Our Favorite Recipes From 2020

Whether cooking for comfort or putting dinner on the table, these are some of the recipes the Simply Recipes team turned to again and again throughout 2020.

Our editorial team is dispersed across the country from coast to coast. Some of us have large families and others are happily coupled and keeping it small.

Like our readers, we found ourselves in the kitchen for much of 2020. We stocked our cupboards with simple ingredients to sustain ourselves and our families. Like you, we baked Banana Bread and No-Knead Bread. We cooked our way through major holidays, birthdays, and special events.

Below are the recipes that we turned to time and again throughout 2020 to sustain ourselves and our loved ones, some new this year and some old favorites.

Whether you’re feeding an army of seven like Claudia, our community manager, or making dinner for two like Emma, our editor in chief; living in the middle of America like Summer, Cambria, Sara, and Andy; trekking across the country to Maine with toddlers like Megan, or living in the Pacific northwest trying to wrangle teens and tweens like me, Rachel—we’ve cooked from the Simply Recipes website just like you.

We’ve each sought comfort, inspiration, and sanity throughout 2020, and these are our most loved recipes. Thank you for being here and cooking with us this year.

Emma Christensen (Editor in Chief), Megan Gordon (Marketing Director), Summer Miller (Senior Editor), Cambria Bold (Senior Editor), Andy Christensen (Art Director), Rachel Knecht (Editorial Assistant), Claudia Cash (Community Manager), and Sara Bir (Comment Responder Extraordinaire).

Ham and Cheese Pasta Bake

Ham and Cheese Pasta Bake My family loves this cheesy pasta bake! It's an easy weeknight one-pot meal that uses all the pantry staples I have on hand. The variety of flavors and textures resulted in a recipe we turn to again and again. Serve with a simple salad for a hearty, satisfying meal.

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Instant Pot rice in a bowl with a spoon and the instant pot in the background

With the whole family (including a 13 year old boy!) at home for lunch and dinner, I made a lot of rice to serve regularly for dinner. I don’t think rice is hard to make on the stove top, yet I am constantly amazed at how much easier it is in the Instant Pot. Leftovers were warmed up for lunch or stir fried into fried rice. Instant Pot Risotto was also a regular at the dinner table.

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Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

Megan Gordon is a huge fan and says, “They are the PERFECT texture for a molasses cookie: soft and chewy. I wouldn't have thought to put chocolate in a gingerbread cookie, but it's just perfect! Our whole family loves these.” Check out her demo on Instagram for tips on making this recipe.

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Vegetable Lentil Soup in a bowl with a spoons.

It’s soup season, and all the more fitting that Megan’s second pick is this Vegetable Lentil Soup. She says, “The caramelized onions make this humble soup feel really special. Simple, filling, and delicious!" If substituting other lentils for the French green lentils in the recipe, then keep a close eye on the cooking time, because they may cook more quickly.

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A casserole dish with six yellow bell peppers to show how to make stuffed peppers.

Summer Miller picked this Middle East-inspired stuffed pepper dish as one of her family’s favorites. “This recipe is bursting with flavor. It’s easy to make and versatile; that checks all the boxes in my family. My kids eat the filling on its own. I've also stuffed it in zucchini and tomatoes, and it reheats beautifully for workday lunches,” she says.

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How to Make a Thai Noodle Salad

“This salad was on the rotation all summer long. I just prep all of the ingredients, then let the kids pick and choose what they want in their salad,” Summer says. “Sometimes I make the noodles; sometimes I skip them. With or without noodles, this recipe has all the crispy, crunchy textures and fresh flavors I want in a salad. The dressing is incredible too.” Need a burst of sunshine? Make this salad once, and I guarantee it will end up on your dinner rotation.

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No-Knead Pizza Dough

Emma Christensen made this recipe time and time again. She writes: “This is my go-to recipe for sheet pan pizza. The dough comes together quickly and easily, and I can make pizza in a few hours or stash the dough in the fridge for another day if plans change.” Once the dough is made, use it for Meat Lovers’ Sheet Pan Pizza, or for a change of pace, Sausage Rolls—either of which will make everyone happy.

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Easy Chicken Lo Mein

Emma also made this easy, incredibly versatile Chinese-inspired noodle dish on the regular. She says, “This is a crowd-pleaser in my house. Quick, easy, and oh so tasty (especially with extra hoisin sauce!). I often double the veggies using whatever I have in the fridge to stretch the meal into leftovers and add some extra nutritional value.”

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Basil Chicken Coconut Curry

Simply Recipes Art Director, Andy, turned to this mouthwatering curry time and again. “This is just one of those dishes that fills my soul in a way I can't explain,” he says. “I find myself ordering it when going out to eat so this is the recipe I've turned to when I make it myself at home." Use full-fat canned coconut milk for the creamiest results.

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Chicken Pad Thai Recipe

Andy also found himself whipping up this delicious noodle dish often in 2020. “This recipe came as a surprise to my wife and I,” he says. “We made it on a whim and LOVED it! It's surprisingly simple to make, and relatively quick after soaking the noodles and prepping everything. I love these recipes that are fundamentally throwing everything together in a hot wok!” It also reheats beautifully in the microwave, so don’t shy away from making more than needed for dinner.

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Cauliflower Bolognese on a plate with spaghetti and a fork.

Cambria Bold cooked this delicious vegetarian version of Bolognese sauce throughout 2020. “I love this vegetarian take on Bolognese! The mushroom, cauliflower, and lentil base offers a big dose of fiber and protein, and it's really a delicious take on the original.” As an added bonus, it takes only a fraction of the time of traditional Bolognese.

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Low carb lettuce wrap with sliced steak, mint, radish, cucumber and peanuts wrapped up on a plate. A dipping sauce is on the plate as well.

Cambria turned to this healthy lettuce wrap for a quick family favorite. “My family loves lettuce wraps, so we adore this recipe!” Rice noodles, fresh vegetables, and a bright sauce make for a memorable, easy meal that everyone will love.

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Vanilla Vanilla Cupcakes

Claudia Cash turned to these decadent cupcakes for some baking therapy in 2020. “It was love at first bite with these sensational cupcakes,” Claudia says. “Not only do they smell heavenly, have an incredible texture (not too light but not too heavy), but they have a rich vanilla flavor thanks to the use of real vanilla beans! These are truly an indulgent treat!”

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Overhead view of vegetable fried rice with turmeric with a fried egg on top and a fork in the bowl. A second bowl is to the left.

Claudia received rave reviews from her family every time she served up this fried rice. “When I'm looking for a quick recipe, I always turn to this one. I love that it's filling and hearty but not heavy. The flavor is rich and the vibrant color puts a smile on my face every time!” Give yourself a little extra time if you need to make a fresh batch of rice if leftover rice isn’t at your disposal.

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Pressure Cooker Pumpkin Cheesecake

Sara responds to most of the questions on the Simply Recipes site, and just like you, she has her favorites. “I don't make cheesecake often, but I love this recipe,” she says. “If you have a pressure cooker, making cheesecake in it is a game-changer! No messing with water baths, and the petite size means I can only gorge on cheesecake for a few days, rather than a week."

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Four gluten free Smothered Pork Chops with Gravy in a skillet with a sprig of rosemary on top set against a blue background.

Even as a mostly plant-based eater, Sara makes room for pork chops from time to time. “We rarely eat meat in my house, but when I find good pork chops at the farmers' market, I know right away that I'll make this recipe,” Sara says. “It comes together so fast, and the gravy is to die for. I'm teaching my meat-loving daughter to make this so she'll always have a terrific dinner in her back pocket as she goes through life.”

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Rachel Knecht

Rachel tests recipes for Simply Recipes, teaches a kid's cooking class, and develops the content for Baking with Rachel.

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12 Comments

No ImageOur Favorite Recipes From 2020

  1. Veenas

    Nice Blog !! A Very Yummy Wonderful Recipe !!! WOW Nice Photos to See. I’ll Definitely Try it. Thank You for Sharing that Lovely Food.

  2. Che

    The turkey soup with lemon and barley is currently my #1 favorite soup. I make the stuffed zucchini with turkey sausage pretty often. Your IP boiled eggs is the one I follow.

    Happy New Year to y’all. Looking forward to trying more recipes from this site.

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  3. Get Cooking

    Ya ya ya this is great and all, but why are you reading this? You should be cooking! Happy New Year! Simply Recipes rocks!!!

  4. The Young Chef

    Simply Recipes is so awesome! I love everything they do. I am only 12, but I love to cook, and SimplyRecipes is my go-to site. Happy New Years, everyone!!

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Vincent

    Simply Recipes are the best. Always my go-to. Happy New Year!

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