20 Epic Recipes Only Grandparents Know About

As any foodie will know, the Internet is full of all kinds of recipes. Whether you're looking for something to make for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, or just a quick snack in the afternoon when you start to feel hungry, there's definitely something on the Internet to help fulfill those cravings. Anyone who really loves food and loves to cook will definitely know how easy it is to get lost on Pinterest looking at different recipes for every meal and occasion.

While the Internet is a great resource for finding new recipes and seeing other people testing out recipes before you decide to hit the kitchen, there are also some other great resources out there. When was the last time you took a peek inside your grandparents' cookbook collection? Odds are, they've got some seriously vintage cookbooks and clippings from old magazines stashed away somewhere that are full of forgotten retro recipes that you're not going to find on social media. While we can't deny there are some in there that just don't look appealing anymore, there are definitely some that any foodie needs to blow the dust off of and try.

If you're looking for something new to make for an upcoming special occasion or you're just tired of all your tried and true recipes, why not try one of these retro recipes? No need to dig through your grandparents' cookbook cabinet, we've compiled 20 of the most epic and delicious recipes that only a grandparent will know.

20 Blueberry Lemon Upside-Down Cake

via SimplyBee.org

Pineapple upside-down cake is a classic recipe for an "upside-down" cake that has been around for years and that every grandmother has probably made for some family event or another. But that's not the only retro recipe that involves building a cake totally upside down!

This recipe comes from Foodness Gracious and is a deliciously sweet and tart cake that has the same effect as the classic pineapple upside-down cake but with a different fruit. This retro recipe is a deliciously fluffy lemon sponge cake with a thick layer of melted blueberries and is perfect for just about any afternoon occasion.

19 Cheesy Cottage Potatoes

via MyRecipes.com

This modernized adaptation of a delicious vintage recipe is a great side dish for any meal. Whether it's breakfast, lunch, or dinner, these cheesy cottage potatoes will taste totally yummy next to any main dish.

The best part of this recipe is that it can be made in the slow cooker and the ingredients can be changed to taste!

This flavorful recipe comes from My Recipes and is a delicious way to get a side dish going in the slow cooker while you work on the rest of dinner without having to worry about checking on it every few minutes.

18 Taco-Stuffed Zucchini Boats

via ValeriesKitchen.com

Stuffed zucchini boats have been a recipe that has been around in cookbooks for decades. Any grandparent will probably have a cookbook or a recipe book somewhere that has a clipping on a recipe from one of their favorite magazines giving them an idea of what to stuff inside of this vegetable vessel.

This modernized version comes from Valerie's Kitchen and is stuffed with meat, cheese, and veggies to make a delicious taco boat with less carbs and a little more veggies to make it more on the healthy side than a traditional taco. The best part of this recipe is the toppings can be changed to fit your taste!

17 Hummingbird Cupcakes

via WomansDay.com

Who doesn't love cupcakes? They're sweet and delicious and perfect for any celebration that you might want to bring a sweet treat to celebrate with. While store bought cupcakes are delicious, there's nothing more satisfying than making some yourself at home from scratch.

This recipe for cupcakes is a retro recipe called Hummingbird Cupcakes. The recipe comes from Woman's Day and is a sweet and tropical pineapple and banana cupcake that is sweet and delicious. Plus, it's topped with fresh pieces of fruit to look like flowers that are almost too cute to eat! Not that we'd ever let any kind of decoration be cute enough to make us turn down a cupcake!

16 Pizza Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

via UseYourNoodles.eu

Loaded baked potatoes are delicious, right? Who doesn't love to tear into a crispy, warm baked potato and see all kinds of cheese and sour cream and other toppings inside? It makes our mouths water just thinking about it!

This retro recipe from Use Your Noodles takes the classic loaded baked potato and puts a totally unique spin on it. For one thing, it's not just loaded with cheese, sour cream, and other toppings. This recipe fills them with toppings to taste just like a pizza. And the vessel? A sweet potato! This makes a deliciously low carb and healthier option for a pizza night.

