With 2021 drawing to a close, the internet will be filled with the time-honored tradition of the yearly roundup. You can expect your favorite travel, entertainment, and heck, even news sites to share their lists of the year's top destinations, movies, and headlines, wrapping up the best of 2021 and moving on to what 2022 has to offer.
And of course, here at Mashed, we wouldn't want the year to come and go without sharing a roundup of our very own. Here, then, are our 25 most popular recipes of 2021, the ones readers clicked again and again and whipped up in their own kitchens. From juicy fried chicken to cheesy broccoli casserole to creamy three-ingredient fudge and many, many more, these are the dishes you loved most this year, all gathered in one place so they can continue to be a presence on your stovetop and in your oven in the year to come. Happy new year, and happy cooking!
Who doesn't love a classic egg salad? Delicious sandwiched between two slices of good bread, rolled into a tortilla with crisp lettuce as a wrap, or served as a dip with crackers, this straightforward version calls for perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs, mayo, mustard, salt, and pepper. Creamy and filling, it's an excellent standby to have on hand when you need to quickly whip up a protein-packed lunch throughout the week. Best of all, you probably have all the ingredients you need to make it right now — so what are you waiting for?
An American classic, the best versions of fried chicken feature juicy, well-seasoned meat enrobed in a crispy, crackly crust. If you love this comfort food dish, chances are you've eaten your fair share of fast food chicken from chains such as KFC. And if you're a fan and want to try your hand at frying at home, then we suggest this awesome copycat recipe, which calls for just a few simple ingredients including buttermilk, a whole chicken, seasoned flour, and — of course — plenty of hot oil. Ask your friends to bring some coleslaw and buttermilk biscuits, because with this recipe, a KFC-style feast is about to go down.
Recipe: Easy Copycat KFC Chicken
If you love meatloaf and you love Ina Garten (aka the Barefoot Contessa) then you're going to want to bookmark this recipe right now. A moist, flavor-packed loaf featuring umami-rich ingredients such as tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce, this recipe also contains a surprise addition packed with meaty flavor: crushed pork rinds. The ingredient not only helps bind the meatloaf together, but also adds a wallop of richness you and your dinner guests will savor. Pair it with mashed potatoes and a green salad, and you've got yourself a stick-to-your-ribs comfort food dinner.
Who's to say that trifle should only be enjoyed over the holidays (even if it is in the name)? December's celebrations may have come and gone, but there's no reason not to tuck into this rich, creamy treat. Calling for layers of crumbled sponge or pound cake, jiggly strawberry Jell-O, and smooth vanilla pudding, plus fresh berries, whipped cream, and a chocolate-almond topping, this tasty trifle is the perfect show stopping dessert for any birthday celebration or dinner party — no matter the time of year.
Fast food chain Five Guys is beloved by many burger aficionados for its straightforward menu of all-beef hamburgers and cheeseburgers topped with classic accompaniments such as pickles, tomatoes, and grilled onions — plus wildcard toppings like jalapeños and A.1. steak sauce.
These griddled burgers are a treat to eat out, but they're also a cinch to make at home with this copycat recipe that yields a cravable fast food-style treat you'll find yourself turning to again and again. Made with a chuck-sirloin mix, American cheese, and some basic (and optional) condiments, these burgers come together in just 10 minutes — perfect for a lightning-fast dinner or a late night craving demanding to be satisfied.
Is there any main dish more festive than a standing rib roast? This hulking cut of meat, featuring multiple cow ribs that are roasted and then sliced, is a show stopping centerpiece perfect for fancy dinner parties and ultra-special occasions like a milestone birthday or New Year's Eve. Our take features a garlicky rub with fresh rosemary and thyme, plus two creamy sauces to serve with the finished roast: horseradish and blue cheese.
This isn't our quickest or easiest recipe, requiring some prep and a three-hour cook time, but it will all be worth it when you carve those perfectly seasoned, rosy-rare slices of beef.
A classic seafood dish that many are used to ordering in restaurants, crab cakes are surprisingly quick and easy to prepare at home. This straightforward recipe calls for lump crabmeat, an egg, mayo, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, chopped parsley, breadcrumbs (or crumbled crackers), salt and pepper, and, of course, Old Bay. After forming the cakes, simply pan fry them in a generous amount of butter or broil until golden brown on each side, then serve with some fresh lemon and tartar sauce, if desired.
If you've ever eaten at Steak 'N Shake, then you likely know that the chain isn't actually known for serving steaks but, rather, steakburgers – hefty burgers available in a range of styles from Jalapeño Crunch to Western BBQ 'n Bacon (via the Steak 'N Shake).
