Our 21 best recipes of 2021 is a collection of the most popular new recipes of 2021 that you searched for, visited, read, and told us that you loved to cook this year. This compilation of our best recipes of 2021 does not include recipes published in previous years. We’ll share those all-time popular recipes in another post.
It’s that time of the year when we reflect upon the year that’s coming to an end and look at our stats to see how you, our readers, spent their time on Grantourismo, what you searched for, what you read, and what you cooked.
In this post we’re sharing our 21 best recipes of 2021 compiled from our new recipes published in 2021. We’ll share a separate collection of our 21 best breakfast eggs recipes for 2021 from our Weekend Eggs recipe series, along with a list of older recipes you used in 2021, which have become our all-time popular recipes, first published in 2010 when we first launched Grantourismo.
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Now let me tell you about our 21 best recipes of 2021.
Best Recipes of 2021 – Our Best 21 New Recipes for 2021 That You Loved to Cook This Year
Authentic Russian Beef Stroganoff Recipe for a Retro Classic from a Saint Petersburg Palace Kitchen
One of my Russian family recipes, this authentic Russian beef Stroganoff recipe makes the deliciously rich and creamy braised beef and mushroom dish cooked centuries ago in the grand kitchen of St Petersburg’s glorious pink Stroganov Palace and it’s one of our 21 best recipes of 2021. Better known as a retro classic of the Seventies, beef Stroganoff is a dish from my childhood growing up in a Russian-Australian household in Sydney in the 1970s when my mum used to make this fashionable dish. Yet beef Stroganoff is an aristocratic Russian dish with peasant roots (there were mushrooms and beef stews centuries before this Russian beef Stroganoff recipe was said to have been invented), refined in the Stroganov dynasty’s St Petersburg palace kitchen by a French chef, which would go on to travel the world with Russian émigrés and World War II refugees like my grandparents, becoming popular everywhere from China and Hong Kong to Australia and the Americas.
Russian French Toast Recipe for Grenki Just Like My Russian Grandmother Made
This Russian French toast recipe makes grenki (Гренки) just like my Russian grandmother and mother made and it’s one of our 21 best recipes of 2021. The Russian take on French toast, grenki is easy to make, with just a handful of ingredients. Eaten for breakfast, brunch or dessert, you can serve grenki sweet, with sugar, honey, golden or maple syrup, sour cream, fruit jam or berries – or savoury with sausages, bacon and tomatoes or smoked salmon. Just don’t forget the dill! This is a very traditional French toast recipe that was aimed at those of you who were keen to recreate the Russian breakfasts or Ukrainian breakfasts of their childhoods, rather than those looking for trending French toast recipes such as a croissant French toast bake, brioche French toast, panettone French toast, or coconut-almond French toast casserole, all of which trended in early 2021 apparently.
Half Boiled Eggs Recipe for Classic Kopitiam Eggs to Go With Your Kaya Toast
This half-boiled eggs recipe makes the classic kopitiam eggs tailor-made for having with kaya toast in a Singaporean or Malaysian coffee shop and it’s one of our 21 best recipes of 2021. The just-set, still runny yolks and milky whites are perfect for dipping toast ‘soldiers’ into. The secret is getting perfectly soft eggs every time. Terence’s technique is flawless for achieving the perfect soft boiled eggs every time. This half-boiled eggs recipe for classic Singaporean and Malaysian kopitiam (coffee shop) eggs, like many of our Weekend Eggs recipes in 2021 were coming from a place of missing our former life as travel writers and the opportunities it gave us to experience local rituals, particularly of the culinary kind. We were especially missing the experience of lingering over a long, slow, weekend breakfast or brunch at a local cafe or coffee shop and whatever that entailed wherever we were in the world, and this half-boiled eggs recipe was a result of us craving the quintessential kopitiam breakfast in Singapore and Malaysia.
