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90 Recipes Grandma Knew by Heart

Some recipes are so well-loved that they don't need to be written down.

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Green Pea Casserole Exps Hc17 107655 D11 04 5b 2

Green Pea Casserole

This has been my family's favorite vegetable casserole for 20 years now! The kids requested it again and again for Thanksgiving dinner. —Barbara Preneta, Unionville, Connecticut
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Contest-Winning Chocolate Potato Cake

I won grand champion honors in a potato festival baking contest with this moist chocolate cake. The icing recipe can be doubled for real sweet tooths. A great-grandma, I've spent over 85 years on the farm.
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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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Grandma's Scottish Shortbread

My Scottish grandmother was renowned for her baking, and one of the highlights whenever we visited my grandparents was her bringing out the baking tin. Her shortbread cookies were my favorite, and now, whenever I make them, I remember her. This is not a thin, crispy dessert shortbread; it’s a deep bar that is best served with a cup of tea. —Jane Kelly, Wayland, Massachusetts
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Grandma's Dill Pickles

This treasured dill pickle recipe is like an old friend. These crispy spears have a slightly salty, tart flavor with a good balance of dill, garlic and peppers. —Betty Sitzman, Wray, Colorado
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Strawberry Buttermilk Skillet Shortcake Exps Toham20 244332 E11 08 8b 24

Strawberry Buttermilk Skillet Shortcake

This scratch-made strawberry buttermilk cake is a family favorite. The recipe is over 100 years old, and I remember my grandma making it. We still carry on the family tradition by making this old-fashioned recipe each summer. —Claudia Lamascolo, Melbourne, Florida
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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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Lemon Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

I won a baking contest at Purdue University with this recipe for lemon bars with cream cheese frosting. I think you’ll love the dreamy topping. —Michael Hunter, Fort Wayne, Indiana
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Russian Potato Salad Exps Toham20 244287 E11 12 5b 13

Russian Potato Salad

This Russian potato salad recipe comes from my grandmother, who had written it down in Russian before she translated it for me when I was a teen. We made this every Easter, or for any event where family and friends gathered together. —Gala McGaughey, Berryville, Virginia
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Sour Cream & Chives Mashed Potatoes

This recipe is a family favorite that always stirs up good memories and moments. It's requested for Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthday parties, potlucks and other gatherings. It's simple to make and delicious to eat. If I make it early in the day I finish this dish for about 20 minutes in the oven, but you can use the stovetop to free up oven space for the turkey. —Linda Williams, Florence, Alabama
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Divinity Candy

Every Christmas my grandmother and I made divinity candy, just the two of us. I still make it every year. —Anne Clayborne, Walland, Tennessee
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Grandma's Rosemary Dinner Rolls

My grandma (I called her Baba) made these in her coal oven. How she regulated the temperature is beyond me! She always made extra rolls for the neighbors to bake in their own ovens. My mom and aunts would deliver the formed rolls at lunchtime. —Charlotte Hendershot, Hudson, Pennsylvania
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Grandma's Biscuits

Homemade biscuits add a warm and comforting touch to any meal. My grandmother makes these tender biscuits to go with her seafood chowder. —Melissa Obernesser, Utica, New York
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Christmas Jam

I have a passion for cooking, and I can probably thank my grandmother for it. She was a marvelous cook who could really stretch a food dollar. —Jo Talvacchia, Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey
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Favorite Beef Roast Dinner Exps Thedscodr19 78044 C02 22 1b 11

Favorite Beef Roast Dinner

This is our family's favorite slow-cooked beef roast. My two children love it and always want seconds. I love putting together new flavor combinations in the kitchen. —Sheryl Padilla, Peyton, Colorado
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Bread Pudding with Sauce

This warm pudding is a traditional winter favorite, and for a good reason. The rich, cinnamony flavor is perfect for the holidays, and the decadent, buttery sauce is such an amazing complement. You can use actual rum instead of extract, just for grown-ups. —Peggy Goodrich, Enid, Oklahoma
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Easy German Potato Salad

This tangy potato salad stirs memories of my grandma, who made it for us. Now my mom makes it with brats and sauerkraut, truly the best meal! —Devin Mulertt, Cedarburg, Wisconsin
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Finnish Mulled Wine

I found this recipe stuck in the pages of my Finnish grandmother's Bible. It takes 24 hours to make. Store tightly bottled in the fridge for up to two weeks. —Judy Batson, Tampa, Florida
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Oma S Marzipan Stollen Exps Tohon19 236899 E06 12 7b 7

