Here are our top 10 most popular recipes of 2021.


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A second year of the global pandemic meant even more time spent in the kitchen. In 2021, the Chronicle published dozens of recipes and readers have fully enjoyed the collection.

The Top 10 Most Popular Recipes on HoustonChronicle.com provides an overview of what you were cooking. It is a diverse assortment including comfort foods, healthy meals and desserts. Chicken is, not surprisingly, very present among the top hits. A hamburger and macaroni and cheese make expected appearances, and a few cakes cater to foodies.

Here are the recipes you have cooked the most this year, counting up to the most popular of all.

Feeling Matters columnist Marci Sharif recreated one of her favorite recipes: Lean Lemon Turkey, from My Fit Foods.

Marci Sharif

My Fit Foods was a staple for the family of Feeling Matters columnist Marci Sharif. So, when she closed a few years ago, she recreated her recipe for Lean Lemon Turkey, with asparagus and various spices and herbs.

Recipe: Lean Lemon Turkey

The Diner Cake, a yellow cake with chocolate frosting, is the Dessert Gallery's best-selling cake.

The Diner Cake, a yellow cake with chocolate frosting, is the Dessert Gallery’s best-selling cake.

Karen Warren, Houston Chronicle / Staff Photographer

Dessert Gallery in Upper Kirby is a Houston favorite for a reason. If you’re in the mood for entrepreneurship, why not try your bakery bestseller Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting.

Recipe: Dinner Cake from the Dessert Gallery

Cabbage soup

Cabbage soup

Marci Sharif / Contribution

Feeling Matters columnist Marci Sharif made this immune-boosting soup she learned from her Filipino stepmother when her 3-year-old contracted COVID. It’s also great when you just have a sniffle.

Recipe: Recipe: Chicken Nilaga, or “Cabbage Soup”

Macaroni and cheese

Macaroni and cheese from “Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ” by Rodney Scott and Lolis Eric Elie.

Jerrelle Guy / Jerrelle Guy

This year, whole pork barbecue icon Rodney Scott of Charleston, SC, released his first cookbook, “Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ: Recipes & Perspectives From the Legendary Pitmaster”. He’s shared a few recipes with the Chronicle, including this one for a decadent mac and cheese.

Recipe: Rodney Scott Mac and Cheese

Filipino chicken adobo is made with coconut milk, vinegar and chicken thighs from "The chicken bible" of the American test kitchen.

Filipino Chicken Adobo is made with coconut milk, vinegar and chicken thighs from America’s Test Kitchen “The Chicken Bible”.

America’s Test Kitchen, Senior Photographer / America’s Test Kitchen

From what this top 10 looks like, it looks like many Chronicle readers could use a copy of “The Chicken Bible,” a cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen. This is where this recipe comes from. The chicken thighs are marinated in soy sauce, then braised in a mixture of coconut milk and apple cider vinegar.

Recipe: Filipino Chicken Adobo

Recipe: Soybean Leaf Ginger Salmon and Broccoli

Recipe: Soybean Leaf Ginger Salmon and Broccoli

Pam Fullenweider / Courtesy

Take out is the easiest way to quickly prepare a delicious, healthy meal on the table. This version adds heat to salmon fillets and sriracha broccoli, complemented with sweet maple syrup, aromatic ginger, and umami sesame.

Recipe: Soy Ginger Salmon and Broccoli Puff Pastry

Pasta Dressing

Pasta Dressing

Marci Sharif

Interestingly, a salad dressing recipe is one of the most popular recipes this year. But that won’t come as a surprise once you add it to your refrigerator staple list. This simple dressing is very versatile – put it on pasta or any type of cereal, add a salty component like cheese or olives, and you’re ready to go.

Recipe: Pasta dressing

Homemade Butter Chicken from Chef Anita Jaisinghani

Homemade Butter Chicken from Chef Anita Jaisinghani

James Lenhart / Contributor

Anita Jaisinghani, owner of Pondicheri and food columnist for Chronicle, knows Indian cuisine well. Luckily for readers, she shared her restaurant’s legendary Butter Chicken recipe.

Recipe: How to Make Pondicherry Butter Chicken at Home

Chicken in a casserole with lemon and orzo

Chicken in a Lemon and Orzo Casserole from “Cook, Eat, Repeat: Ingredients, Recipes, and Stories” by Nigella Lawson.

Jonathan Lovekin / Jonathan Lovekin

Orzo, the tiny dough that melts in your mouth, is making a comeback. Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson makes great use of it in this recipe, where a whole chicken baked in a Dutch oven with orzo, lemon, garlic, carrots and leeks.

Recipe: Chicken in a pot with lemon and orzo

Carrot Pecan Cake with Classic Cream Cheese Frosting "Dessert Person" by Claire Saffitz.

Carrot Pecan Cake with Classic Cream Cheese Frosting from “Dessert Person” by Claire Saffitz.

Alex Lau / Alex Lau

Drum roll … The most popular recipe of 2021 is this magnificent cake by Claire Saffitz, collaborator of Bon Appétit, taken from her book “Dessert Person”. Everything from layered cream cheese frosting to adding pecans in the carrot cake has likely wowed our readers.

Recipe: Carrot and pecan cake

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