I got a karaoke machine for Christmas. Within the safe confines of my living room walls, I broke into a rap song that’s really too fast (Eminem’s Lose Yourself) and a classic that’s too high for an untrained vocalist with a limited range (Mariah Carey’s Always Be My Baby). I had a glorious time and it was the perfect gift. Over the holidays, I’ve also been cooking more than I have all year—I made flan, roasted a duck, and later this week, I’m hosting a tamalada with my brother and his family. We are filling our tamales with pork and a red chile.
From simple pleasures to more sumptuous fare, I hope your holidays are filled with delicious foods and fun gifts that bring you joy. Here are the 10 recipes our readers clicked on most in December.
1. Easy 3-Ingredient Crème Brûlée
Delight your friends and family with this TikTok-famous three-ingredient crème brûlée that leans on store-bought ice cream as the custard base. This means there is zero chance of accidentally curdling the eggs, a common blunder when making creme brûlée from scratch.
2. Masa for Tamales
Writer Ericka Sanchez learned to make tamales from her abuela and mom, and she’s been making it for years. This is her go-to masa recipe for tamales.
3. Blueberry Cheesecake
Everyone talks about leaving cookies for Santa, but what he really wants is a slice of this cheesecake (or this gorgeous Basque cheesecake). This one is studded with blueberries throughout and also topped with an easy blueberry sauce.
4. Cheeseburger Casserole
The key to from-scratch Hamburger Helper is heavy cream and lots of cheese (pre-shredded is just fine). Make a double-batch for the busy week ahead—your future self and your unexpected holiday guests will thank you.
5. Homemade Beef Birria
Whether you choose to serve it as a stew or stuffed in tacos, the holidays are a great time to fill the kitchen with the intoxicating smells of Susy Villasuso’s beef birria.
6. Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad
Here’s a Caesar salad for crunch-lovers. It’s made with shaved Brussel sprouts (they’re in peak season right now!) and toasted breadcrumbs tossed with lemon zest. This recipe makes enough for a gathering or for keeping in the fridge as a quick lunch all week.
7. Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup
On the coldest of wintery nights, nothing warms the body and soul quite like a bowl of this sweet and sour cabbage soup. The recipe comes from writer Micah Siva’s grandmother, a daughter of Ukrainian immigrants.
8. Creamy Chicken Enchilada Soup
A smart tip from writer Sally Vargas: “It’s important to use heavy cream, not milk or half-and-half. The extra fat in heavy cream keeps the soup from curdling when added to the acidic tomatoes.”
9. Chicken Vesuvio
Winner winner chicken dinner! A reader came to the comments to report that this easy one-pan chicken with a garlicky wine sauce is their new “company dinner.” The commenter said, “ I thought the amount of garlic would be too much, so I reduced the amount by 25%, but it turned out that I could have used the full amount and been fine.” Great to know!
10. Chicken Lasagna
Make it an even easier recipe with store-bought rotisserie chicken and no-boil lasagna noodles (soak the no-boil noodles in boiling water for about 3 minutes so that you don’t end up with a dry lasagna).