Remember feta pasta on TikTok? Yeah, that happened in 2021, despite the fact that you might feel like you’ve aged 50 years since sticking a brine-soaked hunk of feta cheese in the middle of some cherry tomatoes. Even though this year was as confusing and hard as ever, people from around the world delivered countless viral TikTok recipes — some savory, some sweet, some indescribable — that kept our stomachs full. Recently, TikTok released its 2021 Year on TikTok report, which rounded up some of the most viral TikTok recipes of 2021. Each is a testament to the fact that you don’t need to be a professional chef with years of culinary experience to cook something people are excited to eat; you just need an idea, a love of good flavors, and maybe an air fryer.
The most popular TikTok recipes of 2021 also touch every corner of the food world. From birria ramen to the infamous tortilla trend, these dishes weren’t just good meals; they were fun to make. The amount of joy I got from putting my silly little ice cube on top of my silly little slab of rice while making Emily Mariko’s salmon rice bowl? Astronomical and a little embarrassing. Maybe it’s the fact that I can’t cook to save my life or the fact that I haven’t had a normal social interaction since March 2020, but these viral TikTok recipes were an undeniable bright spot in an otherwise bleak year. And your taste buds deserve to relive the delectable goodness of 2021’s most popular TikTok dishes ahead.