You Probably Forgot About Some of TikTok's Most Viral Recipes From 2021
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.
Viral TikTok Recipe: the Tortilla Trend
Yes, the TikTok tortilla trend, which stormed FYPs at the start of 2021, could be likened to a quesadilla or a Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme, but neither captures the layers (literally) of this wrap hack. Made by slicing the radius of a tortilla, placing a different ingredient in each quadrant, and folding each layer of the tortilla over the next, the tortilla trend not only keeps all the ingredients in place, but it allows for a better chance of an even mix of flavors in every bite.
Viral TikTok Recipe: Baked Feta Pasta
The absolute hold this baked feta pasta recipe had over us as a collective was unparalleled, largely because it was almost entirely foolproof. (And also, who doesn't love blocks of cheese?) Seriously, all you have to do is douse a dish of cherry tomatoes and feta in brine with olive oil and seasonings, bake it, toss in some cooked pasta, and mix. That's it. The result is a heaping dish of cheese-covered pasta, complemented by flavorful tomatoes.
Viral TikTok Recipe: Nature's Cereal
If you hated on TikTok user @natures_food's "nature's cereal" when it was popular . . . why? This play on traditional cereal features pomegranate seeds, blackberries, and blueberries in a bowl of coconut water, and according to @natures_food, the mixture offers him digestive support as well as a burst of energy in the morning. Lizzo even shared her own take on "nature's cereal," and honestly, if it's good enough for her, it should be good enough for everyone,
Viral TikTok Recipe: Air Fryer Pasta Chips
With the amount of air fryer recipes I've seen circulating TikTok, I'm not sure how anyone ever lived without one. Combining two universally popular foods — pasta and chips — into one delicious snack, air fryer pasta chips on TikTok are a home run. After cooking pasta, mix it with parmesan cheese, olive oil, onion powder, and garlic powder. Then, pop it in the air fryer for about seven minutes, and you've got yourself the only snack you'll ever want to eat.
Viral TikTok Recipe: Salmon Rice Bowl
Do you think Emily Mariko knew the sheer impact her salmon rice bowl TikTok would have on the masses? The way it would shake all of us to our cores? Unlikely. A popular meal in Japanese and Korean households made, essentially, from leftovers, the dish combines flaked salmon, rice, sriracha, Kewpie mayonnaise, soy sauce, roasted seaweed, avocado, and kimchi to create a quick-and-easy meal that's a little spicy and a lot delicious.
Viral TikTok Recipe: Pesto Egg Sandwich
I'm a sucker for eggs cooked in myriad ways, but cooked with pesto? Now, you really have my attention. Pesto eggs went viral on TikTok as an easy way to completely elevate an already easy food to make. Seriously, the simplest form of this viral TikTok recipe just requires swapping out whatever cooking oil you'd normal cook your eggs with for pesto. Season your eggs however you'd like, and then, you'll have what looks like a gourmet breakfast dish that took you all of five minutes to make.
Viral TikTok Recipe: Baked Oatmeal With Chocolate and Peanut Butter
No, oatmeal is not just tasteless, lumpy goop you begrudgingly eat in the morning, and yes, the baked oatmeal recipes taking TikTok by storm do, in fact, taste as good as they look. One take on baked oatmeal, with chocolate and peanut butter, understandable went viral as a snack or dessert option, and it's easy to see why: it looks like a chocolate chip cake. By blending oats, banana, peanut butter, and maple syrup with traditional dessert ingredients, like salt, an egg, vanilla, and chocolate chips, you create what's essentially an oatmeal cake in a cup that's not too sweet, but very satisfying.
Viral TikTok Recipes: Air Fryer French Fries
Can I hear a little commotion for the air fryer once again? Bowtie pasta wasn't the only thing getting crispy — fries were, too. Air fryer french fries were yet another TikTok sensation in 2021, likely because it showed you don't need all the hassle and mess of a traditional fryer. Just season cut potato strips to your liking — a little olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, paprika, and some flour for that extra crisp should do the trick — and toss 'em in an air fryer for about 15 minutes.
Viral TikTok Recipe: Birria Ramen
One look at this TikTok video of birria ramen, and it's abundantly clear why birria dishes went viral: you can practically taste the divine, hearty mix of flavors through the screen. The popular meat stew, originating in Mexico, boasts a mix of spices and chiles positively bursting with rich flavor. Combined with instant ramen noodles, as shown in the video above, birria transforms this otherwise plain dish into a meal you'll want to eat again and again.
Viral TikTok Recipe: Pickled Garlic
Don't knock pickled garlic as a snack until you've tried it. We all know garlic gets a bad rap for its, um, unpleasant effects on your breath, but especially for spicy-food-lovers, that's a small price to pay for a tasty snack that'll kick your taste buds into high gear. In a container with a lid, shake up some drained pickled garlic with a healthy amount of sriracha, a little thyme, and chili powder. You're instantly left with a snack that may not be for the faint of heart but will definitely clear your sinuses.