20 Old-School Recipes To Make When Company Is Coming

20 Old-School Recipes To Make When Company Is Coming

There are certain old-fashioned recipes that we grew up with that are often saved for family reunions, holiday dinners, or special occasions. They take us back in time and remind us of beloved family members and childhood memories. And the truth is, we rarely make these recipes for a Friday night dinner party or post-game Saturday lunch with friends or weekend house guests. So next time you’re hosting company, consider giving the charcuterie board the weekend off and digging deep into the recipe box for a few classics that won’t disappoint. Don’t get us wrong, we love trying a new dish or a TikTok trend just as much as everyone else, but there is something exciting about introducing friends to an old-favorite. It’s time to give comfort food (Tuna Noodle Casserole, Chicken Pot Pie Casserole, Southern Meatloaf) its time to shine.

Photographer: Stacy Allen; Food Stylist : Karen Rankin; Prop Stylist: Lindsey Lower

Meatloaf? Yes, meatloaf. Hear us out. This hearty recipe is not only easy to make for the host but it’s a great dish for serving along with creamy mashed potatoes and crispy beans.

Greg DuPree

Serious question: Why aren’t pork chops more popular? We made a few tweaks to the traditional recipe so that it’s lower in fat but just as flavorful. Our sauce is made using wine and chicken stock and we’re serving with fresh peas and crispy potatoes,

Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

Even if guests say they don’t love tuna. they may reconsider after first bite. This creamy casserole does not use the canned stuff but it’s just as delicious as the original.

Victor Protasio, Food Stylist: Ruth Blackburn, Prop Stylist: Christine Keely 

This dish has roots in Oklahoma, but everyone (trust us, everyone) will love it. Paired with a creamy white gravy, this breaded and fried steak is comfort food at its finest. We suggest serving with fresh broccoli or beans.

Stacy K. Allen; Food Stylist: Torie Cox; Prop Stylist: Shell Royster

The ultimate comfort food. Break out the 9×13 because this recipe is a dream. Chicken, potatoes, vegetables, and hard-boiled eggs are enveloped in a creamy filling and then finished off with a flaky pastry topping.

Brittany Conerly; Prop Stylist: Christina Brockman; Food Stylist: Karen Rankin

For when you want to make the pot pie but don’t have the time, this is the recipe for you. It’s easy to prepare, super comforting, and freezes beautifully (if you want to make it ahead of time).

Victor Protasio; Food Stylist: Karen Rankin; Prop Stylist: Claire Spollen

Leftovers? Don’t count on any. Melty cheese, creamy soup, chicken, and pasta come together in the perfect recipe for a house filled with hungry guests.

Antonis Achilleos; Prop Stylist: Christina Daley; Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall

Dinner for six or eight? This is the perfect warm and cozy meal that tastes like home.

Southern Living

It’s soup season so we’re pulling out one of our favorite stews. There are a few variations on this recipe but this tasty one includes pork, chicken, and lima beans.

Greg Dupree, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Prop Stylist: Christine Keely

Pot roast doesn’t get the love and attention it deserves. You can make this tasty dish in the Dutch oven (it’s very easy) and it’s tender, juicy, and comforting.

Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

When it’s too cold to grill outside and ordering take-out is a lazy move, turn to this rich and hearty soup. Believe us, guests of all ages will be asking for seconds.

Fred Hardy, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Prop Stylist: Christina Daley

Chili night? Chili night! This recipe is smoky, hearty, and brings just the right amount of kick.

Greg DuPree; Food Stylist: Ali Ramee; Prop Stylist: Hannah Greenwood

We bet there will be plenty of guests who see this dish and respond: “My grandmother made this too!” This recipe has cabbage leaves stuffed with a delicious mixture of meat, pork, and rice. Our tomato sauce has a bit of Creole seasoning for the right amount of kick.

Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

Not every meal needs to take a lot of time. Cue this 25 minute creation that starts with seven cans of pantry staples. It’s hearty, vegetarian, and topped with ooey, gooey cheese.

Will Dickey

Some homestyle dishes you can always count on: Enter Ground Beef Casserole. Not only is this recipe a cinch to make ahead, but it also serves a crowd. It’ll instantly bring back memories of Sunday suppers at Mama’s

Caitlin Bensel; Food Stylist: Torie Cox

What will they think when you say: “We’re having fish sticks!”? They will likely have flashbacks of the grade school cafeteria or Friday night dinner. But did those fish sticks have a brilliant potato chip crust? We also baked (did not fry) our fish sticks.

A Southern classic that needs some proper modern day attention. This casserole is extra creamy and topped with cheesy homemade biscuits.

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Ali Ramee; Prop Styling: Sarah Elizabeth Cleveland

While mini meatballs make outstanding appetizers, we also love serving them as part of the main course. These homemade gems are simmered in chili sauce and grape jelly for the ultimate sweet and tangy combination.

Jen Causey; Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Stylist: Caleb Clarke

Steak–but make it Steak Diane. This is an elegant choice for company and bound to impress. The smooth sauce features pops of texture and flavor from shallot and garlic. Serve with a tossed salad and potatoes.

Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox

If crispy chicken is what you have in mind, then this is the dish for you. Prepared by lightly breading boneless pieces of chicken in a flour-and-cracker mixture, then frying for the perfect crunch.