15 Classic Diner Recipes You Can Recreate at Home

Patty melt

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Patty melt
Cheapism / DALL-E 3

Comfort Classics

We've all had that quintessential diner experience, where the food is homey, the service is snappy, the conversation flows, and the coffee keeps coming. But we can't all get out to a diner as much as we might like. Thankfully, many of the classic diner dishes are relatively simple and easy to make yourself at home. Next time you're craving that nostalgic flavor of a classic diner, try making some of these easy and affordable recipes. 

Delicious club sandwich (Click for more)

1. Club Sandwich

Towering triple-decker club sandwiches are one of the best things you can order at a diner. This one has the classic combo of turkey, ham, and bacon, but you can skip the ham, sub in roast beef, or use any of your favorite deli meats you want. Just make sure you always toast your bread and use plenty of mayonnaise.

Recipe: Spend With Pennies

Homemade Cheesy Patty Melt Sandwich

2. Patty Melt

Why make a boring burger when you can make a patty melt instead? The grilled cheese-like creation is much more satisfying thanks to the grilled onions and crunchy rye bread. Plus, you get a double dose of cheese (use a slice of cheddar and American cheese for flavor and gooey texture). 

Recipe: AllRecipes

Eggs and Fries with small pieces of fat pork meat, onion and garlic

3. Home Fries

It's an age-old diner aficionado debate: hash browns versus home fries. We're camp home fries because once you master it, you can add anything you want and turn it into a full-meal skillet. The key to golden home fries perfection is par cooking the potatoes, so don't skip it. (You can skip the onions if you want, though.)

Recipe: The Kitchn

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Serving of chicken noodle soup in a bowl

4. Chicken Noodle Soup

Diners always have chicken noodle soup, and it's the ultimate comfort food you can make at home. This recipe is a classic, filled with celery, carrots, and homemade egg noodles. It calls for chicken broth, and while you can use canned, it's best with homemade if you have time. Fresh dill, lemon juice, and rice are also welcome additions.

Recipe: Tastes Better From Scratch

Related: 11 Cheap and Delicious Canned Cream of Chicken Soup Recipes

Savory Homemade Corned Beef Hash

5. Corned Beef Hash

Skip the canned corned beef hash at home because your favorite diner version isn't from a can, either. It's a simple mix of potatoes, chopped corned beef, and onions that are fried until crispy. You can determine just how finely chopped you want all the ingredients, and top off the dish with sunny side up eggs.

Recipe: The Country Cook

Related: The Most Charming Retro Diner in Every State

Biscuits and Gravy

6. Biscuits and Gravy

Biscuits and gravy takes a little time to make, but it's not difficult. This recipe includes buttermilk biscuits from scratch, which are absolutely worth the effort. Once those are in the oven, the sausage gravy only has a few ingredients and comes together fast. Don't skimp on the black pepper.

Recipe: Brown Eyed Baker

Related: 8 Mouthwatering Fast-Food Biscuits

Homemade Country Fried Steak

7. Chicken Fried Steak

Chicken fried steak is another stick-to-your-ribs diner classic. Cube steak is coated in a thick, seasoned buttermilk and flour breading that stays nice and crunchy after frying. Once the steaks have been fried, use a little bit of the remaining oil, which is now full of beef flavor, to make your creamy gravy.

Recipe: AllRecipes

Homemade Sourdough Pancakes with Butter

8. Buttermilk Pancakes

If you haven't already noticed, buttermilk seems to be a theme in the down home cooking of diner foods. It's especially great in pancake batter because it gives them an unmistakable tang. Letting the batter rest for 15 minutes before cooking it hydrates the flour, so you have fluffy, tender pancakes ready to soak up butter and maple syrup.

Recipe: King Arthur Flour

Omelette with cheese and fresh tomatoes garnish.
Vasil Dimitrov/istockphoto

9. Ham and Cheese Omelet

Diner omelets are always fluffy, a little brown on the outside, and stuffed with cheese and other fillings. Salting the eggs before beating instead of the finished product keeps the eggs moist and tender. Though this is a ham and cheese omelet, you can put any of your favorites inside — just cook them first.

Recipe: Serious Eats

Onion Rings

10. Onion Rings

If you're willing to deep fry at home, there's nothing like freshly cooked onion rings. These have an old fashioned breadcrumb coating so they're crunchy and golden brown. Use a sweet onion, like a Vidalia if you can find one — otherwise, a white or yellow onion will do.

Recipe: AllRecipes

cold cocktail in a glass with a straw

11. Strawberry Milkshake

Milkshakes are a breeze to make at home, and a real treat, too. Strawberry is a fantastic flavor to make in the summer when the berries are at their peak. Stirring sugar into the sliced berries and letting them sit for a while intensifies their flavor. Make sure you use a high quality vanilla ice cream for the best result.

Recipe: Food Network

Salisbury steak cooking

12. Salisbury Steak

Salisbury steak is an old school blue plate special that's easy to make at home yourself. The "steaks" are made with ground beef and are similar to meatloaf. Once cooked, you make an onion and mushroom gravy in the same pan so it's a one-pot meal. You'll definitely want to serve this with mashed potatoes.

Recipe: The Girl Who Ate Everything

Sweet Homemade French Silk Pie

13. French Silk Pie

Pie is a must for dessert at a diner. French silk pie is a fan favorite with its chocolate mousse-like filling and mounds of whipped cream. This recipe uses an Oreo crust for ease and some extra chocolate flavor, but you can also use a baked pastry crust if you prefer. Whatever you do, don't skip the chocolate shavings on top.

Recipe: Handle The Heat

Homemade Toasted Tuna Melt Sandwich

14. Tuna Melt

You either love tuna or you hate it, but there's no denying that tuna melts are a diner classic. This is a basic recipe for a simple tuna salad grilled with cheese on white bread. Feel free to doctor up the tuna salad to your liking, with celery, capers, dill, or mustard. (If you prefer an open-faced tuna melt on English muffins, try this recipe.)

Recipe: Tastes Better From Scratch

French Toast

15. French Toast

French toast usually plays second fiddle to pancakes or waffles, but it deserves its own spotlight. It's super easy, it's a great way to use up bread that's been hanging around too long, and you can flavor or top it with anything. Sandwich bread works just fine, but you can also experiment with cinnamon swirl bread, sliced croissants, or banana bread.

Recipe: Spend With Pennies