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66 Best Comfort Foods from Around the World

Inspired by food from around the world, these comfort food recipes bring an ethnic flavor to any table.

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Oma S Apfelkuchen Grandma S Apple Cake  Exps Bw20 201499 E08 13 10b 2

Oma's Apfelkuchen (Grandma's Apple Cake)

My husband’s German family calls this Oma’s apfelkuchen, which translates to "Grandma’s apple cake." They’ve been sharing the recipe for more than 150 years. I use Granny Smith apples, but any variety works. —Amy Kirchen, Loveland, Ohio
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Chicken Vegetable Curry

This comfort dish gets fabulous flavor when I add chicken, sweet red peppers, coconut milk and the all-important seasoning, curry powder. —Roxana Lambeth, Moreno Valley, California
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Jerk Chicken with Tropical Couscous

Caribbean cuisine brightens up our weeknights thanks to its bold colors and flavors. Done in less than 30 minutes, this chicken is one of my go-to easy meals. —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota
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Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala  Exps Thso18 219444 B04 24 5b 3

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Just a small dash of garam marsala adds lots of flavor. The bright red sauce coats the caramelized chicken beautifully. —Anwar Khan, Irving, Texas
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French Lentil And Carrot Soup Exps Thso18 219374 B04 19 8b 8

French Lentil and Carrot Soup

It's crazy how just a few ingredients can make such a difference. Using finely chopped rotisserie chicken in this recipe makes it perfect for a busy weeknight meal, but you can leave it out if you prefer. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Coconut Mango Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce

All of the fun flavors of Puerto Rico come together in a dessert that's both exotic and familiar. Topped with a brown sugar rum sauce, it's even better with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. —Jennifer Jackson, Keller, Texas
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Filipino Adobo Aromatic Chicken Exps Thso18 219232 B04 19 4b 9

Filipino Adobo Aromatic Chicken

This saucy chicken packs a wallop of flavor—salty, sweet, sour, slightly spicy and even a little umami. It can be made on the stove, too. Any way I make it, I think it tastes even better the next day served over warm rice. —Loanne Chiu, Fort Worth, Texas
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Based On Soft Beer Pretzels Exps Thso18 114654 D01 25 7b 9

Soft Beer Pretzel Nuggets

What goes together better than beer and pretzels? Not much that I can think of. That’s why I put them together into one recipe. I’m always looking for new ways to combine fun flavors. I love the way this recipe turned out! —Alyssa Wilhite, Whitehouse, Texas
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Country French Pork With Prunes And Apples Exps Thso18 220138 B04 20 5b 4

Country French Pork with Prunes and Apples

The classic flavors of herbes de Provence, apples and dried plums make this easy slow-cooked pork taste like a hearty meal at a French country cafe. For a traditional pairing, serve the pork with braised lentils. —Suzanne Banfield, Basking Ridge, New Jersey
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Springtime Beignets Berries Exps Tham17 199933 C11 10 1b 5

Springtime Beignets & Berries

I've always loved beignets, but never thought I could make them myself. Turns out they're easy! Sometimes I'll even make a quick berry whipped cream and pipe it inside for a fun surprise. —Kathi Hemmer, Grand Junction, Colorado
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Slow-Cooker Pad Thai

I love pad thai, but I hate standing over a hot stir-fry—especially in the summer. This slow cooker version lets me keep my cool and enjoy pad thai, too. —Shawn Barto, Winter Garden, Florida
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German Schnitzel And Potatoes With Gorgonzola Cream Exps Thd17 204661 B08 16 2b 4

German Schnitzel and Potatoes with Gorgonzola Cream

I lived in Germany for five years and developed a fondness for traditional schnitzel. It’s a labor of love, so I came up with this easy, clever way to make it in a slow cooker. —Beth Taylor, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Pressure Cooker Cranberry Apple Red Cabbage Exps Thca17 207936 B08 17 1b 1

Pressure-Cooker Cranberry Apple Red Cabbage

When I was looking for something new, I started playing with flavors and came up with this very tasty dish. My German grandmother would be impressed, I think! The colorful side dish is just right with pork. —Ann Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts
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Quick N Easy Baklava Squares Exps Thca18 198149 C01 11 1b 3

