Grandma’s Coziest Comfort Foods

Updated: May 11, 2024

Grandma knew nothing could warm you up on a chilly day like home-cooked comfort food. Here are cozy recipes she'd be proud to serve.

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Great-Grandma’s Italian Meatballs

My great-grandmother started this easy meatball recipe with our family. We use ground beef and turkey for these meatballs, and the flavor’s so good, you won’t miss the extra calories. —Audrey Colantino, Winchester, Massachusetts

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Grandma's Carrot Cake

My grandma was very special to me. She had a big country kitchen that was full of wonderful aromas any time we visited. This was one of her prized cake recipes, and it continues to be a favorite from generation to generation. —Denise Strasz, Detroit, Michigan
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Grandma's Rice Dish

My grandmother often made this casserole when I was young. I forgot about it until one day I found myself adding the same ingredients to leftover rice. The memories came flooding back. —Lorna Moore, Glendora, California
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Turkey Dumpling Stew

My mom made this stew when I was young, and it was always a hit. Since it's not time-consuming to make I can fix it on a weekend for our children, who love the tender dumplings. —Becky Mohr, Appleton, Wisconsin
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Grandma Brubaker's Orange Cookies

At least two generations of my family have enjoyed the recipe for these light, delicate orange-flavored cookies. —Sheri DeBolt, Huntington, Indiana
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Grandma Edna's Cajun Pork

My grandma used to make this for our family on special occasions. We love to carry on the delicious tradition. —Tonya Cline, Greenville, Ohio
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Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken with Potatoes

This is a meal I have my students make in our nutrition unit. It has a delicious lemon-herb flavor and is simple to make. —Mindy Rottmund, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
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Chili Mac Casserole

This cheesy casserole uses several of my family's favorite ingredients, including macaroni, kidney beans, tomatoes and cheese. Just add a leafy salad for a complete meal. —Marlene Wilson, Rolla, North Dakota
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Beef Roast Dinner

Because this healthy dish is slow-cooked, you can use less expensive roasts with results as mouthwatering as the more costly cuts. Change up the veggies for variety, nutrition or to suit your tastes!—Sandra Dudley, Bemidji, Minnesota
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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
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Best Chicken Potpie

This is the best chicken potpie recipe! Chock-full of chicken, potatoes, peas and corn, this recipe makes two golden pies, so you can serve one at supper and save the other for a busy night. —Karen Johnson, Bakersfield, California
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Ginger Apple-Pear Crisp

Enjoy autumn aromas—apples, cinnamon and spices—in this delicious recipe. It's even better with a scoop of vanilla or pumpkin ice cream! Whipped cream is always an option. —Holly Battiste, Barrington, New Jersey
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Homey Mac & Cheese

I also call this "my grandson's mac and cheese." Zachary has been to Iraq and Afghanistan with both the Marines and Navy, and I've been privileged to make his favorite casserole for him for over 20 years. —Alice Beardsell, Osprey, Florida
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Country Ham and Potatoes

Browned potatoes are a simple but perfect side for country ham. Not only do the potatoes pick up the flavor of the ham, but they look beautiful! Just add veggies or a salad and dinner’s done. —Helen Bridges, Washington, Virginia
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Garlicky Cheddar Cheese Bisque

I came up with a cheddar cheese soup a while ago and decided to give it a boost with a variety of root vegetables. Crushed pita chips and fresh parsley make fun garnishes. —Patricia Harmon, Baden, Pennsylvania
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Grandma Pietz's Cranberry Cake Pudding

For generations, our family has handed down this cake recipe starring cranberries. Simple and unusual, it remains a treasured family heirloom. —Lisa Potter, Camp Douglas, Wisconsin
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Chunky Creamy Chicken Soup

I am a stay-at-home mom who relies on my slow cooker for fast, nutritious meals with minimal cleanup and prep time. I knew this recipe was a hit when I didn't have any leftovers and my husband asked me to make it again. —Nancy Clow, Mallorytown, Ontario
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Maple Bubble Bread

This is my family's favorite breakfast bread. With a scrumptious topping of maple syrup and brown sugar, it's the perfect start to a special day.—Hannah Cobb, Owings Mills, Maryland
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Pastry-Topped Turkey Casserole

My friends tell me this is the best potpie they've ever had. Hearty and full-flavored, my comforting classic never lets on that it’s also low in fat and a good source of fiber. —Agnes Ward, Stratford, Ontario
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Pork Chops 'n' Pierogi

