20 Comfort Food Recipes From Grandma’s Recipe Box

20 Comfort Food Recipes From Grandma’s Recipe Box

On a chilly night following a long day, sometimes all you want is something steaming to eat that will warm your bones and soothe your soul. We’ve found that the most comforting of recipes come with a heaping serving of toasty warm nostalgia, too. When you find those meals that are cozy for your stomach and your memories, that’s when you’ve struck comfort food gold. That’s why we’ve dug through our archives for the most old-school recipes that taste like they’re straight from Grandma’s kitchen. It’s an infallible truth that Southern grandma’s do it best, and their recipe cards are things to be cherished and called when in need of a comforting supper. These are the recipes that light up your tastebuds and ring with fond memories of Grandma’s famous cooking. Here, we’ve gathered our most nostalgic comfort food dishes, from hearty sides to casseroles and sweets, that satisfy and soothe like only Grandma’s cooking can.

Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Torie Cox; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of digging into a hearty shepherd’s pie in the evening. Grandma knew that better than anyone. That’s why this signature recipe is made with love, and lots of patience; It cooks up low and slow for peak tenderness.

Photographer: Fred Hardy II, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Props Stylist: Christina Brockman

Eating your veggies doesn’t have to be a chore. This old-school recipe, a meat-and-three classic and once Grandma’s church potluck go-to, builds in comfort with melty cheese and a buttery cracker topping.

Stacy K. Allen, Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn, Prop Stylist: Christina Daley

This Tex-Mex staple casserole relies on a couple cans of creamed soup, just like all of Granny’s most comforting old-school recipes do. Use rotisserie chicken as an additional shortcut to save time.

Beth Dreiling Hontzas

Shrimp and grits can often be a time-consuming labor of love. While we’re grateful that Grandma used to take the time, we’re also thankful that this version will have dinner on the table in under an hour. We use quick-cooking grits to make one-pan supper that’s short on time but big on flavor.

Hector Sanchez

Browning the butter guarantees this classic sweet potato pie a rich, nutty flavor. It might not be the old-school way of doing things, but you’ll have to trust us on this one.

Southern Living

Served with mashed sweet potatoes, green beans, and biscuits, this dish will transport you to way back when. Best of all, classic pork and gravy will be on the supper table in just 30 minutes.

Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Rose Nguyen

Cheese grits have long been a staple on Southern breakfast tables, and we won’t be sick of them any time soon. This straightforward recipe delivers an old-school casserole you’ll wake up excited for in the morning.

Hector Manuel Sanchez

Homemade chicken pot pie, not frozen, is an essential recipe for any Southern cook. There’s nothing quite like the comfort that comes from breaking through that buttery, flaky pie crust to scoop up creamy chicken filling.

Southern Living

A good cornbread is essential at any Southern gathering. Whether the occasion is a church potluck, cookout, or Sunday dinner at home, this classic cornbread recipe will be a hit.

Southern Living

This is our most popular fried chicken recipe for a reason. We’re going back to the basics to fry up chicken so decadent it could only come from the recipe box of a Southern woman.

Beth Dreiling Hontzas

A chef and master baker, Grandma could do it all. These treats use not one, but two types of chocolate and oats in the batter to make them stand out.

Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

Also widely known as “Funeral Potatoes,” Southerners have long recognized this casserole’s comforting powers, even in the most dire situations. It’ll also strike up warm and fuzzy feelings at any light-hearted occasion and at any time of day.

Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist: Christina Daley; Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall

A steaming bowl of chicken and dumplings will warm you up from the inside out. We’ve found that buttermilk is the key to the lightest, most delightful dumplings.

Will Dickey

A buttermilk biscuit recipe is a must for any Southern lady to have in her arsenal. The legacy of these treats speaks for itself, though the recipe can be mastered even by first-time biscuit makers.

Courtney West

A scoop of this cheesy casserole over rice and pasta turns veggies into a comforting main course. Make this recipe ahead of time by putting the assembled casserole into the refrigerator instead of the oven until you need it.

Photographer: Stacy K. Allen. Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn, Prop Stylist: Christina Daley

While now the mac and cheese queen is likely one auntie or another, once upon a time, this was Grandma’s specialty. The secret to ooey-gooey pasta is cubes of cheddar cheese that will burst in your mouth.

Emily Laurae/Southern Living

This take on a classic Southern side dish is a Southern Living favorite. It’s delicious and rich as can be, yet comes together in under an hour and with only eight ingredients.

Photographer: Fred Hardy II, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Props Stylist: Christina Brockman

During sweltering summer months in the South, nothing hits the spot quite like peach cobbler with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. One Southern Living reader suggests adding both cinnamon and nutmeg rather than one or the other.

Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kathleen Varner; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Spoonable bread is the closest thing we know to heaven. This savory pudding is a cross between cornbread, a cornmeal soufflé, and cornbread dressing and has long been one of our favorite side dishes.

Jennifer Causey

This homey dish comes together in just one pan… Hallelujah. We use sausage, milk, and Southern-style biscuits to make this dish taste just like the biscuits and gravy we were all raised on.