Oma's Marzipan Stollen

My German grandma made this stollen for us when we were young. I love its homey taste and how it reminds me of her and the German food she made. I often freeze this sweet bread once it’s shaped into a braid. Then I can pull it out the night before, let it rise on the counter overnight, and bake it in the morning. —Abigail Leszczynski, Beauford, South Carolina
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Stuffed Meat Loaf Slices

This is a family favorite requested for special occasions. We received it from a fellow faculty member when my husband and I were in our first years of teaching. —Judy Knaupp, Rickreall, Oregon
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Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies Exps7873 Thcb1914178b12 10 4b Rms 15

Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

My mother insisted that my grandmother write down one recipe for her when Mom got married in 1942: the how to make peanut butter cookies from scratch recipe. That was a real effort because Grandma was a traditional pioneer-type cook who used a little of this or that until it felt right. This treasured recipe is the only one she ever wrote down! —Janet Hall, Clinton, Wisconsin
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Grandma's English Trifle

This scrumptious trifle recipe is a family heirloom. My grandmother would make an enormous dish of it for Saturday night dinners when they often had guests. If there were leftovers, they'd eat that English trifle dessert every night that week until it was gone! —Ruth Verratti, Gasport, New York
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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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Breaded Pork Chops Exps Ft19 73 F 0820 1 7

Breaded Pork Chops

These traditional pork chops have a wonderful home-cooked flavor like the ones Mom used to make. The breading makes them crispy outside and tender and juicy inside. Why not treat your family to some breaded pork chops tonight? —Deborah Amrine, Grand Haven, Michigan
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Sugar Cream Pie Exps Ghbz18 58705 E08 15 2b 7

Sugar Cream Pie

I absolutely love Indiana sugar cream pie; especially the one that my grandma made for me. Here, we serve it warm or chilled and call it "Hoosier" sugar cream pie. —Laura Kipper, Westfield, Indiana
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Three-Bean Baked Beans

I got this recipe from an aunt and made a couple of changes to suit our tastes. With ground beef and bacon mixed in, these satisfying beans are a big hit at backyard barbecues and church picnics. I'm always asked to bring my special beans. —Julie Currington, Gahanna, Ohio
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7UP Pound Cake

My grandmother gave me this 7UP pound cake recipe. On top of being delicious, this 7UP cake represents family tradition, connection and love. —Marsha Davis, Desert Hot Springs, California
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Super Simple Scalloped Potatoes

I’ve made many types of scalloped potatoes but I always come back to this rich, creamy and fail-proof recipe. This is a dish where the bottom gets scraped clean. —Kallee Krong-McCreery, Escondido, California
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Kansas Cucumber Salad Exps Thjj19 403 B02 19 5b 5

Kansas Cucumber Salad

Cucumbers are my very favorite garden vegetable, so I use this recipe often. I got it from a friend years ago. I've heard this refreshing dish keeps very well in the refrigerator, but it goes so fast around our house, I've never found out for myself. —Karen Ann Bland, Gove, Kansas
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Mini Caramel Rolls Exps Thmbrds19 39703 C10 03 1b 5

Mini Caramel Rolls

Here's the perfect warm treat for pajama-clad family mornings. These ooey-gooey baked rolls come together in moments—thanks to a tube of refrigerated crescent rolls—and disappear just as quickly. —Kayla Wiegand, Congerville, Illinois
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Grandma S Honey Muffins Exps35604 Omrr2777383c08 17 1bc Rms 10

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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Steamed Carrot Pudding Exps Hbmz19 38946 E06 26 2b 7

Steamed Carrot Pudding

This recipe, passed down from my Canadian grandmother, has been in my family for at least three generations. It's been a favorite wintertime dessert for us and is always served for Easter and other holiday meals. —Ann Searcey, Kettering, 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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Mixed Nut Clusters

Serve these little candies with hot chocolate to keep everyone happy and warm. They also make standout gifts—box them up with each cluster in its own foil or paper candy cup. —Ida Tuey, South Lyon, Michigan
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Southern Fried BLT

I’m really not big on tomatoes—but I do like them green and fried, so I decided to try them in a sandwich. It was a smash! If you’ve gotta have cheese, add sharp cheddar to this indulgent twist on the traditional BLT. —Stacy King, Rome, Georgia
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Rhubarb Torte

Each year when Grandmother asked what kind of birthday cake I'd like, I always said I wanted her rhubarb torte. —Lois Heintz, Holmen, Wisconsin
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Slow-Cooker Italian Mushrooms

