By Carl Hanson

Around here, everyone has a favorite Chef John recipe video. After all, he makes the food we want to eat. And whether he's teaching a new technique or dropping an unprovoked pun on us, Chef John always makes it fun. With hundreds of top-rated Chef John Recipes to choose from, we wanted to call out some of his most recent hits. These 12 recipe videos were the most-watched of the videos Chef John made in 2018. They're the best of the new, you might say. Let's count 'em down, while we look forward to enjoying a bunch more deliciousness in 2019!

"Home cooks will find deep-dish pizza, with its unique buttery cornmeal crust, more forgiving than its New York counterpart," says Chef John. "No need to worry about having the hottest oven or too many toppings - just make sure your sauce is very thick and flavorful! I garnished mine with parsley and more Parmesan cheese." Incidentally, Chef John's Chicago-style pizza made this list by narrowly beating out his Detroit-Style Pizza.

"If you've made and loved Greek Lemon Chicken and Fondant Potatoes, then you will absolutely adore these lemon pepper potatoes, since it's basically the best of those two recipes put together, minus the chicken. Tender on the inside and crusty on the outside, these potatoes make for an impressive side dish. The only problem is whatever main course you pair it with is in serious danger of being upstaged."

Roasted Lemon Pepper Potatoes
Photo by Chef John

With Chef John's feather-light cheese soufflés, there's no bechamel sauce. He's cut out most of the work. Yet, this shortcut version still delivers intense cheese flavor. "I was actually working on something I was going to call 'cheesecake souffle,'" says Chef John, "And since I was adding cream cheese to the base, I decided to skip the classic white sauce, and simply smear everything together. Doesn't it feel great to eliminate a step in a classic recipe and have the new one turn out better?"

So much reward, so little effort. And you don't even need a cast iron to make it -- any oven-safe skillet works. "When it comes to deciding what to bring to a cookout, this super easy cast iron cornbread is the clear winner," says Chef John.

Cast Iron Cornbread
Photo by Chef John

Over the years, Chef John has received about 1,000 requests for grain-free bread. Twenty-eighteen was the year it went down. "After some trepidation, I finally decided to do it," he says. "And it exceeded my expectations! Without wheat flour and yeast, it won't be true bread. But if you're off carbs, and have been dreaming about a nice slice of buttered toast with your eggs, this is well worth a try. It tastes relatively neutral, with a very subtle egginess and faint almond flavor, and a texture reminiscent of an extra moist and spongy white bread."

The Juicy Lucy. "This isn't just any old cheeseburger," explains Chef John. "Depending on whom you talk to, this cheese-stuffed burger is either called a 'Juicy Lucy,' or a 'Jucy Lucy.' That's because two restaurants in Minneapolis claim to have invented it, and they spell it differently. Make sure you thoroughly and thoughtfully press the edges of the two patties together to seal in the cheese stuffing, which keeps the meat juicier. Spread your favorite burger sauce over the bun." Try them with Chef John's Twice-Fried French Fries.

Chef John's Juicy Lucy
Photo by Chef John

"The Denver omelet was one of the first foods I ever learned to cook professionally, as a line cook in high school," says Chef John. "A change of pace from a French omelet, the Denver omelet is known for its firmer texture and caramelized flavor. Make it a complete lunch or dinner with arugula salad and toasted bread." Or enjoy them with Chef John's Classic Hash Browns.

"Every Spanish restaurant serves this dish of shrimp cloaked in garlic-infused olive oil with smoky hints of paprika and a touch of sweetness from sherry. Make sure you have all your ingredients together before you head to the stove since, start to finish, this cooks in mere minutes. It's great for a tapas party, since you can prep everything ahead of time. Just spoon the shrimp and sauce over toasted bread and sprinkle more cayenne and parsley on top to enjoy."

Spanish Garlic Shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo)
Photo by Chef John

This berry crumble earned its ultimate. "I don't tack the word ultimate onto just any recipe,' says Chef John. "This berry well may be my favorite summer dessert, with the perfect balance of sweet and tart, tender and crisp, fruit and crumble. Some ice cream on the side is highly recommended."

The Ultimate Berry Crumble
Photo by Chef John
| Credit: Chef John

With these cream-filled cracked buns, we enter into the top 3 for 2018! "These gorgeous cream puff "crack buns" were inspired by the Great British Baking Show, which is currently my favorite thing on television." As Chef John explains, they're essentially individually portioned Boston cream pies. "These would be great filled with all kinds of things, but it's hard to beat vanilla bean pastry cream."

"What started as a Croque Madame with custard instead of the usual white sauce turned into a Monte Cristo with a poached egg on top. Unable to call it a Croque Madame anymore, I turned to Twitter for help. Some dude who goes by the name Zap Shakur suggested I go with Madame Cristo, and the rest is history. Top with poached eggs or fried eggs and garnish with fresh chives."

Madame Cristo - Grilled Ham and Cheese
Photo by Chef John

And the most-watched of Chef John's 2018 loops us right back where we started -- with a Chicago reference. "This flaming cheese ritual was started by restaurateurs in Chicago, who encouraged customers to yell, 'Opa!' as the plate was being ignited," explains Chef John. "You can recreate the tradition at home in minutes, whether you'd like to spark up a little romance with an old flame on date night or just try a fast and fun cheese dish on a chilly weeknight. Serve with sliced fresh or grilled bread."

Want more Chef John? Check out our collection of Chef John's Recipes.