It’s a truth of home cooking: When it comes to recipes, people are often seeking easy and comforting, not complex and fancy. Fourteen-hour pulled pork, sourdough bread made from homemade starter and gingerbread houses piped with intricate designs — all have a place in the canon, but the NYT Cooking recipes that readers returned to again and again are those that are simple and sustaining.

Here are the top five recipes of 2018, determined by the number of times they were saved on our site. (For the complete list of this year’s 50 most popular recipes, visit


CreditLinda Xiao for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Monica Pierini.

At the top of this year’s list is Julia Moskin’s chicken francese (also known as chicken French), pan-fried chicken cutlets bathed in a lemony, buttery sauce, delicious served alongside a pile of rice, noodles or potatoes. The best part: The dish comes together in about 35 minutes.

CreditMelina Hammer for The New York Times
CreditAndrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Sheet pans continue to find new devotees. We published Melissa Clark’s guide to making sheet-pan dinners this year, as well as several new recipes; this one for chicken with sweet potatoes and peppers took top honors. Readers loved the easy prep, the recipe’s adaptability and the quick-pickled onions, which add a complementary sweet-tart crunch.

CreditGentl and Hyers for The New York Times. Food stylist: Maggie Ruggiero. Prop stylist: Rebecca Bartoshesky.

Beef and broccoli, the American Chinese takeout classic, was a hit with readers, who loved the recipe’s simplicity and versatility. (Substitute asparagus for broccoli? Sure! Pork for beef? O.K.!) Sam Sifton adapted the dish from the chef Jonathan Wu, and it calls for a bit of chile-garlic sauce for heat and a chunk of butter swirled in at the end for richness.

Recipe: Beef and Broccoli

CreditKarsten Moran for The New York Times

“Think Stouffer’s without the freezer”: That’s how Alison Roman described her recipe for classic baked macaroni and cheese, which ran with the guide she wrote to making mac and cheese published this year. Readers loved experimenting with different types of cheese and add-ins like pancetta and pickled jalapeños.

Recipe: Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese

If you haven’t tried these recipes, we hope you will, and discover what so many of our readers have: that simple is often spectacular, and comfort food always wins.

More of the year’s best
New York’s Top 10 New Restaurants of 2018

10 Great New York Dishes of 2018