59 Vintage Salads That Deserve a Comeback

Updated: Dec. 08, 2023

From '40s coleslaw up to Waldorf salad and Jell-O molds, any “salad” is on the table.

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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 salad in meals she prepares for our family. -Gloria Grant, Sterling, Illinois

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Cranberry Waldorf Salad

Cranberries grow in the coastal area about 50 miles from our home. When they become available, I always make this creamy salad. —Faye Huff, Longview, Washington
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Sweet Macaroni Salad

A sweet out-of-the-ordinary dressing makes this macaroni salad special. My aunt gave me the recipe and it has become one of my favorites. I occasionally leave out the green pepper if I know that people don't like it, and it still tastes great. —Idalee Scholz, Cocoa Beach, Florida
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Make-Ahead Hearty Six-Layer Salad

This salad is an all-time favorite. I reach for the recipe whenever I need a dish to pass. It is easy to make, can be assembled ahead of time and looks marvelous. —Noreen Meyer, Madison, Wisconsin
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Apricot Fluff

When we were young mothers, I asked my best friend if she had a recipe for an easy ambrosia salad that I could take to a cookout later that evening. She shared this recipe with me and it's become a must-have at every barbecue I attend. It's sublime with peaches and peach gelatin, too. —Melissa Meinke, Fawn Grove, Pennsylvania
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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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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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Carrot Raisin Salad

This traditional salad is one of my mother-in-law’s favorites. It’s fun to eat because of the crunchy texture, and the raisins give it a slightly sweet flavor. Plus, I love how easy it is to make. —Denise Baumert, Dalhart, Texas
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Rainbow Gelatin Cubes

These perky gelatin cubes are fun to serve and to eat! I vary the colors to match the occasion—pink and blue for a baby shower, school colors for a graduation party, and so on. Kids of all ages snap them up. —Deanna Pietrowicz, Bridgeport, Connecticut
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Pea 'n' Peanut Salad

Even people who don't like peas love this crunchy recipe, including my own children. I love the fact that it's so easy and makes a refreshing alternative to more traditional salads. A friend gave me the recipe years ago and I've been making it ever since. —Laurinda Nelson, Phoenix, Arizona
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Grape Salad

Everyone raves when I bring this refreshing, creamy grape salad to potlucks. For a special finishing touch, sprinkle it with brown sugar and pecans. —Marge Elling, Jenison, Michigan
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Cashew-Chicken Rotini Salad

I’ve tried many chicken salad recipes over the years, but this is my very favorite. It’s fresh, fruity and refreshing, and the cashews add wonderful crunch. Every time I serve it at a potluck or picnic, I get rave reviews—and ( always come home with an empty bowl! —Kara Cook, Elk Ridge, Utah
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Broccoli Salad Supreme

People can't get enough of the sweet grapes and crunchy broccoli in this colorful salad. I appreciate its make-ahead convenience. —Terri Twyman, Bonanza, Oregon
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Ambrosia Fruit Salad

My mom's ambrosia salad, with its tasty combination of fresh fruits and creamy yogurt, is a family favorite, and a great addition to a backyard barbecue. —Colleen Belbey, Warwick, Rhode Island
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Overnight Layered Lettuce Salad

This layered salad is a family favorite from a church cookbook I've had for 40 years. The bacon adds a fabulous crunch. —Mary Brehm, Cape Coral, Florida
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Grandma's Potato Salad

This salad is a must for the Fourth of July feast. The red potatoes hold their shape and texture even after they are boiled. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Balsamic Three-Bean Salad

Here's my little girl's favorite salad. She devours it just about as fast as I can make it. I suggest preparing it ahead of time so the flavors can get to know each other. —Stacey Feather, Jay, Oklahoma
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Chicken Salad

This is a recipe that always seems to be used at our family gatherings. Everyone loves it. Make a batch ahead for busy days. —Cathy Rauen, Ridgeway, Colorado
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12-Hour Salad