For big family gatherings, I love to make these mushrooms—everyone always wants to know what the secret ingredient is! They’re a star as a side dish, and leftovers go well with steaks or a roast. —Becky Schmitz, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
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Slow-Cooker Rice Porridge

We Italians have a soft spot for our rice dishes. Whether it's risotto or rice pudding, it's all good. This not-too-sweet treat is a terrific way to finish a meal. Top it off with cherry or blueberry pie filling right before serving...or stir in a little amaretto. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
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Candied Acorn Squash Slices Exps Gbhrhbz18 2481 E07 18 4b 6

Candied Acorn Squash Slices

This acorn squash recipe was passed down to me from my grandma, who always served it at Thanksgiving. Now I make it whenever I'm feeling nostalgic. —Rita Addicks, Weimar, Texas
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Citrus Poke Cake Exps H13x9bz16 160576 D04 28 2b 9

Citrus Poke Cake

Old-fashioned citrus snack cake tastes even better the day after it is made. It is perfect for picnics or gatherings because it transports easily and is so good chilled.
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Easy Slow Cooker Potato Soup Exps Ft19 249168 F 1211 1 4

Easy Slow-Cooker Potato Soup

This hearty slow-cooker potato soup tastes just like a loaded baked potato. Add the ingredients before heading to work in the morning for a quick and easy supper. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Crispy Peanut Butter Balls Exps Ft19 35774 F 0925 1 4

Crispy Peanut Butter Balls

I make over 40 different types of treats during the holidays for friends and family. These crispy peanut butter balls are one of my favorite candies to give away as gifts.—Liz David, St. Catharines, Ontario
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Sunday Dinner Mashed Potatoes

Sour cream and cream cheese add delicious dairy flavors to these potatoes. They can be prepared in advance and are special enough to serve guests. —Melody Mellinger, Myerstown, Pennsylvania
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Raspberry Gelatin Jewels Exps Thca18 43099 B09 28 1b 1

Raspberry Gelatin Jewels

Kids love this jiggly salad, and honestly, so do the adults. It's always going to be on my holiday buffet. —Brenda Leonard, APO, AP
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Basic Homemade Bread Exps Tohcom20 32480 C01 26 2b 26

Basic Homemade Bread

If you'd like to learn how to bake bread, here's a wonderful place to start. This easy white bread recipe bakes up deliciously golden brown. There's nothing like the homemade aroma wafting through my kitchen as it bakes. —Sandra Anderson, New York, New York
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Grandma's Star Cookies

Grandma's Star Cookies

My husband's grandma would make these butter cutouts only with a star cookie cutter. I use various shapes for celebrations throughout the year. —Jenny Brown, West Lafayette, Indiana
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Apple & Herb Roasted Turkey

My daughter loves to help me make this moist apple turkey. Her job is to hand Mommy the ingredients—if she doesn't eat them first! —Kimberly Jackson, Gay, Georgia
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Grandma's Cranberry Stuff

What could taste better than turkey and cranberry on Thanksgiving Day? My grandmother's classic recipe makes the best cranberry stuff to share with your family and friends this holiday. —Catherine Cassidy, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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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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Slow-Cooked French Onion Soup

My husband and I love French onion soup, so I wondered if I could turn it into a less labor-intensive dish by altering my recipe to work in a slow cooker. The rich, cheesy result was an instant winner at home. —Ronda Eagle, Goose Creek, South Carolina
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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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Apple Pie

I remember coming home sullen one day because we'd lost a softball game. Grandma, in her wisdom, suggested, "Maybe a slice of my homemade apple pie will make you feel better." One bite, and Grandma was right. If you want to learn how to make homemade apple pie filling, this is really the only recipe you need. —Maggie Greene, Granite Falls, Washington
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Basic Banana Muffins

This banana muffin recipe goes over so well with kids. Not only are these banana bread muffins like cupcakes, but they’re ready, start to finish, in just half an hour! —Lorna Greene, Harrington, Maine
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Angel Strawberry Dessert

This angel dessert is a wonderful treat when fresh strawberries are readily available. Every time I make this pretty strawberry angel food cake, someone asks for the recipe. —Theresa Mathis, Tucker, Georgia
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Grandma's Potato Salad

Our Fourth of July feast wouldn't be complete without this chilled old-fashioned potato salad. It's my grandma's treasured recipe. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Cookie Jar Gingersnaps

My grandma kept two cookie jars in her pantry. One of the jars, which I now have, always had these crisp and chewy gingersnaps in it. They're still my favorite cookie recipe. My daughter, Becky, used this recipe for a 4-H fair and won a blue ribbon. —Deb Handy, Pomona, Kansas
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Sunday Best Stuffed Pork Chops

