~ Our very BEST, quick and easy, HEALTHY recipes from 2018 – as chosen by YOU (our beloved readers)! Have you tried them all yet? And if not, what are you waiting for?!? Here’s a look at the most popular, healthy recipes from an entire year – so find a new favorite, and get cookin’! ~
I love this day!
Today is all about one of my most beloved blogging traditions – it’s the day when we sift back through a wonderful year-gone-by, to see which of our brand-new recipes from that year were your favorites. Which ones you guys turned to again and again in the midst of your busy lives. Which of OUR family favorites became YOUR new family favorites.
It’s a fun little ritual as we close out each year, gathering up the “Top 10” recipes to give them one last shout-out as the very best of the quick and easy, healthy recipes we published throughout all 12 months.
Sometimes I’m really surprised which recipes grabbed your attention the most. Take, for example, our humble Easy Rice and Beans recipe. I wouldn’t have guessed that it would clock in so high, at #6. But I shouldn’t be surprised, should I? You guys definitely know a simple, weeknight-saving recipe when you see one, and that Rice and Beans recipe is a cinch to whip up alongside so many different main dishes. #Winner!
Other times, though, I 100% KNOW that you’re going to go crazy over a new recipe. Perfect example: our pretty Hummus Wreath Christmas Appetizer. It easily claimed the second most popular spot for the entire year, even though we didn’t share that recipe until December 6 (so it only had about 3 weeks to claw its way toward the top of the list)! I made that recipe at least 4 times in December myself, so I’m absolutely not surprised it was such a hit with all of you, too!
One little note on our annual “best recipes” lists: we always include only recipes. There were lots of other non-recipe posts you guys loved in 2018 – like our buyer’s guide on Which Instant Pot to Buy and our informational article on What Can You Do with an Instant Pot? (last February was officially our Instant Pot month here at THK, and it was clearly a HUGE hit)! We also never include our recipe guide collections (like our collection of Spiralizer Recipes or our list of Instant Pot Vegetable Soup Recipes). Nope! Our annual “best recipes” lists are strictly for recipes – easy, healthy recipes. Quick and simple and nutritious recipes. The ones that you guys made our most popular of the entire year!
Take a look to see if your personal favorites from 2018 made our list … and be sure to pick out some new ones you missed that you’ve just gotta try SOON!
1) Quick & Easy Chicken Noodle Soup with Rotisserie Chicken
When do you really need Chicken Noodle Soup the most? No doubt: when cold and flu season blazes a rampaging course through your home … which is precisely when you probably don’t have a lot of time for long-simmered, time-consuming soup recipes, right?!? This easy, healthy recipe is the answer! Shortcut rotisserie chicken help keeps your prep time to under 10 minutes, so you can make a comforting pot of soup FAST!
2) Easy Christmas Appetizer “Hummus Wreath”
In just 10 minutes, you’ve got a delicious masterpiece that’ll be the hit of any holiday party! It’s deceptively simple to make and a delightfully guilt-free, healthy option amidst all those gut-busting, I’ll-regret-this-later holiday foods! Be sure to bookmark this recipe for next Christmas!
3) One-Pot Whole-Wheat Spring Pasta with Asparagus, Peas and Parmesan
Even though this is named “Spring” Pasta, we honestly make this recipe all year ’round at our house. It’s a 30-minute, one-pot meal that’s easy enough for hectic weeknights (you can even make it completely ahead!), so it’s become one of my go-to choices when I know we’re going to be BUSY. Plus, my whole family loves this recipe, and I feel terrific about all the whole grains and the loads of healthy veggies they’re happily shoveling in!
4) Baked Spiral “Hawaiian Roll” Sliders
This fun twist on classic baked party sandwiches offers big, big flavors and terrific make-ahead convenience! Plus, it’s so much healthier than those classic recipes that are full of white carbs and literally drowning in a sea of butter. But you know what? These still taste FANTASTIC! Bonus: we’ve got 3 different flavor combos for you to try! Make these for parties, tailgates, or even meal prepping dinners … and watch them disappear in a jiffy!
5) 5 Showstopper Red, White and Blue Fruit Salads
This is like 5 recipes in one! Take our basic blueprint for a simple, patriotic fruit salad … and vary the presentation depending on how much time you have! Fun, impressive (but easy – I promise!) ideas that are wonderful all summer long, and absolutely perfect for holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July!
6) 5-Minute Easy Rice and Beans
With a few basic pantry staples, you can have this easy side dish on the table in just 5 minutes! It’s a throw-together recipe that’s infinitely adaptable, and we’ve got lots of suggestions on how you can change it up to fit whatever main course you’re serving!
7) Tuscan Kale Salad with Honey-Balsamic Vinaigrette
You probably hear “kale salad” and instantly think “healthy.” Of course you do! And no doubt, this kale salad is jam-crammed with nutrition. But … when you hear kale salad, do you also think “amazingly SCRUMPTIOUS”? Trust me … after one bite of this intensely flavorful salad, I’ll just bet you will! If this recipe made its way into our annual “best recipes” list, then you know it’s gotta be a must-try!
