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50 Timeless Family Recipes

Passed down from generation to generation, these family recipes are tried-and-true favorites that we still love today. Find traditional dishes—and the stories behind them—that will take you back to grandma's kitchen.

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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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Roasted Strawberry Sheet Cake

My Grandma Gigi loved summer berry cakes. Almost any time I’d call her during the warmer months, she’d invite me over to taste her latest masterpiece. This cake is a tribute to her. —Kristin Bowers, Rancho Palos Verdes, California
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Apricot Amaretto Jam

This thick, chunky apricot jam was my grandma's recipe; it's lovely to make something for my family and friends that she made for hers! —Linda Wegner, Robinson, 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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Family-Favorite Caramelized Onions

This recipe was passed down to me by my mother-in-law. After a few tweaks these onions are better than ever and, to my husband's chagrin, there are rarely any leftovers. They can easily be made ahead and reheated. —Sharon Gibson, Hendersonville, North Carolina
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Pecan Shortbread Tea Cakes

My Grandma Ellis made her shortbread cookies only at Christmas because the ingredients were so indulgent. The results are, too!—Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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No-Knead Knot Rolls

My mom, Velma Perkins, loved to serve these light, golden rolls when I was growing up on our Iowa farm. They're extra nice since they require no kneading. The dough rises in the refrigerator overnight, so there's little last-minute fuss to serve fresh hot rolls with any meal. —Toni Hilscher, Omaha, Nebraska
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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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Cranberry Brie Pecan Pinwheels

This recipe is a twist on baked Brie. My family always requests these during the holidays. They are delicious and make the kitchen smell amazing! —Jacquie Franklin, Hot Springs, Montana
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Calabrian Holiday Soup

My family is from the Italian region of Calabria; our version of Italian wedding soup has been handed down through the generations. We serve this soup with the Christmas meal as well as at weddings. —Gwen Keefer, Sylvania, Ohio
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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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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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Grandma's Chicken 'n' Dumpling Soup

I've enjoyed making this rich homemade chicken dumpling soup recipe for more than 40 years. Every time I serve this type of soup, I remember my southern grandma, who was very special to me and was known as an outstanding cook. —Paulette Balda, Prophetstown, Illinois
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Raspberry Custard Kuchen

Back where I grew up in Wisconsin, people have been baking this German treat for generations. We love it for breakfast or as a special dessert. It's no fuss to fix and impressive to serve. —Virginia Arndt, Sequim, Washington
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Grandma's Tandy Kake

My grandmother made this for all our family gatherings. Everyone loves it now I make it for every party we attend or host. —John Morgan III, Lebanon, Pennsylvania
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Church Supper Hot Dish

This recipe was in my mother's church cookbook, and now it's in my church cookbook! Apparently is was too good to miss a generation. I often make this dish to take along to potlucks...and it seems that if I don't, someone else will! It's hearty and so tasty! —Norma Turner, Haslett, Michigan
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Gooey Old-Fashioned Steamed Molasses Bread

While I was growing up, the smell of this bread often greeted me as I walked in the door from school. I thought that everyone baked bread in a slow cooker. My grandmother, my mother and I—and now my daughters—all bake this. It’s comfort food at its best! —Bonnie Geavaras-Bootz, Chandler, Arizona
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Calamari Salad

This is one of the seven fish dishes we serve at Christmas time. It is easy to make and quite delicious! I enjoy it served both warm and cold. Either way, it has become one of our traditional dishes each year. The recipe has been passed down to me through my grandparents, who were excellent cooks. —Paul Rinaldi, Easton, Pennsylvania
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Honey-Lime Almond Cookies

Decades ago my grandmother passed this buttery lime cookie recipe to me. Through years of baking, our cookie memories keep the family connected, although we’re miles apart. —Paula Marchesi, Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania
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Slow Cooker Red Beans & Sausage

Being from Louisiana, my go-to comfort food is red beans and rice. The Crock-Pot makes it so easy and the recipe reminds me of Sunday family dinners going back generations. Serve it as a slow-cooker side dish or make it a meal with hot buttered corn bread. —Lisa Bowie, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Easy 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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Wine-Braised Chicken with Pearl Onions

This is a family favorite handed down from my grandmother in London. She made it for every family gathering. It was always the first food to go on the table and the first one to disappear. —Wayne Barnes, Montgomery, Alabama
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Dipped Chocolate Logs

When my sister and I were little, we used to beg my mother and grandmother to make these buttery chocolate cookies during the holidays. Now, as moms ourselves, we get together every year to make Christmas cookies, and the chocolate logs are always on the top of our list. —Deanna Markkos, Western Springs, Illinois
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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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Gingerbread Meringue Bars

