Vintage Recipes from the '20s Worth Trying Today (2024)

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Vintage Recipes from the '20s Worth Trying Today (1)Caroline StankoUpdated: Sep. 01, 2023

    Get a taste of the Roaring Twenties with these vintage recipes for oysters Rockefeller, finger sandwiches, icebox cakes and more. 1920s food had a lot to offer!

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    Oysters Rockefeller

    My husband and I are oyster farmers, and this classic Oysters Rockefeller dish always delights our guests. It’s deliciously simple! —Beth Walton, Eastham, Massachusetts

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    2/39

    Icebox Cake

    You don't have to bake to serve a wonderful dessert! This icebox cake is made from chocolate wafers and whipping cream. It is so delicious.—Cindy Hawkins, New York, New York

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    3/39

    Old-World Puff Pancake

    My mom told me her mother-in-law showed her how to make this dish, which became popular during the Depression, on their "get acquainted" visit in 1927. At that time, cooks measured ingredients in pinches, dashes and dibs. But through the years, accurate amounts were noted. My wife and I continue to enjoy this dish today, particularly for brunch. —Auton Miller, Piney Flats, Tennessee

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    4/39

    Taste of Home

    Cranberry-Orange Roast Ducklings

    I came up with this recipe few years ago. The first time I served it, there wasn't a speck of food left on the platter and I knew I had a winning recipe.—Gloria Warczak, Cedarburg, Wisconsin

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    5/39

    Taste of Home

    Pretty duch*ess Potatoes

    Comfort-food flavor comes in attractive packages that are just the right size! This recipe is a favorite Christmas dinner or Thanksgiving menu idea. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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    6/39

    Great-Grandma's Italian Meatballs

    My great-grandmother started this easy meatball recipe with our family. We use ground beef and turkey for these meatballs, and the flavor’s so good, you won’t miss the extra calories. —Audrey Colantino, Winchester, Massachusetts

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    7/39

    TMB Studio

    State Fair Cream Puffs

    The Wisconsin Bakers Association has served this cream puff recipe at our state fair since 1924. —Ruth Jungbluth, Dodgeville, Wisconsin

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    8/39

    Here’s a simple yet elegant soup for fall and winter. Everyone enjoys the smooth texture and earthy veggies. For a colorful garnish, sprinkle on chives and pomegranate seeds.—Merry Graham, Newhall, California

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    9/39

    Divinity Candy

    Every Christmas my grandmother and I made divinity candy, just the two of us. I still make it every year. —Anne Clayborne, Walland, Tennessee

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    10/39

    Taste of Home

    Slow-Cooked Chicken a la King

    When I know I'll be having a busy day with little time for cooking, I prepare this tasty main dish. Brimming with tender chicken and colorful vegetables, it smells so good while cooking. —Eleanor Mielke, Snohomish, Washington

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    11/39

    Taste of Home

    Derby Hot Browns

    This classic open-faced sandwich created at the Brown Hotel in Louisville is easy to do with deli or leftover turkey, toast and a quick cheese sauce. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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    12/39

    Vanilla White Chocolate Mousse

    I needed a quick dessert for my daughter's bridal shower, and a co-worker gave me this vanilla mousse recipe. It's so pretty with almonds and raspberries on top. —Marina Castle, Canyon Country, California

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    13/39

    Taste of Home

    Simple Waldorf Salad

    This is my go-to salad when I need a quick little meal. When I want a sweeter taste, I use whipped cream instead of yogurt. —Wendy Masters, East Garafraxa, Ontario

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    14/39

    Taste of Home

    Old-Fashioned Butterscotch Cake with Penuche Frosting

    My aunt, who was born in the 1920s, passed this recipe down to me. She made the cake from scratch from start to finish because she didn't have modern amenities to help her in the kitchen. The penuche frosting goes with the cake nicely. —Beth Vorst, Columbus Grove, Ohio

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    15/39

    Taste of Home

    Makeover Deviled Eggs

    This updated version of a classic appetizer uses only half the egg yolks of the original recipe and calls for soft bread crumbs to help firm up the filling. We replaced the mayo with fat-free mayonnaise and reduced-fat sour cream. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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    16/39

    Chicken Salad Croissant Sandwiches

    Parmesan cheese and dill make this the most incredible chicken salad I’ve ever tasted. These sandwiches are a simple entree to serve at parties, showers or picnics.—Jaclyn Bell, Logan, Utah

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    17/39

    Classic Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

    A classic recipe like this never goes out of style! It’s delicious with the traditional pineapple, but try it with peaches or a combination of cranberries and orange. —Bernardine Melton, Paola, Kansas

