78 Vintage Recipes From the ’50s Worth Trying Today

Updated: May 14, 2024

The '50s were full of poodle skirts, greasers and some amazing food. Take a trip down memory lane with old recipes for 1950s food. These apps, mains and desserts were popular back when a gallon of milk only cost $0.82!

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Molded Strawberry Salad

This refreshing salad has two layers – a pretty pink bottom that includes sour cream, and a ruby red top with strawberries and pineapple. For years, Mom has included this jello salad in meals she prepares for our family. -Gloria Grant, Sterling, Illinois

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Baked Ham with Pineapple

I first learned the technique for baked ham with pineapple for a themed dinner my husband and I hosted. Since it is widely known as the symbol of hospitality, pineapple was the star ingredient on our menu and on this lovely baked ham. —JoAnn Fox, Johnson City, Tennessee
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Cherry Nut Cake

My grandmother made up this recipe for her children. Using Ozark-grown cherries and walnuts, she invented one they all liked. Granny always used cream from the dairy farm near her home, but the half-and half works well and is easier to find. —Diana Jennings, Lebanon, Missouri
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Green Beans Amandine

It's hard to improve on the taste Mother Nature gives to fresh green beans, but Mom has done just that for years using this green beans amandine recipe. I have always thought the crunchy almonds were a super addition. —Brenda DuFresne, Midland, Michigan
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Grapefruit Alaska

Easily impress your guests with this quick dessert. It takes just 30 minutes to prepare, and you'll receive rave reviews. —Peg Atzen, Hackensack, Minnesota
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The Best Chicken & Dumplings

 Homemade chicken and dumplings from scratch harken back to my childhood and chilly days when we devoured those cute little balls of dough swimming in hot, rich broth. It's one of those types of soup you'll want to eat again and again. —Erika Monroe-Williams, Scottsdale, Arizona
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Ambrosia Salad

Because it’s so simple to make, this tropical fruit medley is great as a last-minute menu addition. Plus, this ambrosia salad requires just five ingredients. —Judi Bringegar, Liberty, North Carolina
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Mom's Meat Loaf

Mom made the best meat loaf, and now I do too. When I first met my husband, he wasn't a meat loaf guy, but this recipe won him over. —Michelle Beran, Claflin, Kansas

Want more timeless dishes? Check out our 50 most-shared vintage recipes.

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7-Layer Gelatin Salad

Here's an eye-catching salad that my mother makes for Christmas dinner each year. You can choose different flavors to make other color combinations for specific holidays or other gatherings. —Jan Hemness, Stockton, Missouri
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One-Skillet Pork Chop Supper

My husband, Clark, and I reserve this recipe for Sundays after the grandkids have gone home and we're too tired to prepare a big meal. It's comforting and quick. —Kathy Thompson, Port Orange, Florida
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Spiced Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

I often bake this beautiful cake in my large cast-iron skillet and turn it out
onto a pizza pan. —Jennifer Sergesketter, Newburgh, Indiana. Try this cranberry duff, a New England-style upside-down cake.

You can’t beat a classic. These old-school recipes DEFINITELY deserve a comeback.

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Mom’s Roast Beef

Everyone loves slices of this fork-tender roast beef with its savory gravy. The well-seasoned roast is Mom's specialty. People always ask about the secret ingredients. Now you have the delicious recipe for our favorite meat dish! —Linda Gaido, New Brighton, Pennsylvania
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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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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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Thick Strawberry Shakes

Cool off with a thick and rich treat that will remind you of a malt shoppe! Nothing can beat this strawberry shake recipe. —Kathryn Conrad, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Chocolate Cream Pie

Our teenage son, John, has done lots of 4-H baking. This old-fashioned chocolate cream pie recipe with a flaky crust was his favorite thing to make. —Mary Anderson, De Valls Bluff, Arkansas
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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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Chicken Amandine

With colorful green beans and pimientos, this attractive casserole is terrific for the holidays. This is true comfort food at its finest. —Kat Woolbright, Wichita Falls, Texas
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Grasshopper Shakes

Minty, chocolaty and cool, this spiked dessert drink makes a wonderful way to toast family and friends at holiday gatherings. A little shaved chocolate on top adds an extra-festive touch. —Marcia Whitney, Gainesville, Florida
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Bacon-Wrapped Spam Bites

These sweet and savory bites use Spam—a favorite ingredient in Hawaii—in a fun new way. Bet you can't stop at just one! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Olive-Stuffed Celery

