Retro Food Trends That Are Due For A Comeback

There's something undeniably charming and captivating about revisiting the flavors and styles of the past. As culinary innovation pushes boundaries, we often yearn for the nostalgia and comfort of retro dishes. Food memories can be very powerful, according to research shared by the Huffington Post.

Whether it's the communal experience of fondue or deviled eggs, these classic culinary delights have stood the test of time and should regain their rightful place in our modern kitchens. After all, the world's first frozen foods date back thousands of years!

Let's explore the 15 retro food trends that are ready to make a triumphant return. From iconic dishes of the '50s and '60s to the beloved snacks of the '90s, these culinary gems are bound to ignite your taste buds and transport you to a bygone era. Get ready to indulge in the flavors of the past as we unveil the retro food trends that are eagerly awaiting their comeback. Prepare to be inspired and tempted as we celebrate the timeless appeal of retro cuisine!


This classic dish revolves around a communal pot filled with melted cheese or chocolate. The beauty of fondue lies not only in its scrumptious flavors but also in the joy of dipping an array of dippables into the velvety mixture.

Traditionally, cheese fondue takes the spotlight, featuring a blend of melted cheeses like Gruyère, Emmental, or Swiss cheese. The cheese is melted with wine and garlic, resulting in a creamy and flavorful concoction. As the pot of melted cheese simmers on a portable burner, bite-sized pieces of crusty bread are skewered onto long forks and dipped into the cheese. For those with a sweet tooth, chocolate fondue is a delectable treat. Typically dark or milk chocolate is melted and kept warm in the pot. Various dippables are provided, such as fresh fruits like strawberries, bananas, pineapple chunks, marshmallows, and pound cake cubes.

Whether a casual get-together or a special occasion, fondue sets the stage for an unforgettable culinary experience that transcends time and creates lasting memories. So gather your loved ones, prepare the dippables, and indulge in the timeless charm of fondue! Check out this Swiss Cheese Fondue recipe for inspiration.

Jell-O molds

Jell-O molds offer a whimsical and visually striking addition to any dessert table. These gelatin-based delights come in various shapes and sizes, often showcasing vibrant colors and exciting mix-ins.

Creating a Jell-O mold begins with dissolving flavored gelatin powder in hot water. This mixture is then combined with cold water, allowing it to set into a wobbly and jiggly consistency. While the gelatin is still in its liquid state, an assortment of ingredients is added to enhance the flavor and texture of the desert. Common additions include fresh fruits like strawberries, mandarin oranges, or sliced peaches, which add sweetness and natural juiciness. The mixture is then poured into intricate molds, ranging from classic ring shapes to whimsical designs like stars, flowers, or cartoon characters. As the gelatin sets, it takes on the form of a mold.

Jell-O molds gained popularity in the mid-20th century, gracing countless family gatherings and potluck parties, popular with adults and children alike. Who doesn't love jiggly jello? Over time, Jell-O molds have evolved to reflect changing tastes and culinary trends. They can be found in various modern variations, incorporating ingredients like yogurt, cream cheese, or even champagne. Whether served as a standalone treat or as part of a larger dessert, Jell-O molds offer a playful and delightful experience!

Deviled eggs

Deviled eggs bring a touch of elegance and flavor to any gathering or appetizer spread. These classic delights feature hard-boiled eggs that have been halved and transformed into delectable bite-sized treats with a creamy and flavorful filling.

To make, start with perfectly boiled eggs. Once cooked and cooled, slice the eggs lengthwise. Gently remove the yolks and mash them with mayonnaise, creating a luscious and smooth base for the filling. Add spices and seasonings, such as mustard, vinegar, salt, pepper, hot sauce, or paprika. Carefully spoon the creamy yolk mixture back into the egg white halves. Finally, sprinkle with paprika. Deviled eggs are incredibly versatile, and alternative toppings like fresh herbs, crumbled bacon, or even caviar can be used to customize and elevate the dish further.

Deviled eggs are a true crowd-pleaser, suitable for casual picnics, elegant brunches, or holiday gatherings. They continue to make a comeback, appreciated for their simplicity and the nostalgic connection they evoke. Start making classic deviled eggs for your next party!

Tuna casserole

Tuna casserole is a testament to the ingenuity of home cooks who sought to create a delicious meal using pantry staples. The foundation of a tuna casserole consists of canned tuna, cooked pasta, and a creamy sauce. The sauce, often made with condensed soup, milk, and cheese, binds the ingredients together. To elevate the flavors and add a crunchy contrast, a generous layer of breadcrumbs is sprinkled over the top of the casserole before baking, toasting to a golden broad.

You can also switch things up and experiment with your tuna casserole. For example, add peas, mushrooms, onions, or seasonings such as garlic, herbs, or spices. Or try this Upscale Tuna Casserole Recipe tonight!

