50 Go-To Recipes for the Day After Getting Braces

Soothe sore teeth and still get the nutrients you need with these soft foods that are perfect for the day after getting braces or oral surgery.

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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 us at Christmas—at Thanksgiving and Easter, too! I also make it into a pie with graham cracker crust that our grandchildren love. —Amber Sampson, Somonauk, Illinois

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Cold-Day Chicken Noodle Soup

When I was sick, my mom would make me this heartwarming chicken noodle soup. It was soothing when I had a cold, but this soup is a bowlful of comfort on any chilly day. —Anthony Graham, Ottawa, lllinois
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Peach Smoothie

Whip up this creamy peach smoothie as a refreshing and nutritious snack or a quick chilled breakfast. Because you can use frozen fruit, you don't have to wait until peaches are in season to enjoy this delicious smoothie. —Martha Polasek, Markham, Texas
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Mashed Potatoes with Cheddar

Who doesn’t love fluffy, homemade mashed potatoes? Make them even better with sharp cheddar cheese. To get them really creamy, my mother's secret was to add whipping cream instead of half-and-half. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
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Bananas Foster Oatmeal

This oatmeal tastes like bananas Foster, my favorite dessert. If you can’t find rum extract, double the vanilla. —Carol Touchton, Seffner, Florida
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Strawberry Gelato

You'll love this smooth and creamy gelato with bright strawberry flavor and just a hint of sea salt and honey. Fresh raspberries or blackberries can be substituted for the strawberries if you prefer. If your berries are tart, add a touch more sugar or honey. —Shelly Bevington, Hermiston, Oregon
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Buffet Scrambled Eggs

These are my favorite scrambled eggs. The white sauce, flavored with chicken bouillon, keeps the eggs creamy and moist. It's a tasty twist on a morning mainstay.
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Rosy Applesauce

I always end up with lots of rhubarb each summer, but many of the recipes use a lot of sugar. This one lets the fruit sweeten up the rhubarb instead. I refrigerate the sauce overnight to help the flavors blend. —Amy Nelson, Weston, Wisconsin
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Buttermilk Pancakes

You just can't beat a basic buttermilk pancake for a down-home country breakfast. Paired with sausage and fresh fruit, these pancakes are just like the ones you get at Cracker Barrel. —Betty Abrey, Imperial, Saskatchewan
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Mom's Macaroni and Cheese

The wonderful homemade goodness of this creamy Velveeta mac and cheese makes it a staple side dish in my mother's kitchen and in mine as well. It has tender noodles and a crowd-pleasing golden crumb topping. —Maria Costello, Monroe, North Carolina
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Mushroom Stuffing

I first tried this stuffing a few years ago, and it quickly became our family's favorite. Just flavor a hearty cornbread mix with mushrooms and bacon and taste the spectacular results. —Kathy Traetow, Waverly, Iowa
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Frozen Greek Vanilla Yogurt

It's so simple and easy to make your own frozen Greek yogurt, you might even want to get the kids in on the fun. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Slow-Cooker Butternut Squash Soup

Much of the work for this soup can be done in advance, and it keeps all day in the slow cooker. The recipe can easily be doubled if you’re feeding a crowd. Once you’ve tried it, try mixing it up—add sage or savory with the thyme, or replace the thyme with nutmeg. For a vegan version, replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth. —Jennifer Machado, Alta, California
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Herb & Cheese Scrambled Eggs

As a child I grew up on a farm where eggs and herbs were plentiful in summer. My mother made these eggs and I've made them for my own family. Just add toast!—Patricia Nieh, Portola Valley, California
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Favorite Banana Split Smoothies

I try to get as many fruits and veggies into our menus as possible. A smoothie is a great way to load up on nutrients. This banana one is a favorite! —Tiffany Van Zee, Pella, Iowa
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Ginger Applesauce

When it's apple-picking time, it's also time for all the delightful treats you can make with them, including applesauce. This is my favorite way to prepare it. It's simple to do and it makes the whole house smell like fall. —Renee Pajestka, Brunswick, Ohio
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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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White Cheddar Mac & Cheese

