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46 Recipes We Learned from Grandma

These recipes came straight from the best cook we know. Best part, we think of Grandma every time we make them.

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Balsamic Roasted Chicken Thighs with Root Vegetables

I will always remember the way my grandmother's house smelled when she made these balsamic chicken thighs every Sunday. Ever since she gave me the recipe, the heartwarming flavors always take me back to my childhood. — Erin Chilcoat, Central Islip, New York
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7UP Pound Cake

My grandmother gave me this 7UP pound cake recipe. On top of being delicious, this 7UP cake represents family tradition, connection and love. —Marsha Davis, Desert Hot Springs, California
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Old-World Pizza Meat Loaf

Good food and memories are made in the kitchen. A recipe like this one that’s been passed down through generations is worth its weight in gold. In fact, this was my grandma’s; we all love it. —Nicholas King, Duluth, Minnesota
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Lemon Custard Cake

This custard cake recipe comes from my grandma and is nice to whip up when unexpected company stops in. It's a cool, creamy dessert that tastes like you fussed. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Carrot Chowder

My husband's grandmother passed this recipe on to us, and it's just wonderful—especially with a basket of warm, fresh bread on the side. This soup freezes well. —Wendy Wilkins, Prattville, Alabama
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Sour Cream Rolls with Walnut Filling

When I was a little girl, my grandmother taught me how to make these rolls. I remember feeling so special when "we" served them. If you have never worked with yeast, this is the recipe for you. —Nadine Mesch, Mount Healthy, Ohio
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Danish Meatballs with Pan Gravy

My great-grandmother made these meatballs, and I'm sure her mother must have taught her. Six generations have enjoyed them, and one of my daughters even served them at her wedding. —Kallee Krong-McCreery, Escondido, California
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Focaccia Barese

This focaccia recipe has been in my mom's family for several generations. It's one of my most requested dishes. In fact, some hosts tell me I can't attend their parties unless I bring this with me! —Dora Travaglio, Mount Prospect, Illinois
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Triple Berry Linzer Tart

My grandmother gave me her signature lattice-topped tart recipe. The bubbling raspberry preserves, citrus and nuts fill our home with aromas that bring back warm memories. —Michael Compean, Los Angeles, California
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Roasted Beet Jam

This spicy jam recipe is from my Russian grandmother, who had no written recipes and who gave a few jars of the jam as gifts. I re-created the recipe from memory and think of her each time I prepare it. If you want to increase the yield, it's easy to double the recipe. I like to serve the jam on buttered toast or with cream cheese on toasted pita. The jars, which are dark red from the beets, make a welcome gift.—Susan Asanovic, Wilton, Connecticut
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Honey-Lime Almond Cookies

Decades ago my grandmother passed this buttery lime cookie recipe to me. Through years of baking, our cookie memories keep the family connected, although we’re miles apart. —Paula Marchesi, Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania
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Banana Beignet Bites

When I was a little girl, my grandmother took me aside one day and taught me how to make her famous banana beignets. Although we made them during the holidays, they're pretty fantastic any time of the year. —Amy Downing, South Riding, Virginia
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Grandma's Poultry Dressing

Every family seems to have their own favorite dressing recipe that becomes a tradition, and this is ours. It came from Grandma, who passed it down to my mother. Now our children have carried it into their kitchens. This is truly a good old-fashioned recipe. —Norma Howland, Joliet, Illinois
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Party Crab Puffs

I received this recipe years ago from my grandmother. She also told me to have fun being creative and experimenting in the kitchen. My friends request these little puffs at every gathering. —Jean Bevilacqua, Rhododendron, Oregon
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Chicken-Fried Steak & Gravy

As a child, my grandmother taught me how to make this chicken-fried steak. I taught my daughters, and when my granddaughters are bigger, I’ll show them, too. —Donna Cater, Fort Ann, New York
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Deli-Style Potato Salad

