The Top 10 Trending Recipes You Googled in 2021

Social media trends, pop culture, and celebrities all played a part in Google's trending searches related to food in the last year.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

As we enter another new year, it's always fun to look back at what new, popular dishes filled our plates in the last year. For me, I immediately jumped on the popular TikTok pasta recipe for a quick, low-fuss meal at home. Whether you've been mesmerized by social media food videos, following your favorite celeb's recipes, or binge-watching Netflix, there are several trendy foods that inspired Americans to search for the instructions to make them at home. Some of these recipes may not seem groundbreaking, but I can bet you'll be surprised by at least a couple of these top-trending searches for recipes over the last year. Fried cicadas, anyone?

2021 Top-Trending Recipe Searches

These recipes were pulled from searches that had a high spike in traffic on Google over a sustained period in 2021 as compared to 2020. Here's what Americans were cooking up last year.

TikTok Pasta

tiktok baked feta pasta with roasted tomatoes and spaghetti
geshas / Adobe Stock

Even if you're not endlessly scrolling through the food world of TikTok, you've probably heard of TikTok pasta, or baked feta pasta. The base recipe (created by a Finnish food blogger) stars a block of feta cheese surrounded by tiny tomatoes, some oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. After baking in the oven, pasta is stirred right into the pan along with fresh herbs for a one-pan dinner that is not only easy to make, but pretty darn delicious.

Bacon Jam

Rhubarb-Bacon Jam on scallion toast
Brie Passano

"Recipe for bacon jam" spiked up 250% in the past year on Google searches. If you haven't had it before, it's a savory jam made from your favorite breakfast meat and usually accompanied by sweet and savory flavors such as onion, maple syrup, vinegar, or brown sugar. You'll love our bacon-shallot jam or rhubarb-bacon jam (pictured) on your morning toast.

Birria Tacos

Beef Birria Tacos
Dera Burreson

It's already hard to resist tacos in any form, but Americans were definitely craving birria tacos in 2021. The traditional Mexican dish is usually made with lamb and slow-cooked in peppers and savory spices. Today, you'll commonly find those flavors infused into beef as well, and they make an excellent filling for tacos that are pan-fried to get nice and crispy.

Baked Oats

Baked Hummingbird Oatmeal
Carson Downing

Oatmeal is a breakfast staple and can be enjoyed in many forms. A few years ago, overnight oats were all the rage. In 2021, Americans were all about baking the whole grains into a tasty treat. With more 959 million views of #bakedoats on TikTok to date, Google searches for baked oat recipes skyrocketed.

Squid Game Cookies

Netflix's smash Korean drama series had everyone searching Google for "how to make Squid Game cookies," which was a breakout term last year. The name of the cookie from the game is actually called dalgona, a toffee-like delicate cookie popular in Korea. (Yes, this is the same dalgona that inspired the super popular whipped coffee trend of 2020).

Slow Cooker Chicken

Slow Cooker Coq au Vin
Blaine Moats

Using a trusty Crock-Pot ($40, Target) is always a great option for creating easy, delicious meals on busy weeknights. In 2021, Google searches were on the rise for all things chicken in a slow cooker, including healthier Crock-Pot chicken dishes (+70%).

Cicada

I had my first experience eating bugs last year, and it turns out other Americans were getting their fix as well. In this case, cicadas were the trendy sustainable protein of choice. Even "chocolate covered cicadas" was a breakout term last year on Google Trends. So while the Brood X swarm of 2021 happened, many were taking the chance to reap the eco-friendly, protein-packed benefits of the edible insects by sautéing, frying, and baking them.

Gigi Hadid Pasta

Cheesy Shell-Stuffed Shells
Blaine Moats

Last year, model Gigi Hadid shared her spicy vodka sauce recipe to Instagram, and it immediately turned into a hit. A simple combo of tomato, vodka, shallot, garlic, cream, and chili flakes makes a seriously delicious base for your favorite noodles. We especially love it over stuffed shells.

Hamantaschen

Apricot Pocket Cookies (Hamantaschen)
Blaine Moats

These buttery little shortbread cookies are served during the Jewish holiday Purim, which commemorates the saving of the Jewish people from Haman. They're traditionally shaped like hats and filled with jam. Our tasty gluten-free take is made with almond flour and stuffed with a homemade apricot filling.

Smashed Potatoes

Fried Smashed Potatoes
Jason Donnelly

There are so many ways to enjoy humble potato, yet trending searches on Google proved smashed potatoes to be the star. Cooking small potatoes whole in the oven, air-fryer, or pressure cooker before smashing them and covering with savory seasoning makes a perfect hearty side for any meal. Parmesan smashed potatoes were up +160% in searches, so we'd start with this fried smashed potato recipe.

So how many of these trending searches made your cooking list? There's still time to jump on board by making one or more today. Or you can get started on trying some of the most anticipated food trends of 2022.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles