Announcing the 2021 Recipe of the Year Finalists
Here at Taste of Home, 2021 has been a year full of great recipes. Check out the finalists in our Recipe of the Year contest!
This year, our Test Kitchen pros tested hundreds of recipes submitted by our readers. While our team discovered a lot of new delicious dishes, 10 recipes really stood out. They range from decadent sips to comforting breakfasts to innovative twists on classics.
Our editors say: Croque-madame is so quintessentially French, we rarely see anyone adjusting the ingredients. This one adds spicy notes by merging it with the flavors of chiles rellenos. Slivered green chiles, pepper jack cheese and chipotle mayo add a touch of the Southwest.
Recipe submitted by: Lauren Wyler, Dripping Springs, Texas
Our editors say: This recipe ticks off a number of our weeknight meal needs. It’s incredibly delicious. From start to finish, this one-pan recipe comes together in about 30 minutes and requires minimal cleanup. And we’d be proud to serve it to company.
Recipe submitted by: Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas
Our editors say: This hearty, homey monkey bread is perfect for the holidays or any Sunday morning. We’re impressed that it uses a slow cooker instead of an oven. Toss pre-made buttermilk biscuit dough with brown sugar, cinnamon and allspice before bathing it in butter and apple juice, then cook low-and-slow. That’s it!
Recipe submitted by: Lisa Leaper, Worthington, Ohio
Our editors say: Put an exotic touch on your next dinner with these slow-cooked chicken thighs. We’ll let you in on the secret ingredient: This recipe uses vanilla! It’s a flavor we usually associate with sweet desserts and baked goods, but it adds such a wonderful depth to savory foods. Most people won’t be able to name the flavor, but they’ll notice something different and delicious.
Recipe submitted by: Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois
Our editors say: This drink transported us to a Parisian cafe, where you’ll find sipping chocolate on the menu. Made with heavy cream, rich dark chocolate, a touch of espresso powder and topped with fresh whipped cream, it will certainly warm you up on the coldest days.
Recipe submitted by: Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
Our editors say: These sliders pack all the flavors from our favorite fast-food burger into just a few bites. They’re perfect for game-day parties, church potlucks and family dinners in front of the TV, and they come together quickly with little mess. Don’t forget the fries!
Recipe submitted by: April Lee Wiencek, Chicago, Illinois
Our editors say: We love this unique use of avocados. Coat sliced avocados in a spicy cornmeal mix, then cook them in an air fryer till they reach golden perfection. Topped with homemade slaw and your favorite taco toppings, these tacos make avocados the star of the show.
Recipe submitted by: Julie Peterson, Crofton, Maryland
Our editors say: A rich, dense and gooey middle is the hallmark of this iconic St. Louis dessert. Many versions use cake mix for the bottom layer, but we like that this one is made from scratch—and it’s just as easy! Our favorite part: the sinfully delicious cream-cheese layer.
Recipe submitted by: Cheri Foster, Vail, Arizona
Our editors say: Featured on the cover of our April/May issue, this layered cheesecake proves the technique is much easier than you might think. Divide a single batter into three flavors to create lemon, lime and orange layers, then bake each layer before adding the next. Finish it off with sweetened sour cream and fresh citrus slices for a truly gorgeous dessert.
Recipe submitted by: Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
Our editors say: Grits are so iconic to southern cuisine, but by themselves they’re pretty bland. This recipe is a flavor-packed meal in one dish, pairing grits with smoky bacon, eggs and lots of cheese. The avocados add a rich, creamy and unexpected topping. We love that you can make this casserole ahead of time and refrigerate it until you’re ready to pop it in the oven.
Recipe submitted by: Rebecca Yankovich, Springfield, Virginia