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Here Are Our Favorite Recipes From A Whole Year Of Cooking

Here's what our editors and writers loved this year.

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The BuzzFeed staff cooked a ton this year. These were our absolute favorites — and the ones we think are definitely worth making well into 2018.

1. Baked Chicken Breasts,

This recipe has become my favorite way to quickly make chicken breasts in the oven. There are only five steps, and the end result is flavorful, foolproof chicken that stays juicy even after reheating the leftovers. The key is brining the meat before baking — which might sound like an annoying extra step, but it's literally just putting chicken in a saltwater bowl for 15 minutes (aka: the time it takes for the oven to preheat), then rinsing it off. And that one step, I'm convinced, is what makes all the difference.

Also great: the simple DIY rub that you coat the chicken in. The paprika turns a deep orange-brown as it bakes, letting you avoid the tragedy of pale, sad-as-hell chicken. I'll make a batch of these on Sundays and then use 'em — in rice bowls, stuffed into pitas, or on salads — throughout the week.Melissa Harrison

Get the recipe here.

2. Gâteau au Yaourt (French Yogurt Cake)

Marie Telling / BuzzFeed

Gâteau au yaourt is a true French classic. Not a fancy pastry you buy in a bakery, but a pinnacle of French home cooking. It was a staple of my French childhood and the first cake I ever learned to make.

It's a brilliantly easy recipe that uses a 4 oz yogurt tub as a measurement unit (for instance, you'll need four tubs full of flour, one and a half of sugar, etc.). Weirdly enough, 4 oz yogurt tubs of plain European yogurt aren't that common in the US, so I stopped making that cake when I moved to New York. But when I saw a version of the recipe on Food52 with American-friendly measurements, I decided to give it a go.

The process is still ridiculously quick and easy, and the result is a soft, moist, and flavorful cake. The only thing you need to be mindful of is the type of yogurt you use: Don't use Greek yogurt, which is too thick for this recipe, but look instead for full-fat, plain European/French yogurt.

I served my cake with a compote I cooked up quickly with some strawberries that were about to go bad. It was delicious, but the cake would be good on its own too. —Marie Telling

Get the recipe here.


3. Black Pepper Tofu

Todd Coleman /

This rules. I know many people find tofu bland, but this will, in the words of His Royal Highness Guy Fieri, take you on a quick trip to Flavor Town, mostly thanks to a metric ton of butter and black pepper.

It's pretty customizable and doesn't necessarily require a trip to the store, if you have tofu and shallots and ginger and green onions and some basic pantry items around. We swapped flour for the cornstarch and jalapeños for the red chiles, only used one kind of soy sauce, and cut the butter by two thirds, and it still tasted Also: If you cook the shallots and tofu in different pans simultaneously, you cut cook time in about half.Ellen Cushing

Get the recipe here.

4. Irish Soda Bread

Megan Paolone

This Irish soda bread recipe originated with my (very Irish Catholic) Girl Scout troop when I was 6 or 7, and I've been making it every year for almost 20 years since. Man, it still holds up.

It's moist (because lots of butter) and a little tangy and crusty but not crumbly in a way a lot of other soda breads are. You can also choose your own adventure with the raisins or caraway seeds (or leave them out altogether), and it'll be just as delicious. I usually separate my dough to make two smaller loaves, but this recipe also yields a pretty great soda bread scone. Bake until golden brown. Slather in Kerry Gold Irish butter. Repeat. —Megan Paolone

Get the recipe here.

5. Zahav's Hummus Tehina

Bobbi Lin /, Marie Telling /

This year, my mother offered me the Zahav cookbook, which I had been hearing about for a while. And let me tell you: It's a stunner. All the recipes I've tried so far have been really, really good.

Zahav is a Philadelphia restaurant that specializes in Israeli food and is famous for its killer hummus. It's the first recipe I tried in the book, and it did not disappoint. The hummus was amazingly smooth and had so much flavor.

The first step is making the tahini sauce, which you can actually store in the fridge for a few days and use on its own on meats and veggies. (I did, and it was delicious.) You'll have to process whole, unpeeled garlic cloves with some lemon juice and salt. Don't freak out — you'll strain them after and the flavor will be spot-on. The mixture is then processed again with some tahini and a bit of iced water. The whole thing takes 10 minutes tops.

