Google Reveals the Top Trending Recipes of 2021

What foods were we all looking to cook in the year that was?

December 08, 2021

Description: Food Network Kitchen's Baked Feta Pasta. Keywords: Cherry Tomatoes, Feta Cheese, Mezze Rigatoni, Garlic, Basil, Red Pepper

Photo by: Matt

Matt

You could argue that there’s no better window into our collective preoccupations at any given time than what we type into our Google search boxes. So what foods were we looking to cook in 2021? And what alcoholic drinks were we hoping to whip up? The search engine is ready to spill the beans!

Google’s Year in Search analysis has revealed the top trending recipe searches of 2021, which is to say the recipe queries that showed the highest spike in traffic over a sustained period among searchers in the United States during the course of the year, as compared with the prior year, 2020.

No, beans are not on the list. “TikTok pasta,” however, is.

According to Google’s analysis, Americans searched for “TikTok pasta” recipes way more in 2021 than they did in 2020, presumably reflecting our collective sustained infatuation with the baked feta pasta dish that went mega-viral on social media early in the year.

We were also, apparently in greater than previous number, searching for recipes for “Bacon jam” and “Birria tacos,” and, perhaps seeking comfort in the familiar in a tumultuous year, “Crockpot chicken” (here are some fuss-free slow cooker chicken recipes for those searching) and “Hamantaschen,” the yummy, three-cornered, filled cookies traditionally made for the Jewish holiday Purim.

Also on our minds — and the tips of our fingers — were Dalgona candy, which had a viral TikTok moment in September, as well as “Baked oats” and “Smashed potatoes.”

American Googlers apparently spent the year scrambling for the recipe for Gigi Hadid’s Spicy Vodka Pasta, which went viral after the supermodel shared step-by-step instructions on her Instagram Stories. (She said it was “yummy + easy,” despite the fact that she had no vodka and had to make it without …)

Rounding out Google’s list of top trending recipe searches for the year is a query that may be surprising to some, though not to others, and was understandably more common this year than last: “Cicada.”

The Brood X cicadas emerge only once every 17 years, so people were buzzing over their notable presence in parts of the United States this summer. And where some saw a noisy nuisance, others saw a rare and coveted ingredient.

Cicada recipe searches spiked. During the summer surge, Food Network nutrition consultant Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND, cautioned against consuming cicadas found in “the wild (a.k.a. your backyard)” because they put you “at a higher risk for illness.”

The U.S. FDA, meanwhile, tweeted, “Don’t eat #cicadas if you're allergic to seafood as these insects share a family relation to shrimp and lobsters.”

Now you know for 2038.

Oh, and the alcoholic drink recipes that were spiking in searches in 2021? Google’s Year in Search number crunchers have shared those as well.

The top trending boozy beverage recipes of 2021 were … Ranch water (a three-ingredient cocktail that is Ree Drummond’s favorite), Amaretto sour, Mint julep, Paloma, Rum punch, Mai tai, Sangrita, Strawberry margarita, Old fashioned and Mojito.

Whatever cocktail recipe you were searching for in 2021, let’s raise a glass of it in tribute to the year that was, and to the happy year of cooking that lies ahead.

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