This retro dish gained popularity in the mid-20th century when canned tuna became readily available and budget-friendly, perfect to feed a family. They are still a go-to option for busy households or those seeking a satisfying meal with familiar flavors. Whether enjoyed as a weeknight dinner or as a potluck favorite, tuna casserole remains a timeless classic that brings comfort and nostalgia.

Ambrosia salad

Ambrosia salad, often called a dessert salad, showcases a medley of canned fruit, marshmallows, coconut, and a luscious whipped cream dressing. Ambrosia salad is often associated with family gatherings, potlucks, or holiday celebrations.

The foundation of ambrosia salad lies in the combination of canned fruits. Various fruits such as mandarin oranges, pineapple tidbits, maraschino cherries, canned peaches, or fruit cocktails are used, ensuring a consistent flavor throughout the year. The fruit's vibrant colors and juicy textures add a refreshing sweetness to the salad. Miniature marshmallows are a staple ingredient to enhance the texture. Coconut flakes are also often sprinkled generously over the salad, adding a tropical note and a subtle nutty flavor. Whipped cream or a whipped topping is used as a dressing to bind all the ingredients together.

Some people add chopped nuts and yogurt or swap the whipped cream for sour cream or yogurt for a lighter twist. Whether enjoyed as a refreshing side dish or a delightful dessert, ambrosia salad will transport you back to earlier, warmer times! There are so many easy Ambrosia salad recipes out there, as shown in Spend with Pennies.

Shrimp cocktail

Shrimp cocktail showcases plump and succulent cooked shrimp with a tangy cocktail sauce. The size of the shrimp can vary, with jumbo or colossal shrimp being popular choices. Accompanying the shrimp is the iconic cocktail sauce. This zesty sauce combines ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings. Some variations of the cocktail sauce incorporate ingredients such as hot sauce, minced garlic, or finely chopped onions for added flavor. Shrimp cocktail is often neatly around the edge of a cocktail glass or on a platter. The sauce is placed in a small dish in the center, allowing guests to dip and coat the shrimp. There are many different recipes out there – try this Mexican Shrimp Cocktail recipe!

Shrimp cocktails are perfect for casual gatherings and formal occasions. Whether enjoyed as an appetizer before a lavish meal or as the star of a cocktail party, shrimp cocktail exudes a sense of sophistication and nostalgia. Its cool and refreshing nature makes it a timeless classic that continues to captivate the taste buds of seafood lovers worldwide.

Pigs in a blanket

Pigs in a Blanket combine the irresistible flavors of sausages or hot dogs with the delightful crunch of golden pastry or dough. These bite-sized treats have been a crowd-pleaser for decades. Begin with choosing the perfect miniature sausages or cocktail franks. These small sausages are often pre-cooked and come in various flavors, from classic beef or pork to more adventurous options like chicken or vegetarian alternatives. Wrap the sausages in a thin layer of pastry or dough, ranging from puff pastry to crescent roll dough, depending on your preference. Carefully roll the sausages in the dough, ensuring they are completely enclosed, and then bake in the oven until the dough turns golden brown and crispy.

The result is a delightful combination of flavors and textures: the juicy and savory sausage encased in a flaky, buttery pastry. Some variations include adding a layer of cheese or spreading mustard or other condiments on the dough before wrapping the sausages. The size of the sausages and the thickness of the dough can also be adjusted to create larger or smaller portions, depending on the occasion. You can also mix things up – with a Pigs In Pimento Cheese Blankets Recipe!

These savory morsels have stood the test of time and remain a staple at parties, game nights, and family gatherings. Their bite-sized nature and finger food appeal make them a hit, often appearing as appetizers at trendy events or reinvented with gourmet twists.

Chicken à la King

This creamy dish features tender diced chicken, earthy mushrooms, and colorful peppers enveloped in a luscious and flavorful sauce, typically served over rice or noodles. Preparing Chicken à la King begins with cooking until it is tender and juicy. Dice the chicken into bite-sized pieces, then sautee mushrooms and peppers to release their flavors.

The sauce is typically made by combining butter, flour, and chicken broth to create a roux. Then, add cream, milk, or seasonings such as salt, pepper, and sometimes a white wine or sherry splash. Once the sauce reaches the desired consistency, add the diced chicken, sautéed mushrooms, and peppers. Chicken à la King is often served over a bed of rice or noodles.

This dish is a timeless favorite due to its rich and creamy nature. The dish can be easily adapted to suit your preferences, with variations including the addition of peas, carrots, or even a touch of paprika. View the full recipe at All Recipes!

Soda fountains

These old-fashioned soda shops were vibrant hubs where people gathered to enjoy refreshing carbonated beverages, indulgent ice cream floats, and creamy milkshakes. Nostalgic flavors like root beer or cherry added to the enchantment of the experience. Rows of tall stools lined the counter where patrons sat. The atmosphere buzzed with the sound of mixed carbonated beverages, the glassware clinking, and the laughter of friends and families. Syrups in various flavors were combined with sparkling water. Classic favorites like cola, root beer, and ginger ale were popular. The skilled soda jerks would expertly mix the syrups and soda water, creating a refreshing and fizzy beverage.

