32 Carolina Gelen Recipes to Make Right Now

December  8, 2021

If you’re wondering what to make for breakfast or lunch or dinner or dessert, just ask our resident Carolina Gelen. She’s the creator behind so many of our new favorite dishes, from a garlicky tomato soup to an orangey olive oil cake that’s almost too pretty to eat. Let’s dig in.

1. Herbed Oyster Mushroom Roast

This dish was dreamed up as a vegetarian Thanksgiving main. But! Don’t let that stop you from making it all year long.

2. Garlicky, Lemony Roasted Broccoli

Two heads of garlic isn’t a typo. You roast these at the same time as the broccoli, and they become savory, sweet, and intense in the oven.

3. Honey Sriracha Fried Chicken

With a sticky, spicy glaze, this fried chicken has peak crunch, thanks to flour, cornstarch, and both baking powder and baking soda.

4. No-Knead Beet Focaccia

Beet juice is the natural dye behind this beautiful focaccia. One Food52er decorated their loaf “with olives, parsley sprigs, and chives.” Good idea.

5. Green Pasta Primavera

This bright spin on pasta primavera is stylishly monotone. Think: broccoli, leek, scallion, parsley, and more.

6. Traditional Beef Goulash

“I made it! I knew I wanted to make this recipe as soon as I set my eyes on it! It’s delicious!” raves one reviewer.

7. Loaded Smashed Potatoes

Crispy potatoes smothered in cheesy sauce. If that isn’t enough, how about: caramelized onions, fresh cilantro, and fiery jalapeños.

8. Tomato Soup With a Whole Head of Garlic

And the crowd goes wild. “I make it weekly!” says one. “Low effort, high reward. My kind of weeknight recipe!” says another. “Absolutely outstanding,” says another.

9. Lecsó (Hungarian Pepper Stew)

“Lecsó is a staple in Hungarian households—a humble but oh-so-flavorful pepper stew you’ll fall in love with at first bite,” Carolina writes.

10. Extra-Cheesy Breakfast Tacos

Why yes, the coriander-chive dressing would be good on a million other things.

11. Tomato Watermelon Salad With Mint Vinaigrette

Tuck this away for summer. Ripe tomato and watermelon get treated to an extra-fresh mint dressing.

12. Vegan Arayes

How to make a meat-stuffed pita without any meat? Mushroom, walnuts, and a slew of hearty, savory vegetables.

13. Labneh With Sizzled Tomatoes

A swooshable dip that you can make with barely a moment’s notice. Serve with bread, crackers, or vegetables.

14. Apple Cheddar Cheese Straws

Store-bought puff pastry, apple butter, and cheddar join forces in these highly snackable cheese straws.

15. Caramelized Onion Gravy

Gravy doesn’t have to be complicated—this recipe proves it. Spoon on anything, but especially a mountain of mashed potatoes.

16. Last-Minute Yogurt Dip

Like Labneh With Sizzled Tomatoes (above), this yogurt dip is perfect for when you’re short on time or, oops, forgot to make an appetizer for guests.

17. Honeyed Garlic Sauce

What would this sauce be good on? More like: What wouldn’t this sauce be good on?

18. Herby Mushroom Stew

One Food52er writes, “I really don't have words for how delicious, earthy, hearty, and filling this dish is!” Me neither!

19. Caramelized Butternut Squash Pizza

Savory or sweet—why not both? This pizza is a delight in contrasts: squash, shallot, maple syrup, coriander, and cayenne.

20. Cheesy Potato Soup With Peppered Scallions

A whole tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper keeps this creamy soup from feeling heavy.

21. Sesame Pancakes

Black and white sesame seeds not only add exciting (!) crunch to pillowy pancakes—they look gorgeous, too.

22. Gingerbread Sweet Rolls

Name a better winter weekend baking project. I’ll wait.

23. Orange-Cardamom Olive Oil Cake

“I LOVE this cake,” says one Food52er. “I have already made it three times and my roommate even eats it for breakfast.”

24. No-Churn Soft Serve Chocolate Ice Cream

This ice cream resists iciness at all costs thanks to a generous splash of liqueur, which prevents crystallization (also, yum).

25. Strawberry Ricotta Parfait With Honey & Thyme

Want something sweet but don’t want to bake? This parfait has you covered.

26. Coffee Cardamom Semifreddo

Huzzah! No special equipment needed in this bittersweet semifreddo inspired by Carolina’s “favorite morning beverage, cardamom coffee.”

27. Salty Mango Corn Ice Pops

Fun to make, fun to eat. Use canned corn to make these at any time of year.

28. Raspberry Cake Roll

“Sponge cake has a special place in my heart,” Carolina writes. “It was one of the first desserts my mother taught me growing up, and to this day, I still use her measurements.”

29. Pumpkin Butter Cups

Just like Reese’s, but instead of peanut butter, homemade pumpkin butter. Whoa.

30. Sweet Potato Swirl Brownies

The only thing better than fudgy brownies? Fudgy brownies with swirls and twirls of sweet potato purée.

31. Tiny Doughnuts With Orange-Honey Glaze

Inspired by Greek loukoumades, or lokma, these doughnuts are bite-size, so you can eat a dozen without any help.

32. Apple Rose Tartes Tatin

You only need a handful of ingredients for this knockout dessert (or, let’s be real, breakfast).

What’s your favorite recipe from Carolina? And what do you want to see Carolina make next? Share in the comments!

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Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.