39 Retro Christmas Recipes Mom Learned in the '70s (2024)

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39 Retro Christmas Recipes Mom Learned in the '70s (1)Carrie Madormo, RNUpdated: Feb. 27, 2024

    From creamy fondue to savory Beef Wellington, these 70s Christmas recipes make for a very groovy holiday!


    Ambrosia Salad

    During last-minute menu planning, I often include this classic ambrosia salad recipe because I keep the ingredients on hand. —Judi Bringegar, Liberty, North Carolina

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    Crown Roast with Apricot Dressing

    I have been making crown roasts for many years but was only satisfied with the results when I combined a few recipes to come up with this guest-pleasing version. It’s beautifully roasted with an apricot glaze and a nicely browned stuffing. —Isabell Cooper, Cambridge, Nova Scotia

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    7-Layer Gelatin Salad

    Here’s an eye-catching salad that my mother makes for Christmas dinner each year. You can choose different flavors to make other color combinations for specific holidays or other gatherings. —Jan Hemness, Stockton, Missouri

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    Creamy Scallop Crepes

    These savory crepes feel so elegant for the holidays. I like to add 1/4 teaspoon of fresh dill weed to the crepe batter before refrigerating. —Doreen Kelly, Hatboro, Pennsylvania

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    Bacon-Wrapped Spam Bites

    These sweet and savory bites use Spam—a favorite ingredient in Hawaii—in a fun new way. Bet you can’t stop at just one! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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    Brandy Old-Fashioned Sweet

    The concept of an old-fashioned dates back to the early 1800s and includes whiskey, bitters, cherry juice, sugar and water. This version, which is extremely popular in Wisconsin, uses brandy in place of whiskey and lemon-lime soda instead of water for a milder co*cktail. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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    Homemade Alfredo Sauce

    When I found out I had celiac disease and couldn’t have fettuccine Alfredo, I was determined to figure out a way to re-create it. I mix this homemade alfredo sauce with gluten-free multigrain pasta, but you can use any style of pasta. —Jackie Charlesworth Stiff, Frederick, Colorado

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    Overnight Layered Lettuce Salad

    This classic is a family favorite from a church cookbook I’ve had for 40 years. The bacon adds a fabulous crunch. —Mary Brehm, Cape Coral, Florida

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    Cheese Lover's Fondue

    French bread cubes and apples are the perfect dippers for this classic fondue, made with white wine and Swiss and Gruyere cheeses. It’s a crowd pleaser. —Linda Vogel, Elgin, Illinois

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    Shrimp and Cucumber Canapes

    These cute stacks really stand out in a holiday appetizer buffet. Tasty, cool and crunchy, they come together in a snap. —Ashley Nochlin, Port St. Lucie, Florida

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    Mini Cheese Balls

    These mini cheese balls are the perfect quick appetizer for any party. Roll them in toasted sesame seeds, fresh rosemary and/or paprika to add even more flavor. —J. Spivey, Ennice, North Carolina

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    Cassoulet for Today

    Traditionally cooked for hours, this cassoulet recipe offers the same homey taste in less time. It’s easy on the wallet, too. —Virginia Anthony, Jacksonville, Florida

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    Swiss Potato Puffs

    Encourage guests to mingle by serving these cute little morsels. They’re transportable, mess-free and easy to eat in a few bites. —Myra Innes, Auburn, Kansas

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    Blue Cheese-Stuffed Shrimp

    Cooked shrimp become something more extraordinary when stuffed with blue cheese. The mild flavor has mass appeal.—Amy Dollimount, Glace Bay, Nova Scotia

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    Classic French Onion Soup

    Enjoy my signature French onion soup the way my granddaughter Becky does: I make onion soup for her in a crock bowl, complete with garlic croutons and gobs of melted Swiss cheese on top. —Lou Sansevero, Ferron, Utah

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    Oyster Cheese Appetizer Log

    When you say "holiday tradition" around our house, this appetizer comes to mind immediately. Every winter, I make lots of cheese logs and freeze them for when I'm expecting company or need to take food to someone's home. The blend of smoked oysters, chili powder, nuts and cream cheese tastes good-even people who don't like oysters may enjoy this interesting appetizer. —William Tracy, Jerseyville, Illinois

