Welcome to my annual roundup of Project Meal Plan’s best and Most Popular Recipes of 2023! Here’s where I reflect on the year, chat highlights, share trends, and countdown our Top 10 Most Popular Recipes of 2023!
This end-of-year post is one of my favorite posts to put together. It’s always nice to step back, take a look at the year as a whole, and see what the vibe is. The recipes I think will be popular, rarely ever are. There are always surprises when I look at things from a different angle. I find all the numbers to be super interesting, and I hope you do too!
When I do take this step back, it’s so much easier to see things like – HOLY COW this many people visited my website? Looked at my photographs? Visited this very page? Cooked my recipes??? I’m always in awe of it. And I only have YOU, the readers, to thank.
Maybe it doesn’t seem as heartfelt through text, but please know that I’m putting extra love into these very keystrokes just for you <3 THANK YOU.
For visiting a post, for liking a reel, for leaving a comment, for sharing a recipe, for even reading this. It all helps, and I appreciate it more than you know.
Let’s get to the good stuff, shall we? My data and number nerd friends, this is for you!! I put together this list by looking at the top most viewed recipes on Project Meal Plan, not including recipe round-ups or non-recipe article posts (those will be listed separately after!).
Stick around for some mini lists below – such as top meal prep lunches, top NEW 2023 recipes, and more! Even if you don’t care about the numbers, this is the perfect place to pick out the next PMP recipe to cook in your own kitchen.
If you’re looking for the best of Project Meal Plan according to YOU, the readers, then you have got to browse this list of our Most Popular Recipes of 2023!
Most Popular Recipes of 2023
2023 in Review
Project Meal Plan 2022 vs. 2023 Stats
Pageviews: Increased 27.70% from ~2,224,000 (2022) to 2,840,000 (2023)
Pageviews are the number of pages viewed by a User, including repeat pageviews, during any number of sessions. Higher is better!
Users: Increased 22.72% from ~1,514,000 (2022) to 1,858,000 (2023)
A User is someone who has initiated at least one session on the website. Higher is better!
Views per user: Increased from 1.47 views per user (2022) to 1.53 views per user (2023)
The average number of mobile app screens or web pages viewed per user. Higher is better!
Average Engagement Time: 30 seconds
This is the average length of time that the app was in the foreground, or the web site had focus in the browser. This is a new metric in GA4 that I don’t have from previous years.
RPM (revenue per mille, or revenue per thousand views): Increased from $32.49 in 2022 to $33.83 in 2023
Notes on these statistics:
- In my eyes, this was a wonderful year for Project Meal Plan, especially compared to last year. An increase of both users and pageviews is always an accomplishment, but with both over 20% increase from last year, we’re definitely headed in the right direction!
- This year marked the switch from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4, so the metrics reporting is slightly different than it used to be. Because of this, I’m slightly switching up which metrics are shared here.
- I focused on quality content this year – I do try to share a new recipe every single week, but if something isn’t ready, I won’t force it. I also updated and republished four old recipes this year. It’s nice to see this work paying off!
Project Meal Plan’s 2023 Top 5 Lists
Top 5 NEW Recipes Published in 2023
When I post a new recipe, it takes some time to be seen by the people, gain traction, and get feedback. That’s why you usually don’t see these new recipes show up in the Top 10 list in the same year they were published.
