2020 has been a strange year, and many of us may not be celebrating the holidays or new year in the way we normally would. But hey, there’s still a lot to be thankful for. Like family, friends and good food… just to name a few things.
And to show you just how much better 2020 is than the supposedly “good old days,” we’ve unearthed some vintage holiday recipes from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. These ghosts of recipes past are genuinely frightening, friends. And not for the faint of heart.
We’re talking about jellied turkey, aspics, Christmas trees made out of tuna and all manner of unnatural things inflicted upon perfectly normal foods. If you’re looking for a recipe list that calls for common holiday foods like cranberries and pecans or made up of well-known holiday desserts like toffee, truffles, white chocolate, candy canes, peppermint bark or sugar cookies, we suggest looking elsewhere.
But once you get a load of this collection of horrifying food mashups, you will be thanking your lucky stars that you live and eat in 2020, where we can enjoy any holiday brunch or perfect Christmas dinner without these dishes.
Now take a deep breath, and let’s dive into the land of culinary nightmares.
I don’t know. It just seems wrong to decorate a dead crustacean in such a whimsical manner when you’re going to eat it. And I don’t want to even think about the horror show that this dish will turn into once people at your holiday party start ripping off its claws.
This recipe calls for 3 cups of mayo, 3 POUNDS of cottage cheese and 12 cups of cabbage. I would rather eat a snowman made from actual snow before this abominable creation. I’ll just take some pretzels for my appetizer, thank you.
No, your eyes are not playing tricks on you. The ornaments on this festive tree are made from sausage weenies and other not-fine meats. Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how meaty are your branches!
This mystery fruitcake looks far scarier than a regular old fruitcake. And we’re not even sure that we want to know what the big secret is. What’s no big mystery is why this recipe disappeared from all good society and was replaced with desserts like cheesecake.
We have to give props for the construction. But we’d still rather eat a gingerbread house made from actual gingerbread. And once the guests start digging in, this thing is going to look like a hot mess.
A mini Christmas tree made from shrimp and olives! How festive! If only it smelled like pine instead of raw, buttery shrimp.
This easy recipe for an exciting side dish or holiday dessert dates back to the 1920s. Which were apparently much, much more innocent times.
It’s a green sandwich with three different layers of meaty fillings. Because one meaty filling with your party loaf is not enough. Not sure we want to know what the green, creamy frosting is made of (maybe it’s whipped cream?), nor do we recommend making this for your Christmas party.
Who hasn’t dreamed of gathering around the Christmas tuna tree to sing holiday carols while trying not to gag on the stench of so much fish? Although it would make a wonderful holiday gift for someone on your naughty list…
What embodies the holiday season more than your favorite gherkins in the shape of a Christmas tree? Why nothing, of course!
The color scheme is right for the holidays. But frozen, jellied turkey is just so very wrong.
Who needs strawberries for your shortcake when you can have it with crispy salmon? You get a lot more protein this way!
It’s Jolly old St. Meatloaf! Sorry, Santa, we’re going to have to eat your face off now.
This crustaceous Christmas tree is sure to incite a feeding frenzy among your friends. Just make sure they have a place to throw the shells.
It’s a salad encased in gelatin. Sorry, but vegetables shouldn’t wiggle like that.
Yams, apples and marshmallows. A few simple ingredients combined to take healthy produce and turn it into a blood sugar nightmare. No matter how much brown sugar or white sugar you add to this recipe, we don’t think you’ll enjoy it.
If you like eggnog, you may not find this dessert so disgusting. The problem is that it contains no alcohol.
A mini tree made from pickles and pickled onions. If there were a pickle Christmas tree contest, this one would be the winner! Even though we can’t see the log, we know that it won’t be pretty.
This Santa is made out of pepperoni, cheese, marinara and cream cheese. The aftermath will not be pretty, and maybe it’s best just to order some pizza if you’re looking for an Italian dish.
Dipping ham and tater tots into processed cheese dip is much more festive than regular old fondue. The Swiss don’t know what they’re missing!
This classic holiday treat contains cottage cheese, pineapple and cool whip. And no, this isn’t what it looks like after somebody throws it up. Maybe it’s gluten-free? Is it crunchy? We honestly can’t tell, nor are we willing to find out for you.
Canned fruit, marshmallows and sour cream. Also known as Granny’s chewy Christmas Dessert Mashup from Hell. We’ll just stick with Grandma’s fudge recipe, chocolate chip cookies or peppermint brownies, thank you.