My grandmother taught both me and my mom this appetizer recipe for stuffed celery. We always serve it at Christmas and Thanksgiving. The stuffing is so yummy that even if you don't normally care for the ingredients on their own, you'll love the end result. —Stacy Powell, Santa Fe, Texas
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Chocolate Chiffon Cake

If you want to offer family and friends a dessert that really stands out from the rest, this is the cake to make. The beautiful high, rich sponge cake is drizzled with a succulent chocolate glaze. —Erma Fox, Memphis, Missouri
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Sugar-Glazed Ham

This old-fashioned ham glaze gives a pretty golden brown coating—just like Grandma used to make. The mustard and vinegar complement the brown sugar which adds a tangy flavor to this glazed ham recipe. Be prepared to serve seconds! —Carol Strong Battle, Heathville, Virginia
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Shrimp and Cucumber Canapes

These cute stacks really stand out in a holiday appetizer buffet. Tasty, cool and crunchy, they come together in a snap. —Ashley Nochlin, Port St. Lucie, Florida
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Hawaiian Pie

Cool summer pies are one of Mom’s specialties. This version offers pineapple, maraschino cherries and walnuts that are folded into a fluffy filling. It’s an easy yet tempting no-bake dessert. —Jennifer Mcquillan, Jacksonville, Florida. Looking for more? Try malasadas, a popular Hawaiian treat.
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Three-Bean Baked Beans

I got this recipe from my aunt and made a couple of changes to suit my taste. With ground beef and bacon mixed in, these satisfying beans are a big hit at backyard barbecues and church picnics. I'm always asked to bring my special beans. —Julie Currington, Gahanna, Ohio
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Maine Potato Candy

Years ago, folks in Maine ate potatoes every day and used leftovers in bread, doughnuts and even candy. This chocolate potato candy recipe captures the old-school flavors. —Barbara Allen, Chelmsford, Massachusetts
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Country Chicken and Gravy

Here's a lightened-up take on the classic southern comfort-food dish: chicken and gravy. This recipe has been a hit at our house since the first time we tried it! —Ruth Helmuth, Abbeville, South Carolina
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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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Celebration Cheese Balls

A handful of simple ingredients that go together in minutes, three fun flavorful options…these creamy cheese balls from our Test Kitchen are a darling, do-ahead delight for busy holiday hostesses! Why not whip up several batches? —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Flavorful Pot Roast

On hectic days, this is so quick and easy to prep! Convenient packages of dressing and gravy combine to create a sauce worthy of a fall-apart roast. For a filling meal-in-one, serve with mashed potatoes and ladle the juices over top. —Arlene Butler, Ogden, Utah
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Slow-Cooker Country Captain Chicken

Legend has it that the recipe for country captain chicken was brought to Georgia in the early 1800s by a British sea captain. Although it's traditional to serve this over rice, it's also delicious with noodles or mashed potatoes. —Suzanne Banfield, Basking Ridge, New Jersey
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Picnic Fried Chicken

For our family, it's not a picnic unless we have fried chicken! Chicken, deviled eggs and potato salad are all musts for a picnic as far as my husband is concerned. This is a golden oldie recipe for me—I've used it any number of times. —Edna Hoffman, Hebron, Indiana
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Creamy Coleslaw

For me, this is the best coleslaw recipe because a package of shredded cabbage and carrots really cuts down on prep time. This coleslaw recipe is great for potlucks or to serve to your family on a busy weeknight. —Renee Endress, Galva, Illinois
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Moist Chocolate Cake

This moist chocolate cake recipe with coffee reminds me of my grandmother because it was one of her specialties. I bake it often for family parties, and it always brings back fond memories. The cake is light and airy with a delicious chocolate taste. This recipe is a keeper! —Patricia Kreitz, Richland, Pennsylvania
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Ham Salad

I first made this ham salad recipe for a shower, and everyone raved about it. Now when I go to a potluck, I take it—along with copies of the recipe. —Patricia Reed, Pine Bluff, Arkansas
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Oysters Rockefeller

My husband and I are oyster farmers, and this classic Oysters Rockefeller dish always delights our guests. It's deliciously simple! —Beth Walton, Eastham, Massachusetts
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Kentucky Butter Cake

I found this Kentucky butter cake recipe in an old cookbook I bought at a garage sale and couldn’t wait to try it. I knew it had been someone’s favorite because of the well-worn page. —Joan Gertz, Palmetto, Florida
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Pork Chops with Scalloped Potatoes

