Foodie Flashback: 10 Wonderfully Disgusting Vintage Betty Crocker Cookbook Recipes

Greetings from the land of processed cheese and jello molds. I have in hand my mom's 1978 edition of the classic Betty Crocker Cookbook. Many things we think of as Mad Men-era dishes — chicken liver hors d'ouevres, sour cream and gelatin salads — still show up in this "new and revised" edition. And they're amazing, in that OMG why? kind of way.

"Weird mid-century cookbooks and recipes are ENDLESSLY fascinating," commented my friend Tammy, who says they're the only thing she actively collects. "Seriously: what possible circumstances could lead to a worldview wherein this food not only seemed edible, but actively appealing?" Indeed.

So think of this like an anthropological survey. These vintage Betty Crocker recipes put some of the grossest recipes on Pinterest to shame.

Image: Bustle Stock Photo

by Elizabeth Nolan Brown

Party Cheese Lime Salad

This is from a whole section on “molded salads,” which can be “plain or fancy, large or small,” but always, always contain gelatin. This particular molded salad stars lime-flavored gelatin, pineapple juice, cottage cheese, vinegar, and vegetables.

Party Sandwich Loaf

From the “Party Sandwiches” section, this multilevel shrimp-salad, olive-nut spread, and deviled-ham spread sandwich is covered with a cream cheese, half-and-half and food coloring frosting.

Image: Fotolia

Meat Loaf Roll

Unlike traditional meatloaf, this “Meat Loaf Roll” has an added surprise in the middle: Ham-wrapped broccoli. It’s topped with mozzarella cheese slices.

Image: Fotolia

Vegetable Daisies

Mmmm, turnips, rutabaga, carrot, and cream cheese, together in a floral shape at last.

Image: Fotolia

Glorified Cheese Cauliflower

“Glorified Cheese Cauliflower” involves melting processed cheese slices in with flour, butter, mustard, and milk to provide said cauliflower with its glory.

Plantation Cake

Oof. This “Plantation Cake” still existed in the 1978 edition…

Image: Fotolia

Lime-Sour Cream Salad

Another molded salad, this one featuring bananas, sour cream, lime gelatin, and grapes.

Image: Fotolia

Cheese-Pineapple Boats

Kind of like something they still serve at the Big Boy salad bars in my hometown. In addition to cheese cubes, these “pineapple boats” host strawberries, cantaloupe, and almonds and are topped with pineapple yogurt.


Chicken liver and water chestnuts wrapped in bacon.

Image: Fotolia

Cream Cheese-Tuna Dip

Combine canned tuna with milk and every condiment in your fridge…