Weeknight Cooking

12 Martha Stewart Recipes We Can’t Stop Making—From One-Pan Pasta to Slab Pie

Including 3 new recipes from her brand-new cookbook, 'Martha Stewart's Fruit Desserts.'

October 12, 2021
Photo by Rocky Luten

According to my mother, Martha Stewart is the queen of, well, everything. From her chic crafting supplies and flower-arranging tips to her party decor ideas and her cooking show with Snoop Dogg (yes, that Snoop Dogg), there doesn't seem to be anything she can't do. And at 80, the lifestyle guru continues to evolve. She has launched a line of CBD products for both humans and dogs; written close to 100 books; starred in a mini-series on HGTV called Martha Knows Best featuring a very handsome lineup of guests like Richard Gere, Antoni Porowski, and Zac Posen; and she even will soon be in the freezer section of your grocery store (in the form of high-quality prepared dinners). But of all the things Martha has mastered, her recipes are her greatest contribution—at least to my life. And on October 12th, 2021, Martha will be releasing her 99th (!) cookbook, Martha Stewart's Fruit Desserts: 100+ Delicious Ways to Savor the Best of Every Season.

Timeless and foolproof, Martha Stewart’s recipes have been a staple in my kitchen ever since I moved into my first apartment (we inaugurated those digs with her classic macaroni and cheese). And while I've never had a Martha recipe steer me in the wrong direction, there are a handful of favorites I turn to time and time again, most of which happen to live right here on Food52. One of her most popular recipes of all time is One-Pan Pasta, which calls for cooking spaghetti, cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil, and onions all in one large pasta pot in less than 10 minutes. It looks just as good cooking in the pan as it does when it’s twirled into a perfect mound on the plate, and it’s perfect for days when sweating over the stove for a long time is not an option. Martha also makes use of beloved appliances like the Instant Pot and slow-cooker for recipes like Vietnamese-Style Chicken Soup and Italian-Braised Pork

From her über-famous one-pan pasta (make it once and you'll understand why it's so popular) to a bright and spicy Thai soup you can make right in your slow cooker, here are our nine best Martha Stewart recipes:

Our Best Martha Stewart Recipes

1. Martha Stewart's Cranberry Meringue Tartlets

The beauty of these individual tartlets is, yes, their appearance (the dollops of glossy meringue! The ruby red filling!), but also the fact that you can make them in advance, which is always a winner in our book come the holidays. Martha’s trick to getting a super-smooth filling is straining the curd through a fine-mesh sieve before pouring it into the tartlet crust—because we all know that lumps can ruin an otherwise perfect dessert.

2. Martha Stewart's One-Pan Pasta

This Genius-approved one-pan pasta is famous for a reason: It cooks in just one pan (obviously) and makes its own sauce in under 10 minutes flat. And the ingredients list couldn’t be simpler—linguine, grape tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, red pepper flakes, extra-virgin olive oil, and a generous sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese on top.

3. Martha Stewart's Macaroni & Cheese

I can't count how many times I've made this bubbly, lusciously cheesy macaroni and cheese complete with buttered bread crumbs. It comes out perfect every single time. Martha likes a combination of Gruyère and sharp white cheddar cheese, so we like a combination of Gruyère and sharp white cheddar cheese, too.

4. Martha Stewart's Pineapple-Banana Upside-Down Cake

Martha is, well, good at everything, but where she excels is with recipes for classic treats like pineapple upside-down cake. But she wouldn’t be the queen of baking (and gardening and home-keeping and horseback riding) without a little innovation. Enter: bananas. In this recipe, they’re mashed until smooth and folded into the cake batter (like banana bread!) for moistness and sweetness.

5. Martha Stewart's Slow-Cooker Tom Kha Gai

This bright, just-spicy-enough soup can easily be made on the stovetop in under an hour, but using the slow-cooker really allows the flavors to develop and the chicken thighs to get extra tender.

6. Martha Stewart's Whole-Lemon Pound Cake With Pomegranate Glaze

Martha says often that lemon desserts—particularly Lemon Meringue Pie—are her favorite sweets to eat, so it’s no surprise that her new book would include a recipe for an extra-lemony cake. A whole lemon (rind and flesh) are used in this buttery twist on a classic pound cake. A vibrant pink frosting made with pomegranate juice and arils not only introduces even more tartness, but it’s also a stunning contrast against the bright yellow cake.

7. Martha Stewart's Sweet Potato, Celery & Apple Salad

This Genius salad recipe is classic Martha: easy to make, yet totally refined (and very worthy of a dinner party), and it transforms simple ingredients (raw sweet potatoes, celery, apples, and other veggies) into an extraordinarily delicious dish.

8. Martha Stewart's Instant Pot Vietnamese-Style Chicken Soup

This extra-brothy Vietnamese-style chicken soup is like a big bowl of comfort. The best part: It's ready in under an hour, so whatever's ailing you (from a cold to a crummy day at work) can be remedied in a hurry.