We’re farmers and ranchers who love to cook in a Dutch oven. Dish up these chops from the oven, and pass the salad, potatoes and steamed broccoli. —Lorraine Smith, Carpenter, Wyoming
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Cinnamon Coffee Cake

I love the excellent texture of this easy cinnamon coffee cake recipe. Always a crowd-pleaser, its pleasing vanilla flavor enriched by sour cream may remind you of breakfast at Grandma's! Make it the night before a holiday to save time in the morning. —Eleanor Harris, Cape Coral, Florida
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Maple-Walnut Sweet Potatoes

Topped with dried cherries and walnuts, this side is downright delicious. Even people who aren't into sweet potatoes will grab a second scoop. —Sarah Herse, Brooklyn, New York
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Basic Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies

This recipe evolved from several different recipes that I combined into one. I've never received so many compliments on my baking!—Denise Hufford, Midland, Michigan
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Simple Orange Glazed Beets Exps Sddj19 43466 E07 20 8b 4

Simple Orange-Glazed Beets

In our house, we prefer our beautiful red beets served simply—with a touch of butter and a hint of orange from a marmalade glaze. —Mary Beth Jung, Hendersonville, North Carolina
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Oma's Apfelkuchen (Grandma's Apple Cake)

My husband’s German family calls this Oma’s apfelkuchen, which translates to "Grandma’s apple cake." They’ve been sharing the recipe for more than 150 years. I use Granny Smith apples, but any variety works. —Amy Kirchen, Loveland, Ohio
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Aunt Marion's Fruit Salad Dessert

Aunt Marion's Fruit Salad Dessert

Aunt Marion, my namesake, is like a grandma to me. She gave me this luscious salad recipe, which goes to all our family reunions, hunt club suppers and snowmobile club picnics...and I go home with no leftovers! —Marion LaTourette, Honesdale, Pennsylvania
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Oktoberfest Red Cabbage

Four generations of our family have made this dish of red cabbage and apples, known as rotkohl ("red cabbage"). We love the tart and sweet flavors. —Diana Likes, Chandler, Arizona
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Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I love to serve lighter desserts that will satisfy those with a sweet tooth. I make these every Christmas Eve, but they're marvelous any time of the year. —Sara Pleso, Sparta Tennessee.
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Stovetop Turkey Tetrazzini

A very special aunt shared this fun spin on creamy tetrazzini. We think it’s even better the next day. —Tasia Cox, Niceville, Florida
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Blue-Ribbon Doughnuts

What could be more delicious than a warm homemade doughnut? I've been making these tasty treats for my children and grandchildren for many years. —Kay McEwen, Sussex, New Brunswick
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Basic Buttermilk Salad Dressing Exps Cwjj17 32115 B02 28 2b 3

Basic Buttermilk Salad Dressing

When serving salad to a crowd, this easy buttermilk ranch dressing comes in handy. It make a full quart of creamy, delicious dressing to toss with your favorite greens and veggies. —Patricia Mele, Lower Burrell, Pennsylvania
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Bohemian Collards

I've added unconventional ingredients to these collards that make them unique and exquisite on the palate and on the plate. —Ally Phillips, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
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Simple Au Gratin Potatoes

These homemade au gratin potatoes are always welcome at our dinner table, and they're so simple to make. A perfect complement to ham, this homey potato gratin also goes well with pork, chicken and other entrees. —Cris O'Brien, Virginia Beach, Virginia
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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies Exps Ft19 246647 F 1106 1 10

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Brownies

Everyone loves these peanut butter chocolate chip brownies. It's hard to eat just one! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Buttermilk Pecan Pie

This is the treasured "golden oldie" that my grandmother made so often whenever we'd come to visit. Grandma grew her own pecans, and we never tired of cracking them and picking out the meat when we knew we'd be treated to her special pie! —Mildred Sherrer, Fort Worth, Texas
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Rice Pudding

For an old-fashioned sweet treat just like Grandma used to make, try this slow-cooker rice pudding. It has a rich cinnamon flavor and is made wonderfully light after whipped cream is stirred in at the end. —Jennifer Bennett, Salem, Indiana
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Fluffy Banana Pancakes

I love to make pancakes for my family on Saturday mornings. Since we often have ripe bananas, I decided to add them to a batch of pancake batter. The results were delicious!—Lori Stevens, Riverton, Utah
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Flaky Butterhorn Rolls