The Polish dumplings are traditionally served as a meal, with applesauce or sour cream. This meal in one is a different way to use pierogi. —Greta Igl, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.
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Spiced Apple Oatmeal

These easy apple-y oats let your family have a warm and cozy breakfast no matter how busy you are. —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
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Mom's Sweet Potato Bake

Mom loved sweet potatoes and fixed them often in this creamy, comforting baked sweet potato casserole. With its nutty topping, this side dish could almost be served as a dessert. It's a yummy treat! —Sandi Pichon, Memphis, Tennessee
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Stovetop Meat Loaves

Who says meat loaf has to bake in the oven for hours? For this convenient recipe, all you need is your stovetop and 30 minutes. It’s a quick, simple dish to make for one or two people. —Emily Sund, Geneseo, Illinois.
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Loaded Red Potato Casserole

This potato casserole has the same flavor of the potato skins you can order as a restaurant appetizer. It's an ideal dish for tailgating and potlucks. —Charlane Gathy, Lexington, Kentucky
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Creamed Corn

Five ingredients are all you'll need for my popular creamed corn recipe. It's wonderful no matter what the occasion is. Try it on a barbecue buffet or holiday menu. —Barbara Brizendine, Harrisonville, Missouri
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Slow-Cooker Spicy Pork Chili

Tender pork adds extra heartiness to this slow-cooked chili. You can use pork tenderloin, boneless pork roast or boneless pork chops for the pork called for in the recipe. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Colorful Brunch Frittata

A friend called and asked me for a special recipe that he could serve at his daughter's wedding brunch. I created this brunch frittata recipe for the special day. —Kristin Arnett, Elkhorn, Wisconsin
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Caramel-Pecan Apple Pie

You'll love the smell in your kitchen—and the smiles on everybody's faces—when you make this scrumptious caramel apple pie recipe. It takes me back home to Virginia, to my granny's table. —Jean Castro, Phoenix, Arizona
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Ravioli Lasagna

When you taste this dish, you’ll think it’s a from-scratch recipe—but it starts with frozen ravioli! —Patricia Smith, Asheboro, North Carolina
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Slow-Cooked Bread Pudding

This warm and hearty dessert is perfect on any cold, blustery winter evening. And the slow cooker fills your kitchen with an amazing aroma. My stomach is growling just thinking about it! —Maiah Albi, Carlsbad, California
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Sunday Pork Roast

Mom would prepare pork roast for our family, friends and customers at the three restaurants she and Dad owned. The herb rub and vegetables give it a remarkable flavor. It's one of my favorite pork roast recipes. —Sandi Pichon, Memphis, Tennessee
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Turkey Lattice Pie

With its pretty lattice crust, this cheesy baked dish looks as good as it tastes. It's easy to make, too, since it uses ready-to-go crescent roll dough. —Lorraine Naig, Emmetsburg, Iowa
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Hearty Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

This satisfying soup with a hint of cayenne is brimming with vegetables, chicken and noodles. The recipe is from my father-in-law, but I tweaked it to make it my own. —Norma Reynolds, Overland Park, Kansas
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Golden Apple Pie

Pies are the dessert I like best to prepare. This one's the favorite for family get-togethers, and it has been awarded blue ribbons at a couple of local fairs. —Theresa Brazil, Petaluma, California
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Chicken & Dumpling Casserole

This classic, savory casserole is one of my husband's favorites. He loves the fluffy dumplings with plenty of gravy. The basil adds just the right flavor and makes the whole house smell so good while this dish bakes. —Sue Mackey, Jackson, Wisconsin
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Italian Shredded Pork Stew

Need a warm meal for a chilly night? Throw together this slow-cooked stew that’s brightened with fresh sweet potatoes, kale and Italian seasoning. The shredded pork is so tender, you’re going to want to make this dish all season long. —Robin Jungers, Campbellsport, Wisconsin
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Grandma's Sour Cream Raisin Pie

The aroma of this pie baking in my farm kitchen oven reminds me of my dear grandma, who made this pretty pie for special occasions. —Beverly Medalen, Willow City, North Dakota
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Meatball Chili with Dumplings

My family enjoys this delicious recipe—it's like a spicy meatball stew with dumplings!—Sarah Yoder, Middlebury, Indiana
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Kentucky Spoon Bread

This is a traditional Kentucky recipe. It’s a popular side dish served all year long. If you’ve never tried spoon bread before, I think you’ll find it’s tasty and comforting. —Caroline Brown, Lexington, Kentucky
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Pork Shepherd's Pie

