Photo collage of Top Iowa Girl Eats recipes from 2020

WHAT A YEAR!!

What. A dang. Year.

I want to exhale and exclaim “We made it!!” though for many of our friends, family, and neighbors, the story is very different. That said, I leave 2020 feeling grateful for my family’s good health. If this year has taught us anything it’s that life can change in an instant and you never, EVER, know what’s around the corner.

I’m also feeling grateful for extra time spent with my family this year. As an introvert + HSP, alone time is not only desirable but necessary for my overall mental and emotional health, and the first couple of months with all five of us home together 24/7, with very little outside contact, was…challenging. I got back into running after 7 years off if that tells you how much I literally needed an escape!

There are still days when I struggle, but it’s been a joy to be home with my babies for the past 10 months. I know the minute they go back to in-person school (whenever that happens) I will miss them terribly, and so I truly appreciate the amount of quality time we’ve been gifted in 2020.

On the cooking front, it’s clear that many of us were seeking comfort in the form of food this year, as evidenced by the Top 10 Recipes from IGE in 2020. Cheese, pizza, casseroles, and quesadillas dominated this year’s most popular new recipes. They’re the comfort foods we desperately needed!

Wishing you all the VERY best in 2021, but first, here are the Top 10 Reader Favorite Recipes from 2020!

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Popular recipes from past years:

#10 Gluten Free Pizza Breadsticks

Gluten Free Pizza Breadsticks are a gluten-free pizza-lover’s dream come true. These breadsticks are cheesy, chewy and doughy, just like real pan pizza, and you can put whatever your favorite pizza toppings are inside. SUCH a treat.

Gluten Free Pizza Breadsticks on a plate.

 

9# Cheese Enchiladas with Red Sauce

I dream about Cheese Enchiladas with Red Sauce not just because cheese enchiladas are one of my favorite foods, but also because the homemade red sauce enveloping each bite is PERFECTION. So easy, too. You’ll never go back to canned.

Cheese Enchiladas with Red Sauce on a plate

 

#8 Pizza Chicken

The one, the only, Pizza Chicken! This recipe takes like, 10 minutes to make, and is easily customizable. Stretch a couple chicken breasts with this awesome, easy recipe.

Skillet with pizza chicken insde

 

#7 Creamy Sweet Corn Pasta with Basil

Creamy Sweet Corn Pasta with Basil is one of my personal favorite recipes from 2020. It tastes like a decadent, creamy alfredo-type dish, but only you and I know there’s not even a splash of cream required. SO GOOD.

Plate of Creamy Sweet Corn Pasta with Basil

 

#6 Smoked Sausage, White Bean and Spinach Soup

Alternatively titled: Soup, but make it a meal. That is to say, Smoked Sausage, White Bean and Spinach Soup is extremely hearty and cozy since it’s packed with vegetables, beans, and smoked sausage. It’s also packed with flavor thanks to two must-have ingredients.

Bowl of Smoked Sausage, White Bean and Spinach Soup

 

#5 Tuna Melt Sandwiches

One of the biggest requests I had in 2020 was for lunch recipes that were quick and easy to make at home. Behold, Tuna Melt Sandwiches! These babies are a huge upgrade from boring PB&Js.

hot tuna and cheese sandwich with a bite taken out of it

 

#4 Pickle Wrap Dip

If you’re a fan of Pickle Wraps – corned beef spread with cream cheese then rolled around a pickle – then Pickle Wrap Dip will blow your mind. All the zesty flavor of pickle wraps, yet no tedious spreading, rolling, nor slicing required. This dip was a runaway hit with you guys this year. It is incredible!

Chip dipping into Pickle Wrap Dip

 

#3 OMG-Good Goulash

This American-Style Goulash tastes just like Beefaroni and we were ALLLL here for it in 2020. Made in just one pot, it’s a full of comforting flavors. My kids adore this dish, and I adore how simple it is to toss together.

Close up photo of a bowl of OMG good goulash

 

#2 Easy Chicken Fried Rice

Many of us looked to create meals from fridge and pantry staples this year, and Easy Chicken Fried Rice does just that. This dish comes together in minutes using ingredients we always have on hand. Comforting, flavorful, and no restaurant-required.

Bowl of Easy Chicken Fried Rice with chopsticks

 

#1 Cheeseburger Quesadillas

Color me NOT SHOCKED that Cheeseburger Quesadillas claimed top spot for most made, commented on, and favorited recipe from 2020! These hot and cheesy quesadillas are SO delicious, and the Special Sauce served alongside for dunking into is completely spoon-drink worthy.

Stack of Cheeseburger Quesadillas

What was your favorite IGE recipe from 2020?