For the best of both worlds, I combined my grandmother's gingerbread recipe with my aunt's special brown sugar meringue. The result? These lovable holiday-perfect bars that have become a new family tradition. —Eden Dranger, Los Angeles, California
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Grandma Russell's Bread

I remember as a child always smelling fresh homemade bread and rolls whenever I walked into Grandma's house. The warm slices were delicious and melted in my mouth! —Janet Polito, Nampa, Idaho
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Grandma's Rice Dish

My grandmother often made this casserole when I was young. I forgot about it until one day I found myself adding the same ingredients to leftover rice. The memories came flooding back. —Lorna Moore, Glendora, California
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Easy Rhubarb Relish

I remember eating this relish at my grandmother's over 50 years ago. My mother made it for years and now my daughters make it. The relish complements any meat, but I find it a must with meat loaf. —Helen Brooks, Lacombe, Alberta r
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Kourambiethes

My daughter-in-law gave me this recipe. Her grandmother was born in Greece and bakes these cookies for special occasions, including Christmas.—Carol Dale, Greenville, Texas
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Guinness Corned Beef and Cabbage

Passed down through generations, this robust corned beef and cabbage recipe is requested often in our house. The Irish stout adds excellent richness to the corned beef. Just throw the ingredients together in the slow cooker and let them simmer until delicious! —Karin Brodbeck, Red Hook, New York
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Minty Peas and Onions

Mother could always rely on peas and onions when she was in a hurry and needed a quick side. Besides being easy to prepare, this dish was loved by everyone in our family. It was handed down to my mother by my grandmother. —Santa D'Addario, Jacksonville, Florida
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Baki's Old-World Cookies

My uncles have always called these "cupcake cookies" because of the unique, pretty way they're baked. My maternal grandmother mixed many batches. —Marilyn Louise Riggenbach, Ravenna, Ohio
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Braised Dill Potatoes

Dill, chicken broth and a few other simple ingredients create a side dish your family will love. The braised potatoes are delicious with sour cream. —Amie Schmidt, San Diego, California
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Old-World Pizza Meat Loaf

Good food and memories are made in the kitchen. A recipe like this one that’s been passed down through generations is worth its weight in gold. In fact, this was my grandma’s; we all love it. —Nicholas King, Duluth, Minnesota
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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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Shortbread

I live in Missouri, but many family recipes come from New Zealand where I was born. My parents moved there when I was a year old, so I have a "Down Under" heritage. This easy shortbread recipe brings back warm memories of my childhood, and I'm going to make sure they're passed on to the next generation in my family…no matter where they live! —Allen Swenson, Camdenton, 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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Cherry Spice Cake

At least four generations of women in my family have been baking this Cherry Spice Cake. It's always my mom's pick for her birthday. I like to use cream cheese frosting, but when my mother was growing up, my grandma frosted the cake with butter cream.—Laurie Sanders, Manchester, Michigan
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Grandma's Pea Soup

My grandma's pea soup recipe was a family favorite. What makes it different from any other pea soups I have tried is the addition of whole peas, spaetzle-like "dumplings" and sausage. Try it once and you'll be hooked. —Carole Talcott, Dahinda, Illinois
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Winnie's Mini Rhubarb & Strawberry Pies

Every spring, we had strawberries and rhubarb on our farm outside Seattle. These fruity hand pies remind me of those times and of Grandma Winnie’s baking. —Shawn Carleton, San Diego, California
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Grandma's Southern 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
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South Liberty Hall Relish

My grandparents originated this recipe that's been treasured in our family for four generations. It's named after a dance hall they ran in rural Iowa. Whenever I bite into a hot dog or hamburger dressed up with this taste bud-tingling relish, I think of them and their delicious country cooking. —Melinda Winchell, Las Vegas, Nevada
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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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Grandma Brubaker's Orange Cookies

At least two generations of my family have enjoyed the recipe for these delicate, orange-flavored, cakelike cookies. —Sheri DeBolt, Huntington, Indiana
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Zucchini-Cornmeal Pancakes

My mom has made these treasured family hotcakes for ages. Try them as a breakfast-for-dinner meal with fresh fruit, yogurt and honey on top. —Katherine Wollgast, Florissant, Missouri
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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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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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Focaccia Barese

This focaccia recipe has been in my mom's family for several generations. It's one of my most requested dishes. In fact, some hosts tell me I can't attend their parties unless I bring this with me! —Dora Travaglio, Mount Prospect, Illinois
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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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Banana Cream Pie

Made from our farm-fresh dairy products, this pie was a sensational creamy treat any time Mom served it. Her recipe is a real treasure, and I've never found one that tastes better! —Bernice Morris, Marshfield, Missouri