Merry Christmas! We hope you are enjoying a festive, happy and delicious holiday.

As we head into the final week of 2019, let’s look back at some of the most popular recipes of the year. These are the dishes that whet our collective appetites, inspired us to cook and made us return to the kitchen again and again.

These are the recipes that were clipped and shared the most, and the ones that I keep hearing about from you, our readers.

As I’ve sifted through the contenders, I’ve noticed some trends emerging among the top favorites. First, comfort appears to be an important component when it comes to choosing a new dish, and the recipes that made it onto our Top Five Favorites list have it in spades. The comfort spectrum is broad across the list, featuring in dishes that are nutritious, old-fashioned, colorful, spicy or just plain delicious.

Second, appearance matters, and the recipes that made it onto our list of favorites probably first drew your attention by their colorful and inviting presentation. It’s no accident that these top recipes also feature some of my favorite photos from the year. If there’s any doubt, this list is proof-positive that we eat with our eyes.

WDAY logo
listen live
watch live

Third, ease of preparation is a must when it comes to selecting a new recipe. Without exception, our top five recipes are made with ingredients that are commonly available in most supermarkets, and don’t require a great deal of experience to prepare. When it comes to food, keeping it simple wins, every time.

Finally, I was delighted to see a consensus among our readers’ choices and my family’s favorites — just like great minds, great appetites also think alike.

When preparing for this feature, I asked my husband, Tony, and teenage son, Gio, to make their own lists and each of our choices echoes the tastes of our readers. So, without further ado, here are the top five recipes from 2019.

No. 1: Warm-Spice Chicken (Detox) Soup

Warm-Spice Chicken Soup was only the second recipe published in 2019 and nearly 12 months later, it is still the overwhelming favorite of the year among our readers.

With its comforting blend of warm spices and nutrition, this soup is the perfect antidote to the ravages of winter.

No. 2: Rainbow Layer Salad with Buttermilk Herb Dressing

Rainbow Layer Salad features a variety of vegetables arranged in colorful layers to create a side dish that is perfect for parties and potlucks. David Samson / The Forum
Rainbow Layer Salad features a variety of vegetables arranged in colorful layers to create a side dish that is perfect for parties and potlucks. David Samson / The ForumDavid Samson / The Forum

Tony’s favorite was a toss-up between two salads (pun intended), but it was the colorful presentation and layers of delicious flavor that ultimately led my Rainbow Layer Salad to victory.

Tony is in good company, as this recipe also made it onto my list, as well as our readers’.

ARCHIVE: Read more Lost Italian columns and recipes

No. 3: Super Crispy Buffalo Chicken Wings

Temper the heat of Buffalo wings with cool celery and blue cheese sauce. David Samson / The Forum
Temper the heat of Buffalo wings with cool celery and blue cheese sauce. David Samson / The ForumDavid Samson / The Forum

I’ve made this recipe more than any other from today’s list, and for good reason. These are not your run-of-the-mill, soggy, oven-baked chicken wings. Thanks to a dusting of baking powder and a low, slow oven bake, these chicken wings truly are super-crispy.

Tossed in a classic spicy Buffalo sauce and served with a to-die-for blue cheese dip, these wings are made for game day. Or any day. They're also Gio's favorite this year.

No. 4: Old-Fashioned Icebox Cake

Old-Fashioned Icebox Cake features layers of homemade Chocolate Wafer Cookies and whipped cream for the ultimate cookies-and-cream experience. Meagan Deanne / The Forum
Old-Fashioned Icebox Cake features layers of homemade Chocolate Wafer Cookies and whipped cream for the ultimate cookies-and-cream experience. Meagan Deanne / The Forum

In a year filled with great recipes, it is so hard to choose a favorite. When in doubt, a good chocolate cake never disappoints.

“When you taste this dessert, you will taste your childhood.” This is how Tony describes this cake, and reactions like this are why I love to cook. Featuring layers of homemade chocolate wafer cookies and whipped cream, you get a recipe for a cookie and cake, all in one.

What’s not to love? It was my favorite recipe of 2019.

No. 5: Sicilian Chicken Parmigiana

Sicilian Chicken Parmigiana is a delicious dish suitable for Christmas with tenderized cutlets in tomato sauce covered with cheese and fresh basil. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor
Sicilian Chicken Parmigiana is a delicious dish suitable for Christmas with tenderized cutlets in tomato sauce covered with cheese and fresh basil. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

We featured this recipe earlier this month and it blew up my Facebook page shortly thereafter, garnering the most shares of any recipe I’ve posted this year, also becoming the family and social media favorite of 2019.

Inspired by our adventures in Sicily last summer, this Sicilian Chicken Parmigiana is what we’re eating today. And tomorrow, and next year…

I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane with me and would love to hear if your favorite made it onto our list. I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a delicious New Year!

Recipes for each favorite can be found at Inforum.com.

Recipe Time Capsule:

This week in...

“Home with the Lost Italian” is a weekly column written by Sarah Nasello featuring recipes by her husband, Tony Nasello. The couple owned Sarello’s in Moorhead and lives in Fargo with their son, Giovanni. Readers can reach them at sarahnasello@gmail.com.