73 Midwest Nice Recipes You Should Be Making

Don'tcha know that Midwestern recipes are some of our favorites? Check out our top picks from brats to buckeyes, wild rice to walleye and so much more.

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Strawberry Pretzel Salad

Need to bring a dish to pass this weekend? This make-ahead strawberry pretzel salad will disappear quickly at any potluck. —Aldene Belch, Flint, Michigan

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Citrus Cranberry Pie

To showcase abundant fall cranberries, make this beautiful lattice-topped cranberry pie. A dollop of orange cream complements the slightly tart flavor. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Lemon-Batter Fish

My husband ranks this recipe as one of his favorites. A lot of fishing takes place in our area, which makes this a good choice for a regional recipe. —Jackie Hannahs, Cedar Springs, Michigan
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BBQ Brats

In Wisconsin, brats are a food group! We are always looking for new ways to cook them. This recipe is easy and a hit at any tailgate party or cookout, any time of year. —Jessica Abnet, DePere, Wisconsin
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Angel Food Christmas Candy

It was my dad who inspired me to first try making this candy. He remembered it from when he was a boy. The ultimate compliment was when he told me my version tasted even better! My husband is a driver with a parcel service, so he works long hours around the holidays—which gives me time to make treats! —Shelly Matthys, New Richmond, Wisconsin
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Cider Doughnuts

Here on our 1,250-acre farm, we usually have a quick breakfast on the go. So I often keep a batch of these light and moist doughnuts on hand. They disappear quickly because no one can eat just one! —Suzanne Christensen, Defiance, Iowa
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Northwoods Wild Rice Salad

This is my Minnesota version of a vintage German slaw that’s popular at church suppers. The wild rice has a nutty flavor that pairs perfectly with tangy sauerkraut. —Jeanne Holt, St. Paul, Minnesota
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Ham & Jack Pudgy Pie

Pepper jack cheese adds spicy flavor to these warm, melty sandwiches. —Terri McKitrick, Delafield, Wisconsin
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Michigan Cherry Salad

This recipe reminds me what I love about my home state: picking apples with my children, buying greens at the farmers market and tasting cherries on vacations. —Jennifer Gilbert, Brighton, Michigan
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Bohemian Kolaches

This kolache recipe was given to me by my mother-in-law, who received it from her mother! It was a standard treat in their family, made nearly every week. Now I make these kolaches for my own family for special occasions. —Maxine Hron, Quincy, Illinois
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Chicken Wild Rice Soup

I'm originally from Minnesota, where wild rice grows in abundance and is very popular in recipes. This creamy chicken wild rice soup has been part of our Christmas Eve menu for years. To save time, I cook the chicken and wild rice and cut up the vegetables the day before. —Virginia Montmarquet, Riverside, California
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Brandy Slush

This slush with a hint of citrus keeps you cool on hot summer days. Even if you're not a tea lover, you'll likely find the mix of flavors pleasing. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Macaroon-Topped Rhubarb Cobbler

Crumbled macaroons are a surprising addition to this cobbler’s topping. We love that you can make the sweet treat in a baking dish or a cast-iron skillet. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Grandma's Swedish Meatballs

My mother made these hearty meatballs when we were growing up, and now my kids love them, too. My daughter likes to help shake the meatballs in flour. —Karin Ness, Big Lake, Minnesota
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Bacon Cheeseburger Tater Tot Bake

This bacon cheeseburger tater tot casserole is the perfect dish to bribe your kids; homework, chores, piano practice—consider them done! —Deanna Zewen, Union Grove, Wisconsin
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Chocolate Cream Pie

Our teenage son, John, has done lots of 4-H baking. This old-fashioned chocolate cream pie recipe with a flaky crust was his favorite thing to make. —Mary Anderson, De Valls Bluff, Arkansas
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Celebration Cheese Balls

A handful of simple ingredients that go together in minutes, three fun flavorful options…these creamy cheese balls from our Test Kitchen are a darling, do-ahead delight for busy holiday hostesses! Why not whip up several batches? —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Apple-Pear Puff Pancake

