17 Old-School Dinners That We Want to Bring Back

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By Jonathan Trent

It can be difficult to know what to cook for dinner every night, which is why many people are resorting back to old-school dinners. With so many old-school dinners to choose from, it can be exciting to return back to basics. Here are 17 old-school dinners that we want to bring back.

Steak with Gravy

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Steak with gravy is an old favorite food from the United States, first made in the late 1800s. It is simple to make; all you need is ground beef made into patties and tasty gravy. It’s a filling meal that is sure to satisfy everyone coming to dinner.

Tuna Casserole

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Tuna casserole is the perfect comfort food, transporting many people to their childhood. It is a beloved dish from the mid-1900s in America, usually made with canned tuna, egg noodles, mushroom soup, peas, and a crispy breadcrumb on top. Psychology Today confirms that including fish and shellfish in your diet contributes to better health outcomes.

Beef Stroganoff

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Beef stroganoff is a dish inspired by Russia that became popular in the US in the 1950s and 1960s. It’s made with soft beef strips, onions, mushrooms, and sour cream, making it a rich and luxurious dish that’s great for warm, homey dinners. Many people serve it with creamy mashed potatoes for a traditional, comforting meal.

Creamy Chicken

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Chicken à la king is a creamy chicken recipe from the late 1800s. It’s usually made with chopped chicken, mushrooms, and bell peppers in a creamy sauce, and you can have it over toast, rice, or puff pastry. This dish is loved for its rich texture and classic taste, which is why it’s still popular today.

Beef Wellington

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Beef Wellington is a standout dish from England that started in the 1800s. It’s made with soft beef tenderloin covered with mushroom duxelles, wrapped in puff pastry, and baked until it’s golden. Even though it might seem hard to make, learning how to cook this traditional dish will wow your dinner guests and make any event extra special.

Roast dinner

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A Roast dinner is a traditional British meal typically featuring roasted meat, potatoes, and various sides. It’s a centuries-old tradition, often linked to the Yeoman Warders who guard the Tower of London. The meal is cherished for its nostalgia, versatility, and potential nutritional value. Many people like to have this meal once a week as it can be quite filling.

Shepherd’s Pie

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Shepherd’s Pie is a classic English casserole made with minced meat, gravy, vegetables, and a mashed potato topping. It’s traditionally made with lamb, but variations exist, including using beef which is common in the U.S. The dish is baked until the mashed potato layer turns golden brown making it perfect for a wintry evening.


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Stew is a filling food made by cooking solid ingredients in liquid for a long time. It usually has vegetables and meat included, often the kind that needs to be cooked slowly, like beef, pork, lamb, or chicken. People all over the world love stews and they change the ingredients to match their local food. Stews are great for a weekday dinner or a cozy meal on a cold weekend.

Chicken Pot Pie

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A beloved comfort food with roots tracing back to medieval Europe, chicken pot pie features a flaky pastry crust enveloping succulent chicken, veggies, and a creamy sauce. Whether crafted from scratch or purchased ready-made, this favorite never fails to satisfy. The Guardian hints that regular consumption of fruit and veg is associated with improved health outcomes.

Spaghetti Bolognese

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Spaghetti Bolognese is a classic Italian dish that has been loved by many for its rich and hearty flavors. It combines tender spaghetti with a deliciously meaty and tomato-based sauce, creating a perfect harmony of taste and texture. The dish is not only satisfying but also provides a balanced meal with proteins, carbohydrates, and vegetables.


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Meatballs are known for their adaptability and mouthwatering taste. They offer a high protein content and can be prepared from a variety of meats, such as beef, pork, or chicken. The cooking methods for meatballs range from baking, frying, or stewing in a sauce.

Cobb Salad

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This salad is a blend of finely chopped lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, hard-boiled eggs, bacon, tender chicken, and blue cheese. These ingredients are mixed together with a tasty vinaigrette dressing. Harvard Health proposes that eating high-quality foods that contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourishes the brain and protects it from oxidative stress.

Mac and Cheese

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Mac and Cheese is a hearty, comforting dish with its blend of creamy cheese and macaroni. It’s versatile, can be served as a standalone meal or a side dish, and can be personalized with various ingredients like vegetables or a mix of cheeses.

Fish Fingers

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Fish fingers are made from whitefish like cod, hake, haddock, or pollock. The fish is coated in batter or breadcrumbs. It’s common to serve them with chips, baked beans, mushy peas, tartar sauce, or tomato ketchup. They taste good and are good for you too with many important nutrients.

Bangers and Mash

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“Bangers and Mash” is a British meal featuring sausages, or “bangers”, on smooth mashed potatoes. The dish is typically served with a flavorful onion gravy. Not only it’s a comforting and filling meal, but it’s also straightforward to make, meaning it takes little effort to cater to your dinner guests.


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Meatloaf is a classic American dish that people have loved for many years. It’s made from ground meat, breadcrumbs, eggs, and spices. You can change it up with different toppings and sauces. If you have it with mashed potatoes and gravy, it makes a filling meal. BBC advises that meat is an important source of nutrients, such as protein, iron, zinc, several B-vitamins as well as vitamin A.

Baked Potato

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A “Baked Potato” is a traditional UK dish, served with various fillings. Its versatility and nutritional value make it appealing to diverse tastes. The dish holds cultural significance and provides comfort, especially in cold weather. Its simplicity in preparation and minimal ingredient requirement make it a worthy dish to bring back.