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Meatloaf, Tinned Fish and Tuna Noodle Casserole—These 19 Boomer Recipes Are Totally Due for a Comeback

Baby boomers get a bad rap for their “Live, Laugh, Love” signs and their puzzling overuse of ellipses, but in the kitchen, they shine. Look, we’re not trying to return to a world where every other dish is made of Jello and or whipped topping, (we see you, Watergate salad), but who doesn’t love a sloppy Joe every now and then? (Ditto for bread bowls.) From meatloaf to oatmeal raisin cookies, here are 19 boomer recipes due for a comeback.

10 ‘Yuppie’ Dinner Recipes That Should Definitely Make a Comeback


1. Mini Bacon-wrapped Meatloaf

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: High protein, dairy free

It’s zero percent glamorous and 100 percent comforting. Admit it, you love it.

2. Tuna Noodle Casserole

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly

Don’t knock it ’til you try it.

3. Pasta Salad

  • Time Commitment: 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Ready in <30 minutes, under 500 calories, low sugar

Boomers basically invented the lettuce-free salad, and we’re forever in their debt.

4. Quiche

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 20 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Special occasion­–worthy, crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients

For the ladies-who-lunch set, quiche was the ultimate in sophisticated fare. And who wouldn’t love a savory pie made with plenty of butter, eggs and cheese?

5. Pasta Primavera

  • Time Commitment: 35 minutes
  • Why We Love It: One pot, under 500 calories, vegetarian

This creamy veggie pasta dish debuted on the menu of New York restaurant Le Cirque in the 1970s and became an American classic.

6. Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: Crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly, beginner-friendly

Maybe it’s because they feign wholesomeness. Maybe it’s because raisins are like catnip for anyone born before 1970. Or maybe it’s because they’re just plain good.

7. Green Goddess Dressing

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Ready in <15 minutes, no cook, beginner-friendly

Green goddess walked so ranch could run.

8. Bread Bowls

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Kid-friendly, vegetarian

What goddess bowls were to millennials circa 2018, bread bowls were to baby boomers circa 1998. Honestly, what’s not to love?

9. Carrot Cake

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Special occasion­-worthy, crowd-pleaser, kid-friendly

Carrot cake really peaked in the ’70s, but we never stopped loving it. Bring on the raisins and cream cheese frosting.

10. Steak And Eggs Breakfast

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, special occasion–worthy

It already takes some audacity to order steak before 10 a.m., but baby boomers really throw caution (and cholesterol levels) to the wind by adding eggs.

11. Potato Rolls

  • Time Commitment: 3 hours
  • Why We Love It: Crowd-pleaser, <10 ingredients

The millennial will try to serve you “bread” made of cauliflower, but the baby boomer knows the key to your heart is carbs.

12. Lasagna

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour, 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy

According to market research company YouGov, lasagna is the second most popular Italian dish, with baby boomers leading the charge.

13. Sloppy Joes

  • Time Commitment: 50 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Crowd-pleaser, beginner-friendly

Leave the can of, ahem, Manwich in the darkest corner of the pantry and make your own sauce.

14. Tuna Salad

  • Time Commitment: 15 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Ready in <15 minutes, no cook, beginner-friendly

Hard pass on the bologna sandwiches, but we’ll be the first to admit that canned tuna is as tasty as it is convenient.

15. Cottage Cheese

  • Time Commitment: 5 minutes
  • Why We Love It: High protein, no cook, ready in <15 minutes

Cottage cheese came into fashion as a 1950s diet food, and according to the USDA, the average American ate five pounds of it per year by the 1970s. Talk about a dairy darling.

16. Baked Brie

  • Time Commitment: 30 minutes
  • Why We Love It: <10 ingredients, crowd-pleaser

Baked Brie was the height of yuppie sophistication. But who are we to knock melted cheese topped with something sweet and gooey?

17. Chocolate Mousse

  • Time Commitment: 5 hours
  • Why We Love It: Make ahead, crowd-pleaser

It was a 1980s restaurant standard, but it happens to be easy to make at home.

18. Cheese Balls

  • Time Commitment: 1 hour
  • Why We Love It: No cook, crowd-pleaser, special occasion–worthy

Before there were charcuterie boards, there were cheese balls, aka cream cheese rolled in your choice of festive garnish.

19. Fondue

  • Time Commitment: 25 minutes
  • Why We Love It: Ready in <30 minutes, crowd-pleaser

Times were a lot simpler when you could call “dipping bread into a bubbling pot of cheese” dinner. Groovy, baby.