Quick and Easy Baklava Squares

I love baklava but rarely indulge because it takes so much time to make. Then a friend of mine gave me this simple recipe. I’ve made it for family, friends and co-workers—they can’t get enough. I’m always asked to bring these squares to special gatherings and parties, and I even give them as gifts during the holidays. —Paula Marchesi, Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania
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Beef Daube Provencal Exps Edsc18 129057 B03 20 3b 2

Beef Daube Provencal

This dish is perfect on cold winter days, especially after we have been out cutting wood or white-tail hunting. If you are lucky enough to have venison, try it here for melt-in-your-mouth goodness. —Brenda Ryan, Marshall, Missouri
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Cassoulet For Today Exps Sdfm17 48033 D10 04 4b 2

Cassoulet for Today

Cassoulet is traditionally cooked for hours, but this version of the rustic French classic offers the same homey taste in less time. It’s easy on the wallet, too. —Virginia Anthony, Jacksonville, Florida
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General Tso S Cauliflower Exps Thcom17 207457 D09 12 1b 9

General Tso's Cauliflower

Cauliflower florets are deep-fried to a crispy golden brown, then coated in a sauce with just the right amount of kick. This is a fun alternative to the classic chicken dish.—Nick Iverson, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Exps190757 Hc163708c05 29 5b 8

Honey Challah

I use these shiny beautiful loaves as the centerpiece of my spread. I love the taste of honey, but you can also add chocolate chips, cinnamon, orange zest or almonds. Leftover slices of this sweet challah recipe work well in bread pudding or for French toast. —Jennifer Newfield, Los Angeles, California
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Vegetable Pad Thai Exps Srbz16 48968 D09 14 5b 2

Vegetable Pad Thai

Classic flavors of Thailand abound in this fragrant and flavorful dish featuring peanuts, tofu and noodles. New to tofu? It gives the entree its satisfying protein, for a delicious way to introduce it to your diet. —Sara Landry, Brookline, Massachusetts
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Aussie Sausage Rolls Exps Sdam17 19927 B12 07 7b 2

Aussie Sausage Rolls

I was born and raised in Australia, but moved to the U.S. when I got married. When I long for some Australian recipes, I bake up a batch of this sausage roll recipe and share them with neighbors or co-workers. —Melissa Landon, Port Charlotte, Florida
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Homemade Pierogi Exps Ft20 117397 F 0508 1 Home 3

Homemade Pierogi

Pierogi, dumplings stuffed with a filling, make for a wonderful change-of-pace side dish. —Diane Gawrys, Manchester, Tennessee
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Sirloin Stir Fry With Ramen Noodles Exps139592 Sd2232457b08 25 1bc Rms 2

Sirloin Stir-Fry with Ramen Noodles

I created this recipe when I was craving good Chinese food. The leftovers taste just as yummy when reheated the next day. —Annette Hemsath, Sutherlin, Oregon
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Hungarian Goulash Exps Sscbz18 134926 D09 26 3b 6

Hungarian Goulash

Talk about your heirloom recipes! My grandmother made this Hungarian goulash recipe for my mother when she was a child, and Mom made it for us to enjoy. Paprika and caraway add wonderful flavor and sour cream gives it a creamy richness. It’s simply scrumptious! —Marcia Doyle, Pompano, Florida
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Soba Noodles With Ginger Sesame Dressing Exps140897 Th2237243a09 29 3bc Rms 4

Soba Noodles with Ginger-Sesame Dressing

We love it when opposites attract. A sweet-and-sour gingery dressing goes hand in hand with soft soba noodles, edamame and crunchy slaw. Add grilled shrimp or chicken for a protein-packed finish. —Mandy Rivers, Lexington, South Carolina
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Poutine Exps149191 Sd2401786b02 16 4bc Rms 2

Poutine

The ultimate in French-Canadian junk food, poutine commonly features warm fries topped with cheese curds and gravy. This side dish is quick to fix with frozen potatoes and packaged gravy but has all the traditional greasy spoon comfort. —Shelisa Terry, Henderson, Nevada
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West African Chicken Stew Exps Sbz19 130771 E09 14 4b 3