The other main element of the hummus recipe is obviously the chickpeas. The recipe calls for dried chickpeas that you soak overnight. The first time I made this hummus I actually used canned chickpeas, to avoid waiting 12 hours, and it was excellent. I've made it with dried chickpeas several times since and it was even better. No matter what type you use, just make sure you cook them for while, and then some more, to make them extremely mushy. I swear, this will give you the best hummus you've ever had. —Marie Telling

Get the recipe here.

6. Garlic Parmesan Zoodles

If you're new to zoodles and feeling equal parts hungry and intimidated, this is one of the easiest ~spiralized~ recipes I've ever made. Better yet: If you, like me, have a fridge in the summer that mostly consists of zucchini and cheese, then you will always be about 20 minutes away from eating this.

I was worried that I'd still be ravenous after eating a bowl of this (okay, two bowls... Fine, three). Fortunately, my husband and I loved it and were totally satisfied with it for a light dinner, especially because it meant we had some room for ice cream a few hours later. 😇 —Rachel Christensen

Get the recipe here.


7. Sesame Avocado Salad

Jesse Szewczyk / BuzzFeed

On nights when I'm simply too tired to cook, I make this salad (and by salad I mean avocados with toppings). It's one of those recipes that don't need a recipe ― which are my favorite kind. I quarter an avocado or two, dress them in a tablespoon each of sesame oil, soy sauce, and lime juice, and garnish them with sesame seeds, a dash of cayenne, and cilantro. I usually eat them by themselves, but I imagine they would be pretty darn good over rice as well. —Jesse Szewczyk

8. Curried Lentils With Coconut Milk (Dal)

Marie Telling / BuzzFeed

I've always loved lentils, but for some reason cooking them felt intimidating. This year, though, I got over my fear to make this amazing recipe from Julia Truschen's awesome cookbook (seriously, it's the best).

The process is super straightforward and easy; it takes about 35 minutes from start to finish. The result is an extremely satisfying and flavor-packed bowl of lentils that I served with some rice, fresh cilantro, and yogurt. I've made this recipe countless times this year and I've never been disappointed.Marie Telling

Get the recipe here.

9. Ina Garten’s Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli

James Ransom /

This recipe is perfect. It's cheesy and lemony and filling and fairly easy to make, though there is a bit of prep work. I keep forgetting to even take pictures of it because as soon as it's ready I just eat the entire batch. I also experimented with using purple basil for one of the batches, and while it was fine, the original version was much better. I shouldn't have questioned Ina. —Jessica Probus

Get the recipe here.

10. My Grandma's Chickpea and Cilantro Soup

Marie Telling /

This was one of my favorite meals growing up and I would constantly ask my grandmother to make it. It's a tomato-based soup with some chickpeas and pasta, served with a good dose of freshly chopped cilantro. It's the best.

My grandmother doesn't cook anymore and I live abroad so I hadn't had that soup in years but I found myself craving it last summer. I called my grandma to ask for the recipes and her instructions were hilariously vague — it didn't really come as a surprise since she has never followed a recipe in her life, always cooking on instinct and somehow always getting it right.

Here's an actual moment from our conversation:

Me: How many tomatoes do you put in this?

Her: Just enough.

Me: How much is enough?

Her: You'll know.

After many more questions, I managed to get the broad outline of a recipe and I filled in the blanks myself. The result was as delicious as I remembered it and is bound to become a staple in my home again.Marie Telling

Get the recipe here.


11. Apple Custard Tart

Jesse Szewczyk / BuzzFeed

This tart is nothing more than a classic (but delicious) apple custard tart in a pecan crust ― what makes it special is the intricate rose design made with sliced apples. This recipe arranges them them into individual roses, but I decided to make one giant one by working my way from the outside in.

The trick to making the design is to cut your apples super thin and soften them by marinating them in a mixture of melted butter, orange juice, and sugar. This will softened them just enough to fold them without breaking while maintaining their bright red color. I admit, this recipe takes a while to make (that design is truly a labor of love), but the impressive presentation is definitely worth it. —Jesse Szewczyk

Get the recipe here.

12. Rustic White Bread

Sara Kate Gillingham /

This year, I kneaded bread for the first time and it was SO EASY. I used this recipe with minor tweaks (I used bread flour instead of all purpose flour, and baked it in a Dutch oven instead of a cloche).

