Midwest Living Prizewinning Reader Recipes
Browse the winning main dishes, sides dishes and desserts from our Best of the Midwest® recipe contests. They highlight regional flavors with fresh accents.
Spinach-Mushroom-Sausage Pierogi Bake
You don't get much easier than this recipe from Jan Valdez of Chicago! Saute a few ingredients, stir in cream cheese to make a sauce, and dump it all over frozen pierogis in a casserole dish. (You don't even need to thaw the pierogis!)
Salted Caramel, Chocolate and Peanut Cracker-Stack Bars
These fantastic potluck bars come from Patrice Hurd of Bemidji, Minnesota. She won the grand prize in a Best of the Midwest Recipe Contest. Patrice says they're a twist on her grandmother's cracker bars. They cut beautifully and brim with salty-sweet-nutty-chocolately flavor.
Italian Dinner Soup
Gail Gladding-Pullara of Oregon, Wisconsin, created this simple, crowd-pleasing soup. "My family loves this recipe," she says. "It's easy and tastes like you've been cooking for hours."
Sticky Asian Pork Wrap
A $1,000 winner in our annual recipe contest, this colorful sandwich from Lori McLain of Denton, Texas, is a flavor twist on a classic Midwestern tenderloin sandwich.
Chocolate Hazelnut Cream Cheese Puffs
Dawn Logterman of Verona, Wisconsin, created this clever twist on the classic cream puffs served at the Wisconsin State Fair. Her recipe was a finalist in our annual recipe contest.
Milk-Braised Pork with Cheesy Grits
There are a lot of ingredients in this spruced-up comfort-food dish, but trust us, it's worth the effort for a weekend treat. The recipe from Michael Watz of Chicago was a finalist in our Best of the Midwest® recipe contest.
Cranberry-Orange Wild Rice Muffins
This North Woods-inspired recipe from Cheryl Francke of Arden Hills, Minnesota, was a finalist in a Best of the Midwest recipe contest.
Peanut Butter Buckeye Brownie Cheesecake
Dawn Moore of Warren, Pennsylvania, grew up sampling buckeye candy from neighboring Ohio. It was the muse for this outrageously rich and creamy dessert she created.
Walleye Wild Rice Cakes with Wasabi Dressing
Cindi Rockwell of Berkley, Michigan, says this recipe, which has two signature Minnesota ingredients, was inspired by the resort her grandparents owned there.
Peach Cordial Mini Bundt Cakes
The memory of a childhood orchard trip inspired Melinsa Murphey of Olathe, Kansas, to create this recipe. The cakes are moist and sweet and quite generously proportioned, so you may want to serve a half-cake to each person (or bake them in muffin cups instead).
Roasted Cherry Tomato Chutney on Squash
Annie France of Mission, Kansas, invented this beautiful summer dish. Juicy cherry tomatoes are roasted and served over spaghetti squash with herbs and mozzarella balls. Annie says she serves it as a side dish, but we think it would make a fantastic meatless main.
Very Cherry Hazelnut Coffee Cake
David Dahlman of Chatsworth, California, says this yeasty coffee cake reminds him of the old-fashioned, down-to-earth treats on his grandmother's farm table. It takes time because it's a yeast-leavened dough, but there's no kneading required.
Meat and Potato Pizza
Chalk this recipe up as an occasional indulgence. It's topped with a totally mouth-watering combo of thin-sliced potatoes, bacon, sausage and a delectable garlic-rosemary butter. The recipe comes from Hidemi Walsh of Plainfield, Indiana.
This recipe, submitted by Melanie Madore of Ashland, Missouri, was a finalist in our recipe contest. Unlike many pumpkin chilis, what sets this one apart is using cubed pumpkin (or butternut squash) rather than canned.
Spiced Pecan Sweet Potato Cake
Deborah Biggs of Omaha completes this amazingly moist dessert with Maple Whipped Cream. Spiced Pecan Sweet Potato Cake
Wisconsin Harvest Pie
This almond-kissed, fruit-packed pie comes from David Harper, of Richland Center, Wisconsin. He likes to serve it with a wedge of Wisconsin cheese, but it's just as good with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream! The recipe was a finalist in our annual recipe contest.
