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55 Retro Family Reunion Recipes

Family members of all ages will love these retro appetizers, salads, main dishes and desserts. You'll love that each recipe feeds 12 or more.

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Spiced Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

I often bake this beautiful cake in my large cast-iron skillet and turn it out onto a pizza pan. —Jennifer Sergesketter, Newburgh, Indiana

Hungry for more? See our tips for how to plan the best-ever family reunion.

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Chicken and Rice Casserole

Everyone loves this dish—I consider it the best chicken and rice casserole recipe because it's a tasty combination of hearty and crunchy ingredients mixed in a creamy sauce. It's a time-tested classic. —Myrtle Matthews, Marietta, Georgia
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Blueberry Gelatin Salad

I find myself making this blueberry jello salad often. People request this layered treat for potlucks all the time. This dish can be served as either a salad or a dessert. And preparing it a day ahead makes it taste even better! —Mildred Livingston, Phoenix, Arizona
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Mom's Italian Beef Sandwiches

My mom made the best Italian beef. I’ve added to it over the years, but it’s still her recipe. She made these sandwiches for family reunions, and there were never leftovers. —Mary McVey, Colfax, North Carolina
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Mini Sausage Quiches

These bite-sized quiches are loaded with sausage and cheese—and all nestled into easy crescent roll dough. Serve the cute muffinettes at any brunch or potluck gathering. —Jan Mead, Milford, Connecticut
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Farm Apple Pan Pie

You'll find this pie's very convenient for taking to a covered-dish supper, picnic or any event where crowds gather. But be prepared—people always ask for the recipe! —Dolores Skrout, Summerhill, Pennsylvania
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Favorite Barbecued Chicken

Is there a better place than Texas to find a fantastic barbecue sauce? That’s where this one is from—it’s my father-in-law’s own recipe. We have served it at many family reunions and think it’s the best! —Bobbie Morgan, Woodstock, Georgia
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Haystack Supper

Served as the main dish at our family reunion buffet, this flavorful layered taco-style dish was a true crowd-pleaser. Folks were pleasantly surprised to find a rice layer, and everyone enjoys the creamy cheese sauce. —Jill Steiner, Hancock, Minnesota
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Cranberry Waldorf Gelatin

We enjoy this easy-to-make salad in the fall when apples are in season. Their crisp freshness adds so much to a favorite dish. — Debbie Short, Carlisle, Iowa
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Layered Salad for a Crowd

This salad is a favorite of my three sons. I took it to a luncheon honoring our school district’s food service manager, and she asked for the recipe. I like to make the dressing the day before so the flavors blend together. —Linda Ashley, Leesburg, Georgia
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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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Slow-Cooker Tater Tot Casserole

What's not to love about classic Tater Tot casserole—especially when it's made in the slow cooker? You'll want to add this family-pleasing potluck favorite to your regular rotation. —Nick Iverson, Denver, Colorado
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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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Spinach Beef Macaroni Bake

This hearty casserole is great for a family reunion or church supper. I've also made half the recipe for family gatherings. It's become a special favorite of my grandson-in-law and great-grandson, who often ask me to serve it when they're visiting. —Lois Lauppe, Lahoma, Oklahoma
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Party Franks

These tiny, tangy appetizers have broad appeal. I prepare them often for holiday gatherings, weddings and family reunions. They're convenient to serve at parties since the sauce can be made ahead and then reheated with the franks before serving. —Lucille Howell, Portland, Oregon
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Old-Fashioned Pear Cake

Old-fashioned pear spice cake is a wonderful ending to a meal. It's not too heavy or rich, but the moist treat is brimming with flavor.—Audrey Golden, Cary, North Carolina
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Potluck Fried Chicken

This Sunday dinner staple is first fried and then baked to a crispy golden brown. Well seasoned with oregano and sage, this classic is sure to satisfy diners at church potlucks or late-summer picnics. I love fixing it for family and friends. —Donna Kuhaupt, Slinger, Wisconsin
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Tzatziki Shrimp Cucumber Rounds

I created this recipe with what I had on hand one night, and now it’s one of my husband’s favorites! The bacon-wrapped shrimp, garlicky sauce and burst of cool cuke flavor make this a crowd pleaser. —Shannon Rose Trelease, East Hampton, New York
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German Apple Strudel

This gorgeous strudel has just what you crave this time of year: thin layers of flaky crust and lots of juicy apples. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
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Seasoned Turkey Sandwiches

This savory turkey tucked in homemade buns steals the show at any potluck or family reunion. It’s been a huge hit at football dinners, graduation parties and more. I like to add tomato and lettuce for crunch and color. —LaVonne Hegland, St. Michael, Minnesota
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Bourbon Ham Balls

Grandma Nette was the queen of ham ball recipes. I make them salty-sweet with a bourbon and vinegar kick. Serve them alone, in a sandwich or over pasta or rice. —Kimla Carsten, Grand Junction, Colorado
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Deluxe German Potato Salad

I make this salad for all occasions—it goes well with any kind of meat. I often take this salad to potlucks, and there's never any left over. The celery, carrots and dry mustard are a special touch not usually found in traditional German potato salad. —Betty Perkins, Hot Springs, Arkansas
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Cottage Potatoes

I often make this crunchy and colorful potato dish for our family reunions. It's my cousin's recipe, and we always know we'll never have any leftovers. —Mary C. Sholtis, Ashtabula, Ohio
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Layered Picnic Loaves

This big sandwich, inspired by one I tried at a New York deli, is a favorite with our football-watching crowd. Made ahead, it's easily carted to any gathering. Kids and adults alike say it's super. —Marion Lowery, Medford, Oregon
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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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Easy Oatmeal Cream Pies

