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TODAY’s 20 most popular recipes of 2023 — from Donna Kelce, Stanley Tucci and more

Find out which recipes made it to the winners’ circle.

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2023 had plenty of highs and lows, but if there was one thing that brought us constant joy, it was good food. The TODAY kitchen welcomed some of our favorite chefs like Stanley Tucci, Matt Abdoo, Jocelyn Delk Adams and Alejandra Ramos, and there was no shortage of fantastic recipes to cook through all year long.

There was, however, one baker who stood above the rest: Donna Kelce. It should be no surprise that infatuated audiences craved a bite of her chocolate chip cookies just as much as they did the latest paparazzi photo of Taylor and Travis. Her MVP recipe, which calls for a duo of white and milk chocolate chips, plus pecans, was the No. 1 recipe on all year long.

Two of our own also broke our top 20 recipes of the year: Jenna Bush Hager shared her go-to queso recipe (“Queso is basically considered a food group in Texas,” says Jenna) and Dylan Dreyer didn’t disappoint with her easy beef and macaroni casserole.

One recipe that has continuously been a popular one on TODAY is Melissa Ben-Ishay’s Green Goddess Salad. While the Baked by Melissa founder is more generally known for her miniature colorful cupcakes, this viral vegan salad continues to be a mainstay.

And finally, rotisserie chicken appeared in not one but two of our most popular recipes — Jocelyn Delk Adams’ Chicken Stuffed Shells and Kevin Curry’s Rotisserie Chicken Fried Rice. Both demonstrated how to breathe new life into this grocery store staple — and for that, we are thankful.

1. Mama Kelce’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

We shouldn’t be surprised that Donna Kelce’s chocolate chip cookie recipe was a fan favorite in 2023. What makes this recipe special is her use of cake flour, which gives the cookies a light, tender crumb. They also feature a hearty trio of milk chocolate chips, white chocolate chips and pecans, which will surely satisfy, say, a hungry football team.

2. Stanley Tucci’s Pasta Fagioli

Pasta Fagioli

Maybe it’s because he calls for a “glug of olive oil” or maybe it’s because of his addition of marinara sauce, but Stanley Tucci’s pasta fagioli is one of the best we’ve ever tasted. He recommends blanching the Tuscan kale before adding it to the soup to reduce its naturally bitter flavor.

3. Jenna Bush Hager’s Famous Queso

Jenna's Queso

Jenna Bush Hager’s four-ingredient queso recipe is about as easy and it gets and uber flavorful, thanks to the use of canned tomatoes with green chilis. For a perfectly ooey-gooey cheese-pull, use Velveeta. 

4. Dylan Dreyer’s Mom’s ‘Easiest Casserole Ever’

As a busy mom with three kids and many early mornings, Dylan Dreyer doesn’t have a ton of time or energy to create an elaborate meal for dinner. That doesn’t mean she’ll compromise on getting a homemade meal on the table — she just might take a few shortcuts. This easy (and we mean easy) casserole relies on a couple boxes of macaroni and cheese, plus ground beef, canned tomatoes, zucchini, carrots and onions for a hearty meal that the whole family will love.\

5. Matt Abdoo’s Hot Honey Grilled Chicken Thighs

We think about Matt Abdoo’s hot honey chicken daily. The Pig Beach chef shared his recipe for sweet and spicy grilled chicken, which starts with a dry rub made with paprika, brown sugar, ground cumin, chili powder, honey granules and granulated garlic. Don’t let the lengthy list of ingredients intimidate you — this recipe comes together in 20 minutes flat.

6. Melissa Ben-Ishay’s TikTok-famous Green Goddess Salad

Green Goddess Salad

When the Baked by Melissa founder isn’t serving up platters of her bite-sized tie-dye cupcakes, she’s tossing together this popular salad, which is completely vegan. A bed of cabbage, cucumbers, chives and green onions are dressed in the dairy-free dressing. Nutritional yeast adds a savory, cheese-like flavor to the dressing, while equal parts of fresh basil and spinach pack in the nutrients.

7. Giada De Laurentiis’ Sheet-Pan Layerless Lasagna

Sheet-Pan Layerless Lasagna

No one will ever say no to a slice of lasagna. But making it from scratch, especially on a busy weeknight, isn’t always in the cards. That’s where this quick and easy layerless lasagna comes into play. And if you’re someone who prefers the crispy edges, we’ve got good news for you — the noodles get evenly crispy when baked on a sheet tray. 

8. Elizabeth Poett’s Chile Relleno Casserole

Chile Relleno Casserole

On Sunday (Sunday!), make this cheesy chile casserole while you watch back-to-back football games. It’s a crowd-friendly dish that only requires 20 minutes of prep work and less than 10 ingredients.

9. Brittany Williams’ Easy Egg Bites

Easy Egg Bites

Make a dozen of these egg bites on Sunday and enjoy them as a quick and energizing breakfast throughout the week. The beauty of this recipe is that you can customize it however you want. While it calls for baby spinach, red bell pepper and pepper jack cheese, feel free to fold in bacon, cheddar cheese, mushrooms or ricotta.

10. Maria Rosa’s Sauce from Stanley Tucci

Maria Rosa's Sauce

Consider this the only marinara sauce you’ll ever need. Stanley Tucci got the recipe from a neighbor in Italy and uses it for any pasta dish. The beauty is in its simplicity — nothing more than olive oil, mirepoix, garlic, fresh parsley, canned plum tomatoes, salt and pepper.

11. Dylan Dreyer’s Green Noodles

Dylan's Green Noodles

Here’s a quick and easy way to get your little ones (and OK, the adults, too) to eat their greens. The sauce is made with baby spinach, toasted walnuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese and olive oil. It’s blended until smooth, then tossed with cooked pasta for a 10 minute dinner that’s nourishing and delicious.

12. Jocelyn Delk Adams’ Rotisserie Chicken Stuffed Shells

Rotisserie Chicken Stuffed Shells

Looking for a way to use up rotisserie chicken that’s a little more interesting than a simple heat and eat? Make these rich and savory stuffed shells featuring a filling made with ricotta cheese, shredded chicken, broccoli, Parmesan and Creole seasoning. It’s the ultimate comfort food on a cold evening.

13. Alon Shaya’s Classic New Orleans Muffuletta

Classic New Orleans Muffuletta

Layers upon layers of cured meat, aged provolone, pickled vegetables and a salty olive salad are essential components of this New Orleans-born and bread sandwich. Get the recipe from chef Alon Shaya, who shared his go-to method with Hoda and Jenna earlier this year.

14. Joy Bauer’s Healthy Taco Soup

Taco Soup

Everything you know and love about Taco Tuesday can be enjoyed in this nutritious taco soup from Joy Bauer. Rather than ground beef, she relies on lean ground turkey for heft, plus canned black beans, corn kernels, cherry tomatoes, jalapenos and taco seasoning. Blink and it’ll be ready to eat.

15. Tobias Dorzon’s Beef and Cheese Sliders

Beef and Cheese Sliders

These are no ordinary burger sliders. Chef Tobias Dorzon shares his go-to game-day bite, which features patties made with ground beef, sautéed onions, mushrooms and bell peppers. Instead of grilling or pan-frying the patties, they’re baked in the oven with sweet Hawaiian rolls for an easy, mess-free meal.

16. Jocelyn Delk Adams’ Lemony Chicken and Rice Casserole

Lemony Chicken and Rice Casserole

This is not your grandmother’s casserole. Jocelyn Delk Adams starts by dredging bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs in a combination of flour, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder and onion powder. The meat is pan-fried until browned, then baked with a mixture of cream of chicken soup, chicken broth, white rice and lemon.

17. Nancy Silverton’s Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

Everyone has a peanut butter cookie recipe that they know and love, but Nancy Silverton’s recipe may take the cake. These thumbprint-style cookies are rolled in granulated sugar, then topped with creamy peanut butter, toasted peanuts and flaky sea salt.

18. Alejandra Ramos’ Creamy Garden Zucchini Pasta

Creamy Garden Zucchini Pasta

Bookmark this recipe for the dog days of summer, when zucchini and tomatoes are at their peak. It’s a satisfying vegetarian pasta dish that takes advantage of fresh produce.

19. Jocelyn Delk Adams’ Air-Fryer Salmon

4-Ingredient Air Fryer Salmon

We can all agree that baked salmon can get a little boring, right? That’s exactly why Jocelyn Delk Adam’s easy air-fryer salmon was one of our most popular recipes of 2023. It’s an innovative and delicious way to serve this weeknight staple. Did we mention that you only need four ingredients (plus salt and pepper)?

20. Rostisserie Chicken Fried Rice

Give rotisserie chicken new life with this quick and easy fried rice recipe from Kevin Curry. It’s a delicious way to enjoy a better-for-you version of the takeout classic. Kevin likes to fold frozen carrots and peas into the mixture for ease, but add fresh bell peppers, mushrooms or any other vegetables that you have on hand, too.