26 Family Recipes You Totally Ate in the '80s (2024)

Home Recipes Cooking Style Comfort Food

26 Family Recipes You Totally Ate in the '80s (1)

ByCarrie Madormo, RN

Taste of Home's Editorial Process

Updated: Feb. 13, 2024

    It's time to sip your Ecto Cooler and snack on some pizza rolls. We're taking a trip down memory lane with these totally tubular 80s recipes!


    Taste of Home

    It's nice to have an alternative to the traditional baked ham on Easter. This comforting casserole is always a crowd-pleaser. Using rotisserie chicken from the deli makes prep simple. —Christina Petri, Alexandria, Minnesota

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    Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

    This salad has been a family favorite for a while! I love to bring this to parties or simply eat as a wonderful lunch or side dish. —Nikki Barton, Providence, Utah

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    I also call this "my grandson's mac and cheese." Zachary has been to Iraq and Afghanistan with both the Marines and Navy, and I've been privileged to make his favorite casserole for him for over 20 years. —Alice Beardsell, Osprey, Florida

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    Taste of Home

    Pepperoni Pizza Loaf

    This savory stromboli starts with frozen bread dough, so it comes together in practically no time. The golden loaf is stuffed with cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms, peppers and olives. I often add a few slices of ham too. It's tasty served with warm pizza sauce for dipping. —Jenny Brown, West Lafayette, Indiana

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    California Sushi Rolls

    These taste as good as any restaurant or store-bought California rolls. Plus, this is one of the easiest sushi recipes to make! For the best results, use sushi rice to ensure the right sticky consistency. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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    Sausage Lasagna

    The idea for this sausage lasagna recipe comes from my mother-in-law, who always makes it for my three boys on special holidays. I've put an easy twist on Carole's classic dish, and it's become one of my go-to dinners as well! —Blair Lonergan, Rochelle, VA

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    Turkey Sloppy Joes for a Crowd

    I found this recipe in my mother's recipe box. Sometimes I serve it over vegetables such as corn or green beans, but it's equally delicious on a bun. —Julie Clemes, Adrian Michigan

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    New Orleans-Style Spicy Shrimp

    We have family members who attended college in New Orleans. This shrimp captures their favorite flavors from the Big Easy, with the right touches of spice and heat. —Susan Seymour, Valatie, New York

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    Taste of Home

    Crunchy Almond Turkey Casserole

    A special cousin shared the recipe for this comforting casserole. The almonds and water chestnuts give it a nice crunch. —Jill Black, Troy, Ontario

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    Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

    My family is always happy to see this fruit and veggie salad on the table. If strawberries aren’t available, substitute mandarin oranges and dried cranberries. —Irene Keller, Kalamazoo, Michigan

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    Taste of Home

    Pizza Roll-Ups

    Since getting this recipe from our 4-H club, it's been a regular after-school snack. We like to dunk these bite-sized pizza treats, made with refrigerated crescent rolls, in spaghetti sauce. —Donna Klettke, Wheatland, Missouri

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    Veggie Sushi Rolls

    These sushi rolls are a great finger food, side or even main course. They're versatile and can be made with any veggies you like. Kids have fun making them.—Sarah Christenson, San Diego, California

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    Deluxe Pizza Casserole

    This is the family favorite dish for special occasions, and we always make it for my granddaughter's birthday. Mushrooms are a wonderful addition if you like them. —Vickie Oldham, Dubuque, Iowa

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    Grilled Chicken Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette

    We love adding grilled chicken to our salads in the summer, but the real star here is the vinaigrette made with blueberry preserves and maple syrup. This salad goes great with a fresh baguette and a frosty glass of minted lemonade. —Susan Gauthier, Falmouth, Maine

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    Hearty Salisbury Steaks

    I love serving Salisbury steak with mashed potatoes and vegetables. It's the essence of down-home goodness. And it always disappears fast! —Dorothy Bayes, Sardis, Ohio

