Home Cooking Trends of 2020
We crunched the data from 1.2 billion annual Allrecipes.com visits and 2.5 billion annual page views. Then we dug even further, surveying Allrecipes cooks about what's in their carts and fridges, on their stovetops and tables, and on their minds.
We learned a lot about the recipes and products they love, the fresh ways they explore food, and the new ingredients and diets they're most curious about. This feature offers up a sampling of the trends we learned and illustrates what the Allrecipes audience is cooking up in 2020 and beyond. As you'll see: The future is now, and it's delicious.
Home Cooking in 2020
Let's start by exploring what we are seeing happening now in Allrecipes kitchens. We know more people are cooking than ever: Nearly three-quarters of Allrecipes cooks say they're using more new recipes versus two years ago. More than half of these Allrecipes cooks are preparing new recipes weekly.
Across all ages of home cooks, the criteria for a good recipe remains the same: taste, convenience, and ease are most important. (We hear you!) But we've seen a rise in the importance of healthfulness and familiarity with ingredients to Allrecipes cooks.
In this research, we found seven key areas of insights. Here, we explore where we are today, with the ingredients and foods you likely have in your fridge as you read this. And then we look at where we're headed, with an eye toward things we expect you'll be reaching for sooner rather than later.
Ready? Let's get started.
Trend: Appetite for Adventure and Cultural Heritage
Cooks today are arguably the most informed generation yet when it comes to access to unlimited resources across magazines, the Internet, TV, and smart devices that are rich with recipes, ingredient information, and cooking instructions. The increased curiosity and connectedness around food is driving a strong appetite for adventure and cultural heritage when it comes to our food choices.
Indeed, we see in our growth of cultural recipes from around the world that cooks want to travel with their taste buds. They're excited to prepare traditional dishes from many global cuisines. This trend is being driven by a variety of factors including: the increasingly cultural diversity, young parents prioritizing passing along cultural heritage to their families, and growing excitement among cooks to see the world through foods.
Now: Filipino Cuisine
Food from the Philippines — which blends Asian, Latin, American, and island culinary influences for a delicious flavor all its own — is trending, in restaurants and home kitchens. Indeed, our research showed that Filipino cuisine has seen a significant popularity growth in the last year, with Filipino recipe views growing by a whopping 32 percent year over year. Why? Perhaps it's because most of the dishes are gluten-free. Favorites like Chicken Adobo and Caldereta (a Filipino beef recipe) fit into that category. It may be because many of the dishes are prepared ahead of time, so they lend themselves to popular meal-prep cooking.
Related: The 10 Best Filipino Chicken Recipes
It might also be because families across the U.S. are finding themselves drawn to cultural or ancestral elements of the island nation. The Filipino Kamayan, a communal feast laid out on banana leaves, encourages eating with your hands, connecting to your dishes, and experiencing flavors and foods in close proximity.
Keep Reading: Here's the Filipino Trick for Measuring Water for Rice
Next: Indian Cuisine
You don't have to tell anyone who loves Indian curry or any of our most popular Indian recipes why we predict Indian food will be the next trend in global cuisines for the home cook. Indian foods align well with vegan, vegetarian, and flexitarian diets. Many are gluten-free, and they also lend themselves beautifully to preparation in a slow cooker or Instant Pot.
Keep Reading: Spicy Secrets for Making Better Indian Food at Home
Shifting Shopping Behaviors
As cooks become comfortable with preparing new cuisines, they are encountering and embracing new ingredients. This shifting behavior is driving increased shopping of grocery channels, such as ethnic grocers and online grocers, as cooks seek to find ingredients that may not be in their pantry or conventional supermarket.
In fact, more than one-third of Allrecipes cooks say an "interest in experimenting with new foods" is extremely important to them when choosing a new recipe. And nearly a majority of Allrecipes cooks say they are always looking to add new flavors to their foods and like to try foods they haven't eaten before.
