25 Retro Recipes You Won’t Believe People Actually Made Slideshow

Horrible old-fashioned recipes and their modern-day counterparts you will actually want to make

25 Retro Recipes You Won’t Believe People Actually Made

25 Retro Recipes You Won’t Believe People Actually Made

When people think of retro, or use it in a sentence, it usually conveys some sort of nostalgia — fondness for the past and simpler times. When it comes to food, however, retro can yield alarming results; unlike a favorite pair Levis, vintage recipes often do not age very well.


Vintage Recipe Cards is a wonderful curated collection of retro recipes. Browsing the site for mere minutes will have you reeling. So many awful photographs! Ring molds, canned mushrooms, canned salmon, prawns that look like cartoon characters, and so, so, so much gelatin!


Unfortunately I do not have all the answers, but I do have delicious recipe alternatives — modern-day upgrades for these old-school dishes. So please, peruse these recipes and try to contain your shock! Some of these recipes are truly terrifying!

Brunch Eggs With Creamed Salmon

This delightful recipe begins with these instructions: “Drain liquid from salmon and add enough milk to make 2 1/4 cups. Flake salmon and mash round bones. Set aside.” Yum, so appetizing!

Instead of this mess of canned salmon and hard-boiled eggs covered in salmon sauce, why not use delicious smoked salmon and cook your favorite kind of eggs? Poached, boiled, scrambled — whatever you feel like eating!


For the Scrambled Eggs With Smoked Salmon recipe, click here.


Canned Salmon in Shells

Here is another spectacular salmon dish that will wow guests at your next dinner party! A perfect use for that canned salmon and those scallop shells you may have gathering dust in the back of the cupboards. Or maybe not! Instead, try making delicious salmon cakes — full of flavor and with a crunchy crust made using panko breadcrumbs. Much better!


For the Salmon Quinoa Cakes recipe, click here.


Cheesy Tuna Chowder

Here we have a soup recipe that uses canned, condensed cheese soup; canned tomatoes and canned tuna — packed in water and undrained. Instead, make a dish with similar and definitely more delicious flavors: a vibrant twist on the classic tuna melt!


For the Tex-Mex Tuna Melts recipe, click here.


Chicken Stack-Ups

These chicken stack-ups are a make-ahead meal featuring pancakes and creamed chicken. The recipe uses ingredients like sour cream mix, biscuit mix, jellied cranberry sauce, and American cheese. Instead, make chicken and waffles for a brilliant breakfast or brunch.


For the Chicken and Waffles With Lemon Bacon Candy recipe, click here.

Chopped Chicken Liver Pâté

Chicken liver pate can be a really delicious start to any meal, but this recipe’s overly enthusiastic use of aspic along with the carrot “flowers” seems a bit unnecessary and outdated. Try a more modern pate, with simpler presentation and solid flavor. You don’t even need to stick with chicken livers — a vegetarian pâté can be an equally great start to a diner party.


For the Light and Creamy Mushroom Pâté recipe, click here.

Corned Beef Open Sandwiches

Here we have a recipe for a sandwich that is simple in its ingredients and heavy on garish garnish. Though this recipe is far from the worst on the list, the wacky designs and the use of ingredients solely based on their visual appeal make this recipe stand out. If you want to make some corned beef appetizers, try something a bit more modern like corned beef puffs.


For the Corned Beef Puffs recipe, click here.

Creamed Scampi

Mmmmm, doesn’t this dish look appetizing! Scampi are carefully fried and then covered in a cream sauce, seasoned with lemon juice, and garnished with parsley or chives, not both! Instead, try cooking a version of scampi that’s loaded with flavors from garlic, red pepper flakes, and Cajun seasoning — served over some delicate angel hair pasta. Much better!


For the Shrimp Scampi recipe, click here.

Deviled Eggs

Are these not the saddest deviled eggs you’ve ever seen? They are obviously quite a departure from the tasty, stuffed renditions of deviled eggs that we are used to these days. If you’re looking for a good deviled egg recipe, stick to something more modern.


For the Sriracha Deviled Eggs With Candied Bacon recipe, click here.

Deviled Salmon

With ingredients like canned mushrooms, dehydrated onion flakes, and evaporated skim milk, this recipe doesn’t exactly inspire! Instead of this odd casserole, make something delicious like sweet and spicy salmon.

For the Grilled Glazed Sweet and Spicy Salmon recipe, click here.

Filets de Sole Normande

These Normandy-style fillets of sole may be a classic dish, but they certainly do not look delicious. A better use of sole that is an equally classic dish is sole meunière — an elegant French dish that highlights the fish rather than covers it.


For the Easy Sole Meunière recipe, click here.

Fruit and Cheese Mold

Bring on the gelatin! Bring on the ring molds! With layers of fruit, gelatin, and cottage cheese, with a gorgeous garnish of lettuce leaves — who could resist such a delectable dish? Instead of this retro ring mold fiasco, make a salad of fruit, on a bed of fresh leaves, with crumbled feta and balsamic vinegar.


