Every year, Google releases the top trending search terms for a variety of different topics—from people, to news, to memes. To be clear, these aren’t the most-Googled things (because that would be rather boring). Instead, these are the things that had a sustained interest throughout the year over the previous year. So what did we Google more than last year? When it comes to the trending recipes, one thing was very clear: Social media steered the bus.
From viral pastas to Netflix-inspired sweet treats, here are the top 10 trending recipe searches on Google this year. Are you surprised or not at all?
01 of 10
This search term could have been used every month this year and still have been relevant. There seemed to be dozens of viral pasta recipes this year. That said, the true superstar was of course baked feta pasta, a cheesy casserole dish with a serious “wow” factor. If you didn’t already make the baked feta pasta, you certainly know someone who did.
02 of 10
If you’re at all on the fence about bacon jam, just take a look at this picture. Wow. And yum. This is American cuisine at its finest: Savory, sweet, smoky, and salty all at once. The recipe takes a few hours to pull together, but it makes a big batch and is sure to become your most-used condiment. It’s easy to see why bacon jam reached peak popularity on our web browsers and in our kitchens this year—even pro chefs put their spin on the trend
03 of 10
Here’s another TikTok special, this time influenced by traditional Mexican cuisine. Birria is a slow-cooked stew that can be eaten as a standalone dish or as a filling for tacos. It’s hearty and savoy—just the ticket for a pounding head after a big night out (but we’ll happily eat a plate of birria tacos any day of the week.)
04 of 10
Some recipe ideas are timeless—even as they trend anew each year. Crockpot chicken definitely falls into that category, thanks to its low-effort technique and crowd-pleasing appeal. While we have over a dozen healthy, simple crockpot chicken recipes here at Spruce Eats, we also enjoy browsing social media for creative new takes on the classic.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
These traditional Jewish cookies are named after the tri-cornered hat worn by Haman. They’re typically enjoyed at Purim, in February or March. The two most important elements are the fillings—jam is common, but we’ll never say no to chocolate-hazelnut spread—and of course, the iconic shape.
06 of 10
Even if you haven’t seen the more-than-slightly unsettling Netflix series, “Squid Game,” you’ve surely heard of it. The Squid Game cookie that were trending on TikTok and Google search is actually a Korean confection called Dalgona candy. While the scene that showcased the recipe is not exactly appetizing, the cookie itself is great. It’s a fun cooking project to do with the whole family, which is decidedly NOT something we can say about watching the show.
07 of 10
Although overnight oats ruled our Instagram feeds for the last few years, baked oats are having a moment. A highly Googleable moment. The appeal is the same: Baked oats are a make-ahead recipe that’s hearty and healthy, and ready whenever you are. The Tiktok version that inspired the flurry of Google searches looks more like a fluffy mug cake, thanks to blended oats. No matter what recipe you follow, reach for quick-cooking or rolled oats, rather than slow-cooking steel cut oats.
08 of 10
The future of food is here. Or at least, it’s trending on Google. Cicadas were on our brains and in our search bars due to their arrival after a 17-year hibernation underground. Cicadas, along with other insects, are touted as a sustainable food source for our changing world. Even if you’re not convinced, your dog probably snacked on a few this year.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Remember what we were saying earlier about viral pasta trends? After the model Gigi Hadid shared a recipe for booze-free vodka sauce, TikTok content creators jumped on the trend (most opted to put the vodka back in). But you don’t have to take Gen Z’s word for it: Vodka sauce is an Italian-American classic dish that deserves a spot in your dinner rotation. And if you don’t feel up for cooking it from scratch, we’ve found some pretty delicious jarred versions, too.
10 of 10
If mashed potatoes are forever, then crispy smashed potatoes are 2021. People couldn’t stop Googling—and cooking—these highly delicious spuds, and who can blame them? Smashed potatoes are twice-cooked; first boiled, then smashed and roasted with a liberal amount of fat and seasoning. If you’re not a fan of crispy bits, you can still get in on the trend: Fluffy smashed potatoes were also a hit with the internet-savvy this year. Think of them as a less-fussy mashed potato that you can load up with fixins.