Everything Marilyn Monroe Really Liked To Eat And Drink

Marilyn Monroe four plates of food
Marilyn Monroe four plates of food - Static Media / Shutterstock / Getty

For most people, the first thing that comes to mind at the mention of Marilyn Monroe is "Hollywood bombshell," not "avid foodie." However, the reality is that when Monroe wasn't lighting up the big screen, the actress -- who was born Norma Jeane -- was a not-so-secret food enthusiast. When she wasn't whipping up her own meals in the kitchen, she was known to frequent Hollywood's most iconic eateries, with some still promoting their ties to the starlet to this day.

Both before and after Monroe's life was cut tragically short in 1962, fans have taken a deep interest in what she ate on a daily basis. Monroe wasn't exactly secretive about her diverse eating habits, loudly and proudly proclaiming her love for everything from DIY protein drinks to fine French cuisine. "I've been told that my eating habits are absolutely bizarre, but I don't think so," she mused to the now-defunct Pageant magazine in 1952 (via Vogue). Read on to discover her go-to dishes -- and decide for yourself just how "bizarre" Marilyn Monroe's appetite really was.

Read more: Famous Chefs Who Are Jerks In Real Life

Raw Eggs And Warm Milk

hands cracking open raw egg
hands cracking open raw egg - Ksushachmeister/Getty Images

Marilyn Monroe was already loading up on protein long before it became the food trend du jour. Speaking to Pageant magazine in 1952, the starlet revealed that she liked to start her day with a unique concoction of raw eggs and milk. "Before I take my morning shower, I start warming a cup of milk on the hot plate I keep in my hotel room," she explained. "When it's hot, I break two raw eggs into the milk, whip them up with a fork, and drink them while I'm dressing."

Not content with a hefty dose of protein, she combined this DIY cocktail with a multivitamin. "I doubt if any doctor could recommend a more nourishing breakfast for a working girl in a hurry," she said. While we have our reservations about that last detail, this recipe isn't far off from the concoctions consumed by bodybuilders looking to grow muscle. Still, there are definitely much safer ways to get your protein, such as the hard-boiled eggs Monroe reportedly also enjoyed as a light lunch.


bowl of stuffing
bowl of stuffing - Images by Barbara/Getty Images

If we could invite a historical figure over for Thanksgiving, Marilyn Monroe would definitely make the shortlist thanks to her complicated (but delicious) stuffing recipe. Found scribbled in her old notes (on the letterhead of an insurance company), it calls for a whopping 18 different ingredients and two hours of preparation.

During that time, Monroe would soak sourdough bread in water for 15 minutes before shredding and combining it with the likes of ground beef, celery, three types of nuts, raisins, eggs, and your choice of boiled chicken or turkey liver or hearts. Don't let the complexity put you off; The New York Times deemed the results "handsome, balanced and delicious."

For her super fans, it's also worth giving it a whirl just to see how Monroe's personal life seeped into her recipes through the use of certain ingredients. Back in the 1950s, Monroe briefly lived in the sourdough capital that is San Francisco after marrying baseball player Joe DiMaggio. As The New York Times points out, there are also some pretty clear Italian influences on the dish, such as the blend of rosemary, oregano, and thyme, which may be a result of DiMaggio's own heritage.

Warm Cereal

bowl of cereal
bowl of cereal - Lauri Patterson/Getty Images

If you frequented the cereal aisle of your local grocery store in the 1950s, there's a chance you could have reached for the last box of cornflakes at the same time as The Blonde Bombshell herself. Okay, probably not, but our point is that even an actress as glamorous as Marilyn Monroe would turn to cereal as an easy breakfast.

When two of her old cookbooks went up for auction in 2021, a typewritten meal schedule revealed that she would sometimes eat well-cooked cereal in the mornings. Sadly, there's no mention of Monroe's cereal of choice (personally, we like to think that she was a Frosted Flakes kind of girl), but we know that she typically paired her breakfast with the likes of orange juice, stewed prunes, or a glass of either milk or weak cocoa. Monroe was clearly a big fan of dairy, with yet another serving of milk popping up in her daily schedule as a mid-morning and a mid-afternoon snack, both times accompanied by a single cracker.

Hot Fudge Sundaes

hot fudge sundae cherry on top
hot fudge sundae cherry on top - Thecrimsonmonkey/Getty Images

Ice cream wasn't just an occasional indulgence for Monroe. As her star grew brighter in the early 1950s, she opened up to Pageant magazine in a full spread titled "How I Stay in Shape," revealing that while she ate simply during the day, she liked to spend her evenings tucking into a hot fudge sundae. "In recent months I have developed the habit of stopping off at Wil Wright's ice cream parlor for a hot fudge sundae on my way home from my evening drama classes," she explained (via Into the Gloss). "I'm sure that I couldn't allow myself this indulgence were it not that my normal diet is composed almost totally of protein foods."

