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Our 20 most popular recipes of 2021

by Genevieve Halbert

published on 21 December 2021

After a bumper year of cookbook releases, we’ve added a whole host of new recipes to our repertoires. From lavish bakes to super-simple salmon suppers, and from one-pot warmers to zingy courgette fritters, these were the most popular recipes on our site in 2021.

Sweet Potato Shakshuka

The Ottolenghi Test Kitchen’s Sweet Potato Shakshuka with Sriracha Butter and Pickled Onions

by The Ottolenghi Test Kitchen Team

Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Shelf Love delivered some truly outstanding brunch recipes, including skillet berries with browned butter and kale pesto strata with Gruyère. Visitors to our site went wild for this unconventional sweet potato shakshuka, flavoured with cheddar, garlic, and pickled red onion.

Rick Stein Pastitsio | Beef Macaroni Pie

Rick Stein’s Pastitsio – Beef and Macaroni Pie with Cinnamon, Red Wine and Kefalotiri Cheese

Rick Stein’s take on the classic Greek dish of pastitsio is made with tubular pasta, beef flavoured with red wine and cinnamon, and a bubbling topping of cheese and breadcrumbs. This is comfort food at its very finest.

Mary Berry Chicken and Herb Casserole | Midweek Meal

Mary Berry’s Rather Special Chicken and Herb Casserole

A simple but effective one-pot dish from Mary Berry, this chicken casserole is flavoured with bacon and mushroom, and topped of with crispy fried sage leaves. It’s easy enough to make midweek, but elegant enough to serve at a dinner party.

Baked Marscapone, Cherry and Walnut Brownies

Baked Mascarpone, Cherry and Walnut Brownies

One of the top baking recipes on our site this year, these brownies from Rukmini Iyer’s The Sweet Roasting Tin are swirled with cherries, creamy mascarpone, and walnuts. With their rich flavour and light, fluffy texture, these brownies make for an excellent dessert.

Rachel Roddy Aubergine Pasta

Paccheri with Aubergine, Two Sorts of Tomatoes and Mozzarella

Rachel Roddy’s An A-Z of Pasta was a game-changer for pasta enthusiasts everywhere, offering potted histories, charming anecdotes, and exquisite recipes based on 50 of the most popular pasta shapes. This recipe for paccheri with aubergine, tomato, and mozzarella was a particular favourite with The Happy Foodie’s followers.

Bombay Patty Burgers

Nadiya Hussain’s Bombay Patty Burgers

One of the most exciting cookbooks of the year, Fast Flavours was full of typically creative and unusual recipes from flavour queen Nadiya Hussain. These vegetarian burgers, made with Bombay mix and spice-coated nuts, became an instant classic after featuring on the accompanying BBC2 series.

Jamie Oliver Fragrant Squash Curry | Vegan Midweek Meal

Jamie Oliver’s Fragrant Squash Curry with Chickpeas, Ginger, Spices and Coconut Milk

From Jamie Oliver’s latest book, Together, this easy curry makes a warming weeknight meal. It’s packed with butternut squash, nutritious chickpeas, and mild spices, and it just so happens to be completely vegan.

Courgette Fritters

Courgette, Cumin and Lime Fritters

Kathy Slack’s monthly veg patch-focussed column kept us inspired throughout the year, with tips on what to plant, harvest, and cook each month. This recipe for crispy, tangy courgette, cumin, and lime fritters was one of her most popular.

Ainsley Harriott Sweet Potato Spinach & Peanut Stew | Vegan Midweek Meal

Ainsley Harriott’s Sweet Potato, Spinach and Peanut Stew

Ainsley Harriott returned to our screens once more this year, with an ITV series to accompany his latest book Good Mood Food. Focussing on comfort dishes, nostalgic recipes, and food that lifts the spirits, Good Mood Food was just the cookbook we needed in 2021. This hearty vegan stew, flavoured with peanut butter and Scotch bonnet, is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

ZFC Fried Chicken

ZFC (Zuu Fried Chicken)

by Big Zuu

Not content with offering just one recipe for fried chicken, Big Zuu gave us three: Doritos Fried Chicken, Golden Nuggets, and the West African-inspired Maggi Fried Chicken, all of which were big hits with our readers.

Blueberry Lime Loaf Cake | Easy Baking

Blueberry Lime Loaf Cake

by Jane Dunn

No collection of 2021’s best recipes would be complete without at least one entry from the sensational Jane’s Patisserie. The fastest-selling baking book of all time, it was packed with gorgeous, customisable bakes, including this wildly popular blueberry and lime loaf cake.

Dan Dan Noodle Soup with Lamb

Dan Dan Noodle Soup with Lamb

by Damian King Lee

Now with a firm place in our midweek meal rotation, this super-quick dan dan noodle recipe from The Noodle Cookbook delivers a flavoursome punch, thanks to a combination of Sichuan chilli bean paste and crunchy peanut butter.

Za'atar Salmon and Tahini

The Ottolenghi Test Kitchen’s Za’atar Salmon and Tahini

by The Ottolenghi Test Kitchen Team

Another recipe for those busy weeknight evenings, this one-pot dish from the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen is a firm favourite among the Happy Foodie community. With za’atar and sumac-crusted salmon fillets cooked in a simple garlic and tahini sauce, it’s simple, healthy, and full of classic Ottolenghi flavours.

Mary Berry Stick Soy and Ginger Pork Fillet

Mary Berry’s Sticky Soy and Ginger Pork Fillet

This pork fillet from Mary Berry’s Love to Cook is soaked in a ginger, soy, and sweet chilli marinade until tender and bursting with flavour. Served with a sticky glaze, it makes for an easy but impressive dinner party dish.

Nadiya Mac and Cheesy

Nadiya Hussain’s Mac and Cheesy

Another unorthodox but totally addictive recipe from Nadiya Hussain, this creamy mac and cheese is topped with a mix of breadcrumbs and crushed cheese puffs.

Potato Thyme Soup

Potato, Parsley and Thyme Soup with Chorizo

by Rachel Allen

Rahcel Allen’s Soup Broth Bread inspired us all to remix our soup repertoires this year, with its beautiful collection of chunky soups, invigorating broths, and homemade scones, breads, and garnishes. This creamy potato, parsley and thyme soup, topped with crispy chorizo pieces, was especially popular.

Candice Brown Spicy Chicken Cashew Traybake Recipe

Spicy Chicken and Cashew Traybake

This all-in-one spicy chicken and cashew traybake encapsulates everything we loved about Candice Brown’s latest cookbook, Happy Cooking; super-easy, packed with flavour, and deeply comforting, this is a recipe to make over and over again.

No Bake Speculoos Cheesecake

No-Bake Speculoos Cheesecake

by Jane Dunn

This luscious, no-bake cheesecake recipe from Jane’s Patisserie couldn’t be easier to throw together, but looks very impressive when decorated with whipped cream, speculoos biscuits, and speculoos biscuit spread.

Rick Stein Cornish Briam | Easy Summer Vegetarian Supper

Rick Stein’s Cornish Briam

Rick Stein’s Cornish twist on briam, a classic Greek dish of roasted vegetables, makes for a flavoursome vegetarian supper. Rick’s addition of tangy feta and chilli takes this dish to the next level.

Jamie Oliver Tangerine Cake

Jamie Oliver’s Tangerine Dream Cake

A fruity bake from Jamie Oliver’s Together, this tangerine cake is made with a mix of flour and ground almonds for a moist and nutty texture. Drizzled with zesty tangerine icing, this is just the thing to eat with your mid-morning cup of tea.


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