This recipe was Mom's scrumptious scheme to get her kids to eat vegetables. She never had any trouble when she served this colorful crunchy salad. Mom thought this salad was a real bonus for the cook since it must be made the night before. —Dorothy Bowen, Thomasville, North Carolina
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Bacon Macaroni Salad

This pleasing pasta salad is like eating a BLT in a bowl. Filled with crispy bacon, chopped tomato, celery and green onion, the sensational salad is coated with a tangy mayonnaise and vinegar dressing. It’s a real crowd-pleaser! —Norene Wright, Manilla, Indiana
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Almond Chicken Salad

My mother used to prepare this chicken salad with grapes and almonds for an evening meal during the hot summer months. It's my favorite of my mother's chicken salad recipes. You can also serve it as a delicious but quick luncheon or potluck dish. —Kathy Kittell, Lenexa, Kansas
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Citrus Avocado Salad

This recipe nicely showcases grapefruit and oranges, which are at their peak around the holidays. Citrus fruits pair well with a sweet dressing. —Sonia Candler, Edmonton, Alberta
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Shrimp Pasta Salad

I adore shrimp, so discovering it in this pasta salad recipe was a real treat for me. The lemon-dill sauce is light and bright. It's one of our favorite cold pasta salad recipes! —Traci Wynne, Denver, 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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Spectacular Overnight Slaw

To come up with this dish, I used a number of different recipes, plus some ideas of my own. It's great for a potluck because it's made the night before and the flavor keeps getting better. Whenever I serve it, I'm inundated with recipe requests. —Ruth Lovett, Bay City, Texas
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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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Southern Potato Salad

This potato salad with a Southern twist is perfect for a church supper or potluck. The pickles add an extra sweetness. —Gene Pitts, Wilsonville, Alabama
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Classic Cobb Salad

Making this 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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Citrus & Roasted Beets Salad

Glistening citrus and beets star in this colorful, tangy salad. It's a refreshing mix of bright flavors—just add chicken and it's a complete meal. —Peter Eldridge, Clermont, Florida
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Easy Macaroni Salad

This hearty pasta salad is sure to please appetites of all ages—and it serves a lot of folks! —LaVerna Mjones, Moorhead, Minnesota
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Cranberry Ambrosia Salad

My paternal grandmother used to make this for Christmas dinner. I'm not sure how many batches she made since there were nearly 50 aunts, uncles and cousins in our family. I still make the recipe in memory of her, and it's still as good as I remember. —Janet Hurley, Shell Rock, Iowa
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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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Mom's Tangy Potato Salad

This chunky potato salad is a great dish for a family picnic or on a night when you're grilling out. The homemade dressing makes it extra delicious. —Michelle Gurnsey, Lincoln, Nebraska
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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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Crispy Shrimp Caesar Salad

My friend Jane and I have a favorite lunch spot that serves a fantastic salad on Wednesdays. I made my own version at home so I can share it with my family and eat it whenever I want. Save a lot of prep time and buy peeled, deveined shrimp and pre-washed lettuce. —Marla Clark, Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Molded Cranberry-Orange Salad

When I take this dish to potlucks during the holidays, people always ooh and aah. Feel free to top with whipped cream for added appeal. —Carol Mead, Los Alamos, New Mexico
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Curried Chicken Salad with Pineapple and Grapes

This fun and flavorful beauty turns last night’s cooked chicken into a delightful salad that’s perfect for lunch. —Linda Bevill, Monticello, Arkansas
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Yum-Yum Salad

I received the recipe for Amish yum-yum salad from a friend of my mother’s years ago. I always have the ingredients on hand in case I need a quick dessert. Any flavor of gelatin works well, and sometimes I spoon it into individual parfait glasses instead of serving it in one big bowl. Everyone enjoys it. —Yvonne Bellomo, Ebensburg, Pennsylvania
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Orange and Beet Salad

This jewel-colored orange and beet salad is one where I just kept adding touches until I got it just the way I want it. —Jessie Apfe, Berkeley, California
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Deluxe German Potato Salad

