~ These are our most popular, very best easy recipes from 2021! Healthy, delicious and simple … exactly what we all needed amidst such a trying, tumultuous year. But no doubt, these recipes have staying power far beyond 2021, too, and are destined to be favorites for years to come! Did your own fave make the list??? ~
Another One for the History Books
Oh, 2021 … you didn’t really turn out like we’d expected. Or like we’d hoped. Right along with good ol’ 2020, you’ll go down in the history books.
You tested us, pushed us. Taught us to be nimble, to think outside the box, to be prepared to quickly change course (again and again).
And, perhaps most of all, you taught us about how important health is, and about treasuring family and friends.
Because of that – and because dining out wasn’t always an option – cooking at home took on renewed importance last year.
But now, maybe more than ever before, we all want our cooking to be healthier … and oh-my-goodness we just want it to be EASY. (Because so many other things feel so darn hard these days.)
No doubt, 2021 was all about healthy … and EASY.
And that’s exactly the type of recipes Two Healthy Kitchens is all about. It’s our specialty!
The Best of the Best
And so, as we throw our arms open wide, welcoming 2022 with renewed hopefulness – it’s once again the perfect time to offer a standing ovation to the highlights and bright spots of 2021. The recipes that rose to the top, from among an entire year of healthy, easy recipe faves.
These are the 10 brand-new 2021 recipes that you made the most popular. The most read, most re-read, most cooked (based on how frequently each recipe was viewed).
As a sidenote, there were also several informational posts and recipe collections that would have ranked in the top 10, but we’re strictly highlighting your favorite new recipes here. If you’re interested, though:
- I’d say our readers definitely still love all things chicken, since our collection of Boneless Chicken Breast Recipes was a true blockbuster, and our collections of Air Fryer Chicken Wings and Air Fryer Chicken Breasts followed not far behind.
- You guys also went bonkers for our collection of Cute Christmas Appetizers (which really was SO much fun)! Psssst … be sure to bookmark that one for next Christmas.
- And, with healthfulness being such a goal last year, it’s not surprising that our collections of unique Chia Pudding Recipes and yummy, Healthy Energy Balls were super popular, too.
But let’s get back to the main event here … to the individual, very most popular, BEST recipes of 2021 … as chosen by YOU, our readers!
Our Best Recipes of 2021
Easy Italian Pasta Salad
I created this recipe especially for my son, Ty. He absolutely loves it, and clearly, all of you did, too! It's got all the bold flavors of classic pasta salad recipes, but without the loads of unwanted fat and white carbs. Plus, it's easy to make, and it keeps well for several days, so you've got a quick lunch or delicious side dish ready to go, all week long!
Crockpot Buffalo Chicken Dip
Ty and I tested (and tested and re-tested) this one together last summer. It was a deliciously fun project, and WOW did it turn out great! Buffalo Chicken Dip is always a crowd-pleaser, but we wanted to make it: (1) easier and (2) lower in both calories and fat. Check, check and check! Mission accomplished!
Oven Roasted Carrots
This is a super-simple and VERY adaptable side dish I truly make all the time for my own family. You basically need 1 main ingredient and 2 minutes of hands-on time. Yet these carrots are so wonderfully delicious (thanks to a surprisingly scrumptious high-heat roasting technique), and they go with practically any main dish. No wonder you guys turned to this recipe so frequently last year!
Old Fashioned Kidney Bean Salad
This salad has become a cherished family tradition at our holiday celebrations, thanks to my mother-in-law, Jo. And, we've become so addicted to it now, that we often keep a big bowl of it in the fridge, all year long. It's an updated riff on the "famous" Bean Salad recipe served at the iconic Nick Anthe’s restaurant for more than 30 years. Uniquely delicious, but with no cooking and just a bit of quick chopping, it’s also ultra-fast and easy!
Sautéed Cabbage with Brown Butter and Walnuts
Ok ... ok ... I've gotta admit that I was kind of surprised to find this one in the top 10. Sautéed Cabbage seemed like maybe a teeeeny bit of a hard sell, no matter how much I personally adore it. Surprise! I'm so glad all of you gave this one a chance, because with its lusciously rich browned butter and crunchy walnuts, it truly is special. And with only 3 ingredients (plus salt) and a very quick cook time (to keep the cabbage fresh and lively), it's fast and easy, too!
Italian Grilled Hamburgers
These burgers are over-the-top flavorful! They feature a unique mix of ground beef and Italian sausage, seasoned with zesty Italian spices. Pile them high with grilled peppers and onions, juicy tomato, and a warm, melty slice of fresh mozzarella ... and you've got a seriously memorable burger creation! Added bonus: you can prep them in advance, and we’ve got alternate directions for you if you don't want to fire up the grill.
And you know that pasta salad up at #1? It's the PERFECT side dish for these burgers!
"Candy Bar" Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
Our chia pudding recipes are always really popular, so adding decadent chocolate, crunchy almonds and flakes of coconut was an absolute slam dunk. Kind of like an Almond Joy candy bar (but soooooo much healthier). Yeah ... YUM! It's a great make-ahead, meal prep recipe for busy mornings, and doubles as a guilt-free dessert, too!
Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas
These are just simply fantastic. They've been a runaway hit with my own family since the very first time I tested them. Restaurant quality – except, honestly, the shrimp turn out better than what I've had in many restaurants. Succulent and perfectly cooked! These fajitas are on the table in just over 20 minutes, and I 100% predict you'll make them again and again!
Overnight Chia Pudding
Remember how I just mentioned that chia pudding recipes are always a big hit around here? Yup ... here's even more proof! We only published 2 new chia pudding recipes in 2021, and they BOTH made the top 10. This one offers lots of options for toppings, mix-ins and even sweeteners. Make it ahead for stress-free mornings! (And, while we're talking chia pudding ... all you fans out there might also want to check out our Apple Pie Chia Pudding, and our Chia Pudding with Coconut Milk and Berries, which is a copycat version of the A.M. Superfoods Bowl at First Watch restaurants.)
Easy Oven Roasted Asparagus
I'm not sure which I make more – this asparagus or the carrots (#3 above). Just like the carrots, this recipe has essentially only 1 ingredient ... and cooks super-fast. My high-heat roasting technique gives you HUGE flavor with almost no effort. Seriously, this is so good and so easy that it's on regular repeat at my house, and I bet it will be at yours, too!
Our Turn to Pick! (Our Family’s Favorite Recipes of 2021)
I don’t share recipes my family doesn’t love, so every year it’s a little sad that only 10 of our heart-throb favorites can be in the Top 10. (But, you know, it’s not a Top 10 if it includes 52 recipes!)
There are so many things that can cause a recipe to miss out on the Top 10. Maybe I named the recipe something not-obvious, so it was hard for people to search it out. Or maybe it was a recipe that got added to the site really late in the year, so there just wasn’t much time for it to gain popularity before the year ended.
Still, it’s sad that allllll our beloved recipes can’t be jammed into the Top 10!
So, every year, my family cheers itself up by each choosing an additional recipe that didn’t quite make it into the “most viewed” Top 10 (but really should have!).
For 2021, these are OUR picks …
Ty chose this recipe, for our beloved Oma's Tomato Salad. He explained, "It absolutely reminds me of my Oma and how much I love her (and her cooking)! And, I also chose it because it's truly delicious. You'd think something so simple wouldn't be so amazing, but it's a real standout, and I'm always excited when we've got some waiting for me in the fridge!"
Amy selected this decadent fudge, saying, "It's a super great, easy holiday treat, and extra-awesome because I can feel less guilty indulging!"
Anddddd ... Amy also chose this meatloaf. (I don't think we've ever allowed a "tie" before when picking our faves, but I'm gonna let it slide this once!) Honestly, we all agree with Amy's assessment: "This meatloaf is a go-to weeknight dinner I look forward to every single time!"
Scott says he chose this recipe because, "I'm not typically a Brussels sprout fan, but these are on a different level that doesn't even put them in the typical Brussels sprout category. More like candy lol!" (Ok ... he was kind of kidding about the candy part, but you get the idea. These are definitely THAT good!)
This ultra-simple recipe is my choice. After having these peppers in restaurants, it's fantastic to realize that they're crazy-easy to make at home ... with amazing results. People are so intrigued by these peppers (great conversation starter at parties!), and everybody goes nuts for 'em! I love these so, so much. Seriously, guys – don't miss this one!
Thank You, Our Treasured Readers!
Thank you all for trusting THK (for nearly 10 years now!) to help you find healthy, easy recipes you know your family will enjoy. Thank you for turning to us for inspiration – for recipes that become “regulars” and that you 100% know you can rely on, time and again.
Your trust means so much to us.
And, your lovely recipe reviews and enthusiastic comments inspire us to keep going … to keep on creating new, fresh recipe ideas and sharing our own family’s favorites.
Cheers to 2022 … and to every single one of you.
And most of all, thank you.
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 2020
- 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
6 thoughts on “Best Recipes of 2021 (The 10 Most Popular, EASY Recipes of the Year)”
Thanks for this quick review.
There were several recipes that I managed to miss!
The printer will be running today!
Happy New Year THK!!
I’m so glad you found some recipes you’d missed through the year (surprising, though – you hardly ever miss one)! I can’t wait to hear which ones you like best! 😀 ~Shelley
I’ve enjoyed so many of your recipes and I thank you for your help since we still aren’t eating in restaurants. However I’m giving serious thought to leaving you something in my will for your Blueberry Overnight Oatmeal. I can’t get enough of it!!!!
Oh, Betsy! This seriously might be the best (and most hilarious) comment I’ve ever received – thank you so very much! And my goodness, YES – we all adore that Blueberry Overnight Oatmeal around my house, too (and I particularly love that it makes breakfast time so easy)! If you’re gonna write me into your will, though LOL, I feel like I should at least suggest that you might also like to try our Apple Overnight Oats or (in the summer when peaches are terrific) our Praline Peach Overnight Oats, too! 😉 Happy, Happy New Year! ~Shelley
Trust me! I’ve made them all!
Awwww … you’re the best! And it sounds like I need to book you as an honorary taste-tester LOL! Thank you for being such a loyal fan – and for your wonderful feedback and encouragement! 😀 ~Shelley