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Tuesday, November 11

Call for Recipes: Worst Recipes EVER!

My friend Amanda just sent me a terrifying email. Scarier than any horror movie I watched over Halloween weekend. The email contained this aptly named recipe:

Provincial Macaroni Salad
– 1 box macaroni and cheese (okay, first ingredient, kinda iffy…)
– 1 (12 oz.) can luncheon meat or ½ lb. bologna (scare factor has officially set in)
– ¾ c. celery (what a deeee-LICIOUS vegetable)
– ½ c. Miracle Whip (okay, miracle whip?  really?)
– 1/3 c. Kraft French dressing (the French would be so proud)
– ¼ c. sweet pickle relish (should relish EVER be an ingredient in ANY recipe?)
– 1 Tbsp. finely chopped onion (ooooo…a little bit of raw onion will really make this dish!)

Prepare macaroni and cheese. Add other ingredients and chill before serving. (CHILL?  I have to eat this cold?)

Oh man, I’m laughing AGAIN.  Every time I look at this recipe I lose it. (And I apologize to anyone out there who does in fact LIKE this recipe…but I do have to ask…really?)

Amanda found this gem in her mother-in-law’s collection of recipes, which she is cleaning out as a Christmas gift. Amanda passed it on to me figuring I’d get a good laugh (which I did)…and then suggested I do a different kind of Call for Recipes.

So here’s the CallShare the scariest, yuckiest, worst, most provincial recipes you’ve got!

I need a good laugh today. 😉


  1. 1

    wow i don’t think i’ve got anything that can touch that recipe! it sounds horrible! really its just comical!

  2. 2

    I don’t have the recipes on hand, but my aunt has an old LDS Ward Cookbook from my grandmother’s ward way back in the early 70s, when Jello was still huge. Said cookbook has an entire section devoted exclusively to Jello recipes. Now, I’m close to my Mormon, Jello-lovin’ roots & all, but some of them were stomach-churning: crab & celery salad with lemon Jello, shrimp salad with unflavored Jello… I just can’t imagine how that could possibly taste good.

  3. My mother-in-law is Swedish and made us the most horrible dish from her homeland a few years ago — ‘Flygande Jacob’ — Flying Jacob. Apparently it’s a big hit with Swedish children and a classic comfort food. To me, it was very uncomforting. I was polite and choked it down, though. Here’s how she makes it: A big casserole dish filled with diced chicken, sliced bananas and mushrooms, all slathered with a mixture of heavy cream and ketchup and topped with crumbled bacon and peanuts; baked to a crisp and served over white rice. I don’t recommend it.

  4. Relish? Mac & cheese?!? Ãœber GROSS.

    A couple of years ago, Chris and I were in a dinner group and experienced some horrible recipes. The worst recipe (by far) was this “casserole” (strike one) that was made up of bologna (strike two), cream of chicken soup (strike three) with cheese & bread crumbs on top. The girl who made it offered to give me the recipe because, after all, it was her “favorite dish growing up”. She thought maybe I’d like it, too.

    [gag, vomit, gag]

    Honestly anything with cream of [insert food here] with casserole just spells disaster.

  5. 5
    Jane Maynard

    oh man, you guys are awesome. loving these! jello and seafood should NOT be combined under any circumstances.

    I’ll have to ask my Swedish dad about this flying jacob concoction. oh so comforting.

    ah, the canned cream soup. so funny because my mom would always make the super basic chicken casserole with cream of chicken soup and green beans OR broccoli. nothing too awful. same thing – I grew up on it and it was one of the only things I could make when we got married. nate could never figure out why I liked it so much.

    keep it coming people! I think this might end up being one of my favorite posts yet! 🙂

  6. 6
    Liz Lemon

    Well, hopefully I will not insult any Japanese people because I LOVE Japan and the people in it. And… I do love more traditional Japanese food, but some cooks over there just improvise a tad too much.

    One especially lovely dish I saw there was an unsweetened “jello” or agar, as they call it, made with milk instead of water, and had browned ground beef suspended it it with a lovely garnish of watermellon balls and thinly sliced watermellon triangles.