Of all the shepherd's pie recipes I've tried through the years, this version is my favorite. Although I live alone, I enjoy cooking and baking for friends and family. —Mary Arthurs, Etobicoke, Ontario
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Chicken Tater Bake

You'll please everyone in the family with this inviting and filling chicken Tater Tot casserole. It tastes like a chicken potpie topped with Tater Tots. —Fran Allen, St Louis, Missouri
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One-Pot Spaghetti Dinner

All you need is one pot to make this meal that features a simple homemade sauce. Allspice adds a unique taste, but you can use Italian seasoning if you prefer. —Carol Benzel-Schmidt, Stanwood, Washington
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Turkey Cutlets with Pan Gravy

Using cutlets or any boneless meat speeds up cooking time for this quick entree. You can use thin boneless, skinless chicken breast as well. —Margaret Wilson, Sun City, California
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Baked Blueberry Pancake

For a quick breakfast, I make this pancake while I fix supper the night before, and then I cut them into squares or triangles. In the morning, I top them with butter and syrup before placing them in the microwave. The pancake recipe is innovative and takes most of the fuss out of making breakfast. —Norna Detig, Lindenwood, Illinois
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Skillet Beef and Macaroni

I found this simple skillet recipe many years ago on a can label. I made some tweaks, and my family loved it. Because it's so easy to put together, it's a real timesaver for people with super busy schedules. —Maxine Neuhauser, Arcadia, California
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Chicken Potpie Soup

My grandmother hand-wrote a cookbook. She included this amazing pie crust, and I added this delicious chicken potpie soup for it. —Karen LeMay, Seabrook, Texas
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Pork and Green Chile Casserole

I work at a local hospital and another job part time, so I'm always on the lookout for good, quick recipes to fix for my family. Some of my co-workers and I exchange recipes. This zippy casserole is one that was brought to a picnic at my house. People raved over it. —Dianne Esposite, New Middletown, Ohio
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Grandma's Honey Muffins

I can remember my Grandma Wheeler making these delicious muffins—we'd eat them nice and warm, fresh from the oven! She was a "pinch of this and handful of that" kind of cook, so getting the ingredient amounts correct for the recipe was a challenge. Now it's a family treasure! —Darlis A. Wilfer, West Bend, Wisconsin
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Tuna Mushroom Casserole

I love to serve this dressed-up version of a tuna casserole. The green beans add nice texture, color and flavor. The first time I made this dish, my uncle asked for seconds even though tuna casseroles are not usually his favorite. —Jone Furlong, Santa Rosa, California
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Twice-Baked Potato Casserole

My daughter gave me this recipe because she knows I love potatoes. The hearty casserole is loaded with a palate-pleasing combination of bacon, cheeses, green onions and sour cream. —Betty Miars, Anna, Ohio
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Bacon-Beef Barley Soup

Here’s a robust dish that’s perfect for hungry teenagers! Served over creamy mashed potatoes, this quick, comforting soup really hits the spot. —Cathy Peterson, Menominee, Michigan
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Golden Gouda Mushroom Soup

Here’s a fantastic first course for guests. Rich, creamy and cheesy, it will warm you from the inside out and stir your appetite for what’s to come. —Charlotte Rogers, Virginia Beach, Virginia
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Mother's Rolls

These golden cloverleaf dinner rolls were one of my mother's specialties. We always looked forward to them on holidays and special occasions. —Patricia Baxter, Great Bend, Kansas
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Slow-Cooked Minestrone Soup

When this colorful minestrone has about 30 minutes left to cook, I add the macaroni. Then there's time to make some garlic bread and a simple salad. —Kara de la Vega, Santa Rosa, California
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Cinnamon Raisin Quick Bread

Cinnamon and raisins bring heartwarming flavor to this mildly sweet bread. It's ideal for an on-the-go breakfast or a quick snack before dinner. —Flo Burtnett, Gage, Oklahoma
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Chicken & Cheese Noodle Bake

This is the recipe my daughters and I often make for new parents when they come home from the hospital. With its creamy spaghetti filling and melted cheese topping, this casserole holds a nice cut and comforts hungry tummies. —Fancheon Resler, Bluffton, Indiana
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Copycat Panera's Cheesy Broccoli Soup in a Bread Bowl

