Save on Pinterest

21 of Grandma’s Secret Make-Ahead Recipes

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

1 / 21
Bacon-Colby LasagnaTaste of Home

Bacon-Colby Lasagna

With both bacon and ground beef, this hearty dish is a real crowd-pleaser. The recipe came from my grandmother, now in her 80s. I've learned so much from helping her in the kitchen. —Cathy McCartney, Davenport, Iowa

2 / 21
Mashed Cauliflower au GratinTaste of Home

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

3 / 21
Grandma Krause's Coconut CookiesTaste of Home

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

4 / 21
Grandma's Pea SoupTaste of Home

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

5 / 21
Martha Washington CandyTaste of Home

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

6 / 21
Quiche Pastry Cups

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

7 / 21
Mexican Chocolate Sugar Crisps

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

8 / 21
Slow-Cooker Cranberry Chicken

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

9 / 21
Lemon Slice Sugar CookiesTaste of Home

Lemon Slice Sugar Cookies

Here's a refreshing variation of my grandmother's sugar cookie recipe. Lemon pudding mix and icing add a subtle tartness that tingles your taste buds. —Melissa Turkington, Camano Island, Washington

10 / 21
Scalloped Sweet Corn CasseroleTaste of Home

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

11 / 21
Italian Pasta SauceTaste of Home

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

12 / 21
Honey-Lime Almond CookiesTaste of Home

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

13 / 21
Family-Pleasing Sloppy JoesTaste of Home

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

14 / 21
Lamb StewTaste of Home

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

15 / 21
Chocolate Cutout CookiesTaste of Home

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

16 / 21
Grandma's Honey MuffinsTaste of Home

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

17 / 21
Turkey Sausage Soup with Fresh Vegetables

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

18 / 21
Cutout Christmas CookiesTaste of Home

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

19 / 21
Grandma's Orange RollsTaste of Home

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

20 / 21
TourtieresTaste of Home

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

21 / 21
Turkey Sausage Bean SoupTaste of Home

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 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.

Popular Videos