The Top 20 Recipes We Made in 2021
Of all the recipes we published in 2021, our food editor says these are her top picks—including Italian Beef Sandwiches, Cauliflower Parmesan, Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars and a Basil Fruit Salad that will make cottage cheese cool again!
Italian Beef Sandwiches, Pot Roast-Style
Food Network star (and Chicago native) Jeff Mauro's recipe mimics captures the spirit of classic Italian beef without having to invest in a deli slicer. Just so you know, "real" Italian beef sandwiches are completely dunked (bread and all) in the meat juices, or jus. It's messy and marvelous.
Slip yourself one of these insanely rich morsels, which fall somewhere between a truffle and a cookie, on those gray afternoons when only chocolate will do.
Wisconsin blogger Erin Clarke gives cauliflower "steaks" the chicken Parm treatment in her book, The Well Plated Cookbook.
Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake Bars
Sure, you've seen this combo before. But not done this well. This recipe doesn't use a whole can of pumpkin, so add leftovers to a smoothie, a pot of chili, hot oatmeal or even hummus.
Related: 45 Pumpkin Recipes We Love
Chicken with Olives and Dates
Believe us when we say this dish couldn't be easier, but the payoff is succulent, sweet, savory and so much more than the sum of its parts.
Bean and Cheese Pupusas
The standard-bearer of Salvadoran food, a pupusa is a flat, pan-fried pocket of corn dough traditionally stuffed with cheese, beans or meat, then served with mild salsa and curtido (a tangy cabbage slaw).
Blue Ribbon Ranger Cookies
Ranger cookies are made with rolled oats and cereal. Judy Kiburz Harrison won best-in-class at the Iowa State Fair for her version, which adds Beer Nuts for a peanutty twist.
Pork and Tomatillo Pozole
Pozole is a traditional Mexican soup thickened with hominy. This version, from Karen Bell, chef and owner of Bavette La Boucherie in Milwaukee, only gets better the next day, so keep extra slaw around for round two.
Fig and Pecan Scones
Any dried fig variety (black, Mission or golden California figs) works in this tender, buttery recipe. Cutting scones into wedges is faster than rounds and means no wasted dough scraps.
This Thai recipe could sell you on tofu. Laap (or larb, as it's often spelled) is an herby ground meat or tofu salad that's eaten across Thailand and is traditionally scooped with rice or lettuce. This super simple, healthful dish is a favorite of chef Shayn Prapaisilp, whose family owns Thai restaurants and grocery stores in St. Louis.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies
These simple PB&J cookies are a favorite of Stephanie Simmons, the Wisconsin blogger behind Blue Bowl Recipes and author of the cookbook, The One-Bowl Baker. Use your favorite preserves for a sweet touch of personalization (Stephanie likes raspberry).
Cabbage Alfredo with Mushrooms
Looks can be deceiving: This humble Cabbage and Mushroom Alfredo blew our tasters' minds. It's creamy and rich, and a great option for anyone who can't eat regular pasta.
Vanilla Bean Sables
These elegant, buttery cookies are the perfect slice-and-bake treat and can be made four different ways. If you're feeling ambitious, you can make the oval treat box too.
Fruit, Nut and Feta Chopped Salad
This healthy, colorful salad is filled with feta, pistachios, juicy clementines and crisp apple, and gently softened by a warm shallot vinaigrette.
Seeing Green Potato Salad
Slice boiled new potatoes, then toss with blanched green beans, fresh mozzarella and pine nuts. Dress in purchased pesto, brightened with red wine vinegar.
Watermelon Poke Bowl
This version of a Hawaiian poke bowl swaps marinated watermelon for the raw fish. It's an incredibly light and fresh summer dinner idea that tastes as good as it looks.
Our bars are a grown-up spin on a campfire classic: buttery graham cracker crust, chocolate mousse, toasty meringue.
Basil Fruit Salad with Cottage Cheese
You may not have thought to put these ingredients together before now, but here's your new favorite lunch (or breakfast) meal.
Beer Battered Fish Tacos
This silky, smoky, garlicky spread—a staple of Middle-Eastern cuisine—will have you scrambling for extra dippers. Long cooking under the broiler gives eggplant a custardy texture.