Our 20 Most Popular Recipes of 2021

From pasta to cake, potatoes to pie, comfort food reigned supreme over the past year. Here are our 20 most popular recipes of 2021. It was a year of delicious dishes.

A person using metal chopsticks to scoop up spaghetti al limone amalfitano from a bowl.
My travels in Italy taught me that Roman cuisine doesn’t come from Rome, but from the trade routes that brought foods from all over Italy to the capital.
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Carrot, pineapple, and candied ginger muffins on a counter, the one in front has its liner peeled off.
With the onset of winter, the carrots at the market are much sweeter and deep orange in color. Candied ginger hits the grocery stores because all the holiday baked goods need a whiff of warm ginger in them. These muffins also have sweet pineapple because it complements the carrots and candied ginger really well, which I simply love.
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A bowl filled with sweet tea brined fried chicken with a bottle of Cholula hot sauce in the background and a plate of more fried chicken.
Sweet tea brined fried chicken is a succulent combination of lemony sweet tea and classic fried chicken. A 24-hour brine ensures that the chicken stays juicy, tender, and exquisitely flavored. Perfect for Sunday supper.
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An enamel pot filled with Portuguese bean soup with a hint of bread roll and a spoon.
Perfect for a leisurely afternoon cook, this is one of those soups where you throw everything in the pot and simmer until pau (finished). Usually, the strong seasoning of homemade sausage is enough to flavor the broth, but if you’re using a milder store-bought variety like I often do, you can supplement the warm flavor with a little pumpkin pie spice.
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A whole chocolate meringue mousse cake with one slice cut from it.
This cake is neither too sweet nor too rich, with a deeply chocolatey mousse-like center, beneath a thin crackly layer of cocoa-dusted meringue. What’s not to love?
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A slice of 2 layer white chocolate whisper cake with pistachio frosting and filling, on a white plate beside a cake stand containing the rest of the cake.
White chocolate offers the double advantage of velvety, melt-in-the-mouth texture and, because of white cake's gentle flavor, a definite whisper of cocoa butter. This special flavor blends well with a lemon buttercream or, of course, David's pistachio buttercream.
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A cedar plank with a knife and fork, and two layered eggplant parmesans, with three metal bowls in the background.
Cedar-plank grilled eggplant Parmesan is nothing short of genius. The eggplant slices are grilled then added as layers to the Parmesan. Best of all: all that flavor is imbued with the smokiness of the cedar.
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A caramelized onion and Gruyère galette with a rye crust and sprigs of thyme.
If you love French onion soup, with its rich, beefy broth, sweet, deeply caramelized onions, and that luscious, nutty and gooey layer of cheese-laden toast, you’ll love this galette. All the flavors of the classic soup have been distilled into a galette for ease, but also for fun!
Recipe
A wooden table with a blue check napkin and glass of milk with a straw. 6 easy gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, in whole and halves, are scattered on the table with crumbs.
Challenged by dear childhood friends who wanted the perfect gluten-free chocolate chip cookie, I developed this recipe and got a true test of how successful it was when I took a batch to a Super Bowl Party. Everyone demolished the entire batch of cookies without knowing they were gluten-free and told me they were the best they had eaten. When I revealed they were gluten-free, all of the party-goers were shocked!
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Cranberry upside-down cake with a large piece missing, on a white plate with a serving knife beside it.
The Grand Marnier (an orange liqueur) gives the cake a pleasant kick that plays beautifully with cranberry. Making this tender, buttery cake provides a perfect excuse to share a slice over the backyard fence, maybe with someone who’s short on their own cranberry source.
Recipe
A white bowl of Portuguese clams with vinho verde in a olive oil and garlic sauce, garnished with cilantro.
This clam dish is a classic. It has a long history in Portugal and for good reason: It's delicious. Portuguese home cooking is distinguished by its gutsy soulfulness. If you're the type who seasons liberally, taste first. This dish is plenty salty and full of flavor. 
Recipe
French onion skillet chicken in a copper frying pan with a person lifting out a serving
Take the elements of French onion soup–beef broth, a hunk of bread, tons of caramelized onions, and a raft of cheese–and mash it up with perfectly seared chicken thighs, and you have French onion-skillet chicken. Sounds weird, I know, but I swear it works.
Recipe
A plate of French onion potato gratin
This gratin takes the best flavors of French onion soupmelty cheese and caramelized onionsand pairs them with potatoes, mushrooms, garlic, and thyme for one helluva great side dish that will have you licking the spoon–even when guests are looking. It's that good!
Recipe
Two pieces of butter basted fish with garlic and thyme in a skillet with butter foaming around them.
Butter basted fish with garlic and thyme from America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Illustrated is a crazy quick and indulgent way to put a healthful dinner on the table pronto. Here’s how.
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A skillet filled with shrimp with chorizo and toasted bread slices on the side.
Shrimp with chorizo is startlingly simple, considering how impressive it is. Shrimp, smoky sausage, garlic, chile, and lemon come together in just about half an hour. Serve it as a main for 2, or share it as a tapas-style app.
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Four of Ina Garten's waffle iron hash browns in a waffle iron with the lid open.
Waffle iron hash browns are the easiest and most delicious hash browns you’ll ever make. They’re really crispy on the outside and creamy inside—and the best part is no splatters on the stove!
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A white platter with four pork chops with applesauce in a jar on the side and fried sage leaves sprinkled over the pork chops.
Though delicious on its own, pork can be wonderfully accepting of flavor enhancers—fruit is the surprising and undeniable favorite.
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Mocha walnut torte on a white plate with 2 pieces sliced and 1 piece missing.
This cake is an excellent keeper and, because it’s sturdy, a good traveler—make it for a friend or take it to a potluck. It’s good plain and good with whipped cream or crème fraîche. And if you want to dress it up, it takes nicely to a drizzle of chocolate ganache.
Recipe
Two steak and ale pies on silver platters.
These steak and ale pies, made with tender beef, Guinness gravy, and shortcrust pastry, are just like the kind you get at a British pub.
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Originally published December 31, 2021

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