The 50 Most Popular Recipes of 2016

According to the analytics, you like slow-cookers, chicken, and soup — with some imitation crab and cheesy potatoes on the side

The 50 Most Popular Recipes of 2016

One of the more positive things to come out of 2016 is people’s continued infatuation with cooking.

Cooking at home is so hot right now thanks to the rise of meal planning systems like Plated and Blue Apron, and also (we suspect) to the proliferation of food photography on social media: when we have successes in the kitchen, we want to show off our hard work and talent!

Sharing our meals on social media, in fact, is increasing our knowledge of food and cooking, and it is integral in providing cooking inspiration and getting people excited to try new things. People are starting to understand that the joy of cooking (and eating) is elevated when you use real ingredients and take pride in what you are making.

As 2016 comes to a close, we took a peek at our analytics to see what the most popular recipes of the year were on The Daily Meal. As expected, our readers loved chicken and soup (especially when you can make it in a slow-cooker). More surprising was that imitation crab snagged three spots on this list!

Check out this list of the Most Popular Recipes for 2016; how many have you made this year? Get cooking to make up the slack! And take a picture of your completed homemade dish and show it off with #TheDailyMeal!

#50 Rustic Cheddar Potato Soup

For this great cold-weather soup, just throw all of your ingredients into the slow-cooker and let it simmer. If you like your soup extra creamy when it’s done, you can take half of it out, process it in a blender, then stir it back into the pot. 

For the Rustic Cheddar Potato Soup recipe, click here.

#49 Aglio e Olio Spaghetti

This traditional Italian spaghetti dish is made with good quality olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. The dish is a simple yet delicious way to prepare pasta for dinner.

For the Aglio e Olio Spaghetti, click here.

#48 Xavier Soup

#48 Xavier Soup


In this adaptation of a classic Italian soup, Parmigiano-Reggiano dumplings and fresh herbs lend big flavor to a simple chicken stock base. 

For the Xavier Soup recipe, click here.

#47 Autumn Lentil Veggie Soup

The beauty of this soup is that you can substitute whatever leftover veggies and dry ingredients you have in your pantry and fridge in place of the ones called for. Don’t have kale? That’s fine, throw in some spinach or collard greens. Don’t have zucchini? Try some winter squash or broccoli instead. You can even change out the lentils and rice for whatever beans and grains you have in your pantry.

For the Autumn Lentil Veggie Soup recipe, click here.

#46 Grilled Chicken, Avocado, Rice, and Cheddar Burrito

Perfectly seasoned grilled chicken breast gets just a little bit of spice and a good char off the grill. It goes perfectly with the creamy avocado, sharp Cheddar, and some brown rice.

For the Grilled Chicken, Avocado, Rice, and Cheddar Burrito recipe, click here.

#45 Slow-Cooker Cinnamon French Toast

Make this dish in advance and you’ll have a deliciously sweet French toast breakfast on hand and ready to eat on those busy mornings.

For the Slow-Cooker Cinnamon French Toast recipe, click here.

#44 Grilled Triple-Cheese Scalloped Potatoes

#44 Grilled Triple-Cheese Scalloped Potatoes


Combine two of America's favorite comfort foods — grilled cheese and scalloped potatoes — for the ultimate hot, gooey, and cheesy side dish.

For the Grilled Triple-Cheese Scalloped Potatoes recipe, click here.

#43 Lemon-Crusted Chicken Breast

#43 Lemon-Crusted Chicken Breast


This easy and delicious baked chicken breast is perfect for topping a light and healthy salad. It has lots of bright lemony flavor and an irresistible crunch.

For the Lemon-Crusted Chicken Breast recipe, click here.

#42 Slow-Cooker 5-Cheese Taco Lasagna

This untraditional lasagna swaps Italian flavors for Mexican ones. For instance, the recipe calls for queso blanco instead of mozzarella and the dish is topped with fresh avocado, cilantro, and sour cream.

