Reader Recipes Are Back! (And I Would Really, Really Like Yours)

Me cooking and blogging, a looooong time ago in the old apartment

Since I’m busy reminiscing about cooking today: Those of you who’ve been reading here since way back when may remember that I used to make reader-submitted recipes on a fairly regular basis. They were a big part of the process of me figuring out how to cook, since they usually felt more accessible to me than recipes in cookbooks and such (and since I could just email the person who sent the recipe in if I had a question), and a few of them are still in regular rotation at our house, because they were just that good. (Most of them, obviously, are pasta.)

So: If you have a family-friendly – read: easy and non-fussy – dinner recipe that you particularly love and think I need to make…help a girl out? It doesn’t have to be your personal recipe; just one that you love.

(And just for fun, below is a rundown of my all-time favorite reader recipes. Be warned: Some of them date back to 2010 and include some seeeeeriously spectacular food photography fails.)


"Crack Pasta"

This recipe has evolved a bit over the years (I put peas in now for no especially good reason apart from that I like peas in my pasta), but the original is always worth a re-visit. It is, per its name, addictive.


Fettuccine with Saffron, Shrimp & Peas

When my son first tried this dish, this is how the conversation went:

“What’s that.”


“I don’t like shrimp.”

“You’ve never eaten shrimp.”

“I don’t like it.”

“Try one bite.”


…And then he ate them all.

I’m serious. ALL OF THEM.


Caprese Pasta

Excellent when served warm and drippy…but even better the next day, cold and eaten straight from the refrigerator.


Chicken Vesuvio

Even when I think, “ehhh, not in the mood for chicken”…I am always in the mood for this. It’s that good.


Twisty Lemon Linguine

This is another one of those eat-cold-straight-out-of-the-refrigerator pasta dishes, and is so perfect for a summery lunch. Not that it’s summer. But you know.

(Image via Eat In My Kitchen because I couldn’t bear to post my own, even though you’ll see it if you click through the link.)



I cannot make bread, but with this recipe, I can. Now you have this recipe and can make bread, too.

  • lara

    This is fun! I love love love Melissa Clark, and these two recipes are always on rotation in my house
    My take: I dont always use Brussels sprouts. I make it simple by skipping the coriander seeds and just using the ground coriander. It is amazing.
    The very best As Is.

    • jordanreid

      amaaaaazing thank you!

  • Ronja Stavrou

    This “goopy chicken” was something my parents always made for us. We cook it in one of those electric skillets with the high sides and lids. We also add potatoes to the mixture. It is phenomenal.

    • jordanreid

      goopy chicken!!!! best recipe name ever.

  • Kate

    Trust me on this one: I am not vegan but I LIVE for this sauce. It is creamy and delicious and feels almost decadent because it tastes and looks cheesy but then you remember oh wait it’s cauliflower so you pile on more with glee. We usually play around and mix it up with added sauteed mushrooms or chicken and try different kinds of noodles. Bonus if you can somehow make this without your kids/husband seeing — they’ll have no idea that it’s really cauliflower and totally ask for seconds.

    • jordanreid

      LOVE. thank you!

  • mimi

    This is one of the best things I’ve ever eaten and I make it about once a week, no joke. I never tell anyone what’s in it and everyone devours it:

    Also when it’s just me, I make breakfast pasta. Boil some spaghetti. Toss it in the grease of bacon that you cooked before hand, with some parm and lemon juice, and maybe a little pasta water to help the sauce come together. Lots of black pepper and red pepper flakes. Top with a runny egg and garlicky fried bread crumbs (and the bacon, crumbled). Capers would be nice too, but not necessary.

    • mimi

      You could also leave out the bacon and eggs and just do the pasta tossed with butter, lemon juice, capers, and bread crumbs. Or lightly fry some canned sardines and top with everything else (trust me on that, it’s so delicious).

    • jordanreid

      against my better judgment, I just purchased anchovies (!) and am making this tonight.

      • mimi

        nice! the anchovies just melt away and you just get a really great umami savoriness (redundant but you know what i mean). don’t tell people anchovies are in there and no one will know! i hope you bought lots of bread to soak up all the deliciousness.

      • mimi

        ok sorry to keep commenting, one more thing. in the video, she adds the capers, garlic, and anchovies, cooks them a bit, then pushes them off to the side while she browns the chicken. i’ve found that the garlic kind of burns and gets bitter if you do that, so i usually remove them from the pan, sear the chicken, and then add them all back when it goes back into the oven.

        • jordanreid

          thank you!!!

  • SS

    Anything from, but specifically this:

    I don’t add the chicken anymore because I’m good with just the pasta.

    Also, the site is run by an amazing woman who was recently widowed after her 33-year-old husband died following a battle with cancer. Her son also had kidney and liver transplants. She’s an all-around amazing person, and I love supporting her through the website.

  • Tess

    In the summer we basically live off of a version of the Twisty Lemon Linguine, replacing the basil with arugula (highly recommended). Another pasta recipe that I make almost every week is this one (can’t think of a catchy name…): cook a 300 oz salmon filet in some olive oil in a large pan until it’s almost cooked, add 1 cup of heavy cream, 1-2 Tbsp tomato paste, 1- 2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder, and a few handfuls of baby spinach. Break up the salmon filet as you stir everything together and then serve over your favorite pasta. Fettuccine are the best, in my opinion. This I literally the only pasta sauce that my 2 year-old will currently eat and my husband and I love it too!

    • Tess

      Please ignore my very bad late night grams to ounces conversion! 6-7 ounces of salmon, not 300 are plenty !

      • jordanreid

        I dunno, I really like salmon 😉

  • Deb

    Your red potato salad with mustard, bacon, and avocado is my go-to recipe for summer!!

    • jordanreid

      oh hooray! I LOOOOVE that one.

  • antheapena

    Your short ribs slow cooker recipe, of course the Caprese salad is on regular summer rotation & Crack pasta is a new addition. Love them all.

    • jordanreid

      SHORT RIBS! I forgot about those and haven’t made them in ages.

  • Sarah

    Oh these look good!

    Family friendly (read fatty and kids love it) Texas lasagna

    1 1/2 pound hamburgerhalf onion
    One pack of spaghetti seasoning
    One can tomato paste
    One can tomato sauce
    Cook the hamburger and onions then add the others and let cook
    Lasagna noodles cooked and mix with:
    One thing of cream cheese and about half a container of sour cream
    Layer on top of hamburger mixture
    And top with cheese

    Yummy gooey ness

    Not at all gourmet

  • laura83

    These Martha Stewart Chicken tacos have *four* ingredients (ok plus salt and pepper and taco toppings) and are honestly the best thing ever:

  • Anya Wyers

    There is just something about getting recipes directly from real people that make them more attainable!! I agree. 🙂

    This salad is a super yummy favourite around here (I usually double the dressing, as suggested by the friend that gave it to me):

    Aaaaaand, as requested, pasta (a simple and yummy carbonara, ie: the best pasta combo out there, in my opinion!):

    Now I must go try some of these other new recipes!! Thanks Jordan!

  • Jackie

    Italian Sausage, Gnocchi, Tomato Soup. It’s delicious, and my 1 year old gobbled it down like nothing. Plus, it makes a ton, and it freezes like a dream.

  • Abbey

    This is so easy and delicious! I sliced up the zucchini and cooked it in a separate pan with butter and lemon pepper then threw it all together.

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