~The BEST Recipes of 2020 … reader favorites that managed to make a really bad year a little bit better. Even if you want to completely forget that most of 2020 ever happened, trust me: these are recipes you’ll definitely want to remember, and make again and again! ~
It feels kind of weird to use “Best” and 2020 in the same sentence. So much about last year was completely not the best.
But, 2020 actually was also a year when more and more people found joy in cooking together at home. That’s a win. And it was definitely a year when we all focused more than ever on being healthy … including eating more healthfully. Another win.
So, it’s not surprising that deliciously easy, healthy recipes (THK-style!) were actually a bright spot in a pretty dismal year.
And now that we’ve kicked 2020 right out the door (good riddance!), I decided that I couldn’t resist lining up the year’s most popular, very best recipes – sorting through to see which of my family’s favorites became favorites for you and your family, too.
It’s an annual ritual I’ve looked forward to every year, from back when I started this site nearly 8 years ago. And no matter how many rituals and celebrations 2020 ruined, I wasn’t going to let it ruin this one, too!
So, how many of these “Best Recipes” have you tried already? And which one did you somehow miss … that you absolutely can’t wait to make next???
Take a peek, and see if your personal favorite made our list …
Best Recipes of 2020
Family-Favorite Instant Pot Sweet Potato Soup
This soup is a beloved family treasure – and clearly you all love it just as much as we do! It's richly creamy ... with a gorgeous balance of savory and sweet, all accented with the freshness of orange juice and a warming trio of spices. It's terrific for lunch, or impressive as a first course, and it freezes well for easy meal prepping! (I've got some stocked in my freezer right now!)
Vintage Recipe for Easy Bread
My grandma’s vintage, no yeast bread recipe dates back nearly a century. But, as it slides into the #2 spot on our list, there's no doubt that it's still an absolutely perfect homemade bread to whip up today, too. It's surprisingly delicious (and nutritious), with a couple of unexpected ingredients that work scrumptious magic in this unique loaf.
LOADED Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
Inspired by a favorite restaurant dish, this version goes way beyond typical buffalo cauliflower recipes! It's piled sky-high with extra flavors. And, it's so much healthier and takes just 5 minutes to prep (with no messy batter). Great as an appetizer or side ... and a must-have for game day!
Easy Corn Salsa (or Salad)
This super-easy Corn Salsa recipe is really yummy and really versatile! You can use raw corn or grilled ... and then serve it as an appetizer-style salsa dip, or as a side salad (or both!). Plus, you can whip it up in about 10 minutes flat, and even make it ahead, too!
Easy Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette
Even though this vinaigrette calls for just 5 super-common ingredients (including salt and EVOO), it's truly incredible. It's the headliner dressing on our crazy-popular Salad with Goat Cheese, and I frequently whip it up (in literally about 3 minutes) to drizzle on simple greens for weeknight dinners. Try it ... and you'll be hooked!
Mexican Street Corn Salad
After extensive testing, I found a couple little tricks that helped make this twist on Mexican Street Corn both lighter and also layered with tons of flavor! You'll love serving this salad for Mexican night, or for picnics and cookouts (especially since it can mostly be made ahead of time)!
Grape Salad with Cream Cheese-Vanilla Dressing
Our updated version of this delightful salad has all of the refreshingly sweet flavors you adore. But our lightened-up, healthier cream cheese dressing slashes fat, sugar and calories ... so you can enjoy the classic taste without the typical guilt!
Apple Pie Overnight Chia Pudding
Both our "Basic" Chia Seed Pudding recipe and our First Watch copycat Chia Pudding with Coconut Milk were quickly, HUGELY popular back in 2019 ... so it's no surprise that you all loved this inventive chia pudding recipe, too. I mean, healthy apple pie ... for breakfast?!? How can you go wrong?
Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Love zucchini bread? And chocolate?? Then this recipe is a must-try! It's a chocolate lover’s dream ... so incredibly moist with a deep, rich chocolate flavor. And of course, it’s so much healthier (because, after all, this is THK)! Bonus: it's a great solution if your garden gives you waaaaaay too much zucchini, since it freezes beautifully for desserts later, too!