I've been on a bit of a bread-making kick, but up until now I've only made no-knead bread — the idea of kneading bread by hand was really intimidating! This was shockingly easy (and even more shockingly NOT MESSY), and only took 10 minutes of kneading. I could really tell a difference in the density and elasticity of the dough, and the resulting bread was hands down the best I've ever made. It had a light, consistent crumb and was much more flavorful than the no-knead loaves I've made in the past! —Cates Holderness

Get the recipe here.

13. Miso Ramen Bowls With Tofu and Bok Choy

Hannah Loewentheil / BuzzFeed

I made this recipe from a Sun Basket meal kit, but I will absolutely be bookmarking the recipe and making it over and over again.

I thought making ~fancy~ ramen (aka not just the packaged stuff) would be really difficult. But it actually required little more than chopping veggies and boiling noodles. Don't let the ingredients — dashi seasoning, gochujang sauce — intimidate you: You can buy mostly everything from any Asian grocery store. And knowing that I can make this comforting and hearty soup at home rather than ordering it in or spending $15 for a bowl at a restaurant is a total game-changer for me. You can also substitute whatever protein or veggies you want so you can constantly change up the recipe. —Hannah Loewentheil

Get the recipe here.

14. Skillet-Charred Brussels Sprouts With Garlic, Anchovy, and Chili

Marie Telling, Connie Miller of CB Creatives / Little, Brown and Company

So here's the deal: I LOVE Brussels sprouts and I LOVE anchovies. I love anchovies so much, I eat them as a snack, on their own, right out of the jar. My boyfriend thinks it's the grossest thing on earth.

But don't worry, if you don't usually like anchovies, you'll probably still like this Christopher Kimball recipe. How do I know? Because I tricked the aforementioned anchovy-hating boyfriend into eating these Brussels sprouts and he thought they were amazing. I even asked him if he could taste any ingredient he didn't like and he had absolutely no idea what I was talking about.

So why use anchovies at all then? Because they give the dish a rich, savory flavor that makes all the difference. The honey, garlic, and chili help complete this perfect dish and make it a real stunner and the perfect side to your fall meals.Marie Telling

Get the recipe here.


15. Fraunces Tavern Carrot Tea Cake

Copyright (c) 2016 by Anne Byrn, Rodale Books, Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

George Washington, our very first president*, ate this cake on British Evacuation Day in 1783, according to one of my favorite cookbooks, American Cake. That day, he rode his horse down Broadway in Manhattan to the Fraunces Tavern, where he gave 13 symbolic toasts at a huge feast. Then, he ate this cake: It's a carrot cake, but not that cream-cheese-frosting-clogged concoction we know and love today. Instead, it's a perfectly-spiced, just-sweet-enough, all-you-need-is-some-fresh-whipped-cream dream of a cake.

Its secret lies in the carrots: it uses a little less sugar than cakes today, and relies on cooked, grated carrots to add that extra sweetness. It ends up sweet, but not ~overpoweringly~ so. It's also a quick cake to prep: I had it in the oven in about 30 minutes. Because I don't have the recommended 10-inch springform, I used a 13x9 pan lined with parchment paper, which took the baking time from 45 minutes to 35 minutes. The result? Everything I could want in a dessert, topped with fresh whipped cream and a little tidbit of history.

*While he wasn't quite president yet (that happened in 1789), he was the great general who ate cake while the Brits got their butts out of the new country.Natalie Brown

Get the recipe here.

16. The Perfect Omelette

Marie Telling / Instagram: @marietelling

For some reason, omelettes have always intimidated me. I'd try to make one, would completely fail the folding, give up, scramble the whole thing, and call it a day. But not anymore!

Omelettes are now my best friends. What happened? Well, I actually took a minute, read about how to make a good omelette, and found this Bon Appétit video that just walks you through it. I then bought a good (but cheap) nonstick pan, took my time, used a good dose of butter, and followed actual instructions instead of winging it and hoping for the best.

The result is actually magical and legit the best omelette I've ever had. I usually fill it with sharp cheddar instead of the Boursin they use in the original recipe. Next step is getting more ambitious with my fillings, even though cheddar is really awesome in it. —Marie Telling

Get the recipe here.

17. Chocolate Babka

Jesse Szewczyk / Instagram: @jesseszewczyk

Over the past two years I've made countless loaves of babka and EVERY. DAMN. TIME. I have been disappointed! The loaves would come out dry, overcooked, not browned enough ― I was always underwhelmed. This year, I tried a new recipe from Bon Appétit that was the babka of my dreams.