My mac and cheese is simple and has lots of flavor from the cheeses and ground chipotle chile. I use conchiglie pasta because its shape allows more melted cheese to pool inside. Yum! —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Pumpkin Whip

Even though this dessert is quick to fix, it has a creamy pumpkin taste and golden harvest look...just like traditional pumpkin pie. It's a great dessert for both everyday dinners and special-occasion suppers.—Linda Clapp, Stow, Ohio
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Mashed Potatoes with Garlic-Olive Oil

Garlic mashed potatoes are high on our love list. To intensify the flavor, I combine garlic and olive oil in the food processor and drizzle it on top of the potatoes. — Emory Doty, Jasper, Georgia
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Ginger Honey Marinated Salmon

Ginger, garlic powder and green onion blend nicely for this marinated salmon. We've found it tastes even better when marinated in the fridge overnight. We also like to use this versatile mixture when grilling chicken! —Dan Strumberger, Farmington, Minnesota
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The Best Ever Pancakes

I'm not joking when I say I make pancakes every weekend. I love them in any form and variation. —James Schend, Dairy Freed
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Thick Strawberry Shakes

Cool off with a thick and rich treat that will remind you of a malt shoppe! Nothing can beat this strawberry shake recipe. —Kathryn Conrad, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Beer-Cheese Velvet Soup

This soup was a hit with a group of German exchange teachers who visited our high school. When I don't use bread bowls, I usually serve it with soft pretzels or crusty bread. And it's also an even bigger treat with slices of cooked bratwurst or kielbasa stirred into it. —Paula Zsiray, Logan, Utah
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Cherry Fruit Smoothies

You need just four ingredients to blend together these super-fast smoothies for breakfast. Try whipping them up on a hot summer day for a cool and refreshing treat. —Macy Plummer, Avon, Indiana
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Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

This creamy, luscious ice cream will remind you of the signature treat served at church ice cream socials. What dessert could be better? —Esther Johnson, Merrill, Wisconsin—Esther Johnson, Merrill, Wisconsin
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Greens and Beans Turkey Soup

On winter evenings, we like nothing better than a piping hot bowl of soup. This one uses the turkey carcass to make a flavorful stock for the soup. —Susan Albert, Jonesburg, Missouri
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Rich & Creamy Mashed Potatoes

It's a cinch to jazz up instant mashed potatoes with sour cream and cream cheese, then cook and serve them from a slow cooker. For a special touch, sprinkle this creamy mashed potatoes recipe with chopped fresh chives, canned french-fried onions or fresh grated Parmesan cheese. —Donna Bardocz, Howell, Michigan
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Cod and Asparagus Bake

The lemon pulls this flavorful and healthy dish together. You can use grated Parmesan cheese instead of Romano if you'd like. —Thomas Faglon, Somerset, New Jersey
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Red Pepper Soup

While I don't have scientific proof of it, Red Pepper Soup works for me as a head cold remedy! It is a good gift to take when visiting a sick friend, too. For a pretty touch, top the soup with grated cheese and parsley. We enjoy it with jalapeno cheese buns. You can also serve it with warm garlic bread. —Barb Nelson, Victoria, British Columbia
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Dark Chocolate Pudding

Life is too short to pass on dessert. This old-fashioned treat is so creamy and comforting! —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia
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Thomas Jefferson's Vanilla Ice Cream

The third U.S. president is credited with jotting down the first American recipe for this treat. No vanilla bean on hand? Substitute 1 tablespoon vanilla extract for the vanilla bean. Just stir the extract into the cream mixture after the ice-water bath. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Four-Cheese Baked Eggs

When I created this dish I was thrilled that my husband enjoyed it so much. He normally prefers omelets for brunch, but devoured his first helping of these eggs, then asked for more. —Lisa Speer, Palm Beach, Florida
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Creamy Dill Sauce for Salmon

There's nothing like fresh salmon, and my mom bakes it just right so it nearly melts in your mouth. Plus, the sour cream dill sauce is subtly seasoned with horseradish so that it doesn't overpower the delicate salmon flavor. —Susan Emery, Everett, Washington
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Old-Fashioned Applesauce

