Travel back in time with our retro recipes from decades past. Whether you're feeling nostalgic for your childhood days, looking for food and drink ideas for a 50s, 60s, or 70s theme party, or want to recreate holiday meals of days gone by, we've collected the best throwback recipes that deserve a comeback today. Many of these dishes never really went away (we're looking at you, French onion soup), and others are here to make your childhood dreams come true (hello, homemade Ho Ho cake).
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Pecan Party Cheese Ball
Throw a retro twist into your next shindig with a pecan cheese ball. A popular party appetizer dating back to the '70s, the party cheese ball has never gone out of style, probably because it's so easy and cheesy, and makes a great buffet centerpiece. Our classic, pecan-crusted version is a yummy spread for crackers, crudites, and crostini.
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Grape Jelly Meatballs
Grape jelly meatballs may sound unusual, but this funky little dish delivers big-time flavor. The tasty morsels of seasoned lean ground beef slathered in a tangy jelly sauce are ideal for tailgating, holiday parties, and potluck lunches, and can be made in the slow cooker with tips included in the recipe.
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Classic Oysters Rockefeller
Jules Alciatore, of Antoine's Restaurant in New Orleans, created oysters Rockefeller in 1899. His great-grandson, Roy F. Guste Jr., wrote in Antoine's Restaurant Since 1840 Cookbook (1979) that the dish was created as a replacement for snails, which were scarce at the time. Guste says that he named the dish after John D. Rockefeller—one of the country's richest men—because the sauce was so rich.
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Keto Pigs in a Blanket
Pigs in a blanket (aka miniature hot dogs wrapped in buttery pastry) are always a popular snack at potlucks and holiday parties, but are typically high in carbs. Now you can enjoy them and remain in ketosis with our genius recipe that swaddles lil' smokies in a keto-friendly dough made with almond flour and cheese, and tops them with an irresistible "everything bagel" seasoning mix.Continue to 5 of 34 below.
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Harvey Wallbanger Cocktail
The Harvey Wallbanger is a rocking vintage cocktail from the 1950s with loads of visual appeal. It's essentially a screwdriver, with one special difference. The simple mixture of vodka and orange juice is topped with Galliano, a vivid yellow Italian herbal liqueur, and garnished with an orange slice and a maraschino cherry.
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Ho Ho Cake
This is not your Hostess Ho Hos snack cake from the store. Our newfangled twist on the packaged chocolate treat that has delighted kids for decades is a homemade Swiss roll, filled with a wonderfully light and fluffy whipped cream filling, and topped with a rich chocolate ganache. Growing up can be good!
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City Chicken (Mock Chicken Drumsticks)
City chicken belongs to that category of "mock foods" that were born of necessity, and evolved into beloved comfort foods. The faux chicken drumsticks were originally made from pork scraps and fried, but we use ground veal or pork for our oven-baked version, breading them with buttery cracker crumbs.
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If you get misty-eyed thinking of the snowball snack cakes from your childhood, you will adore this nostalgic treat. Instead of individually wrapped desserts, you get a wintry chocolate cake that's perfect for holiday celebrations. The fudgey sponge is filled with marshmallow creme, and topped with an epic pile of coconut-covered doughnut holes.Continue to 9 of 34 below.
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Old-Fashioned Chow Mein Tuna Bake
In the 1960s, the tuna casserole was a family staple, and a topping of crunchy chow mein noodles was considered the cat's meow. Recreate this nostalgic weeknight bake-up with just a few convenient ingredients, and 30 minutes of baking time. Feel free to add in canned water chestnuts for a truly throwback dinner.
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Heinz 57 Meatloaf
Heinz 57 steak sauce lends its signature flavor to this tasty vintage meatloaf. The budget-friendly combination of ground beef, seasoned breadcrumbs, onion, and bottled sauce is oh-so easy to mix up and bake in a loaf pan. Topped with more of the tangy sauce, it makes a filling family dinner with mashed potatoes, and great next-day sandwiches, too.
