These '90s Dinner Ideas Are Like A Taste Of Childhood

Growing up in the ’90s may have meant no internet and no cell phones, but those who lived it didn’t know and didn’t care. Reminiscing about the carefree feeling, fashion trends, and killer music is enough to make anybody want to go back. Like, right now. And that’s not even including the food. Organic wasn’t a mainstream thing yet, which meant eating all the goodies. Too bad there’s no real way to go back, but these ’90s dinner ideas will get you pretty damn close.

Whether it was your favorite fast food or your mom’s spaghetti, this list of recipes based on ’90s food classics will make making dinner fun again. So, scrunch up your socks, tell Google to play The Smashing Pumpkins, and get ready to freak your kids out. They might think you’re a total dork — until they dig in.

Homemade Stuffed Crust Pizza

When Pizza Hut dropped the first-ever stuffed crust pizza back in the early ‘90s, people went bananas. All of a sudden, the slice didn’t end at the crust; instead, it extended into cheese-filled bread heaven. Food blogger Becky Excell revives this epic food invention, putting her spin on it with a gluten-free crust that oozes cheese. And she’s not stingy with the pepperoni, either. Hit up eBay for a set of OG Pizza Hut red cups, follow her recipe, and travel back in time.

Asian Salad

You know you felt fancy every time your family went to Sizzler. The salad bar was like an island made of crushed ice, keeping your favorite salad ingredients cold and crisp — all protected by a gold-plated sneeze guard. This was no doubt the perfect place to create the salad of your dreams. And if a shredded Asian salad like this classic version topped with crunchy noodles by RecipeTin Eats wasn’t on your plate, we might need the receipts to prove you were even there.

Twice-Baked Potatoes

A plain baked potato is just OK. But those twice-baked potatoes from your childhood were a thousand times better. Maybe it’s because they’re just so cute, or maybe it’s the loads of toppings like shredded cheese and bacon bits. Either way, The Cookie Rookie says her creamy, cheesy, crispy twice-baked potato recipe is the best — sorry, Mom.

Chicken Noodle Soup

If you lived near a Souplantation (R.I.P.), you’re probably missing their chicken noodle soup right about now. Those little twisty egg noodles were truly comfort in a bowl. This chicken noodle soup recipe by Budget Bytes is delicious and simple to make and a lot like the salad bar chain’s version. All that’s missing are the soup bowls with the plastic handles.

DIY Chalupas

The walk home after a long day at school wasn’t complete without a stop at Taco Bell for a chalupa supreme (or just a chalupa if you were broke like most teens). This homemade chalupa supreme by Chef D. Alford is just like you remember — puffy taco shell and all. If you’re not convinced that you want to make your own, just know that ’90s Taco Bell prices are long gone, and a chalupa supreme will now set you back about four bucks. That’s what we thought.


Meatloaf night may not have been your childhood favorite, but now that you’re grown and realize it’s a delicious, easy-to-make, and budget-friendly dinner recipe, you’ve suddenly turned into your parents and serve it up at least once a week. If you’re still on the search for the best meatloaf recipe, you can’t go wrong with chef, NYT-bestselling cookbook author, and blogger Jennifer Segal’s recipe that can be made as one big loaf or as mini loaves that are perfect for packed lunches.

Bean Dip

The seven-layer bean dip was a staple at any ’90s potluck party. While it seemed more like an appetizer, it’s actually a complete meal. This hot chicken enchilada bean dip by Half Baked Harvest is like a hot, grown-up version waiting to satisfy all your Tex-Mex fantasies (the PG-rated ones, anyway). Scoop it right out of the pan with your favorite tortilla chips.

Spaghetti With Ragu

There’s a reason there are 20 million jarred spaghetti sauces in the Italian aisle of your grocery store: They make life easier. If the top-shelf choices aren’t in your budget, just do like Tara Of All Trades and take a page out of the ’90s by doctoring up a jar of Ragu with a few staple seasonings that you probably already have in your pantry. And don’t forget the garlic toast.

French Bread Pizza

French bread pizza was in every 90s mom’s dinner rotation. And it was every 90s kid’s favorite. Food content creator (and mom of 6!) Diane Morrisey whipped up this garlic French bread pizza recipe that puts the Stouffers version to shame.

“Sloppy Joes”

Moms were just as tired in the ’90s as they are today, making easy one-pan dinners like Sloppy Joes a weeknight must. No shame in the Manwich game, but if you want to level up, this recipe by RecipeTin Eats is what you’re looking for. You’ll taste the difference that the Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard add, but you’ll still only dirty one pan. Serve it on a brioche bun or whatever you’ve got on hand.

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