How to Make a Recipe: The Best Tips for Beginners

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Have you ever heard the saying, “No one owns a recipe?” It goes on to say that recipes should be handed down through the generations.

We believe wholeheartedly in secret family recipes. (Everybody should have one from grandma for cookies or cake.) But we also enthusiastically embrace learning how to make a recipe.

And you don’t have to be a graduate of culinary school to do it. Read on to learn more about the process and then start cooking!

How to Make a Recipe 101

Launching into the art of recipe making can happen in a variety of ways. But while you can certainly spend countless hours and untold dollars on ingredients that you haphazardly combine until achieving success, we offer another option.

Find a recipe that you love and use it as a basis for inspiration. After all, the US Copyright office only protects the description, illustration, and explanation accompanying a recipe.

This leaves plenty of room to alter, expand, and transform a recipe into your unique creation. So, rewrite the recipe directions in your own words remembering to make alterations along the way.

Get Creative with Substitutions, Swaps, and Changes

Did you know that according to law, a list of ingredients alone cannot be copyrighted? So, when it comes to expanding on a recipe you enjoy, it’s time for creativity and experimentation.

But how do you know which ingredient(s) to swap out or change? Cook strategically, replacing ingredients one at a time until you achieve something new and delicious.

What are some examples of changes to consider? Swap the protein in a dish for another. In your favorite chili recipe, for example, replace the ground beef with ground turkey.

You could also consider using a mixture of black beans, kidney beans, and garbanzo beans in place of pintos for added new nutrition and an exciting twist on a classic.

Or, in a salad or stir-fry, you swap out kale for spinach. As you gain confidence making small changes, give more dramatic ones a try. These will help you infuse the recipe with a personal touch.

Besides swapping out items on the ingredients list, you should also consider changing the cooking method. For example, why boil the veggies in a recipe when you can roast them instead?

Or, rather than deep-fry, opt for pan-frying or grilling. For example, you could take the standard chicken wing recipe and replace the deep-frying with grilling in a Traeger until they’re crispy on the outside and smoky on the inside.

Once you’ve crafted your dish, use these recipe card templates to record your invention.

Making New Recipes

As you can see, creating a new delicious dish is easier than you think. Especially if you know the basics of borrowing inspiration so that the process of how to make a recipe never involves starting from scratch.

That way, you’ll save yourself lots of time and money on ingredients. Ready to get started? Browse our recipes now to find a jumping-off point for your next masterpiece.