25 Recipes Even Mother-In-Laws Will Approve Of

Sierra M. Allia | Oct 29, 2018 Food & Party
25 Recipes Even Mother-In-Laws Will Approve Of

baked salmon dinner

Every wife and mom knows the anxiety that comes with having the in-laws over for dinner. The one thing that a mother wants to know about her son after he's grown-up and married, is that his wife can take care of him as well as she did. Of course, we shouldn't compare our cooking style or skill to that of our spouse's mother (and neither should he), but we naturally want to impress her, as much as we want the food to be tasty. And dear mother-in-law, as sweet as she may be, is definitely going to be looking with a critical eye to make sure we past the test. 

Even if our in-laws are easy to please, as a wife and woman of the house, we take pride in our cooking and hosting skills. There's nothing more gratifying than the silence of room full of people enjoying a meal we've labored so hard on all day.

When planning to entertain dinner guests, there are so many things to consider. What kind of cuisine? How many courses should there be? Do all the dishes complement each other? Just thinking about it is exhausting. But there's one thing one can never go wrong with: The classics -- good old-fashioned dishes that almost everyone loves. 

Even if these aren't meals that we eat regularly, it's always nice to have some hearty go-to recipes under our belt, in case of any surprise visits from guests. Who doesn't love a perfectly cheesy baked macaroni and cheese, with a slightly burnt top? Or the sweet smell of cinnamon emanating through the house from a freshly baked apple pie? There are just some recipes that totally satisfy the whole family -- and that includes even the nit-pickiest mother-in-law. Now that all our mouths are watering, let's take a look at a bunch of recipes that even the strictest of mom-in-laws won't be able to resist. 

  • Biscuits 


    With all the food that we're about to go through, the last thing we might think about adding to the mix is more carbs. But when making a spread, it's always nice to have some biscuits on the side, whether it's to sop up the sauce from the black-eyed peas or to place a few pieces of the turkey wings in the middle. They also are great as leftovers, for breakfast the next morning.

    Get this recipe here.

  • Cornbread


    The sweet little sister to rolls and biscuits is cornbread. If she has a choice, my daughter will always go for the cornbread, for obvious reasons. 

    Get the recipe here.

  • Steak & Potatoes


    The "hungry man's" meal, steak and potatoes, although simple, is sure to fill the belly. This recipe puts a slight twist on the T-bone steak paired with a jacket baked potato. 

    Get recipe here.

  • Fried Chicken & Waffles


    I don't know why, but I find frying chicken so hard to master. In addition to getting the seasoning right, the temperature and breading have to be just right. Too hot, and the coating will burn too fast while the insides are undercooked. That's why I'm so happy there are recipes like this on the web, to give us the exact steps to make the perfect chicken wings. And nothing goes better with fried chicken than waffles; a meal that can be good day or night.

    Get the recipe here.

  • Chicken Pot Pie


    Growing up, one of the quick meals that my dad would always make was Marie Callendar's microwaveable pot pies. They have everything one needs for a meal:  meat, veggies, and a tasty crust! 

    Get the recipe here.

  • Crab Cakes


    One of the most refreshing summer meals is a bucket of steamed crab legs. There's nothing like sitting around the table as a family, cracking them open and devouring all the meat inside. But let's say we don't feel like going through all of that work, and want to get right to the meat? Crab cakes are a great option.

    Get the recipe here.

  • Pork Chops


    There are so many different ways to eat pork chops -- fried, grilled, baked. This recipe reminds us that chops can be sauteed!

    Get the recipe here

  • Glazed Chipotle Meatloaf


    I've never made meatloaf, but I love it. When prepared right, it can be delicious, satisfying, and last for days. This dish is especially appetizing when paired with mac and cheese with a side of greens.

    Get the recipe here.

  • Baked Salmon


    Salmon is one of the most popular (if not the most popular) types of fish. Cooking it at home can be challenging, but there's no need to be afraid. It's surprisingly quick and simple.  

    Get the recipe here.

