11+ Personal Cooking Challenges to Inspire You

11+ Personal Cooking Challenges to Inspire You

We all need a little inspiration in the kitchen sometimes. Try these personal cooking challenges to get your creative juices flowing.

Whether you are tired of making the same old meals or just want to try something different, these personal cooking challenges are sure to make you enjoy cooking again.

Tailor the challenges to your skill level, and consider getting the family involved.

Bon Appetit!

Try One of These Personal Cooking Challenges!

1. Use a Small Appliance That You Haven’t Used in a Long Time

Maybe it is the bread maker that you haven’t used since the week you bought it or the juicer you bought with good intentions of making fresh juice every morning…We all have appliances that are just taking up space in our cabinets.

Find one you haven’t used in a while and use it at least one more time. If you like it, search for more recipes! If you find it difficult to use or not worth the shelf space, clean it up to give to a friend or donate.

2. Pick a Protein and Make It Three Different Ways

Sometimes, the grocery store has exceptional sales where you can save a lot of money by buying in bulk. The question is, what do you do with that much of the same kind of meat?

Get prepared by finding and testing out several different recipes for the same protein. That way, if you hit a sale, you will know what to do with it.

3. Organize Your Pantry and Use What You Have Most Of

The other day, I organized my pantry and found that I had 14 cans various kinds of beans. 14 cans! My personal cooking challenge was to get it down to no more than two cans of each kind. Next, I’ll have to address all of the pasta!

4. Try an International Day

Don’t just make a dish from another country…Have an entire international day! You can choose the same country for all meals, or mix it up with meals from different countries for breakfast lunch, and dinner. Don’t forget appetizers!

5. Have a Go-To Gift Dish

There are times that come out of the blue where you need to bring a dish as a gift. Maybe someone had a death in the family or new neighbors moved in down the street. Regardless, it is handy to have a go-to dish that you can give as a little gift.

It should be something where you always have the ingredients on hand. (i.e. Stay away from recipes that require fresh pomegranate.) It should also be something that can be eaten by most people. (If you do chocolate chip cookies, maybe make some with nuts and some without.)

6. Find a New Recipe for 5 Different Proteins


Pick five of your favorite proteins (beef, pork, chicken, beans, tofu, etc.) Then, start searching for recipes! If one of your proteins is salmon, you might try searching for:

  • Baked salmon
  • Grilled salmon
  • Easy salmon recipes
  • Salmon in a skillet
  • Best way to cook salmon

Keep going until you have a recipe for each protein!

7. Clean Out the Fridge and Use It or Lose It

The nice thing about this cooking challenge is that you get a clean fridge in the end! Obviously, toss anything that is expired. (Don’t forget your condiments.) Then, specify an area in your fridge for things that are going to go bad soon. The cooking challenge is to use those ingredients before they go bad!

8. Try the 800g Challenge

I actually tried the 800g Challenge with my family, and I saw it more as a cooking challenge than a diet challenge. The basic idea is to eat 800 grams, by weight, of the fruits and vegetables of your choice per day.

As it turns out, it takes a lot of time and energy to process 1.7 pounds of fruits and vegetables per person every day! We lasted about four days before we knocked it down to 500-600g per day. Now, we just try to eat a lot more vegetables than we used to. 

9. Master a Cooking Skill by Watching YouTube Videos

Ever wanted to learn how to chop vegetables like a pro or make the perfect omelet? That is what YouTube is for!

Pick a skill and then do a little search. Watch several different videos on it to get different ideas and perspectives. Then, try it out for yourself!

10. Find a Tasty, Sugar-Free Dessert Recipe

We all have a friend or family member who needs to watch their sugar. The problem is, sugar is yummy, and a lot of sugar-free recipes end up tasting kind of bleh.

The cooking challenge is to search for and then test out recipes for sugar free desserts until you find the tastiest one.

11. Master a Potluck Dish

Get prepared for the next potluck with the best dish on the table. It may take a little trial and error, but it is well worth the effort. Hint…You might want to stay away from dishes with mayonnaise that can go bad in the sun.

12. Recreate Your Favorite Restaurant Dish

Attempting to recreate a dish from your favorite restaurant is a great personal cooking challenge. I just tried this one the other day, and it did not disappoint!

Have Fun with These Cooking Challenges!

When it comes to personal cooking challenges, the key is to have fun! Not in the mood for cleaning out your fridge? Don’t have the ingredients to use up all those cans of beans? No problem! Try something else on the list. There are plenty of personal cooking challenges to choose from.

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