West African Chicken Stew

I really love African flavors, but you don't really encounter them much in the U.S. Here the combination of native African ingredients, all of which can be found in the States, transports you to a new culinary place. —Michael Cohen, Los Angeles, California
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Sufganiyot Exps162341 Th2379806b08 30 6b Rms 3

Sufganiyot

Sufganiyot are believed to have first come from Spain, adapted from a similar treat, the sopaipilla. Others say the sopaipilla was borrowed from the Jews. Either way, as a tradition, doughnuts are an easy one to adopt, especially with this easy sufganiyot recipe. —David Feder, Buffalo Grove, Illinois
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Caribbean Grilled Ribeyes Exps119925 Sd2847494b02 14 2b Rms 3

Caribbean Grilled Ribeyes

I made this mind-blowing steak with my father-in-law in mind. He loved it, and so did everyone else. You can serve it as part of all types of meals, but it's especially good alongside seafood. —De'Lawrence Reed, Durham, North Carolina
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Thai Red Chicken Curry Exps162997 Sd2856494b12 04 3bc Rms 4

Thai Red Chicken Curry

I re-created a favorite dish from a restaurant, and now I cook it almost weekly for my family. On a busy night, frozen stir-fry veggies really speed things up. —Mary Shenk, DeKalb, Illinois
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Pork Ramen Stir Fry Exps152485 Sd132778b04 12 4bc Rms 4

Pork & Ramen Stir-Fry

I normally serve a traditional stir-fry, but I wanted to change it up with this ramen noodle recipe. Ramen noodles are a quick sub for the rice, and we really like the crisp-tender bite from fresh broccoli and a package of coleslaw mix. —Barbara Pletzke, Herndon, Virginia
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Nikki S Perfect Pastitsio Exps151230 Th133086d07 23 5bc Rms 4

Nikki's Perfect Pastitsio

My mother used to work so hard in the kitchen to make this classic Greek dish, and the results were always well worth her effort. My recipe for pastitsio is easier, a bit lighter and every bit as great as Mom's.—Nikki Tsangaris, Westfield, Indiana
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Fish Chips With Dipping Sauce Exps173879 Sd143204c12 04 4bc Rms 4

Fish & Chips with Dipping Sauce

My husband and I really like fish and chips, but not all the grease that typically comes along with it. I decided to give the classic dinner a makeover. Turns out the pickle dip is healthier than tartar sauce, and we like it a lot better—who knew? —Michelle Lucas, Cold Spring, Kentucky
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Spicy Lamb Curry

I've tweaked this curry over the years using a blend of aromatic spices. Fenugreek seeds can be found in specialty spice stores and are common in Middle Eastern curries and chutneys, but you can leave them out of this recipe if you desire. —Janis Kracht, Windsor, New York
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Sweet And Spicy Jerk Ribs Exps49358 Th1789930d03 30 2bc Rms 2

Sweet and Spicy Jerk Ribs

This no-fuss recipe takes just minutes to prepare. With its sweet, fruity sauce, these ribs will become an anytime favorite for the whole family. —Geri Lesch, New Pork Richey, Florida
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Steamed Pork And Shrimp Dumplings Exps50322 Th1999633b08 04 1bc Rms 2

Steamed Pork and Shrimp Dumplings

These delicious dumplings are perfect finger food. Pick them up by the stem, dunk them in dipping sauce and enjoy! We often serve them when family and friends come over for a movie night or as part of a dim sum dinner. —Steve Niederloh, Champlin, Minnesota
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Nena S Papas Rellenas Exps50846 Th1999634b10 05 1bc Rms 1

Nena's Papas Rellenas

A Cuban classic, these satisfying, crispy-coated potato balls are filled with a savory ground beef mixture known as picadillo. —Nena Linares, Los Angeles, California
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Slow Cooked Carnitas Exps Tham19 61642 C11 08 4b 7

Slow-Cooked Carnitas

Simmer up succulent pork the slow-cooker way. Sometimes, instead of using tortillas, I put the seasoned meat on top of shredded lettuce for a tasty salad. —Lisa Glogow, Aliso Viejo, California
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Tonkatsu Exps87921 Hca2081250c04 11 7b Rms 2