We had all kinds of apple trees in the yard when I was growing up, so I don't know for sure which ones Mother liked best for applesauce. (Today I use Cortlands.) I do know that her applesauce was very white. The secret, she said, was to keep the apples in salt water while she peeled them so that they wouldn't darken. —Doris Natvig, Jesup, Iowa
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Apple Pancakes with Cider Syrup

Tender pancakes are filled with minced apple and raisin, and drizzled with apple cider syrup. They're wonderful in the summer or on a cool fall morning. —April Harmon, Greeneville, Tennessee
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Strawberry Lime Smoothies

Peak-of-freshness strawberries make this thinner, easy drink a summer staple. —Elizabeth Johnson, Greenville, South Carolina
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Creamy Cauliflower Pakora Soup

My husband and I often crave pakoras, deep-fried fritters from India. I wanted to get the same flavors but use a healthier cooking technique, so I made soup using all the classic spices and our favorite veggie, cauliflower! —Melody Johnson, DePere, Wisconsin
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Baked Mac and Cheese

Even people who have had their own homemade baked macaroni and cheese recipe for years ask for mine when they taste this crumb-topped version. For the best baked mac and cheese, use extra-sharp white cheddar cheese for more flavor. —Shelby Thompson of Dover, Delaware
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Nanny's Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

My grandsons rave over these creamy potatoes loaded with Parmesan. That’s all the endorsement I need. Sometimes I use golden or red potatoes, with skins on. —Kallee Krong-McCreery, Escondido, California
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Tomato-Orange Soup

Who knew orange and tomato were such a good pair? Whenever I serve this, I keep the recipe handy for requests. —Barbara Wood, St. John’s, Newfoundland
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Pineapple-Coconut Smoothie

Use fresh or frozen fruits in this coconutty recipe. It's like a pina colada, but better for you and more versatile. —Gunjan Dudani, Bellevue, Washington
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Brown Sugar-Glazed Salmon

Pop these protein-packed brown sugar salmon fillets in the oven before whipping up a sweet basting sauce. This tangy entree cooks up in minutes, making it a perfect meal for busy families and unexpected weekend guests. —Debra Martin, Belleville, Michigan
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Creamy Skillet Noodles with Peas

I’ve made this creamy noodle side for years. Since kids and adults go for it, I keep the ingredients on hand at all times. —Anita Groff, Perkiomenville, Pennsylvania
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Dill Chicken Soup

I could eat soup for every meal of the day, all year long. I particularly like dill and spinach—they add a brightness to this light and healthy soup. —Robin Haas, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts
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Herbed Macaroni and Cheese

Besides being a really easy recipe to make, it tastes very good, too! This is not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill macaroni and cheese. The herbs and spices, along with the sour cream, give the dish a wonderful flavor. Serving it with toasted pita bread and salad makes this one of our family's favorite meals, and it's been in the family for a very long time! —Nancy Raymond, Waldoboro, Maine
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Strawberry-Carrot Smoothies

My children resist veggies, but they love this carrot smoothie. It packs in lots of good-for-you fruits and veggies—but to my kids, it's just a super delicious breakfast. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Skillet Mac & Cheese

This creamy mac ’n’ cheese is so simple it’s almost too easy! —Ann Bowers, Rockport, Texas
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Fire-Roasted Tomato Minestrone

This soup was created to accommodate a few of my dinner guests who were vegetarians. It was so good, we all enjoyed it. This can also be cooked on the stove for two hours at a low simmer. —Donna Marie Ryan, Topsfield, Massachusetts

Caroline Stanko
Caroline has been with Taste of Home for the past seven years, working in both print and digital. After starting as an intern for the magazine and special interest publication teams, Caroline was hired as the third-ever digital editor for Taste of Home. Since then, she has researched, written and edited content on just about every topic the site covers, including cooking techniques, buzzy food news, gift guides and many, many recipe collections. Caroline also acts as the editorial lead for video, working with the Test Kitchen, videographers and social media team to produce videos from start to finish. When she’s not tip-tapping on a keyboard, Caroline is probably mixing up a killer cocktail, reading a dog-eared library book or cooking up a multi-course feast (sometimes all at once). Though she technically lives in Milwaukee, there is a 50/50 chance Caroline is in Chicago or southwest Michigan visiting her close-knit family.