Grilled cheese, potato salad, meatloaf, cornbread… sometimes it just feels good to dig into a classic homemade meal. But you know what might be even better? Giving these timeless dishes of yesterday a modern makeover that dials up the flavor and keeps you and your loved ones coming back for more.

If you are looking for some exciting new ways to hit refresh on some old go-to’s, then you may want to give this list a look. From Ambrosia smoothies and Keto tomato soup to zoodle casseroles and avocado deviled eggs, these are 25 recipes that provide modern twists on some of our favorite classic dishes.

And for more, check out these 15 Classic American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback.

1

Eggplant Ricotta Grilled Cheese

eggplant ricotta grilled cheese sandwich halves
Courtesy of Well Plated

Grilled cheese, the easy-to-make meal that can pretty much be enjoyed during any time of the day, instantly takes us back to childhood. In this reimagined recipe for the simple sandwich, American cheese is swapped out for ricotta and then layered with roasted eggplant.

Get the recipe from Well Plated

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2

Vegan Cottage Pie

plate of vegan shepherds pie with potatoes
Courtesy of Minimalist Baker

This vegan cottage pie, also known as Shepherd’s pie, is loaded with vegetables and takes just one hour to make. Our favorite part? Lentils take the place of ground meat, packing in more plant-based protein. It is so delicious, it may just become your next go-to vegan meal!

Get the recipe from Minimalist Baker

3

Poached Salmon in Coconut-Lime Sauce

poached salmon in cast iron pan with chilies cilantro and lime wedge
Courtesy of Recipe Tin Eats

Lemongrass, garlic, lime, and chili help take poached salmon to the next level in this easy-to-make dish. High in protein and prepared in just mere minutes, this recipe is perfect to serve over warm rice or alongside seasoned sweet potatoes.

Get the recipe from Recipe Tin Eats

4

Avocado Deviled Eggs with Chives

deviled eggs topped with chives and avocado mixture
Courtesy of Whats Gaby Cooking

You may already be a fan of avocado toast, but how about avocado deviled eggs? Deviled eggs, the popular hors d’oeuvre that usually appears during holiday festivities, has roots that go back years—centuries, to be more exact. Recipes for this appetizer, which is made using hard-boiled eggs, have been found in medieval European cooking texts. This reimagined recipe puts one of today’s most popular ingredients—avocado—front and center.

Get the recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking

5

Everything Bagel Pull-Apart Bread

everything bagel pull-apart bread loaf closeup
Courtesy of Sallys Baking Addiction

Who says you need to have a bagel to enjoy everything bagel seasoning? Pull-apart bread, which first appeared in a 1972 Betty Crocker cookbook, is taken to new heights in this recipe that we can’t make quick enough. Homemade dough is seasoned with poppy seeds, dried garlic, and dried onions, and stuffed with more garlic, herbs, and cream cheese, making it a snack you will not be able to get enough of.

Get the recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction

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6

Vegan Cream of Celery Soup

two bowls of cream of celery soup
Courtesy of With Food and Love

In 1913, Campbell’s came out with Cream of Celery Soup, a popular soup that people still reach for today when they are looking for a comforting meal or would like to add more flavor to a dish. This vegan cream of celery soup, which is made using healthy alternatives such as raw cashews and lemon juice, still holds onto all of that classic flavor while ditching the dairy along the way.

Get the recipe from With Food and Love

7

Southern Ambrosia Smoothie

ambrosia smoothie with paper straw
Courtesy of The Seasoned Mom

Ambrosia salad, a Southern dessert staple that has been around since the 19th century, gets a modern makeover in this super simple smoothie recipe that takes just two minutes to whip up. Featuring frozen cherries, pineapple chunks, bananas, and coconut milk, this light and healthy drink works well as a quick breakfast or as a delicious dessert.

Get the recipe from The Seasoned Mom.

8

Cheddar Stuffed Sweet Potato BBQ Turkey Meatloaf

bbq turkey meatloaf
Courtesy of Ambitious Kitchen

Meatloaf, which climbed to peak popularity after the Great Depression, gets a very tasty upgrade in this easy-to-make recipe. This low-carb rendition is combined with shredded sweet potato, stuffed with cheddar cheese, and glazed with a tangy BBQ sauce. It may just secure a permanent spot on your dinner recipe rotation.

Get the recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.

9

Chicken Cordon Bleu Lasagna

chicken cordon bleu lasagna on plate
Courtesy of The Girl Who Ate Everything

This cordon bleu and lasagna hybrid captures the best of both worlds, leaving you with a delicious dish that combines two classic recipes. Featuring rotisserie chicken, lasagna noodles, deli ham, and cheese, this unexpected pairing acts as the perfect comfort food.

Get the recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything.

10

Easy Keto Tomato Basil Soup

bowl of tomato soup with biscuits
Courtesy of I Breathe Im Hungry

Tomato soup, which stirs up memories of childhood winters, gets a keto-friendly transformation in this low-carb and gluten-free version. Be sure to serve it with grilled cheese for the perfect cold-weather lunch.

Get the recipe from I Breathe, I’m Hungry.

11

Cornbread Avocado Toast

cornbread avocado toast with honey dipper
Courtesy of The Healthy Maven

Pomegranate seeds, mashed avocados, and drizzled honey help make this easy-to-make cornbread snack a memorable one. Cornbread, the tasty food that often accompanies chilis, stews, and barbecued foods, proves it can be served with a variety of different toppings in this simple recipe.

Get the recipe from The Healthy Maven.