Tonkatsu

My dear friend, Junie Obi's mom owned a food stand and served this traditional Japanese dish known as Tonkatsu. She shared the recipe for these breaded pork cutlets with me years ago. They continue to be a favorite. —Yuko Shibata, Monterey Park, California
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Hearty Paella Exps76331 Thhc2238742b09 21 2bc Rms 6

Hearty Paella

I had paella for the first time in Spain. It was so good that I've been on the quest to re-create the rich flavors ever since. We love the shrimp, chicken, veggies and olives in this easy homemade version. —Libby Walp, Chicago, Illinois
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Bread Machine Naan

Chewy yeast-raised flat bread is a snap to make in a bread machine. Serve naan with your favorite Indian dish to soak up the curry and sauces. —Shannon Ventresca, Middleboro, Massachusetts
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Dutch Meatballs Bitterballen  Exps41938 Th1999633a08 05 6bc Rms 4

Dutch Meatballs (Bitterballen)

I host an annual Christmas party for some friends, and one year, I made a dish from each person's background, including these Dutch meatballs with a crispy coating. Talk about a hit! —Tracey Rosato, Markham, Ontario
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Bratwurst Supper

After trying a few bratwurst recipes, I've found this meal-in-one is ideal for camping since it grills to perfection in a heavy-duty foil bag. Loaded with chunks of bratwurst, red potatoes, mushrooms and carrots, it's easy to season with onion soup mix and a little soy sauce. —Janice Meyer, Medford, Wisconsin
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Classic Swedish Meatballs

I'm a "Svenska flicka" (Swedish girl) from northwest Iowa, where many Swedes settled at the turn of the century. This recipe was given to me by a Swedish friend. It's obviously a 20th century version of a 19th century favorite, since back then they didn't have bouillon cubes or evaporated milk! I think you'll agree that these modern-day "Kottbullar" are very tasty. —Emily Gould, Hawarden, Iowa
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Pork Schnitzel With Dill Sauce Exps6957 Th143193c04 22 1b Rms 6

Pork Schnitzel with Dill Sauce

Schnitzel is one of my husband’s favorites because it reminds him of his German roots. An appealing dish for guests, it’s ready in a jiffy. Pop it on buns for a fun handheld option. —Joyce Folker, Paraowan, Utah
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Exps48200 Cw163683d03 30 5b 2

Summer Carbonara

Basil and bacon make best summer buds in this smoky-sweet pasta. I pair it with a simple spring mix salad with balsamic dressing and a glass of good Chardonnay or cold iced tea. —Cathy Dudderar, Lexington, Kentucky
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Makeover Beef Stroganoff Exps Thn16 49258 07b 22 3b 2

Makeover Beef Stroganoff

I trimmed the calories, fat and sodium in a classic stroganoff, and my comfy, cozy version still tastes like a Russian masterpiece. —Candace Clark, Connell, Washington
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Slow-Cooker Pork Pozole

Slow-Cooker Pork Pozole

When the snow begins falling, I make a heartwarming stew with pork ribs and hominy. This is a fill-you-up recipe of lightly spiced comfort. —Genie Gunn, Asheville, North Carolina
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Exps89785 Sd153321b01 29 5b 3

Tandoori Chicken Thighs

I spent time in India and love reminders of this vibrant culture, so this tandoori chicken makes me happy. Served with warmed naan bread and a cool tomato and cucumber salad, it's a whole meal. —Claire Elston, Spokane, Washington
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Easy Chow Mein

Some years ago, our daughter welcomed me home from a hospital stay with this Asian dish and a copy of the recipe. Now I freeze leftovers for fast future meals. —Kay Bade, Mitchell, South Dakota
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Khachapuri

While in Russia, where we adopted our two children, my husband and I discovered these marvelous cheese pies. The traditional pastries, named khachapuri, can be served with a salad for a celebratory supper or shaped into bite-sized hors d’oeuvres. —Rachel Sauder, Tremont, Illinois
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Chipotle Turkey Chilaquiles

As a frugal mom, I try to use leftovers in a way that provides good nutrition. This recipe does just that and it’s also a great way for my children to learn to enjoy the flavors of their Mexican heritage. —Aimee Day, Ferndale, Washington
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Chicken Cacciatore with Polenta

