Kitchn Love Letters

10 Wildly Delicious Recipes We Couldn’t Get Enough of in 2020

published Dec 29, 2020
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Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

There was not a lot to love about 2020, a year singular in devastation of people’s lives — both figuratively and literally. But from the first sourdough starters through the joy of cooking TikTok, Kitchn tried to single out bright spots in the food world throughout the year. Here, we collected the best of the love letters we wrote to the recipes we fell for — for their flavor, ease, practicality, and even romantic nature. As we prepare to leave the worst of 2020 in the rearview mirror, these are the things we plan to keep: the most helpful, delightful, and delicious recipes we made this year.

1. The Best Cookies

Everyone has something a bit different in mind when they talk about “best” in relation to a chocolate chip cookie, but when a cookie fiend tests them all and agrees with the statement, it’s time to take note. These cookies are a revelation, in both their simplicity and the resulting crisp edges and chewy centers, living up to every word of Tara O’Brady’s recipe’s “basic, great chocolate chip cookie” title.

Read more: I’ve Made Hundreds of Batches of Cookies — This Is Hands-Down the Best Recipe

Credit: Nicole Rufus

2. The Most Incredible Soup

This sweet potato soup packs just the kind of punch that dinners need during the rainy season. First, the sautéing scents the house with spicy chorizo sausage, then the secret sweet potato trick brings in just a hint of texture. Instead of adding chunks straight to the simmering stock, this recipe pre-roasts them, making for a satisfyingly chunky complete meal of a soup.

Read more: I Love This Soup So Much, I Make It Practically Every Week of Fall

Credit: Ariel Knutson

3. The Salad Dressing That Changed Our Ways

This low-effort, high-reward salad dressing made even a salad-lover learn to give more respect to the dressing process. Full of cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, and coriander, it comes together in a few seconds and dresses nearly any salad in a creamy, green-goddess-esque fashion. 

Read more: This Salad Dressing Recipe Is So Good, It Changed the Way I’ll Make Salads Forever

Credit: Meghan Splawn

4. The Breakfast That Beat Pancakes

It’s a bit unfair to say how much better giant Dutch babies are than pancakes because, technically, they are a kind of pancake. But they are far more thrilling than the usual run-of-the-mill ones. The puffy, delight of crispy-creaminess enjoyed a wave of popularity at the beginning of the pandemic, and this simple recipe that comes together quickly and without extra dishes cemented itself into the breakfast rotation long after the Instagrams faded away.

Read more: Forget Pancakes — Giant Dutch Babies Are Easier, Tastier, and Far More Thrilling

Credit: Annelies Zijderveld

5. These Epic Biscuits

At points in this year, it seemed the only way to get through things was to make them bigger and better. And these biscuits from an Ohio bakery called Fox in the Snow gave us the means to do that, adding bigger chunks of butter and plenty of flour and salt to create towering tufts of comfort. 

Read more: I’m a Biscuit Geek, and These Epic Biscuits Are by Far the Best

Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

6. The Perfect Fried Eggs

We at Kitchn remain on a constant search for better ways to cook eggs, and this one from Julia Turshen reminded us not only of how great hot eggs over cool yogurt is as a dish, but also introduced us to a new way to fry the eggs. The secret to the olive oil fried eggs comes in placing a little water in the skillet to create steam, resulting in a runny yolk and solidly cooked whites.

Read more: Julia Turshen Taught Me the Secret to Perfect Fried Eggs

Credit: Ariel Knutson

7. The Sexiest Pasta

Can a pasta recipe be sexy and romantic? Definitely — by being so simple that it gives you more time to spend with your person and so rich and delightful that it makes you sigh together with satisfaction. This unfussy but decadent recipe for cacio e pepe fits that bill precisely, earning it the title of the sexiest pasta.

Read more: The Sexiest, Most Romantic Thing You Can Make on Valentine’s Day Is Cacio e Pepe

Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

8. The Only Thing to Meal Prep

Some people love meal prepping (more power to them); others don’t. But this super-simple make-ahead dish brings both sides together in agreement that this hearty-yet-fresh grain and broccoli salad from Smitten Kitchen is extremely worth the effort to make ahead — especially since it only gets better as the farro soaks up the garlicky olive oil.

Read more: This Veggie-Packed Dish Is the Only Thing I Ever Meal Prep

Credit: Sheela Prakash

9. Two-Ingredient Zucchini Fritters

Vegetable fritters can be very easy to overthink — especially when adding eggs and flour and creating sticky batters. This recipe throws all that out in favor of a super-simple recipe modeled on Indian pakoras that requires only grated zucchini and chickpea flour. The result is a crisp, gluten-free, vegan fritter that stays shatteringly crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside. Basically, the dream.

Read more: These 2-Ingredient Zucchini Fritters Are My Forever Favorite Lunch

Credit: Jesse Szewczyk

10. The Best Recipe from TikTok

This year TikTok went from one of those newfangled things the youths were using to an essential source of cooking tricks and recipes for anyone looking to add excitement to their dinner routine. Among the many new dishes we adopted from the social media app, none impressed us quite as much as these gnudi-like ricotta balls from the Pasta Queen.

Read more: The Pasta Queen’s Ricotta Balls Are the Best Thing to Come from TikTok