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A classic of British cuisine, beef Wellington takes its name after the Duke of Wellington and has graced global tables throughout the decades. Our recipe is a take on that famous dish, shaped likewise, equally tasty, but with flavorful and juicy pork tenderloin instead, salty and fatty prosciutto to wrap the pork, and a mixture of mushrooms and shallots to encase the loin.
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Peppermint Patty Cocktail
Tantalize your sweet tooth with a creamy and cooling peppermint patty cocktail. Inspired by the popular movie candy treat, this shaken cocktail includes chocolate vodka, peppermint schnapps, and your choice of cream liqueur. It's the perfect spiked winter bevvie to get you into the holiday spirit.Continue to 13 of 34 below.
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Spam Fried Rice
Canned Spam is a cultural icon that gained popularity after its use during World War II. It inspired tons of throwback recipes and this family-friendly fried rice is up there with our favorites. Spam adds salty, meaty flavor, and a good amount of protein, to this inexpensive, one-pan, Asian-inspired dinner made with leftover cooked rice, fridge or freezer veggies, and a handful of chopped peanuts for crunch.
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Banana Pudding Cheesecake
Move over, banana bread. When you've got overripe bananas on the counter, that's the time to make this insanely delicious and soul-soothing banana pudding cheesecake. With a classic banana pudding filling nestled into a vanilla cookie crust, all decorated with fresh banana slices, it's got a bit of nostalgia in every bite.
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Old Fashioned Egg Cream
You don't have to travel back in time to a 1950s soda shop for this nostalgic, creamy, bubbly blended treat. Whip up a vintage-style egg cream that would delight the Riverdale gang with our easy recipe that needs just 3 simple ingredients — and mysteriously, not a single egg in sight.
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Homemade Hot Pockets
Hot Pockets have been a frozen food classic for decades. Kids love their pizza flavor, and parents love their quick heating time. We've figured out the secret to making them at home, so you can stash them in your freezer for whenever a pizza craving strikes.Continue to 17 of 34 below.
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Easy French Onion Soup
French Onion Soup is a timeless steakhouse favorite. This easy onion soup is a classic French recipe a crisp bread and ooey-gooey cheese topping. The original came from Paris, France in the 18th century, but landed in the New York in 1861 thanks to Henri Mouquin and his chef wife Marie Julie Grandjean Mouquin.
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Raspberry Cool Whip Jello Dessert
When you're pressed for time, there's no dessert easier to whip up than a pink and pleasing bowl of raspberry Jello combined with whipped topping, and then layered with a mixture of cream cheese, sugar, and Cool Whip. Garnished with fresh red berries, it's even pretty enough to serve at baby or bridal showers.
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Easy Beef Stroganoff
Beef stroganoff has been a popular and budget-conscious American family meal for decades. We've perfected the recipe, with just 10 ingredients, starting with canned condensed mushroom soup, so you can make it for weeknight dinners anytime. Kids love its creamy, meaty taste over noodles, and adults will love how far it stretches cooked leftover beef.
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Seafoam candy, sometimes called sponge candy or honeycomb, is a scrumptious vintage treat. You may be surprised at how quick and easy it is to create in your kitchen with 4 basic ingredients, and kids will love helping you out with the science experiment. Enjoy it solo, or as a sweet and crunchy topping for bowls of vanilla ice cream.Continue to 21 of 34 below.
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Thousand Island Dressing
Thousand Island dressing may rely on humble ingredients (as in mayo, ketchup, mustard, and spices), but don't let that fool you. In just 5 minutes, you can whip up this "secret sauce" for topping green salads, slathering on burgers, spreading in sandwiches and wraps, or as a tangy dip for raw veggies.
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Creamy chicken tetrazzini is a great make-ahead dish for entertaining or taking to potlucks. It is a big, bubbly pasta bake with tender morsels of chicken, and spaghetti noodles, in a cheesy, buttery sauce. Feel free to fold in some canned or chopped fresh mushrooms for an extra boost of nutrition and savory flavor.