The microwave makes quick work of homemade polenta, and the rest is done in one skillet. Save a little Parmesan for sprinkling on top before serving. —Yvonne Starlin, Hermitage, Tennessee
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Exps45980 Rm1784743d55c Rms 7

Eggplant Stacks

A nice surprise in this moussaka recipe is the touch of cinnamon, just enough to give it a fresh taste. This dish would serve nicely as a vegetarian entree.—Marjorie Palla, Moraga, California
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Oktoberfest Red Cabbage

Four generations of our family have made this dish of red cabbage and apples, known as rotkohl ("red cabbage"). We love the tart and sweet flavors. —Diana Likes, Chandler, Arizona
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Thai Chicken Curry Exps148470 Th132767d04 25 2bc Rms 6

Thai Chicken Curry

Frequent trips to New York City and its diverse food scene got me hooked on spicy Thai food. I know most people don’t have a heat-proof tongue like I do, so I kept this version pretty mild—you can always amp up the heat if you like! —Corey Rupp, Dunmore, Pennsylvania
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Fettuccine Carbonara Exps175448 Sd143205b01 28 2bc Rms 7

Fettuccine Carbonara

When a man at church found out how much my family likes fettuccine, he shared his Italian grandmother's carbonara recipe with us. I've made it my own over the last 25 years. Grated Parmesan cheese works just as well as Romano. —Kristine Chayes, Smithtown, New York
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Sweet Gingered Chicken Wings

I first tasted this delicious chicken dish when I attended a class on using honey in cooking. When I prepare this recipe for a party, it's one of the first dishes to disappear! —Debbie Dougal, Roseville, California
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Shrimp And Pineapple Fried Rice Exps46991 Thhc1785930d33d Rms 2

Shrimp and Pineapple Fried Rice

Pineapple chunks give fried rice a tropical twist, while shrimp and cashews turn this simple favorite into a restaurant-quality meal everyone will love. —Lynne Van Wagenen, Salt Lake City, Utah
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Colcannon Potatoes Exps Sdfm18 29291 D10 03 1b 5

Colcannon Potatoes

Every Irish family has its own colcannon recipe, since it's a classic dish. My recipe comes from my father's family in Ireland. It's part of my St. Pat's menu, along with lamb chops, carrots and soda bread. —Marilou Robinson, Portland, Oregon
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Flavorful Matzo Ball Soup

A variety of winter vegetables gives the broth for this classic Jewish soup a deep flavor. You can use a few green onions instead of the leek. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Mom's Paella

I enjoy cooking ethnic foods, especially those that call for lots of rice. Like my mom, I often prepare this dish for special Sunday get-togethers. Traditional paella uses saffron, but turmeric is a budget-friendly alternative. —Ena Quiggle, Goodhue, Minnesota
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Onigiri Rice Balls  Exps135006 Hca2081250c04 11 2b Rms 3

Onigiri (Rice Balls)

Because Japanese rice balls are so easy to eat, they're often used in lunch boxes. Our Test Kitchen's onigiri recipe features tuna and a touch of wasabi. —Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Authentic German Potato Salad Exps28993 C10582b06 29 6b Rms 6

Authentic German Potato Salad

This authentic German potato salad recipe came from Speck’s Restaurant, which was a famous eating establishment in St. Louis from the 1920s through the ‘50s. I ate lunch there almost every day and always ordered the potato salad. When the owner learned I was getting married, he gave me the recipe as a wedding gift! —Violette Klevorn, Washington, Missouri
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Palmiers Exps Mcsmz17 30144 C01 05 5b 2

Palmiers

It takes just two ingredients to make these impressive but easy-to-do French pastries, which are often called palm leaves. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Cuban Picadillo Exps Gbbz20 46453 C10 15 10b 3

Cuban Picadillo

Like most traditional recipes, there are numerous variations...and this is my version of a Cuban classic. For added convenience, I adapted it for the slow cooker.—Sanford Brown, Big Pine Key, Florida
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Shrimp Pad Thai Soup

Pad thai is one of my favorite dishes, but it is often loaded with extra calories. This soup is a healthier option that has all the flavor of traditional versions. —Julie Merriman, Seattle, Washington.

Caroline Stanko
As an Associate Digital Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.
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