For the Slow-Cooker 5-Cheese Taco Lasagna recipe, click here.

#41 Baked Salmon With Tangy Glaze

Salmon fillets are seasoned evenly with a mixture of salt, sugar, black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika, then brushed with mayonnaise and topped with lemon slices before heading into the oven. They emerge flaky and flavorful.

For the Baked Salmon With Tangy Glaze recipe, click here.

#40 Korean Barbecue Meatballs

Flavorful meatballs tossed with a sweet and spicy Korean-style gochujang barbecue sauce.

For the Korean Barbecue Meatballs recipe, click here.

#39 Blackened Rockfish With Garlic Lime Butter

Delicious blackening spices elevate beautiful rockfish fillets. Served with rice and roasted seasonal vegetables, these fillets are finished with a garlic and cilantro compound butter to round out a seasoned entrée.

For the Blackened Rockfish With Garlic Lime Butter recipe, click here.

#38 Turkey Tenderloin

#38 Turkey Tenderloin


A soy and mustard marinade imparts big flavor into lean turkey tenderloins — it’s easy and fast to throw together, making it a great weeknight meal.

For the Turkey Tenderloin recipe, click here.

#37 Slow-Cooker Chicken and Butternut Squash

#37 Slow-Cooker Chicken and Butternut Squash


Throw all six ingredients into a slow-cooker for a soft squash and tasty chicken dinner. The sage and garlic are perfect complements to the butternut squash and the juices — punctuated by a dash of balsamic vinegar — cook down into a delicious sauce that keeps the chicken flavorful and moist. Use this as your main course or as a side dish for your next family meal.

For the Slow-Cooker Chicken and Butternut Squash recipe, click here. 

#36 Cabbage, White Bean, and Kale Soup

This is a really simple soup to put together and it’s versatile, too. Use any wilting dark green that is in your fridge instead of kale and it still will taste great; Swiss chard, collard greens, and spinach all work very well as substitutes.

For the Cabbage Soup, White Bean and Kale Soup recipe, click here.

#35 Chicken Tortilla Soup

#34 Deluxe Scalloped Potatoes

#34 Deluxe Scalloped Potatoes


This gooey potato dish is made in the style of mac and cheese. It is hearty enough to stand alone as an entrée with a side salad and is sure to deliver big on flavor and satisfaction.

For the Deluxe Scalloped Potatoes recipe, click here.

#33 Slow-Cooker Minestrone Soup

This soup skips on the pasta but is full of beans, tomatoes, and mushrooms.

For the Slow-Cooker Minestrone Soup recipe, click here.

#32 Slow-Cooker Pot Roast

Though most pot roast recipes use white flour to thicken the sauce, this recipe purées the cooked vegetables to create a thick and satisfying gravy to serve along with the roast.

For the Slow-Cooker Pot Roast recipe, click here.

#31 Coca-Cola Glazed Ham

#31 Coca-Cola Glazed Ham


Coca-Cola (yes, the soda) is simmered with light brown sugar and thyme before it is brushed over a roasting ham; the sweetness balances out the meaty saltiness of the ham.

For the Coca-Cola Glazed Ham recipe, click here. 

#30 Imitation Crab Salad

#30 Imitation Crab Salad


This simple imitation crab salad is dressed with a light vinaigrette dressing and tossed with fresh spinach and red onions.

For the Imitation Crab Salad recipe, click here.

#29 Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken is first seared lightly in a pan to develop a crust and deep, delicious flavors. The onion and spices benefit from some high-heat contact, too, before all the ingredients are layered into a slow-cooker and cooked on high for four hours or on low for eight.

For the Slow-Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala recipe, click here.

#28 Authentic Thai Vegetable Soup

Pumpkin purée is stirred into a coconut milk broth base to strengthen and underline the Thai flavors. You can make this soup throughout the year by using canned purée. When pumpkin is in season, use it fresh and simply cook it with other vegetables.

