healthy sunday roast chicken
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

If the family is coming over for dinner, grandma knows best: a delicious roast chicken with hearty vegetables will fill everyone up.

Get our recipe for Sunday Roast Chicken

Vegan sweet potato fries
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

What better way to use up sweet potatoes than to make a bowl of sweet potato fries that the grandchildren can munch on?

Get our recipe for Sweet Potato Fries

Vegan roasted garlic mashed potatoes
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Dinner is never really the same without a bowl of grandma’s homemade mashed potatoes, is it?

Get our recipe for Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Gluten-free crispy rosemary potatoes
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Or if grandma was more into crispy potatoes, this recipe for rosemary potatoes will taste just like the ones grandma makes.

Get our recipe for Crispy Rosemary Potatoes

Low-calorie tiramisu
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

If grandma isn’t making canniolis, she’s making a homemade tiramisu for the family.

Get our recipe for Tiramisu

Low-calorie sausage lasagna
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Lasagna is a great meal for a crowd hanging at grandma’s house, and can be stuffed with all kinds of ingredients.

Get our recipe for Chicken Sausage Lasagna

Healthy baked ziti
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Or if you prefer smaller shaped pasta, this baked ziti recipe is just like the one grandma used to make.

Get our recipe for Baked Ziti

Healthy mom's chicken noodle soup
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Chicken noodle soup is the ultimate comfort food, especially when it comes from grandma.

Get our recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup

Crock pot chicken noodle soup with bread on a table.
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Easily make a pot of chicken noodle soup in the slow cooker if you’re feeding a crowd!

Get our recipe for Crock-Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

wendy's copycat chili in three bowls on a marble counter with cheese and sour cream
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Need something spicy for the family? Grandma loves throwing together a big pot of chili, and serves it with homemade cornbread.

Get our recipe for Copycat Wendy’s Chili

finished milkshakes with straws
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Why have ice cream when grandma can take it up a notch and make homemade milkshakes?

Get our recipe for Milkshakes

homemade old fashioned donuts with sprinkles on a plate
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Making homemade donuts is always a fun way to hang out with the grandchildren, especially if it means decorating them with all kinds of colorful frosting and sprinkles later.

Get our recipe for Donuts

finished sugar cookies on a cooling rack
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Are donuts too hard? Make some sugar cookies and decorate them like grandma always does around the holidays!

Get our recipe for Sugar Cookies

chicken piccata
Shutterstock

Need dinner fast? Grandma loves throwing together a pan of chicken piccata for the family on those busy weeknights.

Get our recipe for Chicken Piccata

Homemade gravy recipe in a gravy boat on a marble counter
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Roasting up a turkey or chicken for the holidays is grandma’s specialty, which always means a delicious boat of homemade gravy will also be made to pair!

Get our recipe for Homemade Gravy

Asparagus with cheese and lemon and pine nuts
Shutterstock

For a lighter spring side, grandma loves to make roasted parmesan asparagus, topped with crumbly or grated fresh cheese.

Get our recipe for Roasted Parmesan Asparagus

Healthy pork chop with balsamic honey glaze
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

If there’s a new way to make pork chops, grandma will try making it! Especially if it means whipping up a pork chop with balsamic-honey glaze.

Get our recipe for Pork Chops with Balsamic-Honey Glaze

Vegetarian caprese tomato towers
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Before grandma brings out the spaghetti and meatballs, she loves to share a few fresh slices of Caprese salad with tomatoes and basil straight from the garden.

Get our recipe for Caprese Salad



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