Top 12 Recipes of 2012


I can hardly believe it’s that time of year again – RECAP TIME! (Coincidentally my favorite time. FYI – if you need me during the next week or so, I’ll be glued to the television watching countdown shows on E. Great.)

From take-out fake-out dishes, to easy dinner sides, and delectable fruit dips, here are the recipes YOU GUYS deemed the most popular here on Iowa Girl Eats in 2012. Stay tuned next week for my picks!

**Edited to add: Here are my picks for my favorite recipes of 2012!


12. Homemade Trader Joe’s Chili-Lime Chicken Burgers

Lean yet moist, Homemade Trader Joe’s Chili-Lime Chicken Burgers are bursting with bold flavors. No need for a grill either – these burgers are actually better made indoors. Don’t forget the guac on top!



11. Inner-Goddess Detox Salad

Just in time for the start of the New Year, this Inner-Goddess Detox Salad is chock full of vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant-packed fruits, veggies, and berries, and is a wonderful dish to turn to after over-indulging during the holidays.



10. Skinny Chicken Broccoli Alfredo

Creamy and filling, yet surprisingly light, Skinny Chicken Broccoli Alfredo is a lower-calorie take on pasta and Alfredo sauce that was just as big of a hit with you guys as it was with Ben and me.



9. Farmers’ Market Skillet

Ever come back from the grocery store or Farmers’ Market and have no idea what to do with all the produce you picked up? Farmers’ Market Skillet is the perfect dish to throw it all into. Really healthy, tasty, and customizable.



8. Cheesy Broccoli Orzo

Take the guess work out of what to serve alongside dinner tonight, and make Cheesy Broccoli Orzo as a satisfying side dish that’s not just dinnertime “filler”.



7. The Best Fruit Dip. EVER.

No need for fruit – The Best Fruit Dip. EVER. is so good, you’ll want to eat it with a spoon. Just three ingredients, too!



6. Easy Chicken Fried Rice

Easy Chicken Fried Rice is so good that I literally had a dream about it last Saturday night. Sad? Hilarious? We may never know. All you need to know is that you should make this quick and easy dinner, ASAP!



5. Mini Corn Dog Muffins

You may be surprised to see Mini Corn Dog Muffins make this list, but after one bite, you’ll see the light. All-beef hot dogs smothered in homemade cornbread and baked into a poppable bites really are THAT good.



4. Superfood Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Another salad full of good-for-you ingredients, Superfood Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette has something a little extra special about it. You’ll want to make this salad again and again.



3. Mini Ham & Cheese Quinoa Cups

Ham + cheese + quinoa + mini size = recipe for success! Make a big ol’ batch of these super satisfying Mini Ham & Cheese Quinoa Cups, then reheat all week long for a quick and easy breakfast, filling lunch, or yummy snack. (Don’t miss their brotha from another motha Mini BLT Quinoa Cups!)



2. Chick-fil-A Bites with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

With a secret ingredient in both the marinade AND coating, you will be absolutely thrilled with Chick-fil-A Bites with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce. Don’t skip that sauce either – it’s also spoon-drinking worthy.



1. My Top Secret Diet Weapon

My Top Secret Diet Weapon went absolutely gangbusters on Pinterest this year! Healthy, filling, and DELICIOUS, this green-hued smoothie remains one of my go-to breakfasts year-round!


Wether you’ve read IGE 1 time, or 100 times, thank you to each and every single one of you for making 2012 so absolutely wonderful. Here’s to an equally amazing 2013!

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  1. Lauren 12.27.2012

    I’ve made half of these things but I must get on more! Your superfood salad and the farmers market skillet are two of my favorite!

  2. You weren’t kidding – that REALLY is the best fruit dip ever. The only problem is I tend to like my dip with a little bit of fruit and not the other way around :)

  3. Lauri 12.27.2012

    Have been wanting to try so many of these! But I did make the mini hot dog corn muffins as apps for my son’s b-day party in the fall – BIG hit!!

  4. Jennifer 12.27.2012

    Thank YOU, Kristin, for helping make 2012 my tastiest year yet!! I made at least 10 recipes off your blog this year and all of them were so good, they went into regular rotation. Have an amazing holiday, and I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

  5. Christie 12.27.2012

    What about BBQ chicken quinoa salad??? It’s AMAZING. oh And the beergaritas??? My husband is obsessed with those!

  6. Lisa in Fort Worth 12.27.2012

    Your blog is the first one I read every morning when I get to work. With things being so slow in the construction industry down here, your blog is a welcome diversion to the down time I have to fill. Your recipes are wonderful, as are your Mom’s. Your effort as to answering comments and e-mails is truly a joy to those of us who read you continually. Keep up the good work!

  7. Katie 12.27.2012

    Love this list!! The green smoothie from pinterest brought me to your blog months ago and I have been an avid follower ever since. The farmers market skillet was a staple all summer! Can’t wait to see what you come up with for 2013. Happy Holidays!

  8. I guess you could say I’m a faithful reader when I recognize all of these recipes and I’ve made two of them!

  9. What a great list! I seriously need to be trying those mini corn dogs, but with veggie “hot dogs.” Sounds delicious!

  10. Rach 12.27.2012

    Love your blog Kristin! And I tried and loved every single one of these recipes! Cant wait to see what you bring us in 2013!

    xo Rach
    Enter the Alex and Ani Giveaway!

