The Recipes Y'all Loved Most in 2020
2020 might have been an unusual year (to put it mildly), but food-wise, it seems everybody liked keeping things quick, easy, and homemade. These 20 recipes were the most popular with our users this year, and for good reason. From copycat restaurant recipes (like Popeyes Fried Chicken and The Cheesecake Factory's Original Cheesecake) that helped curb pandemic dine-in cravings, to simple slow cooker entrees, easy sides, and more, these most-loved recipes from 2020 showed just how comforting your favorite foods can be.
#20: Best Carrot Cake
Truly our best-ever carrot cake recipe, make this classic favorite for a crowd and you might not have any leftovers to bring home. For more flavor, try toasting the nuts and coconut before adding them to the batter. It's important to cool the cakes completely before frosting, otherwise the frosting will just melt right off. To expediate the cooling process, you can put the cakes on their wire racks in the freezer (don't worry, it's not cheating), checking until they're thoroughly cool.
#19: Copycat Popeyes Fried Chicken
Love the signature warming kick of Popeyes fried chicken? Good news: You can skip the drive-thru and enjoy a homemade version of this fast-food favorite with our beautifully crisp, perfectly spiced copycat recipe.
#18: Extra-Easy Lasagna
When we say easy, we mean easy. You don't even have to cook the noodles for this speedy yet impressive lasagna that always gets rave reviews. Lasagna is a family favorite, but this version is extra-special because it only requires 5 quick ingredients: ground beef, pasta sauce, lasagna noodles, ricotta cheese, and shredded mozzarella (we don’t count the water!).
#17: Easy Pickled Beets
Just six ingredients go into this easy sweet-and-sour pickled beets side dish. Use a mix of red and golden beets, if you like. Pickled beets can stay in your pantry for months so make extra to have on hand. They add a great tang and color to a fresh cole slaw, bright flavor and color to a cheese board and earthy notes to a spinach salad. The pickling liquid is a great base for other vegetables you will have depending on the season such as cucumbers, carrots and onions.
#16: Slow Cooker French Onion Soup
This slow cooker french onion soup is so easy and delicious, you’ll never return to your stovetop ways. The slow cooker completely eliminates the stirring element of caramelizing onions. After hours in the low heat, the sliced onions will become soft and jammy with a rich, dark brown coloring—no attention necessary. Although you’ll need to start this soup the morning of, you’ll gain nine hours of enticing aromas that will warm your kitchen on a chilly winter day. If you don’t plan to eat it all, freeze the bag of soup in a bowl rather than laying it flat, so it will fit in the saucepan when it's time to thaw.
#15: Sausage Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole
This is one of our top-rated recipes for a reason: It's easy, it's quick, and it's absolutely delicious. Combine frozen hash brown potatoes with sausage, eggs, and cheese for a hearty, 5-star breakfast or brunch casserole that can be prepped ahead and baked the next morning. Sauté one large onion and one bell pepper in the pork drippings for extra flavor and color.
#14: Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
This vibrant pink layer cake is pure strawberry-on-strawberry goodness, with fresh strawberries going into the cake batter and frosting. One thing to note about the buttercream frosting—it is absolutely bursting with berry flavor, but is easily over-mixed. If you find you've broken your emulsion when whipping this frosting up, no worries. You can simply mix in a little more powdered sugar to restore it.
#13: Warm Cinnamon Apples
This simple spiced apples recipe is perfect for so many applications. The tender, brown sugar-sweetened fruit slices are great served at breakfast, make for a warm and tasty side dish (especially for kiddos), are the ideal flavor complement spooned over pork chops or a pork loin, and are an amazing seasonal addition to a bowl of vanilla ice cream. If you can't find McIntosh apples, substitute another baking apple such as Rome or Gala; or to change things up, try a crisp, tart green apple such as Granny Smith.
#12: Easy Chili
Look no further for the ultimate, easy chili recipe. You may think you know how to make chili, but our homemade chili recipe is a game changer. With just a push of a button, your weekday dinner is taken care of as the chili cooks away in the slow-cooker.
#11: Fried Pickled Jalapeños with Sour Cream Ranch
If you like fried pickles, you’ll love fried pickled jalapeños. These jalapeños have a light kick without being overly spicy. Plus, they’re tangy from the brine and packed with flavor thanks to taco seasoning. They’re delicious on their own, but dipping them in the sauce takes things up a notch. Deli-sliced jalapeños, like Marzetti brand, work best here since they’re bigger.
#10: Classic Beef Pot Roast
If you're looking for a traditional pot roast recipe, try this 5-star, no-fail version. Cuts of beef that perform well for pot roasting go by many different names: Blade roast, cross-rib roast (or shoulder clod), seven-bone pot roast, arm pot roast, and boneless chuck roast are all acceptable cuts. Either way, this roast beef recipe will become unbelievably tender and flavorful in the Dutch oven. Make this pot roast on a cold, rainy day for a cozy dinner that the whole family will love.
#9: Easy Blackberry Cobbler
Rather than breaking a sweat over the perfect pie crust and lattice top for your farmers' market blackberries, use them up in a hassle-free cobbler. All you need are fresh berries plus 5 more ingredients to whip up this Easy Blackberry Cobbler recipe. To make it special, top with freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, and a mint garnish. If you are not serving it immediately, keep the cobbler and any desired toppings separate as to avoid getting them soggy.
#8: Traditional Sweet Potato Casserole
Thanksgiving isn't complete without a homemade sweet potato casserole. Top this lightened version of a basic sweet potato casserole recipe with both marshmallows and toasted pecans.
#7: Quick and Easy Green Beans
Here's a fast, efficient way to cook green beans (and other vegetables), eliminating the fuss of bringing a large pot of water to a boil or draining the veggies.
#6: The Cheesecake Factory Original Cheesecake
The Cheesecake Factory has more than 30 cheesecake flavors, but it's the original that makes us swoon.
#5: The Classic Burger
Sink your teeth into a delicious restaurant-style, hamburger recipe made from lean beef. Skip the prepackaged patties and take the extra time to craft up your own, and that little extra effort will be worth it. To make cheeseburgers, about 1 minute before burgers are done, top with sliced cheese; continue cooking until cheese begins to melt.
#4: Cheddar Cheese Sauce
This mild, kid-friendly sauce is creamy and velvety, with a subtle tang from sharp cheddar. Try it with steamed or sautéed veggies, baked potatoes, nachos, open-faced roast beef sandwiches, and hot cooked macaroni or penne. Using sharp cheddar cheese is important here, as you want the zippy flavor mild just doesn't have. And here's a bonus: This slimmed-down sauce boasts a fraction of the fat you'd find in regular or processed cheese sauces.
#3: Pan-Seared Strip Steak
This fantastic strip steak is the perfect dinner for date night, or any special occasion that deserves something extra delicious on the table. A little butter adds richness and keeps the leaner-than-usual beef moist without adding much in the way of total fat. Don't know how to cook steak on the stove? No worries! Not only is this one of our best steak recipes, it's incredibly easy. However, a word of caution: This recipe is smoky! Keep your exhaust fan on high or cook in a skillet on a hot outdoor grill.
#2: Traditional Spanish Paella
Nourishing, vibrant, and without pretension, paella has held a place of honor and practicality in Spanish homes for centuries. To round out this meal, choose a good Spanish red wine from the Rioja region, a crusty baguette, and a light salad.
#1: Easy Peach Cobbler
The topping can made from pantry ingredients you have on hand and peaches can easily be substituted with any fruit you have depending on the time of year. The tang of the lemon juice paired with the sweetness of the peaches is perfectly balanced with the crisp topping.