Whether you’re relishing late-night poutine after a night out with friends or sharing a stack of pancakes with your preschooler during a family brunch, diners cater to everyone, regardless of age or stage in life. Thanks to their extended hours and wallet-friendly options, diners offer a welcoming atmosphere to many. But as every foodie knows, nothing can beat a homemade meal. If you’re craving diner food at home, we’ve rounded up our best diner-inspired recipes that are sure to hit the spot.
Parmesan-Crusted Chimichurri Grilled Cheese
Diners bring back cherished childhood favourites, and what’s more nostalgic than grilled cheese? Elevate the classic by incorporating the savoury flavours of Argentine chimichurri. This red wine vinegar-based sauce uses fresh herbs like parsley and cilantro and adds a gourmet twist to the sandwich.
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This recipe uses turkey to put a spin on the classic chicken and waffles diner entree. Ideal for repurposing holiday dinner leftovers, you’ll use those extra potatoes to create delicious waffles and drizzle the turkey with sweet cranberry sauce. It’s the type of meal that’s destined to become a cherished family tradition.
Smash Burger Tacos
You can never go wrong with ordering a smash burger at a classic diner. But if you’re craving a burger at home, give this taco recipe a shot. It’s a playful nod to the classic burger and uses ingredients you probably already have stocked in your fridge: ground beef, American cheese, tortillas, lettuce, mayo and pantry-staple seasonings.
This isn’t your classic diner meatloaf, it’s much better. Follow this recipe for kid-approved mini meatloaves with a perfectly caramelized ketchup-glazed crust. Bonus: they’re made in the air fryer, which means dinner will be on the table sooner.
Sausage Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole
Relive the nostalgia of high school and college breakfast dates at the local diner by making this hearty sausage, cheese, and hashbrown casserole at home.
Fluffy Chickpea Pancakes
Splitting a few savoury and sweet dishes is always a good idea when you’re at a diner with friends. After all, who can say no to a shared stack of fluffy pancakes? Try this pancake recipe with chickpeas for an extra plant-based protein boost.
Winter Greens Mac and Cheese
Cooking diner-style food at home doesn’t mean you have to skip out on a serving of veggies. This macaroni recipe includes grated Gruyere cheese, white cheddar, and chopped winter greens for a well-rounded, cozy meal that doesn’t sacrifice taste.
Chicken Caesar Salad Burger
Gourmet burgers have the power to transform a regular weeknight dinner into a nostalgic reminiscent of your favourite late-night diner entree. This chicken burger takes inspiration from the classic dish and calls for Parmesan, creamy Caesar mayo, and crisp romaine lettuce for a memorable menu mashup.
Related: Our Favourite Burgers Across Canada
Melty, Cheesy Kimchi Poutine
Poutines are a must-have at any Canadian diner. Although we hold dear the classic version, introducing spicy kimchi-infused gravy brings an unexpected kick foodies will appreciate.
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Apple Hand Pies
After a comforting homestyle diner dinner, treat yourself to a classic dessert: warm and flaky apple pie. This air fryer recipe keeps it simple by using store-bought puff pastry. Don’t forget to pick up your favourite vanilla ice cream for pie à la mode.