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55 Vintage Lunchbox Recipes

Bring back memories of a school day's meal with these adorable vintage lunchbox treats. From savory bites like ham salad to sweets like butter toffee, you're going to want to pack a few for this week's lunch!

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Church Window Cookies

This is a hit with kids—the little ones just love the colored marshmallows! —Emmilie Gaston, Wabash, Indiana
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Mushroom-Stuffed Tomatoes

This side dish is inexpensive, quick to prepare and always a favorite. With plenty of mushrooms, the cheesy mixture stuffed into tomatoes is really decadent. —Florence Palmer, Marshall, Illinois
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Peanut Butter Popcorn Bars

If you're looking for a fun snack for kids, try this chewy peanut butter popcorn recipe that have a mild peanut butter taste. They're easy to mix and can be pressed into a pan to form bars, or shaped into balls. —Kathy Oswald, Wauzeka, Wisconsin
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Salted Peanut Rolls

A Christmas gift of homemade candy is always a hit with sweet tooths. I dip these peanut rolls in chocolate, but they're yummy plain, too. —Elizabeth Hokanson, Arborg, Manitoba
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Hot Pineapple Ham Sandwiches

Your trusty slow cooker lets you make these warm, gooey sandwiches without heating up the house on a hot day. The mustard and brown sugar give them such satisfying richness. —Nancy Foust, Stoneboro, Pennsylvania
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Date Oatmeal Bars

In no time at all, you can treat your family to these bars. They'll never suspect how light the snacks are. —Helen Cluts of Sioux Falls, South Dakota
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No-Bake Cookie Butter Blossoms

Chewy and sweet, these easy treats mix Rice Krispies, cookie spread and chocolate kisses in an unforgettable spin on an old favorite. —Jessie Sarrazin, Livingston, Montana
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Pineapple Upside-Down Muffin Cakes

A friend submitted this recipe to a cookbook our school district was compiling. The first time I made them, the whole family declared the recipe a winner. Delicious and healthy to boot, they remain favorites to this day. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Bagel with a Veggie Schmear

I got this recipe from my favorite bagel shop in New York City. Now I make this every time I'm craving a quick and healthy breakfast. I like to add chopped pitted green olives to the schmear. — Julie Merriman, Seattle, Washington
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Mincemeat Cookie Bars

My daughter won the grand champion title at the Alaska State Fair with these bars when she was 10. The topping is delicious but a bit crumbly; for neatly edged cookies, freeze before cutting. —Mary Bohanan, Sparks, Nevada
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Potato Chip Clusters

Just three offbeat ingredients add up to one unique, delectable, no-bake treat. These super easy, sweet-and-salty candy clusters make for merry munching during holiday trips or parties. They travel well in containers without melting or getting soft. —Donna Brockett, Kingfisher, Oklahoma
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Pineapple-Dijon Ham Sandwiches

My kids like ham; the challenge is finding new ways to make it. When I slow-cook it with pineapple and Dijon, the juices make an amazing dipping sauce. —Camille Beckstrand, Layton, Utah
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Crunchy Candy Clusters

These cereal and marshmallow clusters are so simple that I make them for the holidays each year, as my family looks forward to them. —Faye O'Bryan, Owensboro, Kentucky
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Old-Fashioned Peach Butter

Cinnamon and ground cloves add down-home flavor to this spread for toast or biscuits. Using the slow cooker eliminates much of the stirring required when simmering fruit butter on the stovetop. —Marilou Robinson, Portland, Oregon
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Chocolate-Glazed Brownies

These moist and fudgy squares are bursting with such rich chocolate flavor, you'd never know they're low in fat. They're ideal for taking to bake sales and family gatherings. For holidays, I like to dress them up with colorful candy sprinkles. —Deb Anderson, Joplin, Missouri
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Orange Gelatin Pretzel Salad

Salty pretzels pair nicely with the sweet fruit in this refreshing layered salad. It’s a family favorite that is a slam-dunk at potlucks. —Peggy Boyd, Northport, Alabama
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No-Bake Peanut Butter Treats

