25 Old-Fashioned Foods to Cook at Home

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After weeks of quarantine, you might be wondering when things will get back to normal—or what normal will even look like. And while there are so many things we can’t control right now, there’s still one major factor you have some leeway over, and that’s the meals you’re eating at home.

Sure, you might have to make some substitutions when the grocery store is out of your preferred cut of meat or your vegetables of choice. But by and large, it’s up to you what recipes you’re making at home. Want to cook some serious throwbacks? You can’t go wrong with these vintage-inspired recipes. They’ll transport you back to your childhood and family dinners at home, way before the word “quarantine” even entered your vocabulary. And, while we’re on the subject, stay informed by getting the latest coronavirus food news delivered straight to your inbox.

Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Is there anything more satisfying than a warm dish of chicken pot pie? This dish is the ultimate comfort food—you’d never even know it was packed with nutritious veggies.

Get our recipe for Chicken Pot Pie. 

Plate of Cracker Barrel copycat foods.
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Meatloaf graced plenty of dinner tables back in the day, but it’s fallen out of favor as of late. There’s no reason you can’t bring it back, though! This recipe uses milk-soaked bread, rather than breadcrumbs, for an extra-moist meal every time.

Get our recipe for Meatloaf. 

numerous deviled egg combinations all on a marble counter
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

You don’t have to be Southern to enjoy deviled eggs with your at-home brunch. There are so many ways to spice this dish up, too—have you ever had deviled eggs with blue cheese or sriracha?

Get our recipe for 12 New Twists on Deviled Eggs. 

Healthy baked ziti
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

A restaurant classic, baked ziti is pretty simple to make at home, too. Putting your pasta in the oven will give it an extra-special touch, and who isn’t looking to spice things up a bit during quarantine?

Get our recipe for Baked Ziti. 

Healthy blueberry-peach cobbler
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Why have cobblers fallen to the wayside? This dessert is so delicious, it’s deserving of a comeback. Even if you can’t have an outdoor picnic right now, you can still serve this tasty dessert at home.

Get our recipe for a Blueberry Peach Cobbler. 

pistachio cranberry cheese ball with snacks on a plate
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Cheese balls might bring family holidays to mind, and that’s not a bad thing! Even though you can’t spend dinners together in person, you can still remember the simpler days with this easy recipe.

Get our recipe for a Pistachio and Cranberry Cheese Ball. 

Paleo roast pork loin with white beans
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Once billed as “the other white meat,” pork has fallen to the wayside when compared with chicken and beef. But there are plenty of delicious ways to incorporate pork into your recipe rotation. This pork loin recipe is delicious, and it uses those canned beans you’ve been stockpiling.

Get our recipe for Pork Loin with Lemony White Beans. 

Chicken and Dumplings served with traditional Cracker Barrel sides
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

A Southern classic, chicken and dumplings is one meal that’s sure to remind you of simpler days at home. Whether or not you grew up eating this dish, it’s a standby comfort food for a reason.

Get our recipe for Chicken and Dumplings. 

mac and cheese
Shutterstock

Sure, you can still head to the store and buy a box of mac and cheese today. But there’s something nice about making it the old-fashioned way, with butter and flour and shredded cheese.

Get our recipe for Mac and Cheese. 

keto pesto chicken
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

If you haven’t made pesto in a while, now’s a great time to start. The basil-based sauce is delicious atop pasta, but it also makes a great topper for juicy chicken breasts.

Get our recipe for Pesto Chicken. 

keto cheeseburger casserole
Carlene Thomas/Eat This, Not That!

If you grew up eating Hamburger Helper, this recipe may bring a healthy dose of nostalgia. Trust us, you won’t miss the boxed stuff.

Get our recipe for Cheeseburger Casserole. 

ambrosia fruit salad in glass cup
Courtesy of The Seasoned Mom

A cross between pudding and a fruit cup, ambrosia is one nostalgic dessert everyone will love. Try mixing canned mandarin orange pieces, pineapple, or any other canned fruit with marshmallows and coconut for a decadent treat.

