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5-Ingredient Dinners from the ‘50s

A comforting meal doesn't have to be complicated. These simple dinners come together with just 5 ingredients (not including basics like water, salt or oil) and are total blasts from the past.

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Baked Ham with PineappleTaste of Home

Baked Ham with Pineapple

I first learned the technique for cooking pineapple ham for a themed dinner my husband and I hosted. Since it was widely known as the symbol of hospitality, pineapple was the star ingredient on our menu and on this lovely baked ham. —JoAnn Fox, Johnson City, Tennessee

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Old Fashioned Tomato SoupTaste of Home

Old Fashioned Tomato Soup

Mother made this soup when I was a child, and it was always one of my favorites. After 75 years, it still is! Mother's cellar was filled with home-canned vegetables, so the basic ingredient of this soup was right at hand. It never took her long to make a kettle of this wonderful soup. —Wilma Miller, Port Angeles, Washington

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Deli Roast Beef Sandwiches with Mashed PotatoesTaste of Home

Deli Roast Beef Sandwiches with Mashed Potatoes

Just like Mom or Grandma used to make—but so much quicker! Store-bought mashed potatoes and gravy and deli roast beef help you turn out this heartwarming combination before you can say, “Order up!” —Ruth Ann Bott, Lake Wales, Florida

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Weeknight Lazy LasagnaTaste of Home

Weeknight Lazy Lasagna

On hectic nights, no one has time to stack several layers of lasagna. My version combines a few steps to cut down on prep, but keeps all the cheesy, saucy, noodle-y goodness that makes lasagna an all-time favorite. —Nancy Foust, Stoneboro, Pennsylvania

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Onion PieTaste of Home

Onion Pie

My grandmother and mother always make onion pie during the holidays, but it's good anytime. This is a savory side dish that you can serve with almost any meat or main course. It's especially good with roast beef. —Mary West, Marstons Mills, Massachusetts

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Ham & Jack Pudgy PieTaste of Home

Ham & Jack Pudgy Pie

Pepper jack cheese adds spicy flavor to these warm, melty sandwiches. —Terri McKitrick, Delafield, Wisconsin

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Parmesan Baked CodTaste of Home

Parmesan Baked Cod

You’ll need just five ingredients for this goof-proof way to keep oven-baked fish moist. “My mom is one of the best cooks in the world, and she shared this recipe with me,” writes Mary Hoppe of Pewaukee, Wisconsin. “It’s a favorite.”

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Ham and Bean StewTaste of Home

Ham and Bean Stew

You only need five ingredients to fix this thick and flavorful stew. It's so easy to make and always a favorite with my family. I top bowls of it with a sprinkling of shredded cheese. —Teresa D'Amato, East Granby, Connecticut

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Spaetzle DumplingsTaste of Home

Spaetzle Dumplings

These tender homemade spaetzle noodles take only minutes to make and are a natural accompaniment to chicken. You can use this spaetzle recipe with chicken gravy or simply buttered and sprinkled with parsley. —Pamela Eaton, Monclova, Ohio

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Deviled ChickenTaste of Home

Deviled Chicken

My family has always loved this flavorful golden brown chicken. I watch for frequent sales on leg quarters to keep the cost per serving low. —Linda Trammell, Kingston, Missouri

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Pigs in a BlanketTaste of Home

Pigs in a Blanket

These baked hot dog sandwiches appeal to kids of all ages. Even my husband, Allan, admits to enjoying every bite! We like to dip them in ketchup and mustard. —Linda Young, Longmont, Colorado

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Skewered Ginger Shrimp with PlumsTaste of Home

Skewered Ginger Shrimp with Plums

Sweet, simple and sensational, these shrimp skewers boast loads of flavor with just four ingredients. Throw them on the grill for a quick dinner or tasty potluck dish. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Savory Onion ChickenTaste of Home

Savory Onion Chicken

Dinner doesn't get any easier than this tasty onion soup chicken entree. Buy chicken that's already cut up to save even more time. —Julia Anderson, Ringgold, Georgia

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Weekday Beef StewTaste of Home

Weekday Beef Stew

Beef stew capped with flaky puff pastry adds a little surprise and joy to the weeknight menu. Make a salad and call your lucky companions to the table. —Daniel Anderson, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin

