The 50 Most Popular Recipes of 2016
December 29, 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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#40 Korean Barbecue Meatballs
Flavorful meatballs tossed with a sweet and spicy Korean-style gochujang barbecue sauce.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#35 Chicken Tortilla Soup
Tortilla soups traditionally get topped with sour cream, but this one gets a garnish of plain, tangy Greek yogurt.
#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.
#33 Slow-Cooker Minestrone Soup
This soup skips on the pasta but is full of beans, tomatoes, and mushrooms.
#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.
#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.
#30 Imitation Crab Salad
This simple imitation crab salad is dressed with a light vinaigrette dressing and tossed with fresh spinach and red onions.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#26 Grilled Chicken Fajitas
The chicken gains great flavor not only from the spices but also from the char and smoke from the grill.
#25 Coca-Cola Chicken Wings
The all-American soda meets the all-American finger food for an ultimate finger-licking treat.
#24 Chicken Verde
Chicken is slowly braised in roasted tomatillo salsa and spices to make a super easy yet tasty version of chicken verde.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#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!
#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.
#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.
#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.
#10 Slow-Cooker Apple-Spice Oatmeal
#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.
#7 Spaghetti Squash Pizza Casserole
#6 Imitation Crab Linguine
#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.
#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!
#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.
#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!