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Ambrosia Fruit Salad
For many families, holidays would be incomplete without an ambrosia salad on the table. This is the classic, creamy fruit salad of your childhood memories, brimming with pineapple chunks, Mandarin orange segments, seedless grapes, maraschino cherries, coconut flakes, and the essential miniature marshmallows, dressed in a sour cream sauce.
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Classic Root Beer Float
The root beer float is a classic American treat from the days of drive-ins and ice cream parlors. They are so easy to prepare with 2 ingredients, even kids can assemble them on their own. To make them more special, chill the glasses in advance, and serve with colorful straws for sipping.Continue to 25 of 34 below.
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Rumaki Chicken Liver and Bacon Appetizer
Rumaki is a popular party finger food from decades past, when Polynesian culture captured American imaginations. The crispy, savory little bundles of marinated chicken livers and canned water chestnuts wrapped in bacon may sound unusual, but are remarkably tasty. If you don't like liver, try them with cubed pineapple instead.
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Fruit Cocktail Upside Down Cake
This old-fashioned frozen fruit salad will remind you of your grandmother's salad. It is a very easy preparation and makes an excellent fruit salad for a holiday menu. Use canned fruit cocktail or dice a combination of pineapple chunks, peaches, maraschino cherries, pears, and apricots. This cool treat will appeal to adults and kids alike.
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Chicken a la King Casserole With Noodles
Easy, creamy, chicken a la King is fuss-free family comfort food at its best. Our version of the vintage recipe combines combines tender chicken with egg noodles, cheddar cheese, pimientos, and slivered almonds in a creamy sauce that uses canned soup. Topped with a buttery breadcrumb crust, it is always a hit at dinnertime.
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Green Goddess Salad Dressing
Once the queen of salad dressings in the 1970s, green goddess dressing still has plenty to offer today. Cool and creamy with fresh herbs and mayonnaise, and boosted by Caesar-style flavorings such as garlic and anchovy paste, it is a fabulous, grown-up dip you can serve on salads, with fresh vegetables, or in cold noodle bowls.Continue to 29 of 34 below.
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Black and White Cookies
Black and white cookies have been a longtime popular treat at New York City bakeries and delis. With their lemony flavor, soft cake-like texture, and signature dramatic two-tone icing, they are a great addition to any buffet dessert table, bake sale, or holiday cookie swap.
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Ritz Cracker Pecan Pie
Putting on the Ritz has never been so yummy. Our "mock" pecan pie with a Ritz cracker crust (instead of fussy pastry) is a cinch to assemble and bake, and makes a great Thanksgiving dessert. Sprinkle it with grated chocolate while it's still warm from the oven, for the easiest pecan chocolate pie in history.
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Homemade Dunkaroo Dip
If you’re a child of the 90s, then you fondly remember Dunkaroos. They’re delicious little graham cracker cookies that you dip in a creamy, rainbow-filled frosting. Dunkaroos are making a comeback, but they are extremely hard to find. So, we kept it real and made it as close to the original as we could.
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Deep Fried Twinkies
The Twinkie was created by James Alexander Dewar, a baker for the Continental Baking Company, in Schiller Park, Ill. on April 6, 1930. It was later marketed as a "Golden Sponge Cake with Creamy Filling" by its long-time maker and distributor, Hostess Brands. If you can't resist the creamy filling of a moist Twinkie, think about indulging in one—but fried.Continue to 33 of 34 below.
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Strawberry Jelly or Jell-O Mold
Jell-O molds were all the rage through the 60s and most often get a bad rap these days. This recipe for British strawberry jelly is a fruit-flavored gelatin dessert, similar to what is known in the United States as Jell-O. A budget-friendly dessert, this is a great dish for family affairs during hot days and is fun to eat.
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Savory Beef Broth and Vodka Bull Shot
The bull shot is a drink for acquired tastes—one that you will either love or hate—though it has many devoted fans. It was created in the early 1950s and is often attributed to the Caucus Club in Detroit. Though it was a big hit through '70s (even making an appearance in "A Clockwork Orange" in 1971), the bull shot's making a surprising comeback as it appeals to drinkers looking for that retro vibe.