That Spicy Chick

Your Favorite 20 Recipes of 2020

A look back on our readers’ favorite and the most popular new recipes in 2020 on That Spicy Chick. It was an incredibly delicious year with quick and easy stir-fries, weeknight curries, back-pocket recipes, and more.

Collage of food photos. Text overlay "Your Favorite 20 Recipes of 2020" and "thatspicychick.com."

Happy New Year everyone! Can you believe 2020 is over?!

While the past year has been unreal and incredibly trying for so many of us all over the world, I’m happy to say that it was also a wonderful year of delicious food that I and many of you have loved on That Spicy Chick! 💛

We found comfort in desserts like this Strawberry Lemon Cream Cake in the summer, Pumpkin Pecan Bread in the fall, and Cranberry Pecan Biscotti over the festive holiday period. We also repeatedly indulged in my BEST Double Chocolate Chip Muffins throughout the second half of the year!

And in times when we didn’t want to cook due to mental and physical exhaustion, quick and easy stir-fries came to the rescue. I’ve personally made my Spicy Thai Basil Chicken Fried Rice, Pad Mee Korat (Pad Thai’s spicier and lesser known delicious cousin), and Peanut Sauce Ground Pork Stir-fry too many times this year to count!

Simple ways to cook proteins like fish & seafood and chicken, as well as flavorful comforting pastas also quickly became popular when lockdowns and quarantines started. I feel honored that you’ve allowed me to cater to your recipe needs during this unpredictable and strange year.

Before we officially kick off the new year with more tasty recipes, I thought it’d be fun to look back on our most popular recipes of 2020 on the blog!

But just before I get to that list, I want to say thank you to each and every one of you. That Spicy Chick would not continue to exist without your support and love. And you guys have really come through for me this year.

I’ve had my mood ups and downs during this tough year, like I’m sure many of you did too. But showing up everyday so that I could deliver to you the weekly scoop on the latest delicious concoction created in That Spicy Chick’s headquarters gave me purpose. You guys kept and keep me going as always. So thank you. ❤️

I’m so thankful for everyone who visits the site, tries some of the recipes, leaves comments, tags me in photos on Instagram and Facebook, emails, and shares them with family and friends. You guys are amazing!!

Chatting with you about food and recipes truly makes my day. My heart feels so incredibly full, and it’s a pleasure to be able to inspire you in the kitchen and spice up your cooking life! So again, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. 🤗

I’m looking forward to sharing more exciting, comforting, and some healthy recipes that will hopefully become some of your new favorites this year. If you have any specific recipe requests, or would like to see more recipes from particular cuisines, do let me know in the comments section below. Or drop me a line using our contact form. I’d love to know what kind of recipes you want to see on the blog and make in 2021. 😊

I wish you all a healthy and happy year ahead. Here’s to rebuilding in 2021, and of course, to more delicious and inspiring recipes as we move forward into the new year together! ❤️ 💃

Without further ado, here are your favorite 20 recipes of 2020! Have a look and be sure to bookmark your faves!

Juicy Baked Chicken Breasts

A sliced seasoned baked chicken breast in a white plate garnished with  chopped parsley.

This back-pocket chicken recipe goes through my personal foolproof process on how to get tender, flavorful, and juicy baked chicken breasts without fail every single time! The post is full of all my best tips, and this is a great recipe to have on hand for meal prep needs. You can use the juicy and tasty chicken in quick and easy pastas, soups, salads, pizzas, and more!

Reader’s comment: “Super quick, simple and moist chicken is always a treat. I’ll be back!!” -Adam

Garlic Salmon Fried Rice

Two bowls with salmon fried rice garnished with spring onion on a grey wood photo board.

It’s no secret around here that I love a good spicy fried rice. But when it’s made with plenty of garlic and salmon, and tossed in the most delicious sesame and chili soy sauce, I can eat it for days on end and wouldn’t get tired of it at all! 😍

Reader’s comment: “We made this last night with some leftover salmon we had in the fridge and it turned out great. My wife is not big on spice so we didn’t use any of the chilies and cut the crushed red pepper flakes in half. Was still delicious. Looking forward to leftovers for lunch tomorrow! Thanks for such a great recipe.” -Bob

Greek Yogurt Pizza Dough

A freshly baked whole pepperoni pizza on parchment paper.

After making my Easy Homemade Bagels with Greek yogurt, I decided to try and make a pizza with the same dough. It worked beautifully, and this was a very popular recipe this year! It’s quick and easy to whip up when that pizza craving hits, and the dough doesn’t need a rise time or any yeast. Most importantly, this dough produces great homemade pizzas that you can customize with any of your favorite toppings!

