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The Best Recipes Eater Editors Made This Year

A no-fail focaccia, a Smitten Kitchen one-pot wonder, and a breakout from the “Tenderheart” cookbook top Eater editors’ favorite recipes of the year

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Close-up of focaccia topped with scallions.
TikToker Caroline Anderson’s focaccia recipe, which became one Eater editor’s go-to for the year.
Bettina Makalintal/Eater

AI-generated recipes that actually work aren’t coming to your kitchen anytime soon. Luckily, Eater’s team of editors, fellow humans that also need to figure out what to cook themselves for dinner most nights, have tried their hands at the thousands of recipes that exist online and in print, and have earmarked their favorites. Here now, their favorite recipes they made in 2023:

What was the best recipe you made this year?

Grateful Pizza’s focaccia: Everyone says focaccia is “sooooo easy” and “you can’t mess this one up,” and yet, I have ended up with many a mid focaccia, solidifying my mental image of myself as an irredeemably bad baker. Frustrated, I decided to try some new things this year. I switched to instant yeast instead of active dry. After watching many of Caroline Anderson’s cooking videos on TikTok, I attempted her focaccia recipe. And then, I combined the two. These days, I make focaccia about every other week, heralding each version as “my best focaccia yet.” No matter how much I mess with it — skipping the overnight rise, accidentally adding the yeast at the very beginning, switching it up with inclusions like caramelized onions or kimchi and scallions — it always turns out beautifully crispy on the bottom and fluffy on the inside. — Bettina Makalintal, senior reporter

This would have to be the sweet and sour tofu from Romy Gill’s Zaika. I make a lot of tofu, and have made a lot of good tofu recipes this year (shoutout to Hetty Lui McKinnon for her unerring genius). But this one is my favorite for a couple of reasons. One, it’s a very flavorful, very easy recipe: You just marinate tofu pieces in a simple sauce made of ketchup, honey, cornstarch, soy sauce, fresh ginger and garlic, and a few spices; saute the tofu for a few minutes; and voila. Two, I first made this in October while visiting my dear friend Louise in Scotland. We hadn’t seen each other in almost a decade, and being able to cook together was one of the high points of my year. So this recipe will always carry that memory for me as surely as it carries its bewitching flavors. — Rebecca Flint Marx, Home editor

I’m not a big cook but I do enjoy baking occasionally. The most memorable bake for me this year was the sprinkle cake I had the honor of making for a one-year-old’s birthday party, using this Molly Yeh recipe. I didn’t go through the trouble of buying imitation vanilla, but the result which I decorated with even more sprinkles was nonetheless deliciously nostalgic, the platonic ideal of homemade birthday cake. — Monica Burton, deputy editor

I made it my mission this year to cook with a lot more actual recipes, as opposed to my usual slapdash, improv, “just sizzle up whatever’s in the fridge” style. The most memorable of these was easily Smitten Kitchen’s chicken rice with buttered onions. The deceivingly simple dish is a one-pot wonder, richly oniony, hearty, and endlessly reheatable. It’s tasty enough for company but easy enough to feed the fam on a Tuesday. Deb Perelman strikes again. — Lesley Suter, special projects editor

Plates of no-mayo potato salad on a rumpled pink tablecloth.
Nasim Lahbichi’s recipe for a no-mayo potato salad.
Dina Ávila/Eater

I spent most of the summer making Nasim Lahbichi’s herby, no-mayo potato salad recipe. It was bright, punchy, lacquered in olive oil, and endlessly adaptable. Don’t have cucumbers? Add pickles. Don’t want all that dill? Swap it for mint. But definitely don’t leave out the preserved lemons, an essential ingredient. — Amy McCarthy, staff writer

As a baker-come-lately, I’ve slowly been working through BraveTart, Stella Parks’s fantastic-if-deeply-challenging cookbook of classic American desserts. In homage to one of my mom’s previous birthdays, a family-infamous event in which Hostess Cupcakes stood in for a birthday cake during a family trip, I cobbled together the homemade version of the cupcakes as best I could for her celebration in 2023. After a snafu with some curdled filling, I opted for a simpler cream cheese icing and concentrated on my swirly piping technique. My only other addition was a few birthday candles. — Nicholas Mancall-Bitel, senior editor

The Cabbage Carbonara-ish from Hetty Lui McKinnon’s Tenderheart. I’ve been cooking through this whole cookbook and every single recipe is a hit, but this one was just so perfect. It completely transforms a head of cabbage into a sweet, meaty accompaniment to pasta, and her instructions resulted in one of the few times I’ve successfully made a silky carbonara sauce. — Jaya Saxena, correspondent

Look, I’m obviously going to pick something from the Eater cookbook, which came out this year. One dish that’s been on repeat for me is actually a component of a larger recipe: Zoë Komarin’s curry-dusted roasted broccoli, beet, and orange salad. On its own, it’s a visually arresting and flavor-packed side dish. And, if you take the option of buying pre-cut florets, as I do because I have a toddler and my time in the kitchen is at a premium these days, it’s dead-easy, too. (You can find it on page 53.) Honorable mentions: Max Boonthanakit’s cheater chile crisp bolognese from the Eater cookbook (page 126), Ali Slagle’s harissa chickpeas with feta from I Dream of Dinner, this Alison Roman one-pot chicken which I made when a toddler illness kept us from joining a larger family meal and thus necessitated me planning something at the last minute. — Hillary Dixler Canavan, restaurant editor