56 Vintage Recipes from the '30s Worth Trying Today (2024)

Home Recipes Cooking Style Comfort Food

56 Vintage Recipes from the '30s Worth Trying Today (1)Caroline StankoUpdated: Feb. 09, 2024

    With hearty breads, filling soups and simple desserts, these vintage recipes will give you the perfect taste of the 1930s.

    Hearty Navy Bean Soup

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    My family loves navy bean soup! Beans were a commodity you did not survive without in the ’30s. This excellent navy beans and ham soup is a real family favorite of ours and I make it often. —Mildred Lewis, Temple, Texas

    Bacon Roll-Ups

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    This family recipe dates back to the 1930s, when my grandmother started making these hearty breakfast rolls. —Janet Abate, North Brunswick, New Jersey

    Skillet Cabbage

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    I use this dish often when the schedule gets tight and I need a hurry-up vegetable to cook. It adds plenty of substance to a simple meal. —Charmaine Fricke, St. Charles, Illinois


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    This is our favorite cookout dish, and it's very good served with a salad. This recipe originated here in my hometown in the 1930s. Our meat preference for speidis is venison, but we use chicken and beef when it's not available. —Gertrude Skinner, Binghamton, New York

    Irish Spiced Beef

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    Taste of Home

    The story goes that my Irish ancestors brought this recipe along when they immigrated to the U.S. Start it at least five days ahead to spice and tenderize the meat; the flavors are worth it. —Mary Shenk, Dekalb, Illinois

    Grandma Davidson's Baked Apple Pudding

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    My savvy grandmother whipped up recipes like this homey cinnamon-scented apple pudding in the Depression years. Many of us still make them today. —Holly Sharp, Warren, Ontario

    No money? No problem! Try this vintage cake recipe, appropriately named poor man’s cake.

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    Bacon, tomatoes and lima beans combine for a nutrient-packed side dish that makes the perfect accompaniment to turkey. —Karen Kumpulainen, Forest City, North Carolina

    Spinach Souffle Side Dish

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    You just can't make an easier, more delicious side dish than this. It's great with beef, pork and lamb, and I especially like serving it for a festive occasion like New Year's Eve. —Bette Duffy, Kenmore, Washington

    Crunchy Tuna Salad with Tomatoes

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    On a hot summer day, there's nothing more refreshing than this salad. I grow a few tomato plants in my garden and the fresh-picked taste makes the dish even more of a treat. —Diane Selich, Vassar, Michigan

    Grilled Sweet Corn

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    Since we have plenty of fresh sweet corn available in our area, we use this recipe often in summer. Parsley, chili powder and cumin accent the corn's just-picked flavor. —Connie Lou Hollister, Lake Odessa, Michigan

    Truly Tasty Turnips with Greens

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    Taste of Home

    These savory greens are a hit at every church dinner I take them to. Adjust the seasonings as you please to make this recipe your own. —Amy Inman, Hiddenite, North Carolina

    O'Brien Sausage Skillet

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    Inspiration hit one night when I was in a time crunch. This was so satisfying and easy to make, many friends now serve it, too. —Linda Harris, Wichita, Kansas

    Old-Fashioned Rice Pudding

    Taste of Home

    This comforting dessert is a wonderful way to end any meal. As a girl, I always waited eagerly for the first heavenly bite. Today, my husband likes to top his with a scoop of ice cream. —Sandra Melnychenko, Grandview, Manitoba

    Homemade Potato Salad

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    This homemade potato salad recipe doesn't have many ingredients, so it isn't as colorful as many that you find nowadays. But Mama made it the way her mother did, and that's the way I still make it today. Try it and see if it isn't one of the best-tasting potato salads you have ever eaten! —Sandra Anderson, New York, New York

    Mom's Meat Loaf

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    Mom made the best meat loaf, and now I do too. When I first met my husband, he wasn't a meat loaf guy, but this recipe won him over. —Michelle Beran, Claflin, Kansas

    Apple Brandy

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    Taste of Home

    I spend a lot of time developing recipes for the many fruits and vegetables we grow on our farm. In this creation, apple brandy is enhanced with spices for a delightful drink.—Deanna Seippel, Lancaster, Wisconsin

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    Homemade chicken and dumplings from scratch harken back to my childhood and chilly days when we devoured those cute little balls of dough swimming in hot, rich broth. It's one of those types of soup you'll want to eat again and again. —Erika Monroe-Williams, Scottsdale, Arizona