There were multiple Wil Wright's ice cream parlors dotted around Southern California at one point, selling rich desserts notorious for their high sugar, butter fat, and calorie content. Sadly, these locations have since closed, so a pilgrimage to sample the ice cream that won over Monroe's heart (and stomach) isn't possible today. We'll have to make do with a non-bombshell-endorsed sundae instead.

Raw Carrots

bowl of carrots
bowl of carrots - Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock

Was Marilyn Monroe part-rabbit? The actress herself seemed to think so, joking to Pageant magazine that it was the only explanation for her insatiable hunger for raw carrots. "I usually eat four or five raw carrots with my meat, and that is all," she said when breaking down what she typically ate for dinner (via Vogue). "I must be part rabbit; I never get bored with raw carrots."

They may not be quite as indulgent as hot fudge sundaes, but you'd be pressed to find a better vice than carrots. Monroe's snack of choice is rich in antioxidants and has a long list of proven health benefits, including regulating blood sugar and reducing the risk of heart disease. Unlike a lot of vegetables, though, carrots are actually healthier once they're cooked, meaning Monroe was missing out on their full nutritional impact by choosing to only nibble on them raw.

Steak, Lamb Chops, Or Liver

raw steaks on board
raw steaks on board - Katarzyna Hurova/Shutterstock

By all accounts, Marilyn Monroe was a big meat-eater. While she may have had a mild obsession with carrots, she had a serving of meat at dinner and counted steak, lamb chops, or liver among her go-to protein sources that she would pick up from the local market and broil in an electric oven. Monroe's diet was almost paleo in nature, with no carbohydrates to accompany her standard evening meal.

Even when she wasn't following a structured routine, meat was often her default choice. A famous photograph with Arthur Miller shows Monroe sampling hot dogs from a food cart in New York, while the widow of fellow Hollywood legend Gene Kelly previously detailed an instance in which Monroe rustled up wieners for a drunken friend in her husband's kitchen. "He went into the kitchen with this young woman to see what was in the fridge and found some hot dogs," Patricia Kelly told Metro. "He had her boiling hot dogs ... He turned to this young woman and said, 'What's your name?' She said, 'Marilyn.' And it was Marilyn Monroe."

Rice Pudding

rice pudding bowl cinnamon stick
rice pudding bowl cinnamon stick - Sergio Hayashi/Shutterstock

Marilyn Monroe had quite the sweet tooth. According to the typed meal schedule found in a copy of her auctioned cookbook in 2021, she had dessert on a daily basis and listed rice pudding as one of her favorite sweet treats. This is one of the easier dishes to recreate if you want a taste of how Marilyn lived, with the most basic rice pudding recipes requiring just rice, milk, and sugar (and if you're feeling extra fancy, a dash of spices or a cinnamon stick).

If rice pudding isn't your thing, Monroe had other dessert options listed in her daily routine, most of which are dairy-based. Junket, a creamy pudding that uses sweetened milk, sugar, vanilla, and rennet, was another of her go-to dishes, as was custard, tapioca pudding, and baked apple. Considering how easy it is to whip up a baked apple in the slow cooker, we're not surprised that this was a dietary staple for a starlet constantly on the go.

Onion And Gratin Soup

bowl of onion soup
bowl of onion soup - New Africa/Shutterstock

When Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio married in 1954, they swiftly jetted off to Japan for a baseball junket turned honeymoon. By all accounts, this wasn't the happiest trip of her life. The crowds were relentless, Monroe and DiMaggio clashed over her decision to take a detour to perform for troops stationed in Korea, and she later lamented in her memoir that she wasn't able to see much of the country. Amidst all the chaos, however, she did manage to make time to find a new favorite restaurant.

While in Fukuoka, Monroe reportedly dined at the then-new French restaurant Royal Nakasu Honten for three days in a row. She was a particularly big fan of the onion gratin soup, which she ordered for dinner on every visit. Royal Nakasu Honten has since moved to Ohori Park and changed its name to Hananoki, but is still extremely proud of its ties to Marilyn Monroe. To this day, the restaurant displays a picture of her and DiMaggio and still offers that same onion gratin soup.


pouring champagne in glass
pouring champagne in glass - Alvarez/Getty Images

In 1962, just months before Marilyn Monroe passed, photographer Bert Stern was tasked with photographing the starlet for Vogue. He came up with a simple plan to win her over: ply her with Champagne. To be precise, it was a bottle of 1953 Dom Pérignon. His plan worked, and Monroe's final photoshoot (which was published under the name "The Last Sitting") included shots of the actress sipping on a coupe of bubbly.

Stern had done his homework -- although it wouldn't have been tough to figure out Monroe had a taste for fine fizz. Receipts showed that she ordered an entire case of Dom Pérignon Prestige Cuvée just two months before her death. Multiple outlets also quote Monroe as saying that she liked to go to bed wearing Chanel No. 5 and wake up with a glass of Piper-Heidsieck -- although where this claim actually comes from (and if she ever really said it), nobody seems to know. There's even an urban legend that Monroe once took a Champagne bath that required 350 bottles to fill.

