Top 13 Recipes of 2013


The Top 13 Recipes on Iowa Girl Eats in 2013, chosen by your visits, tweets, pins, and shares!

The Top 13 Recipes on Iowa Girl Eats in 2013, chosen by your visits, tweets, pins, and shares! @IowaGirlEats |

Happy Friday, everybody, I hope your holidays were merry and bright! We had Ben’s family in town from the 20th through Christmas, so I took the opportunity to take a short interwebs/blogging break to be present with them. It was wonderful. 


We also hosted my family along with Ben’s for Christmas Eve dinner which starred Ben’s first attempt at prime rib. He crusted a 10lb roast with heaps of cracked pepper and sea salt. Into the oven and off to church we went. After a song and a prayer we returned home and, with a song and a prayer, we sliced that sucker up.


NAILED IT!!! I tell you what, Ben needs to start his own manly food blog. He did such a great job and the entire roast was scarfed down by all. So yum. Going to try and convince him to make another one for New Years Day, though something tells me I won’t have to try too hard. ;)


The next day we all headed over to my parent’s house for this little pork chop’s first Christmas – whee!


One the of the most touching gifts he received was ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas recorded by my Grandma. I tell you what, if you need a really special gift for a grandchild/niece/nephew/etc, these recordable books by Hallmark are a wonderful idea. I love the thought of Lincoln being able to hear his Great-Grandmother’s voice reading to him anytime he wants!


Our Christmas feast was just that – a FEAST featuring all my favorites. Christmas ham, of course, plus Luann’s Kale Salad, Party Potatoes Deluxe, Green Beans and Bacon, and Grandma’s Holiday Salad (which I had approximately 1,500 bowls of. #worthit.)


‘Twas a wonderful Christmas indeed! (Could you not just die over bat-Finn?)


Now that the holidays are behind us (sob!) it’s time to start looking towards the new year. I’m sad to say goodbye to 2013, after all this was the best year of my life thanks to the birth of our baby boy, but I’m also excited for what 2014 holds. If the past year has taught me anything, it’s that the possibilities for life are absolutely endless. Before we get there though, I want to recap the Top 13 recipes of 2013 on IGE per your visits, pins, tweets, and shares!


From meatballs to pasta salads, soups, casseroles, and sauces, you guys totally dug these 13 recipes. I’m loving the variety here (not all chicken, know what I mean?) Some vegetarian recipes, some appetizers, some skinny dishes, some not. Maybe you’ll find one of your favorites here or discover a new dish to try.

Regardless, I hope you enjoy, and have a wonderful final weekend of 2013!


#13 Feta-Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Full of that signature flavor and spice, yet made with low-fat ground chicken and bold seasonings, Feta-Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Meatballs will be the first appetizer to go at your next party or get-together!

Click here for the recipe >


#12 Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

Chicken & Wild Rice Soup is thick and creamy, but has no cream at all. A lighter take on one of my favorite hearty winter soups.

Click here for the recipe >


#11 Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches

Crock Pot Italian Beef Sandwiches are a mouthwatering version of the popular hot sandwich recipe. Just 5 ingredients, easy to toss together, and slow cooked in yummy juices all day.

Click here for the recipe >


#10 Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Mediterranean Orzo Salad is a simple vegetarian side dish that’s packed with fresh and zesty flavors.

Click here for the recipe >


#9 Tomato-Basil & Spinach Risotto

Tomato-Basil & Spinach Risotto is fresh and light. Perfect any time of year and easier to make than you think. Give risotto a try with this recipe!

Click here for the recipe >


#8 Avocado, Mozzarella & Bruschetta Chicken

Avocado, Mozzarella & Bruschetta Chicken is simple, flavorful and ready in 15-20 minutes. Fresh, healthy, and fast.

Click here for the recipe >


#7 Make-Ahead Fruit & Yogurt Breakfast Parfaits

Make-Ahead Fruit & Yogurt Breakfast Parfaits are easy to assemble and make-ahead, so they’re ideal for a delicious grab-and-go breakfast.

Click here for the recipe >


#6 Lazy Girl’s Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Lazy Girl’s Chicken Enchilada Casserole is perfect for nights you don’t feel like cooking, but want a home-cooked meal. Throw all the ingredients into a casserole dish then bake. Easy!

