30 Classic American Recipes We Love (2024)

From grilled cheese and burgers to cheesecake and apple pie, these classic American recipes are irresistible.

American cuisine is often linked to greasy, fatty, and processed junk food.

Sure, there’s nothing healthy about it at all, but if comfort is what you’re looking for, American food is what you turn to.

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Our dishes are creative, delicious, and so much fun to eat!

We have even managed to put our own crazy spin on non-American classics. I’m looking at you, pizza on steroids!

Today, we celebrate our ingenuity to make the most sinful dishes known to man. Here’s a list of recipes that are quintessentially American.

Let’s dig in.

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1. Hamburgers

The hamburger is one of America’s most significant contributions to mankind.

How can you go wrong with a juicy ground beef patty in between two soft buns?

Whether you’re hosting a game day, a summer BBQ, or a simple dinner, this world-famous sandwich is perfect for any occasion.

You can always count on McDonald’s, In-N-Out, and Burger King for a burger fix. If you’re from the East Coast, though, White Castle is the one to beat.

With this easy copycat recipe, you’ll be able to replicate the iconic White Castle sliders no matter where you are in the world.

2. New York Pizza

New York-style pizza has a trademark hand-tossed thin crust with thick and crisp edges.

It’s also sold in big slices, and one slice is more than enough. It’s so big, you’ll need to fold it in half for easier consumption.

This recipe uses rich tomato sauce and stringy mozzarella cheese for the toppings, but feel free to add pepperoni, sausage, mushroom – whatever toppings you please!


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3. Steak and Potatoes

I’ll bet you can’t name a better pairing than juicy, melt-in-your-mouth steak and crisp and tender roasted potatoes! This hearty and indulgent meal is a winner.

If you think it’s tedious to make, you’re mistaken. They’re baked at the same time in the same pan. It couldn’t get any easier than that.

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4. Tater Tot Casserole

As if tater tots couldn’t get any more addictive, we decided to turn them into a casserole loaded with beef and mushroom sauce.

Not only does it get an A+ for flavor, but it also gets high marks for being one of the best, no-fuss recipes that will feed a crowd.

5. Beef Stroganoff

Beef stroganoff is a delectable dish featuring juicy beef tenderloin in a creamy mushroom sauce.

Topped on a bed of rice, pasta, or egg noodles, it’s so heavenly, even mushroom-haters won’t say no to it.

I always thought of beef stroganoff as a special-occasion dish because it’s just too terrific.

You can imagine my surprise when I found out it only takes 30 minutes to make!

When I came across this recipe, I immediately added it to my weeknight meal rotation.

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6. Mac and Cheese

If I were to rank the best side dishes, mac and cheese would definitely be on top.

This creamy, cheesy, hearty dish is so good I wouldn’t mind eating it on its own for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

It’s also my go-to dish when I’m in need of a pick-me-up. It’s the epitome of comfort food and happiness in a bowl.

7. Maine Lobster Rolls

What do you get when you put sweet lobster meat with mayo in a hot dog bun? A masterpiece, that’s what.

Maine lobster rolls are unbelievably sumptuous, and they deserve a standing ovation.

Buttered and dressed with mayo or a splash of lemon juice, lobster rolls are a seafood lover’s dream come true.

While Maine undoubtedly offers the best-tasting lobster rolls, you can also whip up your own at home with this simple recipe.

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8. Crab Cakes

Crab cakes are sweet, salty, savory, crisp, and tender. All those delicious flavors and textures in one bite is perfection!

Seasoned with Old Bay and made crispy on the outside with bread crumbs, these crab cakes are the bomb.

You can either broil, bake, grill, or fry them. They’re outstanding no matter how you cook them.

In my opinion, crab cakes are best eaten with coleslaw. Aside from the hot-and-cold contrast, I also like how the mayo in the coleslaw doubles as a crab cake dressing.

9. American Cheese Sauce

Liquid cheese, oh, how I love thee! This simple dip can make anything taste 10 times better.

It’s like gravy, only better. If you’re obsessed with cheese like me, then this recipe is a must-try.

Make a huge batch and store it in jars. That way, you get to enjoy it with any snack you can think of. Chips, nachos, breadsticks – you name it.

I sometimes even dip sandwiches in it. It’s pure heaven!

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10. Chicken and Dumplings

Move over Cracker Barrel – this recipe for chicken and dumplings is here, and it’s here to stay.

It’s a cozy soup featuring savory chicken and soft, pillowy dumplings. The broth is thick and savory, which is perfect for cold and rainy evenings.

Cracker and Barrel has knocked it out of the park with its chicken and dumplings, but this copycat recipe is just as good! It’s more affordable to boot.

11. All-American Bacon Cheeseburgers

Did you know that the first-ever cheeseburger was created by accident? At least that’s what the guys over at Pasadena are saying.

They say in the late 1920s, a chef at The Rite Spot burned a burger patty by accident and smothered it with cheese to cover it up.

Whether true or not, one thing’s for sure: cheeseburgers are definite show-stoppers. Slap on some bacon strips for an even more jaw-dropping treat!

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12. Detroit Style Pizza

Detroit-style pizza may not be as popular as its cousins from New York and Chicago, but it’s just as lip-smackingly delicious.

It’s thick, it’s rectangular, and it’s purely delightful. Detroit pizza is also unique in the way its toppings are layered: the cheese comes before the sauce.

It’s a lot like a deep-dish pizza, but with cheesy crusty edges! How awesome is that?

13. Tamale Pie

Not to be confused with a tamale or a pie, tamale pie is a casserole made of cornbread and ground beef.