This creamy, cheesy broccoli soup tastes just like the one served at Panera Bread! My family requests it all the time. You can even make your own homemade bread bowls with the recipe on my blog, Yammie's Noshery. —Rachel Preus, Marshall, Michigan
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Herbed Chicken with Wild Rice

My family is always very busy. With three kids involved in many different after-school and evening activities, it’s nice to come home to a meal that’s already prepared and ready to eat! —Becky Gifford, Conway, Arkansas
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Savory Apple-Chicken Sausage

These easy, healthy sausages taste great, and they make an elegant brunch dish. The recipe is also very versatile: It can be doubled or tripled for a crowd, and the sausages freeze well either cooked or raw. —Angela Buchanan, Longmont, Colorado
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Hearty Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

This creamy, cheesy casserole is so hearty that second helpings are a must! —Lynne German, Woodland Hills, California
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Rainbow Quiche

With plenty of veggies and a creamy egg-cheese filling, this tasty quiche gets rave reviews every time I make it! —Lilith Fury, Adena, Ohio
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Creamy Chicken Gnocchi Soup

I tasted a similar soup at Olive Garden and wanted to see if I could re-create it myself at home. Here's the delicious result! It's wonderful on a chilly evening. —Jaclynn Robinson, Shingletown, California
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Spinach-Basil Lasagna

In the kitchen, my husband and I like to use classic ingredients in new ways. I came up with this lasagna one day and haven’t made another type since. We love it! —Charlotte Gehle, Brownstown, Michigan
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Chicken Divan

This tasty chicken divan recipe was given to me by a friend years ago, and it's been a family favorite ever since. My daughters enjoy making this dish in their own homes and get the same enthusiastic compliments I always do! —Mary Pat Lucia, North East, Pennsylvania
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Chicken Stew with Gnocchi

My chicken stew makes the house smell wonderful as it gently bubbles in the slow cooker. One whiff and my family heads to the kitchen to see if it's ready. —Marge Drake, Juniata, Nebraska
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Texas-Style Beef Brisket

A friend had success with this recipe, so I tried it. When my husband told me how much he loved it, I knew I’d be making it often.—Vivian Warner, Elkhart, Kansas
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Cheese & Garlic Biscuits

My biscuits won the prize for best quick bread at my county fair. One of the judges liked them so much, she asked for the recipe! These buttery, savory biscuits go with just about anything. —Gloria Jarrett, Loveland, Ohio
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Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pudding

One of the nice things about this easy pudding is you don't have to stand and stir it. It's a must for my family year-round! I also make it into a pie with a graham cracker crust that our grandchildren love. —Amber Sampson, Somonauk, Illinois
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Spicy Goulash

Ground cumin, chili powder and a can of Mexican diced tomatoes jazz up my goulash recipe. Even the elbow macaroni is prepared in the slow cooker. —Melissa Polk, West Lafayette, Indiana
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Contest-Winning Broccoli Chicken Casserole

This delicious chicken and broccoli casserole recipe is a twist on chicken divan that came from an old boss. It’s quick, satisfying comfort food. —Jennifer Schlachter, Big Rock, Illinois
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Parmesan Pork Roast

Great sweet, savory flavor comes from just a few pantry staples in this easy roast. —Karen Warner, Louisville, Ohio
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Veggie Calzones

Bread dough makes it a breeze to assemble these savory turnovers. If you have a favorite pizza dough, use it instead. These freeze well and once they are frozen, they can be heated in half an hour. —Lee Ann Lowe, Gray, Maine
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Corn and Broccoli in Cheese Sauce

Save room in the oven by making this savory side in your slow cooker. It is a standby in my house. My daughter likes to add leftover ham to create a hearty main course. —Joyce Johnson, Uniontown, Ohio
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Baked Banana French Toast

This easy overnight recipe makes a delightful breakfast or brunch entrée. The flavor is reminiscent of banana pudding, so I’ve also served it for dessert.—Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, New Jersey
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Corn Dog Casserole

Reminiscent of traditional corn dogs, this fun main dish really hits the spot on fall days. It's perfect for the football parties my husband and I often host. It tastes especially good right from the oven. -Marcy Suzanne Olipane, Belleville, Illinois
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Stovetop Beef and Shells

I fix this supper when I'm pressed for time. It's as tasty as it is fast. Team it with salad, bread and fruit for a comforting meal. —Donna Roberts, Manhattan, Kansas
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Easy Breakfast Strata