    Cinnamon Peanut Brittle

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    Taste of Home

    I made this sweet, peanut-packed candy for Christmas and sent some with my husband to work. His co-workers liked it so much they asked for more. It has a lovely glossy look and the cinnamon is a delightful surprise. You've got to try this peanut butter brittle recipe. —Grace Miller, Mansfield, Ohio

    Scalloped Potatoes with Mushrooms

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    Potatoes and mushrooms make a one-dish meal I love – it’s the calories you have to watch. Swap out dairy products with lower fat options. —Courtney Stultz, Columbus, Kansas

    Green Tomato Pie

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    When frost nips our garden, I quickly gather all the green tomatoes still on the vine and make this old family favorite. It's been handed down from my grandmother, and now my granddaughters are asking for the recipe.—Violet Thompson, Port Ludlow, Washington

    Hearty Vegetable Soup

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    Taste of Home

    A friend gave me the idea to use V8 juice in vegetable soup because it provides more flavor. My best vegetable soup recipe is perfect to prepare on a crisp autumn afternoon. —Janice Steinmetz, Somers, Connecticut

    Easy Homemade Pickles

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    My husband grows cucumbers, garlic and dill in the garden and eagerly waits for me to make these homemade pickles. The recipe comes from my grandmother.—Angela Lienhard, Blossburg, Pennsylvania

    Three-Bean Baked Beans

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    I got this recipe from my aunt and made a couple of changes to suit my taste. With ground beef and bacon mixed in, these satisfying beans are a big hit at backyard barbecues and church picnics. I'm always asked to bring my special beans. —Julie Currington, Gahanna, Ohio

    Grandma's Potato Salad

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    Taste of Home

    This salad is a must for the Fourth of July feast. The red potatoes hold their shape and texture even after they are boiled. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

    Tuna Cheese Spread

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    The flavor of tuna is very subtle in this thick and creamy spread. It's terrific on crackers or carrot and celery sticks, stuffed in a tomato or used for a sandwich. —Dorothy Anderson, Ottawa, Kansas

    Special Strawberry Salad

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    Taste of Home

    This berry-filled salad may take some time to prepare, but one taste and you'll agree it's worth the extra effort. I treat family and friends to this dish on special occasions. —Linda Goulet, Hadley, Massachusetts

    Simple Lemon Parsley Potatoes

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    For a simply delicious side dish, I often prepare these potatoes. I like the fact that there are few ingredients and they take such little time to prepare.—Dorothy Pritchett, Wills Point, Texas

    Dark Chocolate Pudding

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    Taste of Home

    Life is too short to pass on dessert. This old-fashioned treat is so creamy and comforting! —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, Georgia

    Vegetable Lentil Soup

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    Here’s a healthy slow-cooker soup that's ideal for vegetarians and those watching their weight. Butternut squash and lentils make it hearty, while herbs and other veggies round out the flavor. —Mark Morgan, Waterford, Wisconsin

    Easy Lemon Pie

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    Taste of Home

    I’ve had this one-bowl lemon pie recipe for years. It’s my twist on chocolate French silk pie, and it's uber easy to do with refrigerated pie pastry. —Glenna Tooman, Boise, Idaho

    Pennsylvania Dutch Apple Butter

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    You can spread this apple butter on thick and still enjoy a breakfast that’s thin on calories. For a smoother texture, use tender varieties such as McIntosh or Cortland apples. —Diane Widmer, Blue Island, Illinois. If you like this, then you must check out our favorite retro breakfast recipes.

    Potato Pan Rolls

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    My family loves these rolls and requests them often. They don't take long to make because you use quick-rise yeast. —Connie Storckman, Evanston, Wyoming

    Roasted Asparagus Salad

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    Now that our six children are grown, they've started sharing recipes with me—and I love it. This tasty way to prepare fresh asparagus —by roasting the spears, then serving them with a Dijon dressing at room temperature—came from our daughter. —Anna Kreymborg, Louisville, Kentucky

    Rosemary Lemonade

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    Taste of Home

    A friend suggested I add a sprig of rosemary to lemonade. The herb makes the drink taste fresh and light, and it's a pretty garnish. —Dixie Graham, Rancho Cucamonga, California

    Hominy Beef Chili

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    Hunker down for the night and get cozy with this filling chili. Loaded with beef chuck roast and convenient staples, such as diced tomatoes, green chiles and seasonings, it’s a satisfying supper that would be yummy served with a side of warm tortillas or tortilla chips for dipping. —Steve Westphal, Wind Lake, Wisconsin

    Tillie's Ginger Crumb Cake

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    This recipe goes back at least as far as my grandmother, who was born in the early 1900s. Our sons and I enjoy eating it in a bowl with milk poured on it—much to the dismay of my husband, who prefers it plain! —Kathy Nienow Clark, Byron, Michigan