Mom always managed to put a delicious hearty meal on the table for us and for our farmhands. This all-in-one comforting pork chops recipe reminds me of home. —Bernice Morris, Marshfield, Missouri
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Buttery Onion Soup

I developed this recipe when I once had an abundance of sweet onions. I like making it for guests, but sometimes I'll halve the recipe and make some just for me! —Sharon Berthelote, Sunburst, Montana
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Salisbury Steak Supreme

When I was running late one night, a go-to recipe of my mom's popped into my head. Now it's one of my husband's favorites. It also makes a fast and satisfying solution for what to serve unexpected company. —Patricia Swart, Galloway, New Jersey
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Party Pesto Pinwheels

I took a couple of my favorite recipes and combined them into these delicious hors d'oeuvres. The colorful and impressive snacks come together easily with refrigerated crescent roll dough, prepared pesto sauce and a jar of roasted red peppers. —Kathleen Farrell, Rochester, New York
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Chicken-Fried Steak & Gravy

As a child, I learned from my grandmother how to make these chicken-fried steaks. I taught my daughters, and when my granddaughters are older, I’ll show them, too. —Donna Cater, Fort Ann, New York
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Salmon Mousse Canapes

It’s so easy to top crunchy cucumber slices with a smooth and creamy salmon filling. Guests rave about the fun presentation, contrasting textures and refreshing flavor. —Barb Templin, Norwood, Minnesota
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Homemade Potato Salad

This homemade potato salad recipe doesn't have many ingredients, so it isn't as colorful as many that you find nowadays. But Mama made it the way her mother did, and that's the way I still make it today. Try it and see if it isn't one of the best-tasting potato salads you have ever eaten! —Sandra Anderson, New York, New York
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Ham Balls with Brown Sugar Glaze

These smoky-sweet meatballs are a Pennsylvania Dutch specialty. I like setting them out when folks come to visit. —Janet Zeger, Middletown, Pennsylvania
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Best Red Velvet Cake

It's just not Christmas at our house until this festive cake appears. This is different from other red velvet cake recipes I’ve had; the icing is as light as snow. —Kathryn Davison, Charlotte, North Carolina
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Slow-Cooked Chicken a la King

When I know I'll be having a busy day with little time for cooking, I prepare this tasty main dish. Brimming with tender chicken and colorful vegetables, it smells so good while cooking. —Eleanor Mielke, Snohomish, Washington
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Oyster Cheese Appetizer Log

When you say "holiday tradition" around our house, this appetizer comes to mind immediately. Every winter, I make lots of cheese logs and freeze them for when I'm expecting company or need to take food to someone's home. The blend of smoked oysters, chili powder, nuts and cream cheese tastes good-even people who don't like oysters may enjoy this interesting appetizer. —William Tracy, Jerseyville, Illinois
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Sangria Gelatin Ring

This gelatin is enjoyed by everyone because you just can't go wrong with fresh berries. —Nicole Nemeth, Komoka, Ontario
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Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

As a mother of three sons, sweets are a staple in my kitchen! I buy ripe fruit on sale and freeze it to make this cake. My banana cake with cream cheese frosting is a favorite among loved ones at my family picnics and dinners. —Bonnie Krause, Irvona, Pennsylvania
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Mom's Chicken Tetrazzini

Rotisserie chicken turns this baked spaghetti into a warm, cozy meal our family craves. If we have leftover turkey, we use that, too. —Jennifer Petrino, Newnan, Georgia
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Artichoke Mushroom Caps

These crumb-topped appetizers never last long at parties. The rich filling of cream cheese, artichoke hearts, Parmesan cheese and green onion is terrific. You can broil them in your oven to enjoy any time of year. —Ruth Lewis, West Newton, Pennsylvania
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Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

Gumbo goes back to 1700s Louisiana; today's version is just as hearty using andouille sausage. Serve with cornbread or crusty French bread. —Billy Hensley, Mount Carmel, Tennessee
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Lemon-Herb Salmon Toasts

Quick, light and tasty, my salmon toasts make irresistible finger food. —Christie Wells, Lake Villa, Illinois
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Favorite Coconut Cake

When I need an impressive dessert for a special occasion, this is the recipe I turn to. My guests are glad I do! —Edna Hoffman, Hebron, Indiana
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Chicken Divan

