The best TikTok recipes that are actually worth trying
You’ve tried feta pasta and whipped coffee, but what about these #FoodTok concoctions?
When TikTok first shot onto the social media scene, it became the go-to platform for dance routines and viral challenges.
But food content “exploded on the platform in early 2020, when millions of people were stuck at home during quarantine and cooking became more of a pastime”, said The New York Times. Remember the days of sourdough starters and seemingly-endless banana breads?
Since then, “#FoodTok” followers have gotten more inventive and experimental with their culinary creations, and the app “regularly spawns viral food crazes”. And though they’ve begun on TikTok, they’ve quickly branched out onto Facebook, YouTube and Instagram too.
Here are the viral recipes that are actually worth trying at home.
The Washington Post’s food writer Aaron Hutcherson said his feelings towards viral food moments “tends to fall between immense scepticism [...] and downright disdain”. But feta pasta was “an outlier” that he was ready to “jump” for.
Blogger MacKenzie Smith created the recipe that she said “broke the internet” – the hashtag #BakedFetaPasta currently has more than 166m views on TikTok. And whether you choose the path of more or less garlic, basil or chilli pepper flakes, “the destination is bound to be delicious”, said Hutcherson.
Green Goddess Salad
Baked by Melissa was better known for sweet goods than salads, but a simple recipe changed all that in January. BuzzFeed food writer Jen Adams said it’s pretty “labour-intensive”, as far as salads go. But “taste-wise, I was blown away”.
The salad base requires four core ingredients, while the dressing is a zingy pesto-like concoction that requires quite a few more. It’s the recipe that “proved there’s absolutely no reason why salads should ever be bland or limp”, said chef Melissa Hemsley at Vogue.
“Sorry, baked feta, but this is better,” said PopSugar. Oreo sushi is “a dynamic food combo that can only be described as enticingly sweet” – and it’s “easier than it sounds”.
All you need is a pack of Oreos and “a dash of milk” – and then it’s essentially a process of disassembling and reassembling an Oreo. Some food bloggers, like Oats Lady, opt to add more ingredients, but why mess with what PopSugar called “the dessert of your dreams”?
In the history of FoodTok trends, this one was an early star. When cafes switched off their espresso machines in March 2020, as the world went into lockdown, TikTokers had the answer in the form of whipped coffee.
Metro’s lifestyle reporter Faima Bakar was “happy to report it is actually quite a refreshing and tasty treat” that’s worth trying. And given you’ve probably got all the necessary ingredients at home already, it’s probably one of the easiest to try out too.
Air fried pasta
Like FoodTok trends, the air fryer also rose to fame during the pandemic – though the technology behind it “is nothing new”, said The Guardian. It’s won over chefs including Gordon Ramsay, and food bloggers are coming up with unique ways to use the devices.
Emily Chan is responsible for pasta crisps going viral last year. “The recipe is super fast, easy and involves very few ingredients,” she told Today. They’re perfect “for those who love to snack on savoury, cheesy garlicky foods”, said the site.
And if you’re looking for more recipes in the toasted pasta arena, The Washington Post’s Aaron Hutcherson recommends trying “toasted ravioli”.
TikTok might have “struck culinary gold” with this recipe, said Cosmopolitan. Pesto eggs are “very delicious and very easy to make”. Essentially, just swap out the butter or oil you would usually use to fry an egg and use pesto instead. “So simple and yet so groundbreaking?”
An impressive but easy brunch dish, creator Amy Wilichowski opted to pair them with ricotta, bread and smashed avocado in her now-viral video.
If you’re a fan of the baked cheese trend, then try baked boursin. And why stop there? Once it’s baked, along with the garlic and tomatoes that go with it, pop it in a blender and whip up this simple soup à la Shico Cooks. The “glorious roasted vegetable and cheesy creation” is well-suited to “chillier months”, said Metro.
Salmon and rice
These two ingredients might not sound worthy of a social media storm, but even the most up-to-date tastemakers can struggle at predicting what will go viral. In this recipe’s case, it was the handiwork of Emily Mariko, a YouTuber and TikToker.
The “salmon-Sriracha-mayo-rice-bowl-with-avocado-and-dried-seaweed recipe was so popular” that people are excited when Mariko cooks salmon in other videos – “because that means she’ll be using the leftovers for the rice bowl any minute now”, said The Cut.
Plant-based seasoning brand Yondu recommends swapping salmon for tofu for a vegan version of the dish.
According to Food52.com, custard toast is “actually delicious”. Flatten the middle of a piece of bread and pour in whisked egg with some yoghurt and honey before baking.
Then, “TikTok goes in with the usual slate of variations: first trying various types of fruit, then obviously a few vegan versions, and after that people start trading out the fruit for other flavours, like chocolate, tahini, or just confectioners’ sugar sprinkled on top”, said the food blog.