Flavors hold so much sway over memories. One lick of a cherry Popsicle might transport you back to hot Summer days at the beach, while the first bite of creamy mashed potatoes always reminds you of Thanksgivings past. That’s why there should always be room for comfort food recipes in your cookbook — with a few updates, of course. Next time nostalgia strikes, try one of these six recipes that put a modern twist on the classics.
The slightly sweet and smoky flavor of sloppy joes might bring back memories of school cafeteria lunches or meals at the local diner, but this recipe gives the dish an instant update by getting rid of the bun. Instead, baked sweet potatoes form the base of this version made with ground turkey.
Traditional mac and cheese will never go out of style, but it’s still fun to mix it up with a few additions now and then. This super simple recipe adds frozen peas and crumbled bacon for a slightly more grown-up take on mac.
This recipe actually fuses two incredibly nostalgic foods — chicken pot pie and chicken parmesan — in one super satisfying entree. Neufchatel cheese gives the pie crust extra flakiness and flavor, while tomato-basil pasta sauce and parmesan cheese add Italian flair to the filling.
As comforting as a traditional ground beef meatloaf topped with tomato sauce can be, there’s room for more than one meatloaf recipe in your family cookbook. Mix things up with this turkey meatloaf topped with melted cheese: The choice of protein makes the loaf slightly lighter, while bell pepper and red onions add an extra kick.
Is there any dish more nostalgic than s’mores? The classic camping dessert sparks memories of evenings spent roasting marshmallows and swapping ghost stories around the fire. These s’mores brownies repackage the flavors of graham crackers, toasted marshmallow, and chocolate in a slightly easier-to-eat format.
Bring the ice cream parlor into your home with this cake inspired by a classic banana split. Fresh banana slices, crushed pineapple, chopped pecans, and fluffy vanilla pudding sit atop a buttery graham cracker crust.