Whenever I serve this fruity pancake, people think I slaved for hours. They're surprised that such an attractive, scrumptious dish could be so easy. —Carol Williams, St. Joseph, Missouri
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Wisconsin Butter Burgers

It’s no secret that Wisconsinites love their dairy—so much that they sometimes top their burgers with a generous pat of butter. My recipe is a lot like the butter burgers you’ll find in popular restaurants all over the state. —Becky Carver, North Royalton, Ohio
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Cranberry Fluff

This fluffy fruit salad gets its sweet-tart flavor from cranberries and whipped cream. We like it because it's not as sweet as many other "fluffs." I'm often asked for the secret to this luscious holiday salad. —Lavonne Hartel, Williston, North Dakota
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Loaded Mashed Potatoes

Tired of the same old side dish, I whipped up this new family favorite. We can't get enough of these loaded mashed potatoes at our house. Often, I'll prepare this casserole ahead and refrigerate it. Then I bake it just before serving. —Dawn Reuter, Oxford, Wisconsin
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Honey Walleye

Our state is known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, so fishing is a favorite recreational activity here. This recipe is a quick way to prepare all the fresh walleye hooked by the anglers in our family. —Kitty McCue, St. Louis Park, Minnesota
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Wild Rice Mushroom Bake

The wild rice adds a wonderful flavor to this casserole. I like to serve it on special occasions. —Jann Marie Foster, Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Chocolate Bavarian Torte

Whenever I take this eye-catching torte to a potluck, I get so many requests for the recipe. —Edith Holmstrom, Madison, Wisconsin
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Cherry Cheese Logs

Our party guests flock to this holiday gem of an appetizer - cherry-studded cream cheese served with graham or water crackers and pears. —Libby Walp, Chicago, Illinois
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Rich Fruit Kuchens

This German classic is such a part of our reunions, we designate a special place to serve it. Five generations flock to the "Kuchen Room" for this coffee cake. —Stephanie Schentzel, Northville, South Dakota
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Midwest Mary

In the Midwest, Bloody Marys garnished with meats, cheeses and veggies are works of art. My beverage has skewers of bratwurst, cheese curds and dill pickles. —Kathryn Conrad, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Simple Lime Gelatin Salad

Looking for a festive dish to light up the buffet? This pretty green gelatin salad is eye-catching and has a delightful, tangy flavor. —Cyndi Fynaardt, Oskaloosa, Iowa
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Cherry Pudding Cake

A cross between a cake and a cobbler, this cherry dessert is awesome. Add it to your list of trusty potluck recipes, because this one is sure to go fast. —Brenda Parker, Kalamazoo, Michigan
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Pineapple Pretzel Fluff

I often bring this salad to potlucks, and everyone goes crazy for the sweet and crunchy combination. Be sure to add the pretzel mixture right before serving to keep it crispy. —Beth Olby, Ashland, Wisconsin
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Bavarian Apple-Sausage Hash

This awesome recipe reflects my German roots. In the cooler months, nothing is as comforting as a hearty hash. Serve this versatile recipe as a side dish at a holiday meal or as a brunch entree over cheddar grits or topped with a fried egg. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, CO
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Apple Cranberry Slab Pie

My husband loves pie, so I made one with apples, raspberries and cranberries. It’s so good, I bend the rules and let the grandkids have it for breakfast. —Brenda Smith, Curran, Michigan
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Bake-Sale Lemon Bars

The recipe for these tangy lemon bars comes from my cousin, who is famous for cooking up farm feasts. —Mildred Keller, Rockford, Illinois
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Stuffed Iowa Chops

Here's a hearty dish for big appetites. The corn and apples make a tasty stuffing for the chops. —Judith Smith, Des Moines, Iowa
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Brandy Old-Fashioned Sweet

The concept of an old-fashioned dates back to the early 1800s and includes whiskey, bitters, cherry juice, sugar and water. This old-fashioned recipe, which is extremely popular in Wisconsin, uses brandy in place of whiskey and lemon-lime soda instead of water for a milder cocktail. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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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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Black Forest Chocolate Torte

