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16 New Twists on Old-Fashioned Dinner Recipes

Try these lighter versions of classic dishes like creamed corn and homemade mac and cheese.
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Did you grow up on meals like meatloaf and all different kinds of casseroles? Vintage dishes like these don't tend to grace dinner tables much these days—they're not exactly healthy options—but sometimes, it's fun to look back at those classic dinner recipes.

If you're looking for meals that are nostalgic but with a twist, look no further. These updates on old standards are just what your dinner rotation needs.

Check out all these old-fashioned-turned-new recipes below, and for more, check out 16 Old-Fashioned Chocolate Desserts That Everyone (Secretly) Loves.

Beef Stew

spanish pepper beef stew with olives in a white bowl
Waterbury Publications

Classic beef stew is delicious and easy to make, and with a few tweaks, it can fit into a Keto or low-carb diet. This recipe uses smoky paprika and green olives for a Spanish spin. It also leaves out heavy potatoes to decrease the carb count.

Get our recipe for Keto Smoky Spanish Beef Stew With Olives.

Turkey Sloppy Joes

Healthy turkey sloppy joes
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Sloppy joes made with turkey and fresh bell pepper pieces are a lot better than the canned version, trust us.

Get our recipe for Sloppy Joes


Slices of meatloaf on a plate with sides.
Kiersten Hickman / Eat This, Not That!

If you grew up hating meatloaf because of the breadcrumbs that were involved, we have some good news. Our recipe is free of breadcrumbs, relying on whole slices of bread instead. Yum!

Get our recipe for Meatloaf

Green Bean Casserole

Vegetarian green bean casserole
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Forget Cream of Mushroom soup. This recipe uses fresh mushroom slices, along with garlic, onion, and, yes, butter.

Get our recipe for Green Bean Casserole

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Sirloin Shepherd's Pie

Healthy shepherd's pie
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Not into lamb? Try our shepherd's pie recipe, which is made with sirloin instead.

Get our recipe for Shepherd's Pie.

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

Healthy shrimp cocktail
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Think shrimp cocktail has to be unseasoned? Think again! This recipe adds Old Bay to the mix for a seafood dish that's out of this world.

Get our recipe for Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

Italian Meatballs

close up of Italian meatballs plate
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

If your meatballs have fewer than three types of meat in them, you might be missing out. Our Italian-grandmother-approved recipe uses ground beef, ground pork, and ground veal.

Get our recipe for Italian Meatballs

11 Italian Foods No One Eats in Italy

Potato Salad

old fashioned potato salad

Our potato salad recipe still uses mayo, but it doesn't carry the dish entirely. Instead, we added Dijon mustard and vinegar for a tangy side dish that's sure to please.

Get our recipe for Potato Salad

Mac and Cheese

Healthy mac and cheese
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Homemade mac and cheese can be decadent but fattening. Our recipe uses Greek yogurt for all of the creaminess, minus the fat.

Get our recipe for Mac and Cheese

Instant Pot Cheeseburger Soup

cheeseburger soup topped with cheese and bacon
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

Forget potatoes; our cheeseburger soup recipe is keto-friendly. And while our grandparents and great-grandparents didn't have Instant Pots, we bet they'd approve.

Get our recipe for Instant Pot Cheeseburger Soup

Cheeseburger Casserole

keto cheeseburger casserole 2
Carlene Thomas/Eat This, Not That!

Not into cheeseburger soup? Try this cheeseburger casserole and think of it as an updated, keto-friendly take on Hamburger Helper.

Get our recipe for Cheeseburger Casserole

Mini Beef Wellington

mini beef wellington on platter
Courtesy of I Am a Food Blog

These miniature versions are the perfect way to ease into cooking a beef wellington dinner. They're just so cute!

Get the recipe from I Am a Food Blog

Wedge Salad

wedge salad on plate
Courtesy of The View from Great Island

Wedge salads tend to include iceberg lettuce, blue cheese dressing, and bacon bits. This recipe incorporates all of those, but it also adds fresh vegetables like black olives, bell peppers, carrots, and more.

Get the recipe from The View from Great Island.

Collard Greens with Garlic

plate of cooked collard greens with lemon wedge
Courtesy of Cookie and Kate

You'll actually want to eat your greens with this easy and flavorful recipe.

Get the recipe from Cookie and Kate

Crock-Pot Creamed Corn

creamed corn
Courtesy of Well Plated

With Greek yogurt and honey, this recipe is a lighter take on the classic side dish. And you can make it right in your slow cooker.

Get the recipe from Well Plated

 The Best Classic Recipes Your Grandma Used to Make

Hoppin' John Skillet

hoppin John rice skillet
Courtesy of Diethood

Hoppin' John is traditionally made with bacon. But this recipe uses leftover diced ham for an easy and resourceful twist. If you're enjoying a spiral ham for dinner, consider using the leftovers in this flavorful recipe.

Get the recipe from Diethood

What are you waiting for? Go try these vintage dinner recipes ASAP.

A previous version of this article was originally published on February 23, 2021.

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Meghan De Maria
Meghan De Maria is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food, product, and restaurant coverage. Read more about Meghan