These cooks shared with us their favorite ingredients, and then we're sharing the things we see heading for home cooks's kitchens very soon.
Now: Pork Belly
Pork belly, a boneless piece of meat which comes from the pig's midsection, has long been considered a delicacy in Asian cooking, but today, it's been embraced by home cooks of all stripes. Over the last year, Allrecipes has seen more than 100 percent growth year over year in searches for pork belly recipes, as new ingredients inspired by global cuisines are finding a new life in home kitchens.
Related: How to Cook Pork Belly Like a Pro
Chef John's Crispy Pork Belly is a wonderful introductory recipe if you've never cooked with pork belly yourself, but you'll find it in Asian favorites like Dong Po (Chinese Pork Belly) and Thit Ko (Caramelized Pork Belly).
Next: Mexican Chorizo
New global flavors are extending beyond traditional boundaries. Chipotle, for example, has been a hot flavor for several years. It's influence is felt most heavily in Mexican cuisine, but really, there's no where chipotle won't go — burgers, meatloaf, hummus.
But coming to your kitchen soon will be harissa, a spicy pepper sauce traditionally served North African and Moroccan recipes. Harissa, similar to chipotle, offers an easy way to add heat and flavor to any number of dishes.
It's likewise very versatile, easily going in sauces, on eggs, in soups and stews, or swirled into dips. Bonus: It's gluten-free, which makes it a no-brainer for cooks who prepare food for a variety of dietary needs.
Now: Korean Fried Chicken
New flavors and ingredients in the home cook's kitchen and pantry are driving twists on classic American dishes. Korean Fried Chicken, which moved from food trucks to brick-and-mortar restaurants to home kitchens, has seen year over year growth with Allrecipes cooks.
Related: The Best Korean Chicken Recipes
Next: Peruvian Chicken
Pollo Campero, or "country chicken," is fueling excitement for the emergence of Peruvian chicken in home kitchens. This world's-largest Latin chicken chain boasts a dedicated following, and it gains new ones daily.
Peruvian chicken is made using a wet spice rub that imparts a strong spiced flavor, but it's also has very little to no sugar, which makes it ideal for low-carb and low-sugar eaters.
Trend: Experiential Eating on the Rise
At gatherings today, food is moving beyond the buffets, kitchen counters, and dining rooms to instead become a defining part of the party's conversation and ambiance. Food and cooking where the guests get involved is a growing entertaining format.
Factors driving the trend include: Lessens the load for the host, food becomes a growing part of the conversation and entertainment, guests more easily tailor the dish to match their flavor and dietary preferences, and more home owners installing elaborate outdoor cooking areas that allow guests to cook.
Ideas of Entertaining Are Changing
Entertaining is becoming less formal, less structured, and less planned. Home cooks are excited to bring family and friends together for all types of holidays and smallidays. But as with weeknight meals, Allrecipes cooks prefer entertaining be easy instead of elaborate. They want to spend more time with their guests instead of cooking, serving, and preparing food.
Related: Our Most Popular Potluck Recipes
As such, most hosts are finding ways where guests are allowed — and even encouraged — to contribute to the food at the gathering. Potluck-style gatherings make entertaining less work, more fun, and more affordable. It also afford cooks a chance to try new recipes. In fact, three-quarters of Allrecipes cooks say when they host or attend a potluck, they bring a new recipe to the table.
Now: Pellet Smokers
Pellet smokers, such as the Traeger Grill, are easy to control even for novice cooks, and many are now equipped with Wi-Fi, allowing easier and better control and monitoring. Allrecipes cooks searched for smoker recipes more frequently in the last 12 months. Recipes like Smoked Chicken Hot Wings and smoked turkey are driving the trend, but smoked pork roasts and smoked salmon are the top protein choices for most cooks on Allrecipes.
