For a few years now, TikTok has been a vehicle for sharing recipes, and 2022 was not an exception. Several food trends swept the app from January to December, leaving all of our messy kitchens in their wake. Some of these trends? Delicious. Others were more… questionable. But whether you loved these recipes or hated them, they all played a role in shaping the online food culture of 2022. Let’s take a closer look at some of the top TikTok food trends of the past year—they may just give us some insight into the recipes we can expect from 2023.
Cloud bread topped the TikTok recipe charts this year, and for good reason—the jiggly, bouncy bread is beautiful and only contains three ingredients: egg whites, cornstarch and sugar. It’s basically meringue with a twist. This is more of a texture food than one that’s notable for its flavor, but it definitely looks great on camera.
Perhaps one of the most controversial trends of the year, butter boards were simultaneously celebrated and scoffed at. The idea of spreading solid fat all over a cutting board and decorating it with caramelized shallots and edible flowers intrigued some and disgusted others. As for me? I felt like the acceptance of an entire dish based on fat was a massive “fuck you” to diet culture, so I am admittedly pro-butter board.
The internet loves an unconventional breakfast (as evidenced by the viral croissant cereal), so it’s no surprise that pancake spaghetti went viral. Home cooks would cook ribbons of pancake batter to create spaghetti-like strands that they then covered in butter and powdered sugar or maple syrup. It’s not exactly groundbreaking when it comes to the flavor, but the texture was interesting enough to cause a stir on the app.
One trend that blessedly came and went relatively quickly was Chef Pii’s viral TikTok pink sauce, a condiment I hope to never lay eyes on again. This dragonfruit-flavored sauce was photographed slathered all over pieces of crispy fried chicken, and many found the light pink hue to be off-putting. Apparently, it tastes similar to ranch. I wasn’t brave enough to find out for myself.
Oftentimes, the loudest, most eye-catching recipes are what really blow up on TikTok, so the viral lemon capellini recipe by Italian cook Claudia Arrabito was a refreshing departure from the norm. The simple recipe calls for olive oil, butter, pasta, chili flakes, lemon zest and juice, basil and garlic and comes together in a matter of minutes, making it perfect for those nights when you’re just too lazy to make something more complicated.
Balsamic vinegar ‘Coke’
One of the more questionable recipes that found its way to TikTok this year is the “healthy” soda made with sparkling water and balsamic vinegar. Apparently, it’s supposed to taste like Coke. Take it from me when I say that it absolutely does not. It’s not terrible, but I firmly believe that if you’re craving a Coke, you shouldn’t try to trick your tastebuds into drinking what is technically just a really bad, watery salad dressing.
October marked the advent of the negroni sbagliato trend, the drink order that has haunted bartenders for the last several months. Negronis generally contain gin, but the sbagliato spin calls for Prosecco instead. It results in a bubbly, lighter, more refreshing version of a negroni, which falls in line with the lower-ABV trend we’ve seen over the past few years. I still can’t stomach ordering it at a bar, but it’s relatively simple to make at home.
It’s just what it sounds like: chicken cooked in NyQuil. Is this an actual recipe you should try? Of course not. Did some people probably try it anyway? Undoubtedly. Honestly, I just think it’s a shame to waste that much food to make a viral video, but that’s just me.
Salmon rice bowl
There’s one viral TikTok recipe that I’m still making on a weekly basis, and it’s the Emily Mariko salmon rice bowl. Combine cooked salmon, rice, kewpie mayo, soy sauce and sriracha, and serve it with nori sheets that you can then grab chunks of rice with. Mariko would microwave the rice with an ice cube on top that would somehow refuse to melt; apparently, it helped steam the rice. But I’ve always skipped this step, and it still comes out fine.
Unless you’ve spent any significant amount of time in Utah, I doubt you’d heard of dirty soda before it went viral on TikTok this year. Cola plus coffee creamer, lime juice and flavored syrup come together to make an inexplicably enjoyable alcohol-free drink. Utah is home to many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which recommends its followers reject both alcohol and drinks like coffee and tea, making soda shops a common feature of the state’s food scene. But you don’t have to be religious to understand the hype around a classic dirty soda.
Samantha Maxwell is a food writer and editor based in Boston. Follow her on Twitter at @samseating.