Click here for the recipe >


#5 Skinny Chicken and Broccoli-Rice Casserole

Skinny Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli-Rice Casserole is soul-satisfying, lighter comfort food. Perfect for a chilly night. Leftovers are just as good, too!

Click here for the recipe >


#4 Easy Cheddar Cheese Sauce for Vegetables

Liven up everything from broccoli and cauliflower to baked potatoes with Easy Cheddar Cheese Sauce, which takes just 5 minutes to make!

Click here for the recipe >


#3 Chicken Fajita Sizzling Salad

Chicken Fajita Sizzling Salad is sizzling fajita ingredients served over a bed of chilled, crisp lettuce, and tossed with a zesty Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette.

Click here for the recipe >


#2 Creamy Garlic Shells

Creamy Garlic Shells are made with fridge and pantry staples, come together in about 15 minutes, and are pasta-packet (and funky preservative) free!

Click here for the recipe >


#1 Cheesy Taco Soup

Cheesy Taco Soup  is thick, hearty, and loaded with taco-inspired ingredients, and a homemade cheese sauce. No condensed soup needed!

Click here for the recipe >

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  1. Anna S. 12.27.2013

    That prime rib looks AMAZING!! Think you might jot down some specifics on how he made it? I can generally guess on most things, but not with big chunks of meat. They scare me. Thanks!

  2. What a tasty year! Happy Holidays!

  3. Kristi 12.27.2013

    I’m sure it’s simple enough but wouldn’t mind hearing more about how the prime rib was made too. And I love the bruschetta chicken! (I know it’s chicken, but still)!

  4. JennP 12.27.2013

    Those crock pot beef sandwiches are one of my favorite recipes of yours – so good! Glad you had a nice Christmas.

  5. Jenn 12.27.2013

    Word of advice on the new recorded book – hide it!! My daughter, now a toddler, had accidentally deleted all the original recordings from her granparents because she hits all the buttons!!

  6. Crissy S. 12.27.2013

    I am SO glad I’ve found your blog! I look forward to all of your yummy recipes every week! My hubby is from Iowa (and a HUGE Hawkeyes fan), so every time I try a new recipe from your blog, I make mention that it’s from Iowa Girl Eats (“you know, the one who’s a big Hawkeyes fan”). That way, he’s sure to like it! The Italian Beef Sandwiches are a HUGE hit with us! We eat them atleast once every two weeks! I even made it when my Canadian cousin was in town! I think I may have to try your Feta-Stuffed Buffalo Chicken Bites for NYE…YUM! Happy 2014 :)

  7. yum. i still need to make the italian beef sandwiches, but they are on my list! my husband will LOVE them!

  8. Kristin from MN 12.27.2013

    Beautiful family picture! This year my husband also tackled a prime rib and a beef tenderloin for Christmas dinner and he definitely nailed it! He was scrambling the night before for butcher’s twine (no stores open on C’mas Eve past 8pm in our town) . Haha! Luckily our neighbor had some. ;)

  9. Kristin from MN 12.27.2013

    Oh I forgot to mention last night I made your salmon on a Dole Light Caesar Salad and OMG I’m sooooo in love! I didn’t even like salmon until last night. I got the sweet maple marinated salmon from Hy-Vee and sautéed per your recommendations and I am obsessed now with that crusty edge the salmon gets. Soooo good!

  10. Jeni Flaa 12.27.2013

    I made your cheese sauce to dip sweet potato fries into. It was pretty fantastic. Thanks for all the recipes! Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  11. Brittni M 12.27.2013

    So I don’t normally comment on blogs but I just wanted to thank you for producing such an awesome, wholesome, adorable blog that seriously inspires me every time I read it! I have tried so many of your recipes and loved every one of them! Your family is adorable and I love living my life vicariously through your stories, so keep them coming! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  12. Emily 12.27.2013

    My husband’s grandmother recorded Twas the Night Before Christmas as well and gave it to us as a shower gift. It’s such a sweet idea. And the advice about hiding it is so helpful. I will have to do that as well.

  13. Lindsay 12.27.2013

    O.M.G. I want every recipe! And I hope you do a prime rib tutorial :)

  14. cozygirl 12.27.2013

    I just love following you, as well as my niece. You food photos are so amazing…not to mention the recipes! Happy holidays….and thanks for sharing your stories with all us!!!