15 Old School Pineapple Glazed Ham

via OhSoDelicioso.com

Ham is a delicious dish that is a classic for many people to serve at different holidays. Many families spend all day in the kitchen working on the most perfectly juicy and tender ham to plate up on a holiday like Christmas or Easter. This retro recipe is a modernized version of a classic pineapple ham that doesn't take all day!

Oh So Delicioso has a delicious recipe for an old school pineapple glazed ham that cooks in the pressure cooker without drying out while it's cooking all day. The pineapple adds some sweetness to the salty flavor of the ham and it's sure to be a hit at any dinner!

14 Rainbow Jell-O Poke Cake

via Delish.com

Ever looked inside an old cookbook or through the box of recipes clipped from magazines that your grandparents have saved through the years? If you have, you've probably noticed how many recipes used Jell-O in them. While some of them are a little strange, there are also a lot of them that are totally delicious and can make a super tasty dessert, even decades after they were first published!

This retro recipe from Delish is a cake that uses Jell-O to add some color and deliciously fruity flavor to an otherwise ordinary cake. Slicing into this dessert will be a sweet surprise for anyone who eats it!

13 Turkey, Peach, and Basil Sandwiches

via ZestfulKitchen.com

Peaches? On a sandwich? While that combination might sound a little strange, we have to admit that this retro recipe is definitely onto something! Especially during the summer when peaches are sweet and ripe, this sandwich is an unexpectedly tasty combination.

This recipe comes from Zestful Kitchen and combines the savory turkey and basil with the sweet and juicy peaches to make a summery, delicious sandwich that cannot be missed. The summertime can be so hot that no one really wants to cook so tossing together these sandwiches is a great way to beat the heat and eat something a little different.

12 Pizza Mac 'N Cheese


Retro recipes truly did have a way of taking ordinary things like macaroni and cheese and making them a lot more interesting. Advertisements for boxes of pasta that came in magazines would often have a recipe on them to entice people into buying them and, instead of just following the magazine's instructions, trying out the unusual recipe there.

Pizza mac 'n cheese is a classic example of one of these unique but still delicious recipes. This recipe comes from Kudos Kitchen by Renee and is a delicious combination of a cheesy and chewy pasta and a gooey pizza. Two delicious foods in one? Sign us up!

11 Pesto Pinwheels

via TasteOfHome.com

Pinwheels like these are a recipe that has been around for a long time. Because they've been around for so long, the variations on what goes on the inside of that delicious spiral are just about endless. Whether it's meat or vegetables and sweet or savory, these pinwheels can make a delicious appetizer or dessert.

This version comes from Taste of Home and are easy to make. No need to make the dough from scratch if you don't want to! These appetizers use a can of crescent rolls straight from the refrigerator section to hold the fillings and bake up super crispy and flaky.

10 Baked Apples with Granola

via WhitneyERD.com

What's more delicious during the fall than a crispy, sweet apple?

This retro recipe comes from Whitney E. RD and takes the delicious taste of a fresh, crisp apple to a whole new level by modernizing this retro recipe for baked apples. After a long day out in the crisp fall air, we can't think of many things that would be better than sitting down on the couch in front of Netflix with one of these and a little vanilla ice cream on the side.

This recipe is incredibly easy and sure to be a hit after any dinner as a sweet, fruity dessert.

9 Green Bean and Radish Sauté

via CookingLight.com

Many retro recipes from the 1950s and 1960s feature green beans. Whether they're on the side or in a salad, green beans seem pretty hard to avoid in this classical recipes. Not that we're complaining, these veggies are tasty and they're super versatile when it comes to recipes they can be included in!

This recipe comes from Cooking Light and is a perfect side dish to any meal. Sautéing the green beans makes them stay nice and crispy and flavorful. Anyone who dislikes green beans because they find that they get soggy or chewy when cooked doesn't have to worry about that with this recipe!

8 Banana Pudding Poke Cake

via lilluna.com

Poke cakes are a staple of any grandparents' vintage recipe books and boxes. They involve making a fairly traditional cake with one major change. Instead of simply baking the cake up and then icing and serving it, a poke cake has a pretty different method of cooking. Either before or after baking, the cake is poked so that the topping or filling can ooze down into the cake and give it extra flavor and moisture.