We start this strata recipe the night before so it's ready for the oven the next day. That way, we don't have to deal with the prep and dirty dishes first thing in the morning! —Debbie Johnson, Centertown, Missouri
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Beef Vegetable Soup

This nicely seasoned soup tastes so good. It's convenient, too, since it simmers all day in the slow cooker. —Jean Hutzell, Dubuque, Iowa
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Cornbread

I've tried many recipes for corn bread. But my family and friends agree my version is one of the best they've tasted. It turns our moist and delicious every time.
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Slow-Cooked Beef Vegetable Soup

Convenient frozen veggies and hash browns make this meaty soup a snap to make. Simply brown the ground beef, then stir everything together to simmer all day. It's wonderful served with bread and a salad. —Carol Calhoun, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
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Melt-in-Your-Mouth Pot Roast

Slow-simmered and seasoned with rosemary, mustard and thyme, this tender and tasty crock pot roast and potatoes recipe is so easy to make and always a hit. Substitute burgundy or brandy plus a half-cup of water for the broth…the aroma of this English roast recipe is wonderful! —Jeannie Klugh, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
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Grandma's Poultry Dressing

Every family seems to have their own favorite dressing recipe that becomes a tradition, and this is ours. It came from Grandma, who passed it down to my mother. Now our children have carried it into their kitchens. This is truly a good old-fashioned recipe. —Norma Howland, Joliet, Illinois
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Apple Cornbread Crisp

With hearty ingredients and quick prep time, this warm apple crisp makes a delicious, wholesome dessert for any fall night. It reminds me of the recipe my grandmother would serve after our big family seafood dinners. It's absolutely wonderful topped with ice cream. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
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Cream of Lentil Soup

Lentil lovers will want a second bowl of this nourishing soup with a subtle touch of curry. It looks particularly appealing thanks to the color added by the fresh spinach. —Kim Russell, North Wales, Pennsylvania
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Creamy Turkey Casserole

I sometimes make turkey just so I have the extras for this casserole! —Mary Jo O'Brien, Hastings, Minnesota
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Jazzed-Up Green Bean Casserole

After trying many variations of this old standby, I decided to give it a little kick. The crunchy texture from the veggies combines with bacon and melt-in-your-mouth cheese to make this dish a hit at any holiday get-together. —Stephan-Scott Rugh, Portland, Oregon
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Slow-Cooked Blueberry Grunt

If you love blueberries, then you can't go wrong with this easy dessert. For a special treat, serve it warm with vanilla ice cream. —Cleo Gonske, Redding, California
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Beef and Mushrooms with Smashed Potatoes

I was inspired to make this recipe after I couldn't stop thinking of a similar dish served in my elementary school cafeteria more than 50 years ago! I like that it's quick to make, and my husband and grandchildren love it. —Ronna Farley, Rockville, Maryland
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Lemon Chicken and Rice

On our busy ranch, we often need meals we can put on the table in a hurry. This all-in-one chicken dish - with its delicate lemon flavor - fits the bill and it's inexpensive to boot. —Kat Thompson, Prineville, Oregon
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Granny's Gingerbread Cake with Caramel Sauce

The rich molasses and spice flavor of this old-time dessert is complemented with a buttery caramel sauce.—Joy Sparks, Muskegon, Michigan
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Chicken & Vegetable Wild Rice Soup

This go-to weeknight recipe is one I tweaked over and over till it was just right. It has morphed from a labor-intensive wintry bowl to a steamy, comforting, slow-cooked favorite for our family. —Courtney Riggin, Hatchechubbee, Alabama
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Cuppa Joe Caramel Cake

I get compliments on this cake wherever I take it. It is very much an adult cake, with the hit of coffee and the warmth of the brown sugar and caramel.—Leigh Doutt, Pueblo West, Colorado
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Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes with Pancetta

Classic American mashed potatoes take a trip to Italy with the flavors of olive oil, garlic, and pancetta. —Bryan Kennedy, Kaneohe, Hawaii
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Sunday Roast Chicken

This recipe proves that comfort food doesn't have to be full of unwanted calories. Mixed with orange and lemon juice, my roast chicken is both flavorful and healthy. —Robin Haas, Cranston, Rhode Island.
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Swedish Cream Apple Rings

My mother made this classic coffee cake for every important holiday... Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Now, I carry on the tradition. As I make them, I remember my mom, who was a lot like this recipe: soft and tasteful but full of surprises. The overnight rise let's you make the dough in advance so your morning won't be hectic.—Heather Hood, Hillsboro, Oregon