42 Small-Batch Recipes from the Midwest

The Midwest is normally known for large portions, but Midwestern cooks have plenty of delicious small-batch dishes in their recipe boxes, too!

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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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Berry-Beet Salad

Here's a delightfully different salad that balances the earthy flavor of beets with the natural sweetness of berries. If you prefer, substitute crumbled feta for the goat cheese. —Amy Lyons, Mounds View, Minnesota
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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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Contest-Winning Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

I love the sweet-salty flavor of this pretty layered dessert. Sliced strawberries and gelatin top a smooth cream cheese filling and crispy pretzel crust. I think it's best when eaten within a day of being made. -Wendy Weaver Leetonia, Ohio
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Chili For Two

"This flavorful chili is still thick and hearty even though it makes a small batch," confirms Norma Grogg of St. Louis, Missouri. "I serve it with a salad of grapefruit and avocado slices."
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Rustic Fruit Tart

My husband and I love pie, but we can't eat a whole 9-inch pie by ourselves. So I make these easy tarts using rhubarb and raspberries picked at home. Sometimes I substitute apples, peaches or our garden blueberries for the rhubarb. —Naomi Olson Hamilton, Michigan
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Bacon-Wrapped Pesto Pork Tenderloin

I love to serve this family-favorite tenderloin—maybe because of the compliments that come with it! When the weather warms up, we grill it instead. —Megan Riofski, Frankfort, Illinois
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Apple-Honey Dutch Baby

I love to make this treat on Sunday morning. It's so impressive when it's served warm right out of the oven...and the apple honey filling is yummy! —Kathy Fleming, Lisle, Illinois
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Cheesy Summer Squash Flatbreads

When you want a meatless meal with Mediterranean style, these flatbreads smothered with squash, hummus and mozzarella deliver the goods. —Matthew Hass, Franklin, Wisconsin
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Sesame Almond Slaw

Crunchy veggies and noodles are coated in a tangy dressing in this pleasant slaw. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Basil-Butter Steaks with Roasted Potatoes

A few ingredients and 30 minutes are all you’ll need for this incredibly satisfying meal. A simple basil butter gives these steaks a very special taste. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Mini-Chip Cocoa Pancakes

Whip up a batch of cocoa pancakes dotted with mini chocolate chips to satisfy your chocolate cravings first thing in the morning. Yum! —Joyce Moynihan, Lakeville, Minnesota
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Greek Beef Pitas

A local restaurant that's famous for pitas inspired me to make my own Greek-style sandwiches at home. Feel free to add olives if you'd like. —Nancy Sousley, Lafayette, Indiana
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Pork Chops 'n' Pierogi

The Polish dumplings are traditionally served as a meal, with applesauce or sour cream. This meal in one is a different way to use pierogi. —Greta Igl, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.
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Spiced Blueberry Quinoa

I took up eating quinoa when I found out how much protein it has. This is really an easy dish to experiment with; my first version of the recipe was made with shredded apples instead of blueberries. It's just as delicious! —Shannon Copley, Upper Arlington, Ohio
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Apple & Spice Pork Tenderloin

My family loves pork tenderloin, so I created this hearty meal. The slightly sweet dish is one of our favorites. It's also an impressive dish for company.—Joyce Moynihan, Lakeville, Minnesota.
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Four-Berry Spinach Salad

Nature's candy abounds in the berry-filled salad. The slightly tart dressing contrasts deliciously with the sweet in-season fruit. —Betty Lise Anderson, Gahanna, Ohio
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Cinnamon-Raisin Bread Pudding

This rich bread pudding recipe goes together in minutes. There's plenty of old-fashioned cinnamon flavor. The treat is sure to become a favorite! Edna Hoffman, Hebron, Indiana
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Fast Macaroni Salad

Chopped veggies provide crunch, and cherry tomatoes add vibrant color to this refreshing and creamy pasta salad. —Frankiee Bush, Freedom, Indiana
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Quick Cherry Turnovers

Refrigerated crescent rolls let you make these fruit-filled pastries in a hurry. My family loves these turnovers for breakfast, but they’re so delicious, they’d be welcome any time of the day. Feel free to experiment with other pie fillings as well. —Elleen Oberrueter, Danbury, Iowa
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Curried Beef Stew

My mother, who was Japanese, made a dish very similar to this. After a lot of experimenting, I came up with a version that is very close to the one she used to make. This beef curry stew recipe is special to me because it brings back memories of her. —Gloria Gowins, Massillon, Ohio
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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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Bacon Egg Cups

These adorable bacon egg cups are a fresh take on the classic breakfast combo. Make sure to use ovenproof bowls when baking. —Carol Forcum, Marion, Illinois
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One-Pot Chicken Pesto Pasta

