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20 First Ladies’ Favorite Foods

Discover what our most famous FLOTUSes liked to eat.

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Jacqueline Kennedy is sits in the living room of her Washington, D.C., residence, . Her husband, Sen. John F. Kennedy (D-Mass.) is campaigning for the presidency Jackie Kennedy, Washington, USAUncredited/AP/REX/Shutterstock

From American food and thrifty dinners to global flavors and healthy eating, First Ladies have had a wide range of tastes when it comes to cooking.

Curious about what their husbands liked to eat? Check out U.S. Presidents’ favorite foods.

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Martha Washington: Cured Meat

Martha Washington managed the kitchen and menus at Mount Vernon and played a vital role in making sure the plantation ran smoothly. She also oversaw the curing of meats, and was especially proud of their smoked hams. We recommend our sugar-glazed ham when you’re in the mood for a planation-style breakfast.

See if her husband liked cured meat, too. These were George Washington’s favorite foods.

Abigail Adams: Indian Pudding

One dessert John and Abigail were fond of was Indian Pudding, a baked custard pudding made with cornmeal. It’s a warm, comforting dessert perfect for fall, just like our Pumpkin Pie Pudding.
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Dolley Madison: Dolley Madison Cake

Dolley Madison was known for her hospitality and had a knack for entertaining during her days as First Lady. She was a good baker and often made a drippy caramel layer cake. If you like hers, you’ll probably also like our spice cake with caramel sauce.
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Sarah Polk: Sarah Polk Hickory Nut Cake

Like Dolley Madison, Sarah Polk also had a cake named after her. The Sarah Polk Hickory Nut Cake was popular in the 1800s, and was filled with hickory nuts. They are one of the only native nuts in the U.S., so it was considered a true American cake. Go nuts for our own nut cake.

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Mary Todd Lincoln: White Almond Cake

If someone says they’re making a Mary Todd Lincoln Cake, they’re referring to a white pound cake with almonds. Rumor has it she made if for Abe before they were married. It was said to be his favorite and was served at the White House. If you like almond cake, try our Almond Brittle Torte.

Discover more of Abraham Lincoln’s favorite foods.

Eleanor Roosevelt: Scrambled Eggs

Mrs. Roosevelt was down-to-earth in the White House kitchen. She prided herself on coming up with seven-and-a-half-cent meals that were more appropriate during the Great Depression. She was also known to whip up her own scrambled eggs, which she and FDR thoroughly enjoyed.
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Bess Truman: Ozark Pudding

Mrs. Truman is known for her Ozark Pudding, which is like a macaroon-inspired pecan pie. She made hers with apples but pears work well, too. For another delectable apple dessert, check out our apple torte.
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Mamie Eisenhower: Leftovers

Like Eleanor Roosevelt, Mamie Eisenhower was thrifty in the kitchen. She had a knack for turning leftovers into another sufficient meal. As she used to say, she could “squeeze a dollar until the eagle screamed.” Try turning leftovers into a casserole, like we do.

Jacqueline Kennedy: Poached Salmon

Jackie Kennedy brought class and French style to the White House kitchen. But one of her favorite (and most common) presidential menus was poached salmon, lamb and haricots vert, followed by some sort of ice cream dessert.

Here are more of Jackie Kennedy’s favorite foods and how to order her wedding cake for dessert.

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Lady Bird Johnson: Pecan Pie

Pecan pie was one of Lady Bird’s favorite desserts. One could say it even helped her husband win the election; she handed out the recipe to prospective voters while she was traveling down South.
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Pat Nixon: Meat Loaf

President Nixon was a big fan of his wife’s meat loaf. It was served about once a month while they lived in the White House. Her version was made with ground beef, white bread and a little marjoram. If you like it jazzed up, try our bacon-topped meat loaf.
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Betty Ford: Waffles

Betty Ford and her family liked simple American food. She was was very cost-conscious and put an emphasis on budget-friendly meals. Sunday’s breakfast consisted of waffles with pure maple syrup, strawberries and orange juice.

Rosalynn Carter: Cheese Ring

Rosalynn Carter was known for her Cheddar-Pecan Cheese Ring. Maybe because it was the perfect balance of sweet and salty. Maybe it was the secret ingredient: strawberry preserves. Our cheese pie has the same sweet and salty taste, but we made ours into a pie and spread the strawberry preserves right on top. Try it both ways!
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Nancy Reagan: Red Velvet Cheesecake

We’re not sure which foods Nancy Reagan liked best, but if we had to choose one to represent her, it would be red velvet ANYTHING! Mrs. Reagan was always a vision in red, whether in a gown or pants suit.

Barbara Bush: Quiche

Mrs. Bush knew a thing or two about making good food. Her mushroom quiche not only delighted her husband but also impressed many home cooks who follow her recipe—it’s a lot like this one.

Discover more of Barbara Bush’s favorite foods.

Hillary Rodham Clinton: Lamb

The Clintons’ White House chef lucked out when he interviewed for the job because he prepared Hillary’s favorite meat: lamb! She was excited about the culinary scene in the White House and advocated for a mix of American food and global cuisine, as well as healthy menus.

Laura Bush: Cowboy Cookies

Laura Bush kept it simple in the kitchen. And in regards to baking, she’s famous for her cowboy cookies. Her entry into Family Circle’s Presidential Cookie Bake-Off gave them national recognition.
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Michelle Obama: Garden Vegetables

This former FLOTUS was known for promoting healthy eating and fighting child obesity. Her famous White House garden was filled with an array of nutritious vegetables that make healthy eating more enjoyable.
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Melania Trump: Oatmeal

Our former first lady knew the importance of eating breakfast every day. She’d usually eat a bowl of fiber-rich oatmeal or a nutrient-packed smoothie to start her day on a healthy note.
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Jill Biden: Parmesan Chicken

Dr. Jill Biden understands the importance of gathering with loved ones around the dinner table. And her Chicken Parmesan recipe, which she shared with Parade magazine, is a family favorite.

Emily Racette Parulski
Emily Racette Parulski is a Senior Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in email newsletters. When she’s not writing about food, she’s baking something sweet to feed her chocolate obsession.