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    Seafood Cioppino

    If you're looking for a great seafood recipe for your slow cooker, this classic fish stew is just the ticket. It's brimming with clams, crab, fish and shrimp, and it is fancy enough to be an elegant meal. —Lisa Moriarty, Wilton, New Hampshire

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    Cheesy Cheddar Broccoli Casserole

    Even people who don’t like broccoli beg me to make this comforting broccoli cheese casserole recipe. It's similar to a classic green bean casserole, but the melted cheese just puts it over the top. —Elaine Hubbard, Pocono Lake, Pennsylvania

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    Orange Chocolate Fondue

    "Invite you family and friends to dip cubes of cake and pieces of fruit into this rich, luscious fondue for a special treat during the holiday season," writes Mary Jean DeVries from her home in Grandville, Michigan.

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    Three-Cheese Souffles

    No matter when I've made these soufflés, they have always been a success. Although I've never seen the centers start to fall, it's best to plan on serving them hot from the oven. —Jean Ference, Sherwood Park, Alberta

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    Smoked Salmon Cheese Spread

    Pretzels, chips and veggies all taste awesome with this creamy blend of salmon, cheese and herbs. Thanks to a food processor, it's always ready in a hurry. —Jill Campbell, Huntsville, Texas

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    Slow-Cooker Mushroom Beef Stroganoff

    I love to make this for my husband and myself to have on a cold night. It warms us right up! Greek yogurt can be substituted for the sour cream. —Meg Hilton, Atlanta, Georgia

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    Molded Cranberry-Orange Salad

    When I take this dish to potlucks during the holidays, people always ooh and aah. Feel free to top with whipped cream for added appeal. —Carol Mead, Los Alamos, New Mexico

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    Barbecued Meatballs

    Grape jelly and chili sauce are the secrets that make these meatballs so fantastic. If I’m serving them at a party, I prepare the meatballs and sauce in advance and reheat them right before guests arrive. —Irma Schnuelle, Manitowoc, Wisconsin

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    Authentic Pasta Carbonara

    I learned on my culinary internship in Tuscany that real Italian cuisine is simpler than you think! This carbonara is quick, simple and delicious, just the way they like it in Italy. —Lauren Brien-Wooster, South Lake Tahoe, California

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    Grandmother's Orange Salad

    This orange salad dessert is slightly sweet and tangy, too. It adds beautiful color to any meal and appeals to all ages! —Ann Eastman, Santa Monica, California

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    Three-Cheese Fondue

    I got this easy recipe from my daughter, who lives in France. It’s become my go-to fondue, and I make it often for our family.—Betty A. Mangas, Toledo, Ohio

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    Classic Beef Wellingtons

    Perfect for holidays, this beef Wellington recipe is also impressively easy. Find ready-made puff pastry sheets in the frozen food section. —Kerry Dingwall, Ponte Vedra, Florida

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    Garlic-Herb Mini Quiches

    Looking for a wonderful way to impress guests? You’ve got it—and you need only five ingredients to make these tasty apps! —Josephine Piro, Easton, Pennsylvania

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    Ambrosia Fruit Salad

    My mom's ambrosia salad, with its tasty combination of fresh fruits and creamy yogurt, is a family favorite, and a great addition to a backyard barbecue. —Colleen Belbey, Warwick, Rhode Island

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    Swedish Meatballs

    Mom fixed this Swedish meatball recipe for all sorts of family dinners, potluck suppers and PTA meetings. The scent of browning meat is intoxicating. Add to that the sweet smell of onions caramelizing, and everyone’s mouth starts watering. —Marybeth Mank, Mesquite, Texas

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    Black Forest Chocolate Torte

    If you're thinking about pulling out all the stops for a dessert that says wow, look no further. This cherry-crowned beauty—stacked layers of chocolate cake and cream filling—will have everyone talking. —Doris Grotz, York, Nebraska

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    Ring of Piggies

    This charming plate of piggies looks like a holiday wreath when I drape fresh rosemary in the center. It’s a cute display for merry get-togethers. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland

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    Hawaiian Pork Roast with Pineapple

    This is one of my favorite slow cooker recipes. It’s wonderful with rice or potatoes and any vegetable. It also reheats well for lunch the next day. —Ruth Chiarenza La Vale, Maryland

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    Turkey Scallopini with Marsala Sauce

    My family requests this entree at least once a month. The slightly sweet Marsala sauce is yummy over the turkey slices and hot cooked noodles. —Briana Knight, Ferndale, Washington

