Our Food Editors' Favorite New Recipes of 2021

Potato-Ricotta Gnocchi recipe
Photo: Chris Simpson

After looking back at the many recipes they developed, tested, and tasted over the last year, the food editors from Martha Stewart Living share the ones they'll now be making on repeat.

01 of 16
Devil’s Inferno Cake
Johnny Miller

One of our favorite holiday traditions has become getting together with our test kitchen team to look back over the year in recipes and find out which of the dishes they developed—or which of the recipes developed by their fellow food editors—stand out to them. More often than not, our team selects dishes ideated by their coworkers as some of their new favorites. Is this modesty or team spirit? We're not sure, but we do know that our stellar band of food editors works hard together to create the best possible version of every recipe published in our magazine or on our website. All are discussed thoroughly before being developed, and the resulting recipe is then triple tested—that means other cooks beside the person who wrote it test the recipe to ensure it's the best it can be.

So, what made the list? Sarah Carey, our editorial director of food, cites the Devil's Inferno Cake you see right here, which associate editor Riley Wofford developed for Halloween, as a top recipe from the past 12 months. Sarah describes it as "a classic over- the-top Martha moment. This cake is a real showstopper using a simple technique for a dramatic effect, that's what we are all about here!" Other standouts this year include senior editor Lauryn Tyrell's recipe for Potato-Ricotta Gnocchi, which is a favorite for both Riley and for deputy editor Greg Lofts.

Are there any themes in the recipes our four-person team has chosen this year? It's a wide-ranging selection, from a Chili Pie Burger to bran muffins to a mango margarita and a not-to-be-missed Artichoke Salad with Warm Tomato Vinaigrette. One thing they all have in common is that they must be made. Whatever you do, don't miss out on these stellar recipes: You'll want to prepare each and every one in your own home.

02 of 16

Potato-Ricotta Gnocchi

Potato-Ricotta Gnocchi recipe
Chris Simpson

Both Greg and Riley are fans of Lauryn's gnocchi. "The method is so simple and fast, even down to the creamy red sauce she serves them with," says Greg. Riley calls them "light as air," and both say you should double the recipe and make a batch to freeze. "They can be frozen raw and cooked from frozen by simply adding about a minute to the boiling time," says Greg. Riley serves them with "marinara and some pepper flakes, pesto and parmesan, or just toss them in brown butter with a lot of black pepper. "

03 of 16

Pork Rib Roast with Apples, Fennel, and Potatoes

pork rib roast with apples fennel and potatoes
Lennart Weibull

One of Sarah's picks is Greg's pork rib roast, which was in our December 2021 issue. "It's fragrant with rosemary, coriander, and fennel, the crust is adhered with a mix of mustard and soy (a revelation!) the accompanying fennel and apples get basted with all the delicious juices and add just a hint of sweetness to balance all those savory flavors," she says.

04 of 16

Stuffed-Mushroom Hoagie

Stuffed-Mushroom Hoagie
David Malosh

"I really appreciate vegetarian recipes that satisfy even the staunchest carnivores and this is definitely that," says Lauryn about this recipe, which was developed by Sarah. There's "a delicious blend of melty cheese, earthy mushrooms, and tangy crunchy veg, held together in a garlicky buttery roll." It's true vegetarian comfort food, she asserts. "Also, I really like the technique of dry roasting mushrooms in the oven. It's not something I had done before but it's an eye-opening way to cook a lot of mushrooms at once."

05 of 16

Frozen Mango Margarita

Spicy-Sweet Frozen Mango Margarita
Ryan Liebe

Cheers! Greg, our resident cocktail guru, singles out this gorgeous frozen margarita from the May issue as one of his favorite new recipes. "I've made it probably a few too many times since then and it always delivers," he reveals. "Lately I've been swapping half of the orange liquor with ginger liqueur (Domaine de Canton) for a little ginger spice." And when you make this winner drink he says "The tajin rim is fundamental for that little bit of spicy zip and tart lime flavor to balance the sweetness of the mango."

06 of 16

English Muffin Pizza Snacks

english muffin pizza snacks topped with fresh basil
Frank Frances

"Whoever said pizza bagels are just for kids was seriously wrong," declares Riley. "The beauty of these is you can pop whatever you feel like onto an English muffin. It can be leftover veggies, pepperoni, or rotisserie chicken."

07 of 16

Grilled Skirt Steak and Hearts of Palm Salad

Grilled Skirt Steak and Hearts of Palm Salad
Con Poulos

From our weeknight grilling story in the June issue, Sarah selects Lauryn's recipe for skirt steak as another must-make dish. "I loved the creative use of hearts of palm here," she explains. "And I am a sucker for anything with fish sauce and a ton of herbs."