12

Peanut Butter and Jelly Snack Bars

peanut butter and jelly snack bars with glass of milk
Courtesy of Minimalist Baker

Try out this Peanut Butter and Jelly Snack Bar recipe if you are looking for an even easier way to enjoy your PB&J. Made using rolled oats, coconut sugar, and roasted peanuts, this convenient gluten-free treat works great for those who are on the go.

Get the recipe from Minimalist Baker

13

Baked Alaska Cookies

baked alaska cookies topped with meringue
Courtesy of Live Eat Learn

Berry ice cream, cranberry shortbread cookies, and pillowy meringue help create the perfect mix of sweet and tart in this baked Alaska cookie recipe.

Get the recipe from Live Eat Learn.

14

Funfetti Icebox Cake

graham crackers topped with vanilla frosting and rainbow sprinkles
Courtesy of How Sweet Eats

Icebox cakes rose to fame in the 1930s during the rise of popularity in icebox appliances, and it was quick to become a global sensation. Until this day, people still create their own versions of the versatile dessert. We especially love how this version has tons of colorful sprinkles layered right into it.

Get the recipe from How Sweet Eats

15

Coke Float Push-Up Pops

individual coke float push up pops with cherries and whipped cream
Courtesy of Gimme Some Oven

Coca-Cola may seem like a head-scratching cake ingredient, but in the 1960s and ’70s, it was all the rage. In this updated recipe, which is a perfect treat to serve at birthdays, homemade Coca-Cola cake is layered into push-pop molds with fresh whipped cream and sweet maraschino cherries.

Get the recipe from Gimme Some Oven

16

Creamy Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

pot of spiral mac and cheese with cauliflower
Courtesy of Half Baked Harvest

Macaroni and cheese, also known as the ultimate comfort food, gets a mouthwatering upgrade in this creamy cauliflower mac and cheese recipe. Packed with both taste and texture, we love how this dish creates the perfect balance between rich and tangy by combining dijon mustard, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder with sharp cheddar and heavy cream.

Get the recipe from Half Baked Harvest

17

Green Chile Tuna Zoodle Casserole

tuna green chile zoodle casserole
Courtesy of Cotter Crunch

Green chiles and zoodles, spiralized zucchini noodles that are perfect for when you are looking to easily add more nutrients to your meals, help take a classic tuna casserole recipe to a whole new level. An added plus? This recipe is both Whole 30 and Keto approved.

Get the recipe from Cotter Crunch

18

Vegan Sweet Potato Rolls

sweet potato rolls in baking dish
Courtesy of Vegan Richa

Sure, traditional dinner rolls are tasty, but have you ever tried sweet potato dinner rolls? These no-knead, melt-in-your-mouth dinner rolls are made using just one pan, which means cleanup will be a cinch.

Get the recipe from Vegan Richa

19

Cheeseburger Chopped Salad with Dill Pickle Vinaigrette

cheeseburger salad in bowl
Courtesy of How Sweet Eats

An all-American picnic classic, the cheeseburger, is deconstructed in this creative burger salad that is bursting with flavor. Full of chopped tomatoes, red onion, shredded cheese, and sauteed ground meat, this innovative dish is dressed with a dreamy pickle juice vinaigrette.

Get the recipe from How Sweet Eats.

20

Hot Pork Roll and Cheese Dip

pork roll cheese dip spread in serving dish with knife
Cupcakes and Kale Chips

Pork roll, an old school New Jersey breakfast item that is also known as Taylor ham, doubles in this recipe as a creamy dip that can be served with everything from cut vegetables to bagel chips.

Get the recipe from Cupcakes and Kale Chips

21

Apple Pie Smoothie Bowl

apple pie smoothie bowl topped with apple pieces and chia seeds
Courtesy of Fit Foodie Finds

Apple pie for breakfast? Why not!? Apple sauce, rolled oats, greens, and vanilla extract come together to create this delicious smoothie bowl that can be enjoyed at any time of the day. Be sure to top it with sliced almonds or granola for an extra crunch.

Get the recipe from Fit Foodie Finds

22

Matcha White Chocolate Fondue

matcha fondue dipping sauce with skewers and bread pieces
Courtesy of My Name Is Yeh

From vanilla cake cubes and pretzel rods to cut fruit and dark chocolate brownies, the dipping options are endless with this matcha white chocolate fondue recipe that is made possible by using cooking grade matcha.

Get the recipe from My Name is Yeh

23

Avocado Potato Salad

potato salad with avocado and cilantro
Courtesy of Gimme Some Oven

Want to add some more taste and texture into an all-American barbecue classic? If so, try out this Avocado Potato Salad recipe, which integrates fresh avocado and plain Greek yogurt into this simple side.

Get the recipe from Gimme Some Oven

24

Vegan Carrot Hot Dogs

carrot hot dogs in buns
Courtesy of Live Eat Learn

If you spent your summers grilling hot dogs by the pool or enjoying a warm frankfurter while at the ballpark, then you need to try this vegan version. Made using healthier ingredients, such as carrots, vegetable broth, and apple cider vinegar, this remake surprisingly tastes exactly like the real deal. Its secret? The marinade.

Get the recipe from Live Eat Learn

25

Chipotle Gouda Scalloped Sweet Potatoes

scalloped sweet potatoes in baking dish
Courtesy of Ambitious Kitchen

If you’re looking for a new way to prepare your sweet potatoes, look no further. Smoked gouda, flavorful chipotle sauce, and minced garlic take center stage in this recipe that elevates a dinner go-to. Even better? It takes just one hour to make.

Get the recipe from Ambitious Kitchen





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Brittany Natale
Brittany Natale is a food and lifestyle writer.
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