Authentic Nom Banh Chok Recipe for Cambodia’s Beloved Khmer Noodles
This authentic nom banh chok recipe for Cambodia’s beloved Khmer noodles makes nom banh chok samlor proher, a popular breakfast dish of freshly-made rice noodles doused in a yellow-green coconut-based fish gravy that at its best is richer and creamier than the more watery iterations of this dish. It’s garnished with fragrant herbs, seasonal vegetables, edible flowers, and wild herbs, and it’s one of our 21 best recipes of 2021. Nom banh chok refers to both the fresh ever-so-lightly-fermented rice noodles that are still made daily by hand by artisanal noodle makers all the country, just as they’ve always been made, as well as the delicious breakfast noodle dish. Cambodia’s most beloved dish, Cambodia’s most quintessential dish, and Cambodia’s national dish for so many Cambodians – indicative by the fact that locals translate the dish to foreigners as ‘Khmer noodles’ – nom banh chok has long been ‘Cambodia in a bowl’ for me and is perhaps my most favourite Cambodian food and one of my favourite Southeast Asian noodle dishes.
This Classic Russian Garden Salad Goes on the Table for Every Russian Meal
This classic Russian garden salad recipe makes the Russian take on the simple tossed green salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and onion, and it’s one of our 21 best recipes of 2021. The addition of fresh dill and pink radishes add fragrance and crunch. My baboushka served this salad with every family meal when I was growing up in western Sydney in the Seventies. What made the salad exceptional was the fact that most of the ingredients were just picked from papa’s backyard vegetable garden. Baba and papa had a market garden when they were younger, and papa would later grew vegetables in their backyard at Blacktown – and also had chickens, made pickles and distilled vodka. Papa’s tomatoes were the sweetest I’ve tasted, his radishes the zestiest, and his cucumbers the crunchiest. As simple as the salad sounds, it was the perfect companion to heavier dishes she served, such as Russian cabbage rolls, borscht, beetroot and potato salad, and vareniki and pelmeni (Russian dumplings).
This Russian Borscht Recipe Makes the Hearty Home-Cooked Soup of my Childhood
This traditional Russian borscht recipe makes the hearty home-cooked soup of my childhood that my Russian grandmother used to make, and it’s another one of our 21 best recipes of 2021. The Russian-Ukrainian beetroot-driven vegetable soup is served with sour cream and dill and is a filling meal in itself. We’d eat it for lunch or dinner the first day then breakfast the next. My Russian borscht recipe makes a comforting vegetable soup that I like to think of as Russia’s soup for the soul. Borscht has a special place in the hearts, minds and stomachs of anyone of Russian heritage, or Ukrainian heritage, who grew up dunking weighty slices of black rye bread into their baboushka’s nourishing broth. While you could cook this Russian borscht recipe in an hour and have a delicious borscht to slurp, leave it to simmer longer and it will taste even better. Re-heated the next day it’s even more heavenly.
Chicken Kiev Recipe for a Retro Russian Classic Cooked For Russia’s Tsars
This chicken Kiev recipe makes the retro Russian classic that was once cooked for Russia’s tsars, democratised during the Soviet Union, and popularised outside the USSR in the 1970s, and it’s easily another one of our 21 best recipes of 2021. An iconic Russian dish of chicken breasts stuffed with parsley butter, coated in egg and bread crumbs and fried, it was another dish on my baboushka’s table for family meals. Our chicken Kiev recipe makes a succulent and crunchy version of the crumbed chicken fillets stuffed with parsley butter that became an iconic dish of the Seventies in the West – along with the likes of beef Stroganoff and borscht – before becoming a retro classic in recent years. We brine the chicken breasts, which results in an incredibly moist aromatic chicken cutlet, and use panko crumbs to coat the breaded chicken, which will give the breasts a crunchier texture.
Easy Russian Cabbage Soup Recipe for Shchi, The Most Russian of Soups – And Vegan!
My easy Russian cabbage soup recipe will make you an aromatic pot of shchi (Щи), perhaps the most Russian of soups, and it’s another one of our 21 best recipes of 2021. While you might have thought that borscht was the quintessential Russian soup, the beetroot-based meat and vegetable broth is one of the most popular and best-known Russian soups, but its origin in much-contested and claimed by the Ukrainians. Shchi is resolutely Russian and so beloved by Russians that the Moscow Times called it a “national treasure”. Shchi is an old Russian dish dating to the 9th century, when cabbage arrived in ‘the Land of the Rus’ from Byzantium. Eaten ever since by Russian peasants and nobles alike, a bowl of shchi typically included meat when cooked for the rich, while the poor made a simple vegetarian broth (shchi vegetarianskiye). To make this a vegan dish, you only need to skip the sour cream.
