That makes sense in a pandemic, when so many of us have been staying home and looking for ways to find solace in the kitchen, if and when we can. So, perhaps unsurprisingly, our readers turned to what you could call the Big Four of Comfort — soup, carbs (bread! pasta! pizza!), chicken and cheese. Almost all of these dishes are well-suited to cold-weather meals, which makes the end of the year a perfect time to revisit them.
And now, let the countdown begin.
10. Mosca’s Chicken a la Grande. Recipes editor Ann Maloney turned to her hometown of New Orleans for fond memories and a great meal, and the result was this garlicky, herb-packed dinner that she calls “sublime.”
9. Italian Sausage and Kalamata Olive Cast Iron Skillet Pizza. Ann notched another winner with this deep-dish pie that you can make with store-bought or homemade dough. In fact, I tested the recipe using another one of our most popular recipes, No-Knead Olive Oil Dough (Big Batch), with fantastic results. Of course, you can use the recipe as a framework and top the pizza however you like.
8. Lemon-Butter Pasta with Parmesan. More cheese and carbs? Check and check. This six-ingredient (two are salt and pepper), pantry-friendly dinner perfectly balances zesty lemon and rich butter.
7. Dahi Toast (Grilled Yogurt Sandwiches). Here’s a crunchy, cooling and meatless meal inspired by what “Great British Bake Off” contestant and cookbook author Chetna Makan would have in her lunchbox growing up in India.
6. Wine-Braised Chicken With Mushrooms. This one-pan recipe is close to my heart — and now to many readers’ as well, based on the feedback I’ve received since it ran. I did some updating to my grandmother’s original formula, and the reward is a tender, rich braise just made for serving with good bread.
5. No-Knead English Muffins. Time is the most important ingredient in these beautifully textured English muffins that feature whole-wheat flour tempered with a bit of honey. The outstanding recipe comes from cookbook author Stella Parks.
4. Patti LaBelle’s Macaroni and Cheese. After the runaway hit that was Patti LaBelle’s Sweet Potato Pie a few years ago, it shouldn’t be a surprise the readers would be just as excited about this take on the multiple Grammy award-winning singer’s mac and cheese in all its golden glory.
3. Mexican-Style Shrimp Casserole. Make Ann’s recipe as written for a warm tray of comfort, or riff on it using what you have. It’s a pantry-friendly option: The protein, sauce and cheese are all up for interpretation.
2. Stove-Top Naan. Having the well-known Indian bread at home used to mean takeout or a trip to the freezer aisle, but no longer, now that I’ve nailed this recipe. This naan is risen with baking powder and cooked in a cast-iron skillet.
1. Greek Lentil and Spinach Soup With Lemon. Our most popular recipe of 2020 by a huge margin, this hearty but bright soup is so delicious and comforting that one nurse has eaten it every workday for 17 years. Given the numbers, we wouldn’t be surprised if some of you will, too.
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