I make this for all occasions because it goes well with any kind of meat. When I take the warm salad to bring-a-dish events, there are rarely leftovers! —Betty Perkins, Hot Springs, Arkansas
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Mom's Chopped Coleslaw

For Friday dinners, my mother made coleslaw to go with our fish. It’s still a family tradition, and the tangy dressing even works on a tossed salad. —Cynthia McDowell, Banning, California
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Overnight Fruit Salad

I first tasted this rich, old-fashioned fruit salad at my wedding reception many years ago. The ladies who did the cooking wouldn't share the recipe at the time, but eventually I got it. I've made it for many meals, and our daughters copied the recipe when they married. —Eileen Duffeck, Lena, Wisconsin
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Chunky Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans

This chicken salad with grapes is ready in a snap when using rotisserie chicken and a few quick chops of pecans, sweet onion and celery. —Julie Sterchi, Jackson, Missouri
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Simple Lime Gelatin Salad

Looking for a festive dish to light up the buffet? This pretty green gelatin salad is eye-catching and has a delightful, tangy flavor. —Cyndi Fynaardt, Oskaloosa, Iowa
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Gluten-Free Potato Salad

In college, my best friend and I debated whose mom made the best potato salad. Turns out they were almost identical! Even though I've since tweaked our recipe, this gluten-free potato salad still takes me home again. —Ellie Martin Cliffe, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Pineapple Coleslaw

When I was a child, my mother often served this salad with multicolored marshmallows sprinkled on top, much to my delight. The marshmallows added a touch of sweetness that really complemented this salad's tangy flavor. —Betty Follas, Morgan Hill, California
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Fresh Green Bean Salad

I had a green bean salad at a local deli and enjoyed it so much that I tried to re-create it at home. The result was yummy! It lasts for several days in the fridge, and the taste keeps getting better. —Allison Brooks, Fort Collins, Colorado
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Orange Gelatin Pretzel Salad

Salty pretzels pair nicely with the sweet fruit in this refreshing layered salad. It’s a family favorite that is a slam-dunk at potlucks. —Peggy Boyd, Northport, Alabama
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Creamy Pineapple Fluff Salad

Guests of all ages will gravitate to this traditional “fluff” salad, chock-full of pineapple, marshmallows and cherry bits. —Janice Hensley, Owingsville, Kentucky
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Layered Broccoli Salad

Everyone enjoys this simple salad with dinner. The layers look festive, and the crisp broccoli, sunflower seeds and bacon are a nice contrast to the chewy bits of dried cranberries.—Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
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Cool & Crunchy Chicken Salad

When the weather sizzles, get your chill on with a cool chicken salad. Mine uses grapes, pecans and celery for that signature crunch. —Sarah Smiley, Bangor, Maine
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Swiss Cobb Salad

Topped with ham, roast beef, bacon and other fixings, this hearty salad has an excellent blend of flavors. A from-scratch vinaigrette adds the refreshing final touch. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Cranberry Pineapple Salad

Impress dinner guests with this delightfully different take on traditional cranberry sauce. The nuts add a tasty crunch. —Dorothy Angley, Carver, Massachusetts
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Crunchy Tuna Salad with Tomatoes

On a hot summer day, there’s nothing more refreshing than this salad. I grow a few tomato plants in my garden and the fresh-picked taste makes the dish even more of a treat. —Diane Selich, Vassar, Michigan. If you like this, then you must try our favorite tuna macaroni salad.
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Crisp Waldorf Salad

This crunchy salad is a perfect side to accompany a heavy meal. With it's light and crisp flavors, it'll be the hit of the party.—Susan R Falk, Eastpointe, Michigan
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Italian Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

For an Italian twist on salad, I mix greens with red onion, mushrooms, olives, pepperoncini, lemon juice and Italian seasoning. Add tomatoes and carrots if you'd like. —Deborah Loop, Clinton Township, Michigan

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