Best Gazpacho Recipe for an Authentic Andalusian Style Gazpacho from Southern Spain
This is the best gazpacho recipe for an authentic Andalusian style gazpacho from southern Spain of the kind that you’ll find in cities such as Seville, and it’s another one of our 21 best recipes of 2021. This recipe results in a vibrant orange gazpacho that tastes like a garden salad in the form of a cold summer soup. And this chilled soup tastes even better the next day! The best recipes are often the most traditional recipes and our gazpacho recipe from the south of Spain is no exception. We obviously understand why cookbook writers, chefs and home cooks love to experiment, transform and tweak recipes – we love to get creative with dishes ourselves – however, I’ve seen a dizzying array of ingredients being added to traditional gazpacho recipes that really didn’t need adjusting in the first place, particularly centuries-old gazpacho recipes that have stood the test of time.
Eggs in Purgatory Recipe from Southern Italy – The Calabrian Rendition of Eggs with Spicy Nduja
This Eggs in Purgatory recipe for Uova al Purgatorio in Italian makes the Calabrian rendition of this Southern Italian specialty, and it’s another one of our 21 best recipes of 2021. A centuries-old dish of eggs poached in a rich tomato sauce, it originated in Naples. The secret to this spicy iteration of that family favourite is ’nduja, the spreadable, spicy sausage from Calabria. Our recipe for the Calabrian rendition of the old Southern Italian favourite called eggs in purgatory or uova al purgatorio makes a fantastic version this dish of soft poached eggs in a rich tomato sauce with ’nduja, the spicy spreadable sausage from Spilinga in Italy’s southernmost province. In Calabria it’s also known as uova fra diavolo (eggs between the devil) and uova ca ’nduja (eggs with spicy Calabrian sausage).
Russian Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe with Chicken Meatballs for a Comforting Old-Fashioned Soup
This Russian chicken noodle soup recipe with chicken meatballs is my take on a comforting old-fashioned soup that my Russian grandmother used to make on chilly winter days and cold nights – with a few tweaks. It’s another one of our 21 best recipes of 2021. Super easy to make, it comes together quickly, and is perfect for easy weeknight meals or weekend lunches in the lead-up to Christmas. It’s a comforting soup, as only chicken soups made from scratch can be. It can be made in just 30 minutes or so as the juicy chicken meatballs cook in the soup and there’s no stock to make, the flavour coming from the meatballs and subtle use of spice. It’s also a fantastic soup for leftovers, refrigerating well, and tasting even better the next day.
Russian Mimosa Salad Recipe for the Soviet Union’s Festive Layered Spring Salad
This Russian mimosa salad recipe makes a layered salad from the Soviet Union or USSR that was typically served for festive spring holidays such as Easter. The original Soviet-era salad was layered in a glass bowl or served as a kitschy salad cake. I prefer to present fun DIY salads in individual glasses with bowls, spoons and condiments. My Russian mimosa salad recipe is presented a little differently to the layered salad recipe you might recall your parents or grandparents serving in a big glass bowl – almost like a savoury trifle – or as a kitschy salad cake in the 1970s. Like Russia’s beef Stroganoff and chicken Kiev, the mimosa salad was another Russian dish that travelled the world at a time when most Russians couldn’t leave the Soviet Union, became tremendously popular outside the USSR, especially in the Seventies, and has since been revived as retro-cool classics. It’s another one of our 21 best recipes of 2021.
Egg Foo Young Recipe for the Original Cantonese Style Crispy Omelette Fu Yong Dan
Our egg foo young recipe will make you the wonderful Cantonese crispy filled omelette from Southern China that originated in Southern China in the 18th century during the Ching Dynasty. Traditionally filled with char sui pork, spring onions and bean sprouts, it’s called fu yong dan or fuyong dan in Cantonese, and in English egg foo yung or egg fu yung, and a handful of other variations on both of those spellings. This recipe It does not make the make the Chinese-American egg foo young which is a popular Chinese restaurant takeout dish of crispy pancake-like omelettes drizzled in gravy. We’ve found that this egg foo young recipe is one that needs practicing so that you know when there is enough structure to the final egg mixture to fold or slice the eggs to finish cooking. Don’t worry, though, even if you overcook the bottom of the dish, it’s still incredibly delicious, and it’s another one of our 21 best recipes of 2021.
