24 Five & Dime Lunch Counter Specials

Updated: Apr. 28, 2024

You'll feel like you're at a classic luncheonette when you whip up these recipes reminiscent of trips to the five and dime.

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The Ultimate Chicken Noodle Soup

My first Wisconsin winter was so cold, all I wanted to eat was homemade chicken noodle soup. Of all the chicken noodle soup recipes out there, this type of soup is my favorite and is in heavy rotation from November to April. It has many incredibly devoted fans.—Gina Nistico, Denver, Colorado

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Chicken Salad Croissants

This tempting chicken salad that gets its special taste from Swiss cheese and pickle relish. It's a favorite of my brother, who insists I make it whenever he visits. —Laura Koziarski, Battle Creek, Michigan
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Quick Tomato Soup

There's nothing like a steamy bowl of classic tomato soup on a cold February day. The addition of sugar puts a sweet spin on this version. For extra loveliness, top with homemade heart-shaped croutons. —Jane Ward, Churchville, Maryland
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Classic Egg Salad

Egg salad is a refreshing, tasty change from lunchmeat or peanut butter sandwiches. The touch of mustard and lemon juice gives it extra zip. —Annemarie Pietila, Farmington Hills, Michigan
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BLT with Peppered Balsamic Mayo

Here’s my twist on the classic BLT. Creamy avocado, balsamic mayo and crisp salad greens make this version legendary in my book. For a lighter take, I often use turkey bacon. —Ami Boyer, San Francisco, California
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Bacon Macaroni Salad

This pleasing pasta salad is like eating a BLT in a bowl. Filled with crispy bacon, chopped tomato, celery and green onion, the sensational salad is coated with a tangy mayonnaise and vinegar dressing. It’s a real crowd-pleaser! —Norene Wright, Manilla, Indiana
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French Dip Sandwiches with Onions

When I want to impress company, these satisfying sandwiches are my first pick for the menu. I serve them au jus, with the cooking juices in individual bowls for dipping. —Florence Robinson, Lenox, Iowa
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Burger Joint Onion Rings

These onion rings cook to a crisp, golden brown. This is one of those foods you never tire of and a great side dish to so many meals. —Betsy King, Duluth, Minnesota
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Turkey Club Sandwich with Chipotle

We’re crazy for turkey club sandwiches. A nearby roadside stand carries gorgeous tomatoes every summer. We load up, then stuff our sandwiches with the usual suspects, plus smoked turkey and cheese. —Pamela Shank, Parkersburg, West Virginia
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Quick Pork Chili

A dear neighbor gave me a pot of this delicious chili, and I asked for the recipe. The pork sausage is a nice change from the ground beef many chili recipes call for. —Janice Westmoreland, Brooksville, Florida
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Special Sandwich Loaves

These satisfying sub sandwiches are a study in simplicity. Try serving the seasoned mayonnaise on the side so guests can customize their hoagies. Look for submarine sandwich dressing in the deli section of your grocery store. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Swiss Cobb Salad

Topped with ham, roast beef, bacon and other fixings, this hearty salad has an excellent blend of flavors. A from-scratch vinaigrette adds the refreshing final touch. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Basil-Tomato Grilled Cheese

The tastes of summer abound in this easy Italian-style grilled cheese sandwich. Not only is it delicious, it's super-fast, so you can get back to those summer outdoor activities. —Sylvia Schmitt, Sun City, Arizona
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Hearty Vegetable Soup

A friend gave me the idea to use V8 juice in vegetable soup because it provides more flavor. My best vegetable soup recipe is perfect to prepare on a crisp autumn afternoon. —Janice Steinmetz, Somers, Connecticut
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Blackened Pork Caesar Salad

When I cook, the goal is to have enough leftovers for lunch the next day. This Caesar with pork has fantastic flavor even when the meat is chilled. —Penny Hedges, Dewdney, British Columbia
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Fruit Cup with Citrus Sauce

This fruit salad is so elegant that I serve it in my prettiest crystal bowls. With its dressed-up flavor, it's perfect for a special event, but easy enough for every day. —Edna Lee, Greeley, Colorado
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Potato Soup

I decided to add some character to a basic potato chowder with a jar of roasted red peppers. The extra flavor gives a deliciously different twist to an otherwise ordinary soup. —Mary Shivers, Ada, Oklahoma
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Almond Chicken Salad

My mother used to prepare this chicken salad with grapes and almonds for an evening meal during the hot summer months. It's my favorite of my mother's chicken salad recipes. You can also serve it as a delicious but quick luncheon or potluck dish. —Kathy Kittell, Lenexa, Kansas
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Loaded Avocado BLT

My husband invented this twist on a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. I like to make it with extra slices of bacon; if you want, you can leave the Gorgonzola cheese out of the avocado spread. —Lori Grant, Kingsport, Tennessee
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BLT Chicken Salad

Featuring all the fun fixings for a BLT chicken sandwich, this salad is so lovable. I can prep the ingredients ahead of time and just throw it together at the last minute. Barbecue sauce in the dressing gives it unexpected flavor. Even picky eaters love my chicken salads. —Cindy Moore, Mooresville, North Carolina
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Chicken-Fried Steak & Gravy

As a child, I learned from my grandmother how to make these chicken-fried steaks. I taught my daughters, and when my granddaughters are older, I’ll show them, too. —Donna Cater, Fort Ann, New York
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Quick Cream of Mushroom Soup

My daughter-in-law, a gourmet cook, served this cream of mushroom soup recipe as the first course for a holiday dinner. She received the recipe from her mom and graciously shared it with me. Now I'm happy to share it with my own friends and family. —Anne Kulick, Phillipsburg, New Jersey
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Sweet Macaroni Salad

A sweet out-of-the-ordinary dressing makes this macaroni salad special. My aunt gave me the recipe and it has become one of my favorites. I occasionally leave out the green pepper if I know that people don’t like it, and it still tastes great. —Idalee Scholz, Cocoa Beach, Florida
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Cuban-Style Pork Sandwiches

Loaded with tangy flavor, this is a lighter version of a favorite restaurant-style sandwich. If you don’t have a panini maker, tuck the sandwiches under the broiler until the bread is browned and the cheese melted. —Robin Haas, Cranston, Rhode Island