Food Ideas for a '50s Party

Updated March 23, 2017

You have everything set up for your big "Back to the 50s" party. The house or yard is decorated and you have your music ready. But you have no idea what to cook in order to complete you 50s theme party. Several foods were introduced and many dishes became household staples during this decade. Incorporate these food ideas to serve to your party's guests.

TV Dinner Party

Swanson was the first company to introduce the TV dinner back in 1954. Depending on the number of guests you have, make everyone their own personalised TV dinner. Swanson still makes TV dinners to this date and sells a variety of meats and side dish combinations. This is 50s themed idea that is best suitable for small gatherings of up to 10 people. It's not very beneficial to have to microwave TV dinners for 50 guests. You may blow out your microwave.

Drive-In/Diner Food

Drive-ins with fast food became popularised in the 1950s with the opening of McDonald's and Burger King who sold cheeseburgers. Purchase French fry containers and serve everyone cheeseburgers and french fries in the containers. You can also bake some onion rings as well. Other diner and drive-in food can include grilled cheese, tuna sandwiches and hot dogs.


Tuna noodle and green bean casseroles were popular dishes in the 1950s. Depending on the number of guests, this can be made as a side dish to grilled items on a barbecue or even made as a main dish for smaller groups. Many families who moved out to the suburbs became familiar with barbecuing and the trend was adopted by many households. A combination of casseroles and barbecue can lend to the theme of your party.


Stockpile your cooler with the old fashioned Pepsi or Coca-Cola glass bottles. The bottles are typically smaller these days, with most supermarkets carrying 236ml. bottles similar to the soda pop bottles of the 1950s. Rent a milkshake machine or make milkshakes in your blender to serve to the guests. A punch bowl with or without alcohol is another idea to serves to your guest. It can be set on the table and people can help themselves.

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About the Author

Living in New York City, Nicholas Briano has been a professional journalist since 2002. He writes for "The Wave," a community weekly covering the borough of Queens. Briano holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brooklyn College.