So they get their own list! It’s interesting to see what gets an immediate response versus what people aren’t really into as much. Here’s the list of top 5 recipes newly published in 2023:
- Creamy Tuscan Chicken Meal Prep
- Air Fryer Banana Oatmeal Cookie For One
- Dill Pickle Chicken Salad
- Zesty Italian Tortellini Pasta Salad
- Meal Prep Soy Chorizo Breakfast Burritos
Top 5 Non-Recipe Posts of 2023
I share mostly recipes on Project Meal Plan, but I occasionally share helpful articles and recipe round-ups as well. Here’s a list of the top 5 most popular posts on Project Meal Plan that are not recipes:
- 16 Make-Ahead Cold Lunch Ideas To Prep For Work
- The First 15 Recipes I Made With My Air Fryer
- 10 Trader Joe’s Foods That Are Perfect For Your Air Fryer
- 25+ Make-Ahead Thanksgiving Potluck Side Dish Ideas
- 30 Weeknight Dinner Menu Theme Ideas
Top 5 Meal Prep Lunches of 2023
We have a wide array of meal prep lunch recipes here at Project Meal Plan. Since many of them don’t make it all the way up to the top (because air fryer recipes are always taking up the spots), I like to share some in a separate list so you can see which are most popular. Here are the top 5 meal prep lunches of 2023:
- Meal Prep Unstuffed Pepper Bowls
- Easy Turkey Pinwheels Meal Prep
- Meal Prep Ginger Ground Beef Bowls
- Chicken Hummus Plate Lunch Meal Prep
- Ground Turkey Cabbage Stir Fry Meal Prep
Top 5 Traffic Referral Sources (+ percentage of all traffic)
Traffic referral source refers to the place the traffic came from, or how they got to the Project Meal Plan website. Here are the top 5 traffic sources to Project Meal Plan:
- Pinterest – 39.06%
- Google – 38.32%
- Direct/None – 17.90%
- Bing – 0.59%
- Facebook – 0.40%
Notes & Comments on the Year
- During 2023, I published 27 new recipes and 8 new articles on Project Meal Plan. I also updated 4 old recipes with helpful content and new photographs. Project Meal Plan has a total of 279 recipes.
- This year in June, I had another surgery to remove another internal organ (goodbye, uterus 👋). I took some time off to recover and did not publish anything new for a few weeks after that. It’s really great to see growth in pageviews and revenue even though I took some time off.
- I filmed a total of one YouTube style video early in the year (PB Banana Oatmeal Bars!), but then I transitioned to filming content for social media with my phone. The industry is ever-changing!
- Speaking of social media, the PMP Instagram had some incredible growth this year. It’s mostly thanks to my Veggies Vs. Dollars series – a 5 part installment of Reels detailing all the vegetables I grew in my yard, and how much they were worth in the store price. Here’s a link to part 2, which is the closest thing to viral any of my Reels have ever gone! I gained approximately 15k followers from this series, which feels good, since those Reels took a lot of time to make.
- This year, visits to air fryer recipes made up 25.06% of total pageviews, which is down from last year (34.7% in 2022, and 46% in 2021). This makes sense – more store packaging is coming with air fryer instructions, and I’ve been focusing on other kinds of cooking lately!
2023 Wins & Accomplishments:
Hit over 10,000 pageviews four Sundays in a row!
Last year, my goal was to hit 10k pageviews for at least two weeks in a row. I hit that goal, so for 2023, I upped the goal. This year, I tried to hit 10k pageviews for at least four weeks in a row, and I did it!
Starting after the 4th of July, nearly every Sunday was well over 10,000 pageviews. The single day pageview record for 2023 came on August 20th, with 17,057 pageviews.
Earn over $8,000 ad revenue in one month!
I’m thrilled to report I was able to beat this goal with a thick cushion! Project Meal Plan had two months of 2023 earning over $8,000 each in ad revenue. Thank you Mediavine for being my partner in all things ad management!
Hire a recipe developer to create two additional recipes per month!
Increasing the variety of recipes offered on Project Meal Plan has always been a priority of mine. And this year, I knew I had a surgery happening at some point. So, I decided to get some help developing new recipes from a professional.
A huge thank you to Rachel with 40A for working with me to create delicious make-ahead friendly recipes! I teamed up with Rachel in March of this year – she’s the brains behind some of my new favorites like Thai Chicken Larb Inspired Meal Prep and No-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Balls.
Finally, here are the most popular recipe lists from previous years – you’ll definitely recognize a couple consistent favorites!
- Most Popular Recipes of 2022
- Most Popular Recipes of 2021
- Most Popular Recipes of 2020
- Most Popular Recipes of 2019
- Most Popular Recipes of 2018
- Top 5 List from 2017
Thank you for celebrating all of the year’s accomplishments with me! If you’ve read this far, you’re definitely a superfan, and I’m so thankful for you!
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below. Have you made any of the recipes on this list? What was your favorite recipe on Project Meal Plan this year? I wanna know!!
Cheers to another year! Happy meal planning, cooking and eating in 2024 🙂