18 Dinners From the Past We’re Bringing Back to the Table

Trying our new recipes can be fun, but sometimes, they can’t beat the age-old classics. Throughout the years, a variety of meals have taken a backseat. However, they are classics for a reason, and reintroducing them can liven up your dining experience.


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Originating from Germany, Scandinavia, and Belgium, meatloaf found its way into American kitchens in the late 19th century. Despite its economical reputation, this classic dish holds a special place in the hearts of many Americans. It’s typically baked in a designated “meatloaf pan.” The recipe includes ground beef, breadcrumbs, vegetables, spices, and ketchup. This results in a hearty meal often served with potatoes and gravy.

Chicken Fried Steak

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With its roots deeply embedded in German and Austrian cuisine, chicken fried steak emerged in the hands of immigrants in Western Texas and Oklahoma. This dish involves dipping a chicken cube steak in seasoned butter batter before frying it until crispy and golden. The chicken is served alongside creamy mashed potatoes, gravy, and vegetables. It provides a filling meal, perfect for satisfying a healthy appetite.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Mexican rice with minced meat and vegetables. Front view.
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The tuna noodle casserole rose to fame in the 1950s. It became an American classic known for its affordability and simplicity. It is typically made with egg noodles, a creamy sauce (often from canned soup), tuna flakes, sweetcorn/peas, and a crispy breadcrumb topping. This dish offers a blend of textures and flavors that evoke timeless nostalgia.

Shepherd’s Pie

Woman applying liquid egg onto traditional English apple pie with brush at table, closeup
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Named for its minced lab filling, shepherd’s pie is believed to have originated in 18th-century Scotland and northern England. This hearty dish is simmered with vegetables and gravy, topped with mashed potatoes, and baked to perfection. Its combination of savory meat and the sides creates a flavorful and nutritious meal loved by many.

Chicken and Dumplings

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A cherished Sunday meal in the American South, chicken and dumplings originated from humble beginnings. But it quickly became a beloved staple dish. It consists of a shredded chicken simmered in a flavourful broth alongside simple corn or wheat flour dumplings.

Swedish Meatballs

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Once a traditional Scandinavian dish, Swedish meatballs gained widespread popularity in America and are now famously associated with IKEA. These flavourful meatballs have become a favorite for many. It offers a taste of comfort and satisfaction.

Salisbury Steak

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Born out of economic necessity, Salisbury steak soon became a beloved dosh across America. It consists of seasoned ground beef patties served with gravy. This dish emerged in the late 19th century and offers a simple yet comforting meal that is perfect for any occasion.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

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Initially, an Irish meal, corned beef, and cabbage entered the American household. It quickly became a beloved dinner option. While often associated with St. Patrick’s Day, this delicious combo deserves to be enjoyed year-round.

Pinwheel Steak Pot Pie

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Pinwheel Steak Pot Pie is a cherished American classic dish. It was born from the ingenuity and resourcefulness of early settlers seeking hearty, comforting meals. Its origins trace back to the late 19th or early 20th century. The dish from European meat pie received immigrants adapted to local ingredients and cooking methods. Today, this dish continues to warm hearts and satisfy appetites.

Mac and Cheese

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Considered the ultimate comfort food, mac and cheese is beloved by people of all ages. Its simple yet irresistible combination of soft, tubular pasta enveloped in creamy, cheesy sauce makes it versatile. It can be served as a side or main course with salad, vegetables, or bread.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs have been cherished comfort foods for generations. This dish originated from Italian-American communities in the early 20th century. It combines tender meatballs, al dente spaghetti, and a rich tomato sauce infused with herbs. Whether topped with grated parmesan or served with garlic bread, its hearty flavors evoke memories of home-cooked meals and shared laughter.

Creamed Corn

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Once a beloved dish in American households, Creamed Corn has faded from the spotlight in recent years. Simmered to perfection in a creamy sauce, the sweet corn kernels offer a comforting accompaniment to any meal, mainly fried or roasted chicken. Despite its simplicity, this humble dish holds a special place in America’s cultural heritage.

Liver and Onions

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Liver and Onions offer a rich and flavorful experience for those who appreciate its unique flavor and texture. Despite its divisive reputation, it was once a staple of American cuisine. Sliced liver, cooked with butter and bacon, is paired with caramelized onions to create a hearty and satisfying meal.

Chicken Pot Pie

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Chicken Pot Pie has been a staple in American households for years. This dish even made its way onto the menu at KFC. It is a timeless classic dish with its comforting aroma and delightful combination of chicken, peas, carrots, and creamy sauce encased in a flaky pastry crust.

Green Bean Casserole

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Emerging as a Thanksgiving staple in the 1950s, Green Bean Casserole has become a beloved comfort food in American households. It consists of tender green beans, creaming mushroom sauce, along with crispy fried onions. This dish was created as a marketing ploy by a canned food company. However, this iconic dish stood the test of time, earning its place as a cherished part of holiday traditions.

Homemade Apple Cider Beef Stew

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This dish offers a great combination of sweet as well as savory flavors.It consists of slow-cooked beef, tender vegetables, and aromatic herbs. These are simmered in apple cider, creating a comforting stew that warms both body and soul. Served with biscuits, slices of apple, and cheddar cheese, it makes a wholesome meal.

Beef Wellington

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Beef Wellington originated from England but found its place in the American menus in the mid-19th century. Tender beef filet, coated with mushroom duxelles combined with flaky pastry, offers a luxurious dining experience fit for special occasions.

Steak and Kidney Pudding

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Though its name may raise eyebrows, Steak and Kidney Pudding has been a beloved English since the 18th century. It gradually found its way onto the American tables as well. The dish consists of tender chicken chunks of beef and kidney enveloped in suet pastry. It is steamed to perfection to create a satisfying meal.

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