Gnocchi but (mostly) nice: The 10 most Googled recipes of 2021

Potato gnocchi with simple tomato sauce.
Potato gnocchi with simple tomato sauce. Photo: William Meppem.

Just when you thought 2021 couldn't throw up any more surprises, Google reveals 'Curried sausage recipe' was the third most searched for recipe of the year, beating out old favourites lasagne, anything chicken related and even old mate stroganoff. What the what?

And like Donald Trump and Zoom drinks, it seems last year's most popular recipes, banana bread, sourdough and number one, home-made hand sanitiser (yes really), have been relegated to the let's-not-speak-of-them-again list. Happy to oblige there.

So what recipes did Aussies want in 2021, curried sausages aside? Google has released their annual most-searched recipe list. Now fix yourself a negroni, because you really really want one, apparently, and enjoy this random assortment.

 
Andrew McConnell's fresh take on tzatziki.

Andrew McConnell's fresh take on tzatziki. Photo: William Meppem

10. Tzatziki recipes

Move over hummus, tzatziki is cooler than a cucumber in the 2021 dip rankings. The classic combo of yoghurt, garlic, mint and cucumber was often the third choice in the dip trio (behind French onion and smoky bacon), but if there's one thing this list proves, year on year, it's that every dip (and daggy dish) has its day. Here's the traditional recipe or try chef Andrew McConnell's fresh take on it.

Katrina Meynink's licorice, pear and mukhwas rocky road recipe.

Katrina Meynink's licorice, pear and mukhwas rocky road recipe. Photo: Katrina Meynink

9. Rocky road recipes

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Hard to know if people were searching a recipe, or describing their year when they tapped 'rocky road' into google. Whatever the case, it was our soothing sweet treat of choice in 2021. The messy mixture of chocolate, marshmallow, biscuit and other bits 'n bobs is a sweet speciality of our very own Katrina Meynink's. Rocky road googlers, we salute you.

Jill Dupleix's minestrone soup recipe.

Jill Dupleix's minestrone soup recipe. Photo: Marina Oliphant

8. Minestrone soup recipes

A good way to use up pantry staples, this. And we had a few to get through in 2021 when the shops never felt so far away, and that alphabet pasta up the back finally felt validated. It's nice to see a legume and tomato based dish finally get its moment. Stop searching, you only really need one recipe. Jill Dupleix's classic minestrone (with a dollop of pesto) is the business.

Roasted sweet and spicy brussels sprouts with kaffir lime cashews and kimchi.

Roasted sweet and spicy brussels sprouts with kaffir lime cashews and kimchi. Photo: Katrina Meynink

7. Brussels sprouts recipes

Brussels sprouts have long suffered from an image problem. Badly cooked (ie boiled to mush) they are a waterlogged, cabbagey mouthful of fart. But then people started slicing them thinly, and frying them with butter and bacon and - like anything fried with butter and bacon - they became delicious! In 2021 people started air frying them. And we all know that anything air fryer-related (and good) goes wild on the internet.

Lamb shanks in red wine sauce by RecipeTin Eats.

Lamb shanks in red wine sauce by RecipeTin Eats. Photo: RecipeTin Eats

6. Lamb shank recipe

Any meat cooked low and slow (because we had nowhere to go) was a winner in the shivery winter of 2021. But this year, lamb shanks were our cut of choice. As the legendary RecipeTin Eat's said, 'fall-apart meat wrapped around a bone? I'm all in'. And so are we. Here is her Slow-cooked lamb shanks in red wine recipe. Best served with mash and a big glass, make that bottle, of red.

The Protege, Valhalla's take on a Negroni.
for Sofia Levin story on hidden bars, June 22, 2021

The classic negroni. Photo: Hannah Caldwell

5. Negroni recipes

It's gratifying to see the best cocktail in the world (dont @ me) is making its mark, bringing some glamour to a list that is otherwise solid but not all that sexy. The recipe is simple enough: equal parts gin, vermouth and Campari. But there's a secret to making a great one, as Bar Americano's Matt Bax shares here.

Anzac biscuits are an Aussie and New Zealand classic

Anzac biscuits are an Aussie and New Zealand classic Photo: Shutterstock

4. Anzac biscuit recipes

Chewy or crunchy, Anzac Day or not, there's no denying these oaty, golden syrupy biscuits, served with a cup of tea or cold glass of milk, are one of life's simple and enduring pleasures. Here are Richard Cornish's essential tips and tricks to getting them just right, and eight Anzac recipes, from biscuits to cakes, that mean the search is over.

Nathan Lyons's curried sausages

Nathan Lyons's curried sausages Photo: Supplied

3. Curried sausages recipe

Still not sure how this got here, but life got pretty retro in 2021: ABBA got back together, Hey Hey It's Saturday was a ratings winner, and grandma's curried sausages became unexplainably popular. Here's a curried sausage recipe we featured earlier this year from TikTok star Nathan Lyon's book, Cooking with a Koori. To be fair, I'd probably happily eat the whole pot of them.

Adam Liaw's easy guacamole.

Adam Liaw's easy guacamole. Photo: William Meppem

2. Guacamole recipes

It seems smashed avo's not enough for us anymore. We want the whole enchilada (with lashings of guac). Adam Liaw says "The easiest guacamole is just avocado, a pinch of salt and citrus juice. Once you have that straight, you can add other ingredients." And here's Adam's easy guacamole recipe. Guac on.

Potato gnocchi with burnt butter and sage.

Potato gnocchi with burnt butter and sage. Photo: Quentin Jones

1. Gnocchi recipes

Was shaping your own gnocchi the new sourdough? The soothing stress reliever in a year spent in the brace position? Or maybe it's the fact that the popular 'pasta' is made with potato. Potato pasta that's soft on the inside, and when fried, golden and crispy on the outside. Whatever the case, it's the number one most searched recipe of the year. Perhaps 2021 wasn't all bad after all.