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    Cajun Grilled Shrimp

    The kicked-up marinade on these shrimp makes this a flavor-packed dish. Serve over rice, and make sure to squeeze those charred lemons over top—that makes them taste extra bright and delicious. —Sharon Delaney-Chronis, South Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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    Taste of Home

    Pizza Salad

    A fun summer dish, this is a different salad that tastes as good as it looks. I love to take it to parties—the wonderful zesty flavor really complements a barbecue! —Debbie Terenzini-Wilkerson, Lusby, Maryland

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    Classic Cabbage Rolls

    I've always enjoyed cabbage rolls but didn't make them since most methods were too complicated. This recipe is fairly simple and results in the best cabbage rolls. My husband, Sid, requests them often. They're terrific to share at gatherings with our children and grandchildren. —Beverly Zehner, McMinnville, Oregon

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    Mixed Greens with Orange-Ginger Vinaigrette

    Zingy vinaigrette combines orange juice, ginger and a flick of cayenne. Just whisk, toss with greens and top the salad your way. —Joy Zacharia, Clearwater, Florida

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    Sloppy Joe Under a Bun

    I usually keep a can of sloppy joe sauce in the pantry, because our kids love sloppy joes. But sometimes I don't have buns on hand. With this fun casserole, we can still enjoy the flavors that they love in a flash. The bun-like top crust is made with biscuit mix, sprinkled with sesame seeds and baked until golden. —Trish Bloom, Ray, Michigan

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    Taste of Home

    Pizza Rolls

    Our family just loves my husband's version of store-bought pizza rolls. They take some time to make, but they freeze well so we get to enjoy the fruits of our labor for a long time! —Julie Gaines, Normal, Illinois

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    Taste of Home

    Blackened Chicken

    This spicy blackened chicken packs a one-two punch of flavor. The grilled chicken is basted with a peppery white sauce, and there's plenty of extra sauce left over for dipping. —Stephanie Kenney, Falkville, Alabama

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    Favorite Baked Spaghetti

    This is my grandchildren's most-loved dish. It feels like a special dinner and is so cozy for cooler months. —Louise Miller, Westminster, Maryland

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    Taste of Home

    Mixed Greens with Lemon Champagne Vinaigrette

    Simple and delicious, this champagne vinaigrette recipe pairs perfectly with mixed greens or a salad of your choice. —Ray Uyeda, Mountain View, California

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    My grandma made this for us once when she came to visit and I never forgot just how good it was. Since my kids love anything with pepperoni and cheese, I thought they'd enjoy it just as much as I did. —Juli Meyers, Hinesville, Georgia

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    Originally Published: July 22, 2020


    Carrie Madormo, RN

    Carrie is a nurse and health writer who has worked with Taste of Home for six years. As a former health coach, she’s written across a range of health publications and digital outlets and strives to translate the latest health and nutrition research into easy-to-understand information and actionable articles.

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    26 Family Recipes You Totally Ate in the '80s (27)

    26 Family Recipes You Totally Ate in the '80s (2024)


    What food was popular in the 80s in Australia? ›

    But others are more modern takes on the old-school winners (hello, pie maker pineapple upside-down cakes).
    • 1Apricot chicken sausage rolls. ...
    • 2Neenish cheesecake. ...
    • 3Cheesy mash-topped meatloaf. ...
    • 4Curried sausages tray bake. ...
    • 5Espresso martini ripple cakes. ...
    • 6Giant cheesy chicken schnitzel. ...
    • 7Vanilla slice. ...
    • 8Easy creamy potato bake.

    Why are family recipes special? ›

    Every family recipe tells a story—a story of humble beginnings, of resourcefulness and of love. These recipes often come with anecdotes, like how your great-grandmother learned to make that special pie during the Depression or how your uncle's best barbecue sauce was the highlight of every summer cookout.