Reader’s comment: “So good! I added garlic powder to the dough. I baked at 400 in convection bake for 10 minutes and convection roast for 5 minutes. It cooked so well! Not gooey/sticky at all. The teens in my house loved it and were asking for more!! 🥳” -Marian

Peanut Butter Chicken Curry

Top view of round serving bowl with creamy chicken curry with veggies garnished with chopped coriander and peanuts.

This flavorful Thai-inspired chicken curry is made with mostly everyday ingredients and pantry staples, but that’s just one reason why it was a HUGE hit with you all. It has the BEST velvety coconut milk sauce that’s made with peanut butter and chili garlic sauce! 🤤 It’s also customizable with whatever veggies you have in your crisper drawer, and incredibly satisfying with a bowl of steamed rice!

Reader’s comment: “I made this recipe tonight and didn’t include any of the Chilis because my spice tolerance is quite low, HOWEVER, my husband loves spicy foods and even without the chilis it met his approval. FANTASTIC recipe. He said that it was the best thing I’ve ever cooked, that it was restaurant quality, and that he would go back & pay for it over & over again. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe & letting us home cooks feel really good about what we produce.” -Lonnie

Apricot Almond Oat Slice (Oat Bars)

Apricot almond square shaped oat slices on parchment paper. Oat slice on bottom left corner is sticking out.

With working from home and virtual classrooms becoming the new norm, it’s no wonder that this healthy and tasty snack gained a lot of traction last year. These Apricot Almond Oat Slices are a great quick breakfast, dessert and/or snack, and the perfect healthy thing to make to kick off the new year! They have less sugar than store-bought oat bars, and are full of juicy sweet dried apricots, crunchy almonds, chewy oats, coconut, brown sugar, and honey. 💛

Almond Meal Banana Cake

Almond cake with honey pecan glaze on a large round plate with a slice cut out to show the  texture inside.

This moist, sweet, and delectable cake is made primarily with almond meal, and just a little bit of flour. It’s full of the best almond and banana flavors, and topped with an irresistible honey pecan glaze!

Reader’s comment: “Lavina, this was so delicious. I loved it. Made it for a dinner party and my guests really enjoyed it. They were asking me for the recipe! I’ll definitely be making it again. Thank you❤️ ” -Varsha

Spicy Thai Basil Chicken Fried Rice

Top view of chicken fried rice on a plate with cucumber slices, fork and spoon, and a small bowl with fish sauce and chillies.

My number one personal favorite recipe of the year. ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ I was super thrilled to see that it made the list, and that so many of you were loving it too! You can’t beat a quick and easy fried rice weeknight dinner, and this one has ALL the best signature Thai garlicky and spicy flavors! 😋

Lemongrass Pork Stir-fry

Overhead view of ground pork stir-fry garnished with coriander and mint leaves on rice in a bowl.

Another one of my quick and easy stir-fries, and this one is inspired by Vietnamese flavors. It’s sweet, savory, spicy, and full of bright and fresh notes!

Reader’s comment: “Yes! Such an outstanding recipe. All those wonderful peppers. Great level of spice.” -Mike

Butter Chicken Pasta Bake

Overhead view of Butter Chicken Pasta Bake garnished with chopped coriander in a baking dish.

Sometimes when you marry two of your favorite cuisines, a showstopping fusion pasta masterpiece happens. If you love Indian Butter Chicken and pasta, you’re going to drool all over for this! It’s great for feeding a crowd, and full of spicy and bold flavored Indian Butter Chicken, penne pasta, and plenty of melty cheese!

Reader’s comment: “This turned out delicious! It was creamy and flavourful, and I could definitely see this dish being added to the regular rotation at my house! The leftovers the next day tasted just as good!” -MJ

Peanut Sauce Ground Pork Stir-fry

Ground pork and bok choy stir-fry on plate with rice topped with sesame seeds, chopped peanuts, coriander, and spring onion.

The flavors in this easy weeknight stir-fry with peanut butter, chili garlic sauce, and fragrant aromatics are so good!! I personally make this AT LEAST once a month last year, with either ground pork or chicken. 😋

Reader’s comment: “Thanks for all your recipes Lavina! Peanut sauce mince pork turned out quite yummy! And I never realized it was that easy to make your own peanut sauce!” -Arun

Spicy Pork Pad Thai

Close up left side front view of plate with pork noodles stir-fry garnished with chopped peanuts.

I’ve never been a fan of restaurant style Pad Thai because it’s usually overly sweet. 2020 was the year I decided I wanted to fall in love with Pad Thai, so I created a version that was inspired by one I had in Bangkok from a street food cart! This Pad Thai with seared marinated pork slices will blow your socks off with all of its addictive spicy, sweet, and sour notes!! You can customize it with your favorite protein (chicken, beef, shrimp, or tofu to make it vegetarian). 🙌

Yu Xiang Qie Zi (Fish-Fragrant Eggplant)

Chili garlic eggplant and ground pork stir-fry with cloud ear mushrooms in a white round serving dish. Chopsticks and bowls with rice in the background.