These easy cookies use only five ingredients and taste very similar to a store-bought cookie. Of course, everything's better from your own kitchen! —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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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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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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Cherry Gelatin Supreme

When I was growing up, this yummy, easy dessert was always on the menu at holiday get-togethers. Years ago, my aunt gave me the recipe, and now when I make it for my family, I think of her. —Janice Rathgeb, Brighton, Illinois
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Cucumber Shell Salad

Ranch dressing is the mild coating for this pleasant pasta salad alive with the fresh flavors of crunchy cucumber, onion and green peas. Someone always seems to want the recipe! —Paula Ishii, Ralston, Nebraska
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Mom's Buttermilk Cookies

I treasure my mother’s recipe for these comforting cookie pillows. The tender treats are topped with thick frosting and a sprinkling of chopped walnuts. —Jane Darling, Simi Valley, California
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Aunt Frances' Lemonade

My sister and I spent a week each summer with our Aunt Frances, who always had this thirst-quenching lemonade in a stoneware crock in her refrigerator. It makes a refreshing drink after a hot day of running around. —Debbie Reinhart, New Cumberland, Pennsylvania
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Classic Chocolate Cake

If you need to learn how to make chocolate cake from scratch, this easy homemade chocolate cake recipe is a perfect place to start. It appeared on a can of Hershey's cocoa way back in 1943. I tried it, my boys liked it, and I've been making it ever since. —Betty Follas, Morgan Hill, California
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Pennsylvania Dutch Coleslaw

My mother used to make this salad on holidays. With all the cabbage that is grown here in the Northwest, the recipe is a real natural for us! —Deb Darr, Falls City, Oregon
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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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Barbecued Meatballs

Grape jelly and chili sauce are the secrets that make these meatballs so fantastic. If I’m serving them at a party, I prepare the meatballs and sauce in advance and reheat them right before guests arrive. —Irma Schnuelle, Manitowoc, Wisconsin
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Cucumber Party Sandwiches

This is one of my favorite appetizers. We have lots of pig roasts here in Kentucky, and these small sandwiches are perfect to serve while the pig is roasting. —Rebecca Rose, Mount Washington, Kentucky
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Aunt Ione's Icebox Cookies

Whenever we went to visit my Aunt Ione in south Georgia, her icebox cookies were our favorite treat. My mother later make these cookies, and I remember begging for a slice of the raw dough—I thought the unbaked cookies tasted just as great as the baked! —Jenny Hill, Meridianville, Alabama
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Shrimp Appetizer Spread

There's no secret to this creamy seafood appetizer—it's simply delicious! I originally tasted it at a friend's house, and I liked it so much that I requested the recipe. It's since become a family favorite. —Brenda Buhler, Abbotsford, British Columbia
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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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Potluck German Apple Cake

My mother made this German apple cake for my brothers and me when we were kids. It's an excellent choice for a Christmas potluck or actually any time of year. —Edie DeSpain, Logan, Utah
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Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp

I tweaked this bacon-wrapped shrimp recipe to please my family, and boy were they glad! For less heat, skip the jalapenos. —Debbie Cheek, State Road, North Carolina
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Overnight Layered Lettuce Salad

This layered salad is a family favorite from a church cookbook I've had for 40 years. The bacon adds a fabulous crunch. —Mary Brehm, Cape Coral, Florida
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Blueberry-Lemon Upside-Down Cake

I was young when I married, so I watched my mother-in-law to learn baking. This cake with fresh blueberries is one of her beauties. —Bonnie Roberts, Newaygo, Michigan
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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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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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Mini Ham & Cheese Quiches

We bake mini quiches for breakfast or brunch with ham and cheddar in muffin pans. Salad croutons replace the need for a crust. —Lois Enger, Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Cucumber Canapes

I always get requests for the recipe for these canapes whenever I serve them. They're delicate finger sandwiches with a creamy herb spread and festive red and green garnishes. —Nadine Whittaker, South Plymouth, Massachusetts
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Old-Time Butter Crunch Candy

Both my children and my grandchildren say the season wouldn't be the same without the big tray of candies and cookies I prepare. This one's the most popular part of that collection. We love the nutty pieces draped in chocolate. —Mildred Duffy, Bella Vista, Arkansas
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Favorite Sloppy Joes

I've prepared these sandwiches for years. I've tried many sloppy joe recipes, but this one is the best by far. It also travels well for picnics or potlucks. —Eleanor Mielke, Snohomish, Washington
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Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I've been making these cookies for nearly 30 years. The flavor is delicious and they are always well appreciated. This is an all-time favorite with my family. —Nancy Horton, Greenbrier, Tennessee
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Party Appetizer Meatballs

These are a favorite at parties and gatherings. The recipe is easy, and the meatballs can be made well ahead of time and frozen until needed. I think what makes them taste so good is the sauce. —Nathalie Guest, Caledon, Ontario
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Creamy Blueberry Gelatin Salad

Plump blueberries and a fluffy topping star in this pretty, refreshing salad. My mom's blueberry salad was served at every holiday and celebration. Now my grandchildren look forward to sampling it at holidays. —Sharon Hoefert, Greendale, Wisconsin
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Italian Spiral Meat Loaf

Take a classic comfort food to delicious new heights with this impressive recipe. Sausage, pizza sauce and mozzarella give Italian meatloaf roll extra personality. —Megan Krumm, Schererville, Indiana
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Grandma's Carrot Cake

My grandma was very special to me. She had a big country kitchen that was full of wonderful aromas any time we visited. This was one of her prized cake recipes, and it continues to be a favorite from generation to generation. —Denise Strasz, Detroit, Michigan

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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