    Another of my less favorite traditions I encountered over there was the idea that shrimp eyeballs were the very most scrumptios part of the animal, followed closely by the tail. I probably have an unusually foul memory of this due to the fact I was newly pregnant at the time I was being so instructed of THE WAY to eat shrimp.

  7. 7
    Liz Lemon

    Oh, and my husband was once served 2 day old “Pumpkin Pie” that had been sitting on the counter by a lady who had seen a picture of it in a magazine and thought there should be a nice topping of ground beef over the whole thing (instead of a streussel topping probably). I’m sure the pie part was also far from tasting anything like we would expect.

    This is why a recipe for foreign foods is important!

  8. 8

    On one outing with some family members a newly married in spouse was showing off her newly acquired cooking “skills” with a side salad. Raw grated carrots, mayonnaise, and raisins. I can only assume her cooking skills have improved because they have happy, healthy children…

  9. 9

    I love risotto, so a few years back when my British mother-in-law decided to make risotto for dinner I was pretty psyched. My husband and I were visiting from Boston and she wanted to treat us to something special. As you know, risotto needs a lot of TLC and takes quite a bit of time to soak up the liquid. Unfortunately, my British mom took just 10 minutes to cook the rice. I think I broke a tooth that day! While I always appreciate a home cooked meal (especially when someone else is doing the cooking), let’s just say my mother-in-law is better at roasting a leg of lamb than she is at cooking up a perfect, creamy risotto.

  10. 10

    Back in my husbands college days he and his roomates would make mac n cheese, tuna fish and canned green beans mixed together and then bake like a casserole. YUK!

  11. You know I was actually quite hungry before I read this post and it’s comments… now I think Ill just go to bed hungry!!=)

    Back when I had just got married I was supposed to bring dinner to someone who just had a baby. I had to stay and work later then I had planned so I put my husband in charge of the dinner…so needless to say we gave a family spaghetti with pizza sauce (he thought it was ragu sauce) , hotdogs (thought they were italian sausages) and cheddar cheese (I dont even know, maybe the only cheese we had in the house??)…
    maybe not the worst recipe ever but I got a good laugh out of it…ok after I was terribly mortified that someone thought I actually cooked something like that!! Thanks Bryce Ill stick to the cooking from now on! lol

  12. 12

    I remember a church function where they needed help with the food, and this girl distributed a recipe to some of us, asking us to make it and bring it to the event. It’s another one of those recipes that gives casserole a bad name, simply: a can of potatoes (i didn’t even know potatoes came in a can!–thanks mom), a can of green beans, ground beef– put in the oven until warm and nasty.
    How do you politely say, “Thanks for the recipe, but I’ll bring something that tastes good”?

  13. 13

    With all due respect, Hillary, although your mother-in-law is Swedish that recipe is anything but. I was in Sweden in the 70’s and there was not a peanut to be seen. If you wanted peaunut butter you had to smuggle it into the country. And ketchup? My Swedish mother would have used motor oil before she used ketchup. The cream is plausible, the banana mixed with chicken is not. I think your mother-in-law was playing a cruel joke on you. Heja Sverige!

  14. Heww, I’m sticking with my MIL on this one. I looked it up and found several references to Flygande Jacob online. It is indeed Swedish and originated in the late 1970s — maybe you were there earlier? My husband has spent a lot of time in Sweden with his family and says there are peanuts and ketchup aplenty (I have not been there myself). Perhaps you were in a different region?

    In case anyone really, really wants to make it, here are some recipes:

  15. oh man, that flying jacob stuff looks AWFUL. the third link with the two little kids staring longingly at the dish…so funny. blech!

  16. I am seriously loving all of your comments. definitely making me laugh!

  17. 17


    I know it says Scandinavia but the rice, curry, and bananas shout India! I suppose Jakob got around.

  18. 18
    c wall

    I grew up putting chedder cheese on buttered toast and jam… my dad did it, so I thought it was normal…

    Turns out, as I discovered in my teenage years, people in general beg to differ.