Next: Outdoor Griddles
Allrecipes cooks have been searching for recipes cooked on a griddle more in the last year. And it's no wonder — outdoor griddles, often part of elaborate outdoor kitchens, are a great way to cook nearly any meal of the day and for a crowd. From bacon, eggs, and pancakes at breakfast to griddle cheesesteaks, burgers, and brats at lunch and dinner, the broad cooking space allows cooks to prepare a variety of foods for their friends and family.
Now: Hot Chocolate
More people are hosting outdoor parties across three or even four of the seasons. Hot beverages, something to keep everyone lingering outside a bit longer when the temps might be a bit chilly, are up in search among Allrecipes cooks.
Hot chocolate, a family-friendly hot beverage, is an always popular option. In the last year, searches for homemade hot chocolate recipes have been on the rise. Peak month for hot cocoa making is December, but we're even seeing folks searching in May.
Related: How to Set Up a Hot Chocolate Bar
Next: Champurrado and Atole
Champurrado and Atole, both authentic Mexican beverages, are quickly rising in popularity among Allrecipes cooks. These beverages, inspired by the broader interest in global cuisine, are easily customized.
Champurrado is served more commonly, as Atole is considered a Christmas beverage. But champurrado can feature a variety of flavors, like peanut butter, orange zest, chocolate, and more.
Related: What is Piloncillo? How Is It Used?
Trend: Let's Go Grazing
If you find yourself having snacks for supper, hosting drink-and-nibble gatherings rather than dinner parties, or turning fridge scraps into cheese boards on the regular, you're part of the grazing trend.
It's built on our love of snacking and variety, a move toward more casual and inclusive dining and the busy pace of modern life. Grazing gives us permission to keep moving, to choose our own dinner destines, and to enjoy a little bit of lots of different things.
Finger Foods Take Flight
Finger foods are among the fastest growing recipe categories for Allrecipes cooks. This type of dinner option allows for more informal eating — while watching TV, standing in the kitchen, driving in the car.
Views for finger food recipes aligned with dinner were up over 600 percent year over year. But finger foods aligned with breakfast — think mini quiches, ham and cheese sandwiches, and donut-inspired muffins — were up over 700 percent in searches in the last year.
Now: Asian Rolls
Spring rolls, lumpia, egg rolls — they've found their way from restaurant appetizer menus to home kitchens thanks in large part to familiarity with the ingredients and methods used to cook these classic finger foods.
Next: Arepas and Empanadas
Arepas, a popular type of South American street food, is regularly made in homes, particularly in Colombia and Venezuela. But now, Allrecipes cooks are welcoming the stuffed cornmeal cakes into their kitchens as part of the trend of finger foods that are ideal for dinner.
Similarly, empanadas are becoming more and more popular. The baked or fried hand pies, which are often filled with beans, chicken, cheese, and other bits of veggies, have seen an increase in searches among Allrecipes cooks.
Related: Our Best Empanada Recipes
Now: Easy Dishes Using Refrigerated Pizza Crust
Refrigerated pizza dough makes for a quick crust for any number of dishes. The convenient short-cut ingredient is especially handy for appetizers, from Pizza Dough Pretzels to calzone-style pizza rings. The time-consuming steps of making, rising, and waiting for homemade dough are done for you, which is why it's been such a popular ingredient for so many Allrecipes cooks in recent years.
Next: Easy Dishes and Desserts Made With Puff Pastry
Puff pastry is an elegant but almost entirely too easy ingredient that's perfect for putting finishing crusts on dinners or turning humble snacks and appetizers into show-stopping nibbles.
Related: Browse our collection of Frozen Puff Pastry Appetizers.
Allrecipes cooks are drawn to the elevated appeal of puff pastry for appetizers — and the fact is still has a high level of convenience. You can also get very creative with puff pastry and make fun shapes. Our Nutella Pastry Christmas Tree is alway popular around the holidays.
Trend: Nutrient-Rich Foods
Food and health always meet at a crossroads, and perhaps now more than ever before. Cooks are increasingly making dietary choices to manage or boost their health for conditions such as heart health, diabetes, brain functions, cancer prevention, digestive function, and more.