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    18/39

    Taste of Home

    Fluffy Cranberry Mousse

    This is a delicious and pretty salad for the holidays, but it's so good that I serve it at other times, too. I got the recipe from a neighbor who had served it with a traditional turkey dinner. —Helen Clement, Hemet, California

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    19/39

    The Ultimate Chicken Noodle Soup

    My first Wisconsin winter was so cold, all I wanted to eat was homemade chicken noodle soup. Of all the chicken noodle soup recipes out there, this type of soup is my favorite and is in heavy rotation from November to April. It has many incredibly devoted fans.—Gina Nistico, Denver, Colorado

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    20/39

    Salmon Mousse Cups

    I make these tempting little tarts frequently for parties. They disappear at an astonishing speed, so I usually double or triple the recipe. The salmon-cream cheese filling and flaky crust will melt in your mouth. —Fran Rowland, Phoenix, Arizona

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    21/39

    Taste of Home

    Blackened Pork Caesar Salad

    When I cook, the goal is to have enough leftovers for lunch the next day. This Caesar with pork has fantastic flavor even when the meat is chilled. —Penny Hedges, Dewdney, British Columbia

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    22/39

    Taste of Home

    Strawberry Charlotte

    My family loves ice cream cake, so they were delighted when I first presented this dessert. It's light, delicious and has a festive presentation. —Scarlett Elrod, Newman, Georgia

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    23/39

    Taste of Home

    Summer Tea Sandwiches

    These dainty tea sandwiches are perfect for casual picnics or luncheons. Tarragon-seasoned chicken complements cucumber and cantaloupe slices. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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    24/39

    Taste of Home

    Hearty Manhattan Clam Chowder

    This veggie-packed clam chowder is savory and satisfying. Butter up some crusty bread and you'll have yourself a complete meal. —Carol Bullick, Royersford, Pennsylvania

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    25/39

    Old-Fashioned Tapioca

    My family loves traditional tapioca, but I don’t always have time to make it. So I came up with this simple recipe that lets us enjoy one of our favorites without all the hands-on time. —Ruth Peters, Bel Air, Maryland

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    26/39

    Taste of Home

    Warm Spiced Cider Punch

    This is a nice warm-up punch. I like to serve it when there is a nip in the air. The aroma of the apple cider, orange juice and spices as the punch simmers in the slow cooker is wonderful. —Susan Smith, Forest, Virginia

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    27/39

    TMB studio

    Cheesy Cream of Asparagus Soup

    Kids may not want to try a vegetable soup, but once they spoon up a mouthful of this cheesy variety, the flavor will keep them coming back for more. —Muriel Lerdal, Humboldt, Iowa

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    28/39

    Jazzy Gelatin

    Finish things off with a bang with this colorful gelatin garnished with fresh grapes. Chock-full of mandarin oranges and crushed pineapple, it's so refreshing that guests won't be able to refrain from seconds. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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    29/39

    Bourbon-Glazed Ham

    Smoky and sweet flavors come through in every bite of this Kentucky-style ham. Since I found this recipe, it’s the only ham I make. —Sue Schiller, Tomahawk, Wisconsin

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    30/39

    Taste of Home

    Honey Whole Wheat Rolls

    Most of the farmers in our area grow wheat, so this recipe definitely represents my region. I bake these rolls often, especially when I'm making soup or stew. —Celecia Stoup, Hobart, Oklahoma

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    31/39

    Garden-Fresh Seafood co*cktail

    For something cool on a hot day, we mix shrimp and crabmeat with crunchy veggies straight from the garden. Look for adobo seasoning in your grocery’s international section. —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan

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    32/39

    Taste of Home

    Super Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

    Heat up your indoor grill to make these ooey-gooey grilled cheese sandwich recipes. They're delicious served with soup! —Debbie Murray, Fort Worth, Texas

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    33/39

    Olive-Stuffed Celery

    My grandmother taught both me and my mom this appetizer recipe for stuffed celery. We always serve it at Christmas and Thanksgiving. The stuffing is so yummy that even if you don't normally care for the ingredients on their own, you'll love the end result. —Stacy Powell, Santa Fe, Texas

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    34/39

    Authentic German Potato Salad

    This authentic German potato salad recipe came from Speck’s Restaurant, which was a famous eating establishment in St. Louis from the 1920s through the ‘50s. I ate lunch there almost every day and always ordered the potato salad. When the owner learned I was getting married, he gave me the recipe as a wedding gift! —Violette Klevorn, Washington, Missouri