When my garden basil goes nuts, I make pesto and keep it frozen in small containers for the right opportunity, like this saucy one-pot chicken pesto pasta recipe. —Kimberly Fenwick, Hobart, Indiana
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Lemony Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

This one-dish meal tastes like it needs hours of hands-on time to put together, but it's just minutes to prep the simple ingredients. The meat juices cook the veggies to perfection. So easy. —Sherri Melotik Oak Creek, Wisconsin
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Chicken Poppy Seed Salad

Juicy berries, crisp sugar snap peas and crunchy pecans complement the lime-marinated chicken in this pretty salad. The homemade sweet-sour dressing is simply delicious. —Rebekah Radewahn, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
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Lemon & Garlic New Potatoes

This is a simplified version of a dish my Costa Rican host sister used to make when I was in the Peace Corps. It has become a favorite side dish at my house. —Katie Bartle, Parkville, Missouri
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Country Ribs Dinner

Ribs slow-cooked with carrots, celery, onions and red potatoes are pure comfort food for us. To add a little zip, we sometimes sprinkle in cayenne. —Rose Ingall, Manistee, Michigan
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Garden Chickpea Salad

Looking for a summer dish with a difference? Combine colorful crunchy veggies with soft feta cheese and good-for-you garbanzos. If you like, add sliced, cooked chicken or lamb. —Sally Sibthorpe, Shelby Township, Michigan
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Lemony Chicken Noodle Soup

This isn't Grandma's chicken soup, but it is comforting in a whole new way. The lemon juice gives this easy soup enough zip to make it interesting. —Bill Hilbrich, St. Cloud, Minnesota
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Slow-Cooker Oatmeal

Waking up to the wonderful aroma of this cinnamon-sugar Crock-Pot oatmeal is a great way to start the day! —Brandy Schaefer, Glen Carbon, Illinois
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Best Strawberry Shortcake

For a dazzling summer dessert, you can’t beat juicy strawberries and fresh whipped cream over homemade shortcake. My father added even more indulgence to this recipe by buttering the shortcake. This is the best strawberry shortcake recipe. —Shirley Joan Helfenbein, Lapeer, Michigan.
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Saucy Mac & Cheese

I love the curly noodles in this creamy recipe. Cavatappi, also sold under the name cellentani, is a corkscrew pasta, but any type of spiral pasta will work. This dish is fun to make and looks so pretty topped with extra cheese and crunchy, golden crumbs. I like to add ground pepper to my serving. —Sara Martin, Brookfield, Wisconsin
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Chicken Provolone

Chicken Provolone, though one of my simplest dishes, is one of my husband’s favorites. It is easy to prepare and looks fancy served on a dark plate with a garnish of fresh parsley or basil. Add some buttered noodles for an easy side dish. —Dawn Bryant, Thedford, Nebraska
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Country Sausage Soup

Savory pork sausage, two kinds of beans and diced tomatoes make this soup one I prepare time and again. It's a hearty fix for when I don't know what to prepare for supper.—Grace Meyer, Galva, Kansas
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Ground Beef Wellington

Trying new recipes is one of my favorite hobbies. It’s also the most gratifying. What could beat the smiles and compliments of the ones you love? This recipe is easy enough for weeknights yet fancy enough to serve for special occasions. —Julie Frankamp, Nicollet, Minnesota
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Confetti Quinoa

If you have never tried quinoa, start with my easy side, brimming with colorful veggies. I serve it with orange-glazed chicken. —Kim Ciepluch, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Swiss Potato Soup

You have a few options when it comes to fixing this soup—it can also be made in the microwave or started in a slow cooker in the morning. —Krista Musser, Orrville, Ohio
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Garlic Chicken with Maple-Chipotle Glaze

This herby one-dish garlic chicken dinner is a updated version of an old standby recipe. The smoky flavors pair well with the savory chicken and the hint of sweetness from the maple syrup. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Cheesecake Berry Parfaits

The summer berry season is a real treat. This is an easy way to enjoy berries with cheesecake, which is a refreshing change from traditional pudding and fruit parfaits. —Patricia Schroedl, Jefferson, Wisconsin
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Farmers Breakfast

Start off your day on a hearty note! This one-dish wonder will easily keep your family satisfied until lunch. —Jeannette Westphal, Gettysburg, South Dakota
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Slow-Cooked Beef Tips

These slow-cooked beef tips remind me of a childhood favorite. I cook them with mushrooms and serve over brown rice, noodles or mashed potatoes. —Amy Lents, Grand Forks, North Dakota

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.