    What meals should everyone know how do you cook? ›

    17 Dishes Every Home Cook Should Know How to Make, According to Chefs
    1. 01 of 17. Eggs. Victor Protasio. ...
    2. 02 of 17. Rice. Diana Chistruga. ...
    3. 03 of 17. Roast Chicken. Julia Hartbeck. ...
    4. 04 of 17. Bolognese. Photo and Styling by Julia Gartland. ...
    5. 05 of 17. Baked Fish. Maxwell Cozzi. ...
    6. 06 of 17. Fresh Pasta. ...
    7. 07 of 17. Steak. ...
    8. 08 of 17. French Fries.
    Mar 11, 2024

    What was a popular snack in the 80s? ›

    Fruit roll-ups were a popular food from the '80s and 90s. These brightly colored, super sweet candy snacks were unique in their design: pressed flat on a wax baking sheet, rolled up, and then packaged. All the popular kids had one in their lunchbox, and if you wanted to look cool, you needed to have one, too.

    What food was popular in 1985? ›

    In 1985, as mentioned earlier, the undisputed winner was blackened fish. Among desserts we had two: creme brulee and bread pudding. Creme brulee, which used to be seen only in haughty French restaurants, somehow became the darling of new American-and-Califonia restaurants.

    What was in an 80s buffet? ›

    80s party food ideas and snacks
    • Potato skins. Potato skins are a cornerstone of 1980s snacks. ...
    • Mini quiches. Individual quiches are the perfect 80s co*cktail party food. ...
    • 7-layer dip. ...
    • Cheesy dip in a bread bowl. ...
    • Pizza rolls. ...
    • Oyster sour cream dip on toast. ...
    • Cheese fondue. ...
    • Deviled eggs.
    Sep 20, 2022

    What was the best food in the 80s? ›

    13 Popular 1980s Foods People Are Eating Again
    • Waldorf salad. ...
    • Baked Alaska. ...
    • 8. California roll. Pjohnson1/Getty Images. ...
    • Pasta salad. KANGIITALY/Shutterstock. ...
    • Quiche Lorraine. Lesyy/Getty Images. ...
    • Chicken Cordon Bleu. Lauripatterson/Getty Images. ...
    • Potato skins. Rudisill/Getty Images. ...
    • Jell-O Pudding Pops. Jell-O.
    Aug 11, 2023

    What is the quote about family recipes? ›

    Family recipes are a way of keeping our loved ones alive while we dice, stir, simmer and bake!

    How common are family dinners? ›

    Highlights: Family Dinner Statistics
    • 88% of Americans say they eat dinner with their family every night or a few times a week.
    • The frequency of family dinners has increased by 17% during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Teens who have frequent family dinners are more likely to have higher-quality relationships with their parents.

    Why do people pass down recipes? ›

    Honours Family History

    It's also a way for the younger generation to learn the skills and knowledge passed down through generations of cooks so that they live on for years. It's important to share the love and care that goes into making food so that it's always remembered by those who eat it.

    What's the easiest thing to learn to cook? ›

    "Any dough, whether bread or pasta or gnocchi or dumplings — that's probably the best way to start.

    What is the most basic meal to cook? ›

    Our Go-To Easy Dinner Idea? Soup!
    • 5-Ingredient Chicken Tortilla Soup. As simple and easy as it sounds. ...
    • Taco Soup. Like tacos, but soup! ...
    • Tikka Masala Soup. Your favorite Indian chicken recipe, soup-ified. ...
    • Tortellini Soup with Italian Sausage and Kale. Can we just call this “The Soup”?

    What candy or food became popular in the 80s? ›

    Nerds. This American candy gave a whole new meaning to the term "nerd." Also created by Nestlé, the unusual shape and sweetness to this tiny candy made it very popular. Nerds was first introduced in 1983, but became "Candy of the Year" by National Candy Wholesalers Association in 1985.

    What candy did they eat in the 80s? ›

    Skittles are so reminiscent of the eighties. Those bright candy hues made way for an exciting and fruity array of flavours. There was nothing quite like Skittles at the time. They were original, more than delicious and a right of passage for every kid to come out of the 80s.

    What did kids eat for lunch in the 80s? ›

    most kids in the 80s ate typical school lunches like, hamburgers, pizza, jell-o, chocolate pudding, and syrup covered fruit. The school lunch ladies prepared the school lunches.

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