This recipe from Lil' Luna is a super moist cake that is poked after its done baking to make large holes that the banana pudding on top can seep down into and add extra flavor to the cake. Yum!

7 Old Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup

via TheGourmetRD.com

The fall and winter-time means cold and flu season. Ugh, no one wants to deal with getting sick, but it's not always possible to completely avoid it. Being sick when the temperature is dropping outside is never fun but luckily, there's always some classic foods that make it just a little bit better.

This recipe for old-fashioned chicken noodle soup comes from The Gourmet RD and is perfect for the fall and winter. Whether you feel a little bit of sickness coming on or you just want to stay warm during the colder months, this recipe is perfect to make up a big pot of and keep in the fridge to eat on all week long.

6 Caramel Apple Crisp Cheesecake

via BakingBeauty.net

Cream cheese is a deliciously creamy and rich dessert for any occasion. Whether it's a special event that you're celebrating or you just want to serve something special on a totally normal day, a cheesecake is a perfect way to do it. There are tons of different cheesecake recipes out there but this retro recipe is definitely one of the most delicious ones.

This cheesecake recipe is from Baking Beauty and combines the classic creamy cheesecake with a crunchy, gooey topping with the caramel and the apples and oats that go on the top. This recipe totally takes cheesecake to the next level!

5 Chicken Croquettes

via FoodAndWine.com

Chicken croquettes are a recipe that became popular in the 1970s and 1980s but are still totally delicious. This tasty fried food is made by combining chicken and ham into little balls and then chilled so that they stay in their round shape when they get fried up. Frying them gives them a deliciously crispy crust while the inside is warm and soft.

This recipe comes from Food and Wine and gives a recipe for 16 total croquettes so they'd be perfect for a holiday party or get together. The crispy, fried bread crumb coating gets warm and toasty when fried and makes it hard to eat just one.

4 Tomato Hamburger Soup

via TasteOfHome.com

There are a ton of different soup recipes around the Internet and in vintage recipe books and magazines. They're perfect because it's a great way to make a big batch of something that can be eaten for several days afterward which means you don't have to cook again for a few more days. Yum! Plus, soup is a great way to stay warm during the cold months because it really heats your body up from the inside out.

This recipe comes from Taste of Home and is like eating a delicious hamburger dipped in a bowl of warm tomato soup. This recipe can be changed to include or exclude vegetables depending on the taste of the person making it, too!

3 No-Bake Peaches & Creme Ice Box Pie

via ImperialSugar.com

This pie is a delicious one to make during the warmer months because it uses fresh, sweet peaches and doesn't need to be baked! That way, the house won't get too hot during the warm summertime months and it keeps the soft, sweet peaches tasting fresh and delicious without cooking them. This recipe is so retro that it even has the word "ice box" in the fridge. Who else has heard their grandparents call the refrigerator that?

This light, fluffy no-bake pie recipe comes from Imperial Sugar and uses cream cheese and Creme Chantilly to make the filling light, fluffy, and sweet.

2 Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatloaf

via TheStayAtHomeChef.com

Look through any grandparent's old recipe box and old cookbooks and you're bound to find one thing over and over: meatloaf. Whether you love it or loathe it, meatloaf is one retro recipe that's nearly impossible to avoid. Just about every cookbook and cooking magazine has come out with their own variation on this classic dish at some point.

This recipe from The Stay at Home Chef is one that takes the classic meatloaf recipe and puts a delicious spin on it that will surprise any dinner guest when it gets cut into. Instead of just being a traditional meatloaf, this recipe is stuffed with mozzarella cheese to make it extra ooey and gooey inside.

1 Hoppin' John

via SimplyRecipes.com

Hoppin' John is a classic recipe from the south that has many different names, depending on where you might find it or who you talk to. Despite its different names and the muddy history about exactly where this classic dish came from, there's one thing that always remains the same: the ingredients.

This recipe from Simply Recipes shows just how easy it is to make Hoppin' John but it's so easy, you won't even need a recipe. This dish is made with rice and black-eyed peas and from there, the options are endless. It can be topped with anything from bacon to vegetables.

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