This tasty chicken divan recipe was given to me by a friend years ago, and it's been a family favorite ever since. My daughters enjoy making this dish in their own homes and get the same enthusiastic compliments I always do! —Mary Pat Lucia, North East, Pennsylvania
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Party Time Mini Cheeseburgers

Kids and adults alike will love the taste of these moist and mouthwatering mini burgers. Juiced up with pickle relish and topped with cheese slices, these "sliders" will disappear in no time flat! Be sure to make plenty. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Party Crab Puffs

I received this recipe years ago from my grandmother. She also told me to have fun being creative and experimenting in the kitchen. My friends request these little puffs at every gathering. —Jean Bevilacqua, Rhododendron, Oregon
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Roasted Chicken

This tender chicken is a real time-saver on a busy weekend. A simple blend of seasonings makes it a snap to prepare, and it smells heavenly as it roasts. —Marian Platt, Sequim, Washington
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Onion Yorkshire Puddings

This easy recipe is a cross between traditional Yorkshire pudding and popovers. It makes a perfect complement to prime rib. We also like it with beef stew and steak. Make more than you need, because everyone loves it. —Emily Chaney, Blue Hill, Maine
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Vanilla Bean Angel Food Cake

Angel food cake is everyone’s favorite blank slate for making awesome desserts. Serve it with a simple glaze or pile on fresh fruit, chocolate sauce or nutty sprinkles. —Leah Rekau, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Easy Orange and Red Onion Salad

Here's an unusual salad that’s easy to prepare when holiday obligations have you short on time. The combination of red onions and oranges may seem unusual, but it's surprisingly delightful. —Edie DeSpain, Logan, Utah
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Cranberry-Orange Roast Ducklings

I came up with this recipe few years ago. The first time I served it, there wasn't a speck of food left on the platter and I knew I had a winning recipe. —Gloria Warczak, Cedarburg, Wisconsin
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Cucumber Salad with Sour Cream

It’s been a tradition at our house to serve this dish with the other Hungarian specialties my mom learned to make from the women at church. It’s especially good during the summer when the cucumbers are fresh-picked from the garden. —Pamela Eaton, Monclova, Ohio
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Best Chicken Kiev

From holiday dinners to potluck suppers, this is one of my favorite meals. Folks love the mildly seasoned chicken roll-ups. —Karin Erickson, Burney, California
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Slow-Cooker Crab & Green Onion Dip

This creamy dip reminds me of my dad, who took us crabbing as kids. Our fingers were always tired after those excursions, but eating the fresh crab was worth it. —Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, New Jersey
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Mushroom-Stuffed Tomatoes

This side dish is inexpensive, quick to prepare and always a favorite. With plenty of mushrooms, the cheesy mixture stuffed into tomatoes is really decadent. —Florence Palmer, Marshall, Illinois
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Rumaki Appetizers

These are a holiday-season "must" in our family. The bacon-wrapped bites are served with a sweet barbecue sauce which is also good with little smoked sausages. —Janice Thomas, Milford, Nebraska
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Blue Cheese Souffle

Lightened up to fewer than 100 calories per serving and packed with protein, this rich and flavorful soufflé is a great side for beef. —Sarah Vasques, Milford, New Hampshire
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Moscow Mule

Here's an old-time cocktail that was popular in the 1940s and '50s. A Moscow Mule is traditionally served in a copper mug with plenty of ice. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Baked Oysters with Tasso Cream

I love nothing more than a cold beer and a shucked oyster, so when my partners and I opened Saw’s Juke Joint in Birmingham, Alabama, we wanted to add them to the menu. We love making them, we love serving them and our guests love eating them. —Taylor Hicks, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Creamy Fresh Asparagus Soup

Tangy lemon and sweet tarragon give this creamy asparagus soup a springtime flavor you’ll savor and share. —Stacy Mullens, Gresham, Oregon
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Slow-Cooked Chicken a la King

When I know I'll be having a busy day with little time for cooking, I prepare this tasty main dish. Brimming with tender chicken and colorful vegetables, it smells so good while cooking. —Eleanor Mielke, Snohomish, Washington
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Marinated Three Bean Salad

Fresh herbs and cayenne pepper provide the fantastic flavor in this marinated salad featuring fresh veggies and canned beans. —Carol Tucker, Wooster, Ohio
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Peach Gelatin Salad

My mother always asked our family what we wanted to eat for holiday dinners. Without exception, our requests included this refreshing gelatin. Toasted walnuts give it a little crunch. —Dennis King, Navarre, Florida