As A Food Writer, I Tried 100+ New Recipes Last Year —These Are The 19 I'd Recommend Most For 2024
I keep a wildly detailed tracker of every new recipe I cook in a calendar year. Of the more than 100 new recipes I tried last year, these were the ones I turned to repeatedly — and you should try them all in 2024.
Hello, food-loving friends! Ross here. If we haven't crossed paths before, I write about and edit lots of food-related stuff here at BuzzFeed, and as a result, I constantly find myself cooking. Somehow, we're already several weeks into 2024 — and with the dawn of each new year, I'm always excited to take a nostalgic, virtual stroll through every recipe I've cooked over the past 365 days.
Some people set reading goals every year. I, however, set a recipe goal. I'm so passionate about this feat that I record each recipe I cook in a spreadsheet and rate each of them. No recipes slip through the cracks in my household.
In 2021, I cooked around 70 new recipes. In 2022, I hit 122. For 2023, my goal was 150 — and I maxed out at 103 (😭). I am only human! More specifically, I am a human who had an obscenely busy second half of the year; up until July, I was on track to cook nearly 175 new recipes, but my cooking took a nosedive shortly afterward as my now-husband and I planned our October wedding. Believe me when I say that wedding planning crunch time isn't conducive to elaborate home cooking. Instead, it's a very effective pipeline to takeout and bizarre odds-and-ends meals.
Still, of the 103 new recipes I tried this year, a handful rocked my world. Like, they're last meal–worthy. These are the 19 recipes I loved the most in 2023 that I'm on my hands and knees begging you to try in 2024.
1. Crispy Black Bean Tacos: I made these unbelievably cost-effective tacos at least eight times last year. In a year of serious money saving ahead of my wedding, they were a lifesaver (and a very delicious one at that).
2. "Braised" Rotisserie Chicken Skillet With Garlicky Kale: "Braised" is in quotes because it's not really braised (sorry!), but this five-ingredient, one-skillet chicken dinner offers all the tender, flavorful goodness of a long braise in under 30 minutes.
Grab your favorite rotisserie chicken, cut it into quarters, and you've practically expended all the energy you'll need to make this meal. The garlicky, tomatoey kale comes together in a skillet before it's topped with the chicken pieces and broiled until the skin becomes deliciously crisp once again.
3. Halal Cart Chicken Salad: If, in addition to the recipe above, you need another reason for keeping a rotisserie chicken on hand at all times, here's this beauty of a recipe.
4. Stir-Fried Rice Cake Bolognese: Start with a classic Italian Bolognese, incorporate some genius Taiwanese-inspired ingredients, and you're left with a mouthwatering dinner that's one of the best iterations of "saucy carb" out there.
One trick from this recipe that I now employ whenever I make eggs: scrambling them through a fine-mesh sieve. It gives you the creamiest results ever, and it has become a morning go-to in my household.
6. Caesar Slaw With Crispy Chicken: This impressive, packed-with-greens dish easily wins a gold medal in the "salads that aren't boring" competition.
7. Kale Salad With Pecorino and Walnuts: Extreme statement incoming — this is the perfect salad. No notes!
Unlike most salads, it gets even better in the fridge as it sits in the light dressing; the acid continues to tenderize the hearty kale to a just-right amount — no sogginess whatsoever.
8. My (Best-Ever) Grilled Buffalo Wings: I've been tweaking this recipe in my Notes app for at least three years and can confirm that 2023 was the year I finally got it 100% perfect.
The tweaks over the years have been numerous. First, I tried slow-baking them in an oven and finishing them on a roaring hot grill. I tried making them only in the oven. I made many different spice rubs (featuring many other ingredients). But the version I settled on last year is undeniably unique, if I do say so myself.
9. Lazy One-Pan Vodka Chicken Parm: This TikTok-beloved recipe perfectly executes one of my longest-held, extremely controversial opinions when it comes to chicken Parm: Why go through the entire breading and frying chicken process if it gets soggy in your sauce anyway?
