Ann Fulton knows how to deliver an impeccable recipe, and she did not disappoint in 2023. Here are the top 10 NEW recipes from Fountain Avenue Kitchen this year that our families have been making again…and again and again!
The Eye of the Beholder
As a dietitian and family meal planner, people often come to me to ask for family-friendly recipes that everyone will enjoy. And while I appreciate the intention and understand the motivation behind the question, it’s a hard one to deliver an answer. The reason being is that recipes are like art, or wine —it’s all in the eye of the beholder!
And by “beholder,” I refer to everyone, including the home chef, the family members eating the food, those in charge of relevant time and budget constraints, those with dietary restrictions…and on and on…
Meaning, THE perfect family-friendly recipe doesn’t exist, but recipes that are perfect for us as individuals do.
It’s hard to pinpoint why we like certain recipes. Sometimes, it’s not all about the ingredients or the final product, but how user-friendly the recipe is. Substitutions, prep-ahead suggestions, and step-by-step captioned photos along the way provide added value for many. We can all appreciate a well-written recipe with built-in flexibility!
The Top 10 of 2023
This list includes the recipes readers have made over and over again this year – the recipes we saved, pinned, and started to memorize because of how frequently we made them.
Even if some ingredients don’t immediately appeal to you and yours, Fountain Avenue Kitchen recipes have been counted on over time (12 years and running!) for high-quality, thoroughly vetted meals when you need them. Just use the search button — and don’t forget to tell us below which recipes were your favorites this year!
#10 BEER BREAD
When I first tasted this bread during our photo shoot, I couldn’t believe how tasty it was. Homemade bread in general is pretty special, and this simple recipe makes it very easy to achieve at home. Slathered with butter and jam, served alongside your favorite soup our stew, it’s the perfect accompaniment to most meals. Oh, and it’s equally tasty using Ann’s tips for a gluten-free loaf!
#9 SLOW COOKER SOUTHWEST CHICKEN
I love easy weeknight dinners with prep-ahead options and this one fits the bill perfectly. Versatile and quick, it relies on pantry staples and can be served burrito bowl-style or in tacos. My friend and I call this a “dump and run” because everything goes in the slow-cooker and then you can go about your day. Add whatever toppings you like and save some leftovers for lunch box bowls the next day!
#8 BRUSSELS SPROUTS SALAD WITH LEMON DIJON VINAIGRETTE
With most salads, it’s cumbersome to store leftovers because you have to keep the dressing and the toppings separate from the lettuce. And salads never seem to taste better the next day – except for this one!
This Brussels sprouts-based salad gets better with a bit of storage and the dressing already mixed in. It’s crunchy, vibrant, and hearty and will make a meal out of virtually any protein, from chicken and pork to salmon, shrimp, steak, and burgers. Plus, the prep is nearly effortless when using a package of pre-shredded Brussels sprouts. The tangy dressing is the perfect pairing.
#7 MINI LEMON PIES
The photographs make these pies look delightful, and they absolutely are. Cool, creamy, sweet-tart mini pies are the perfect hand-held dessert for gatherings and can be made in advance with a few key ingredients. I actually like them as a winter dessert, when fresh fruit is meh and citrus feels right. Ann enjoys them in summer, because they are light, fresh, and cooling.
The graham cracker crust (which can also be made gluten-free!) grounds the tart filling. A decorative dollop of whipped cream, and perhaps a strawberry slice or grating of lemon zest, lend a gourmet look. And guests will have no idea how easy they are to make!
#6 CILANTRO LIME EDAMAME AND BLACK BEAN SALAD
If there’s a dip that pairs well with Frito’s Scoops chips, then I’m all in! This versatile salad/dip/side dish is quick to prepare and brimming with zippy flavor. Not to mention it’s chock full of fiber-rich legumes, which are filling and nutritious.
The salad is also a convenient make-ahead dish: If you have time, refrigerate for at least an hour, as the flavors will meld and improve over time. The salad may also be made up to a full day in advance, and makes for delicious leftovers at lunch time.
#5 BBQ TOFU BOWLS
This is my first ever go-to tofu recipe. The great taste and filling nature of these bowls made them an easy add to the repeat list, and they offer an excellent way to add variety to mealtimes. The flavors pair so well together, and rest assured, you can sub in other proteins if you don’t typically opt for tofu. But with the flavors in this recipe, I’d encourage you to try it!
#4 EASY CAULIFLOWER SOUP
I have been living off this soup recipe for many reasons. It’s so easy to whip up a batch and have leftovers for the week. And since I’ve started participating in a CSA, there always seems to be cauliflower in my box!
I mix the cauliflower with whatever other veggies I think would pair well, such as carrots or broccoli, potatoes and onions. Sometimes, I stir in leftover rice, dunk a piece of bread, or even drizzle over macaroni noodles. Not to mention the endless amounts of toppings to choose among!
#3 CHICKEN GYROS
Roadside gyros were one of my favorite things to eat as a kid growing up in NYC. They are a great mix of soft pita, crunchy veggies, rich protein, and tangy sauce. So, when our dear friend and neighbor Christina Mattson (who is Greek!) offered to share her authentic chicken gyros recipe, Ann and I were thrilled.
This handheld meal includes classic add-ons and a shortcut tzatziki, which are easy to recreate in your kitchen. A light but satisfying meal that may also be served over rice or greens, it can also be made with beef, shrimp, salmon, or pork. Enjoy over and over again — and don’t forget a side of Greek Lemon Potatoes to round it out!
#2 SPAGHETTI SQUASH LASAGNA
Every so often, you taste something and say out loud, “Oh my goodness, this is SO good.” During our photo shoot, Donovan and I tasted this lasagna for the first time and we could not believe how yummy it was. It tasted even better than it looked, if that was possible.
Hearty, well-seasoned, thoughtfully layered, and veggie-heavy, this lasagna is such a special recipe. Though it does take some time to prepare, you can prep it and make it ahead, in stages if you like. Everyone is sure appreciate the final product!
Delicious hot out of the oven, it’s also the kind of meal I’m excited to have in my fridge for leftovers throughout the week. It freezes well too.
#1 SPANISH-STYLE CHICKPEAS
If you told me a year ago that this dish would be readers’ number one pick and my number one pick for best recipe this year, I would have been skeptical. It’s so simple, and there isn’t much to it, but the ingredients come together perfectly. I’ve added it to football party spreads, made it for my weekday lunches, and even brought it to a party as an appetizer – which was much appreciated for the wholesome balance it offered to the spread. This recipe is a MUST-MAKE!
Some of the most recent recipes were simply too new to make the rankings. But both the Best Egg Sandwiches and Crispy Latkes are dynamite recipes that are gaining traction and have been repeat recipes in many homes, garnering quick success and much applause!
Ann reported she just made her fourth batch of egg sandwiches since Thanksgiving – they are perfect to have on hand when family is home or guests are visiting. And though Hanukkah is over, the latkes are still on our menus throughout the holiday season for the crowd-pleasing appetizer they truly are.
We love to hear from our readers! Tell us in the comments section below – do you agree with these rankings? What were your favorite Fountain Avenue Kitchen recipes this year?