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    35/39

    Taste of Home

    Strawberry Ladyfinger Icebox Cake

    This cake is inventive and yet familiar. Be sure to use a springform pan so you can easily remove it from the cake. If it breaks while you're transferring it to the serving plate, just push the pieces back together, pressing gently. —Stella Ohanian, Porter Ranch, California

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    36/39

    Mom's Favorite Olive Burgers

    When she was in her 80s, my mom would reminisce about the olive burgers at Coney Island she loved. I used her instructions to make them and ended up pleasing both of us. —Lorraine Hickman, Lansing, Michigan

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    37/39

    Taste of Home

    Apple Cinnamon Jelly

    I have made this for my five kids for their peanut butter sandwiches throughout all of their school years. I have made jars and jars of this wonderful jelly for gifts for teachers, neighbors and relatives for Christmas. It's easy, delicious and homemade—what's not to love? Be prepared to have to make this jelly regularly once the kids get a taste of it! —Nancy Jenkins, Fullerton, California

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    38/39

    Taste of Home

    Peach Bavarian

    Fruit molds are my specialty. This one, with its refreshing peach taste, makes a colorful salad or dessert. —Adeline Piscitelli, Sayreville, New Jersey

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    39/39

    Taste of Home

    Spiced Devil's Food Cake

    One of my mom's friends gave her this recipe when I was a child, and it has been a family favorite ever since. When your chocolate sweet tooth acts up, this really hits the spot! —Linda Yeamans, Ashland, Oregon

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    Originally Published: December 31, 1969

    Vintage Recipes from the '20s Worth Trying Today (40)

    Caroline Stanko

    Caroline has been with Taste of Home for the past seven years, working in both print and digital. After starting as an intern for the magazine and special interest publication teams, Caroline was hired as the third-ever digital editor for Taste of Home. Since then, she has researched, written and edited content on just about every topic the site covers, including cooking techniques, buzzy food news, gift guides and many, many recipe collections. Caroline also acts as the editorial lead for video, working with the Test Kitchen, videographers and social media team to produce videos from start to finish.When she’s not tip-tapping on a keyboard, Caroline is probably mixing up a killer co*cktail, reading a dog-eared library book or cooking up a multi-course feast (sometimes all at once). Though she technically lives in Milwaukee, there is a 50/50 chance Caroline is in Chicago or southwest Michigan visiting her close-knit family.

    Vintage Recipes from the '20s Worth Trying Today (2024)

    FAQs

    What foods were popular in the 20s? ›

    Try finger foods like devilled eggs, tea sandwiches, salted nuts, prawn co*cktail and canapés. Cakes were also very popular in the 1920s with red velvets, pound cakes and devil cakes popular. For a Queensland twist try a mini upside down pineapple cake.

    What food do you serve at a flapper party? ›

    Whether you're an experienced cook or just starting out, these three recipes encapsulate the spirit of the 1920s and will elevate your dinner party menu.
    • Waldorf Salad: A Classic 1920s Starter. ...
    • Chicken à la King: The Showstopper Main Dish. ...
    • Pineapple Upside-Down Cake: A Vintage Delight.
    Oct 25, 2023

    What did people cook on in the 1920s? ›

    The appliance consisted of multiple gas-fed burners (our Stewart has four) with an exposed manifold and hand controls in front. Next to the burners was a baking oven above with a broiler oven below. Oven temperatures were controlled by a wonderful invention, the heat regulator (note side of oven.)

    What was the most popular food in the 1930s? ›

    Products introduced by food entrepreneurs of the 1930s are familiar to contemporary families. Some of those products include Fritos, Kool-Aid, Skippy peanut butter, Spam, Pepperidge Farm baked goods, Toll House chocolate chip cookies, and Birds' Eye frozen foods.

    What did people eat in the 1920s appetizers? ›

    1920s Food
    • Deviled eggs.
    • Shrimp co*cktail.
    • Oysters Rockefeller.
    • Cheese platters.
    • Olive platters.
    • Mixed nuts.
    May 1, 2014

    What food was served at Speakeasies? ›

    Among the culinary delights served were lobster canapés, caviar rolls, crabmeat co*cktails, shrimp patties, oyster toast, anchovy molds, radish roses, devilled eggs, and savory cheese balls. A variety of sweet treats were available, including powdered sugar-topped fruit co*cktail cups or marshmallows.