I was inspired by my grandmother to cook, and loved going to her house for Sunday dinner. She passed her cooking skills down, and today my mom and I still make this potato salad. —Sally L. Miner, El Mirage, Arizona
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Grossmutter's Peppernuts

Before Christmas, my grandmother would bake peppernuts and store them until the big day. When we came home from school, the whole house would smell like anise and we knew the holiday season was about to begin. —Marilyn Kutzli, Clinton, Iowa
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Green Bean Salad with Creamy Dressing

My grandmother passed on this refreshing side dish recipe. It’s always devoured at my house. —Jodi Galanis, Murray, Utah
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Chocolate Butterscotch Haystacks

My grandmother made these haystack cookies and gave them to my cousin Vonnie and me when our parents didn't want us to have any more sweets. —Christine Schwester, Divide, Colorado
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Steamed Carrot Pudding

This recipe, passed down from my Canadian grandmother, has been in my family for at least three generations. It's been a favorite wintertime dessert for us and is always served for Easter and other holiday meals. —Ann Searcey, Kettering, Ohio
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Sausage Cheese Crescents

My mother says that my grandmother made the best butterhorns. I never tasted hers, but my mom's were delicious and grandma, of course, taught her. Through the years, my mom filled butter horns with everything, from fruit, to seafood, to meats and all sorts of nuts and raisins. I always got a kick out of trying to guess what was in them. This recipe is ideal for brunch or lunch. —Paula Marchesi, Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania
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Apple-Gorgonzola Endive Salad

Curly endive is slightly bitter, so it’s a good match for sweet, crunchy apples. The dressing recipe, which came from my grandmother, really pulls the salad all together. —Pat Ferjancsik, Santa Rosa, California
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Empanada Beef Chili

Empanada Beef Chili

While I lived in Mexico in the 1960s, a friend's mother gave me her grandmother's empanada recipe. I've made it over the years and passed it down to my grandchildren. To shed some carbs, I converted the recipe into a chili. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Grandma's Carrot Cake

My grandma was very special to me. She had a big country kitchen that was full of wonderful aromas any time we visited. This was one of her prized cake recipes, and it continues to be a favorite from generation to generation. —Denise Strasz, Detroit, Michigan
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Chicken Zucchini Casserole

A co-worker shared this chicken zucchini casserole recipe that was originally her grandmother's. When I make it, I use pre-cooked chicken from the grocery store and fresh zucchini my neighbor gives me from his garden. —Bev Dutro, Dayton, Ohio
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Bacon-Colby Lasagna

My grandmother added bacon to her cheesy lasagna, something she borrowed from carbonara-style pasta. I learned so much by her side. —Cathy McCartney, Davenport, IA
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Strawberry Shortcake Cups

Back when store-bought shortcake was an unheard-of thing, my grandmother passed this mini strawberry shortcake recipe down to my mother. Mother later shared it with me, and I've since given it to my daughter. —Althea Heers, Jewell, Iowa
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Fudge Nut Brownies

There's no brownie recipe or mix I've ever tried that's better than this! And it's so easy—you can mix it in one bowl in just a few minutes. My husband's grandmother passed the recipe on; now our son makes these brownies for after-school snacks. —Becky Albright, Norwalk, Ohio
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Greek-Style Lemon-Garlic Chicken

I love celebrating my Greek heritage with this super simple and scrumptious Sunday dinner idea. Prep time is a breeze and the ingredient list is relatively short for such a flavorful one-dish meal. Each time I make this I'm transported back to my ya-ya, who gave me the special honor of squeezing the lemons! —Lisa Renshaw, Kansas City, Missouri
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Curry Chicken Stew

My Grandma Inky grew up in India and passed down this recipe to my mother, who then passed it down to me. The recipe brings back fond memories of the family gathered around the table, enjoying this delicious meal and catching up on one another's day. I tweaked the ingredients a bit to fit my toddler's taste buds, but it's just as scrumptious as Grandma's own. —Teresa Flowers, Sacramento, California
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Breakfast Buns