8) Quick Rotisserie Chicken Tacos with Smashed Avocado
Are you seeing a trend here? Two rotisserie chicken recipes in our “Top 10” list this year! I’m not surprised, though – rotisserie chicken is such a terrific shortcut for busy cooks, making dinnertime just one step faster and easier. Love it! Oh – and speaking of love: my family love, LOVE, LOVES these tacos, every time we make them. Unique and super-flavorful with just a few simple ingredients and plenty of make-ahead steps. These are no ordinary chicken tacos – try ’em and see for yourself why these are such a fave!
9) Spinach Salad with Apple, Cheddar and Smoked Almonds
Satisfyingly creamy, crunchy, smoky, sweet, and tangy. In a word: DELICIOUS! With simple ingredients and easy make-ahead steps, this is a perfect weeknight side. But it also effortlessly dresses up for entertaining – so try it at your next potluck or dinner party, too!
10) Breakfast Avocado Toast with Egg and Sausage
An easy breakfast (ready in under 10!) that’ll keep you powered up for hours! Trendy avocado toast is popular for lots of great reasons – take just one bite of this yummy combination of flavors and textures and you’ll know exactly why!
Our Family Favorites (Bonus “Sleeper” Recipes)
Part of our tradition of making our annual “best recipes” list is sifting through the recipes that didn’t quite make it into the Top 10. I mean, no matter how much we all adore a particular recipe, only 10 can make the Top 10 (obviously) … so there are always fantastic recipes that just slightly miss out.
It’s funny, though – sometimes the ones that don’t make the cut are actually some of my family’s own, personal favorites from the year.
We could debate all day about why they missed the Top 10. Maybe I didn’t give them enticing names? Maybe there are too many other, similar recipes already out there in the world, so ours just didn’t grab quite as much attention on the Internet as they deserved? Or maybe they just need a little more time to let people find them, and try them, and fall in love with them (it’s interesting which of our recipes sometimes suddenly simmer to the top years after they’ve been published, for reasons that I can usually never figure out for sure!).
Regardless, my family always likes to take a crack at selecting the “sleepers” for each year. They’re the recipes that maybe really should have made the Top 10 but didn’t.
And without question – Top 10 or not! – they’re recipes that you’ve just got to try (if you haven’t made them already)!
Scott’s Pick: Sweet and Spicy Pepper Relish
Why Scott picked this: “Just the right amount of spice and an amazing, unique flavor! Haven’t found anything yet that it doesn’t go with!”
Shelley’s Pick: Broiled Fish Matecumbe (from The Fish House in Key Largo)
Why I picked this: “I was actually torn between choosing this recipe, or going with our Italian Stuffed Zucchini Boats or our Hawaiian Banana Bread. I guess the tie-breaker for my decision was my treasured memories of the vacation that inspired this fish recipe. Plus, it’s super easy to make and surprisingly, deceptively delicious. But seriously – all three recipes are family favorites at our house, so you can’t go wrong in trying any of them (or hey hey … why not try all three?!?)!”
Ty’s Pick: Cheeseburger Sloppy Joes
Why Ty picked these: “They’ve got all the best things about a cheeseburger … and a sloppy joe! I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t LOVE that! These are awesome!”
Amy’s Pick: Peppermint-White Chocolate Chickpea Cookies
Why Amy picked these: “These are honestly some of my favorite cookies EVER – I crave them all year! Luckily, they’re so healthy (yay, chickpeas!) that I never feel bad about indulging a little!”
Finn (Our Pup’s) Pick: Sweet Potato and Leftover Turkey Homemade Dog Treats
Why Finn picked these: Ok, so we don’t actually know exactly what words Finn would use to describe how much he likes these dog treats. But, we do know that (unlike so many store-bought treats he doesn’t really like or eventually gets bored with), Finn never, ever loses his joyous doggy-excitement about these! We keep a huge stash in the freezer, and he always comes happily dashing into the kitchen when he hears the freezer opening!
More BEST Easy, Healthy Recipes
In case you missed some, or if you’re just now joining us on our healthy eating journey here at Two Healthy Kitchens, here’s where you can find all of our most popular recipes:
- Best Easy, Healthy Recipes of 2022
- Best Easy, Healthy Recipes of 2021
- Best Easy, Healthy Recipes of 2020
- Best Easy, Healthy Recipes of 2019
- Best Easy, Healthy Recipes of 2017
- Best Easy, Healthy Recipes of 2016
- Best Easy, Healthy Recipes of 2015
- Best Easy, Healthy Recipes of 2014
- Best Easy, Healthy Recipes of 2013
Happy New Year, friends!
We’ve got so many healthy recipes to share with you in 2019, and we’re so excited for another healthy year with you all!
Cheers to our seventh (7th!! Wow!) year together!