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    There's plenty of both crunch and cream in these party appetizers. Fresh chives help them really stand out. —Jean McKenzie, Vancouver, Washington

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    Crowd-Pleasing Party Meatballs

    We served this scrumptious dish at our wedding. It went over so well that it’s been served at other weddings and family functions, and the requests keep coming! —Stefany Blevins, Portsmouth, Ohio

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    Simple Lime Gelatin Salad

    Looking for a festive dish to light up the buffet? This pretty green gelatin salad is eye-catching and has a delightful, tangy flavor. —Cyndi Fynaardt, Oskaloosa, Iowa

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    Originally Published: November 20, 2020

    39 Retro Christmas Recipes Mom Learned in the '70s (39)

    Carrie Madormo, RN

    Carrie is a health writer and nurse who specializes in healthy eating and wellness through food. With a master’s degree in public health from the Medical College of Wisconsin, she strives to translate the latest health and nutrition research into interesting, actionable articles. During her six years at Taste of Home, Carrie has answered hundreds of reader questions about health and nutrition, such as if pomegranate seeds are safe to eat, why pregnant women crave pickles and how much caffeine is in a shot of espresso. Carrie is also a former health coach and food blogger.

    39 Retro Christmas Recipes Mom Learned in the '70s (2024)


    What was on the 1970 Christmas menu? ›

    Other classic nibbles to add to your shopping list: marshmallows, sugared almonds, mint humbugs, candy striped sugar biscuits, Turkish Delight, and cheese, pineapple and pickle to make little nibble sticks or a classic 70s centrepiece (see here!).

    What was the traditional Christmas in the 1970s? ›

    Throughout the house, families would cover everything with tinsel and garlands. Fake snow was also popular and could be sprayed onto windows. In many homes, it was an annual tradition to use stencils to create festive designs on the glass.

    What was on the Christmas menu in 1950? ›

    The Family Circle magazine listed this Christmas dinner menu in the December 1956 issue, “Holiday glazed ham, parsley potatoes, spiced peaches, cornbread diamonds, vegetable scallop, relish tray of olives, watercress, watermelon rind, radishes and celery, eggnog pie, coffee, salted nuts, mints.”

    What was on TV Christmas Day 1975? ›

    Take Christmas Day, 1975. BBC1 undoubtedly featured an impressive (for its time) line-up. As well as Eric and Ernie's extravaganza, there was The Generation Game, Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em and the TV premiere of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

    Was 1970 a white Christmas? ›

    For more southern areas of the UK away from the highest hills there have only been six classic widespread white Christmas days when snow has fallen and laid giving a good cover during the 20th century. They were 1906, 1917, 1923, 1938, 1956 and 1970.

    What was the most popular Christmas toy in 1970? ›

    1970 – Nerf Ball

    NERF started creating products in 1969, including the ball, dubbed the “world's first indoor ball”. The Monkees used to advertise the product, making it the toy everyone wanted.

    What day of the week was Christmas in 1970? ›

    December 25, 1970 (Friday)

    What was the original Christmas dinner? ›

    It is believed that the forerunner of the Christmas dinner was the midwinter feast enjoyed by our ancient ancestors. Feasts were held to celebrate the pagan midwinter solstice, and archaeological digs have discovered that the most popular meats served up were pork and beef.

    What did pioneers eat for Christmas? ›

    Women made breads and brought out jellies and jams made in the summer and fall and saved for this occasion. They served ham, goose, wild turkey and other birds. Pulling was a favorite activity at winter get- togethers. Taffy could be pulled only when the air was cold.

    What did they eat in the diner in the 1950s? ›

    Items like pancakes, sausages, meatloaf, burgers, and sandwiches were standard on diner menus, and still are today. The meals were priced low, making diners popular even before their rise in the 1950s.

    What was the original Christmas Day meal? ›

    It is believed that the forerunner of the Christmas dinner was the midwinter feast enjoyed by our ancient ancestors. Feasts were held to celebrate the pagan midwinter solstice, and archaeological digs have discovered that the most popular meats served up were pork and beef.

    What was the traditional Christmas dinner? ›

    Traditional Christmas dinner features turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and vegetables. Other types of poultry, roast beef, or ham, are also used. Pumpkin or apple pie, raisin pudding, Christmas pudding, or fruitcake are staples for dessert.


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