08 of 16

Artichoke Salad with Warm Tomato Vinaigrette

Artichoke Salad with Warm Tomato Vinaigrette
Gentl and Hyers

Lauryn loves artichokes and looks forward to enjoying them every spring. This year, she developed a stellar recipe that uses them in an unusual way: "Eating the salad inside the artichoke and then getting to eat the artichoke afterwards made my son truly giddy," she reveals.

Riley is also a fan of this recipe, saying, "It's such a perfect spring salad. The croutons are the star—they soak up all that warm vinaigrette, some of them get a bit soggy while the rest stay crisp."

09 of 16

Chili-Pie Burgers

Chili-Pie Burgers
Frank Frances

"It's everything I want in a burger experience," says Greg of this Chili-Pie Burger, which Sarah developed for the September issue. "There's a thin patty with a crispy golden-brown crust, crunchy Fritos, ooey-gooey American cheese, and a super soft, slightly sweet potato bun."

10 of 16

Maple Bran Muffins

Maple Bran Muffins recipe
Chris Simpson

Riley asserts that this is the bran muffin to beat all others. The recipe "uses both brown sugar and maple syrup to add a little complexity to the sweetness." She's also here with a serving suggestion: "I warm them up for a few minutes before smearing them with salted butter and (sometimes) blackberry jam."

11 of 16

Shrimp and Burst Cherry Tomato Pasta with Kale

Spaghetti with Shrimp, Kale, and Burst Tomatoes
Chris Simpson

This simple, satisfying weeknight dinner is one of Lauryn's selects. "I love that you throw a big handful of kale in at the end of boiling the pasta. It's nice to pack in greens with carb heavy meals and the technique couldn't be simpler." In fact, Lauryn loves this technique so much that she now often does this with other pasta, especially with spaghetti and turkey meatballs. She also loves how the protein is prepared here, citing the gentle cooking technique for cooking the shrimp as a standout. "Instead of getting seared in a hot pan, they just simmer gently in the burst tomato sauce which makes them nice and succulent—and the bit of butter added at the end really makes it feel extra luscious," she explains.

12 of 16

Sourdough Croissants

pile of croissants in a linen draped bowl
Johnny Miller

Sarah worked with Martha's niece Sophie Herbert Slater on a sourdough story for the March issue, and the croissants are her favorite recipe. "I worked on this forever tweaking and tweaking, and in the end I am really proud of the recipe," she says. "It has a slight, but not overwhelming tang from the sourdough, and is light and flaky and buttery. Everything you want from a croissant!

13 of 16

Orange-Fennel-Olive Relish

orange-fennel-olive relish served with salmon
Nico Schinco

"This recipe by Riley in the December issue has everything going for it," says Greg. "It stars two of my favorite ingredients—fennel and olives—plus, it's crunchy, fresh, sweet-tart, herbaceous. It has umami and a touch of brine from oil-cured olives, and the whole affair is simplicity personified." Try it served over any simply prepared fish or chicken or you toss it with greens like arugula or watercress for a yummy salad.

14 of 16

Broccoli-and-Chickpea Parmesan

broccoli-and-chickpea parmesan
Johnny Miller

"I don't think I'll ever bread anything again after this. Sarah's ingenious recipe is made by just sprinkling the breadcrumb mixture over everything—you get the same effect without the hassle," says Riley as she explains why this vegetarian comfort dinner is one of her top picks.

15 of 16

Chicken Schnitzel with Watercress Relish

Chicken Schnitzel with Dill and Sesame
David Malosh

Lauryn reveals that she loves any kind of schnitzel, but finds that chicken is particularly nice for fresh weeknight meals. That's why this recipe from Greg appealed to her most. "The simple addition of sesame seeds and dried dill here really elevates this and make it feel special. Plus, I love that you can make these ahead of time and freeze them," she says. "I've added this recipe to my list of things to make for friends who have just had babies—they're the perfect food to pop out of the freezer and into the broiler for nights you don't want really to cook but you also don't want takeout."

16 of 16

Creamy Lentil Stew

creamy lentil stew topped with fried egg
Christopher Testani

Greg says this recipe has so many wonderful things going for it: "It's easy to make, vegetarian, nutrient rich, and infinitely customizable with toppings of choice like yogurt, a poached or fried egg, nuts, seeds, avocado, herbs, or just a drizzle of good extra-virgin olive oil," he says. Plus, it "freezes and reheats well for when you need to get dinner on the table fast."

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles