Every year I'm shocked that I’ve made it through another winter relatively unscathed. I love cozying up at home while my Dutch oven sits on the stove, slowly cooking something that will provide warmth. But that kind of joy fades by February. So I welcome April like a long-lost friend. Sunshine! Greens!
With spring’s arrival, my farmers markets and therefore my kitchen has started to feel abundant. I am slipping asparagus into every dinner, gorging on strawberries, and craving pastas—like this one with spinach and artichokes—that skirt the line between vibrant and comforting.
And what about you? I can tell you've been doing the same in your kitchens—a fluffy cheesecake to enjoy with fresh strawberries or the quickest enchiladas so that you can spend more time outdoors. Here are the 10 recipes our readers clicked on most in April.
1. Japanese Cheesecake
Combine a lighter-than-air soufflé with rich and creamy cheesecake and what you have is Japanese cheesecake. Its totally unique texture is actually fairly easy to master thanks to this step-by-step recipe.
2. Skillet Cacio e Pepe Tortellini With Wilted Greens
You don’t have to bring a pot of water to a boil in this clever twist on cacio e pepe using store-bought tortellini. You simply pan-fry cheese tortellini then quickly steam it right in the skillet.
3. Smashed Potatoes
If you crave potatoes that are shatteringly crisp on the outside and ultra creamy on the inside (who doesn’t?), then cozy up to these smashed spuds. While all you really need to showcase them is a sprinkle of flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, they also take well to chopped fresh herbs like parsley or rosemary and grated Parmesan.
4. Steak Seasoning
This homemade steak seasoning will be a gamechanger in your kitchen. It’s just the mix of heat, spice, and salt thanks to red pepper flakes, black pepper, dried thyme, garlic powder, and more. Don’t just limit it to steak either: Try it on French fries, roasted vegetables, and salmon, too.
5. Potato Kugel
The best potato kugel should be crispy and crunchy on the outside, with a fluffy, creamy filling on the inside, like a giant potato latke. This one absolutely checks all those boxes. To make it more colorful, add a grated carrot, or replace a potato with an orange sweet potato.
6. Easy Chicken Enchilada Casserole
This freezer-friendly casserole takes all the best components of chicken enchiladas and layers them lasagna style. Though the from-scratch sauce can’t be beaten, we won’t be one bit upset if you swap it out for canned sauce for ease.
7. Vegan Alfredo Sauce
The secret to making dairy-free alfredo sauce that’s just as luxurious as the traditional version is a smart combination of raw cashews and full-fat coconut milk. The addition of lemon juice helps mask the flavor of cashews and you’re left with a decadent white sauce for your fettuccine.
8. Beef Birria
This richly flavored stew from Jalisco, Mexico can be prepared on the stove top, in a slow cooker, or in an Instant Pot, depending on your preference. Garnish bowls simply with chopped white onion, cilantro, and a big squeeze of lime juice before digging in.
9. Homemade Pizza Bagel
There are endless ways to spin this nostalgic recipe. Try sesame or poppy seed bagels instead of plain, swap the pepperoni for sautéed mushrooms and sausage, or try another shredded cheese instead of mozzarella. It’s hard to go wrong here.
10. Chopped Cheese
Chopped cheese is a popular seasoned ground beef and cheese sandwich that you’ll find across sections of New York City’s boroughs in bodegas and small shops. You don’t have to take a trip there to sample it, though. This recipe brings all the gooey comfort straight to you.