17 grandmas’ recipes that make modern dishes look sad

Photo of author

| Published:

Today’s dishes often miss the depth of flavor found in these vintage recipes. Busy lifestyles may have led to quicker meals, but these 17 selections offer another option. Each one makes use of tried and true cooking methods that bring out the best, whether for a casual meal or a get-together. Enjoying these can make one forget all about fast food and frozen dinners.

Low angle shot of rugelach cookies filled with chocolate and pecans.
Chocolate Rugelach. Photo credit: All Ways Delicious.

Low Carb Chocolate Roulade

Low Carb Chocolate Roulade on a dark plates with roses around.
Low Carb Chocolate Roulade. Photo credit: Low Carb – No Carb.

Grandmas know how to make a dessert that’s both healthy and indulgent. Low Carb Chocolate Roulade manages to deliver a rich chocolate taste without all the guilt. It’s perfect for those watching their carb intake but still wanting something sweet. People will wonder how a classic recipe can fit into a modern diet without sacrifices.
Get the Recipe: Low Carb Chocolate Roulade

Amish Macaroni Salad

Bowl of Amish macaroni salad with some on a spoon.
Amish Macaroni Salad. Photo credit: Upstate Ramblings.

You might think you’ve had macaroni salad before, but not like this. Amish Macaroni Salad brings a traditional twist that’s creamy and tangy. Every bite takes you back to simpler times when food felt comforting. This salad will redefine your expectations and make other versions look like mere imitations.
Get the Recipe: Amish Macaroni Salad

Hershey Kiss Cookie

Hershey kiss cookies in rows on a cooling rack.
Hershey Kiss Cookie. Photo credit: Savoringthegood.

A timeless cookie that nails the balance between soft and chewy. Grandma’s Hershey Kiss Cookie is not your ordinary chocolate treat; it has just the right amount of sweetness and nostalgia. Share them at parties and watch them disappear. They’re so good, you won’t want to go back to store-bought versions.
Get the Recipe: Hershey Kiss Cookie

Ratatouille with an Italian Flair

Italian ratatouille in a glass casserole dish.
Ratatouille with an Italian Flair. Photo credit: Honest and Truly.

This dish takes a classic French recipe and adds a unique twist. Ratatouille with an Italian Flair combines the best of both worlds. It’s a hearty and flavorful choice that brings warmth and comfort. Eating this ratatouille, you’ll wonder why modern versions don’t always hit the mark.
Get the Recipe: Ratatouille with an Italian Flair

No Bake Brownies

Close up side view of three no bake brownies on white plate.
No Bake Brownies. Photo credit: Real Life of Lulu.

When it comes to quick and delicious, these No Bake Brownies have it all. No need for an oven, just mix and chill. Grandmas knew that sometimes, the simplest methods bring out the richest flavors. With these brownies, modern desserts don’t even come close.
Get the Recipe: No Bake Brownies

Slow Cooker German Pot Roast

A plate of German pot roast beef with a sauce being poured over it.
Slow Cooker German Pot Roast. Photo credit: Cook What You Love.

Preparing dinner couldn’t get easier or more delicious. Slow Cooker German Pot Roast brings forth a tender, savory feast that requires minimal work. Just set it and forget it, and the results are mouthwatering. Grandma’s version wins out every time over newer recipes.
Get the Recipe: Slow Cooker German Pot Roast

Salisbury Steak with Mushrooms

Salisbury Steak on a bed of mashed potatoes.
Salisbury Steak with Mushrooms. Photo credit: Keto Cooking Wins.

Grandma’s Salisbury Steak with Mushrooms is a home-cooked staple that stands the test of time. It offers rich, savory flavors that are both hearty and filling. Every bite is like a trip down memory lane. Compared to this, modern attempts seem lackluster.
Get the Recipe: Salisbury Steak with Mushrooms

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

A picture of Slow Cooker Pot Roast with carrot and parsnip.
Slow Cooker Pot Roast. Photo credit: Primal Edge Health.

It’s hard to beat the convenience and taste of a well-made pot roast. Slow Cooker Pot Roast offers tender meat and robust flavors that fill the house with a comforting aroma. Pop it in the slow cooker and let time do the work. Grandma’s way of cooking makes modern fast food seem dull.
Get the Recipe: Slow Cooker Pot Roast

Sheet Pan Paprika Chicken and Veggies

Hands holding paprika chicken and vegetables on a sheet pan.
Sheet Pan Paprika Chicken and Veggies. Photo credit: At the Immigrant’s Table.

