Big Little Recipes

The Most Popular Big Little Recipes of 2021

From grandma-approved roast potatoes to an unapologetically simple sandwich.

December 28, 2021

A Big Little Recipe has the smallest-possible ingredient list and big everything else: flavor, creativity, wow factor. That means five ingredients or fewer—not including water, salt, black pepper, and certain fats (like oil and butter), since we're guessing you have those covered. Inspired by the column, the Big Little Recipes cookbook is available now. Like, right now.

If you have a handful of ingredients, you can make dinner. Or, even better, dessert. This year, we made all sorts of dishes—from salads to soups to pastas to cookies—and these were the ones that our community loved the most. Let’s get right to it.

10. Buckwheat Brownies

Nutella, buckwheat flour, and eggs. That’s all you need for these dense, fudgy brownies. Nutella not your thing? There’s another brownie recipe below.

9. Latke Cookies

What if latkes were cookies? This cheeky recipe is the answer, great for Hanukkah, or the other 357 days of the year. A few smart readers even dipped them in chocolate.

8. Back-Pocket Marinade for Grilled Chicken

This hardworking marinade comes together with just mayonnaise and your favorite hot sauce. My go-to hot sauces are Cholula and Frank’s. Sriracha would be great, too.

7. Flourless Walnut Brownies

Like many brownies, these include walnut chunks. But they also include DIY walnut flour—a flavorful replacement for all-purpose, making these babies a perfect gluten-free option.

6. Grandma Potatoes

The time-tested secret to my grandma’s famous potatoes? Don’t measure anything. These are superb with anything, but especially roast chicken or scrambled eggs.

5. Speedy Shrimp With Horseradish Butter

There’s never not prepared horseradish in my fridge, and these herby shrimp are one of the reasons why. Perfect for a stressy weeknight.

4. Buttery Balsamic Chicken

A chicken that gets along with everyone. What would you serve it with? I’m thinking of a warm baguette and mustardy arugula salad.

3. 3-Ingredient Bacon Biscuits

Crusty, pillowy, and delightfully porky, thanks to rendered bacon fat, an ingredient that a lot of people—gasp!—toss in the trash. Not us.

2. 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

Like Grandma Potatoes, these cookies need no measuring cups or spoons. Just dump a jar of peanut butter and jar of jam in a bowl, then stir in a couple eggs.

1. Bless This Pickle Sandwich

Are you kidding? The pickle sandwich came in first? This makes me so happy.

Bonus! My Favorite of the Year

Feta-Brine Martini

This Big Little Recipe didn’t make the list—but it’s number one in my heart. Next time you have a container of briny feta in the fridge and a hankering for a cocktail, make this.

What was your favorite Big Little Recipe of the year? What recipe do you want to see Big Little-ified in 2022? Let me know in the comments!
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Put down those long grocery lists. Inspired by the award-winning column, our Big Little Recipes cookbook is minimalism at its best: few ingredients, tons of flavor.

Order now

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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.