The recipe for these dinner rolls, slightly sweet and so very flaky, was my mother’s. They are simple to prepare because kneading skills are not required and the dough is easy to handle. My grandchildren have renamed them "Grandma’s croissants"! —Bernice Smith, Sturgeon Lake, Minnesota
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Sugar-Glazed Ham

This old-fashioned ham glaze gives a pretty, golden brown coating—just like Grandma used to make. The mustard and vinegar complement the brown sugar which adds a tangy flavor to this glazed ham recipe. Be prepared to serve seconds! —Carol Strong Battle, Heathville, Virginia
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Blueberries and Cream Coffee Cake

This blueberry coffee cake is my go-to recipe for all of our holiday get-togethers because it's perfect for breakfast or dessert. It's easy to make, and it's the most delicious coffee cake I've ever had. —Susan Ober, Franconia, New Hampshire
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Grandma's Tomato Soup

This recipe is my grandmother’s. Originally Gram even made the tomato juice in it from scratch! Every time I return to Massachusetts for a visit home, Gram has this soup simmering on the stove. She’s always loved to cook, and at age 95, she still enjoys making tomato soup and other favorite dishes. -Gerri Sysun, Narragansett, Rhode Island
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Asparagus and Ham Strata

For a quick and easy make-ahead breakfast, do the prep work the night before. Next morning, just pop it in the oven. This casserole version of quiche is so hearty and delicious. —Alla Gray, St. Thomas, Pennsylvania
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Slow-Cooker Spiced Fruit

My late aunt who lived in Hawaii gave me this cherished recipe. She would prepare a traditional tropical meal for us whenever we visited and always included this fruity delight. I always think of her when I make it, whether it is for the holidays or an everyday meal. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Old-Fashioned Dressing

Remember Grandma's delicious turkey dressing? Taste it again combined with flavorful herbs and crisp veggies in this family-favorite dressing. You'll love the fact you can make it in your slow cooker. —Sherry Vink, Lacombe, Alberta, Canada
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Holiday Turkey Gravy

I make this recipe a day ahead so I can get the food on the table faster on the big day. The aroma while this cooks permeates the whole house and gets everyone ready for the feast. I save the turkey meat and use it in recipes that call for cooked turkey or chicken. —Isabelle Rooney, Summerville, South Carolina
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Homemade Honey Grahams

The way my boys eat them, I would spend a fortune on honey graham crackers at the grocery store. So I decided to make a homemade version that is less processed—and less expensive. These are wonderful, although they still don't last long. —Crystal Jo Bruns, Iliff, Colorado
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Buttery Herb Roasted Chicken

Roasting chicken is always such a comforting thing, especially when you can pick the herbs right from your garden and pair them with some fresh citrus to smear across the bird! My family can't get enough of this herb-roasted chicken recipe. —Jenn Tidwell, Fair Oaks, California
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Double Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix

I gave this away at our neighborhood Christmas party in cutie-patootie gift bags and was thrilled that I was able to give something to everyone. But the next week I started getting calls from the neighbors who'd made it and was blown away at the response. Everyone loves this! The white chocolate is what makes it extra creamy and chocolaty!—Mandy Rivers, Lexington, South Carolina
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Favorite Wild Rice Soup

I'm crazy about homemade soup during the fall and winter months. This wild rice soup is one of my favorite cool-weather experiments. —Deborah Williams, Peoria, Arizona
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Chewy Caramel-Coated Popcorn

When I was a kid, my mom made this recipe often. I've adapted it to make it more chewy and gooey than her crunchy, nut-loaded version. I get requests to make this for every event that I host, and have never had a single leftover! —Shannon Dobos, Calgary, Alberta
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Mushroom Sour Cream Gravy Exps Cwfm19 88635 C10 12 1b 6

Mushroom Sour Cream Gravy

My grandma made this gravy every Thanksgiving to drizzle over sliced turkey and stuffing. When I have leftover turkey and mushroom gravy, I chop the turkey into small pieces and add it to the gravy. I serve it over a piece of bread, open-face style. —Joy Mellwig, Naples, Florida
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Brown Sugar Pecan Cake

My great-aunt was famous in our family for her cooking. She lived in Kentucky and made a cake like this one many times during my childhood. I found a similar recipe years later, changing it a bit to use what I had on hand. The added crunch of the pecans gives it a little southern flair that she would have loved. —Lisa Varner, El Paso, Texas
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Grandma's Collard Greens

My grandmother made the best collard greens recipe in the world. Eating them with a slice of buttermilk cornbread is pure bliss. —Sherri Williams, Crestview, Florida

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.

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