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Our Most Popular Recipes of 2021

December 20, 2021

What recipes got you through the year? We published hundreds and hundreds—and these are the ones that made the biggest splash with our community. The ones that got dinner on the table when only takeout felt possible. The ones that made a bad day, or week, or month, a little sweeter. Lucky for us, there is lots of comfort to be found here, a great thing for the winter ahead. Let me know your favorites from 2021 in the comments below, especially if they didn’t make the list.

21. No-Churn Chocolate Ice Cream

Ice cream that’s scoopable straight from the freezer, thanks to booze. Try Kahlúa for a cozy coffee backdrop, or Cointreau for something citrusy.

20. Meltaway Chocolate Chip Cookies

A newfangled chocolate chip cookie, thanks to science. Custard powder and confectioners’ sugar yield an extra-tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture.

19. 3-Ingredient Bacon Biscuits

Next time you make bacon, make these biscuits, too. They hinge on rendered, chilled bacon fat, which delivers a fluffy-tender texture and smoky-rich flavor.

18. Black & White Pound Cake

A good reason to buy black cocoa, which Sohla El-Waylly explains as “an extra-Dutched cocoa powder that makes everything taste like Oreos.”

17. Stir-Fried Udon With Bacon, Parmesan & Gochujang

“This udon is so incredibly delicious, I think I'll make it every week since it was simple to put together,” writes one Food52er. Good idea.

16. Buttery Balsamic Chicken

This rich, tangy Big Little Recipe calls for just chicken breasts, balsamic vinegar, and, of course, lots of butter.

15. Cider-Braised Chicken With Apples, Onions & Thyme

More chicken, please. From Melina Hammer, this cozy supper would love to be served with a warm baguette or mountain of mashed potatoes.

14. Grandma Potatoes

Generously olive-oiled, with a paprika-rosemary crust, these potatoes have been in my family for 72 years. (That’s even longer than I’ve been in my family.)

13. Perfectly Pillowy King Arthur Cinnamon Rolls From Their Baking Company

If you’ve never made cinnamon rolls, start here. Unlike others, these stay good for days (not that I expect you'll have them around that long).

12. The Only Roasted Cauliflower I Want

Rebecca Firkser is technically Food52’s assigning editor, but she also goes by Cauliflower Whisperer. Picture: fresh garlic, chile flakes, golden raisins, and just enough vinegar.

11. Fried Egg Salad From Ideas in Food

An egg salad that takes less time than boiling an egg—because you don’t need to boil an egg. The mix-ins are up to you. Tell me, what would you add?

10. Kiwi & Feta Salad From Nadiya Hussain

The only salad-salad on the list (no disrespect to the egg salad above). From Time to Eat: Delicious Meals for Busy Lives, here’s your permission to never peel a kiwi again.

9. One-Bowl Blueberry Buckle

One bowl, and only a few ingredients to boot. From Vallery Lomas’ cookbook Life Is What You Bake It, this cake works with fresh or frozen blueberries.

8. 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

No measuring cups or spoons needed. All you need is a jar of peanut butter, a jar of jam, and a couple eggs.

7. Bless This Pickle Sandwich

A lunch for when you don’t have time to make lunch. “I could eat this every day!!!!” writes one reviewer. And me too.

6. Go-To Vanilla Pound Cake

A fluffy, tender pound cake you can count on. Use this as a starting point for playing around—lots of tips and tricks from Sohla right here.

5. Tomato Soup With a Whole Head of Garlic

This savory, satisfying soup is easily vegan, depending on the milk or cream you add. Try coconut milk for some fruity sweetness.

4. Orange-Cardamom Olive Oil Cake

Another winner from Carolina Gelen. This would make a knockout dessert after that tomato soup, or served for a sweet brunch with coffee.

3. Jiffy Corn Casserole

The real-deal, original Jiffy Corn Casserole recipe, which first appeared in the 1960s as a recipe tear-off sheet in retail grocery stores.

2. Double Chocolate Weed Brownies

These cannabutter-infused brownies come by way of edibles expert Vanessa Lavorato. “Best brownies we've ever had. 10/10,” says one Food52er.

1. Cardamom Cake From Niloufer Ichaporia King

A cake takes the cake. In My Bombay Kitchen, King calls this recipe “one of the most precious gifts I’ve ever received in my life.” And now we can all say the same.

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. As an Amazon Associate and Skimlinks affiliate, Food52 earns an affiliate commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • dinaofdoom
  • forthecommongood
  • nightbirde
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.


dinaofdoom January 24, 2022
I'm definitely gonna peel my kiwis because I already know I don't like the texture. Other than that the salad, and so many of the recipes here, are getting bookmarked to be made and shared.
forthecommongood January 7, 2022
Hi all, I have appreciated many of the recipes you post for readers. However, I have to say... the pot brownies? Really? Is it legal? Sure. Is it good for us? We are such an entirely over-medicated, emotional-eating culture - throwing in 'edible' recipes seems less than helpful. When food becomes entertainment, a balm to soothe frayed emotions, there is a problem we're not addressing head on. Instead we over eat, self-medicate, drink... addict ourselves. We are at once the wealthiest nation and the most riddled with various psychological maladies. Rather than promoting this, why not help shape new trends and eating habits that are in fact better for us and the planet? The result of pot brownies? Fat and buzzed.
nightbirde January 13, 2022
Speak for yourself, bud. Weed is can be medical, throwing out recipes doesn't mean everybody suddenly has access to it. And if you're concerned about legality, they did mention to be careful, what more can they do? Let people enjoy life, their health isn't your issue. If you don't want it, don't make it. Simple. Let's not act like they are the first to make this recipe.
dinaofdoom January 24, 2022
You created an account just to post this negativity. Troll much?