The Most Popular Recipes of the 1950s

Cherry Angel Food Cake
Photo: abapplez

Feeling nostalgic? Us, too. That's why we rounded up our best 1950s-era recipes handed down over generations. Even if you didn't grow up eating these dishes, you can learn a lot about history from food trends. As you can see from the decade's top recipes, the 1950s were all about the intersection of comfort food and convenience—casseroles and quick dishes like Chicken a la King and Welsh rarebit reigned supreme. Simple sides, classic cocktails, and unforgettable desserts were also huge and set the scene at dinner parties, which were all the rage. Get to know the go-to recipes from the decade that changed food forever.

01 of 30

Kelly's Ham Jell-O(R) Salad

Kelly's Ham Jell-O® Salad
Melissa Goff

During World War II, Jell-O became a popular sugar substitute. The Postwar era, however, took Jell-O to new, and often savory, heights best exemplified by aspics and salads.

02 of 30

Oysters Rockefeller

Oysters Rockefeller
Mobley, Heath

"As a new younger cook I was a bit nervous to make these but have made these the past two Christmas Eves," reviewer Sarsie says. "My family enjoys them so much that I've created a new Christmas Eve tradition and a good cooking reputation for myself!"

03 of 30

Cherry Angel Food Cake

Cherry Angel Food Cake

"I have never made an angel food cake in my life because I thought they would be too difficult," reviewer CHARLOTTE says. "This was delicious. I took it to a church function and it was gone in ten minutes. I am going to try this with different fruit. Thanks for sharing this recipe."

04 of 30

Creamed Onions and Peas

Creamed Onions and Peas
Mary Harmon

This veggie-forward side comes together quickly and can be made with either fresh or frozen peas. Several reviewers also report success with canned peas. Feel free to double the spices to amp up the flavor.

05 of 30

Cream of Celery Soup

Cream of Celery Soup

"This is so delicious, you won't be able to go back to the canned stuff," reviewer KATHY says. "I needed a recipe for cream of celery, that I could convert to gluten free, and this fit the bill perfectly! The taste is wonderful, and like others, I left the veggies in, and just whizzed the soup with my immersion blender. Fantastic results."

06 of 30

Best Easy Chicken Croquettes

Best Easy Chicken Croquettes

"I have always loved chicken croquettes but found them cumbersome to prepare," review CTL314 says. "This recipe was quite easy and very quick. Instead of chicken, I substituted the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving.

07 of 30

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie VIII

It doesn't get more comforting and classic than chicken pot pie. This pot pie comes together in just more than an hour, but you can use a pre-made crust to cut down on time.

08 of 30

Secret Recipe Chicken Fricassee

Secret Recipe Chicken Fricassee
Cristina Angel

"This was my Grandma's secret family recipe from her French ancestors," creator jodilmayer says. "I have never seen a recipe like this on any site. It's a rich creamy sauce over chicken...great with mashed potatoes. A great dish for Easter or Christmas."

09 of 30

Chicken Thigh Fricassee with Mushrooms and Rosemary

Chicken Thigh Fricassee with Mushrooms and Rosemary
Cathy Hornback

When chicken thighs meet mushrooms, garlic, rosemary, olives, tomatoes, and white wine, good things happen. This recipe is simple to prepare and delicious, even as leftovers.

10 of 30


manhattan classic cocktail

Mid-century drinkers were all about cocktails, and the Manhattan is no exception. This particular recipe shakes things up a bit, especially if you don't have bitters on hand.

11 of 30

Rockin' Oysters Rockefeller

Rockin' Oysters Rockefeller
Photo by Polik. Polik

"The BEST!!! We have been making Oysters Rockefeller as a 'traditional appetizer' for Christmas Eve for years," reviewer Rhonda says. "We have tried recipe after recipe ... This is now 'THE RECIPE' we will use...the search is over."

12 of 30

Salmon Casserole Surprise

Salmon Casserole Surprise on a wooden background

"This was [surprisingly] DELICIOUS," says reviewer SubtleButStrong. "The photo doesn't look appetizing but trust me it's a brilliant idea to combine salmon, potatoes, and a cream sauce."

13 of 30

Real Welsh Rarebit

Real Welsh Rarebit

"Real Welsh Rarebit is pure comfort food," reviewer Cookie Momster says. "This would be good dish for lunch with the family on a rainy day. Since this recipe comes together so quickly and my entire family enjoys it it may become part of our regular roster."

14 of 30

Lemon Chiffon Pie

Slice of lemon chiffon pie with whipped cream

"This pie is fabulous," reviewer larkspur says. "I can't even begin to describe how absolutely delicious it is...or was. I made it for a church dinner and it was the first dessert to be eaten up."