  15. Looks like a perfect couple of days! That roast looks amazing, I am a sucker for a roast! And i’m pretty sure i have pinned all of these recipes!

  16. Sadye 12.27.2013

    This is so interesting — I don’t think I bookmarked any of those as absolute musts to make, but evidently I missed out on some jewels :)

  17. Carma 12.27.2013

    Needing to add a couple of those recipes to my “must try this” list. I think every recipe of yours I have tried, the hubby says “we need to make that again.” (We? I was alone in the kitchen, bub! LOL)
    I love the recorded book by grandma. That will be a treasure for years to come.

  18. What a sweet idea for a gift! That’s something you can pass down in the family too so that even her great-great grandchildren can hear her voice one day. It’s perfect!

    Lincoln’s hair is getting so long…he’s going to be such a little heart breaker. ;)

  19. Carrie 12.27.2013

    These recipes look amazing! Can’t wait to try the meatballs!!

  20. 3girls1apple 12.27.2013

    So many outstanding dishes to try. They all look so tasty and amazing. Great picks for 2013. Happy New Year from

  21. courtney 12.27.2013

    Happy New Year, Iowa Girl! Kristin, I am So glad that I stumbled upon your blog. You have a wonderful and beautiful spirit that comes across in your pictures and your writing…All the best to you and your family for 2014!

  22. Emily 12.27.2013

    the feta-stuffed buffalo chicken meatballs are my fave! they went over like gangbusters at our super bowl party last year – and I’ve made them a few times since with broccoli on the side! love!

  23. Shobelyn 12.27.2013

    I am digging the cheesy taco soup. I will be making it soon – maybe tomorrow. Happy New Year!

  24. Looks like Prime Rib was the “it” entree of Christmas 2013. My sister also made one with a salt and thyme rub that she let sit for a few days…it was ah-maz-ing.

    Merry Christmas to you, Ben, and your little porkchop.

  25. Katie 12.27.2013

    Thank you for sharing your Christmas with all of us :) Good job Ben on that prime rib. Looks delish. It’s so nice to be able to take a break and spend time with family. Have a happy new year!! Oh and the chicken wild rice soup is to die for!!

  26. Analecia 12.28.2013

    You seriously have the best blog! Your little family is so adorable :) I have tried so many of your recipes and love them all! Happy New Year to you and your family! Can’t wait for all of the recipes and stories in 2014!

  27. Cyndi 12.28.2013

    These all look delicious :) Just a tip as someone who has cooked countless prime ribs… you may want to go low and slow next time. I can tell by the photo that you used a higher heat (since the outside going toward the middle is gray and arguably overcooked). If you go instead for 200 degrees for 3-5 hours (depending on size of roast, use a meat thermometer to ensure the proper level of doneness), you’ll end up with a uniformly pink roast throughout with each part cooked the same.

    • Iowa Girl Eats 12.28.2013

      He did low and slow then a blast of high heat at the end to get a crunchy crust. It was really delicious through and through!

  28. Missy 12.28.2013

    I LOVE that Cheesy Taco Soup! It is sooo good!!!!

  29. jodi 12.29.2013

    Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! I love your blog, I usually sit quietly and pin all the yummies, but I wanted to wish you Happy New Year!
    Any chance you will share your hubby’s recipe for the prime rib? I have been wanting to try one so bad, but am afraid it will be a flop; and at the price they are, I don’t want to flop! :)

    ps..I’m an iowa girl too, we live over on the western side not far from Sioux City.
    Take care and stay warm today….isn’t this weather crazy!

  30. We loved the cheesy taco soup and the Italian sandwiches here!

  31. YUM! The creamy garlic shells look incredible!

  32. Sharon B. 12.30.2013

    I have pinned so many of these recipes over this past year, thanks for such a great wrap-up of the faves! Happy New Year to you and your family, including that adorable little pork chop! Looking forward to more great posts from you in 2014. Sharon

  33. Jenny Stockton 12.31.2013

    First week of 2014 meal planning = DONE. Thanks, IGE!

  34. Jennifer Somers 01.02.2014

    I absolutely love your blog! Thank you for sharing your life and your delicious recipes!

  35. […] since Ben made that insane 10lb prime rib for Christmas dinner I’ve been itching for an easier way to incorporate roast beef into my life. Because […]

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