For the Authentic Thai Vegetable Soup recipe, click here.

#27 Slow-Cooker Overnight Breakfast Casserole

Let your favorite breakfast ingredients simmer and meld together overnight and you’ll have the perfect morning meal ready when you wake up.

For the Slow-Cooker Overnight Breakfast Casserole recipe, click here.

#26 Grilled Chicken Fajitas

#26 Grilled Chicken Fajitas


The chicken gains great flavor not only from the spices but also from the char and smoke from the grill. 

For the Grilled Chicken Fajitas recipe, click here. 

#25 Coca-Cola Chicken Wings

#25 Coca-Cola Chicken Wings


The all-American soda meets the all-American finger food for an ultimate finger-licking treat.

For the Coca-Cola Chicken Wings recipe, click here.

#24 Chicken Verde

Chicken is slowly braised in roasted tomatillo salsa and spices to make a super easy yet tasty version of chicken verde.

For the Slow-Cooker Chicken Verde recipe, click here.

#23 Slow-Cooker Meatball Soup

You can use frozen store-bought meatballs, as the recipe suggests, or try your hand at making your own for this simple and delicious soup bursting with classic Italian flavor.

For the Slow-Cooker Meatball Soup recipe, click here.

#22 Creamy and Delicious Mashed Potatoes

Yukon Gold potatoes are perfect to use in this mashed potatoes side dish. The milk and copious amounts of butter make these potatoes extra creamy and delicious, too.

For the Creamy and Delicious Mashed Potatoes recipe, click here.

#21 Chicken Pot Pie

Grilled chicken, caramelized carrots, potatoes, and celery are all stirred into a deliciously thick, homemade, creamy chicken sauce. Then, the hearty chicken pot pie filling is baked inside a buttery and golden homemade pie crust.

For the Chicken Pot Pie recipe, click here.

#20 Ultimate Slow-Cooker Pork Chops

#20 Ultimate Slow-Cooker Pork Chops


These delicious pork chops get smothered with apples and onions. Add all of the ingredients to the slow-cooker and walk away — in a few hours you’ll have a hearty pork meal that would go great with a salad

For the Ultimate Slow-Cooker Pork Chops recipe, click here.

#19 Easy Chicken Marsala

#19 Easy Chicken Marsala


The simple pan-fried chicken and Marsala wine sauce finished with cream takes less than 30 minutes to cook, making it the perfect option for quick and easy weeknight dinners and last-minute dinner parties.

For the Easy Chicken Marsala recipe, click here.

#18 Imitation Crab Macaroni and Cheese

Take your macaroni and cheese to the next level by adding imitation crab meat. To punctuate the seafood theme, the creamy cheese base is fortified with condensed cream of shrimp soup.

For the Imitation Crab Macaroni and Cheese recipe, click here.

#17 Tarragon-Roasted Chicken

What makes this recipe special is the combination of sage, rosemary, lemon, and tarragon stuffed into the bird’s cavity. It smells divine while roasting, and the meat acquires a lush citrus-herb flavor.

For the Tarragon-Roasted Chicken recipe, click here.

#16 Chocolate Cake

#16 Chocolate Cake


In just three hours, you can have a moist, decadent chocolate cake to brag about, and all you did was throw basic ingredients into a slow-cooker.  This chocolate cake is so delicious that it doesn’t need icing, but you can whip up a creamy buttercream frosting to spread over the top if you feel like going that extra mile. 

For the Slow-Cooker Chocolate Cake recipe, click here.

#15 Slow-Roasted Potatoes

#15 Slow-Roasted Potatoes


To make these this dish, all you have to do is combine potatoes, butter, paprika, salt, garlic powder, and pepper in a slow-cooker, stir to blend, then cover and cook on low for seven hours or on high for four hours.

For the Slow-Roasted Potatoes recipe, click here.

#14 Antonio’s Roast Chicken

This dish couldn’t be simpler: A whole chicken is seasoned with olive, salt, pepper, and lemon, and then roasted it the oven. That’s it!

