What Chicken Dinners Looked Like Through the Years
From creamy casseroles to crispy chicken tenders, step back in time with chicken dinners from decades past.
In the early 1900s, many households didn’t own a refrigerator. When they had fresh chicken and vegetables on hand, home cooks used it all up with big pots of stew.
In the early 1910s, fancy cocktail parties and luncheons inspired new finger foods like chicken salad wrapped in lettuce.
The Great Depression brought the rise of low-cost dinners like chicken noodle soup. The ingredients were cheap, and it was quick to prepare, saving precious gas.
Chicken was not a popular dish in the 1940s because it became pricier than beef during World War II. Home chefs needed to make it last with soups and casseroles.
By the 1960s, casseroles were so last-decade. Americans craved new and exotic meals; before long, French cuisine became the latest trend.
In the mid-’70s, chicken tenders were invented by a restaurateur, and it didn’t take long for this finger food to make it to the freezer. With a fresh Southwest influence coming to dinner tables, Tex-Mex chicken strips would have been a hit.
The Asian chicken salad started picking up steam in the 1980s and was a restaurant staple by the 1990s.
Forget creamy potato chip-topped chicken casseroles. The 2000s were all about high-fat, low-carb diets thanks to a national Atkins obsession.