Food52 Life

The 10 Food52 Recipes Our Co-Founders Will Never, Ever Stop Making

File these under: all-time favorites.

September 13, 2019

Food52 is 10 years old! To celebrate a decade of all things kitchen and home, we're rolling out our top recipes, tips, and stories for another victory lap, along with some of our very favorite memories over the years. Go on, take 'em in!

They say that picking your favorite child is impossible. But seeing that A) I'm an only child, and therefore always the favorite, and B) don't have kids, I can't really comprehend this dilemma.

I do, however, know that anytime I am asked to pick my favorite anything—restaurant, movie, book, etc.—I kill time with a few contemplative-sounding hmms while I rack my brain (which has gone blank) for something that sounds smart.

So I knew that when I asked our co-founders, Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, to pick their all-time favorite Food52 recipes, I was tasking them with the near-impossible. Because really, all Food52 recipes are their children, and they love each and every one of them.

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Top Comment:
“My favorite Food52 recipe is Greek Style Shrimp in Tomato Sauce with Feta by Tom Hirschfeld. It challenges that myth that seafood and cheese do not mix. It does and this dish is so good.”
— HalfPint


Still, if they absolutely had to choose, these would be their favorites. Some mark the introduction to a new technique or ingredient from a community member, while others are simply staples they turn to over and over again. More than anything, they are absolutely, certifiably, guaranteed delicious. They are Food52-approved, after all.

Amanda & Merrill's Favorite Food52 Recipes

1. Roberto Santibañez' Classic Guacamole

"Until I made this recipe, it never occurred to me to think of the onion, chile, and cilantro as a seasoning for the avocado, or to chop and fold the avocado rather than mash it. These seemingly small details make all the difference between a good guacamole and this extraordinary one." —Amanda

2. Urvashi Pitre's "Now & Later" Instant Pot Butter Chicken

"This is one of the first recipes I ever made in my Instant Pot, and it was a huge hit with everyone in my family. I love that you end up with an entire second batch of the delicious sauce; I use it to dress up plain white rice and baked chicken thighs in a pinch." —Merrill

3. Shrimp Biryani (Indian Shrimp and Rice)

"This biryani was an early Food52 community recipe and I remember making it that first time—creating a cilantro-ginger-garlic paste to layer flavor into the rice and shrimp was a revelation, but it's the cinnamon stick that gives this dish its character." —Amanda

4. Cinnamon Rolls

"I have a particular soft spot for these gooey cinnamon rolls because they were the first major cooking project my kids and I undertook together. They require a little time and patience, but the method is foolproof and straightforward enough for even the novice baker. My kids love slicing the rolled-up log into buns." —Merrill

5. Grandma DiLaura's Italian Ricotta Gnocchi

"This recipe came from Christina DiLaura, one of our earliest team members. Her grandmother's gnocchi is so delightfully pared down and good, I make it in large batches and freeze it for last-minute dinners." —Amanda

6. Pasta with Corn, Slow-Cooked Tomatoes & Garlic Confit

"To me, this dish is the very essence of late summer. We spend a lot of time in New Jersey, where people obsessively look forward to tomato and corn season all year, and Phyllis Grant's pasta is the perfect way to show them off. Pro tip: Make more of the garlic oil-slicked slow-roasted tomatoes than you need; they're fantastic with fish, pork, or chicken." —Merrill

7. Coconut-Lime Pork Tacos With Black Beans & Avocado

"We have these tacos so often that my kids, husband, and I all know how to make them. Our only tweak: We leave out the black beans and when we can't get pineapple juice, we sub in orange juice." —Amanda

8. Absurdly Addictive Asparagus

"When we first tested this recipe by kaykay nearly 10 years ago, everyone was in ecstasy. It's a complete explosion of flavors, yet the main ingredient— asparagus—somehow isn't muffled by the others. This is a vegetable dish that you could happily make a meal of." —Merrill

9. Spicy Thai Steak Salad

"The salad here is onions, chiles, and cilantro in a brash fish sauce and lime dressing. You broil (or grill) the steak, and season it afterward—an approach that goes against what you're taught to do, but it works splendidly. I serve the steak salad warm over jasmine rice to soak up the fragrant juices." —Amanda

10. Roasted Carrot Soup

"There are not many recipes that are able to coax such complexity from so few ingredients. By roasting (really broiling, which saves a hurried cook some much needed time) the carrots before combining them with the other ingredients, you intensify their sweetness and give the soup a toasty, caramelly quality. I've used Reeve's carrot technique when making other vegetable soups (pumpkin, cauliflower, broccoli), and it's changed my game." —Merrill

What's your favorite Food52 recipe? Tell us in the comments below!

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Natasha
  • Urvashi Pitre
    Urvashi Pitre
  • OldGrayMare
  • JulieBee
  • luvcookbooks
Erin Alexander

Written by: Erin Alexander

Erin Alexander is the Managing Editor of Food52.


Natasha October 20, 2019
I love that everyone else loves absurdly addictive asparagus as much as I do. It’s my favorite recipe ever, hands down!
Urvashi P. October 20, 2019
Thank you so much for including my recipe in this! I’m honored 🥰
OldGrayMare October 20, 2019
The AA Asparagus is my fave, hands down (or should that be forks down?). Ed and I have (more than once) just stood at the stove and eaten it right out of the skillet....and we fight over the last bits.
JulieBee October 20, 2019
I really thought Nigel Slater’s lentil Bologna’s would be on this list!
luvcookbooks September 16, 2019
Love Andrew Feinberg’s broccoli frittata recipe. I make it in the fall and winter regularly. Can’t pick one favorite but this was a frittata game changer.
HalfPint September 13, 2019
My favorite Food52 recipe is Greek Style Shrimp in Tomato Sauce with Feta by Tom Hirschfeld. It challenges that myth that seafood and cheese do not mix. It does and this dish is so good.