Some of these claims are surely exaggerated -- just how long would Monroe have had to spend in the bath to make that expense worth it? However, there's no denying that Monroe had a legendary love for bubbly -- one so renowned that New York's Waldorf Astoria hotel even named a Champagne-based cocktail in her honor. Truly iconic.


Bowl of chili with onions tortilla chips
Bowl of chili with onions tortilla chips - Barney/Instagram

Marilyn Monroe made her mark on Hollywood in more ways than one. Several restaurants, bars, and hotels dotted across Tinseltown like to brag about their links to the actress, but one West Hollywood eatery has more claim to bragging rights than others. Barney's Beanery, a greasy spoon on Santa Monica Blvd, was one of her favorite spots while filming "Some Like It Hot" at the nearby Samuel Goldwyn Studios. Monroe loved the chili, often opting for a hearty bowl during breaks between scenes.

Today, you can find that same classic chili plated with mixed cheese, sour cream, and onions in five different Barney's Beanery restaurants around Los Angeles, including the original WeHo location. The recipe remains identical -- in fact, it hasn't been touched since 1920. With Clark Gable, Jim Morrison, and Janis Joplin (who actually ate her final meal at Barney's in 1970) all considered regulars at some point, it should come as no surprise that the kitchen is reluctant to switch things up. If it ain't broke, right?


bowl of spaghetti
bowl of spaghetti - Kivoart/Getty Images

Even Marilyn Monroe wasn't immune to the allure of pasta. According to the typed out meal schedule found in her old cookbooks, spaghetti was one of the three choices she had for her daily lunch or supper (not to mention the most exciting, considering the other two were a plain baked or mashed potato, or noodles with milk).

In terms of toppings, Monroe's pasta wasn't particularly fancy. Her options were tomato sauce or butter. No matter which one she chose, she was explicitly not allowed cheese on either pasta serving. But don't mistake that for a cheese-less life. That same meal schedule mentioned a choice between an egg or 2 tablespoons of cottage cheese with her lunch. A clipped newspaper recipe for cheese lasagna (complete with Monroe's own doodles) was found tucked into the same cookbooks, containing a dairy-packed mix of cottage cheese, cheddar, and a choice of Parmesan and Romano.

Marrowbone Soup

bone marrow soup
bone marrow soup - AS Foodstudio/Shutterstock

The treasure trove that is Marilyn Monroe's old cookbooks has taught us a lot about her wild and varied appetite. While one sheaf of paper tells us that she ate fairly plain pasta, another found slipped between the pages of "The New Fannie Famer Boston Cooking-School Cook Book" suggests that she also loved a marrowbone soup -- a collagen-rich dish that's long been touted as beneficial for skin health.

According to the auction listing provided by Siegel Auction Galleries (via Daily Mail), Monroe's handwritten list of ingredients for marrowbone soup required up to eight marrowbones and a few bouillon cubes. While we don't know exactly how she prepared it, we presume Monroe's foodie knowledge extended far enough to avoid some of the most common bone broth mistakes, such as not letting the broth simmer for long enough (sometimes it needs as much as 24 hours) and forgetting to blanch the bones.

Beef Bourguignon

pot of beef bourguignon potatoes
pot of beef bourguignon potatoes - Nina Firsova/Shutterstock

Another tasty highlight found among Marilyn Monroe's many notes was a recipe for beef bourguignon. That's proof in itself that Monroe was a wiz in the kitchen. This traditional French stew -- which is sometimes also known as beef Burgundy after the regional red wine used during the braising process -- is notoriously laborious to cook, with even the most straightforward recipes taking several hours to prepare.

Unfortunately, Siegel Auction Galleries (which auctioned Monroe's cookbooks) never shared the exact details of her beef bourguignon recipe. Although we don't know the specifics or how often she fixed a stew for dinner, it does seem extremely aligned with the rest of her meat-heavy diet. If you want to try cooking something similar but are overwhelmed by the complexities of French cuisine, check out our simple beef bourguignon recipe which will guide you through the meticulous process of browning bacon and braising beef à la Marilyn Monroe.


two glasses eggnog with cinnamon
two glasses eggnog with cinnamon - Daniela Baumann/Shutterstock

As per her typed out meal schedule, Marilyn Monroe liked to end her day the same way it started: with a mixture of eggs and milk. Come evening, this combination was much more appealing than the raw egg concoction she liked to whip up in the morning, with her 11 p.m. nightcap of choice listed as a good ol' eggnog.

Again, we don't know Monroe's precise eggnog preferences -- namely, whether she liked it with or without the traditional dash of brandy, or if she whipped up her own drink from scratch. As a woman of both fine taste and culinary prowess, we would guess that Monroe was a "DIY eggnog" kind of person, perhaps following a recipe similar to this straightforward mix of egg yolks, sugar, whipping cream, nutmeg, and vanilla extract. However Monroe took her eggnog, we have to applaud her for breaking this decadent beverage out of its holiday season box. We'll count her as one signature on our "make eggnog a year-round treat" petition.

Read the original article on Mashed