10+ Gourmet Upgrades to Your Favorite Childhood Recipes
Comfort food's name is no coincidence. From PB&J to mac and cheese, these are the homey dishes we all grew up on and give us a comforting feeling to this day. But just because it's a classic doesn't mean it can't get a newfangled spin. The recipes below add gourmet, grownup flair to the childhood classics we all grew up on. With spicy, pungent, and piquant twists — and, okay, a bit of booze — you'll soon see that the dishes from your youth can actually evolve into delicious, revamped meals you will enjoy years later.
Kicked Up Mac and Cheese
Who didn't grow up loving the neon-orange mac and cheese in the blue box? With this recipe, the classic dish gets a full makeover. A combination of three different cheeses — and a healthy dose of heat — make this macaroni a grown-up favorite.
Blue Cheese Burgers
For those who always went for burgers over dogs at family barbecues, look no further than these blue-cheese stuffed burgers. The beef patties are seasoned not just with cheese crumbles but also earthy chives and tangy Worcestershire sauce.
PBnJ "Workday" Smoothie
If you grew up loving peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, this smoothie will be right up your alley. Made with a combination of strawberries, vanilla yogurt, frozen banana for creaminess, and, of course peanut butter, this smoothie is sweet and satiating.
Lobster Scrambled Eggs
Scrambled eggs were a breakfast staple growing up, but this recipe makes them a whole lot more decadent. Scrambled with lobster and a bit of tarragon, these are grown-up eggs for sure.
Extra Caffeinated Brownies
A hint of coffee is a common secret ingredient to make chocolate taste more like, well, chocolate! But you might want to keep these brownies on a high shelf: with eight cups of coffee in the batter, one bite will have your kids bouncing off the walls.
Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwich
What's more comforting than a gooey grilled cheese sandwich? While it's hard to beat plain ol' American slices, this recipe pairs them with flavorful provolone and a spoonful of prepared pesto. Pair with your favorite white wine for the ultimate dinnertime indulgence.
Stuffed Fried Whole Mozzarella with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Take everything you loved about mozzarella sticks growing up, and dress them up a little bit to arrive at this phenomenal salad featuring a whole fried mozzarella ball. Sharing optional!
Fried PB & J
If a basic sandwich isn't cutting it, you could always opt for a fried PB&J instead. Homemade rhubarb jam, strawberries, and peanut butter are folded into store-bought crescent rolls and fried for something ultra decadent and delicious.
Butternut Squash Pizzas with Rosemary
Everyone loves a classic cheese pizza, but this version is a bit more refined. Rosemary-scented butternut squash plays with onion and Parmesan cheese on this delightful pizza that's a breeze to assemble.
Caramel Macchiato Banana Bread
For a slightly more subtle caffeine boost to a childhood favorite, this caramel macchiato banana bread features just a hint of coffee in its sweet, subtly spiced batter.
Cinnamon Chicken Nuggets
This recipe adds a spiced note to classic chicken nuggets. A touch of cinnamon might seem unorthodox, but it really takes these fried bites to next-level deliciousness.
No, that's no typo. Just like its teetotaling cousin root beer, beer can make the perfect base for an ice cream float. For the true beer connoisseur, this base recipe is just the beginning: stout and coffee ice cream; wheat beer and raspberry sorbet; sour lambic with vanilla... the sky truly is the limit!
Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Grilled Cheese Sandwich on Sourdough
In this sweet-and-savory version of the beloved childhood sandwich, a smoky raspberry chipotle sauce and sharp cheddar unite for a unique play on the classic.