Deviled ham covered in creamy white stuff, and they have the nerve to call it “Pleasure Island?” You do not want to get shipwrecked here.
The 24 Hour Vegetable Salad contains eggs, peas, bacon, cheese and mayo and will take at least 48 hours to digest.
This culinary DIY masterpiece contains deviled ham, cheese and chili sauce. Surely they eat this stuff in hell. (Also, we love the addition of the hot chocolate and colored popcorn balls. These Christmas treats taste so great with deviled ham!)
A soup made from butter, milk and American cheese with sausage. Every bowl decreases your lifespan by at least 12%.
Crab and pear cocktail. You’re going to have to be very liquored up to get this baby down.
A cold ham mousse. Also known as the pig’s last revenge.
Oh god, a shrimp sandwich roll. Run! Run for your lives!
I’ve had pineapple upside-down cake before and enjoyed it. What it wasn’t missing? Ketchup. It does not make everything better. Maybe just stick to some shortbread or gingerbread cookies for that one cookie exchange/dessert party you’re going to… or any other Christmas cookie recipe, really.
Aspics — gelatins made with meat stock and all manner of horrible things — are now (thankfully) a thing of the past. “Star of wonder. Star of meat. Star that I refuse to eat.”
It’s tuna and A1 Sauce, but it’s shaped into an actual fish. Your guests will never know it’s not salmon!
The jello itself may not be that bad. It’s the massive glob of miracle whip and marshmallows on top that make us want to hurl.
Why did they encase so many things in gelatin in the supposed good old days? It’s like they thought food would run off your plate if you didn’t trap it in something.
This recipe is a master example of how to take something as innocuous as fruit and turn it into something entirely unappetizing. Imagine if they made these in cupcake form… no, thank you. We’ll just stick to Christmas cookies or Christmas candy for dessert.
We like potatoes, olives and carrots. Just not held together in a tower by god knows what.
If the name of this recipe is correct, it contains the stomach linings of animals. As if that weren’t enough, it looks like an unholy symbol.
Many people find deviled eggs tasty. But with a load of deviled ham on top? We think a very sadistic cook contributed to this recipe.
A frightening green mass in a bath of tomato sauce. We don’t know what it is, but we’re afraid of it.
Again, why does produce always show up in green jello?
You can make this festive loaf with salmon or tuna. But apparently, you’ll need an entire package of gum to get the taste out of your mouth or else it’ll stick to you like peanut butter on the roof of your mouth.
Shrimp is good. Potatoes are good. Just stop with the culinary mashups already!
We hope this collection of frightening Christmas foods hasn’t put you off your appetite for the rest of 2020. Just be thankful you now live in a time when turkey and potatoes aren’t served in gelatin.
When aspics no longer exist. And you can sip your yummy hot chocolate and eat your holiday cookies with nary a thought of a deviled ham tower or mystery crockpot or slow cooker meal waiting for you on Christmas morning.
These are the good old days of #christmasrecipes and #holidaybaking, friends! Happy Holidays!
You might also like: 13 Soup Recipes Sure to Warm Up Your Day
44 of the Scariest Christmas Recipes:
- Christmas Lobster
- Frosty the Slaw-man
- Holiday Hostess Tree
- White Mystery Food Cake
- Meaty Cheesy Faux Gingerbread House
- Shrimp Christmas Tree
- Candle Salad
- Party Sandwich Loaf
- Holiday Tuna Tree
- Pickle Christmas Tree
- Jellied Turkey
- Crusty Salmon Shortcake
- Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes Santa
- Crayfish Christmas Tree
- Jello Mold Salad
- Apple Mallow Yam Yums
- Chicken Croquettes
- Fruit Cocktail Eggnog Pie
- Pretty Pickle Tree
- Marinara Santa
- Holiday Fun-due
- Pink Lady Salad
- Marshmallow Fruit Salad
- Pleasure Island Devil’s Food
- 24 Hour Vegetable Salad
- Devil Pig
- Tuna and Lime Jello Wreath
- Cheesy Hotdog Soup
- Crab and Pear Cocktail
- Cold Ham Mousse
- Oriental Shrimp Sandwich Roll
- Ketchup Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
- Star Aspic
- Fish Mold
- Miracle Whip Waldorf Mold
- Chicken and Peas Aspic Towers
- Jeweled Fruit Tart
- Olive Tower
- Tripe Something
- Deviled Eggs
- Scary Green Thing
- Lime Salad Thing
- Sliced Salmon
- Shrimp and Potato Salad