One of Steak 'N Shake's popular menu items is the Frisco Melt, which features two burger patties layered with Swiss and American cheeses, griddled between slices of San Francisco-style sourdough bread and slatherd with the chain's signature Frisco sauce. (The secret to the sauce is Thousand Island and French dressings, plus ketchup and a dash of Worchestire sauce.) This recipe is easy to make at home, and we're willing to bet it will become a regular in your dinner rotation.
Recipe: Copycat Steak 'N Shake Frisco Melt
You may have noticed that Mashed readers are big fans of copycat recipes — and who could blame them? Sometimes, you want to satisfy that fast food craving without actually leaving the comfort of your home or paying the ridiculous mark up some delivery services charge. And if you're in the mood for Chick-fil-A's creamy, dreamy mac and cheese, here's your ticket to stirring it up over your very own stovetop.
You'll need some elbow noodles, which (after boiling) are folded into a flavor-packed cheese sauce featuring five types of cheese, non-fat dry milk powder, some paprika for more flavor, and some turmeric and annatto for color. Need a main to go with it? You can't go wrong with our copycat Chick-fil-A nuggets.
Recipe: Copycat Chick-Fil-A Mac And Cheese
If you're short on time but want to get a nutritious, protein-packed meal, this salmon cake recipe is one you'll want to have in your back pocket. Made with canned salmon (which, in addition to being high in protein, contains omega-3 fatty acids), plus an egg, mayo, mustard, breadcrumbs, scallions, and fresh dill, the flavorful cakes are pan-fried and served with fresh lemon.
For a complete meal, pair these fish cakes with a simple side, such as roast potatoes, or atop a leafy green salad.
If you're a fan of the hit Apple TV+ comedy series "Ted Lasso," you'll likely remember that one memorable theme on the show is the titular character, played by Jason Sudeikis, baking his new British coworkers shortbread biscuits in an attempt to win them over. And if you love shortbread, whether baked by an upbeat football coach or not, then you'll enjoy this crisp, buttery copycat version made with only five ingredients: flour, butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract. Once they're baked, all you'll need is a steaming cup of tea to transport you to the U.K.
Recipe: Copycat Ted Lasso Shortbread Biscuits
Any home cook worth their salt needs a dependable grilled chicken recipe in their arsenal. This basic protein can accompany almost any side, and leftovers can be used in sandwiches, on top of salads or pizza, or made into chicken salad. This grilled chicken recipe uses a tasty marinade — made of soy sauce, orange juice, honey, garlic, and dried herbs — to infuse the bird with flavor as well as tenderize it for the grill. We bet you'll want to make a double batch.
Out of all the ways in which you can prepare potatoes (baked, mashed, roasted, fried, et cetera, et cetera) hasselback potatoes are probably the glitziest version of spuds you can find. A hasselback potato is one that is thinly sliced vertically, almost all the way to the bottom of the potato, until the tuber unfolds like an accordion. Then, the potato is brushed with fat — in this case, olive oil — and roasted at high heat until each thin slice becomes tender and a little bit crispy. This recipe features a post-bake drizzle with sage-infused brown butter as icing on the figurative cake.
Whether you're a little kid, an adult, or any age in between, the words "peanut butter fudge" probably get your attention. There's just something enduringly craveable about the smooth, creamy, sweet treat — and with this recipe, you'll be able to make it at home whenever the urge strikes. A mix of sugar, milk, Marshmallow Fluff, peanut butter, and vanilla, this fudge sets up dense and chewy.
Recipe: Marshmallow Fluff Peanut Butter Fudge
Perhaps as iconic as the fast food giant's Big Mac or Chicken McNuggets, McDonald's hash browns are not to be missed on any a.m. trip to the drive-thru. These oval-shaped, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside snacks are a perfect match with plenty of ketchup — and with this copycat recipe, you can whip them up at home without changing out of your pjs.
Grated potatoes are bound with rice flour and corn flour, seasoned, shaped into that distinctive oval, before being frozen solid. Then, they take a bath in some hot oil until perfectly browned and cooked through. Add some eggs and bacon and you've got a picture-perfect meal, even after McDonald's stops serving breakfast.
Recipe: Copycat McDonald's Hash Browns
If you're a coffee drinker, chances are you've spent your fair share of time inside a Starbucks. And if you've spent your fair share of time inside a Starbucks, chances are your eyes have strayed from the drinks menu to the glowing pastry case, where the chain offers a variety of muffins, danishes, and quickbreads. One seasonal offering that's a favorite among Starbucks sippers is the chain's pumpkin bread, a spiced loaf topped with pumpkin seeds.