This classic Sichuan dish is made lighter by pan-frying eggplant strips instead of deep-frying. The eggplant then gets tossed with ground pork, cloud ear mushrooms, and aromatics in a delectable spicy, sweet, and sour sauce! This is must-try for Sichuan food lovers!

Reader’s comment: “One of our favourite dishes! I make it at least once a month. Thanks for the delicious recipe Lavina!” -Kim

Thai Basil Chicken Spaghetti

Top view of large wok with spaghetti tossed with ground chicken, red and green chilies, garlic, onion, baby corn, green beans, and holy basil in a brown sauce.

If Kung Pao Chicken Linguini can be a delicious thing, then I say Thai Basil Chicken Spaghetti most certainly can too! This pasta stir-fry is quick and easy to make, great for easy weeknight dinners, and full of tasty spicy and garlicky notes!

Reader’s comment: “I used blended chillies, sliced chicken breast n I forgot about the onions, but it taste good 👍🏼 ” -Olliephang

Thai Cashew Chicken

Stir-fry chicken dish with bell peppers and cashews in a round serving bowl.

A Thai classic made lighter thanks to stir-frying the chicken instead of deep-frying before tossing in a mouthwatering sauce. Tender chicken, roasted cashews, crunchy bell peppers and onion, and a wicked tasty sweet, spicy, and sour sauce! 😍 What’s not to love?

Reader’s comment: “Another delicious recipe that we’ve added to our ‘regular’ list. Thanks Lavina!” -Kim

Khua Kling Moo (Southern Thai Dry Curry Pork)

Top view of Khua Kling Moo on rice in a black bowl. Cucumber and green beans on plate and stir-fry in wok behind.

If you’re a spice lover, you NEED this southern Thai ground pork stir-fry in your life! It’s full of fiery notes, fragrant aromatics and herbs, and incredibly delicious with some steamed rice and cooling veggies on the side. It’s also flexible with your choice of protein, and can be made with ground chicken, turkey, or TVP (textured vegetable protein) or mushrooms if you would like to make it vegetarian.

Thai Iced Milk Tea with Grass Jelly

Top view of two mason mugs with Thai milk tea, grass jelly cubes, ice, boba straws, and tall spoons.

With summers getting warmer each year, it’s a no brainer why this one was a hit with many of you over the summer months! But if being entirely honest, I love sipping on this refreshing chilled drink during summer and winter! It has just the right amount of sweetness, and is an absolute delight with all the chewy and cooling grass jelly cubes (which also happen to be really good for you)!

Creamy Chicken Mushroom Rice Soup

White round bowl with creamy mushroom and chicken vegetable soup and a spoon.

My favorite cozy, comforting, and warming soup of the year! I love that it’s loaded with plenty of feel-good veggies, flavorful chicken, as well as rice so that it’s actually filling. Also, browning the mushrooms separately first makes the soup robustly flavorful, and truly allows their flavors to shine!

Stir-fried Kimchi Chicken Noodles

Front view of plate with stir-fried chicken noodles dish with a fork tucked into the side.

This Korean-inspired beauty is a quick 30-minute noodle stir-fry that’s just too easy to make on any given weeknight. It’s jam-packed with so much flavor and umami thanks to kimchi and gochujang, and customizable with any type of ground meat you like!

Coronation Chicken Salad

Front view of coronation chicken salad on a slice of bread with lettuce on a plate. Utensils and green grapes in a bowl in the back.

My take on this British classic is full of wonderful curry notes, sweet dried apricots, juicy grapes, crunchy toasted pecans, bright and fresh herbs like coriander and mint, and heavenly creamy mayonnaise (or Greek yogurt for a lighter version)! Whether you pile it in a sandwich, salad, wraps, or in lettuce cups, you’re going to LOVE it!

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins lined up on parchment paper and chocolate chips scattered in the front.

So many of you wrote in to say that these cake-like muffins were so delicious! The secret ingredient in here is Greek yogurt, my friends. And it does wonders for the texture of these delightful and soft chocolatey muffins!

Reader’s comment: “What a cake! Yummy yummy cake, I have eaten so many chocolate cakes in the past, but this one is the best! Thanks for sharing.❤️ ” -Geeta


These are just a handful of your favorite recipes over the past year. Feel free to Browse All Recipes on the blog, and use the filters on the right hand sidebar to find your next favorite recipe here on That Spicy Chick. Stay tuned for more tasty recipes coming in 2021! Wish you all a healthy, safe, and wonderful year ahead! ❤️ 😘


More Recipe Round-ups

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