Remembering the Classic Dishes from the ’60s


The 1960s represented a time of incredible change in American society, a revolution of sorts that reached even to the kitchens. The casseroles of the ’50s became old and boring, and to liven things up we changed everything up — from the backyard barbecue to more complicated food dishes that were greatly influenced by French cuisine. Many of these dishes are still popular today and can make for a great themed meal or dinner party. In coming columns we’ll offer more great recipes, so check back often — and if you have a favorite, let us know!

Classic and Signature Dishes of the ’60s

  • Surf and turf
  • Fondue
  • Soul food
  • Buffalo wings
  • Swedish meatballs

Fixing Swedish Meatballs

One of the most common dishes of the ’60s was Swedish meatballs. Families might eat them on a weekly basis. A great recipe for fixing this signature dish is as follows:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 10 oz can of condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Hot Cooked Noodles

Step 1) Mix salt, pepper, onion, two Tbsp milk, egg and bread crumbs in a large bowl. Crumble uncooked beef in with mixture and mix. Shape the mixture into 1-in meatballs.

Step 2) Place meatballs in rows in a shallow microwave-safe dish. Cover the dish and microwave for 7 1/2 minutes. It’s best to microwave on high. There will be grease and juice after microwaving, so drain the liquid.

Step 3) For the sauce, mix parsley, 1/4 cup milk, cream of mushroom soup and sour cream. Follow by pouring the mixture over the meatballs. Continue cooking in microwave for five to six minutes. If preferred, serve the meatballs and sauce over hot cooked noodles.


Hot and cold buffets were loved just as much in the ’60s as they are today. Some of the more popular classic dishes served on buffets in the ’60s included:

  • Stuffed mushrooms
  • Herb-buttered zucchini and carrots
  • Baked chicken breasts
  • Rolls
  • Fresh peas oregano
  • Beef in burgundy with gnocchi
  • Sirloin tips en brochette
  • Peach Waldorf salad
  • Chicken curry on rice with raisins
  • Sesame rolls
  • Baba au rhum
  • White rice with onions
  • Jewel cookies
  • Carrots in mustard glaze

Backyard Barbecues

A staple of summer in the 1960s, the backyard barbeque can be a great way to bring neighbors, friends and families together. To bring back the much-loved memories of these barbecues, be sure to include at least some of these dishes:

  • Chili served with corn chips
  • Rock lobster tails
  • Lamp
  • Hawaiian short ribs
  • Meatloaf
  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Shish-kebabs
  • Vegetable salads
  • Barbecued bananas
  • Grilled bread
  • Iced coffee
  • Fruit punch
  • Beer

Beloved Cocktail Beverages

When hosting a ’60s themed dinner party, it’s a good idea to have the right drinks available. Some of the most popular cocktail drinks of the ’60s included:

  • Whiskey sour
  • Gin rickey
  • Whiskey highball
  • Rum collins
  • Old fashioned
  • Planter’s punch
  • Dry martini
  • Manhattan
  • Rum ‘n’ cola
  • Gin ‘n’ tonic