As the year draws to a close, we look back at our most popular recipes from 2019: The top 25 new recipes our readers ate up and loved most. From Spaghetti Puttanesca straight from its birthplace of Naples, where they leave a familiar ingredient out, to Thai Grilled Pork Skewers wherein we freeze the meat before slicing it thin, these recipes aren’t just delicious. They bring together lessons we learned this year that have changed the way we cook—and that we hope do the same for you.
This oven-friendly version of a dish typically deep-fried by street vendors in Cairo churns out eggplant that is tender and lightly charred, but not falling apart.
Plenty of cuisines transform garlic into pungent, creamy condiments—think agliata, skordalia, or aioli—yet none is quite so simple, nor so ethereally light, as Lebanon’s toum (pronounced toom). Use it on everything.
This dessert is the creation of Briana Holt of Tandem Coffee + Bakery in Portland, Maine. The nutty flavor and flaky, yet sturdy texture of the whole-wheat pastry perfectly complement the browned butteriness and silkiness of the custard filling.
Mexican molletes are not unlike Italian bruschetti, but the bread is topped with refried beans and cheese, then toasted until the cheese is melted and browned. They make a great breakfast, light lunch or midday snack.
In this grown-up Fluffernutter inspired by tartlets from Parisian boulangerie Le Petit Grain, a buttery, cookie-like pastry is filled with an airy peanut butter meringue and topped with caramel-coated roasted peanuts.
This iconic Oaxacan street food is an oversized corn tortilla topped with black beans, cheese, meats and a spate of other ingredients, then toasted on a grill. Delicious.
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We think of puttanesca as a long-simmered dish built on anchovies. But in Naples, where the dish originates, it's a simple, bold skillet sauce made in minutes. And instead of anchovies, Neapolitans add briny-savory flavor with two varieties of olives plus capers.
Meatballs from Belgium are generously sized and savory-sweet thanks to a sauce made with sirop de Liège, a dark, thick, spreadable fruit juice concentrate. Pro tip: Don't use tongs to flip the meatballs during browning or to remove the partially cooked meatballs from the skillet. They're soft and delicate until fully cooked, so it's best to use a spoon or two to maneuver them.
This quick sauté of chicken cutlets with an Asian-inflected pan sauce was inspired by a recipe in “Searing Inspiration” by Susan Volland. Garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes season a sherry-based sauce, while butter stirred in at the end rounds out the flavors.
Here, a fragrant seasoning paste infuses chicken parts with deep savoriness, while a high-temperature roast results in flavorful browning. Deep slashes cut into the chicken ensure that the paste seasons the meat throughout and helps speed the cooking.
These deeply savory burgers, inspired by a recipe by Ignacio Mattos, chef of Estela in New York, use umami-rich Worcestershire sauce mixed with rosemary and garlic to create a rich baste. These seasonings, combined with a simple taleggio cheese sauce, make these burgers richer, more elegant and far more flavorful than your average cheeseburger.
Our version of this Thai classic uses mostly pantry staples and can be on the table in about 30 minutes. The chicken marinates for 15 minutes before cooking—use this time to prep the bell pepper and scallions.
For our rendition of this French bistro classic, we lightened things up by swapping whole-milk yogurt for the usual heavy cream or crème fraîche. And to give the sauce texture and layers of mustardy flavor, we use both whole-grain and Dijon mustard.
In our version of green mole, typically made with pork, we opted for faster cooking but equally tasty chicken thighs, and we sought out supermarket substitutes for hard-to-find ingredients for a dish that comes together quickly and easily.
In this humble and hearty Provençale soupe, pistou—a coarse puree of basil, garlic, cheese and olive oil similar to Italian pesto—is used as a finishing touch to impart heady herbal notes and bold garlickiness.
Our inspiration for this hearty braise was the chive and white bean braise from “Cooking in Iran” by Najmieh Batmanglij, simplified by swapping canned white beans for dried and substituting easy-to-find ingredients for more traditional ones (such fresh lime zest for dried Persian limes).
Southern Italy’s grilled lemon chicken is as easy as it is flavorful. Grilling lemons briefly before juicing them brings out their natural sweetness, and squeezing the juice on the end imparts a bright finish.
This lively springtime pasta dish, inspired by a recipe from “River Cafe London,” the most recent cookbook from Britain's landmark restaurant, is both comforting and fresh. It's perfectly seasonal.
These broiled chicken skewers are finished with the juice of charred lemon halves that have been drizzled with honey, along with a sprinkle of fresh herbs—simple, bold and fast.
The dough here is a breeze to make in a food processor and can used for pizzas with various toppings or Middle Eastern–style flatbreads, like these ones with za’atar. Greek yogurt makes a supple dough that's easy to work with and that bakes up with a chewy-soft crumb and subtle richness.
In our version of this classic pasta dish, we add broccoli rabe in two stages to impart textural interest, as some pieces will be fully tender and almost saucy, white others retain a bit of bite.
The name says it all, but the description makes it non-negotiable: Here, a light, fluffy vanilla cake meets a buttery coconut–brown sugar topping that’s spread onto the still-warm cake and caramelized under the broiler.
For these skewers, inspired by the popular Thai street food moo ping, we freeze the meat before slicing, which makes it easier to get thin, even pieces. Then coconut milk keeps the thin slices moist and tender on the grill.
This one-pot pasta dish is our simplified take on a recipe from “Rich Table” by Evan and Sarah Rich. The sauce requires no cooking and the only knife work is chopping the mint. But the full, fresh flavors belie the ultra-easy preparation.
Inspired by a recipe in “Tartine,” by Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson, this savory bread pudding is crispy on the outside, tender inside and fit for any number of iterations using different ingredients.
Check out last year’s most popular new recipes here.