23 Old Fashioned Summer Recipes You Must Make – Eat This Not That

Summer is here and it’s time to dust the grill, take out the fresh berries and tomatoes, and keep the oven (mostly) off. This summer, we’re looking back at classic old-fashioned recipes like potato salad, corn on the cob, fragrant butter burgers, and every no-bake dessert we can mix!

Read on for our favorite summer recipes of yesteryear that will take you back to your childhood and helps you create new food memories with your family.

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tomato pie
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This classic southern dish is perfect for using delicious summer tomatoes. Make this quiche with fresh chopped tomatoes and basil, topped with a creamy mixture of mayonnaise and cheese, and bake it in a store-bought shell.

Get the recipe from The hungry blue bird.

taco saladtaco salad
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If you’re an 80’s kid, your parents definitely served it on the back deck on a summer night when it was too hot to cook. You’ll need ground beef (or shredded chicken), fresh lettuce, chili beans, and Fritos or Doritos mixed with a sweet and tangy seasoning for this simple throwback.

Get the recipe from Cooking at the Ranch.

potato saladpotato salad
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Your grandma’s secret ingredient for that perfect creamy potato salad? Evaporated milk! This recipe combines the creaminess of evaporated milk (this recipe is extremely unhealthy!) And tart vinegar for that flavor you remember.

Get the recipe from City and country life.

egg saladegg salad
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This salad takes some work, but if you don’t mind peeling some eggs, you can enjoy this rich, family-friendly, budget-conscious salad. Mustard and paprika give that extra touch.

Get the recipe from Love bakes good cakes.

corn cobcorn cob
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Maybe you still make this classic recipe, but the combination of grilled corn with lime and chili is a real summer squash. Wrap the corn on the cob in butter and season with chili powder, cayenne pepper, lime zest and juice, then toss on the grill.

Get the recipe from Eat Serious.

homemade succotashhomemade succotash
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Hearty lima beans and fresh summer corn have made this bright salad a favorite side dish for decades.

Get the recipe from Better homes and gardens.

marinated tomatoesmarinated tomatoes
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Use all those extra tomatoes with this easy recipe to make – simply shake the ingredients in a jar and pour over the fruit to marinate.

Get the recipe from Taste of home.

pickled cucumber onion saladpickled cucumber onion salad
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There are so many ways to make cucumber salad in summer, but this classic dill and vinegar recipe will taste like summer in grandma’s house. This slightly tart mayonnaise-based salad is a perfect accompaniment to the kitchen.

Get the recipe from Carrie’s experimental cooking.

Layered Greek sauceLayered Greek sauce
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You’ve probably had it at a summer party in the past and we think it’s time to bring it back – not only is this dip with hummus, feta, olives and fresh veggies tasty – but it’s a lifesaver if you get the layers right. It’s also easy to make and the flavors put in layers to make the sauce so flavorful!

Get the recipe from Better homes and gardens.

creamy grape saladcreamy grape salad
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If you’ve never tried this old-fashioned recipe of juicy, meaty grapes topped with a spicy sour cream dressing and candied pecans, this is the summer to start with these fresh, classic flavors.

Get the recipe from Taste of home.

pork ribspork ribs
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Keep the kitchen cool and get ready for cooking with classic slow cooker ribs. Simmer for five hours with honey, soy, ketchup and ginger for childhood favorite flavor.

Get the recipe from All recipes.

butter burgerbutter burger
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Midwesterners know that the best burger is topped with a dollop of butter. It gives the meat a little extra umami and juiciness. You don’t really need a full recipe, just add a teaspoon of butter while the meat rests and let it sink in.

Get the recipe from Food network.

Fried catfishFried catfish
Courtesy of Simply Recipes

Dredged in buttermilk and coated in fine cornmeal (don’t use the coarse stuff!), Fried catfish is a classic Southern summer dish that appeals to both seafood lovers and fish reluctant alike. Just tell your kids it’s chicken, they’ll never know.

Get the recipe from Simply Recipes.

Fried Chicken SteakFried Chicken Steak
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Something about sitting outside with a plate of fried chicken steak and a nice slaw definitely reminds us of summer at Grandma’s house. While it’s a work-intensive meal to prepare, it’s worth it.

Get the recipe from Food network.

pigs in a blanketpigs in a blanket
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Of course, hot dogs are classic summer meals, but this classic half-moon and doggie pasta recipe is perfect for starting the party. Make a selection of sauces like mustard, ketchup and barbecue sauce and watch the dogs disappear.

Get the recipe from Delight.

corn bread in basket wrapped in clothcorn bread in basket wrapped in cloth
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Easy to make and keep fresh, there’s nothing that complements grilled meat, slaw, and beans like a stack of sweet cornbread on the table.

Get the recipe from Food network.

ice cream cakeice cream cake
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This cake first appeared about 100 years ago, at the dawn of the icebox (a precursor to our modern refrigerator). Made by stacking ingredients like wafers, cream, condensed milk and fruit that are placed in the refrigerator, this easy dessert is a certified classic.

Get the recipe from The magpie of the kitchen.

pieces of fondant cut on wooden boardpieces of fondant cut on wooden board
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If you’ve ever visited a seaside or lakeside town and picked some fondant to take home for dessert, you need to try making it at home. How come? The secret is that it’s super easy to make and actually only three ingredients, unless you want to add nuts or peanut butter chips!

Get the recipe from All recipes.

Banana puddingBanana pudding
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Like a trifle or iced pie, this classic recipe is no-bake, so it’s perfect for summer when you want to keep your home cool. Simply layer bananas, wafers, and pudding mixture for a fruit delight.

Get the recipe from All recipes.

Homemade ice creamHomemade ice cream
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Sure, you can go to the ice cream shop this summer, but what’s more fun than mixing custom flavors at home right in the old days? Try a custard-style recipe and you won’t need an ice cream maker.

Get the recipe from Taste of home.

Layered JelloLayered Jello
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This delicious treat is perfect for children’s parties, Pride events, or any celebration. While it’s a bit time-consuming to layer and cool, it’s not difficult and if you follow the directions (it’s all a matter of patience!) You’ll have a spectacular dessert that everyone will love.

Get the recipe from Nash’s house eats.

smoresmore
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This delight has gotten inventive in the last decade or so, but we’re here to bring back the classic version of graham crackers, marshmallows, and milk chocolate. Try it this summer, we promise it’s as good as you remember!

Get the recipe from Food Network.

strawberry shortcake cookie on a platestrawberry shortcake cookie on a plate
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Wild berries with sugar and lemon, topped with fresh whipping cream and a slice of shortcrust pastry take us back to lazy summer days. Bring back those childhood memories with this classic.

Get the recipe from Marta Stewart.