    What to eat at a Great Gatsby party? ›

    Best Great Gatsby Party Food Ideas
    • Get a Decorative Cake. ...
    • Crab Cakes. ...
    • Shrimp co*cktail. ...
    • Deviled Eggs. ...
    • Sugar Glazed Ham. ...
    • Red Velvet Cake. ...
    • Champagne Tower. ...
    • Spiced Mixed Nuts.
    Jan 10, 2024

    What do you serve at a speakeasy party? ›

    Pretzels - pretzels were popular at the time - clever speakeasy owners placed bowls of these salty foods to encourage clients to drink (even more). Stuffed celery - slices of celery stuffed with cream cheese and your choice of additions. Examples might be bacon bits, olives or pomegranate seeds.

    What did people drink at parties in the 1920s? ›

    Gin Rickey

    It's a classic from the era – so much so that it's still Washington D.C.'s official co*cktail! The original likely contained bourbon or whiskey, because that was preferred before they started mixing up gin in bathtubs during Prohibition.

    What candy was popular in the 1920s? ›

    1920s. The 1920s featured a continued focus on chocolate as O'Henry Bars, Zero bars, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Baby Ruth, Mounds, Milky Way, and Mr. Goodbar all entered the scene. The 1920s introduced dextrose, a corn syrup, as a new cheap ingredient to replace sugar.

    What did rich people eat in the 1920s? ›

    Stylish Food From the Roaring 20s
    • Oysters Rockefeller. Image Source: Larry Hoffman via Flickr CC BY 2.0. ...
    • Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Image Source: Kimberly Vardeman via Flickr CC BY 2.0. ...
    • Icebox Cakes. ...
    • Italian Meatballs. ...
    • Tea Sandwiches. ...
    • Baby Ruth Bars. ...
    • Pimento Stuffed Celery. ...
    • duch*ess Potatoes.

    What did Americans eat for breakfast in the 1920s? ›

    In the 1920's Americans typically ate light breakfasts of coffee, orange juice, rolls. In order to increase bacon sales Bernays wrote to 5,000 physicians asking whether a heavy breakfast was better for health than a light breakfast.

    What's the cheapest meal to make? ›

    68 Easy And Cheap Dinner Ideas That You'll Want To Make On Repeat
    • Black Bean Burgers. ...
    • Creamy Tomato Shells. ...
    • Zucchini Corn Quesadillas. ...
    • Super-Fresh Cucumber Tomato Salad. ...
    • Chicken and Mandarin Salad With Simple Sesame Dressing. ...
    • Garlic Butter Capellini Pomodoro With Shrimp. ...
    • Orzo With Spinach and Roasted Red Peppers.
    May 3, 2024

    What did hobos eat during the Great Depression? ›

    Perhaps one hobo acquired a few carrots from a charitable person, while another stole an onion off a box car, while another had a few potatoes from a farm he worked on briefly… From this concoction, a “hobo stew,” also known as “Mulligan/Mulligatawney stew” was born and became the traditional food of the hobo.

    What did poor people eat during the Great Depression? ›

    Many cheap foods still common among the poor today made their debut during the Depression: Wonder Bread (1930), Bisquick (1931), Miracle Whip (1933), and Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup (1934). Ragu spaghetti sauce, Kraft mac-n-cheese, and Hormel Spam all appeared during the Roosevelt Recession in 1937.

    What were popular items of the 20s? ›

    Vintage Ads: Popular Presents from the 1920s
    • Overland Sedan. December 4, 1920. (Click to Enlarge) ...
    • Prince Albert Tobacco. December 4, 1920. ...
    • Whiting & Davis Mesh Bags. December 1, 1923. ...
    • Rex Enclosures. December 1, 1923. ...
    • Rotarex Appliances. December 1, 1923. ...
    • Interwoven Socks. December 8, 1928. ...
    • Hoover. December 15, 1928.
    Dec 6, 2018

    What was the fad diet in the 1920s? ›

    In the late 1920s and early 1930s, the 18-day diet rose to popularity. It involves eating an entire grapefruit with each meal. It's essentially a low-carb diet, so along with the grapefruit, you eat eggs, meat, and other high-protein, high-fat foods. In Hollywood, this eating plan took off.

    What food did Gatsby serve at his parties? ›

    Spiced Baked Hams: Served at Gatsby's party (chapter 3). Salads “of harlequin designs”: Served at Gatsby's party (chapter 3). Pastry Pigs and Turkeys: Served at Gatsby's party (chapter 3).

    What were popular breakfast foods in the 1920s? ›

    1920s: Codfish and bacon

    In this post-food-rationing era, people once again welcomed cushy breakfast spreads. This is the era of Gatsby, after all. co*cktails, fruit or otherwise, abound. As does bacon.

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