These Old-School Comfort Foods Will Warm You Right Up
After months of quarantine, you might be wondering when things will get back to normal—or what normal will even look like. And while there are so many things we can’t control right now, there’s still one major factor you have some leeway over, and that’s the meals you’re eating at home.
Sure, you might have to make some substitutions if the grocery store is out of your preferred cut of meat or your vegetables of choice. But by and large, it’s up to you what recipes you’re making at home. Want to cook some serious throwbacks? You can’t go wrong with these vintage-inspired recipes. They’ll transport you back to your childhood and family dinners at home, way before the word “quarantine” even entered your vocabulary. And, while we’re on the subject, stay informed by getting the latest coronavirus food news delivered straight to your inbox.
Chicken Pot Pie
Is there anything more satisfying than a warm dish of chicken pot pie? This dish is the ultimate comfort food—you’d never even know it was packed with nutritious veggies.
Meatloaf graced plenty of dinner tables back in the day, but it’s fallen out of favor as of late. There’s no reason you can’t bring it back, though! This recipe uses milk-soaked bread, rather than breadcrumbs, for an extra-moist meal every time.
You don’t have to be Southern to enjoy deviled eggs with your at-home brunch. There are so many ways to spice this dish up, too—have you ever had deviled eggs with blue cheese or sriracha?
A restaurant classic, baked ziti is pretty simple to make at home, too. Putting your pasta in the oven will give it an extra-special touch, and who isn’t looking to spice things up a bit during quarantine?
Blueberry Peach Cobbler
Why have cobblers fallen to the wayside? This dessert is so delicious, it’s deserving of a comeback. Even if you can’t have an outdoor picnic right now, you can still serve this tasty dessert at home.
Pistachio and Cranberry Cheese Ball
Cheese balls might bring family holidays to mind, and that’s not a bad thing! Even though you can’t spend dinners together in person, you can still remember the simpler days with this easy recipe.
Roast Pork Loin
Once billed as “the other white meat,” pork has fallen to the wayside when compared with chicken and beef. But there are plenty of delicious ways to incorporate pork into your recipe rotation. This pork loin recipe is delicious, and it uses those canned beans you’ve been stockpiling.
Chicken and Dumplings
A Southern classic, chicken and dumplings is one meal that’s sure to remind you of simpler days at home. Whether or not you grew up eating this dish, it’s a standby comfort food for a reason.
Mac and Cheese
Sure, you can still head to the store and buy a box of mac and cheese today. But there’s something nice about making it the old-fashioned way, with butter and flour and shredded cheese.
If you haven’t made pesto in a while, now’s a great time to start. The basil-based sauce is delicious atop pasta, but it also makes a great topper for juicy chicken breasts.
If you grew up eating Hamburger Helper, this recipe may bring a healthy dose of nostalgia. Trust us, you won’t miss the boxed stuff.
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Chicken Cordon Bleu doesn’t grace dinner tables as much as it used to—and it’s a real shame. What’s not to love about chicken stuffed with melted cheese?
Get our recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu.
A cross between pudding and a fruit cup, ambrosia is one nostalgic dessert everyone will love. Try mixing canned mandarin orange pieces, pineapple, or any other canned fruit with marshmallows and coconut for a decadent treat.
Creamsicle Orange Jello Salad
Creamsicles and Jello, all in one recipe? Talk about a throwback! This recipe calls some favorite childhood desserts to mind, and it’s pretty simple to make, too. Why did Jello go out of style, anyway?
Recreate this vintage steakhouse classic at home! This dish is playing fast and loose with the term “salad,” but it’s definitely delicious.
Tuna Noodle Casserole
These days, you’re more likely to use that canned tuna for tuna melts. But back in the day, tuna casserole was all the rage. Up the nostalgia factor by making this classic dish.
Sweet Potato Pie
This dessert isn’t just for Thanksgiving! Sweet potato pie is a delicious comfort food that you can make any time. It’s the perfect end to a Southern meal!
Strawberry Tapioca Salad
Not into ambrosia? Try this tapioca salad recipe instead! With two types of pudding and, of course, Jello, this is one vintage-inspired recipe even kids will enjoy.
Brown Sugar-Glazed Ham
If you only serve ham for holidays like Christmas or Easter, it’s time to give the pig another chance to shine. Why should that delicious brown sugar glaze only come out twice a year? Quarantine is as good a time as any to serve some delicious meat, complete with all the fixings.
Orange Pineapple Fluff Salad
If you haven’t caught on to the trend yet, a lot of vintage dessert recipes relied on canned fruit, marshmallows, and Jello. This ambrosia-adjacent salad features mini marshmallows, instant pudding, Cool Whip, and canned fruit for a truly decadent treat.
Missing your favorite $1 oyster special? Try something different with an old-school fried oyster recipe. You just might be inspired to add oysters to your grocery list on a regular basis!
Linguini with Clams Casino
Another old-school restaurant classic, linguini with clams is easier to make at home than you might think. What better way to use up all the pasta in your pantry?
Just the thought of sloppy joes will take you to a simpler time, when all you had to worry about was keeping that tomato sauce from staining your entire shirt. Bring back the nostalgia with this easy recipe.
Collard greens just might be the most delicious way to add some vegetables to your meal. This recipe, which uses garlic and red pepper flakes, will make the nutritious veggie taste delicious.
You don’t hear much about snow recipes anymore, but this icy dessert is worth a second look. Made with chilled apple pulp, this treat is the perfect way to cool off in the warmer weather.
Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Pop-Tarts
Sure, you could buy a box of Pop-Tarts at the grocery store—but making your own is way more fun. We love that this recipe incorporates the springtime rhubarb, making for an extra-delicious throwback treat.
Creamed Chipped Beef
What could be more American than taking meat and covering it in gravy? This was a Depression-era food served to members of the Armed Forces, but it still holds a special place in many Americans’ hearts.
Want to make creamed chipped beef at home? We love this recipe from Small Town Woman.
Who doesn’t remember a family member making this pasta dish to use up the leftover Thanksgiving turkey? We think this dish is delicious year-round.
Biscuits and Gravy
Southern food is always comforting, and when have biscuits ever steered you wrong? They’re delicious with butter and jam, but the best way to eat biscuits is by covering them in sausage gravy.
Another nostalgic Southern classic, cornbread is the perfect side dish for pretty much any meal. Nothing beats those bits of corn in every bite!
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