Another time-saving trick: Since you're not shallow-frying legit chicken cutlets, you don't have to pound them thin. I love a proper chicken cutlet (who doesn't?), but I also love a valuable shortcut that allows me to get one of my favorite dishes on the table on any ol' weeknight.
(Here's said kitten, along with a BuzzFeed cameo that just makes sense.)
10. Coconut Cabbage and Tofu With Lemongrass and Ginger: For those nights when "throw stuff in pan and bake" is all you're feeling up for, even though you want something beautiful and flavorful, turn to this one-pan meal.
A 45-minute roast in the oven turns this smattering of ingredients into a dish that's pure magic: The coconut and lemongrass sauce becomes luxuriously rich, chunks of carrot and cabbage turn velvety with bits of char here and there, and even the tofu becomes substantially hearty with a pleasant chew.
11. Roasted Cabbage Salad: If the cabbage recipe that precedes this one somehow isn't enough reason to keep a head of cabbage in your fridge at all times, maybe this one will convince you.
12. Chicken-Dill Patties With Zucchini: Bright and summery, this easy yet impressive meal is perfect for entertaining when warmer evenings eventually roll around again.
13. Thai Chicken Chop Salad: The salad is top-notch, but the dressing? This dressing is...god tier. Make a double or triple batch, y'all. You'll need it.
For a make-ahead lunch, this non-boring salad balances all the taste-good elements (crunchy toppings, ridiculously tasty dressing) with plenty of feel-good ingredients (multiple protein sources, tons of veg). I'm not kidding about the dressing, either. Make an extra-large batch. It's that good.
14. Whipped Ricotta Toast: I implore you to bookmark this stunning appetizer for a future dinner party, even if you're not the kind of person who normally throws dinner parties. It may look fancy, but it only takes a matter of minutes to put together.
15. Crispy Chicken With Lemon Orzo: This minimal-ingredient dinner deserves a spot in your regular recipe rotation, and the lemony orzo also makes an excellent side dish for just about any other main you'd want to cook instead.
16. Overnight Mac 'n' Cheese: Sorry, it simply wouldn't be *me* without at least two Ina Garten recipes in one roundup, but I'm thrilled to report that this viral recipe from her latest cookbook is the easiest, most crowd-pleasing hit ever.
One of those side dishes was Ina's overnight mac 'n' cheese, which made quite the splash when released with her recent cookbook Go-To Dinners. Cooking it for 30 adults the first time I ever made it was a risk that I frankly wouldn't otherwise recommend, but lucky for me, it ended up being everyone's favorite dish. (Ina's regular mac is a longtime family favorite, so I knew in my bones that it had to be good.)
(And if you naturally find yourself asking, "Ross, did the wedding party house of 20-plus people drunkenly eat the leftovers cold immediately after the wedding ended?" the answer would be...yes. Yes, we did, and it was actually very good.)
17. 5-Ingredient Spinach and Halloumi Salad: Whether you think of it as a starter or a light main, this salad's few ingredients come together to produce a salad that's bright, zingy, and surprising in the best way possible.
18. Caramelized Onion Dip: If you invite me to a get-together, there's a 99% chance I'm bringing this dip. I mean...if you, like me, thought store-bought French onion dip was good enough, prepare to have your taste buds explode.
19. Strawberry Spoon Cake: I leave you with the only dessert this baking-averse cook enjoys making. It's incredibly simple and impressive, which are the only two criteria I care about on the rare occasions when I attempt homemade dessert.
That's all from me this time, folks! If you try any of these recipes for yourself, drop your thoughts in the comments or reach out to me via DM. What recipes have you been loving lately? Drop 'em in the comments, and I might even give them a try myself. (Who knows, maybe they'll end up in this year's roundup!)
And in case you were curious, my new recipe goal for 2024 is 100, which is even fewer than 2023. Quality over quantity in this cooking-burnout-free zone. 😘