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We Tried Viral Recipes To See If They Were Worth The Hype

While quarantine took most people out of the office this past year, it also brought many people back into the kitchen. Novice chefs and people who work from home found themselves trying out and sharing new recipes, creating an online cooking community like never before. This has caused quite a few recipes to go viral over the past year, so we tried out a few of them to see if they were really worth the hype. I’m not going to lie, Tiktok made all of these recipes seem delicious, but I wanted to see if they tasted as good as they looked.

Tomato-Feta Pasta

Description: This recipe blew up on Tiktok this winter as more and more people were looking for simple yet comforting dishes to keep them warm during the cold months. Apparently, America was late to the game, though. It’s rumored that this recipe actually went viral in Finland in 2019, causing many supermarkets to sell out of feta cheese when it became popular. 

Final verdict: For a one-pot dinner that you can easily prepare, I’d say this recipe is pretty great. Especially if you’re short on time and energy, the ease of just throwing a bunch of ingredients in an oven dish and then mixing it once it’s done is *chef’s kiss* just perfect. This recipe can also easily be scaled to serve a whole bunch of people, so I suggest trying it out the next time you want to impress your housemates. I upgraded this recipe by using Boursin Cheese instead of feta, which I think makes for a creamier, more flavorful dish. I’ve also seen variations online where people add in chicken and vegetables for a more filling meal.

Gigi Hadid’s Spicy Vodka Pasta

Description: Gigi Hadid posted this recipe on her Instagram story during quarantine, and people went nuts. The dish is inspired by Carbone’s Spicy Rigatoni Vodka dish, which is beloved by New Yorkers everywhere. While Carbone’s version is definitely worth every penny, Hadid offered us an alternate recipe that you can make easily from the comfort of your own home. We see you, Gigi! 

Final verdict: This recipe is beloved by so many, and for good reason. Gigi knows what she’s doing. This dish is a crowd-pleaser that I love to whip out whenever I have guests over. The sauce is flavorful, creamy, and tastes like something I’d pay $20+ per plate for at a restaurant. And as a novice chef, it was pretty difficult for me to mess up. If you like a spicier sauce like me, definitely add more red pepper flakes!

Whipped Coffee

Description: This specific recipe really brings me back to when lockdown was very new and no one knew what to do with themselves. The trend originated in South Korea and later made its way to America, where it spread online. I remember seeing videos of people making whipped coffee in April of 2020 and admiring how luxurious and sexy the drink looked. It only uses three ingredients: instant coffee, sugar, and milk. 

Final verdict: Unless you have an electric mixer, prepare for your wrist to feel like it’s fallen off (I learned the hard way). However, this is such a fun way to consume coffee. As a coffee lover, its thick texture definitely made it feel like an experience. I loved how airy this drink was and it really elevated my morning cup of coffee. This might not be a recipe I look to regularly, but I know that when I do, my day becomes a little bit more exciting because of it. I’ve seen people online make whipped matcha as well, which is something I’ll definitely have to try in the future.

Ramen Hack

Description: This ramen hack first went viral in Japan, and then later made its way into the United States. All you need to do is mix one raw egg, Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise, one clove of finely grated garlic, and the seasoning pack from instant ramen in a bowl. After your noodles are done boiling, add some of the water into the mixture and stir quickly to create a creamy broth. Once your broth is formed, add your noodles.

Final verdict: Yum! If you want to make your cheap ramen feel a little bit more ~boujee~, then definitely try this hack. The garlic gives the ramen a much deeper flavor profile. The mayonnaise and egg make the broth rich and thick, which will leave you a lot more satisfied than just plain old Maruchan. Pro-tip: Add any vegetables of your choice to make it a more hearty and nutritious meal. Garnish with scallions or dried seaweed for even more flavor. This recipe is super great for anyone looking for a quick comfort meal.

Pancake Cereal

Description: This recipe consists of making a bunch of dime-sized pancakes, covering them in butter and syrup, and then eating them in milk (like one would with cereal). It’s definitely an interesting approach to breakfast that became extremely popular last year online. I mean, combining two of the most iconic breakfast foods of all time is kind of a power move. What could go wrong?

Final verdict: While I’m not a super huge fan of sweet breakfasts, this recipe was too enticing not to try. The milk with the pancakes was a bit strange, but it made sense when I added toppings to it. On top of the pancake cereal, I added almond butter, walnuts, and bananas. It was quite delicious. However, I feel like I could get similar results with a lot less effort by using the same toppings on Quaker Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal. If you’re a big fan of pancakes, this is a must-try.

Photo by Jason Briscoe via Unsplash.

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