Here’s What Our Test Kitchen Has to Say About the Most-Googled Recipes of 2023

Another year, another virtual cookbook of viral recipes people searched for over and over.

cowboy butter on steak in cast iron pan

Kelsey Hansen

Google’s 2023 “Year in Search” reflects the array of food that caught everyone’s attention: There’s sweet and savory, sides and mains, health-focused and indulgent. Some recipes were tied to public figures (like a certain infamous purple something that represents a fast food chain, or the UK’s new king), while others randomly appeared on TikTok For You pages everywhere. But they all have this in common: They brought us all together, as food does.

Our Test Kitchen experts shared their thoughts on the top-10 most-Googled recipes, including tips on cooking and serving them—so the next time you need a crowd-pleasing dish, you know where to look.

Holding McDonald's Grimace shake in front of greenery

Bryce Jones

Grimace Shake 

Created by McDonalds to celebrate the 52nd Birthday of Grimace, the milkshake’s flavors proved to be almost as elusive as the character himself.

“It was only available for about one month, so maybe that is why people searched for it,” says Test Kitchen director Lynn Blanchard. “Perhaps we need to create a recipe for it.”

Whether it was because everyone wanted to know what it tasted like without actually trying it (answer: a non-specific berry) or the chaotic meme that painted it as a “deadly concoction,” the Grimace shake made headlines

To make a restaurant-quality one yourself—Grimace-themed or not—Blanchard recommends using a high quality ice cream that doesn’t have a lot of air incorporated into it. Add milk to really blend the ice cream, and use low speed as you start out (this also helps to avoid burning out your blender motor). 1 pint of ice cream and 1 cup of milk gets you two milkshakes. 

lasagna soup

CJ Younger

Lasagna Soup

Blanchard and Sarah Brekke, Test Kitchen brand manager, deem this dish “cheesy, hearty, and quick and easy.” Popularized on TikTok, the viral recipe combines beef, Italian sausage, tomato sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan, and, of course, pasta.

The pasta-turned-soup isn’t a one-off—our Test Kitchen is ahead of the comfort meal trend with fettuccine alfredo soup, bolognese soup, and soups inspired by other foods, including a creamy spinach artichoke dip soup and chicken pot pie soup.

chicken cobbler in casserole dish

Grant Webster

Chicken Cobbler 

“This is based on Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits and is topped with French’s Fried Onions— what’s not to like?” says Juli Hale, Test Kitchen senior brand manager. “It’s super easy to make with familiar, fun flavors.”

The addition of Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits comes from (wait for it) a TikTok hack (this video in particular received over 10 million views). It’s meant to give the dish extra flavor with no extra effort. Plus, our Test Kitchen approves.

“Our take on the TikTok-famous hack for making chicken cobbler starts with shredded rotisserie chicken and a box of Cheddar Bay Biscuit mix,” Brekke explains. “This dump-and-bake casserole is as easy to make as it is delicious—it’s already become one of our go-to weeknight dinners. The whole thing requires just one bowl and one baking dish. One of our taste testers declared it the best casserole she’s had all year.”

black cocoa cake

Black Cake

Also known as Jamaican or Caribbean Black Cake, this dessert “looks like a simple chocolate cake, but it’s not,” says Emily Nienhaus, Test Kitchen culinary specialist. Its history is as rich as its flavors: According to NPR, the cake likely evolved from the holiday plum pudding British colonizers brought to the West Indies into the Christmas staple it is today. 

If you’re making it yourself, know that it’s not just a one-day affair.

“The fruit—prunes, raisins and candied cherries—are often soaked in rum and or brandy for a couple of days before making the cake to impart flavor,” Nienhaus says. “So plan ahead when making it to allow time [for that].”

pink martini


“This is a cocktail only available at the Pump Restaurant in Hollywood, California, which is now closed—which is probably why people are trying to figure out how to make it,” Blanchard says. 

Sadly for Vanderpump Rules fans, the iconic spot shut its doors in 2023 after 10 years (however, not all is lost: You can still get the restaurant’s beloved fried goat cheese balls at SUR). Make the restaurant’s signature drink to get the experience at home: Made with raspberries, simple syrup, grapefruit juice, lime juice, vodka, and Pavan liqueur, it’s a fresh, fruity option you can easily throw together.

Hugo Spritz cocktail

Grant Webster

Hugo Spritz

We were right when we named the Hugo Spritz the drink of the summer last year—except you could probably call it the drink of the year.

“This cocktail has the perfect blend of floral liqueur, effervescent bubbly wine, bright lime, and mint,” Brekke says. “It’s not hard to see why this was the cocktail of 2023.”

Hale recommends giving the sprig of mint a “little whack in the palm of your hand to release the oils for extra freshness.”

cowboy butter on steak in cast iron pan

Kelsey Hansen

Cowboy Butter

Home chefs on TikTok were dipping practically everything in this savory spread for all of 2023. Nienhaus suggests it as an easy way to level up a simple protein—just wrangle up your softened butter garlic, fresh thyme, chives, and parsley. This recipe, which has over 120,000 likes on TikTok, amps it up with dijon mustard, lemon juice and zest, chili flakes, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Melt it to turn it into a delicious sauce.

“Put it on a steak or serve with potatoes, and you can’t go wrong,” Brekke says.

When you’re craving a flavorful butter to go with your biscuits or scones, make our Test Kitchen’s lavender butter; and for another steak-night variation, try whiskey butter.

Spinach Pancetta Quiche
Andy Lyons

Coronation Quiche

This Crown-worthy quiche likely made the list because King Charles III and Queen Camilla requested it as the signature dish at his coronation (as the name suggests). According to the BBC, Chief Royal chef Mark Flanagan created the recipe and said it was chosen because it’s “perfect for sharing.” 

“It features cheddar cheese, spinach, broad beans and tarragon,” Hale says. “It’s a vegetarian main dish, yet still satisfying and beautiful.” 

If you don’t have tarragon, recipe tester Kathryn Hendrix says you can substitute basil, oregano, and/or anise seed. If you’re feeling like imitating a full Coronation-style lunch, the Royal Family website recommends serving it hot or cold and with a green salad and boiled new potatoes. 

Brazilian lemonade

Rachel Marek. Prop Styling: Gabe Greco

Brazilian Lemonade

Also known as limonada Suíça (Swiss Lemonade), this frosty, tropical beverage delivers on sweet, citrusy, bright flavors—and although it’s called a lemonade, it’s not made with lemons. Whole limes (including the peel), sugar, condensed milk, and ice are tossed into a blender for a smooth consistency. The New York Times reports that it’s the addition of the milk, marketed by Swiss company Nestlé in Brazil in the 1940s, that gave it its name.

If you need something to bring to a potluck or party, Nienhaus deems it a crowd pleaser.

“Just add a pinch of salt to counter any bitterness from the rind,” says Linda Brewer, Test Kitchen culinary specialist.

Banana Ice Cream
Blaine Moats

Cottage Cheese Ice Cream

This is no surprise, considering Gen Z’s undying obsession with this vintage fridge staple. It was put on toast, mixed with mustard and used as a dip for chicken sausage, featured in bowl-style meals—but its most popular form was this protein-packed, tasty dessert. 

“It’s a great post workout treat, loaded with simple carbs and protein, that can be customized based on your preference,” Hendrix says.

You only need three ingredients to make cottage cheese ice cream, which we called a “must try,” but people got creative sharing their own recipe takes on TikTok, making everything from strawberry cheesecake to banana cream pie.

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