Get the recipe from The Seasoned Mom. 

creamsicle jello mold desserts
Courtesy of Cupcakes and Kale Chips

Creamsicles and Jello, all in one recipe? Talk about a throwback! This recipe calls some favorite childhood desserts to mind, and it’s pretty simple to make, too. Why did Jello go out of style, anyway?

Get the recipe from Cupcakes & Kale Chips. 

wedge salad on plate
Courtesy of The View from Great Island

Recreate this vintage steakhouse classic at home! This dish is playing fast and loose with the term “salad,” but it’s definitely delicious.

Get the recipe from The View from Great Island. 

tuna noodle casserole in baking dish with bowl
Courtesy of Five Heart Home

These days, you’re more likely to use that canned tuna for tuna melts. But back in the day, tuna casserole was all the rage. Up the nostalgia factor by making this classic dish.

Get the recipe from Five Heart Home. 

whole sweet potato pie with toasted marshmallow topping
Courtesy of Cooking Classy

This dessert isn’t just for Thanksgiving! Sweet potato pie is a delicious comfort food that you can make any time. It’s the perfect end to a Southern meal!

Get the recipe from Cooking Classy. 

strawberry tapioca salad in white serving dish
Courtesy of Julies Eats and Treats

Not into ambrosia? Try this tapioca salad recipe instead! With two types of pudding and, of course, Jello, this is one vintage-inspired recipe even kids will enjoy.

Get the recipe from Julie’s Eats and Treats. 

brown sugar glazed bone in ham with crosscut and rosemary garnish
Recipe Tin Eats

If you only serve ham for holidays like Christmas or Easter, it’s time to give the pig another chance to shine. Why should that delicious brown sugar glaze only come out twice a year? Quarantine is as good a time as any to serve some delicious meat, complete with all the fixings.

Get the recipe from Recipe Tin Eats. 

pineapple orange fluff salad topped with marshmallows in blue bowl
Courtesy of The Seasoned Mom

If you haven’t caught on to the trend yet, a lot of vintage dessert recipes relied on canned fruit, marshmallows, and Jello. This ambrosia-adjacent salad features mini marshmallows, instant pudding, Cool Whip, and canned fruit for a truly decadent treat.

Get the recipe from The Seasoned Mom. 

plate of fried oysters with fries and dipping sauce
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Missing your favorite $1 oyster special? Try something different with an old-school fried oyster recipe. You just might be inspired to add oysters to your grocery list on a regular basis!

Get the recipe from the Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. 

linguine with clams casino
Courtesy of How Sweet Eats

Another old-school restaurant classic, linguini with clams is easier to make at home than you might think. What better way to use up all the pasta in your pantry?

Get the recipe from How Sweet Eats. 

sloppy joe sandwich with salad on plate
Courtesy of Five Heart Home

Just the thought of sloppy joes will take you to a simpler time, when all you had to worry about was keeping that tomato sauce from staining your entire shirt. Bring back the nostalgia with this easy recipe.

Get the recipe from Five Heart Home. 

plate of cooked collard greens with lemon wedge
Courtesy of Cookie and Kate

Collard greens just might be the most delicious way to add some vegetables to your meal. This recipe, which uses garlic and red pepper flakes, will make the nutritious veggie taste delicious.

Get the recipe from Cookie and Kate. 

ice flake dessert
Shutterstock

You don’t hear much about snow recipes anymore, but this icy dessert is worth a second look. Made with chilled apple pulp, this treat is the perfect way to cool off in the warmer weather.

Get the recipe from the Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. 

strawberry rhubarb poptarts on baking sheet
Courtesy of Minimalist Baker

Sure, you could buy a box of Pop-Tarts at the grocery store—but making your own is way more fun. We love that this recipe incorporates the springtime rhubarb, making for an extra-delicious throwback treat.

Get the recipe from Minimalist Baker. 

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