Cambodian Mee Katang Recipe for Quick and Easy Cantonese Style Noodles
This Cambodian mee katang recipe makes a delicious Chinese-Cambodian dish of wok-fried wide rice noodles, browned by dark soy sauce, and stir-fried with marinated pork, crunchy carrots and Chinese broccoli, and scrambled eggs, and it’s another one of our 21 best recipes of 2021. Called ‘mee Kontang’ in Khmer, which means Cantonese noodles, but pronounced ‘mee Ka-tang’, these charred noodles are a cinch to make and super versatile. While not as ubiquitous in Cambodia as noodle soup dishes such as nom banh chok, above, and kuy teav, nor as popular as wok-fried noodles such as lort cha, mee Kola, chha kuy teav (stir-fried rice noodles), or mee Siem (crispy deep-fried noodles with pork and fermented soy bean), you will still spot mee Katang at street food carts and on restaurant menus. A descendant of the Cantonese dish chow fun, mee Katang is made with the same fresh, flat, wide rice noodles called hor fun, which are stir-fried in light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and oyster sauce to give the noodles colour as much as flavour.
Best Breakfast Burrito Recipe with Scrambled Eggs, Shredded Chicken, Cheese and Pico de Gallo
Our best breakfast burrito recipe makes a toasted burrito filled with creamy scrambled eggs, shredded chicken, gooey melted cheese, charred sweet corn, and zingy pico de gallo, and it’s another one of our 21 best recipes of 2021. While that might seem like a loaded breakfast burrito, it’s actually a light healthy breakfast burrito compared to most takeout breakfast burritos, which is why you need to make your own breakfast burritos at home. This is a simple recipe, as long as you know how to scramble eggs, however, one of the hardest things to get right with this recipe is the cooking of the chicken. Chicken breasts are easily overcooked, so it’s best to use a meat thermometer that we covered in our post on the best meat thermometers to check on the chicken as it slowly cooks. You can use a store-bought salsa or our homemade salsa, but we prefer pico de gallo because it’s fresher tasting and less of a sauce so your burrito will not get soggy. Serve with hot sauces, such as Tapatio and Cholula.
Homemade Mexican Pickled Jalapenos Recipe for Quick and Easy Refrigerator Pickles
This homemade pickled jalapenos recipe makes quick and easy refrigerator pickles that are fantastic served as a side or topped on Mexican dishes such as tacos and enchiladas and Tex-Mex favourites such as nachos and burritos. It’s another one of our 21 best recipes of 2021. Also called quick pickles, they take ten minutes to make and are far more affordable and more delicious than a jar of store-bought jalapeños. You’re going to love this homemade pickled jalapeños recipe if you made and enjoyed our Mexican quick pickled onions recipe for cebollas curtidas or cebollas en escabeche or our quick pickled red cabbage recipe for col roja en escabeche, col lombarda en escabeche or col morada en escabeche. You can use these homemade pickled jalapeños in exactly the same way you would use the pickled onions and pickled cabbage and serve them sprinkled on top of any number of Mexican breakfast dishes, on tacos, tortillas, nachos, and chilli con carne, served as sides to tostadas, or lay them on the fillings of enchiladas and burritos. You can also use them in burgers and sandwiches.
Turkish Scrambled Eggs Recipe for Menemen for a Traditional Turkish Breakfast Spread
This Turkish scrambled eggs recipe makes menemen, a highlight of traditional Turkish breakfast spreads from Istanbul to Izmir, and it’s easily another one of our 21 best recipes of 2021. We always looked forward to breakfast on our travels in Turkey and the traditional Turkish breakfast spread that was so generous that it could take hours to get through it. There are few breakfasts more enjoyable than a breakfast that invites you to slow down and linger for a while. It’s a wonderful way to start a day. The traditional Turkish breakfast spread would typically include baskets of Turkish breads, pots of various jams and honeys, dishes of olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, labneh, and white cheese, perhaps a board of local charcuterie and hard cheeses, and eggs. While the eggs could consist simply of boiled eggs or perhaps a simple omelette or fried eggs, at the heart of the very best and most generous of traditional Turkish breakfast spreads was a pan of menemen, eggs scrambled in a rich, spicy tomato and onion sauce in a pan, garnished with fresh parsley. White cheese, green peppers and sucuk sausage can be added. The addition of onion is much debated.
