Top 10 Recipes of 2021



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I'm Kris, trained chef, culinary nutritionist and busy mom, here to help you take the stress out of healthy eating with flexible meal planning, simplified meal prep and easy budget-friendly meals.

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It’s the final two weeks of 2021, so that means it’s that time… time to share your top 10 FAVORITE recipes of 2021! These were the recipes that you shared the most, pinned the most and enjoyed the most, from this year’s batch of recipes. So without further ado, let’s count down!

10) 5-ingredient meatballs

When it comes to getting dinner on the table, I am all about the simplicity. I firmly believe meals do not have to be complicated or have dozens of ingredients to be delicious and satisfying- and these 5-ingredient meatballs are the perfect example!

9) Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

I love a good no-fuss recipe, especially when it comes to meal prep! We rely on pre-prepped lunches all week long, especially now that our kids are a little older and eat more at dinner- leaving less leftovers! This cranberry pecan chicken salad screams fall, and with only eight ingredients (and that includes salt) and a 10-minute prep time, it’s a perfect addition to your weekly get-ready-for-the-week prep.

8) Smoky Turkey Chickpea Chili

If I had to choose a favorite fall food, it would, hands down be chili. I have a BIG love for all types of chili- meaty, meatless, classic and even a little nontraditional- like this turkey chickpea (yes, chickpea!) variety with a slightly smoky flavor profile from the fire roasted tomatoes and the smoked paprika- it might not seem like chickpeas and turkey work in chili, but they do, oh, do they- I highly encourage you to try for yourself and see!

7) Gyro-style Greek Chicken Wraps with easy tzaziki

I love the fresh flavors of this greek marinated chicken (get my favorite chicken marinades here) in the springtime- or any time of the year!

6) Honey Dijon Salmon Nicoise Salad

Nicoise salad is traditionally made with tuna or anchovies, tomatoes, olives, egg, green beans and white potatoes (typically fingerling). It originated, as the name suggests, from the Nicoise region of France as just anchovies, tomatoes and olive oil- simple and delicious. I love how satisfying the evolved version is, with ingredients that are both delicious and satiating- beyond your typical greens-and-veggies-type salad, into a full and satisfying meal.

5) Brownie Batter Balls with homemade chocolate magic shell drizzle

I’ve been making these since all the way back in my personal chef days, but I kicked it up a notch with some magic shell, this year! The best part? They’re EASY and made of ingredients you might already have at home. They make the perfect afternoon snack with a cup of coffee, or a little sweet treat. Enjoy!

4) Taco Meatloaf Muffins and Mexican-style Quinoa

If your kids are anything like mine, they love anything in mini-form! These meatloaf muffins are easy to make (they’re especially great for meal prepping ahead on busy weeks!), they taste like a beef and corn taco- all wrapped up into one cute, kid-friendly muffin-shaped package!

3) Easy Weeknight Peanut Chicken Bowls

Have some extra peanut sauce you need to use up? Look no further! Just kidding. I know you don’t have extra peanut sauce 😉 but the beauty of a 5-minute recipe is you can always make more, and you’ll definitely want to for this fresh and satisfying, hot-meets-cold peanut chicken balance bowl!

2) Easy Roasted Butternut Squash & Sage Pasta

The recipe that took Instagram by storm! This easy one-pan roasted butternut squash pasta sauce is an easy crowd-pleaser perfect for Fall!

1) Kale Caesar Salad

Oh, the beloved Kale Caesar Salad! I’m not surprised this one was #1– There is just something special about a really great caesar salad- and homemade dressing is even better, but so many people feel intimidated by caesar (and other homemade dressings, to boot!). But making dressings at home couldn’t be easier- and it’s a great way to save money, waste and take that usual caesar salad up a notch.

I especially love using homemade caesar on kale– it’s the perfect addition, as it’s robust brininess and thick texture work well massaged into the bitter greens, wilting them down just enough and complimenting the bitterness perfectly with salad and acid. Top with some homemade croutons and a sprinkle of parmesan, and you have one of our go-to sides or dinner salads (we love it with some quick-sauteed shrimp or rotisserie chicken on top for ease!). Try this one, this year!

Pop over to Instagram and tell me your favorite recipe of 2021!

See the previous years’ top ten:

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