If you're thinking about pulling out all the stops for a dessert that says wow, look no further. This cherry-crowned beauty—stacked layers of chocolate cake and cream filling—will have everyone talking. —Doris Grotz, York, Nebraska
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Slow-Cooker Cheddar Bacon Beer Dip

My tangy, smoky dip won the top prize in our office party recipe contest. Other beers can work for this, but be sure to steer clear of dark varieties. —Ashley Lecker, Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Favorite Cheesy Potatoes

My family loves these potatoes. I make a large batch in disposable pans and serve them at all our get-togethers. The holidays aren't the same without them. It's also a wonderful recipe for Christmas morning brunch. —Brenda Smith, Curran, Michigan
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Grilled Sweet Corn

Since we have plenty of fresh sweet corn available in our area, we use this recipe often in summer. Parsley, chili powder and cumin accent the corn's just-picked flavor. —Connie Lou Hollister, Lake Odessa, Michigan
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Poppy Seed Cheese Bread

This easy-to-make bread goes well with a salad luncheon or a casserole dinner. But I especially like to serve it with spaghetti and pasta dishes. The cheese topping is its crowning glory! —Elaine Mundt, Detroit, Michigan
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Rosey Raspberry Salad

Whenever I make this pretty raspberry salad, people talk! It's a festive side dish that works well for celebrations throughout the year. —Jane Vanderground, Macedonia, Ohio
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Maple Twist Coffee Cake

If you like maple flavor, you will love this recipe. It is so pretty with all the twists and is always a hit at bake sales I have brought it too.—Deanna Richter, Elmore, Minnesota
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Candy Bar Apple Salad

This creamy, sweet salad with crisp apple crunch is a real people-pleaser. It makes a lot, which is good, because it will go fast! —Cyndi Fynaardt, Oskaloosa, Iowa
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Beer and Brats Nachos

Head to the Midwest for the big game with a platter of these crunchy snacks enlivened with a beer-laced cheese sauce. —Kelly Boe, Whiteland, Indiana
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Ice Cream Kolachkes

These sweet pastries have Polish and Czech roots and can also be spelled "kolaches." They are usually filled with poppy seeds, nuts, jam or a mashed fruit mixture. The ice cream is a unique twist on traditional kolachkes, and it's simplest to use a square cookie cutter to cut the dough. —Diane Turner, Brunswick, Ohio
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Loaded Tater Tots

Playing with food is loads of fun when you have loaded Tater Tots. Let kids build their own for smiles all around. —Eleanor Mielke, Mitchell, South Dakota
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Sour Cream Cucumbers

It’s been a tradition at our house to serve this dish with the other Hungarian specialties my mom learned to make from the women at church. It’s especially good during the summer when the cucumbers are fresh-picked from the garden. —Pamela Eaton, Monclova, Ohio
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Rustic Cranberry & Orange Bread

Studded with cranberries, slices of pretty bread make the perfect holiday brunch treat. —Megumi Garcia, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Buckeyes

These chocolate peanut butter balls (no bake!) are always popular at my church's annual Christmas fundraiser. They resemble chestnuts or buckeyes—hence the name. —Merry Kay Opitz, Elkhorn, Wisconsin
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Oven French Toast with Nut Topping

Baked French toast makes a special morning brunch so easy! —Donna Justin, Sparta, Wisconsin
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Brownie Torte

My mother-in-law first shared this recipe, and now it's often requested for birthdays and other special occasions. I like to serve it at Christmastime on an antique platter surrounded by ornaments for decoration. —Candace McClure, Brookville, Indiana
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Polish Poppy Seed Loaves

Traditionally, these loaves were eaten after sundown on Christmas Eve as part of a 12-course meal. At our house, we never can wait that long to bite into the pretty spiral slices of this tender, coffee cake-like treat.—Linda Gronewaller, Hutchinson, Kansas
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Beer Brat Chili

My husband and I love this chili because it smells so good as it simmers in the slow cooker all day. I can't think of a better way to use up leftover brats. He can't think of a better way to eat them! —Katrina Krumm, Apple Valley, Minnesota
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Midwestern Meat Pies

