10 Retro Comfort Foods, Updated

By , Bryn Mooth
One big food and cooking trend that we’re keeping an eye on is the continued resurgence of old-fashioned recipes and methods. You may see this trend showing up in food magazines, which are emphasizing cooking techniques your grandmother would recognize (like roasting and slow cooking) or in your favorite restaurant (wood-fired breads and pizzas are hot).
Old-fashioned recipes have lots of appeal: They’re time-tested favorites. They don’t require fancy ingredients. These are easy recipes for uncomplicated dishes. From breakfast to dinner to dessert, here are a few of our favorite—healthier—versions of old-school comfort foods you’ll love.
Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese
You’ll remember this classic combination from childhood: grilled cheese and tomato soup. This soup is creamy and delicious without a bit of dairy. And the grilled cheese sandwiches feature whole-grain bread and added vegetables.
Apple Hand Pies
What’s more old-fashioned than apple pie? And this easy recipe is made with store-bought phyllo dough instead of high-fat pie crust, so it’s not only tasty, but it’s lower in fat. These individual hand pies are great for kids’ lunches.
Old-Fashioned Meatloaf
Traditional meatloaf gets an update: Instead of dense-as-bricks slices, the meat mixture is formed into individual meatloaves for faster baking, a nicer presentation (and easy portion control). Photo courtesy of the author
Slow-Cooker Meatloaf
While we’re on the subject, this slow-cooker meatloaf recipe involves a clever cooking technique, to make the meatloaf moist and tender. Set it to cook and forget it.
Better Breakfast Casserole
The sausage-and-egg casserole has been a family favorite for generations; Chef Meg’s recipe uses low-fat cheese, low-sodium pork sausage and whole-grain bread to make a more healthful breakfast casserole. This is also great for dinner.
One-Bowl Chocolate Cake
This easy chocolate cake recipe gets mixed up in one bowl. The recipe dates back to the 1930s, and it’s just as good now as it was then. Perhaps your grandmother made a simple chocolate snack cake like this one.  Photo courtesty of the author
Slow-Cooker Pot Roast
Homemade pot roast is another comfort classic; this “fix-it-and-forget-it” slow-cooker recipe is packed with vegetables and is only 350 calories per serving.
Deviled Eggs
It’s hard to imagine a family gathering without deviled eggs, another retro dish that’s popular in trendy restaurants now. Chef Meg’s lower-fat deviled egg recipe is lightened up with fat-free mayo and a flavor-boosting secret ingredient.
Lighter Classic Cheesecake
Is it possible to lighten up cheesecake? Absolutely. This low-fat cheesecake recipe has a toasty graham cracker crust; low-fat Greek yogurt and low-fat milk help keep the calorie count down. Use a light sugar blend to reduce the calories in this cheesecake; top with fresh berries. Photo courtesy of the author

What is your favorite retro re-do recipe?

Bryn Mooth is extending her 20-year career in publishing as an independent journalist and copywriter. She shares seasonal recipes, kitchen techniques, healthy eating tips and food wisdom on her blog writes4food.com.

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REDROBIN47 9/5/2020
These are great recipes. Thank you. Report
GRANNYOF05 6/5/2020
thanks. Can't wait to try some of these Report
FISHGUT3 4/11/2020
thanks Report
DEE107 10/28/2019
thanks Report
thank you Report
My favs are spaghetti now made on squash instead of pasta; potato pancakes aka latkes made w/ zucchini & potatoes then brushed w/ olive oil & oven baked rather than fried (I don't have an airfryer yet); tuna casserole w/ riced cauliflower subbed for noodles & lite dairy free mushroom sauce w/ peas, carrots, & just a little bit of finely shredded cheese broiled on top. I've been converting recipes for years to be healthier, & dairy free due to a food allergy. Report
Good info Report
Thanks! Report
Fun article. Thanks! Report
Love healthy comfort food Report
For the deviled eggs it looks like the "secret ingredient" is either the dijon mustard, or the pickle juice. I guess we'll never know. Report
Love cheesecake! Gonna try it Report
Did anyone else find it annoying that for deviled eggs, they say substitute fat free mayo and a "secret ingredient"? Report
Meatloaf looks good. Report
Definitely gonna have to try the slow-cooker meatloaf! Report
I agree - giving the healthier versions without calorie and nutritional info is not much help. After reading all the recipes, I also think I'll stay with original versions and just eat a LOT less. Report
Many of these recipes don't even have the nutritional info with them. I love good food but first and foremost is maintaining my goal weight. How do you do that without knowing the nutritional info? Report
The tomato soup and grilled cheese is a fav as I remember it so well while growing up! Peanut butter and jelly with milk, however now it's with wheat bread and soy milk! Take me back!Thanx Report
I'm going to try them all I think especially the meatloaf and the cheesecake remake. Thanks for the recipes. The tomato soup and grilled cheese will always be favorites for many people! :) Report
This should be the "Food to die for list" Spark style!! Love it! Report
the tomato soup says "without a bit of dairy" but the recipes has dairy in the ingredients, so can you leave out the dairy.

I have been putting eggplant, tomato, mushrooms and daiya cheese in my sandwiches and its soo good. Report
They all sound yummy Report
love the one serving size meat loaf! Report
Yum!...All my favorites, ty! Report
These are wonderful!!! Can't wait to add them to my normal standards.... Report
Just a correction - the tomato soup does have dairy. The recipe calls for evaporated milk. Report
I'm definitely going to try the cheesecake. Love the retro idea, great way to preserve our cooking heritage. Thanks for sharing!! Report
Wow everything looks so good ! I will have to try that Pot Roast , and the Grilled Cheese . Report