Soft, chocolaty, browned, and shiny ― this babka was literally perfect! The recipes does take some time due to the rising and shaping of the dough, but the end result is totally worth it. I decided to skip the streusel topping and wasn't disappointed at all (the loaf was perfect all on it's own). If you love cinnamon rolls, try making a babka to take your baking to a whole new level. —Jesse Szewczyk

Get the recipe here.

18. Creamy White Chicken Enchiladas

If you've never made enchiladas before, you are missing out on a really easy go-to, crowd-pleasing type of dinner. I avoided them for a long time because I thought they sounded intimidating but they're basically as easy as assembling fajitas and pouring sauce on top.

Seriously, the most intimidating thing about this recipe is whisking the white sauce but you can totally do it! The only note I'd make is to add more peppers if you like spice—you might find it bland if you don't.

I shredded some rotisserie chicken to make things easy, and also I used regular sour cream instead of light sour cream because that's what I had on hand. They came out super rich. Not that I'm complaining! But I did have a very light breakfast and lunch the next day :) —Rachel Christensen

Get the recipe here.


19. Skillet Cinnamon Rolls

Jesse Szewczyk / BuzzFeed

I recently bought a skillet and have been making everything in it — chicken, bread, pasta, you name it! One particularly cold weekend, I decided to use it to bake cinnamon rolls.

I covered the pan in a loose piece of parchment paper, proofed the dough directly in it, and served them straight out of it (which not only looks cool but kept them nice and hot). The skillet also got really hot which made the sides of the cinnamon rolls nice and crunchy. The dough can be made the night before and baked in the morning, making this recipe the perfect lazy Sunday baking project. Skillets aren't just for cooking, and this cinnamon roll recipe turned out perfect in it. —Jesse Szewczyk

Get the recipe here.

20. Ovenly's Secretly Vegan Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

James Ransom /

It gives me no pleasure to tell you the best chocolate chip cookie I've ever made (and one of the top five I've ever had) is vegan. I mean, it's wonderful that it's vegan, because animals yay!!! But now I'm the person who is telling you (especially my butter cookie goddess of a mother-in-law) that oil is the backbone of a perfectly chewy/crispy/soft/caramel-y cookie and I know that some people will hate me for it. But that's what you get with me, folks. ~Realness~

Anyway, it's a Food52 Genius recipe adapted from a beloved bakery in Brooklyn, which is to say that it's got well-written and straightforward instructions, with precise guidelines that you should not stray from. This includes refrigerating the dough (just like BuzzFeed did in our amazing Ultimate Chocolate Chip cookies recipe!) and buying some fancy-ass sea salt that you should put on everything you eat in general.

I made these cookies to fuel my vegan brother and sister-in-law for a few days after the birth of their daughter. What I wasn't expecting: for everyone in their hospital room, even the self-proclaimed carnivores, to eat at least three cookies each. Each! —Rachel Christensen

Get the recipe here.

21. Olive Oil-Fried Eggs With Yogurt and Lemon

Jesse Szewczyk / Instagram: @jesseszewczyk

Julia Turshen's trick for cooking eggs (straight out of her cookbook Small Victories) is LEGIT a game changer. The technique solves that dreaded problem of wanting runny yolks but HATING snotty, undercooked whites.

Her trick? As you fry your eggs, add a few drops of water to the pan and immediately cover them with a lid. This will create just enough steam to set the whites while maintaining that beautiful runny yolk. Julia serves them with lemony Greek yogurt and fresh herbs for an unexpected (and delicious) breakfast, but this simple trick is perfect for a simple fried egg toast. Try it out next time you make breakfast for the perfect fried egg. —Jesse Szewczyk

Get the recipe here.

22. Jamie Oliver's Chicken in Milk

Faith Durand /

I made Jamie Oliver's Chicken in Milk (wait, keep reading — despite the name, it's really really good, I promise) after hearing rave reviews from three friends. And you guys, it sounds awful, but it is so delicious and it's super easy.

Basically you fry a whole chicken in a little olive oil in a Dutch oven or another big pot to get the skin all crispy, and then you pour in milk, lemon zest, sage, and cinnamon and toss it in the oven. The result is the moistest chicken I've ever had with an amazing creamy lemon sauce to spoon all over it.

I just roasted up a bunch of veggies in olive oil to serve with it all week long and some arugula in case I decide to turn some of it into a salad. I rarely roast a whole chicken because it's usually just me eating it, but I think this one might not make it through the week.Sarah Mimms

Get a step-by-step here and the detailed recipe here.