For the Fruit and Walnut Salad With Feta Cheese recipe, click here.

Glazed Ham Ring

Another glorious ring mold creation, here we have a variation of a meat loaf. The actual recipe doesn’t sound too horrifying, but the styling is wonderfully old-fashioned. After being molded and cooked, the center is filled with creamed peas and potatoes — charming, but maybe not something you would want to make for your next dinner party. Instead of this old-fashioned recipe, try a meatloaf fit for champions!


For the Meatloaf Fit for Champions recipe, click here.

Gondolier’s Hero Sandwiches

There’s a lot going on in these sandwiches, and it seems unlikely that gondoliers ever ate anything resembling them. Tuna salad, macaroni salad, and “cheese mixture” — stuffed into rolls? How random does that sound?? Better stick to something that is safe and delicious, like an Italian deli-stuffed loaf.


For the Italian Deli-Stuffed Loaf recipe, click here.

Jellied Lamb Salad

This name of this recipe really says it all. I think it is safe to say that there are many better ways to prepare lovely lamb chops that don’t involve covering them in aspic.


For the Summer Lamb With Fennel and Roasted Nectarines recipe, click here.

Madrilène-Cheese Salad

Here we have another bizarre ‘salad’ recipe that involves a lot of gelatin and cottage cheese — how wonderful, how appetizing… Instead of this tomato soup-turned-Jell-o on top of cheese, why not try a traditional; and (most importantly) delicious Caprese salad, using ripe tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese?


For the Caprese Salad recipe, click here.

Mexican Shrimp-Orange Salad

The best thing about this recipe is the decorative toad in the corner of the photograph. The murky, dishwater-like substance is apparently a lime dressing that contains… gelatin! Because of course it does! Make a delicious shrimp cocktail filled with Mexican flavors instead for a much more enjoyable start to a meal.

For Eva Longoria's Mexican Shrimp Cocktail recipe, click here.

Milk Chicken

Milk Chicken

This bizarre recipe has the home cook poach whole chickens and then make a sauce using the poaching liquid, milk, eggs, and butter. This sauce is poured over the chicken, before being garnished, alarmingly, with bananas. Instead, make a tasty yogurt chicken and caramelized onion pasta.

For the Yogurt Chicken and Caramelized Onion Pasta recipe, click here.

Orange Salad

An orange salad sounds harmless, if not delicious. Sadly, this orange salad misses the mark by combing oranges, boiled eggs, and prawns. For a salad that is actually delicious, pair shrimp with avocados and cilantro.


For the Avocado Shrimp Salad recipe, click here.


The best thing about this photo and the corresponding recipe is definitely the prawn garnish diving into the dry rice. Instead of this recipe, make an authentic paella you would actually want to eat.

For the Seafood Paella Recipe, click here.

Perfect Pizza Lunch

This is a very sad pizza. Instead of smothering a piece of enriched white bread (untoasted) with sauce and provolone cheese — just make a real pizza. These days, with high-quality, ready-to-roll dough (if you don’t feel like making your own) and pizza stones, it’s easier than ever to make delicious pizzas at home. For something even more simple, try a stovetop pizza.


For the Thin-Crust Stovetop Pizza recipe, click here.

Plaice and Cucumber Rolls

Here, on Fish Card 16, we have more comical shrimp and unappetizing rolls of fish that have been covered in a very thick-looking “thin sauce.” Instead, look to Sicily for a recipe that uses plenty of lemon and fresh herbs to ensure a delicious dinner.


For the Baked Rollatini of Sole recipe, click here.

Salmon Crisp Crumble

With a potato chip crust and a filling of canned salmon and tomato soup, this recipe is not for the faint of heart. Instead, try a delicious crusted salmon that will have excellent texture as well as taste.

For the Walnut-Crusted Salmon recipe, click here.

Skillet Veal on Rice

Here we go, with more ring molds and canned mushrooms! This recipe features boiled veal, a “hot rice ring,” and a “paprika garnish.” If you prefer a delicious braised veal shank dish, you can’t go wrong with an Italian classic like osso buco — you can even serve it over rice if you’re feeling nontraditional.

For the Slow-Cooker 'Osso Buco' Stew recipe, click here.

Shrimp Jambalaya — Creole Sauce

Shrimp, bananas, and sauce over rice does not a jambalaya make. Instead of this horrifying recipe, stick to a traditional and far more delicious rendition.


For the Chicken and Smoked Sausage Jambalaya recipe, click here.

Spring Vegetable Mold — Perfection Salad

Everything is wrong with this recipe, which is far from perfection. Featuring lemon-flavored gelatin as well as unflavored gelatin (can’t have enough of the stuff, apparently) and meant to be served with mayonnaise or salad dressing, this salad is appalling! Instead, try any other salad for a major improvement.


For the Tomato and Watermelon Salad recipe, click here.