9. Martha Stewart's Slow-Cooker Italian-Braised Pork

You can serve this succulent, fall-apart Italian braised pork any which way you like (over creamy polenta, pasta, or couscous, take your pick), but a glass of red wine on the side is an absolute must.

10. Martha Stewart's Slab Pie

This any-berry slab pie feeds more people and makes way less mess thanks to a single sheet pan and small ingredients list. In place of the berries, feel free to use fresh sour cherries, peaches, or any fruit that suits your fancy.

11. Martha Stewart's Instant Pot Beef Stew With Dijon & Tomato

Keep this Instant Pot beef stew recipe on file for winter—the tangy Dijon mustard unites all the other ingredients in a hearty, meaty broth that can take the chill off even the most frigid night.

12. Martha Stewart's Slow-Cooker Persian Lamb Stew

This slow-cooker Persian lamb stew was born for the weekend—or a weekday morning when you have time to prep the ingredients (there's not a whole lot you have to do), then just "set them and forget them" to finish while you're at the office. Martha’s recipe calls for a 4-to-5-pound lamb shoulder, which becomes super tender as it cooks over the course of several hours. And it wouldn’t be a Martha Stewart recipe without a little something extra...a large pinch of saffron threads adds an earthy, floral note to the stew.

What's your all-time favorite Martha Stewart recipe? Tell us in the comments below!
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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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Erin Alexander

Written by: Erin Alexander

Erin Alexander is the Managing Editor of Food52.


erwink October 14, 2021
My all-time favorite Martha recipe is in one of her early cookbooks, maybe Entertaining(?) It’s called Sausage Pinwheels and it has two ingredients—hot Italian sausage and storebought puff pastry. Super simple and makes dozens of elegant hors d’oeuvres that can be frozen uncooked and baked up in a blink. Easy to bring to a party or tailgate as well.
Louise C. October 13, 2021
This recipe was the first time I tried cooking a spaghetti dish beginning with raw spaghetti. Wow, was I a convert. I do other dishes beginning with raw pasta but never anything like this. 14/10 would recommend.
G G. August 13, 2021
I'm glad this article got a refresh, or I might not have seen so many yummy things to try! As for hands-down Martha fave, this sweet potato "salad" is a staple on our Thanksgiving table, made the day before, then served at room temperature and with a little drizzle of sesame oil, it deliciously complements and cuts through all the holiday richness: http://www.marthastewart.com/315818/chilled-sweet-potato-salad
Laura415 April 9, 2019
Martha used to have a cooking 101 series. That's where I first saw the classic Mac and Cheese recipe. Her test kitchen seems to do well on many types of recipe testing but there are some real dogs. I look at her recipes and sometimes use them but I also like to draw on my own experience and compare recipes online to see where they differ. Learning common ratios has helped me more than anything else when it comes to cooking.
gardenchickens April 8, 2019
My most oft-repeated Martha Stewart recipe is this Custard Pie, https://www.marthastewart.com/314801/custard-pie, a simple pear and vanilla concoction. It always succeeds at a potluck and makes a great breakfast as well as dessert. Her simple knife technique makes an impresssive presentation.

I just restocked my freezer for the nth time with these waffles made with oats, whole wheat, and yogurt, https://www.marthastewart.com/343477/yogurt-waffles. They are best in a Belgian-style waffle maker, but I've made them successfully as pancakes and stovetop heart-shaped waffes.

I still have most of Martha's Everyday Food magazines. The early issues had some of her best recipes ever, I had a lot of good eatin' from them. The later issues seemed too rabbit-foodish and left me hungry and flavor starved. I'm looking forward to trying several dishes from this list, especially the slow-cook and instant pot recipes. What a fun article to find, thanks for the renewed focus on Martha!
Tanya C. April 8, 2019
My daughter and I make the One Pot Spaghetti recipe whenever we have unexpected guests and it is always a great hit. It's fast and consists of ingredients that we always have in our house, so no shopping required.
Brownie April 7, 2019
I love the variety of recipes listed here. I would like to make the sweet potato, celery and apple salad.