This meal is perfect for busy nights without skimping on flavor. Sheet Pan Paprika Chicken and Veggies combines chicken and vegetables into a one-pan wonder. It’s a balanced, nutritious meal that’s easy to prepare and even easier to eat. Why settle for takeout when grandma’s sheet pan dish is so good?
Get the Recipe: Sheet Pan Paprika Chicken and Veggies

Vanilla Skillet Cake

A slice of cake with powdered sugar on a plate.
Vanilla Skillet Cake. Photo credit: One Hot Oven.

Think dessert should be complicated? Think again. Vanilla Skillet Cake makes a simple yet delicious treat that’s nostalgic and comforting. It’s perfect for that homey, after-dinner sweetness. Modern bakery cakes don’t come close to this old-fashioned favorite.
Get the Recipe: Vanilla Skillet Cake

Easy to Make Chicken Francaise

A skillet filled with lemon chicken in sauce with lemon slices.
Easy to Make Chicken Francaise. Photo credit: Not Entirely Average.

When you’re looking for restaurant-quality at home, Easy to Make Chicken Francaise is where it’s at. Tender chicken is paired with a rich, tangy sauce, all made in your kitchen. It’s a dish that impresses without the fuss. With this recipe, grandma’s cooking surpasses modern convenience foods.
Get the Recipe: Easy to Make Chicken Francaise

Cafe Romano

Cafe Romano in white espresso cup with sauce and lemon slice garnish.
Cafe Romano. Photo credit: Easy Homemade Life.

For a uniquely Italian touch to your coffee, Cafe Romano has always been a crowd-pleaser. A simple addition transforms your coffee into a zesty delight. It’s a small change that makes a big difference. Even the fanciest barista creations don’t have this kind of charm.
Get the Recipe: Cafe Romano

Chinese Chicken Salad

A bowl of Chinese chicken salad with shredded chicken, snap peas, carrots, and peppers, accompanied by a bottle of dressing on the side.
Chinese Chicken Salad. Photo credit: Dinner by Six.

Grandmas knew how to mix flavors in ways you’d never expect. Chinese Chicken Salad brings together bright, fresh ingredients for a balanced meal. It’s both light and satisfying. This salad makes modern, over-complicated salads seem unnecessary.
Get the Recipe: Chinese Chicken Salad

Sourdough Discard Seed Crackers

Sourdough crackers in a jar.
Sourdough Discard Seed Crackers. Photo credit: An Off Grid Life.

Waste not, want not, is the idea behind Sourdough Discard Seed Crackers. These crunchy snacks are a perfect way to use up sourdough discard. With a mix of seeds for added texture, they’re addictive. Grandma’s resourcefulness makes modern snacks look overly packaged and bland.
Get the Recipe: Sourdough Discard Seed Crackers

Iced Apple Cookies

Apple oatmeal cookies with icing and apples on a white plate.
Iced Apple Cookies. Photo credit: Recipes From Leftovers.

These Iced Apple Cookies are a sweet treat that’s perfect for the fall season or any time. Soft and flavorful, they bring the comforting taste of apples and icing together. Share these at gatherings and watch them vanish. Why go for store-bought when grandma’s recipe is so unbeatable?
Get the Recipe: Iced Apple Cookies

Chocolate Rugelach

Low angle shot of rugelach cookies filled with chocolate and pecans.
Chocolate Rugelach. Photo credit: All Ways Delicious.

A traditional treat with a twist, Chocolate Rugelach offers layers of flaky pastry and rich chocolate. It’s a delightful snack or dessert that everyone loves. These pastries are versatile and can be enjoyed anytime. Modern desserts just can’t compete with this classic delight.
Get the Recipe: Chocolate Rugelach

Easy Meat Sauce

A pot of tomato sauce with a spoon in it.
Easy Meat Sauce. Photo credit: Bagels and Lasagna.

Simple, hearty, and delicious, Easy Meat Sauce is the go-to for any pasta night. Rich and savory, it pairs well with just about any type of pasta. Made with love, it becomes the centerpiece of a comforting meal. When compared to store-bought sauces, this recipe always comes out on top.
Get the Recipe: Easy Meat Sauce

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.