    So call it provincial, but I’ll defend it to the death! Actually, my wife and I aptly named it “Cheesecake Toast.” Sounds dignified – and really, fruit and cheese… that’s what cheescake is. 🙂

  19. My parents are amazing (AMAZING) cooks so growing up I never thought about cooking b/c they just did their thing and I ate it…but when I got married I of course wanted to impress my new husband so I tried to come up with all kinds of new ‘fancy’ dishes… the worst…

    I baked a few regular yellow squash until soft… cut them in half, scraped out the inside and mixed it up with bacon bits, some kind of cheese (mozarella, maybe?, salt, pepper, garlic, and I think some milk… and stuffed it back into the skin to bake a bit longer.

    I didn’t eat another yellow squash for YEARS. But my oh so sweet husband choked it down and even ate it again the next day.

  20. This might not compare to the awfulness of some of the others in the comments, but this was the worst concoction I was ever made to eat in my life time.


    diced bologna
    diced hard boiled eggs
    lots of mayo
    a little mustard

    Mix and plop into hot dog buns, sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese, and broil til melty.

    Just looking at one, smelling one, or even now thinking about one- makes me gag. Yu-uck!

  21. 21

    We’re hosting a comfort food recipe contest and received an entry for “Ranch Soup”. It involves microwaving Hidden Valley Ranch – not kidding. I’m still *really* hoping it’s supposed to be a joke…

  22. 22

    Let’s not make fun of people.

  23. 23
    Jane Maynard

    oh, I hope no one is feeling made fun of! feel the love! we love everyone and their recipes!!

    just because a recipe is perhaps humorous (or maybe even scary 😉 ) doesn’t mean we’re making fun of anyone. we all have our guilty “pleasures” and I think we can agree that some of these recipes are kind of scary…and some of us probably even like them! 🙂

    I have certainly had a good laugh and I hope everyone else has as well. this is all good-natured. 🙂 no sad feelings…especially to the pickle relish fans out there! 😉

  24. 24

    My contribution to the ‘worst recipies’ club is something we called ‘gaggies.’ An oatmeal, sugar, cocoa concoction that can make your teeth hurt from the sugar. While this ‘cookie’ could send you into insulin shock I always had a hard time not eating one after another.

    Just becase they are ‘bad’ doesn’t mean they aren’t ‘good’

  25. I know this post is a few days old but I couldn’t help but share the ingredients of a recipe my step dad grew up with in Nebraska. I think this was a “church potluck recipe.”

    I looked it up online so that you could see the absolute hideousness of the entire recipe. This may take the cake!

    Horseradish Salad Ingredients
    1 Lime jello 1 c Nuts, finely chopped
    2 c Boiling water 1/4 ts Salt
    1 cn Pimento, small 1 Lemon jello
    8 oz Cream cheese 1 cn Crushed pineapple, w/juice
    1 May substitute cottage cheese
    1 cn Sweetened condensed milk
    3 tb Horseradish, moist 3 tb Lemon juice

  26. One of the worst I’ve come across was in an old Church cookbook. It was some sort of soup, a hearty one with tomatoes and beef, I believe, then POPPED CORN and whipped cream! Popcorn? EEK! Just weird!

  27. 27

    Ok, on that last one, I gasped audibly. Popcorn????! And whipped cream??? I’m so, so glad I wasn’t there to see that soup because I’m certain the look on my face would have offended someone and made them leave the Church.

    Perhaps I should be embarrassed to admit this, but I have a couple of casserole recipes that call for cream of________ that I like, even though I prefer to make dishes from scratch. The other ingredients are the standard chicken breast, stuffing, herbs, etc. Just putting that out there so anyone else in my boat won’t feel so sad. (Sorry if I made you gag, Melissa!) 🙂

  28. 28

    As a teen, this was a favorite comfort food of mine:

    1. Hot mashed potatoes
    2. Mix ins: diced tomatoes, diced velveeta, chicken (or some other leftover cut up meat), and french fried onions. The kind in the can.
    3. Then I perhaps dolloped it with something like sour cream or butter.


  29. 29

    I grew up poor. My mom was a drunk and coke sniffer so any money fed her habits. One hungry night I was served, soup made from watered down ketchup and a raw potato.

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