Ice cream floats were another beloved treat offered at soda fountains. Scoops of velvety ice cream were gently placed into a tall glass, and then the soda of choice was poured over the top. The combination of sweet ice cream and bubbly soda provided a cooling respite on warm summer days. Milkshakes were also a staple of soda fountains, made by blending milk, ice cream, and flavored syrups together. Whether it was a classic vanilla, rich chocolate, or a fruity strawberry milkshake, the result was a thick and creamy concoction.

Soda fountains were more than just places to enjoy drinks and desserts. They were social gathering spots where friends and families shared stories, creating memories when life was a little sweeter. Luckily, some are still around today, as detailed in Wide Open Country.

Chicken pot pie

This savory pie encases a delectable filling of tender chicken, wholesome vegetables, and a rich and creamy sauce, all nestled beneath a golden and flaky crust. At the heart of chicken pot pie is the succulent chicken, often cooked and shredded or diced into bite-sized pieces. The pot pie filling is further enriched with vegetables. Classic choices include carrots, peas, onions, celery, potatoes, or mushrooms. A velvety mixture of broth, cream, or milk, thickened with flour or a roux, forms the foundation of the sauce. Herbs and seasonings such as thyme, rosemary, and black pepper are often added.

The crowning glory of the chicken pot pie is its flaky crust. Made with butter or shortening, flour, and a touch of salt, the crust is rolled out and delicately draped over the filling, creating a protective and golden-brown layer. Baking the pot pie in the oven allows the flavors to meld, the filling to become bubbling and aromatic, and the crust to achieve its desirable golden hue.

Chicken pot pie can be a comforting weeknight dinner or a showstopper at gatherings and celebrations. Whether enjoyed on a chilly winter evening or as a centerpiece for a special occasion, classic chicken pot pie is a classic dish that exemplifies home-style cooking.

Tater tots

Tater tots have captured the hearts and taste buds of many. These delightful treats consist of grated or shredded potatoes formed into small cylindrical shapes, deep-fried until golden and crispy. Tater tots are often a delectable side dish or a popular appetizer.

The process of creating tater tots begins with the potatoes. Russet potatoes are a popular choice, known for their starchy texture and ability to hold their shape during frying. The potatoes are peeled and then either grated or shredded, resulting in fine strands mixed with seasonings such as salt, pepper, and garlic powder to enhance their flavor.

Tater tots make a fantastic side dish, complementing burgers, sandwiches, or grilled meats with their comforting presence. As an appetizer, they are a crowd-pleaser, often served with an array of dipping sauces like ketchup, ranch dressing, or spicy mayo. They evoke memories of childhood meals and school lunches, making them a favorite among people of all ages. There are still so many Tater tot recipes to try, such as Jalapeno cheddar or Red Flannel Hash!

Icebox cakes

Icebox cakes are a delightful and fuss-free way to create impressive layered desserts in advance. These no-bake cakes are assembled by alternating cookies or graham crackers layers with luscious whipped cream or velvety pudding.

Making an icebox cake begins by selecting the base layer of crisp cookies, such as chocolate wafers or graham crackers. They are arranged in a single layer, forming the foundation upon which the layers of cream or pudding will rest. The next step involves preparing the creamy layers. Whipped cream or velvety pudding are popular choices. The whipped cream or pudding is generously spread over the base layer, ensuring even coverage. The process is then repeated, alternating between the cookie or graham cracker layer and the creamy filling until the desired number of layers is achieved. Once the layers are complete, the cake is covered and placed in the refrigerator to chill.

You can customize your icebox cakes with other ingredients, such as fresh fruit, chocolate shavings, crushed nuts, flavored syrups, or liqueurs to your icebox cakes! Whether enjoyed on a warm summer day or as a sweet ending to a memorable meal, icebox cakes deliver a refreshing experience. Insanely Good Recipes has several delicious icebox recipes for you to try.

Banana splits

Banana splits are a timeless, refreshing dessert for a reason. Traditionally, three scoops of ice cream are used to create a banana split, with popular flavors including vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. Each scoop represents a different taste experience. The ice cream is then drizzled with luscious chocolate sauce. Whipped cream is essential to a banana split, including a sprinkle of crunchy nuts, such as chopped walnuts or peanuts, and a vibrant cherry on top!

Banana splits are often served in a long, boat-shaped dish. The joy of a banana split lies in the exquisite combination of flavors and the fun and interactive experience of building one. There are so many ways to elevate your banana split, according to Frozen Dessert Supplies!

Whether enjoyed on a hot summer day or as a special treat at any time of the year, banana splits are a beloved dessert that brings smiles to people of all ages. It still captures indulgence, joy, and the simple pleasures of life. What memory does eating a banana split bring back to mind?