10 Recipes That Defined the 1960s

updated Aug 15, 2022
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(Image credit: Dana Velden)

This week we’re talking about recipes that define a decade, starting with the 1960s. Made more popular in the last few years from Mad Men, the recipes of the 60s are defined by strange chicken dishes, the continued domination of Jell-O and other fluff desserts, cocktail party appetizers like onion dip (seen above), and of course anything Julia Child. Some of these recipes remain relevant in recent decades, but they will always have a strong history in the 60s.

What are your favorite recipes from the 1960s? Here are the ten we think really defined the decade.

1. Lipton Onion Soup Dip

Onion dip was wildly popular in the 1960s, especially a recipe that called for the addition of Lipton onion soup mix. (Our recipe pictured above is a healthier, non-mix recipe.)

2. Desserts and Salads Encased in Gelatin

Jell-O continued its domination in the 1960s. Newer and stranger desserts and salads were encased in gelatin molds.

3. Meatballs with Grape Jelly

Meatballs with sweet sauces, like the iconic Swedish meatballs in grape jelly, became more popular in the 60s.

4. Chicken à la King

This dish consists of diced chicken and vegetables (peas and carrots) in a cream sauce.

5. Fondue

Cheese and meat fondues were introduced to the United States earlier than the 60s, but they really took off in this decade.

6. Stuffed Celery and Cherry Tomatoes

An easy, semi-elegant appetizer to serve with cocktails.

7. Stuffed Crescent Rolls as in “Pigs in a Blanket” and Asparagus Rollups

Cocktail parties and anything in a can were popular in the 1960s, so obviously these appetizers were all the rage.

8. Beef Bourguignon

Julia Child’s TV show “The French Chef” premiered in 1963, and beef bourguignon promptly took off.

9. Shrimp Cocktail

This simple appetizer is totally timeless, but it was heavily associated with the fine dining centers of the decade — the steakhouse.

10. Tunnel of Fudge

In 1966 the “Tunnel of Fudge” won the Pillsbury Bake-Off and the bundt pan rose to power.

Did we leave anything off?