15 of 30

Best Tuna Casserole

Best Tuna Casserole
Best Tuna Casserole. Mackenzie Schieck

"This casserole is very good and quite possibly the best one of it's type that I've tasted so far," reviewer Michelle Roth-Kiva says. "It reminds me of the tuna casserole that my grandma and mom made when I was a child but even better!!! This is perfect for kids!!! I omitted the mushrooms since I don't like them. This goes well with a tall cold glass of milk and Oreos for dessert or if time allows a Jell-O salad (i.e. cherry cola Jell-O salad) & homemade brownies. Yum! Yum!"

16 of 30

Seven Layer Gelatin Salad

Seven Layer Gelatin Salad

"This recipe is a lot of fun! My children ask for it constantly and look forward to times when we have to bring a dessert to make it," says reviewer AMBERSACHS. "[It's] also a good idea to add fruit to some of the layers."

17 of 30

Old Fashioned Cocktail

Old Fashioned Cocktail

You just can't go wrong with this classic drink. Don't forget the extra-large ice cubes, which will melt slowly and keep the integrity of the cocktail longer.

18 of 30

Orange Sherbet Salad

Orange Sherbet Salad I

"This recipe is so easy to make and my kids loved it," says reviewer ELLENR. "It is so good it could pass as dessert."

19 of 30

Retro Ground Beef Casserole with Biscuits

Retro Ground Beef Casserole with Biscuits
Retro Ground Beef Casserole with Biscuits. Lela

Casserole is already comforting, but add biscuits and that cozy feeling goes to new heights. This old-school dish only takes a little over an hour to prepare and will taste even better the next day.

20 of 30

Chicken a la King

Chicken a la King III
Dawn Drummond Hause

Chicken a la King is a classic for a reason. It's easy to prepare but seems super indulgent, and a foolproof 30-minute meal.

21 of 30

Sarah's Knish

Sarah's Knish

"This is an excellent, easy recipe! The filling is simple yet flavorful, and you can easily create variations by adding cheese, meat, or other vegetables," reviewer ginger says. "The pastry was easy to handle, cooked well, and tasted delicious."

22 of 30

Gimlet Cocktail

Gimlet Gin Cocktail
Gimlet | Photo by Meredith.

The gimlet, another classic cocktail, is a perfect combination of gin and lime.

23 of 30

Cream of Tomato

Cream of Tomato

Creator Lisa P says this timeless soup is "best done with fresh ripe tomatoes, but also very good with canned tomatoes. If you use fresh herbs, you will need more than dried (in proportion, three times more). I ate this soup for the first time when I visited an aunt. She made this just for me. Over the years, I made my own version to match the taste I remembered."

24 of 30

Honey Ginger Carrots

Honey Ginger Carrots

This healthy side is a cinch to make and packed with flavor. For best results, use fresh ginger instead of powder. Be sure the carrots are cut thin enough to absorb the flavors and cook quickly.

25 of 30

Peppermint Chiffon Cake

peppermint chiffon bundt cake on a cake stand and sliced

"This was absolutely delicious," says reviewer JINGRUM. "Everyone wanted the recipe. Looks more complicated than it really is. Very easy to make. I frosted it with Cool Whip and put some holiday sprinkles on top. Rave reviews!!"

26 of 30

Creamed Tuna on Toast

Creamed Tuna on Toast
Sam Hedges

If you're looking for a quick, easy, and warm kid-friendly meal, this is it. Reviewers recommend halfing the amount of milk for a less runny texture.

27 of 30

Broiled Grapefruit

a bowl holding Broiled Grapefruit

Give your daily dose of vitamin C a bit of extra sweetness with some broiled grapefruit. The simple side pairs well with both sweet and savory breakfasts.

28 of 30

Old-Time Penny Candy Buttons

Old-Time Penny Candy Buttons

"While using royal icing, I saw how it peeled off parchment paper just like the candy buttons from the 1950's," creator SHORECOOK says. "This inspired me to give candy buttons a try. As a child it was a good buy for a penny, and quantity was important."

29 of 30

Raspberry Chiffon Pie

Raspberry Chiffon Pie II
Beth Renaud Mercer

"I had totally forgotten all about this wonderful refreshing summer dessert my mother used to fix this often when I was a child in the 40's and 50's," reviewer Elizabeth Duckworth says. "it's funny how recipes go away and return and they're new all over again! I made this last week and I thank a few of you who mentioned the large amount of filling this recipe makes so I did mine in an 8-inch springform pan and let it sit in the refrigerator over night it was tall and pretty especially with a few blueberries on top. I like to beat an egg white roll the berries in it then sprinkle them with sugar."

30 of 30

Carrot Gelatin Salad

Carrot Gelatin Salad
glow byler

"This was a holiday favorite at Grandma's house," says reviewer KeepMeAwake. "Grandma also sometimes added some shredded cabbage if she had some. Great way to get the kids to eat their veggies. Please pass the lemon jello:). "

Was this page helpful?
You’ll Also Love