5 Bold and Comforting Recipes to End the Year

I’m closing out the year with bold, comforting flavors and a large sheet pan of nachos for New Year’s Eve. I hope you join me!

December Week 4 Meal Plan

This year has flown by for me. I’m kind of at a loss for words as I look in the face of a new year! I’d like to end with a culinary bang, so I’m going all out with our last meal plan of the year: Bold flavors, rich sauces, and plain old comfort food. 

Bold spices are going to excite your palate on Monday and Thursday with spice blends from North Africa and Mexican-influenced chipotle in adobo sauce. There’s plenty of low carb and gluten-free choices this week, with a juicy chicken entrée and a tender pork loin cooked in the slow cooker. Plus, I'm kicking back in my PJs on New Year’s Eve with a large sheet pan full of loaded nachos to share with my family instead of battling party crowds.    

As we close out 2021, I, along with Simply Recipes crew, wish you a very happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year. May it be filled with laughter, joy, and plenty of great recipes. 

  • Parchment Baked Fish and Vegetables with Chermoula

    Parchment Baked Fish with Chermoula sauce on a plate with a knife and fork.

    Sally Vargas

    The flavors of Parchment Baked Fish and Vegetables with Chermoula might surprise you. The unassuming herb blend packs a punch in this oven-baked dish. It's bright, smokey, and garlicky. This recipe calls for barramundi, but if you have a hard time finding it in your area, sole, trout, or even catfish will work. 

  • Chicken With Creamy Mushroom Sage Sauce

    Chicken with Mushroom Sage Sauce
    Sally Vargas

    Chicken With Creamy Mushroom Sage Sauce is a low carb, gluten-free option that’s ready to eat in 30 minutes or less. The simple cream sauce is crisp tart from the vermouth and earthy from the sage. Get help from the grocery store and pick up pre-sliced mushrooms. I add a bit more because I’m a sucker for mushrooms. Serve this with a side of quinoa and roasted asparagus for a complete meal.  

  • Enfrijoladas with Black Beans, Avocado and Cotija

    Mexican Enfrijoladas topped with avocado and cotija.
    Sally Vargas

    Enfrijoladas with Black Beans, Avocado and Cotija are like enchiladas' vegetarian cousins. Make this with canned black beans to save time. If you like a loaded version, top your enfrijoladas with guacamole, pico de gallo, or your favorite salsa. Because this dish is so filling, I often forgo any sides, but rice is a classic accompaniment.

  • Slow Cooker Pork Loin with Balsamic Honey Glaze

    Thick slices of Easy Pork Loin are shingled on a platter.
    Nick Evans

    Slow Cooker Pork Loin with Balsamic Honey Glaze celebrates my slow cooker. You see, I wouldn’t have made it through the year without it. It makes this tender, juicy pork loin recipe truly hands off. I reduce the sauce on the stove top to thicken it up after the pork loin has cooked, but you can serve it as a thinner au jus. Be sure to freeze leftovers, this makes enough for a crowd. 

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  • The Best Nachos

    How to Make Nachos at Home
    Marta Rivera

    The Best Nachos really are the best way to close out the year. They’re topped with a savory, flavorful meat and bean mixture and they're loaded with my favorite toppings and condiments: lots of grated cheese, pico de gallo, cilantro, jalapeños, sour cream, and more. I can’t think of a better way to ring in the new year than in my sweats, surrounded by my loved ones, crunching on my favorite comfort food. 

  • Weekend Baking: Eggnog Pound Cake

    Eggnog Pound Cake
    Elise Bauer

    Do you have leftover eggnog from the holidays? This Eggnog Pound Cake recipe can help you use it up in this tender and delicious pound cake. If you don't have a bundt pan, you can make this in a standard loaf pan. Just cut the recipe in half.