Courtesy of McCormick

Dinner Recipes From Your Childhood That Are Actually Incredible

Pop in a VHS tape and chow down

Courtesy of McCormick

No matter how old we get, the meals we had as kids will always live fondly in our hearts. Finishing up your homework and sitting down for a hearty meal with your favorite VHS tape rolling in the background … ah, yes. Kiddom was our peak. Luckily, you can still relive that feeling through the good old taste-bud-to-memory pipeline. From sloppy joes to pizza pinwheels, these kid-friendly dinner recipes will transport you to your youth.

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes
Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

If you grew up in a big family, you know that ground beef was a go-to. The affordable protein can comfortably feed a family of four and can be used in a variety of meals, like tacos and stuffed peppers. Here, it’s used in sloppy Joes, a timeless sandwich that keeps things simple without sacrificing flavor.

For the Sloppy Joes recipe, click here.

Frito Pie

Frito Pie
iStock.com/TheCrimsonMonkey

Frito pie — a meal beloved by Texans — should appear on dinner tables across the country. It’s easy to make and fun for kids. Just pop open a bag of Fritos chips and pile it high with chili, onions, cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

For the Frito Pie recipe, click here.

Taco Tater-Topped Casserole

Taco Tater-Topped Casserole
Courtesy of McCormick

Even if taco tater tot casserole isn’t something you had as a kid, you’re likely familiar with its ingredients. The epic dish is a mashup of tater tots, ground beef, corn, salsa and pinto beans. The elements come together to make one comforting casserole that your kids will love just as much as you did growing up.

For the Taco Tater-Topped Casserole recipe, click here.

Pigs in a Blanket

Pigs in a Blanket
Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

Whether you serve it as an appetizer or as a main course for your kids, pigs in a blanket are primed for a comeback. This take on the childhood favorite uses everything but the bagel seasoning and cream cheese for a modern twist.

For the Pigs in a Blanket recipe, click here.

Ham and Cheese Sliders

Ham and Cheese Sliders
Courtesy of Karrie Truman, Happy Money Saver

When your parents were short on time or the babysitter was responsible for dinner, ham and cheese sandwiches were on the menu. You can still achieve that same level of simplicity while ramping up the flavors a bit. Just add teriyaki sauce and pineapple, and you’ve got a sandwich worthy of the dinner table.

For the Ham and Cheese Sliders recipe, click here.

Chicken Fingers

Chicken Fingers
Courtesy of Betty Crocker

Having chicken fingers and French fries as a child was like bringing Ronald McDonald to your house. Little did you know that your parents were just tossing some frozen nuggets into the oven and calling it a day. This recipe for homemade chicken fingers takes it up a notch and will still satisfy your hankering for fast food.

For the Chicken fingers recipe, click here.

Cheeseburger Casserole

Cheeseburger Casserole
Michael Tercha/Chicago Tribune

Renditions on the classic cheeseburger were a staple during kiddom and this cheeseburger casserole recipe will truly take you back. Plus, it’s super easy to make. Just toss the ingredients into your Crock-Pot and cook on low for a few hours.

For the Cheeseburger Casserole recipe, click here.

Chicken and Waffles

Chicken and Waffles
Courtesy of Perdue

Having breakfast for dinner as a kid was unmatched. Let’s bring that same energy to our lives as adults — it’s well-deserved. If you agree and want to make a truly iconic breakfast meal for dinner, try serving up chicken and waffles. This recipe uses frozen toaster waffles to cut your work in half.

For the Chicken and Waffles recipe, click here.

Pizza Grilled Cheese

Pizza Grilled Cheese
Courtesy of McCormick

Trying to get creative for dinner without sacrificing convenience is the name of the game for parents, which is probably why some of our favorite meals as kids were just mashups of two things we already loved on their own. This recipe combines pizza and grilled cheese into one delicious sandwich. This combo is just one way to take your grilled cheese to the next level.

For the Pizza Grilled Cheese recipe, click here.

Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff
Courtesy of Beef. It's What's For Dinner.

Beef stroganoff was especially popular in the ’50s due to its simple, inexpensive list of ingredients. The dish’s pasta is piled high with a creamy blend of mushrooms and beef, making this childhood favorite a great dinner option to serve today.

For the Beef Stroganoff recipe, click here.

Chili Dogs

Chili Dogs
Courtesy of McCormick

Few things were more exciting than the final bell of school as a kid. It was the symbol that summer had officially arrived, and that holiday block parties – filled with yummy grilled foods – were right around the corner. And of course, it wasn’t a celebration without a hot dog piled high with chili and mustard.

For the Chili Dogs recipe, click here.