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Pork Chops with Apples and StuffingTaste of Home

Pork Chops with Apples and Stuffing

The heartwarming taste of cinnamon and apples is the perfect accompaniment to these tender pork chops. This dish is always a winner with my family. Because it calls for only four ingredients, it's a main course I can serve with little preparation. —Joan Hamilton, Worcester, Massachusetts

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Herbed Rib RoastTaste of Home

Herbed Rib Roast

The pungent mixture of herbs and garlic turns this tender roast into a real treat. Our children and grandchildren look forward to feasting on it at Christmastime and other special family occasions. —Carol Jackson, South Berwick, Maine

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Burger AmericanaTaste of Home

Burger Americana

Go on a burger road trip in your own backyard. Grill the patties and load them sky-high. Peanut butter and bacon make them Southern style; coleslaw and tomatoes, a Northern version. —Susan Mahaney, New Hartford, New York

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Orange-Glazed HamTaste of Home

Orange-Glazed Ham

This delicious ham looked like a sparkling jewel on the table when my mom served it for Easter dinner. The flavor of the spice rub penetrates through every tender slice. Even its enticing aroma while baking can't match the wonderful taste. —Ruth Seitz, Columbus Junction, Iowa

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Chicken & Vegetable KabobsTaste of Home

Chicken & Vegetable Kabobs

My husband and I love to grill in the summer, especially vegetables. These kabobs not only taste delicious but they look great too! —Tina Oles, Nashwauk, Minnesota

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Picante Omelet PieTaste of Home

Picante Omelet Pie

This zippy egg bake is a favorite of one of my daughters. She comes for brunch every week before church, so I serve it often.—Phyllis Carlson, Gardner, Kansas

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Apple-Dijon Pork RoastTaste of Home

Apple-Dijon Pork Roast

This recipe takes less than five minutes to assemble and is delicious. I like to serve the roast with rice, then use the tangy sauce as a gravy for both. —Cindy Steffen, Cedarburg, Wisconsin

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Ham & Spinach CasseroleTaste of Home

Ham & Spinach Casserole

This is down-home cooking at its best! Ham and veggies join forces with a creamy sauce and pretty topping to create a hearty meal-in-one. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Super Spaghetti SauceTaste of Home

Super Spaghetti Sauce

At my house, we never know how many we'll have for dinner. That's why this spaghetti sauce is one of my favorites - flavorful, filling and fast. Smoked kielbasa gives it depth, and salsa adds the kick. —Bella Anderson, Chester, South Carolina

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Mom's Roast ChickenTaste of Home

Mom's Roast Chicken

This is the best way to cook a whole chicken that roasts up super juicy with crisp, golden skin. It's simply seasoned, but packs in so much flavor. —James Schend, Taste of Home Food Editor

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Gumbo in a JiffyTaste of Home

Gumbo in a Jiffy

This is a yummy dish. My husband loves the kick that the sausage gives this quick gumbo, and it’s such a cinch to assemble. —Amy Flack, Homer City, Pennsylvania

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Salt-Encrusted Rib RoastTaste of Home

Salt-Encrusted Rib Roast

A rib roast is a big part of our holiday dinner traditions. We love the yellow mustard, but you can use your favorite—Dijon and others are fair game. —Rebecca Wirtzberger, Yuma, Arizona

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Cheese Chicken SoupTaste of Home

Cheese Chicken Soup

Kids won’t think twice about eating the vegetables that are incorporated into this creamy and cheesy soup. —LaVonne Lundgren, Sioux City, Iowa

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Beefy French Onion PotpieTaste of Home

Beefy French Onion Potpie

I came up with this dish knowing my husband loves French onion soup. It's a good base for this hearty, meaty potpie. — Sara Hutchens, Du Quoin, Illinois

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Glazed Roast ChickenTaste of Home

Glazed Roast Chicken

I like to make this for weeknight dinners. You can make this roast chicken with apricot glaze or quince jelly. —Victoria Miller, San Ramon, California

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Contest-Winning Broccoli Chicken CasseroleTaste of Home

Contest-Winning Broccoli Chicken Casserole

This delicious chicken and broccoli casserole recipe is a twist on chicken divan that came from an old boss. It’s quick, satisfying comfort food. —Jennifer Schlachter, Big Rock, 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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