Regarding supplies needed to make these recipes...you win some you lose some. I don’t believe any average kitchen will ever stock every kitchen gadget nor should it. Buy what you believe you will use most.
Jocelyn G. April 7, 2019
I’ve made the Mac and cheese dozens of times. My kids loved it when they were growing up.
Margaret L. April 7, 2019
At least once a year I go to the farmer's market, lose all control, and come home with one or more of everything. Then I turn to "Penne with Summer Vegetable Ragout" from the Summer 1991 issue. While the ingredient list is long, it goes together easily and uses just one big pan and a pasta pot. It's good hot, warm, or room temperature. You can adjust the ingredients according to whatever is available, substituting various summer squash and peppers. I use a whole eggplant, which is often well over 2 cups, and just 2 Roma tomatoes, diced, rather than 2 cups. Just don’t omit the fennel, the orange, or the balsamic vinegar, or you will have a different dish. I like to add a generous half-cup scoop of sheep's milk ricotta on top and a shower of torn basil leaves. The creamy, cool ricotta plays off the acidic vegetables beautifully, and makes this a complete meal. https://www.marthastewart.com/312746/penne-with-summer-vegetable-ragout
TXExpatInBKK October 14, 2021
This sounds delicious and endlessly riffable, thank you!
Alix D. April 7, 2019
I have her pie book, it's a pretty good one generally but the recipe that gets the most use years later is for pie dough. https://www.marthastewart.com/317858/pate-brisee-pie-dough
Ellen April 7, 2019
Love Martha. Her Lexi’s Favorite Chocalate Chip cookies should be on this list. Thin and crispy buttery and so delicious. Have not done Martha instapot yet. Look forward to trying those. Thanks!!!
Babydoll April 7, 2019
Can not wait to try all of these especially the soup and the seeet potato celery apple salad... good for the tummy as well...
Ironstring April 7, 2019
It's really discouraging that so many of these have gadgets involved, at least per the title. It is possible to cook something with just an oven and a stovetop, and not clutter lives and landfills with expensive fads, but you'd hardly know it from this article. There is no indication in this article that any of the linked recipes will have conventional instructions. And while a slow cooker has mostly stood the test of time, at least those can be found secondhand without blowing tons of money on a new in$tantpot.

The real "genius" is in cooking it old school; donate the savings from not buying the gadgets to a food pantry instead.
Babydoll April 7, 2019
I do agree with you on that. Some of us just want to whip up food for our family without becoming Martha or Gordon Ramsay... whatever happened to just normal cooking utensils...?
Maggie April 7, 2019
I have an outdoor fire pit, too, but that doesn't mean my stove is a "gadget." Why get worked up about someone else's choice of cooking utensil? While I personally agree with you about the Instant Pot (because I already own a stovetop pressure cooker), what applies to my lifestyle and available time anf cooking ability might not apply to yours - it doesn't mean either of us is right OR wrong.

Since you brand yourself an old-school cook, you likely are already familiar with a variety of cooking techniques; therefore, you would already be aware alternate methods to turn the ingredients in newfangled gadgety recipes into good food using the non-gadgets you have at hand and it wouldn't bother you overmuch that you don't have the Latest Thing. But not everyone who grew up in the era of convenience cooking has the benefit of or easy access to previous generations' cooking advice, and that Instant Pot might be the thing helping a family get tasty, homemade food on the table most nights instead of wasting money and nutrition on takeout/fast food.
Ellen April 7, 2019
Anything done in an instapot can work in a slow cooker. Or in a Dutch oven stovetop/oven if you have time and patience and want the oven on that long. Usually you can find cook times on google to adapt recipes for various methods of cooking if you like. Or find a similar recipe that suits your preference. Seems a little mean to judge people for using a time saving device they love. When there are thousands of amazing recipes here at Food52 and elsewhere that don’t require any “gadget” appliances In your kitchen. I don’t think the instapot folks are necessarily responsible for clogging up landfills. Most of the ones I know would consider it fighting words if you wanted to take their instapots away. :-) there is space for us all in the kitchen.
Tanya C. April 7, 2019
Here's a good conversion chart that I use to switch between stove, oven, low and high settings on my Crock Pot.
Tanya C. April 7, 2019
dcremerssf April 7, 2019
the whole point of this article is that these are the best of the best recipes, so why would we want to look for “similar” recipes that don’t require the gadgets called for in the cooking process. I also use traditional pots and pans, and I have no interest in keeping up with the the latest gadget trend, so I am not familiar with “alternate methods of turning ingredients in new fangled gadetry recipes into good food using non-gadgets I have at hand”. Seriously, you’re talking about non-gadget cooking. That would be cooking with pots and pans. If these are the best of the best recipes, I would appreciate knowing how to cook them with simple pots and pans, and basic appliances that everyone has (a stove top and an oven), and not having to search google for conversion suggestions. Recipes using insta-pots and pressure cookers should be categorized for specialty equipment.
cookinalong April 11, 2019
Why all the hating on Instant Pots? If you're on a tear about cluttering up landfills, consider that the InstantPot is a slow cooker, yogurt maker, rice cooker and an electric pressure cooker. And if it's new gadgets you're on the warpath against, slow cookers have been around for a long time and pressure cookers for even longer than that. Many, many people have both and use them often. I have an Instant Pot as well as a stove top pressure cooker, but that doesn't mean I never use conventional pots and pans. But having the pressure cooker means I make things like lamb stew more often because the pressure cooker saves me lots of time. You can make any of these things conventionally, so why the griping? Most of the Food52 recipes don't require what you call "gadgets". Why not find one you like?
Lewinski T. April 7, 2019
Hmm, reviews on these Martha Stewart recipes are mixed at best. Clarity on criteria appreciated, thanks
Rebecca B. April 7, 2019
Martha Stewart's Blueberry Muffins from her Baking Handbook are a favorite with my grandchildren!
Noreen F. April 2, 2019
I've had that sweet potato, celery and apple salad saved forever and I've never gotten around to trying it. Thanks for the reminder!
Erin A. April 4, 2019
So glad to resurface it for you! Let me know how it turns out :)