We've developed a copycat recipe that allows you to enjoy the treat year-round, all without leaving the comfort of home. Moist and fragrant, it makes a perfect breakfast paired with — what else? — a steaming cup of joe.
Recipe: Copycat Starbucks Pumpkin Bread
There are few breakfast foods as classic and versatile as the humble buttermilk biscuit: a simple mix of butter, flour, and buttermilk (plus a few other ingredients) that bakes up golden brown, steaming, and flaky; ready to be paried with a generous pat of butter, the fixings of an egg sandwich, or even a nice piece of fried chicken. This buttermilk biscuit recipe is dead-simple and takes only 25 minutes start to finish, so you can pull it together anytime a biscuit craving strikes. (Just make sure to keep a stick of unsalted butter in the freezer at all times, that's the secret to biscuit success.)
Have you ever heard of a "magic" cake? (No, we're not talking about marijuana-infused edibles.) Magic cake is a type of recipe that requires mixing only one batter that separates into three distinctly-textured layers as it bakes in the oven: crispy, creamy, and dense all in one simple treat. Sounds fun, right?
If you want to try your hand at a magic cake, we're offering up this simple vanilla version, which will yield impressive results. Serve it with some fresh berries and a dusting of powdered sugar to get extra fancy.
Broccoli casserole: for a dish with a decidedly straightforward name and concept, there's something surprisingly irresistible about a hot pan of tender broccoli florets suspended in a cheesy, eggy batter and topped with a crisp, buttery crust. The ultimate comfort food, broccoli casserole is the perfect accompaniment to simple, homey dishes such as roast chicken or baked salmon, or even eaten alone as a main (while vegetarian, the recipe also offers substititions to make it vegan). Add a simple green salad, and you'll have a dinner everyone in your household is sure to love.
Ah, Costco. How we love to stroll your wide aisles, filling our carts with cult-favorite food items such as thick-cut bacon, whole bean coffee, and those gigantic fluffy muffins from the bakery section. And while in that area of the store, fans have been known to pick up another Costco favorite for special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries (and just because days): the wholesale giant's tasty sheet cake, a classic white cake with vanilla frosting and sprinkles.
While everyone loves a good Costco sheet cake, you don't always need to feed 50, which is about how many slices Costco's cake yields. For smaller celebrations, turn to this moist, fluffy copycat recipe, which comes together in a little more than an hour and serves about 16 very happy guests.
Recipe: Copycat Costco Sheet Cake
Mahi mahi is a warm water fish with firm, mild flesh that's tasty broiled, pan-fried, or (as in this instance) baked — and best of all, it's a sustainable choice. This simple preparation calls for deboned filets to be bathed in butter with garlic, parsley, and chives, and then baked for about 12 minutes. Served with lemon wedges, it's a quick and easy dish that's delicious on its own, served over rice or pasta, or eaten with crusty baguette.
Recipe: Simple Baked Mahi Mahi
In the mood for some flavors from your childhood? This creamy tuna noodle casserole just might fit the bill. A classic take on the nostalgic dish, our tuna casserole recipe features egg noodles, cream of mushroom soup, frozen peas, mozzarella cheese, and some fresh parsley. Baked until bubbly and topped with a buttery layer of panko bread crumbs, it's the perfect homey dish for a chilly evening at home.
Buffalo Wild Wings, a popular (you guessed it) chicken wing chain, offers a ton of varieties of sauces to go with its famous wings. From spicy Nashville hot sauce to zesty Asian Zing to savory Parmesan garlic, you'd be hardpressed to not find something on the menu to satifsy your hot wing craving (via Buffalo Wild Wings menu). But if you're craving a classic plate of hot wings from the chain, this recipe will set you up nicely, yielding hot, crispy chicken nicely coated in a glossy Buffalo sauce made from Frank's RedHot sauce, sugar, garlic, and cayenne. Grab a cold beer and some celery sticks, and indulge in this spicy comfort food.
Recipe: Copycat Buffalo Wild Wings
When most fans hit up Starbucks, what's on their mind is coffee, but the Seattle-born coffee chain offers an immpressive selection of teas, too. If you're feeling a little under the weather, it would be wise to request an internet-famous off-the-menu creation known as a Medicine Ball, which is a combination of Teavana brand Jade Citrus Mint and Peach Tranquility teas, honey, and lemonade.
Our at-home version (shared by an actual Starbucks barista, so you know it's the real deal) is just as tasty, and it means you don't have to risk passing on your cold to the helpful Starbucks employees. This recipe is a good one to have on hand for the cold winter months and the scratchy throats they sometimes bring.
Recipe: Copycat Starbucks Medicine Ball