vegetable salad served on table with beef steak in restaurant

Writing Your Own Recipes: The 6-Step Shortcut Method

Writing your own simple, easy-to-follow recipes is not as hard as you might think. Creating great recipes combines good writing skills with a little art, a little science and some common sense.

We’ve all seen recipes that don’t read well — and we’ve all tried recipes that don’t turn out well. An accurate ingredients list is the most important thing for a successful recipe, but well-written instructions make the recipe work flawlessly.

Here’s a 6-step shortcut method that works well for creating new recipes you and your family can enjoy again and again:

1. Research. Before you go into the kitchen, look through cookbooks and online recipe sites for recipes that come close to what you want to create. Locate two or three that are like the dish you want to make, print them and mark them up, removing things you don’t like and adding in ingredients you think will work better.

2. Write. Create a new recipe based on your source material, simplifying the steps as much as possible and reducing ingredients to the minimum necessary for the flavor you want. List ingredients and preparation steps in order of use. If ingredients aren’t used until a few steps into the recipe, don’t list them until then.

3. Cook. While cooking the dish, make adjustments and write them down. If it’s too bland, add salt, pepper or whatever you like — and take note. Not sweet enough? Add whatever sweetener you’re using — and be sure you take note of every small addition.

4. Enjoy. Eat the dish and decide if you got it right. If others are eating with you, consider their opinions too.

5. Rewrite. Type up the changes you made during cooking and make further adjustments based on your taste-testing.

6. Finish. Make the dish again and see if it’s perfect. If not, send it through another round of adjustments and rewrites until it’s completely your own.

This simply perfect method for writing your own recipes turns out great recipes that make great food. If simple, easy-to-understand recipes that can be perfectly duplicated are part of your simple, deliberate life, these instructions are for you.


  1. I’d say for me that the key is a lot of common sense, a sense of adventure with some knowledge of foodstuffs in general. I blog about simple food, so have to make careful note of what I do as I have a responsibility. For recipes I don’t blog about I experiment with. I get a lot of satisfaction from using up ingredients, so very often try a combination of things that may or may not work. Kitchen clutter and unused herbs etc… are a no-no for me, so very often meals for a week (I meal plan) take on a theme and are based around certain produce, but each time with a different twist. As with most things in life ‘practise makes perfect!’

    1. Jo, thanks for your useful comments. I’m always glad when you’re able to comment.

      I enjoy writing a few recipes now and then, but I’m glad there are others who do it more frequently so I can benefit from their work.


    1. Jo, I’m off to a buffet restaurant today. That’s where my friends are getting together for Thanksgiving. We went last year, and they do a huge buffet, so I’m sure I won’t be disappointed.

      Happy Thanksgiving to all … even if your country doesn’t celebrate it!


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