  • Barbecue Ribs


    Barbecue sauce and ribs were made for each other. Together, they are a match made in heaven. To ensure they're especially divine and falling off the bone, use a recipe like the one here. 

    Get the recipe here.

  • Shrimp & Grits


    Let's take a trip to the New Orleans with this Cajun-inspired dish. Shrimp and grits is another one of those meals that feels right to eat at any time of day. 

    Get the recipe here.

  • Baked Turkey Wings


    When people think of baking poultry, they usually go straight to chicken, and that's OK. A great alternative is the meatier, larger turkey wing. Make sure to get the seasoning right and keep them moist.

    Get the recipe here.

  • Macaroni & Cheese


    Out of all these recipes, this is probably the one that we all just have to master. Why? After pizza, mac and cheese is most children's favorite meal, and every adult's guilty pleasure. 

    Get the recipe here.

  • Potato Salad


    There are so many memes online about potato salad and getting the seasoning right that we simply can't get the dish wrong. Not in 2018! This recipe includes hard boiled eggs, which helps make it more of a complete dish.

    Get the recipe here.

  • Mashed Potatoes & Gravy


    Mashed potatoes are another kid-friendly dish, which means the MIL will more likely approve. Kids love carbs. This recipe shows us how to actually make homemade mashed potatoes, as opposed to the instant ones in the box. 

    Get the recipe here and here.

  • Green Beans & Potatoes


    For many years, green beans were the dish that I'd bring to every potluck. Besides the fact that I just love them (especially french-cut), they're also incredibly easy to make. Vegetables can sometimes be overlooked at dinners, and this is an easy way to make sure that there are some. 

    Get the recipe here.

  • Mixed Greens


    Leafy greens -- we love them in our salads, we hear about their benefits all over the news. Of course, raw is the best way to go when it comes to veggies, but cooked greens are still good for us. This recipe combines three types of greens -- collard, kale, and mustard -- and mixes them with turnips.

    Get recipe here.

  • Roasted Vegetables


    Another way to eat vegetables (that isn't cooking them down until their limp) is roasting. This recipe has three types of veggies all in one, sprinkled with a little bit of Parmesan.

    Get the recipe here.

  • Baked Beans


    I don't think I've ever been to a cookout where there weren't baked beans. If hot dogs are there, the beans have to be there. Even if hot dogs aren't there (hopefully, they won't be, at dinner with mom-in-law), they're a great side dish for almost any entree.

    Get the recipe here.

  • Black-Eyed Peas


    Black-eyed peas, which originally came from West Africa, are most often eaten with rice. Growing up, when money was low, my family and I would eat beans on their own as a warm and hearty alternative to soup. Usually seasoned with pork, this recipe replaces it with smoked turkey, which is just as flavorful.

    Get the recipe here.

  • Creamed Spinach Casserole


    We're laying it on thick with the vegetables, I know. I'm a mom after all, always looking for fun ways to give my daughter vegetables. Creamed spinach is a dish I remember eating growing up before I fell in love with spinach on its own. This should definitely score some major brownie points with mom-in-law.

    Get the recipe here.

  • Candied Yams


    A vegetable that can serve as both a side and a dessert is the yam. A delicious, relatively healthy option for snack or lunch by day, transforms into a sweet, nutty, dish with an aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg, and maple.

    Get the recipe here.

  • Bread Pudding 


    Time for dessert! Bread pudding is a heavy dessert, and probably should be eaten a couple hours after dinner. But even if we only take a couple bites, a really great bread pudding is worth the extra situps.

    Get the recipe here

  • Peach Cobbler


    Fresh peaches are often super sweet when ripe and a dessert fruit on their own. But when made into a cobbler, something interesting happens. While still sweet, the cooking brings out the tartness, and mixed with whatever sweetener and crust one chooses, makes for something quite delectable.

    Get the recipe here.

  • Apple Pie


    Remember the smell of cinnamon and freshly baked crust we were imagining earlier? Here's how to bring it into your home (not in a candle form). 

    Get the recipe here.

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