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Round Up! Top 15 Food Trends from 2021

Updated January 05, 2022

Making it through another year of disruptions to everyday life hasn't been easy. But throughout 2021, our goal has been to share foods that comfort, nourish, and bring people together. We're more grateful than ever for our community of readers and home chefs, and so we're pleased to share our yearly round up of most-loved recipes!

We took a look back at hundreds of our most popular recipes from 2021 and identified some top food trends that characterized the year for our readers. For the most part, these recipe trends represent things our readers have always loved and come to MrFood.com to find--quick and easy recipes and simple staples like chicken, beef, and casseroles. But there were a few unique food trends specific to 2021, too! Read on to discover exactly what readers like you were clicking on and searching for in 2021, and don't forget to test out any recipes you may have missed!

Trend Alert: Casseroles!

All year you've been really excited about casseroles, and we can understand why! If you're lookin' for a hearty meal that'll taste great and warm you up in the dead of winter, our easy casserole recipes are the answer. From amazingly delicious pasta casserole recipes to quick and easy ground beef casserole recipes, these kickin' casseroles will warm you up right down to your toes. Our favorite this year was this Chicken Ranch Casserole!

Trend Alert: Cakes!

When it came to desserts in 2021, cakes were your go-to option--luckily, we have hundreds of easy cake recipes for you to choose from! From quick no-bake cakes to luscious chocolate cake recipes, our readers loved cake in all its forms, but your favorite cake this year was our Old-Fashioned Hot Milk Cake! If you haven't made this delicious cake recipe yet, you really should! Plus, here are some of our most beloved cake recipes for you to enjoy in 2022.

Trend Alert: Old-Fashioned Recipes!

In 2021, cooking came with a heaping helping of nostalgia! There was something about these good old-fashioned recipes, like this Brown Sugar Banana Cake, that really hit the spot. You just kept coming back to these recipes again and again, and we don't blame you! Here's our complete guide to making meals like you remember eating growing up, from old fashioned dinner recipes to vintage dessert recipes and everything in between.

Trend Alert: Beef!

Our next top food trend is a favorite for everyone...beef! What's not to like about this always-juicy, super-versatile staple ingredient? You definitely loved all kinds of beef this year, from brisket, to meat loaf, to easy ground beef casseroles. Here, we're treating you to our collection of super quick ground beef recipes. This collection has some of your all-time favorites, so you won't wanna miss these easy beef recipes! And if you haven't tried it yet, you should make this year's top beef recipe: Dad's Meat Loaf.

Trend Alert: Pasta!

Another one of your go-to staple ingredients this year was pasta. Our readers loved pasta in all kinds of recipes, from delicious Smoked Mac 'n' Cheese to our always-popular, weeknight hero recipes like All-in-One Sausage Dinner. Pasta can be dressed up in so many ways, so we're really not surprised that it made it onto the list of top food trends for 2021. For even more amazing ways to serve up your favorite noodles, take a look at our guide to easy pasta recipes!

Trend Alert: Chicken!

Quick chicken recipes for dinner are always a favorite, and this year was no exception! When you wanted a dinner you could count on, you turned to classics that the whole family loves. And there are so many to choose from! Whether it's a 30-minute chicken dish or something tasty that will really impress company, Mr. Food has the answer with one of these fantastically trendy and deliciously easy chicken recipes. Our favorite this year? Unforgettable Chicken Casserole!

Trend Alert: Appetizers and Side Dishes!

In 2021, you were really feeling the love for appetizers and side dishes. We totally understand! A great appetizer can set the stage for a perfect meal. And sometimes we even like small plate dishes so much that we eat them for a main dish (we won't tell if you do the same!). These delicious recipes were the perfect way to treat yourself this year, and we hope the trend continues. Check out your favorite appetizer of the year: Bread Bowl Dip!

Trend Alert: Desserts Galore!

Aside from cakes, our readers loved a huge variety of desserts this year. From easy pastry recipes to delicious cookies to quick pie recipes, your tastes were all over the map when it came to desserts! And to be honest, who can blame you? Desserts are fantastic no matter what form they take! So check out this collection of easy dessert recipes to get a taste of the kinds of treats our readers were loving this year. Plus, don't forget to try our Apple Cobbler Shortbread Squares recipe for a bite of your favorite dessert from 2021. 

Trend Alert: Breakfast!

There's nothing like starting off the day with the perfect breakfast. So we're thrilled to see so many of our AM favorites among this year's most popular recipes! You enjoyed a wide range of morning treats, from flaky pastries to savory egg casseroles. Plus, we definitely hope that some of these recipes were enjoyed for meals other than breakfast. After all, breakfast for dinner is a classic for a reason. Try this year's most popular breakfast recipe, No-Fuss Sticky Buns.

Trend Alert: Skillet Recipes!

When it comes to 2021 dinner menus, we often found ourselves turning to easy and comforting meals that can be made in just one pot or a skillet. You agreed! And since we don't expect that popularity to drop off any time soon, we've got plenty of recipes to offer, from skillet recipes for chicken to skillet pork chops and everything in between. If you haven't tried it yet, be sure to start out with our most popular skillet recipe of the year: Hillbilly One Pot.

Trend Alert: Soup!

Want a hot tip? Easy soup recipes don't have to begin and end with a package of Ramen noodles. Thank goodness because, as a top food trend, soup is more popular than ever before! Our collection of homemade soup recipes includes hearty soups, creamy soups, healthy soup recipes, and even chilled soups--basically, we've got soups for any occasion! These satisfying recipes, like our most popular Scandinavian Cabbage Soup, are the best way to say "soup's on!" in your house. 

Trend Alert: Salads!

Salads were another top food trend this year! Our readers tend to love salads pretty much year 'round, but they've never made our list of top food trends before. We think they gained some popularity in 2021 because folks were looking for ways to eat balanced, healthy meal options, without indulging in too much heavy food or junk food. Our favorite salads are designed to fill you up but not weigh you down, so we think that their popularity from 2021 should continue into 2022! Check out our most popular salad recipe of the year to get you started: Cauliflower & Broccoli Salad.

Trend Alert: Pork!

Pork has been a popular protein with our readers for many years, but in 2021, you really showed increased interest in it. We think this is probably because folks were craving variety from beef and chicken and looking to expand their home cooking horizons with more main dish options. Since pork is an excellent staple ingredient because it can be served in so many ways, our readers were definitely on the hunt for easy pork recipes. One of your favorites from 2021 was our always-good Pork Chop Casserole, but we have plenty of pork recipes to choose from, so don't miss out!

Trend Alert: Slow Cooker Recipes!

Another way we tried to make life a little easier in 2021 was by turning to an easy dinner all-star: the slow cooker! All you have to do to create a delicious meal is "set it and forget it" when you're using your slow cooker. And if you think slow cooker meals are boring, or all the same, think again! We've got tons of options on our site, but start out by checking out our collection of easy slow cooker recipes. Also, be sure to check out our most popular slow cooker recipe from 2021: Hillbilly Baked Beans!

Trend Alert: Sandwiches!

We're convinced that a good sandwich is one of the perfect foods. There's just something magical about crusty bread filled with goodies like melted cheese or thin-sliced turkey or even roasted veggies. The possibilities are truly endless, and so we're thrilled that you enjoyed so many Mr. Food sandwich recipes this year! And we have to applaud your taste. The top sandwich recipe of 2021 is one for the record books: Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich.

Did we miss any major food trends from 2021 that you think should be included? Let us know in the comments below!

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