For Antonio’s Roast Chicken recipe, click here.

#13 Slow-Cooker Thai Beef Stew

This slow-cooker stew is made with coconut oil and gets a hit of umami from the addition of fish sauce.

For the Slow-Cooker Thai Beef Stew recipe, click here.

#12 Slow-Cooker Banana Bread

#12 Slow-Cooker Banana Bread


This classic banana bread cooks for four hours to create a sweet, moist bread with a delicate yet dense crumb and a golden, crunchy crust. You can make the recipe even sweeter by adding some chunky chocolate chips.

For the Slow-Cooker Banana Bread recipe, click here.

#11 Cheesy Roasted Chickpeas (Chickpea Cheetos)

Combine the tangy, cheesy flavor of Cheetos with much-healthier roasted chickpeas so you can snack on your favorite junk food without the guilt.

For the Cheesy Roasted Chickpeas (Chickpea Cheetos) recipe, click here.

#10 Slow-Cooker Apple-Spice Oatmeal

Wake up to a warm nutritious breakfast; this simple slow-cooker oatmeal using classic apple-spice flavors can be made in your slow-cooker while you sleep.

For the Slow-Cooker Apple-Spice Oatmeal recipe, click here.

#9 Chicken Pot Pie Soup

#9 Chicken Pot Pie Soup


Try this lighter version of a chicken pot pie; you'll get the same delicious flavors as a tradition chicken pot pie but in a thinner soup form. 

For the Chicken Pot Pie Soup recipe, click here.

#8 Caribbean Chicken Drumsticks

When slow-cooked, these drumsticks are tender and incredibly flavorful. To get a crispy skin, however, brush the cooked drumsticks with a bit of the marinating liquid and throw them under the oven broiler to develop texture and a little charred flavor.

For the Slow-Cooker Caribbean Chicken Drumsticks recipe, click here

#7 Spaghetti Squash Pizza Casserole

#7 Spaghetti Squash Pizza Casserole


This dish is perfect for when you’re craving pizza but don’t want to be indulgent. It’s a warm, cheesy, and totally satisfying low-carb meal.

For the Spaghetti Squash Pizza Casserole recipe, click here.

#6 Imitation Crab Linguine

If you need a simple and quick meal, make imitation crab linguine. It's an easy pasta dish to throw together: Just chop up the imitation crab meat and stir it into a cheese sauce and serve. 

For the Imitation Crab Linguine recipe, click here.

#5 Finger Lickin’ Brick Chicken

#5 Finger Lickin’ Brick Chicken


Make the stickiest, tastiest grilled chicken by coating it in a sweet marinade made of soy sauce and dark beer before grilling it under the pressure of foil-wrapped bricks. The result really does live up to its finger-lickin’ name.

For the Finger Lickin’ Brick Chicken recipe, click here.

#4 Cantonese Wonton Noodle Soup

Cantonese wonton noodle soup is such a basic, no-brainer bowl of noodles that you’ll find at most Cantonese restaurants. But if you’re not near a Chinatown or Cantonese place, you’ll definitely want to give it a try at home. It’s so easy to put together!

For the Cantonese Wonton Noodle Soup recipe, click here.

#3 Slow ‘N’ Crispy Mac ‘N’ Cheese

This version of mac and cheese is made with colby and Cheddar cheeses and has a crisp, crunchy topping made with breadcrumbs and pine nuts. 

For the Slow 'N' Crispy Mac 'N' Cheese recipe, click here.

#2 Scalloped Potatoes

This is the perfect one-dish meal: You can easily layer ham in with the potatoes for a simple but hearty dinner.

For the Scalloped Potatoes recipe, click here.

#1 Microwave Coffee Cup Scramble

Our most popular recipe of 2016 was this microwave egg scramble that can be made in less than three minutes. Just add your favorite toppings and take it to go!

For the Microwave Coffee Cup Scramble recipe, click here.