Egg Salad Sandwich

Egg Salad Sandwich
Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

Egg salad: you either loved it or hated it. If you’re a hater, this recipe will change your mind. The use of sriracha gives the hard-boiled eggs a subtly spicy kick that’s complemented by the addition of green onion and avocado.

For the Egg Salad Sandwich recipe, click here.

Tuna Salad Sandwich

Tuna Salad Sandwich
© Lschirmbeck/Dreamstime.com

Egg salad’s cousin, tuna salad, also made an appearance on the dinner table every once in a while, although it was also a great lunchbox filler. This recipe puts a spin on the salad by mixing it with yogurt and avocado instead of the traditional mayonnaise.

For the Tuna Salad Sandwich recipe, click here.

Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled Eggs
billnoll/E+ via Getty Images

Another breakfast for dinner classic was scrambled eggs with a side of bacon or sausage. For those of you in your mid-20s who don’t feel like making an elaborate meal or dropping money on delivery, this meal is a great option.

For the Scrambled Eggs recipe, click here.

Sheet Pan Fish and Chips

Sheet Pan Fish and Chips
Courtesy of McCormick

Even if you weren’t dining on fish and chips as a kid, fish sticks and French fries were a staple in plenty of households. This sheet pan dinner recipe keeps the fish-based meal simple while giving it a little more flavor than those frozen fish sticks you adored as a kid.

For the Sheet Pan Fish and Chips recipe, click here.

Pizza Pinwheels

Pizza Pinwheels
Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

The best part about pizza pinwheels (besides the fact that they’re delicious and remind us of Hot Pockets) is that they’re a great alternative to making or ordering pizza. The dish is made from refrigerated crescent dough so you can skip making your own dough or using premade crusts, which always leave something to be desired

For the Pizza Pinwheels recipe, click here.

Pasta Salad With Rotini

Pasta Salad With Rotini
Courtesy of McCormick

When pasta salad was on the menu, you knew it would make an appearance in your lunches and dinners all week. The easy to make dish can serve many, which makes it perfect as a side at cookouts and for avid meal preppers.

For the Pasta Salad With Rotini recipe, click here.

Cheeseburger Sliders

Cheeseburger Sliders
Courtesy of Beef. It's What's For Dinner.

Why were mini versions of your favorite meals so dang fun as a kid? We don’t have a clue, but the excitement still applies to adulthood. Make these cheeseburger sliders a staple on your dinner table, especially on nights when you want to fire up the grill.

For the Cheeseburger Sliders recipe, click here.

Mini Naan Pizzas

Mini Naan Pizzas
Courtesy of Happy Money Saver

Sticking with the tiny foods theme, it’s time to talk about mini naan pizzas. Make your own pizza night was always a family-fun activity, and this recipe keeps the good times rolling. Use naan as the crust for your pizza and pile it with your favorite toppings. To really keep it childlike, keep it simple with tomato sauce, pepperoni and cheese.

For the Mini Naan Pizzas recipe, click here.

Grandma’s Lasagna

Grandma’s Lasagna
Carolyn Menyes/The Daily Meal

Another fond memory of kiddom was going to Grandma's house for dinner. This lasagna recipe keeps her home cooking alive through its classic, no-frills list of ingredients and traditional cooking techniques.

For the Grandma's Lasagna recipe, click here.

Pasta With Broccoli

Pasta With Broccoli
Courtesy of Eggland's Best

If you were a picky eater growing up, plain pasta with broccoli was a go-to. This recipe is like childhood on a plate and it’s so easy to make. Penne pasta is tossed with sharp cheddar cheese and broccoli cheddar soup, making a creamy, comforting meal that comes together in just 45 minutes.

For the Pasta With Broccoli recipe, click here.

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie
Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Like fish sticks and chicken fingers, chicken pot pie was another dish that your parents probably had stored in the freezer somewhere. Make the childhood favorite from scratch with this easy-to-follow recipe.

For the Chicken Pot Pie recipe, click here.

Classic Pancakes

Classic Pancakes
Billion Photos/ Shutterstock

Pancakes are more than a breakfast option. The pillowy spheres topped with syrup and chocolate chips … it’s like breakfast, dinner and dessert – all the meals in one.

For the Classic Pancakes recipe, click here.

Gooey, Creamy Mac and Cheese

Gooey, Creamy Mac and Cheese
Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

You might not have necessarily forgotten about mac and cheese, but it probably doesn’t make an appearance in your nightly dinner rotation as often as it did when you were a tyke. If you want to really revisit the past, make the dish straight from the box. Or level up with some of our best-ever mac and cheese recipes.

For Gooey, Creamy Mac and Cheese recipe, click here.