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7 Classic Fridge Foods Everyone Had in the '70s

Recipes were a LOT different back then.

When you think of 1970s foods, you might conjure up images of packaged snacks like Pizza Spins or Hostess Cakes. But what was on dinner tables in the '70s, and what was in people's refrigerators during the decade? Many 1970s recipes seem foreign now, but they were totally on-trend back in the day.

We looked up some vintage American recipes to find some of the most classic fridge foods from the 1970s. We can't say most people are making Jello salad today, but it was fun while it lasted.

And for more nostalgia, check out these 15 Classic American Desserts That Deserve a Comeback.


Cool Whip

cool whip in tub

When this frozen whipped topping was defrosting in the fridge, it was fun to sneak a scoop of it straight from the tub when your parents weren't looking.

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Cheese Fondue

Cheese fondue

In the 1970s, fondue wasn't reserved for special occasions. Cheese fondue had a spot on any 1970s dinner table, and we think it's time for the classic dish to make a comeback.

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Cottage Cheese

cottage cheese in glass bowl

Jello salads were all the rage in the 1970s. While some recipes called for Cool Whip, others were made with cottage cheese or cream cheese.


Cream Cheese

bagel chips with pistachio cranberry cheese spread
Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

In addition to being used for Jello salad recipes, cream cheese was an essential ingredient for making cheese balls.


Fresh Duck and Cornish Hen

roast duck on serving board
Alexander Raths/Shutterstock

OK, so not everyone had this in their fridge in the 1970s. But a 1980 Washington Post article explains that French cooking enjoyed popularity in America in the 1970s, with recipes for nontraditional poultry options taking center stage.




Butter was essential for all of those French recipes! From roasted turkey and duck to Crêpes Suzette, plenty of 1970s recipes called for butter.


Fresh Herbs

cutting basil from garden

It's hard to imagine a time when herbs weren't readily available in the refrigerated section at the grocery store. But according to the same Washington Post article by Marian Burros, that was once the case. "You no longer need your own garden to get certain fresh herbs," Burros wrote in 1980. "Parsley and watercress are periodically joined by fresh dill and chives; specialty markets often have fresh basil, cilantro, and sorrel."

These days, you don't have to head to a "specialty market" to find basil and cilantro, and that's a good thing.

For more, check out these 108 most popular sodas ranked by how toxic they are.

Meghan De Maria
Meghan De Maria is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food, product, and restaurant coverage. Read more about Meghan
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