Test Kitchen-Approved

Our 10 Most Popular Recipes in April 2019

The dishes you loved cooking this month.

April 30, 2019
Photo by James Ransom

Perfectly tender chicken, a quick pasta with a hint of lemon, the kind of cake you could eat every day for a whole week and not get bored: These are the dishes we’re in the mood for right now. How do we know that? Those recipes, including a Genius lemon buttermilk cake and Amanda Hesser's mother's oven-fried chicken, have been sweeping the competition on Food52 all month long—and rightfully so. Test-kitchen approved, they have that extra something special that makes them widely beloved.

Some of these recipes are simple dishes that require minimal prep while others, like the pecan cake, will take about a day of prep including inactive refrigeration time. But the end result is, in the words of one reviewer, “magnificent.”

So turn on your favorite cooking soundtrack (mine is a good crime podcast, to be honest), make sure the lighting in your kitchen is just right, and get ready to cook. Here are the 10 most popular recipes on Food52 right now.

Food52's 10 Most-Viewed Recipes

1. Judy Hesser’s Oven Fried-Chicken

I spend a ridiculous amount of time fantasizing about eating fried chicken, but it’s just not convenient to even attempt deep-frying in my apartment. Yet ... crispy, salty chicken that’s technically from the oven, and tastes even better cold? Just try to keep me away.

2. Warm Chicken Salad

As soon as the weather gets warm enough, it puts me right in the mood to crack my kitchen window open, put out all my produce on the counter, and cobble together an impossibly giant chicken salad for lunch that may or may not stretch into dinner. This leafy chicken salad from Co-Founder Merrill Stubbs feels like a thank-you to the transitioning seasons—warm and hearty, yet green and crisp.

3. Maida Heatter's Lemon Buttermilk Cake

You'll need three large lemons and half a pound of butter to make this crazy-addictive cake from dessert genius Maida Heatter. It's a crowd-pleasing, palate-cleansing cake that's been around for decades, and can be snuck in as breakfast or paired with after-dinner coffee.

4. Breaded Eggplant Cutlets

I'm paraphrasing here, but it was John Waters who said something like, "If you go home with somebody, and they don't have books, don't ... continue the date." (Like I said, I'm paraphrasing.) Maybe it's because I recently ate an eggplant Parm sandwich that I cannot get out of my brain, but that's how I currently feel about these cutlets. If your date can't find a way to enjoy a nice fried slice of eggplant with some cheese on top, send them on their way.

5. Martha Stewart's One-Pan Pasta

This entire recipe takes under 10 minutes to complete and serves four, all from one large skillet. If you were Martha Stewart, you'd make this on a moment's notice after you'd just spent the morning harvesting a bounty of plump cherry tomatoes and basil from the garden. It's a good thing.

6. Creamy Lemon Spaghetti with Crunchy Breadcrumbs

Lemon zest, breadcrumbs, and a little bit of parsley come together to create a satisfying pasta dish that's more than the sum of its parts. Make this once or twice, and you'll be able to throw it together in minutes, for the rest of your life. Add grilled chicken, a fried egg, or some quickly sauteed shrimp on top, or enjoy as is (plus a little more cheese).

7. Crispy Chicken Thighs With Asparagus, Bacon & Potatoes

This (mostly) one-skillet chicken recipe uses the smoky, rich fat from bacon drippings and crispy chicken skin to add depth to potatoes and asparagus (go with young asparagus if you don't like their fibrousness) and turns the combination of garlic, Dijon, and red pepper flakes into a mop-up-the-plate sauce. Be careful of the splatter—but don't be afraid of a little extra bacon fat.

8. Flourless Pecan Cake

Anyone who has the commitment to turn a bag of nuts into a full-fledged cake is a go-getter of the highest order, and if you have the fortitude to see this whole thing through (it'll look exactly like sand at one point), you truly deserve its stunning final form: a complex and rich cake that can handle a giant dollop of cream, and may have to be hidden from any roommates with excellent taste.

9. Slow-Cooker Chicken Breasts With Lemon, Sage & Milk

Don't put away your slow cooker just yet! This deceptively pale recipe can turn a plain chicken breast, or pretty much any cut of chicken, into the perfect piece of chicken—evenly cooked down to the molecule, so moist, and otherwise, a blank canvas for whatever herb or spice combination you can imagine. Rosemary and parsley? Curry and onions? Leeks and fennel? It all works.

10. Dutch-Oven Scalloped Idaho Potatoes

Take a humble bag of potatoes and turn it into everyone's favorite side dish at the dinner party with this potato dish that's so classic, it's considered the Idaho potato farmer's bread and butter, so to speak. Haul out your Dutch Oven, cut up a couple of large potatoes, and let them get well-acquainted with the cream and cheese. Optional: for the true Wild, Wild West experience, add this dish to your camping menu, placing your skillet right on a bed of hot coals.

What have you been cooking these days? Share the wealth; plop the recipe in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Jolinda Marshall
    Jolinda Marshall
  • Eric Kim
    Eric Kim
Karen Lo

Written by: Karen Lo

lunch lady


Jolinda M. May 1, 2019
I'm absolutely fabulous recipe from this site which left 10 plates clean as a whistle is braised Moroccan chicken with olives. I serve with Large Green olives with pits and lots of preserved lemons over a bed of couscous (Moghrabieh) with dried apricots (presoaked in Rose'), broth, Shallots, toasted Sliced almonds, and sultanas to soak up all of the delicious sauce. This is amazing. Serve with Harissa Carrots.
Eric K. May 1, 2019