Blueberry-Lemon Angel Food Cake Recipe
Super easy, with just 5 ingredients! But it's also truly special, with sweet blueberry cream drizzled over warm angel food cake. *SIGH* It's divine as a grilled dessert in summer, but we've got directions for broiling and toasting it (year-round), too. No wonder you guys adore this recipe so much!
Our Own, Personal Favorite Recipes of 2020
One last little ritual I always enjoy: after I sort out which recipes were the most viewed, most popular among our readers, it’s fun to look at which ones didn’t make the Top 10.
Ok ok, it’s actually a little sad – like some of my children didn’t get picked for the team.
But I usually know that it’s because maybe I happened to name that particular recipe something not-obvious, so it was hard for people to find. Or maybe I added it to the site really late in the year, so there just wasn’t any way it could get many eyeballs on it and gain popularity before the year ended.
I mean, I don’t post recipes I don’t love, so as far as I’m concerned, all my “children” are awesome … which is why I try to give them one last chance to “make the team.”
Well, each member of my family takes a look at the recipes that didn’t make it to the “Top 10 Best Recipes” list, and we each choose a personal favorite out of those. One that absolutely should be in the Top 10, one that’s totally bestedy-bestest in our opinion!
For 2020, these are the ones we think should make the team, too …
This is Ty's pick – he LOVES it! But, just like the other three recipes here, this one was published pretty late in the year, so it didn't have much time to gain popularity. It's so seriously delicious, though – it will no doubt find plenty of true fans in its future!
Hands-down, Amy voted for this heirloom recipe from my mother's childhood, saying, "These taste like what being at home together with family feels like." My friends and Facebook fans who made these agreed, with lots of raves. My cousin in Germany even sent me a gorgeous photo of her holiday cookie plates, vowing that these delicious bars would always be part of her Christmas baking in years to come!
Scott's vote goes to this salsa, which we're both totally in love with (and ate all throughout the holiday season). He says it's his pick because it's so fun to eat, like eating fruit caviar. Plus, it's delicious. (Lucky for him, it's also crazy-easy, so we can make it in a jiffy anytime!)
Ahhh ... and then there's my vote. I pick this fruit salad, which is absolutely as delicious as it is pretty! And, believe it or not, it isn't much harder to make than a regular ol' bowl of fruit. Next Christmas? Don't miss it! (I'm already looking forward to it, and it's still the first week of January!)
More of Our Very BEST Recipes
Psssst … in case you missed some, 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 2019
- Best Easy, Healthy Recipes of 2018
- 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
Oh, how we’ve been dreaming of you … and you’re finally here!
There’s an awful lot about 2020 that we just want to forget. But these recipes, and the joy we once again discovered in cooking – well, that’s all something that is definitely worth remembering!
We’ll take that with us into 2021 … with gleeful anticipation of more delicious new recipes to come …
4 thoughts on “Best Recipes of 2020 (10 Quick and Easy Fan Favorites)”
Thank you very much for all the great recipes! Really love lots of them!
What a sweet comment, Susan! You’re so very welcome, and I’m thrilled to hear that lots of your favorites are here. Hopefully you’ll find many more THK “best recipes” ahead in 2021! Happy New Year! ~Shelley
I agree that stuffed peppers with quinoa is on of your best recipes of 2020! My family loves it. I use hot chicken sausage and cut the peppers in half – they were too mushy when I quartered them. It’s a healthy tasty hit!
I’m thrilled to hear it, Sheila! My family loves it, too! Great idea on the hot chicken sausage (YUM!) – both my son and husband would really enjoy that spicier variation! And good solution on the peppers – one other thought is too cook your casserole slightly less long if you like your peppers more lively (we prefer that, too) – as long as your quinoa is done and the sausage cooked, you can pull the casserole out whenever you’re happy with the doneness of the peppers. Oh! And since you like this recipe so much, be sure to try our very similar Stuffed Zucchini Boat Casserole (especially if you have an over-abundance of zucchini this summer! 😉 ) and our Chicken Fajita Quinoa Bake. They both have the same one-pan, no-precooking simplicity – yay! Happy New Year to you and your family, Sheila – hope it’s a terrific 2021 for you! ~Shelley