Russian Devilled Eggs Recipe for a Zakuski Table Fit for a Russian Tzar
My Russian devilled eggs recipe makes very moreish Russian stuffed eggs with a creamy filling of the yolks of hard-boiled eggs mashed with mayonnaise, mustard, paprika, dill pickles, purple shallots, and perfumed dill, and it’s easily another one of our 21 best recipes of 2021. A feature on the zakuski buffets before the elaborate banquets of Russian emperors, the eggs were popularised during the Soviet period. This Russian devilled eggs recipe will make you another Russian retro-classic which, like chicken Kiev and beef Stroganoff, spread like wildfire around the world, featuring on formica trays of hors d’oeuvres at every swinging soirée from Sydney to San Francisco in the 1960s and Seventies. My groovy mum in her maxi-skirt and pig-tails offered Russian devilled eggs as finger food before weekend barbecues and dinner parties. Baboushka preferred to serve whole boiled eggs alongside a jar of Russian caviar, which wasn’t considered the luxury then that it is now. Devilled eggs make a fantastic starter for the festive season.
Mango Sago Recipe for an Easy Healthy Creamy Mango Sago Pudding
Our mango sago recipe makes an easy, healthy, creamy Southeast Asian mango sago pudding that’s made without cream – no coconut cream, no dairy cream, no condensed milk, nada. It’s another one of our 21 best recipes of 2021. The secret to the creaminess is frozen mangos, just like with our mango smoothie – which also makes this mango sago pudding healthier than most. This is the best mango sago recipe for you if you love a mango sago pudding or mango sago cups but you don’t love the half cup of sugar or cups of coconut cream and condensed milk that go into this delicious Southeast Asian dessert. You’ll find variations of mango sago desserts right across the region, here in Cambodia, as well as other countries in Southeast Asia. I’ve noticed that some recipes attribute the origin of mango sago to a Hong Kong chain called Honeymoon Dessert, which appears to specialise in Southeast Asian desserts, however, I guarantee you that mango sago was being made and eaten here in Southeast Asia long before the Chinese business was founded in 1995!
Cape Malay Chicken Curry Recipe for a Richly Spiced Curry from Cape Town, South Africa
This Cape Malay chicken curry recipe makes a richly spiced tomato-based curry from Cape Town, South Africa, and it’s another one of our 21 best recipes of 2021. Eaten with aromatic Cape Malay yellow rice, buttery roti, and simple tomato, onion and cucumber sambals, it’s an incredibly delicious curry that you’ll be sorry to finish. Our advice: make double the amount, as it tastes even better as leftovers the next day. This wonderful Cape Malay curry is inspired by the aromatic chicken curry we learnt to make in a Cape Malay cooking class (which easily goes down as one of the world’s best cooking classes for us) in colourful Bo-Kaap, the heart of Cape Malay culture in Cape Town over a decade ago. Gently spiced, this Cape Malay chicken curry is a cousin of the classic Cape Town lamb stew called tomato bredie. They’re dishes that locals here in Southeast Asia would describe as ‘same same but different’, sharing a lot of similar spices.
Classic Avocado Toast Recipe with Poached Eggs for an Australian Café Style Breakfast at Home
This classic Australian mashed avocado toast recipe with poached eggs makes you one of Australia’s most quintessential Aussie café breakfast dishes at home, ‘smashed avo on toast’, and it’s another one of our 21 best recipes of 2021. Just add a side of generously buttered sourdough toast, a jar of Vegemite, a tumbler of freshly squeezed orange juice (‘OJ’), and good coffee. There has to be really good coffee. This is the perfect breakfast. Like my Italian-Australian avocado pasta recipe, this classic avocado toast recipe with poached eggs comes not from any perceived need for yet another avocado toast recipe, but rather from my own nostalgia and a longing for things I miss from home – such as overpriced Australian café breakfasts. Just kidding. Definitely not looking forward to paying Australian café prices again!
Please do let us know in the comments below if you make any of our 21 best recipes of 2021 as we’d love to know how they turn out for you.