    Tomato-Poached Halibut

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    My halibut with a burst of lemon comes together in one pan and stays super moist. Try it with polenta, angel hair pasta or crusty bread. —Danna Rogers, Westport, Connecticut

    Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits

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    The recipe for these four-ingredient homemade buttermilk biscuits has been handed down for many generations. —Fran Thompson, Tarboro, North Carolina

    Tomato Juice co*cktail

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    This recipe came from my mother-in-law and many say it’s the best tomato juice they’ve ever tasted. It has a little eye-opening kick to it that’s wonderful! —Beverly Cottrell, Ipswich, Maine

    Lima Bean Soup

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    A yearly Lima Bean Festival in nearby West Cape May honors the many growers there and showcases different recipes using their crops. This comforting chowder was a contest winner at the festival several years ago. —Kathleen Olsack, North Cape May, New Jersey

    Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream

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    This creamy, luscious ice cream will remind you of the signature treat served at church ice cream socials. What dessert could be better? —Esther Johnson, Merrill, Wisconsin—Esther Johnson, Merrill, Wisconsin

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    I roast veggies to bring out their sweetness, and it works wonders with onions and cabbage. The piquant vinegar-mustard sauce makes this dish similar to a slaw. —Ann Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts

    Country White Bread

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    Anytime is the right time for a comforting slice of homemade bread. These loaves are especially nice since the crust stays so tender. This white bread recipe is my husband Nick's favorite. He makes most of the bread at our house. —Joanne Shew Chuk, St. Benedict, Saskatchewan

    Asian Corn Succotash

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    Since I’m not a fan of lima beans, I use edamame (green soybeans) in this colorful corn succotash instead. The Asian-inspired dressing alone is addictive. —Dierdre Callaway, Parkville, Missouri

    Vanilla Wafer Cookies

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    Taste of Home

    These buttery cookies bake up chewy and crispy at the same time. Sprinkle these vanilla wafers with colored sugar or leave them as-is. Their simplicity is beauty enough! —Edith MacBeath, Gaines, Pennsylvania

    Broiled Parmesan and Swiss Tomatoes

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    Taste of Home

    Planning to serve steak or tenderloin? These cheesy tomatoes make the ideal accompaniment. Plus, the recipe is simple to double for guests. —Mary Price, Youngstown, Ohio

    Easy Homemade Chunky Applesauce

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    Taste of Home

    Here's a comforting, home-style treat that never loses its appeal. Dish up big bowlfuls and wait for the smiles! —Marilee Cardinal, Burlington, New Jersey

    Brandy Old-Fashioned Sweet

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    The concept of an old-fashioned dates back to the early 1800s and includes whiskey, bitters, cherry juice, sugar and water. This old-fashioned recipe, 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

    Washington State Apple Pie

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    This pie won grand champion in the Apple Pie category at the 1992 Okanogan County Fair. The pie looks traditional, but homemade filling gives it a different flair and a terrific taste. —Dolores Scholz, Tonasket, Washington


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    For the light drinker, suggest a Gimlet. The blend of slightly sweet and tart flavors is appealing, but not overwhelming.—Taste of Home Test Kitchen

    Simply Delicious Roast Beef Sandwiches

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    Mushrooms add a different touch to these comforting roast beef sandwiches. I like to pile the shredded beef high on Kaiser rolls.—Scott Powell, Phillipsburg, New Jersey

    Marinated Almond-Stuffed Olives

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    Taste of Home

    Marinated stuffed olives go over so well with company that I try to keep a batch of them in the fridge at all times. —Larissa Delk, Columbia, Tennessee

    Candied Pecans

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    TMB Studio

    I pack these easy candied pecans in jars tied with pretty ribbon for family and friends. My granddaughter gave some to a doctor at the hospital where she works, and he said they were too good to be true! —Opal Turner, Hughes Springs, Texas

    Fresh Fruit Bowl

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    The glorious colors of the fruit make this a festive salad. Slightly sweet and chilled, it makes a nice accompaniment to a grilled entree. —Marlon Kirst, Troy, Michigan

    Originally Published: December 31, 1969

    56 Vintage Recipes from the '30s Worth Trying Today (55)

    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.

    56 Vintage Recipes from the '30s Worth Trying Today (2024)


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

    Casseroles were varied in what was in them and people were glad for the meal. Another meal favorite that filled up the family members was chicken and dumplings. There may have only been a few pieces of chicken but plenty of the dumplings were a flour base food item. A few vegetables added the family was happy.

