Best Recipes of 2021: Reader’s Choice Award Winners
Hi friends! I want to give a big thank you to all of you who voted in my 11th annual Reader’s Choice Awards! Your votes means so much to me and I love seeing which recipes were your favorite. My blog always gets new readers in January and it’s so helpful to be able to point them to this post as a starting place for my “greatest hits” of the previous year, so I really appreciate you taking the time to give input and share your thoughts. In case you missed it, you can look at past reader favorites (which are still popular recipes today!) by checking out the 2020 winners, 2019 winners, 2018 winners, 2017 winners, 2016 winners, 2015 winners, 2014 winners, 2013 winners, 2012 winners and 2011 winners.
Whether or not you voted, I really, genuinely want to thank you. Whether it’s your first time visiting my blog or you’ve been cooking along with me since 2010, thank you so much for being here. Thank you for reading my posts and for cooking my recipes. Thank you for asking questions, leaving comments and giving your feedback. Thank you for sharing my site with friends, posting pictures of what you’ve made on Instagram, pinning the recipes you want to try and sharing my posts on Facebook. Thanks for emailing me your stories and ideas and for sharing your successes. You motivate and inspire me so much and I’m genuinely thrilled that you’re here. I am so grateful for you.
I started Emily Bites back on Christmas Eve of 2010, so somehow I have now been blogging recipes for eleven years! I was on Weight Watchers (as it was called at the time) and had just recently started cooking more and I was so excited to discover how delicious and fun creating lightened up meals could be. I couldn’t wait to share my findings, but I never imagined so many of you would find my site and cook along with me. This site is now such a huge and important part of my life and who I am that it’s hard to remember what life was like for me before Emily Bites. This blog is my passion and now my job and your presence here makes it possible for me to keep living my dream. Again, thank you!
I know many of us have had a rough couple years. I think we could all use some lightened up comfort food in our lives! I’m looking forward to kicking off the new year with some fresh new recipes, but it’s also really fun for me to look back on how far my site has come. For the past few years I have recapped some readership, social media and posting stats, mostly for me to look back on. While I certainly don’t blog for the numbers, it’s fun to check in every year and see how much we’ve grown. Here we go again: Eleven years. 771 posts. 87 million blog pageviews. 178,000 of you follow me on Facebook. 257,000 of you are my Instagram friends (my favorite!). 35,000 of you subscribe to my recipes by email (if you haven’t done this yet, subscribing by email is a great way to make sure you don’t miss a recipe!).
I can’t say this enough: It overwhelms me that so many of you out there read my blog, make my recipes and give me such great feedback, encouragement and inspiration. THANK YOU!! If you don’t already and you want to follow my site on social, here are the links: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Email Club.
Without further ado, on to the Reader’s Choice Award Winners! The results are below and for each category I’ve pictured the winner and then listed the runner up along with my own vote (which didn’t count in the standings unless I needed to break a tie, I’m just listing it for fun).
Best Breakfast Recipe: Bacon Broccoli Quiche (technically a tie)
Runner Up: Turkey Sausage Breakfast Burritos
Emily’s Pick: The winner of this category was actually a tie with the runner up, so I broke the tie by voting for my Bacon Broccoli Quiche. I love that recipe!
Best Muffin Recipe: Morning Glory Muffins
Runner Up: Chocolate Mocha Baked Oatmeal Singles
Emily’s Pick: I don’t know if I can choose in this category, honestly! I love strawberry rhubarb, so those stand out, but the Morning Glory Muffins had such a great combination of flavors and the Chocolate Mocha Baked Oatmeal Singles were one of my favorite baked oatmeal flavors yet. I will just defer to your choices, because I can’t pick!
Best Appetizer Recipe: Crab Rangoon
Runner Up: Chicken Taco Tortilla Pinwheels
Emily’s Pick: I’m going with the Loaded Guacamole! I love guac.
Best Chicken Bites Recipe: Lemon Pepper Chicken Bites (by one vote!)
Emily’s Pick: I love my Nashville Hot Chicken Bites, so I have to go spicy here!
Best Poultry Recipe: Mexican Street Corn Chicken (technically a tie)
Runner Up: Crispy Chicken Parmesan
Emily’s Pick: This was a hotly contested category, there were four recipes within one vote of each other! I ended up breaking the tie for the winner and choosing the Mexican Street Corn Chicken. I could eat that every week!
Best Pasta Recipe: One-Pot Bacon Broccoli Mac and Cheese
Emily’s Pick: I have to pick the One-Pot Meatballs and Macaroni because I love meatballs and it’s really hard for me to ever not choose something with meatballs. So good.
Best Sandwich/Handheld Recipe: Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken Burgers
Runner Up: Italian Sausage Bread
Emily’s Pick: This is such a tough category! I love both of the ones you chose, though I think I make the Italian Sausage Bread a bit more often, so I guess I’ll put my vote there.
Best Soup Recipe: Lasagna Soup (this won by a landslide!)
Runner Up: Pasta Fagioli Soup
Emily’s Pick: I agree, that Lasagna Soup is delicious!
Best Salad Recipe: Cobb Salad
Runner Up: Caprese Pasta Salad
Emily’s Pick: This one is not even close for me, I love my Buffalo Chicken Salad! It makes the best lunch and is so good in a pita or wrap or on an English muffin, or just a fork. I just love it.
Best Side Dish Recipe: Broccoli Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes
Runner Up: Air Fryer Cajun Potatoes
Emily’s Pick: I couldn’t agree more about the Broccoli Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes. They’re great as a side dish or for lunch!
Best Dessert Recipe: Stovetop Cinnamon Apples
Runner Up: Gingerbread Cheesecake Cups
Emily’s Pick: I really like all of these, but I think I might pick the Mixed Berry Pie!
Thank you so much again for reading my blog, cooking my recipes and encouraging and inspiring me with your comments. I wish you all a happy and healthy 2022 and I hope you’ll stay tuned for more lightened up comfort food recipes in the new year!