  11. This is such a great list of your best recipes from the year — that fruit-loaded salad looks so wonderful after many days of candy and cookies :) I do hope you’ll bring this post by on January 1st to link up as part of our Countdown to 2013!

  12. All of those salads look incredible! I can see why they were top recipes…great photography too :)

  13. Danielle 12.27.2012

    It has been a great year for your blog. I have been reading since 2010, and I still can’t get enough of your recipes. Thanks! Happy New Year!

  14. Ana 12.27.2012

    These are awesome! I can’t wait to try them! Thanks for the recap!!

  15. Allison 12.27.2012

    I’ve made 2 – the chicken fried rice and the smoothie. I just tried the honey jalapeño cornbread this weekend; it was super good. Looking forward to reading your blog and trying more of your recipes in 2013.

  16. Jodea @ 12.27.2012

    My fave has to be Luann’s Kale Salad.

  17. Amy 12.27.2012

    I agree with your #1! When I found that recipe on your site earlier this year I had to try it – and it was amazing. Filling, tasty, and healthy. Thanks!

  18. Ali 12.27.2012

    My mouth is officially watering from those recipes. I think they all look amazingly good and I need to make pretty much all of them ASAP.

  19. P.S. I can’t believe the French Onion Soup Potstickers or the French Onion Stuffed Sliders didn’t make the list!

    Both those had my mouth watering while staring at the computer screen.

  20. Tamara LeBlanc 12.27.2012

    I love your blog! Thank you for sharing!
    Have a great new year,

  21. Bek @ Crave 12.27.2012

    Love this! it’s always interesting to find out what your top posts are right?

  22. The Alfredo looks so yummy! My husband isn’t a fan of Alfredo. He grew up eating the microwavable pasta stuff. I think that is why he is scared to try it. I may have to make this to see if he changes his mind:)

  23. Candy 12.27.2012

    I stumbled upon your blog while looking for a homemade hamburger helper recipe earlier this year, and I’m so glad I did! I’ll admit I’m a blogger addict, and you by far are my favorite. Thanks for all of the yummy recipes! I hope you have a great New Year’s and I look forward to more recipes in 2013!

  24. Kari 12.28.2012

    I can’t believe I “happened” upon your blog just this year. Especially since we share Iowa kinship! I think your photography is stunning and your recipes are TDF!!! (Too Die For)Rock on in 2013!!

  25. Hillary 12.28.2012

    These are awesome! A friend recommended your blog right after I got married in May, and I have to admit that we partake of an “IowaGirl” recipe at least once a week. Thanks for all you do! :)

  26. Kelly 12.28.2012

    Read your blog first thing everyday! And also each week before I go grocery shopping. You have such a great energy and being a former Iowa girl myself, I always enjoy the hings from around town in des Moines where I grew up. I make your recipes for my family at least once a week, so when my family thanks me for dinner- I thank you!

  27. Sarah Massey 12.28.2012

    My family adored the chicken and noodle dish. It was very different than most things we eat and we just loved it.

  28. […] Iowa Girl Eats – Top 12 of 2012 […]

  29. Rebecca 12.28.2012

    Hi, I was excited to see your blog in Fitness! I’ve been following you for several years. I too love the Green Monster Smoothie and have been drinking it for a long time, despite the grossed-out looks from my co-workers. I don’t put any yogurt though, but add a little dry oatmeal. I’m looking for some blog motivation to get back on a healthy track, so have decided to start a weight-loss competition. There’s free jewelry involved!! See my blog ( if anyone is interested.

  30. Kim 12.29.2012

    I have been reading your blog for over a year now and have tried many of your recipes and my family and I have enjoyed them all! My little ones would not touch spinach for anything but they absolutely love the green monster smoothie and ask for it a few times a week. My six year old actually caught me making it once and saw that I was putting spinach in it and she still drank it
    :) love love love your Friday favorites! Thanks so much for blogging,

  31. Jessica 12.29.2012

    Those corn dog muffins are phenomenal! A friend of mine told me about a mini corn dog recipe using corn bread mix and I didn’t have that in the house, but wanted to make them for our 5 yr old daughter. So I googled the recipe and happened upon your blog. So thankful we did! She loved the corn dog muffins and we’ve loved a dozen other recipes! Thanks so much and happy New Year!

  32. Rachel 12.30.2012

    I made the inner goddess detox salad for dinner last night after eating far too much over the holidays. It was delicious and I feel much better already :)

  33. Fantastic list! I wish I had a plate of chicken bites right now :) Have a wonderful new year!

  34. Julia 12.30.2012

    Those salads look amazing! :)

  35. Kristin Gauthier 01.02.2013

    The green smoothie is how I found your blog and I look forward to reading it every day! I have made some awesome meals and love the Friday Favorites!
    Looking forward to what you have in store for us in 2013!

  36. Candice Nelson 01.07.2013

    I stumbled on your website a while back looking how to make fresh springrolls and was completely impressed (I like my visuals!)….then it fell off of my radar. It just popped up again when I searched for a curry chicken salad with greek yogurt! I added your site to my start up so I can see if anything new has been added as soon as possible. Thank you for sharing! I consider comin accross your site fate, as when I tell people I am from Sandpoint Idaho, they ask if that is close to Des Moines :) I let them know I haven’t clocked it yet but certainly will the next time I travel there! To a healthy and happy new year!

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