Recipe Spotlight

The Most Popular America's Test Kitchen Recipes in October

Hearty dishes were our members' favorites as fall set in.

Published Nov. 6, 2019.

As the leaves began to fall and the temperatures started to drop, soups and stews were some of our members' favorite dishes to make last month. They also opted for other warm, hearty dishes that would warm them up on chilly October nights. Fall ingredients like apples and maple were highlighted in some of the most popular desserts. Chicken, beef, and vegetables made their appearances as well when it came to the main dishes. Get inspired for November and the start of the holidays by checking out our top six most popular recipes in October based on page views, and then check out the rest of the top 25 in this collection.

25 Most Popular Recipes in October

Curious what other recipes our members made in October? Check out the rest of our Top 25 collection.  
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1. Hearty Beef Stew

Our goal in developing this beef stew recipe was to keep the cooking process simple without compromising the stew's deep, complex flavor. We chose chuck for its great flavor and abundance of intramuscular fat and connective tissue, which makes it well-suited for long, slow, moist cooking. To make our beef stew recipe easy, we opted for thickening the stew with flour at the beginning—stirring it into the sautéing onions and garlic, right before adding the liquid. We preferred the consistent, enveloping heat of the oven to the inconsistent heat of the burner for cooking the stew. [GET THE RECIPE]

2. Cauliflower Soup

For a creamy cauliflower soup without cream, we relied on cauliflower's low insoluble fiber content to produce a velvety smooth puree. The ensure the cauliflower flavor remained at the forefront, we cooked the cauliflower in seasoned water (instead of broth), skipped the spice rack entirely, and bolstered the soup with sautéed onion and leek. We added the cauliflower to the simmering water in two stages so that we got the grassy flavor of just-cooked cauliflower and the sweeter, nuttier flavor of long-cooked cauliflower. Finally, we fried florets in butter until both browned and used each as a separate, richly flavored garnish. [GET THE RECIPE]

3. Creamy Parmesan Polenta

For quick polenta with a creamy texture and deep corn flavor, we searched for the right type of cornmeal and a technique to hasten its cooking. Coarse-ground, degerminated cornmeal gave us the soft but hearty texture and nutty flavor we were looking for. A pinch of baking soda cut cooking time in half and eliminated the need for stirring, giving us the best quick polenta recipe. [GET THE RECIPE]

4. Glazed Maple-Pecan Oatmeal Scones

In developing our oat scone recipe, we wanted to pack the chewy nuttiness of oats into a moist and tender breakfast pastry. Essential to our success: toasting the oats—either rolled or quick oats—to obtain good nutty flavor, using a generous amount of butter for flavor, and using half-and-half to enrich but not weigh down the final product. We took care not to overmix the dough in our oatmeal scone recipe, and baked the scones in a very hot oven, to get maximum rise with a soft, delicate interior. [GET THE RECIPE]

5. Deep-Dish Apple Pie

Precooking the apples allowed us to cram twice as many apples in our deep-dish apple pie recipe than in our standard pie. Why didn't they fall apart when precooked and then cooked again inside the pie? When the apples are gently heated, their pectin is converted to a heat-stable form that keeps them from becoming mushy when cooked further in the oven. [GET THE RECIPE]

6. Chicken Vesuvio

Chicken Vesuvio is a classic Chicago restaurant dish: crisp-skinned chicken and deeply browned potatoes in a potent garlic and white wine sauce. Line cooks make it one order at a time in a big skillet, which provides plenty of space for browning and sauce reduction and goes handily from stovetop to oven. To transfer chicken Vesuvio to the home kitchen, we traded the customary skillet for a large, heavy roasting pan, which gave us plenty of room for four servings. We heated oil in the roasting pan on the stovetop, browned the chicken thighs and halved Yukon Gold potatoes, and added the traditional dried herbs and plenty of garlic cloves. After transferring the cooked chicken and potatoes to a platter, we returned the pan to the stovetop to reduce the sauce further. Mashing the cooked garlic cloves brought the oil and wine together, and some fresh minced garlic, tempered with lemon juice, delivered robust flavor. [GET THE RECIPE]

Want to see the rest of our top 25? Check out our Most Popular America's Test Kitchen Recipes in October collection. And view these recipe collections to see which recipes were popular in past months:

This is a members' feature.