When I moved to the Midwest in 1966, I discovered many ethnic foods that I had never heard of before. One of my friends introduced me to this recipe, similar to sandwiches from Nebraska's widely known Runza restaurant chain, and it quickly became a favored dish in my home. —Dolly Croghan, Mead, Nebraska
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Snappy Pumpkin Dessert

Our town has a pumpkin-canning factory, so we're known as the "Pumpkin Capital of the World." New pumpkin recipes are always welcomed by our family, and this has become a favorite. The gingersnap crust is the perfect flavor pairing to the pumpkin. —Nilah Fischer, Morton, Illinois
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7-Layer Gelatin Salad

Here's an eye-catching salad that my mother makes for Christmas dinner each year. You can choose different flavors to make other color combinations for specific holidays or other gatherings. —Jan Hemness, Stockton, Missouri
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Homemade Polish Pierogi

My mother made many dozens of these and measured ingredients using the palm of her hand. We've passed the recipe down over the years as the family has grown. —Veronica Weinkauf, South Bend, Indiana
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Party Potatoes

These creamy, tasty potatoes can be made the day before and stored in the refrigerator until you're ready to pop them in the oven (I often do that). The garlic powder and chives add zip, and the shredded cheese adds color. —Sharon Mensing, Greenfield, Iowa
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Bavarian Pot Roast

Since all my grandparents were German, it's no wonder that so many Bavarian recipes have been handed down to me. Because the Midwest has such a large German population, I feel this recipe represents the area well. —Susan Robertson, Hamilton, Ohio
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Appetizer Tortilla Pinwheels

A friend gave me this recipe, and whenever I serve these tortilla pinwheel sandwiches, people ask me for the recipe, too! The cream cheese pinwheels can be made ahead of time and sliced just before serving, leaving you time for other last-minute party preparations. —Pat Waymire, Yellow Springs, Ohio
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Peanut Butter Sheet Cake

I received this recipe from a minister's wife, and my family loves it. —Brenda Jackson, Garden City, Kansas
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Apple Brandy

I spend a lot of time developing recipes for the many fruits and vegetables we grow on our farm. In this creation, apple brandy is enhanced with spices for a delightful drink.—Deanna Seippel, Lancaster, Wisconsin
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Beer-Braised Roast with Root Vegetables

I like the combination of seasoned vegetables and lean meat in this recipe, and my wife likes how the seasonings complement the meat. I serve the roast with a garden salad and crusty multigrain bread. —Malcolm Cieszko, Washington, North Carolina
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Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Your family will be impressed with the soft texture and appealing swirls of cinnamon in these buttery breakfast loaves. —Diane Armstrong, Elm Grove, Wisconsin
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Cranberry Wild Rice Pilaf

This tender side dish is perfect for the holidays or any time you want to add a special touch. Dried cranberries, currants and almonds serve up color and texture. My co-workers all make this rice pilaf for their families. —Pat Gardetta, Osage Beach, Missouri
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Homemade Chicken Potpie

Why look for potpie in the frozen food aisle when this easy version tastes much better? The chicken pot pie's crust is so tender and flaky, and underneath you'll find the ultimate comfort food for kids and adults. —Amy Briggs, Gove, Kansas
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Swiss Mushroom Loaf

I'm always prepared for recipe requests when I serve this outstanding stuffed loaf. It's excellent not only as an appetizer but also as a side for pasta or chili. —Heidi Mellon, Waukesha, Wisconsin
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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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Stuffed Iowa Chops

Here's a hearty dish for big appetites. The corn and apples make a tasty stuffing for the chops. —Judith Smith, Des Moines, Iowa
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Potato Chip Crunchies

When my family comes home, I like having treats ready for them. No matter what's on the cookie tray, these are always the first to vanish. —Dorothy Buiter, Worth, Illinois
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Hearty Beef & Cabbage Pockets

I found a similar recipe many years ago and experimented with my own version until I had it just right. If you can't find the frozen rolls, you can use a homemade dough. —Elaine Clark, Wellington, Kansas

Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is a former Taste of Home editor and passionate baker. During her tenure, she poured her love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa also dedicated her career here to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.