Our Editors’ Favorite Recipes of 2021

published Dec 20, 2021
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Credit: From Top to Bottom: Photo: Neal Santos; Food Styling Amelia Rampe; Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk; Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Ben Weiner

Kitchn published more than 900 recipes in 2021, so it’s no surprise that when I asked my fellow editors to share a favorite recipe of the year, many had a hard time choosing just one. Case in point: Studio Food Editor Amelia Rampe, who says, “I choose every recipe from the Filipinx American History Month package. They all have a distinct point of view and showcase so many things I love about Filipino cuisine.”

Having too many favorites is a problem we love having, but we did manage to narrow down the list to a manageable 13 recipes. Our favorites of 2021 include a giant pancake, a sheet pan dinner, warming stews, and sweet treats. Every one of them is packed with flavor and, like all of our recipes, each one has been tested to be sure it’ll work as well in your kitchen as it did in ours. We hope you’ll find a few new favorites of your own on this list. I, for one, can’t wait to make them all.

1 / 13
Ginataan Na Sugpo (Prawns with Coconut Milk)
In this recipe for Ginataan Na Sugpo — one of Studio Food Editor Amelia Rampe's favorite recipes of the year — head-on prawns are cooked in an aromatic coconut broth infused with lemongrass, anchovies, ginger, and chiles.
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2 / 13
Chocolate Chip Scones Recipe
"I'm obsessed with these scones," says Lifestyle Editor, Mara Weinraub. "I made them three times in four weeks after I first tried them. Not only do they combine three of my favorite things (baking, breakfast, and chocolate), but the texture is also perfectly tender. When I visit my parents, my dad requests I make a double batch and freeze half the dough so he can enjoy them throughout the month."
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3 / 13
Apple Cider Doughnut Blondies Recipe
"My husband forwarded me the apple cider doughnut blondies he saw on social media the same day that I noticed that the recipe got a ringing endorsement in our Kitchn recipe testing process," says Food Editor-at-Large, Christine Gallary. "And they did not disappoint! Easy enough that my 8-year-old daughter and her friend could make it, and a perfect bite of fall in one sweet, apple-y bite."
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4 / 13
Yogurt Rice
"I really loved publishing my aunt's yogurt rice this year," says Senior Contributing Food Editor Sheela Prakash. "Sharing a family recipe that tells a story of my heritage and my multi-cultural upbringing meant quite a lot to me, plus it's one of my all-time favorite comfort foods."
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5 / 13
Caprese Sheet Pan Gnocchi
"The theme of my cooking this year has been quick and easy crowd-pleasers," says Production Editor, Tracey Gertler, who says this sheet pan dinner found itself on her table as a repeat guest.
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6 / 13
Fluffy Oven-Baked Skillet Pancake
Another repeat guest on Tracey's table, this family-sized pancake rivals any diner-style stack and it couldn't be easier to make.
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7 / 13
Harissa Lamb Sliders
"I love lamb and also love tiny things, so these were made for me," Executive Food Director, Nina Elder, says of these sliders topped with feta cheese, pickled onions, and harissa mayo.
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8 / 13
French Onion Skillet Gnocchi
Executive Lifestyle Director, Lisa Freedman, says, "I would eat French onion soup every day if I could. (The broth! The cheese! The onions!) I can't, but I can have soup one day and this gnocchi the next." She adds that Sheela Prakash, who developed the recipe, "is always a wizard with gnocchi and this recipe does not disappoint."
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9 / 13
Beef Mafe
Associate Food Editor, Nicole Rufus, developed this recipe for Mafe, a Senegalese peanut-based stew that's a beautiful blend of rich, creamy peanut butter; tomato; and hearty vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and cabbage. Contributing Editor Patty Catalano tested the recipe before publication and fell in love. "I tested Nicole's beef Mafe several months ago and I'm still thinking about it," Patty says. She particularly loves how peanut butter gives the stew such a rich, savory flavor.
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10 / 13
Fennel, Carrot, and Leek Gratin
Do you ever see a recipe and know before you even make it that you're going to be madly in love with it at first bite?" asks Senior Contributing Food Editor Kelli Foster. That's exactly what happened to her with Amelia Rampe's fennel, carrot, and leek gratin. "I've made it three times in the past month-and-a-half, and I think about it regularly," she says. "If you're a fennel-lover like me, you're in for a real treat with this one; and if you're still on the fence about fennel, this is the dish that's likely to win you over."
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11 / 13
Hawaiian Butter Mochi
"The recipe I made most frequently this year was Sheela's Caprese sheet pan gnocchi too!" says Editor-in-Chief, Faith Durand, echoing Tracey Gertler's pick. "But so as not to double-dip I have to say that the dessert that won my heart most thoroughly was Alana Kysar's Hawaiian butter mochi. Sticky, chewy rice flour-based desserts are my dearest favorites, and this one has everything I want (and is so easy too!).
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12 / 13
Grilled Corn with Vietnamese Scallion Oil
"I loved this recipe (and the accompanying essay) from Thao Thai," says Deputy Food Director, Grace Elkus, of this corn on the cob bathed in a sweet, umami-rich oil made with scallions, sugar, and fish sauce. "I can't wait to make it as soon as corn comes back into season."
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13 / 13
And finally, here's my pick (although it was so hard to narrow down). I adore Lebanese food, and mujadara — a lentil dish with rice or coarse bulgur and caramelized onions — is one of my favorites. This recipe from Maureen Abood has so many helpful tips, like really, really browning the onions so their flavor permeates the dish. Mujadara is comforting, satisfying, and keeps for five days in the fridge.
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