14 of John Wayne’s Favorite Foods

Updated: Jan. 05, 2022

We discovered what this Western film icon liked to eat, and it's one delicious round-up.

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John Wayne Cowboy Ride Him
Warner Bros/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

John Wayne was more than a movie star and iconic American. He was also a normal guy who loved to grill out and eat good food. From beef casserole to recipes made with tequila, we know what tickled the Duke’s fancy.

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Grilled Steak

Grilling was one of John Wayne’s favorite hobbies—he even owned a huge indoor grill. He dabbled in chicken, pork and seafood, but steak was his favorite. Learn our secrets for grilling the best steak.
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Anything with Whiskey

The Duke loved whiskey. He liked blending and creating drinks, and when his son found several cases after his death, he was inspired to join forces with winemakers and start Duke Spirits.
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Chiles Rellenos Souffle

John’s third wife, Pilar, made a special souffle whenever her husband was filming on location. It’s packed with green chiles and cheese, and her recipe is replicated often, even today.
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Cheese Grits

Arguably the most appropriate (and punnily titled) food featured in The Official John Wayne Way to Grill, is his True Grits with Cheese. We think he’d like this version, too.
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John Wayne Casserole

Perhaps the most popular food connected with John Wayne is his eponymous casserole. This similar, hearty baked dish is packed with beef and finished with a biscuit-like topping. Find more of our great ground beef casseroles.
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Carnitas with Tequila

Tequila was one of the Duke’s favorite spirits, whether in the form of a beverage or flavoring his food. He must’ve loved that subtle taste of agave. Not sure what to mix with tequila? Here’s some help.
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Oven-Fried Cornbread

When you love to cook, a cast iron skillet is your friend. John Wayne’s recipe for cornbread made use of this magnificent tool and a similar recipe is included in the John Wayne Cast Iron Official Cookbook.

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Crab Dip

Linda Evans, star of Dynasty and one of John’s Hollywood pals, shared a crab dip recipe that she got from him. Sounds like they ate well together! This recipe is a good copycat.
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Spicy Chili

John’s favorite batch of chili included three shots of tequila, which further proves his love of the mellow liquor. Want more genius ways to upgrade your chili? Read this.
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Baked Beans

Nothing goes with grilled meat quite like baked beans, and Mr. Wayne had an easy and reliable recipe he loved. It starts with pork and beans and builds from there! Find more recipes that are cowboy-worthy.
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Roast Beef and Gravy

Considering his status as a man’s man, it’s no surprise that John Wayne loved roast beef. Yet another cookbook full of recipes near and dear to the Wayne family, The Official John Wayne Family Cookbook, includes several meaty mains.
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What’s a meaty feast without coleslaw on the side? The Duke had a simple and delicious recipe for creamy coleslaw that would go well with any meal. See the steps to make our version here.
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Grilled Meatballs

John used his mother’s meatball recipe, making them extra-special by cooking them on the grill. Need more proof that moms know best? We have it!
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Scalloped Potatoes

The man was unquestionably a fan of meat and potatoes, and one of his go-to side dishes was scalloped potatoes. With milk, cream, butter and cheese, John’s version wasn’t for the faint of heart. We think he’d like this take on taters.