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21 of Grandma’s Secret Make-Ahead Recipes

Take a look at the recipes grandma always kept in her back pocket.

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Bacon-Colby Lasagna

My grandmother added bacon to her cheesy lasagna, something she borrowed from carbonara-style pasta. I learned so much by her side. —Cathy McCartney, Davenport, IA
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Mashed Cauliflower au Gratin

Unless someone tells you, you might not know you're eating cauliflower. Even my grandchildren love this buttery, cheesy, creamy dish that tastes like mashed potatoes. —Sandie Parker, Elk Rapids, Michigan
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Grandma Krause's Coconut Cookies

When my two daughters were young, their great-grandma made them coconut cookies with oats. Thankfully, she shared the recipe. —Debra Dorn, Dunnellon, Florida
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Grandma's Pea Soup

My grandma's pea soup recipe was a family favorite. What makes it different from any other pea soups I have tried is the addition of whole peas, spaetzle-like "dumplings" and sausage. Try it once and you'll be hooked. —Carole Talcott, Dahinda, Illinois
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Martha Washington Candy

Passed down by my grandmother and mother, this Martha Washington candy recipe is a cherished family tradition. We've even had each grandchild and great-grandchild take a turn stirring the candy mixture! —Cindi Boger, Ardmore, Alabama
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Quiche Pastry Cups

My grandmother used to make egg cup surprises for family brunches on special occasions. The added fillings were always a surprise; she never seemed to use the same combination of ingredients twice. As children, we had a guessing game as to what we'd find in the tender crust, which added an aspect of family fun to our meal. —Denalee Standart, Rancho Mureta, California
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Mexican Chocolate Sugar Crisps

My grandma loved these so much, she would hide them from my grandpa! I think of her every time I make a batch. Like Mexican spice? Try stirring in a little chili powder. —Michele Lovio, Thousand Oaks, California
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Slow-Cooker Cranberry Chicken

I've been married for 42 years and have 3 children and 2 grandchildren. I love to collect cookbooks and try new recipes. This dish is delicious, easy and good when served with rice and a vegetable side dish. Everyone in the family loves it!—Edith Holliday, Flushing, Michigan
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Lemon Slice Sugar Cookies

These lemon slice cookies are a refreshing variation of my grandmother's sugar cookies. Lemon pudding mix and icing add a subtle tartness that tingles your taste buds. —Melissa Turkington, Camano Island, Washington
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Scalloped Sweet Corn Casserole

This is my Grandma Ostendorf's corn recipe I grew up enjoying. Now a grandmother myself, I still serve this comfy, delicious side as a family classic. —Lonnie Hartstack, Clarinda, Iowa
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Italian Pasta Sauce

As a special part of their wedding buffet, my daughter Kris' husband fixed a big batch of this thick flavorful pasta sauce. The recipe was brought by his grandmother from Italy more than 80 years ago. —Judy Braun, Juneau, Wisconsin
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Honey-Lime Almond Cookies

Decades ago my grandmother passed this buttery lime cookie recipe to me. Through years of baking, our cookie memories keep the family connected, although we’re miles apart. —Paula Marchesi, Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania
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Family-Pleasing Sloppy Joes

My grandma gave this recipe to me years ago, but I made a few changes to give this yummy supper more pizzazz. —Jill Zosel, Seattle, Washington
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Lamb Stew

My grandmother used to make this stew as a special Sunday meal. It's an unforgettable treat from Ireland. —Vickie Desourdy, Washington, North Carolina
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Chocolate Cutout Cookies

I love gingerbread cookies, but my grandchildren don't like the ginger flavor. Now I use chocolate and watch them smile as they take that first bite. —Nancy Murphy, Mount Dora, Florida
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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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Turkey Sausage Soup with Fresh Vegetables

Our family is big on soup. This favorite is quick to make and very tasty, and it gives me plenty of time to have fun with my kids and grandkids while it slow-cooks. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Cutout Christmas Cookies

These old-fashioned Christmas cookies have been a holiday tradition in my family for many years. It was a joy to make these cookies for my children, and now my little granddaughter will soon be enjoying them, too. —Carolyn Moseley, Dayton, Ohio
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Grandma's Orange Rolls

Both our two children and grandchildren love these fine-textured sweet rolls. We have our own orange, lime and grapefruit trees, and it's such a pleasure to go out and pick fruit right off the tree. —Norma Poole, Auburndale, Florida
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Tourtieres

Some time ago, a co-worker brought a meat pie to lunch. The aroma was familiar—after one taste, I was amazed to discover it was the same pie my grandmother used to serve when I was a youngster! She shared the recipe, and I have been enjoying it ever since. —Rita Winterberger, Huson, Montana
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Turkey Sausage Bean Soup

This recipe is from my great-grandmother, though I've added a few ingredients to make it my own. Serve it with a side salad and some artisan bread for a wonderful, hearty family dinner. —Terrel Porter-Smith, Los Osos, California

Caroline Stanko
As 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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