The scent of a family meal cooking can bring back memories, especially if it’s a childhood favorite we don’t often have as adults. This article showcases 18 classic dinners that provided convenience and budget-friendliness for parents and are worthy of a revival. These traditional dinners from the past trigger nostalgic memories and are worth rediscovering.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

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Spaghetti and meatballs are among the best-known Italian-American dishes in the United States. The first Italians to come to America were from regions of Italy that did not have a tradition of eating pasta with tomato sauce. The new immigrants discovered tomatoes in the 19th and early 20th centuries and started making sauce without knowing how to make it. Marcella Hazan, the foremost Italian cookbook author, suggests that the traditional Italian pasta sauce involves pureeing a can of whole tomatoes, a stick of butter, and an unpeeled onion and cooking it down for 45 minutes.

Meatloaf  

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Meatloaf gained considerable popularity during the Great Depression for economic reasons. It can often feed multiple meals, protect the family from disease caused by rot and microbes, and could have saved your soul in those days. Meatloaf is a mash-up of culinary art and science. And wherever you go, a regional or cultural flock of hungry folks is ready to argue the finer details of making this dish from ground meat molded into a cake, seasoning it, and baking it.

Pot Roast

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Pot roast is an iconic dish of America’s culinary history. The pot roast dates back to colonial times when it was made similarly to the favored weekday dish on Sunday, where the family could enjoy each other over a delicious and hearty meal. The pot roast was cherished then and is now since it is the experience of making it and then enjoying sharing it in a delightful meal. You make pot roast with extra meat that needs to be cooked till tender in a liquid alongside starchy root vegetables that absorb the lovely flavors of the roasted herbs and umami juices from the meat. 

Chicken Pot Pie

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Chicken pot pie has always been a comfort food that personifies the age-old classic via grandma’s recipe. Still, it bears 1700s correlations to European cuisine. However, this staple dish has taken a modern spin by consisting of a crust enveloped in a bag de save (saved juice), a specific type of meat, vegetables, and, in various theories, the chicken bone with marrow. It tells the story of perseverance and endurance. Both 1700s Europe and the chicken pot pie became more advanced over time. It was derived from a deconstructed dish—aka a cook before the era of food processors-which resulted in a timeless classic.

Beef Stew

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Beef stew has played a huge part in culinary history, settling into people’s hearts worldwide long since it was first created. It started as a way to use meat that may have gone bad otherwise, most commonly the left-over cuts of meat at local grocery stores with higher meat prices. This simple meal quickly became popular throughout the world.

Shepard’s Pie

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Shepherd’s Pie is a commonly known dish worldwide. During economic hardship, it was created in the early 1800s in the United Kingdom. Many people turned to this satisfying family meal because they could not purchase other reasonably priced foods. Over time, neglected ingredients were added or removed depending on where you visited in the UK. Some areas preferred a certain ingredient, and some were limited and had to substitute their local, more accessible ingredients. 

Tuna Casserole

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For many of us, tuna casserole is a go-to budget-friendly meal. People love tuna casserole because it makes a large batch of just a few cups of dry goods. This recipe has always been popular because it tastes great, is very easy to make, and can be thrown together using things that people tend to always have on hand. This simple casserole has been around for a long time. 

Beef Wellington

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Beef Wellington is an example of an indulging, elegant meal from British cuisine named after the great Duke of Wellington. This symbolic meal is composed of a tender beef fillet drenched in water with mushroom Duxelles and completed by being covered in a puff pastry and baked to a supple texture. Beef Wellington was first served as a centerpiece for lavish dinners and ostentatious engagements. It has not lost any of the festive elegance of its predecessor but is a delightful way to share a grand joint for a special service or festive dinner party. 

Salisbury Steak

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Salisbury steak is, quite simply, a dish made from ground beef and seasonings, then fried or broiled and served with gravy or brown sauce. This dish became popular in the US in the 1890s when an American physician invented it as a savory dish for people who were ill or could not digest food. Early versions of Salisbury steak involved salt, onion, and pepper and shaped into patty shapes. Burgers that we know today were invented in the 20th century. The dish resembles the beef patty used in hamburgers, so one thought is that cooks in the US found an easy way of serving it to put steak onto a bun. 

Stuffed Bell Peppers

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Stuffed bell peppers are a dish passed down through many generations. The dish originated in the Mediterranean and has many nutritional factors. It can be made in many ways, such as with different meats, vegetarian, or Mexican styles. The possibilities are truly endless. Baked until they’re just right and topped with tasty melted cheese, stuffed bell peppers combine various flavors and textures suited for folks of any age. 

Beef Stroganoff

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One of the most loved recipes in Russia but famous worldwide is Beef Stroganoff. When we think of comfort food, we usually think of the food our mother or grandmother made for us when we were young. More often than not, that food brings back feelings of warmth, happiness, and security—a reminder of home. It is sautéed beef cubes, with or without onions and mushrooms. Over the years, however, many variations of beef stroganoff have been developed worldwide, including various ingredients such as garlic, mustard, and different herbs. 

Macaroni Cheese

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Most families try to make baked macaroni and cheese when it is cold outside. This dish has been a family favorite for years. Although it was said to have been brought over by the Europeans when they immigrated to America, it has been passed down through families and tweaked a little here and there. It is creamy, cheesy, and demanded at almost every holiday. Who can beat that?

Liver and Onions

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Liver and onions are comfort foods that have been around for centuries. You thinly slice the liver and cook it in sautéed onions and seasonings. Liver and onions have a history; they are the food of the past that has fallen into the ranks of food of the present. But just because it may not be what some of the people you ask would call it doesn’t mean it is not a food of the past and doesn’t have a place in the history of food. 

Chicken Fried Steak

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Often recognized as a Southern classic, chicken-fried steak dates back many generations and is enjoyed by many people daily. It’s usually made with a tenderized round steak dipped in an egg wash and dredged in seasoned flour. It’s fried until crispy and then smothered in a creamy gravy. Chicken-fried steak can be found on many southern menus, from downtown diners to mom-and-pop restaurants. Classic chicken-fried steak is usually served alongside mashed potatoes, green beans, and cornbread, but that does not include the vegetables.

Swedish Meatballs

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Swedish Meatballs, traditionally served with green beans and potatoes, are great as an appetizer with toothpicks, over egg noodles, or pasta. They are usually served with lingonberry sauce.

18 of the Unhealthiest Cereals Lurking on Grocery Shelves

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Cereal is a breakfast staple enjoyed by children and adults alike. While this boxed treat is convenient, it is not always the healthiest of choices due to its high sugar and fat content. If you want healthy cereal options for your family, we explore the 18 unhealthiest cereals to avoid:

18 of the Unhealthiest Cereals Lurking on Grocery Shelves

18 Foods That Are Dangerous if Not Prepared Properly

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Some foods are easy to grab from the refrigerator and eat immediately, but others need careful attention to ensure they’re safe. From undercooked meat to raw vegetables, we explore 18 foods that are dangerous if they are not prepared properly:

18 Foods That Are Dangerous if Not Prepared Properly

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