Perfect for road trips, these peanut butter oatmeal balls won’t stick to your hands. Keep them in the refrigerator for portable snacks. —Sonia Rohda, Waverly, Nebraska
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Chicken Salad Party Sandwiches

My famous chicken salad arrives at the party chilled in a plastic container. When it’s time to set out the food, I stir in the pecans and assemble the sandwiches. They’re a hit at buffet-style potlucks. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho
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Cherry-Coconut Slices

My mother got this recipe from a woman named Emmie Oddie, a well-known home economist in Canada who had a column in a farming newspaper. Oddie would test reader recipes in her own kitchen and write about it. These tasty sweets are so rich that you need only a small piece. —Judy Olson, Whitecourt, Alberta
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Apple Kolaches

A fellow home cook shared this recipe for a sweet, fruit-filled pastry. My son, who isn’t a dessert fan, was disappointed when he came home to find his dad had polished off the last kolache in the batch. —Ann Johnson, Evansville, Indiana
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Ambrosia Fruit Salad

My mom's ambrosia salad, with its tasty combination of fresh fruits and creamy yogurt, is a family favorite, and a great addition to a backyard barbecue. —Colleen Belbey, Warwick, Rhode Island
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Rustic Nut Bars

My friends love crunching into these chewy, gooey bars that have a crust like shortbread and a wildly nutty topping. —Barbara Driscoll, West Allis, Wisconsin
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Jeweled Coconut Drops

Red raspberry preserves add a festive flair to these tender coconut cookies. Perfect for potlucks and cookie exchanges, these shaped cookies never last long when I make them for my husband and two sons. -Ellen Marie Byler Munfordville, Kentucky
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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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Aunt Rose's Fantastic Butter Toffee

I don't live in the country, but I love everything about it—especially good old-fashioned home cooking! Every year, you'll find me at our county fair, entering a different contest. This easy toffee recipe is a family favorite. —Kathy Dorman, Snover, Michigan
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Iced Orange Cookies

I usually make these bite-size orange cookies at Christmastime, when oranges in Florida are plentiful, but they're delicious any time of year. Every time I sniff their wonderful aroma, I remember my grandmother, who shared the recipe. —Lori DiPietro, New Port Richey, Florida
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Peanut Butter Fudge

This peanut butter fudge is a favorite "never fail" quickie recipe. —Eleanore Peterson, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin
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Chicken Croissant Sandwiches

These sandwiches are easy to pull together when you need something fun and taste-worthy in a flash. I make them often for occasions like brunches, church youth meetings and impromptu family gatherings. —Cheryl Sigler, Louisville, Ohio
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Baby Ruth Cookies

I love Baby Ruth candy bars and usually have a few on hand, so I decided to put them to good use in my favorite cookie recipe. —Elinor Nield, Soquel, California
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Sour Cream and Cranberry Bars

I turned sour cream raisin pie into a cookie bar with a crunchy oatmeal crust, custard-style filling and crisp topping. —Shelly Bevington, Hermiston, Oregon
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Apricot Salad

Colorful gelatin salad adds a spot of brightness to any table. It blends well with this holiday feast. We children didn't know if it should be a salad or dessert, with its smooth texture and delicate flavor.—Fae Fisher, Callao, Virginia
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Ham & Cheese Chowder

Chowder makes chilly days instantly cozier. This easy one, with cheddar, potatoes and smoky ham, warms you up from head to toe. —Mandy Beerman, Houstonia, MO
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Candied Fruit Cookies

These no-fuss candied fruit cookies are both nutty and fruity, so they're always a hit at holiday time. —Florence Monson, Denver, Colorado
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Lemon Coconut Bites

The tangy lemon flavor of this layered bar dessert is especially delicious on a warm day. It takes me back to selling lemonade on the sidewalk as a little girl. —Donna Biddle, Elmira, New York
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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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Hasselback Tomato Clubs

This no-fuss, no-bread riff on a classic is perfect during tomato season. Make it for lunch or pair with pasta salad for a light dinner. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Super Chunky Cookies

Chocolate lovers will go crazy over these cookies that feature loads of chocolate! When friends ask me to make "those cookies," I know exactly what recipe they mean. —Rebecca Jendry, Spring Branch, Texas
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Buttery Coconut Bars

