28 Grandma-Approved Holiday Recipes
The holidays are all about family, and there's no better way to honor family than by making family recipes that have lived on through generations. Between these sweets, snacks, and other holiday staples, you'll find tried-and-true recipes that bring you right back to your Nana's kitchen after the very first bite. Even if these aren't YOUR grandmother's recipes, we guarantee these comforting dishes will deliver flavors that taste "just like Grandma used to make."
Granny's Cornbread Dressing
Granny's Cornbread Dressing Recipe
No holiday table is complete without a dish of this classic cornbread dressing. Plenty of chicken broth, butter, and seasonings are the key to this super satisfying side.
Nana's Banana Bread
When things get busy during the holiday season, it's helpful to have a loaf or two of banana bread on hand for a quick breakfast or afternoon snack. Plus, whipping up a batch of banana bread is a great way to get kids involved in the kitchen.
Nana's Rosemary Biscuits with Cranberries
Nana's Rosemary Biscuits with Cranberries Recipe
This savory biscuit recipe comes to us from Maureen Callahan, longtime contributor to Cooking Light. Her Irish grandmother added fresh rosemary from the garden to her biscuits. We like to include cranberries for the best mini turkey sliders the next day--if there are any biscuits left over.
When punching out dough rounds, avoid twisting the biscuit cutter, which will seal the edges and interfere with rising.
German Chocolate Brownies
German Chocolate Brownies Recipe
This recipe is a combination of two classic, timeless desserts—brownies and German chocolate cake. The fudgy brownies allow the frosting's coconut flavor to shine and are decadent without overwhelming the palate. We used a 9x13" baking pan, which yielded thinner brownies and a more even distribution of both the brownies and the frosting's flavor. It's definitely possible to bake these brownies in an 8" or 9" square pan, which will give you thicker brownies and globs of frosting. In that case, you'll need to use a fork to eat them.
Grandma Carroll's Cinnamon Rolls
Grandma Carroll's Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
This holiday season, skip the canned cinnamon rolls and make your own from scratch, just like Grandma did. It's easier than you think--we promise--but plan to allow a full four hours to prepare them (one hour prep and cook time, plus three hours to rise).
Safta's Mock Liver (Green Bean and Pea Pâté)
Safta's Mock Liver (Green Bean and Pea Pâté) Recipe
This fresh-tasting pâté is on the menu for Passover at Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen in San Francisco. Evan Bloom, one of the co-owners, recalls how his grandmother ("safta" is Hebrew for "grandma") always made this mock liver because she felt it to be healthier than one made with liver and schmaltz (chicken fat).
Grandma Thury's Banana Cake
Grandma Thury's Banana Cake Recipe
This recipe for a simple, moist banana cake was handed down through generations. Just like banana bread, banana cake is a great way to use up ripe bananas.
Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcakes
Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcakes Recipe
Grandma had it right all along. Make this classic dessert recipe for a refreshing treat when strawberries are in season.
Grandma's Molasses Crinkles
Grandma's Molasses Crinkles Recipe
Beware: These melt-in-your-mouth molasses cookies are as good as grandma's.
Grandma Weiser's English Toffee
Grandma Weiser's English Toffee Recipe
Six simple ingredients are all you need to create this easy homemade toffee. It also makes a great holiday gift from the kitchen.
Nana Hirl's Pie Crust
Refrigerated pie crusts sure are convenient, but you can't beat the flaky goodness of a handmade crust. Be sure to use with your favorite pie filling for a cozy holiday dessert.
Grandma Dean's Chicken and Dressing
Grandma Dean's Chicken and Dressing Recipe
Plan a home-style dinner like grandma used to make (with only 30 minutes of prep work) for this chicken and dressing recipe. You'll come home to a house with smells reminiscent of Sunday suppers with the family.
Grannie's Cracklin' Cornbread
Grannie's Cracklin' Cornbread Recipe
This classic cracklin' cornbread is a traditional Southern cornbread and calls for just six ingredients.
Nana's Christmas Caramels
Nana's Christmas Caramels Recipe
Making Christmas candy is a fun-filled activity for grandma and grandkids alike. Plus, individually wrapped candies like these caramels make great stocking stuffers!
Grandma Dumeney's Baked Beans
Grandma Dumeney's Baked Beans Recipe
Fill your home with the soothing aroma of Grandma Dumeney's Baked Beans this holiday season. With each bite, family and friends will be craving more of this classic comfort food.
Grandma Erma's Spirited Cranberry Sauce
Grandma Erma's Spirited Cranberry Sauce Recipe
Skip the canned and jellied stuff this Christmas and opt for something different. You'll need about 1 lb. of cranberries for this homemade sauce. Most are sold in 12-oz. bags, so pick up two and freeze the extra.
Grandma Mary's Cream Cheese Frosting
Grandma Mary's Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
Cream cheese frosting is a classic topper for cookies, cakes, cupcakes, and more.
Nanny's Famous Coconut-Pineapple Cake
Nanny's Famous Coconut-Pineapple Cake Recipe
This coconut pineapple cake recipe is sure to please family and friends, with its surprising blend of flavors and a "secret" ingredient: lemon-lime soft drink.
Grandma Salazar's Albóndigas Soup
Grandma Salazar's Albóndigas Soup Recipe
Albóndigas soup is a traditional Mexican soup featuring spicy meatballs offset by the fresh flavors of vegetables and herbs.
Grandma's Tea Cakes
These cookie-like tea cakes are perfect paired with your favorite hot drink. With just a hint of vanilla and lemon, they're both light and refreshing. For a snickerdoodle version, simply add a little cinnamon to the dough before mixing and roll the cakes in a cinnamon-sugar mixture before baking.
We've streamlined a classic French dish, poulet grand-mère, so it comes together in little more than an hour--about half the time required for the original recipe. We leave the garlic unpeeled, in keeping with the rustic spirit of this dish. Once cooked, the cloves can be squeezed out of their skins and spread on bread.
Grandma Gwen's Beans
This baked bean recipe features four types of canned beans baked in a mixture of brown sugar, mustard, vinegar and bacon.
Grandma & Katie's Frozen Dessert
Grandma & Katie's Frozen Dessert Recipe
This sweet-and-salty dessert recipe is easy to make ahead, which means it's perfect for the busy holiday season.
Grandma's Soft Sugar Cookies
Grandma's Soft Sugar Cookies Recipe
These cookies will bring back sweet memories of Grandma's kitchen.
Grandma's Chocolate Cake
Grandma's Chocolate Cake Recipe
A creamy cocoa frosting tops this rich and decadent sheet cake--the ultimate chocolate indulgence!
Grandma's Chocolate Popcorn
Grandma's Chocolate Popcorn Recipe
Pairing sweet chocolate with salty popcorn is the ultimate addictive treat and a welcome addition to family Christmas movie night. Pop up a bunch of this tasty popcorn and enjoy the next time you gather 'round the TV to watch Christmas Vacation.
Frosted Turtle Cookies
These turtle cookies are just as adorable as they are delicious.
Grandmother Carter's Cornbread Dressing
Grandmother Carter's Cornbread Dressing Recipe
The beauty of having make-ahead recipes on hand for the holidays is that all of your food prep doesn't have to be done on the same day. To make this cornbread dressing ahead of time, freeze the unbaked dressing mixture in 2 (1-gal.) zip-top plastic freezer bags, making sure to press out all the excess air. Thaw in refrigerator five days before the big day, and continue recipe with Step 4.