Top 20 Recipes From 2012 (2024)

So many wonderful things have happened this past year and looking back makes me feel overwhelmingly grateful. I want to thank each and every one of you for enriching my life and giving me a reason to experiment, be creative, and eat really good food!

I love looking back at the recipes from the past year and rediscovering gems that I had almost forgotten about! It was impossible to pick just ten favorites from this year, so I chose 20 instead! :D

These 20 recipes are my favorites. These are the dishes that if, for some strange reason, I stopped making new recipes every week, I’d make my regular rotation. They’re so good that I want to make them over and over and over again.

If you haven’t tried any Budget Bytes recipes yet, this list is a great place to start!

So, here they are, in chronological order:

1. Teriyaki Meatball Bowls


Ground pork seasoned with garlic and ginger, smothered in a potent teriyaki sauce, and served over a steaming bowl of hot jasmine rice. This is what I call meal perfection… and they’re great for the freezer too!

2. Chicken Piccatta


Tender filets of lightly breaded chicken in a salty, lemony sauce. It’s so easy to prepare and the flavor burst will surprise you! Pair it up with some crusty bread and a green salad for a classic meal.

3. Herb Roasted Pork Loin


This one wins the prize for easiest to prepare in 2012. It literally takes only a few minutes of active preparation and then it finishes itself in the oven. And the flavor? AH-MAZ-ING.

4. Hearty Black Bean Quesadillas


This one is not just my favorite, but it’s also a reader favorite. Forget the drive through, these quesadillas will give you ten times more flavor and they’re actually GOOD for you! Plus an added bonus – they’re a breeze to prepare!

5. Crunchy Asian Salad


SO. MUCH. CRUNCH. I’m not sure what makes this salad better, all of the crunchy vegetables or the homemade Sesame Ginger Dressing… or maybe both of them together? Whatever the reason, I could eat this salad every day of my life.

6. Chicken Yakisoba


Street food is awesome for a few reasons: it’s fast, delicious, and filling. That’s exactly why yakisoba is one of the most popular street foods in Japan. This is one of my favorite dinner quick fixes!

7. Sriracha Hummus


Sriracha and hummus were made for each other. The end.

8. Focaccia Rolls


Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside. These are the best rolls I’ve ever made, hands down.

9. Chili Cheese Beef n’ Mac


COMFORT FOOD! Yessss… we all need comfort food once in a while. Pasta is always comforting, but this also has hearty ground beef and just enough cheese to make it creamy and delicious, but not guilt inducing. Gotta love it.

10. Thai Turkey Meatloaf


Okay, I know meatloaf doesn’t have the best reputation, but YOU’VE GOT TO TRY THIS. It’s so good. Moist, juicy, and fully flavored… plus it’s topped off with a sweet and spicy sriracha glaze. What’s not to love?

11. Apple Dijon Kale Salad


Oh YES. Sweet/tart apples, crunchy nuts, chewy raisins, a super tangy vinaigrette, and hearty kale greens. Everything balances perfectly to make one of the best salads I’ve ever had.

12. The “one” Chocolate Mug Cake


FINALLY a chocolate mug cake that meets my needs! It’s small, doesn’t require an egg, is not too-too sweet, and is super rich and decadent. Love it.

13. Sweet Potato Corn Cakes


When you get this many fresh ingredients together in one scrumptious little patty, it’s guaranteed to be good. Sweet potatoes, corn, green onions, cilantro, and a little cayenne pepper make for some sassy little patties!

14. Dragon Noodles


Holla!! Okay, this might be my #1 favorite of the year and I know it’s the favorite of a lot of readers, too. It’s super simple, super tasty, and super filling. I might need to go make some right now, as a matter of fact. BRB.

15. Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal


Baked oatmeal has really changed my breakfast life. It’s warm, rich, slightly sweet, and very filling. This flavor is my favorite from 2012 because the rich bananas and sweet blueberries make the most wonderful couple. If you haven’t tried a baked oatmeal yet, give this one a shot!

16. Aztec Cocoa


This is another life changer! I’ll never go back to plain hot cocoa again. The earthy cinnamon and pinch of cayenne add an extra warmth that regular hot cocoa can’t even touch. Sipping on a mug of this will warm you inside and out.


BEST. SOUP. EVER. Not kidding. I don’t even think I can describe its awesomeness. Just try it.

18. Soy Dijon Pork Tenderloin


So simple, yet so delicious. Soy sauce, dijon, and brown sugar make the perfect trifecta of salty, sweet, and tangy. So GOOD.


Pizza pizza! I continue to love pizza like no other food and this white version with a creamy garlic sauce, sweet caramelized onions, and earthy mushrooms is to die for. It takes some planning ahead, but is WELL worth it!

20. Candied Almonds

Top 20 Recipes From 2012 (20)
Danger! Danger! These are completely addicting, plus they’re super easy to make, so… procede with caution!

So there they are, my top 20 recipes from 2012! But you know what I liked even better? Getting to know all of you. Budget Bytes wouldn’t exists without such a wonderful group of readers. I don’t consider you just onlookers, but active participants in this adventure. Thank you for being there, for sharing your ideas and experiences, and just being wonderful in general. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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