My coconut bars are an American version of a Filipino coconut cake called bibingka. These are a crispier, sweeter take on the Christmas tradition I grew up with. —Denise Nyland, Panama City, Florida
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Mushroom & Wild Rice Soup

You can tell how much I adore mushrooms by looking at this recipe. I used four varieties! The wild rice mix helps make it very easy. —Mary McVey, Colfax, North Carolina
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Whole Wheat Snickerdoodles

These soft, chewy cookies make a super snack any time of year. Their light cinnamon-sugar flavor is the perfect complement to a cold glass of milk. —Jana Horsfall, Garden City, Kansas
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Citrus Mini Cakes

These moist, bite-size muffins from Linda Terrell of Palatka, Florida are melt-in-your-mouth good. "With their appealing look, they really dress up a party table," she notes. The recipe makes a big batch, so there's plenty to please a crowd.
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Fluffed Fruit Salad

I like this recipe since I can prepare it in advance when entertaining. Even people who don't care for cranberries usually like this treat.—Christine Halandras, Meeker, Colorado
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Ham Salad

I first made this for a shower...everyone raved about it. Now when I go to a potluck, I take it, and copies of the recipe. —Patricia Reed, Pine Bluff, Arkansas
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Sweet Potato Cheesecake Bars

Your whole house will be filled with the aroma of pumpkin spice when you bake these wonderful sweet potato cheesecake bars. They look complicated but are so easy, you can whip up a batch anytime. —Nancy Whitford, Edwards, New York
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Chocolate Peanut Cookies

When I want chocolate chip cookies, I bake this variation, which is full of other goodies, such as candy and peanuts. The cookies are crisp on the outside and moist and tender in the middle. —Clara Coulson Minney, Washington Court House, Ohio
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Tropical Beef Wrap

For my finicky little ones, I create fast, tasty recipes like this tropical sandwich wrap. You can even use up leftover roast beef in a pinch. —Amy Tong, Anaheim, California
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Crunchy Chocolate Clusters

This easy candy has a south-of-the-border flavor with cinnamon, chocolate and coffee. Sweet, salty and crunchy, it's a great no-bake treat. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California
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Banana Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

I make these banana bars with cream cheese frosting whenever I have ripe bananas on hand, then store them in the freezer to share later. With creamy frosting and big banana flavor, this treat is a real crowd-pleaser. —Debbie Knight, Marion, Iowa
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Roast Beef Finger Sandwiches

These simple sandwiches are ideal for a bridal shower, brunch or high tea, when the menu is a bit more substantial. The mustard adds a nice kick without being overly spicy. —Anndrea Bailey, Huntington Beach, California
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Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Guests will stand in line to kiss the cook when these treats are served! For a change of pace, try them with chunky peanut butter, too. —Canada60, Tasteofhome.com Community
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Scottish Shortbread Cookies

This simple three-ingredient shortbread cookie recipe makes wonderfully rich, tender cookies. Serve them with fresh berries of the season for a nice, light dessert. You'll get miles of smiles when friends see these at an afternoon tea or a bridal shower. —Marlene Hellickson, Big Bear City, California
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Almond Crunch

Once you start eating this taste-tempting treat, you may not be able to stop! Matzo crackers are topped with buttery caramel, chocolate and slivered almonds...and then baked to perfection. —Sharalyn Zander, Jacksonville, Alabama
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Cheesy Cream of Asparagus Soup

Kids may not want to try a vegetable soup, but once they spoon up a mouthful of this cheesy variety, the flavor will keep them coming back for more. —Muriel Lerdal, Humboldt, Iowa
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Maine Potato Candy

Years ago, folks in Maine ate potatoes daily and used leftovers in bread, doughnuts and other dishes. This potato candy recipe captures all of the old-school flavors. —Barbara Allen, Chelmsford, Massachusetts
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Crispy Chocolate Squares

Folks will think you slaved away on these fast and fudgy treats. People often request the recipe and are surprised to find out how easy they are to make. Even kids can make 'em! —Karen Speidel, Wheeling, Illinois

Caroline Stanko
As an Associate Digital Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.
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