Jen's White Burger
This sandwich looks a bit plain, but appearances can be deceiving. It's packed with flavor. Mustard, herbs and lemon zest season the meat, which is topped with wine-poached pears, sharp cheddar and pepper jelly. The recipe comes from Jen Smallwood of Portsmouth, Virginia.
Cranberry Sausage-Stuffed Pork Chops with Pumpkin Gravy
This recipe from Linda Kay Drysdale of Riverview, Michigan, won the $10,000 top prize in one of our Best of the Midwest recipe contests. Linda's recipe calls for chops cooked in a pressure cooker, which reduces cooking time to a fifth of the oven version. Watching calories? Half a chop satisfies most people.
Caramel and Chocolate Kettle-Corn Crispie Bars
This recipe from Judy Reynolds of Bloomington, Indiana, was the $10,000 winner in our first Best of the Midwest cook-off. Start with a Hoosier staple-popcorn-and stir together these sweet-salty snack bars. Homemade caramel sauce helps makes them a standout.
Skillet Pork and Apple Mini Meat Loaves
Patrice Hurd of Bemidji, Minnesota, says this moist, sweet and tangy comfort food reminds her of Sunday dinner at her grandmother's in northern Minnesota. Best of all, it's fast.
Orange-Laced Blueberry-Rhubarb Cobbler with Almond Biscuits
Barbara Estabrook of Rhinelander, Wisconsin, tops a juicy base with so-tender drop biscuits tasting of almond—-from almond flour! (Purchase it online or at large supermarkets.)
Kiwi Summer Limeade Pie
Refreshing and creamy, this make-ahead pie from Susan Meier of Omaha combines tropical flavors with macadamia nuts and kiwifruit. It's good any time of year.
Cider-Brined Coho Salmon with Dijon Cream
Freshwater salmon soaks up the flavor of cider-tarragon marinade created by Sally Sibthorpe of Shelby Township, Michigan. She finishes the elegant main dish with a cream sauce scented with aniselike tarragon.
Linda Roberts of Rapid City, South Dakota, tops her buttery cream cheese, coconut-coated cookie with fruit jam.
BLT Chicken Sliders
If you haven't embraced chicken burgers yet, this mini burger will change your mind. Barbara Estabrook of Rhinelander, Wisconsin, grills white cheddar sliders and crowns them with bacon and her cranberry ketchup.
Grilled Sirloin Kabobs with Zesty Top City Sauce
Joann Gough-Stallbaumer of Topeka uses Kansas top sirloin steak and a horseradish-mayo dipping sauce in her prizewinning recipe.
Sweet and Sassy Walleye Chowder in Bread Bowls
Linda Rohr of Darien, Connecticut, came up with a Midwest version of East Coast chowder using lake-fresh walleye, corn and sweet potato chunks in a golden bread bowl.
Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake
The famous St. Louis dessert gets a makeover from Emily Hobbs of Springfield, Missouri. She adds pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice to the moist cake.
Orange-Glazed Sweet Potato Breakfast Braid
Cathy Wiechert of Mound, Minnesota, created a moist morning bread with a mellow blend of spices, citrus peel and raisins. It bakes to a gorgeous gold.
This amazing steak sandwich is the creation of Karen Gibson of Cincinnati. The unusual flavor combo? A mix that includes a little chocolate, cinnamon and allspice.
The BMC 2
This bacon-topped muffin was developed by Jill Drury of Chicago. Jill, a pharmacist, used a scientific-formula approach to name her creation based on its ingredients: bacon, maple syrup and cinnamon (squared).
Beef Short Ribs with Cranberry-Port Gravy
Short ribs slow-cook to mouthwatering tenderness in this meaty main dish spiked with cranberry sauce and rosemary. The recipe is from Diane Sparrow of Osage, Iowa.