32 Must-Try Retro Dinner Party Recipes

Turn on the bossa nova and fire up your fondue pot. A menu filled with these retro dinner party recipes will put you on par with Don and Betty Draper. Now, if only they'd show up.

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Salmon Mousse Cups

I make these tempting little tarts frequently for parties. They disappear at an astonishing speed, so I usually double or triple the recipe. The salmon-cream cheese filling and flaky crust will melt in your mouth. —Fran Rowland, Phoenix, Arizona
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Contest-Winning Chicken Cacciatore

My husband and I own and operate a busy farm. There are days when there's just no time left for cooking! It's really nice to be able to come into the house at night and smell this wonderful slow cooker chicken cacciatore. —Aggie Arnold-Norman, Liberty, Pennsylvania
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Cucumber Canapes

I always get requests for the recipe for these canapes whenever I serve them. They're delicate finger sandwiches with a creamy herb spread and festive red and green garnishes. —Nadine Whittaker, South Plymouth, Massachusetts
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Mocha Baked Alaskas

Make these baked Alaskas ahead of time—you can torch the completed desserts and freeze them up to 24 hours before serving. —Kerry Dingwall, Ponte Vedra, Florida
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Seafood Bisque

We live on the Gulf Coast, where fresh seafood is plentiful. I adapted several recipes to come up with this rich bisque. It's great as a first course or an entree, and it can be made with just shrimp or crabmeat. —Pat Edwards, Dauphin Island, Alabama
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Brandy Old-Fashioned Sweet

The concept of an old-fashioned dates back to the early 1800s and includes whiskey, bitters, cherry juice, sugar and water. This old-fashioned recipe, which is extremely popular in Wisconsin, uses brandy in place of whiskey and lemon-lime soda instead of water for a milder cocktail. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Skillet Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

For a change of pace, you can substitute fresh or frozen peach slices for the pineapple in this old-fashioned recipe. —Bernardine Melton, Paola, Kansas
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Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

It's up to you how to enjoy this cocktail—eat it with a spoon as a chilled soup, or use tortilla chips or crackers for scooping. —Erin Moreno, Arcadia, Wisconsin
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Pina Colada Molded Salad

My gelatin ring gets a tropical twist from coconut, pineapple and macadamia nuts. It's a wonderful anytime treat. Now that I'm retired from teaching, I have more time for kitchen experiments. —Carol Gillespie, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
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Tuna Crescent Ring

This is really easy to throw together, and I often use it when I am too tired to fix anything else. —Julia Bivens, Martinsburg, West Virginia
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Marmalade-Glazed Carrots

This side dish is ideal when you’d like to serve your vegetables in a different way for a special dinner. Cinnamon and nutmeg season baby carrots that are simmered with orange marmalade and brown sugar. —Barb Rudyk, Vermilion, Alberta
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Quick & Easy au Gratin Potatoes

On holidays, a friend serves these creamy, cheesy potatoes when we gather together to celebrate with lifelong friends and grown children. —Carol Blue, Barnesville, Pennsylvania
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Light & Lemony Scampi

A touch more lemon helped me trim the calories in our favorite shrimp scampi recipe. For those who want to indulge, pass around the Parmesan. —Ann Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts
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Classic Cobb Salad

Making this ham cobb salad is a lot like putting in a garden. I plant everything in nice, neat sections, just as I do with seedlings. —Patricia Kile, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania
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Moist Lemon Angel Cake Roll

Tart and delicious, this pretty cake roll will tickle any lemon lover's fancy. Its feathery, angel food texture enhances its guilt-free goodness. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Dill & Chive Peas

Growing my own vegetables and herbs helps keep things fresh in the kitchen, but frozen peas make this side is a breeze to prepare. —Tanna Richard, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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Martini

Martinis recipes can be made with either vodka or gin. Our taste panel's preference was for the gin, but try them both and decide for yourself. Be warned, this is a strong and serious drink. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Bacon and Garlic Green Beans

Adding white wine, lemon juice and garlic gives a little kick to green beans. It was enough to turn our old, traditional holiday side into a year-round favorite. —Shannon Reynoso, Bakersfield, California
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Garlic-Herb Mini Quiches

Looking for a wonderful way to impress guests? You’ve got it—and you need only five ingredients to make these tasty apps! —Josephine Piro, Easton, Pennsylvania
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Puff Pastry Chicken Potpie

When my wife is craving comfort food, I whip up this chicken pot pie with puff pastry. It's easy to make, sticks to your ribs and delivers soul-satisfying flavor. —Nick Iverson, Denver, Colorado
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Deviled Egg Spread

I tried this egg salad at a luncheon and had to have it. I punched it up with pickled banana peppers. It’s a hit with my kids and picky mother. —Lisa Easley, Longview, Texas
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Caramelized Onion Dip

Once you taste this fabulous caramelized onion dip, you'll never go back to store-bought french onion dip. While it takes a little longer to make, I promise it's worth every minute. —Kelly Gardner, Alton, Illinois
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Sage Chicken Cordon Bleu

It's nice to surprise the family with special meals like this during the week. I usually double the recipe so we can enjoy leftovers the next day. —Martha Stine, Johnstown, Pennsylvania
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Italian Pineapple Trifle

My grandmother made this rich, tempting trifle every year for our family’s Christmas Eve celebrations. Now I make it to carry on her special tradition. It’s an easy, delicious no-bake dessert everyone will love. —Ann-Marie Milano, Milton, Massachusetts
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Lobster alla Diavola

I’ve cooked lobster alla diavola (devil’s style) since I was first married. We serve lobster at family celebrations, usually with linguine or capellini. —Marcia Whitney, Gainesville, Florida
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Pickled Green Beans with Smoked Salmon Dip

I came up with this appetizer for my son, who's big on delicious but healthy food. The lighter beans-and-dip combo has won over even finicky eaters. —Dinah Halterman, Harmony, North Carolina
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Marinated Almond-Stuffed Olives

Marinated stuffed olives go over so well with company that I try to keep a batch of them in the fridge at all times. —Larissa Delk, Columbia, Tennessee
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Ring of Piggies

This charming plate of piggies looks like a holiday wreath when I drape fresh rosemary in the center. It’s a cute display for merry get-togethers. —Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland

Ellie Martin Cliffe
Ellie has spent almost 20 years writing and editing food and lifestyle content for several well-known publishers. As Taste of Home's content director, she leads the team of editors sharing tasty recipes, cooking tips and entertaining ideas. Since joining Taste of Home 13 years ago, she has held roles in digital and print, editing cookbooks, curating special interest publications, running magazines, starring in cooking and cleaning videos, working with the Community Cooks and even handing out cookies and cocoa at local holiday events. Gluten- and dairy-free since 2017, she’s a staff go-to on allergy-friendly foods that actually taste good. If she's not in her plant-filled office, find Ellie in her family’s urban veggie garden, in the kitchen trying new GF/DF recipes or at a local hockey rink, cheering on her spouse or third grader.