My grandmother taught me to bake these breakfast buns 70 years ago. Now my granddaughter makes them! This batter is like a biscuit dough and can be made up in a short time. There's no nicer way to wake up in the morning than to the aromas of biscuits baking and coffee perking! — Dorothy McGinnis, West Haven, Connecticut
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Apricot Pinwheel Cookies

My grandmother always made these cookies for the holidays. The recipe has been passed down through generations to me, and now from me to you. — Robert Logan, Clayton, California
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Grandma's Cajun Chicken & Spaghetti

I’m originally from Louisiana, where my grandma spoke Cajun French as she taught me her spicy chicken spaghetti. —Brenda Melancon, McComb, Mississippi
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Carrot Cake Cupcakes

This recipe is so special to me because it was passed down from my grandmother, to my mother, and now to me. This family classic is now often requested for any type of work function.—Leann Schmid, Covington, Kentucky
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Chocolate & Coconut Cream Torte

My grandmother passed this recipe down to me years ago and now I make it for my own grandchildren. When preparing, make sure the chocolate layer is properly chilled before adding the next layer, or the coconut will sink into it. —Jason Purkey, Ocean City, Maryland
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Grandma's Raspberry Rugelach

I remember sitting on my great-grandmother's couch with a pad and pen in hand as she told me each ingredient and measurement for her special rugelach. Her recipe stands apart because it's a fun twist from typical versions. —Dalya Rubin, Boca Raton, Florida
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Grandma Nardi's Italian Easter Bread

My Grandma Nardi’s bread with dyed Easter eggs represents family and tradition. I fondly remember how she taught me the recipe when I was a little girl. —Pat Merkovich, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Grandma Krause's Coconut Cookies

When my two daughters were young, their great-grandma made them coconut cookies with oats. Thankfully, she shared the recipe. —Debra Dorn, Dunnellon, Florida
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Iced Orange Cookies

I usually make these bite-size orange cookies at Christmastime, when oranges in Florida are plentiful, but they're delicious any time of year. Every time I sniff their wonderful aroma, I remember my grandmother, who shared the recipe. —Lori DiPietro, New Port Richey, Florida
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German Black Forest Cake

As far as I know, this cake recipe can be traced back to my German great-grandma. When I got married, my mother gave me a copy and I hope to someday pass it down to my children. —Stephanie Travis, Fallon, Nevada
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Nanny's Fruitcake Cookies

My grandmother always made a holiday fruitcake. I turned her recipe into cookies that are perfect anytime, especially with a cup of tea. —Amanda Digges, South Windsor, Connecticut
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Meringue Snowballs In Custard

My family has passed down this elegant dessert generation by generation. It started with my Russian great-grandmother, who traveled to America more than 100 years ago. I love continuing the tradition with her recipe. —Tonya Burkhard, Palm Coast, Florida
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Martha Washington Candy

Passed down by my grandmother and mother, this Martha Washington candy recipe is a cherished family tradition. We've even had each grandchild and great-grandchild take a turn stirring the candy mixture! —Cindi Boger, Ardmore, Alabama
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Chocolate-Cherry Brownie Cake

My grandmother taught me the tricks to making this cake, and I've added my own special touches. The melted chocolate keeps the icing from being too dry and gives it a texture similar to chocolate ice cream. I have more requests for the icing than I do anything else! —Susan Hayes, Massapequa, New York
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Pecan Cutout Cookies

My husband's grandmother made these buttery cookies using a star cutter. I've never tasted a cookie quite like it, so nutty and flavorful. —Louise Reisler, Bonduel, Wisconsin
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Pumpkin Chip Cake with Walnuts

My grandmother gave me this family recipe. After a few changes, I made the treat even healthier and tastier. Holidays wouldn’t be the same without it!—Amy Bridgewater, Aztec, New Mexico

Emily Racette Parulski
Emily Racette Parulski is a Senior Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in email newsletters. When she’s not writing about food, she’s baking something sweet to feed her chocolate obsession.

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