2020 has been an unprecedented year. And often, in times of turmoil, it’s not uncommon to turn to the comfort of cooking. With more time spent at home than ever before, it’s given us all a chance to get better acquainted with our inner chef. From the homemade sourdough sensation to the banana bread boom to the whirlwind of whipped coffee posts popping up on social media, this was the year to get creative in the kitchen. We took a look at back at the most popular recipes in TODAY Food’s recipe library to see what our readers were whipping up in 2020. These dishes run the gamut from minimalist modern foods to old favorites. Here are the top 10 recipes:
1. Dolly Parton’s Milk Gravy
Terri Peters / TODAY
Legendary country singer Dolly Parton makes creamy gravy with only 4 ingredients in just 5 minutes. “Every now and then I’ll make my husband, Carl, an extra special breakfast. Some of our favorites are Southern staples like sausage patties and flaky biscuits, and this creamy milk gravy is the perfect topping,” Parton told TODAY in December.
2. Easy Egg Bite Muffins
Ghazalle Badiozamani / Instant Loss Eat Real, Lose Weight: How I Lost 125 Pounds–Includes 100+ Recipes
Make sure to bake a double batch of Brittany Williams’ easy egg bites. Serve some for breakfast and freeze the rest for busy mornings. They’re a great way to start the day with a healthy and filling meal, especially if you’re always in a hurry. In addition to being nutritious and time saving, they are also completely customizable. Leave out the cheese to ditch the dairy, swap in the family’s favorite veggies or add ham or bacon for an extra protein boost. This is a great base recipe, so don’t be afraid to change it up and get creative.
3. Siri Daly’s Sticky Ham Sandwiches
Nathan R. Congleton / TODAY
TODAY contributor Siri Daly learned to make these sensational sliders from her friend’s mom who made these sweet and savory sandwiches famous in her hometown. “This delicious, crowd-pleasing sandwich is truly the perfect game-day snack. I like to use disposable baking dishes for easy clean up, and for the fact that I am almost always transporting these sandwiches to some sort of football tailgate,” Daly told TODAY back in 2016.
4. Kourtney Kardashian’s 3-Ingredient Avocado Pudding
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY
Kourtney Kardashian calls this “a power meal in a cup” — and this recipe has been powering through as one of TODAY’s favorites since 2016. Try it for breakfast or a satisfying snack. It only takes about a minute to make and there’s no cooking needed. Just blitz all the ingredients in a blender and enjoy.
5. One-Pot Mexican Rice with Black Beans and Corn
This delicious dinner recipe from 2016 is the very definition of a one-pot wonder. The main ingredients are pantry and freezer staples, it’s family friendly, quick to prepare and keeps cleanup easy. Even though it’s a vegetarian dish, it can easily adapt to be vegan-friendly or accommodate meat eaters.
6. Ina Garten’s Shortbread Hearts
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This is Ina Garten’s go-to shortbread recipe. “These cookies are the quintessence of shortbread and have been my all-time favorite cookie since the first time I tried one, over fifteen years ago,” Garten told TODAY earlier this month. She also uses the dough for lots of variations on this recipe — Linzer cookies, pecan shortbread and even raspberry tarts.
7. Sour Cream Rhubarb Cookies
Maggie Shi / TODAY
Bright pink bits of rhubarb peek out from these pretty cookies, which are tangy, tart and lightly sweet all at once. The sour cream adds a smoothness that makes each bite a pleasure. With their soft, light-as-air texture, they practically melt in your mouth. They’re perfect for special occasions but easy enough for an everyday treat.
8. Patti LaBelle’s Sweet Potato Pie
Courtesy of Broadway Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.
Singer Patti LaBelle learned this pie recipe from her best friend and hairstylist Norma Gordon Harris. “This sweet potato pie has a thin layer of brown sugar on the bottom crust. This ‘black bottom’ doesn’t just add flavor, it also helps keep the filling from making the crust soggy. The recipe makes a good amount of the delicious filling — this isn’t one of those skimpy sweet potato pies. It tastes like sweet potatoes, not pineapple or raisins or other fillers that some people stick in their pies,” LaBelle told TODAY back in 2018. Serve slices of this perfect pie as is or with a dollop of whipped cream on top.
9. Rao’s Meatballs with Marinara Sauce
Courtesy of Rao’s Restaurant
If you’re looking for a hot and cozy fall recipe, look no further than these amazing meatballs from Rao’s restaurant in New York City. Rao’s has been serving up authentic Italian food since 1896. They recommend making these mouthwatering meatballs using only the freshest and best quality products. Their secret to a juicy and tender meatball is to bake or fry them and then simmer them for a good, long while in flavorful tomato sauce.
10. Thin-Cut ‘Minute’ Pork Chops
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
Calling these “minute” pork chops is only a bit of stretch. Thin-cut chops need to cook for just a couple of minutes on each side. This quick dinner gets its bold taste from a combination of salty soy sauce, rich butter and tangy balsamic vinegar. The flavor trifecta amps up the natural umami essence of the pork and makes it easy to pair with a wide range of sides.