    What food was served at a 1930's dinner party? ›

    Including ingredients like lobster, squab, oysters, tongue, crab, fruit punch, prunes, peaches, pineapple, honeydew melon and orange marmalade in the menu helped gentrify the meal and add that touch of elegant refinement that was so important.

    What did poor people eat during the Depression? ›

    Food was always home cooked, and people usually ate bread, vegetables, meat, etc. The most common meal was made of a composite dish with one portion of proteins (meat, eggs, fish, cheese, pulses), one portion of potatoes, pasta, or bread, and two portions of vegetables, followed by fruit as dessert.

    What is the poor mans meal? ›

    Potatoes were also inexpensive and used extensively. Some meals even used both. One of these meals was called the Poor Man's Meal. It combined potatoes, onions, and hot dogs into one hearty, inexpensive dish, which was perfect for the hard times people had fallen on.

    What was a typical meal in the 1930s? ›

    Big families could be fed with soups from leftover meats, beans, and home-grown vegetables. Homemakers made many varieties of soup from available foods. The results included split pea, chicken-rice, potato-onion, bean, hamburger, and all vegetable. Dumplings were a filling addition to complement the soup.

    What did kids eat for lunch 1930s? ›

    1930s: School lunch and the New Deal

    The program was so successful that by 1941 every state (plus Washington D.C.) had a lunch program in place. A typical school lunch at the time included items like veggie soup, peanut butter sandwiches, and the occasional piece of fresh fruit.

    What soup became a common meal during the 1930's? ›

    Simple to heat and eat, a simple can of Campbell's soup went a long way for many, and by the end of the Depression, Campbell had five different flavors for consumers: tomato, chicken, oxtail, vegetable and consommé.

    What food was invented in 1934? ›

    Ritz crackers, invented in 1934, have become a staple snack food worldwide.

    What did hobos eat during the Great Depression? ›

    Great Depression cooking
    • Peanut Butter Bread. One of the most common staples during the Great Depression was peanut butter bread. ...
    • Mulligan Stew. Mulligan stew, otherwise known as “hobo stew” is survival food at its finest. ...
    • Poorman's Meal. ...
    • Dandelion Salad. ...
    • Hoover Stew. ...
    • Prune Pudding.
    Feb 26, 2023

    What food did they eat during the Dust Bowl? ›

    Many people turned to newly developed, mass-produced processed foods like canned meats, corn chips, and fruit-filled cakes [1].

    What unusual dessert became popular during the Great Depression? ›

    Water Pie. Water pie — made with just six ingredients: water, flour, sugar, vanilla extract, butter, and a pie crust — may seem like a fun hack today, but during the Great Depression, it was simply a dessert that reflected the circ*mstances for many Americans.

    What was a typical breakfast in 1940? ›

    1940s: Mint, orange juice, and apple butter

    A sample brunch menu includes: orange juice topped with mint, creamed ham and mushrooms, waffles de luxe, maple syrup, apple butter, coffee, and milk.

    What was a typical breakfast in the 40s? ›

    1940s: Austere Times

    Rationing, introduced with the war to deal with extreme shortages, affected most foodstuffs, including the basics for the British breakfast table - bacon, butter, cheese, sugar, jam, breakfast cereals, eggs, milk, canned and dried fruit and tea.

    What was the most popular food in ww2? ›

    Meat (March 1940) was first, followed by fat and eggs, cheese, tinned tomatoes, rice, peas, canned fruit and breakfast cereals. Remember this was a world where even in the pre-war days of plenty, olive oil was sold as a medical aid and dried pasta was confined to a few Italian shops. Rice was mainly for puddings.

    What foods came out in the 1930s? ›

    "Even in the Depression, people were so inventive," Cass County Historical Society President Marilyn Fry says of the durable food brands born in the depths of the 1930s. Birds Eye Frosted Foods, sliced Wonder Bread, Hostess Twinkies, Mott's Apple Sauce, Snickers candy bars, French's Worcestershire Sauce.

    What was the most popular thing in 1930s? ›

    American culture in the 1930s revolved around the ever increasing need to be frugal and the desire to escape the struggles brought on by the Great Depression. Jazz and swing music became popular, as did movies, board games, and Art Deco.

    What was junk food in the 1930s? ›

    Many of today's favorite snacks were also introduced during this decade: Twinkies, Snickers, Tootsie Pops, Fritos, 3 Musketeers, Ritz Crackers, Kit Kat Bars, Five-Flavor Life Savers, 5th Avenue Bars, Rolo, Smarties, Heath Bar, Lay's Potato Chips and RC Cola.


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