This southwestern dish has been around since the 1900s and continues to be well-loved today.

How can it not be? Well-seasoned ground beef is covered with a bed of sweet and crumbly cornbread. Just the thought of it makes me drool!

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14. Macaroni Salad

Far from being nutritious, macaroni salad is a rich, creamy, and hearty side dish ideal for barbecues and potlucks.

If you love it as much as I do, you can even enjoy it as a meal on its own.

It’s elbow macaroni and mayo at its core – a basic combination that delivers maximum flavors.

For more character, add chopped onions, celery, and bell peppers. Season with salt and pepper and voila!

I like throwing shredded chicken into the mix, too, for a nice, meaty contrast. Yum.

15. Maple and Bacon Cornbread

Cornbread is synonymous with comfort. This tender and crumbly treat is the ultimate side to chili!

You can’t go wrong with the classics, but it also doesn’t hurt to experiment on new flavors.

If you think maple syrup and bacon go well with cornbread, this recipe is a must-try.

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16. French Fries

Ahh, French fries. The world is a better place because of you.

You know what I realized? Potatoes are amazing, no matter how you cook them. Even the simplest baked potato is awesome!

But I think we can all agree that potatoes are at their best when sliced into thin strips and fried to golden perfection.

With a super crispy exterior and a fluffy interior, French fries are the most iconic, spud-tacular American treat.

17. Cheesy Bacon and Egg Hash

Bacon, hash, cheese, and eggs in one casserole? Talk about umami! What a wonderful treat.

This casserole is the ultimate breakfast dish. It’s ultra-rich, hearty, and so tasty you’ll want to eat it for lunch and dinner, too. Good thing one recipe makes a lot!

18. Oven Baked Chili Cheese Dogs

This next recipe combines two iconic American dishes to create one phenomenal comfort food. Folks say hello to chili cheese dogs.

Hot dog buns are stuffed with a savory hot dog and topped with umami-rich chili. Let’s not forget about the cheddar cheese, either!

Once you’ve had a bite of these bad boys, you’ll never want to eat a regular hot dog again.

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19. Biscuits

Who needs Cracker Barrel when you can make these ridiculously delectable biscuits at home?

Biscuits are the definition of southern comfort. These flaky and buttery goodies are great on their own, but try them with gravy, too! It’s heaven in a bite.

20. Philly Cheesesteak

Tender rib-eye steak topped with melty provolone cheese and caramelized onions are stuffed inside a hoagie roll.

It’s sweet, salty, and greasy in the best way possible. To me, a Philly cheesesteak is the king of all sandwiches!

I just love how the sweetness from the onions and gooeyness of the cheese interact so well with the beef.

The bread – a crusty and chewy and hoagie roll – is the perfect vessel to hold in all the goodness.

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21. Grilled Cheese Sandwich

A grilled cheese sandwich is the ultimate college dinner! It’s oozing with richness and couldn’t be easier to make.

You really can’t go wrong with cheese and white bread. This recipe calls for cheddar, but you can add in whatever cheese you have in the fridge.

Grill the sandwich to perfection and voila. Dinner is served.

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22. Chocolate Chip Cookies

Now on to my favorite part of the meal: dessert. When it comes to sweet treats, classic chocolate chip cookies always rank at the top.

Soft and chewy cookies with crisp edges never disappoint. Add chunks of chocolate into the picture, and you’ll have an addictive treat.

23. All-American Banana Split

Banana splits are the only fruity dessert my nieces eat. At their young age, their taste buds only respond to chocolate.

They’ll ignore anything with fruits and berries, but they love banana splits. That goes to show just how ridiculously delicious this dessert is.

I mean, how can you say no to ice cream with banana slices topped with whipped cream, chocolate syrup, nuts, and cherries?

24. Apple Pie

This list isn’t complete without apple pie. Why it’s only America’s favorite pie!

Sweet, crisp, and tender apples are coated with cinnamon sugar syrup and baked into a pie.

The smell of it alone can take your blues away. There truly is something magical about the combination of apples, cinnamon, and sugar.

The flaky and buttery crust is to die for, too!

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25. Banana Pudding

If your kids are begging for dessert but you can’t bake to save your life, you can always turn to this no-bake banana pudding.

Made with layers of vanilla wafers, banana slices, pudding, and whipped cream, this dessert is the definition of decadence.

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26. New York Cheesecake

New York cheesecake is rich, decadent, and downright delicious.

What makes this cheesecake even more special is that it has a layer of sponge cake for its crust, just like how Junior’s Cheesecake makes it!

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27. Kentucky Butter Cake

Besides being buttery, the Kentucky butter cake is also ridiculously moist and tender.

The butter vanilla sauce on top makes it even more amazing. Sure, it’s high in calories, but it’s worth it!

It’s also a breeze to make. It’s everything you can ask for in a dessert.

28. Southern Pecan Pie

Here’s another fantastic dessert from the south. Pecan pie has the mouthwatering combination of sweet caramel and savory toasted pecans.

Served with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, this warm treat is epic.

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29. Chocolate Cake

I can never say no to chocolate cake. This ridiculously moist and fudgy cake is both my strength and weakness.

Frosted with either buttercream or a decadent chocolate ganache, this cake is sure to wow everyone.

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30. Amish Sugar Cookies

Sweet and buttery, and soft and chewy – there’s nothing basic about these Amish cookies at all!

In fact, these munchies are highly addictive. It’s impossible to stop at one. No wonder the recipe has been passed on from generation to generation.

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