Nearly 6 in 10 Allrecipes cooks say they are cooking more often from "healthy" recipes versus two years ago. And almost half of Allrecipes cooks say they're working hard to make small, permanent changes in their eating for a healthier lifestyle.
Quality Over Quantity
Allrecipes cooks report they are placing a keen eye on nutrient-dense foods that deliver benefits above their weight class. This includes ingredients that contain fiber, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and high amounts of vitamins.
In fact, more than half of Allrecipes cooks say they're paying closer attention to specific foods and ingredients, and they're also actively seeking to avoid "bad" foods. These new, healthful ingredients also bring Allrecipes cooks to make new recipes.
In short, Allrecipes cooks are being very deliberate in their food choices as they look to specific ingredients and nutritional criteria to help them manage or prevent chronic disease.
Tamarind is key ingredient in southeast Asian and South American cuisines. This fruit produces a brown, edible paste that has a sweet-sour but rich flavor. It's used a lot in desserts, but it's also in iconic dishes like Pad Thai, Tamarind Chicken, and Tamarind Fish Curry.
The health benefits of tamarind have been well-studied, and they include its ability to reduce inflammation throughout the body, improve vision, boost respiratory health, heal skin conditions, and improve the digestive system.
Related: 15 Recipes That Use Tamarind
Now: Sweet Potatoes
The humble sweet potato can thank the rise of the Paleo, Mediterranean, and Whole30 diets for its boosted interest in the last few years. View of sweet potato recipes that match these diet styles have been growing in popularity.
But sweet potatoes are especially good ingredients for several of the most popular appliances of today, from the Instant Pot to the air fryer. They provide, no matter the dish, a hint of natural sweetness without the need to add refined sugar.
Like the sweet potato, plantains can thank the Paleo and Whole30 diets for their increasing popularity. Though they are technically fruit (and look strikingly similar to bananas), plantains are more savory than sweet. You'll find them as plantain chips before you'll find them in a dessert.
Plantains, like potatoes, can be mashed, sliced, fried, diced, sautéed, and just about anything else you can think of. They're more popular in Caribbean and Latin American cooking, but their versatility is helping more home cooks warm up to the possibility of cooking with this unique ingredient.
Now: Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are popular in desserts and snacks, and they happen to be one of the richest sources of antioxidants. What's more, reasons for eating chia seeds include the facts they're rich in fiber, high in protein, and pack plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, one of the few vegetarian-friendly foods for this vital heart-healthy fat.
The good news of chia seeds has clearly spread, as searches among Allrecipes cooks for the tiny seeds was up in the last 12 months.
Next: Hemp Seeds
Hemp is one of the healthiest plants on the planet. It is naturally resistant to pests, so it doesn't require harmful pesticides, even when grown on a commercial scale.
As a food, hemp seeds have an abundance of health benefits. They supply a good amount of protein and healthy fats. They're also packed with manganese, vitamin E, and magnesium, and they're high in antioxidants.
Nearly 1 in 5 Allrecipes cooks say they're now cooking with hemp seeds or chia seeds and have them on hand in their pantry at all times. Recipes like hemp seed hummus and Chocolate Hemp Protein Shake are spurring popularity for the tiny seeds.
Related: 4 Reasons to Drink Hemp Milk
Now: Kidney Beans
Dried and canned beans are a workhorse in most home kitchens. They go from soups and stews to burritos, enchiladas, and grain sides with ease. Allrecipes cooks are specifically seeking out kidney bean recipes in recent months, as the high-fiber, protein-filled bean is a great option for cooks looking to bulk up meals without meat or add nutrients to every day dishes like Mexican Bean Salad and Indian Tacos.
Lentils are small and quite unremarkable on their surface, but once you cook with them, you'll fully recognize their culinary super powers. Diets such as vegan, vegetarian, Mediterranean, and Whole30 seek out lentils as a protein-rich, meat-free alternative.