Cooking: DIY recipes & ingredients - Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Learn how the cooking in Animal Crossing: New Horizons works, including how to get new recipes, ingredients, and of course, how to cook.

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Animal Crossing: New Horizons now lets players cook food using DIY cooking recipes. Before you can become a culinary master, you will first need to unlock the ability to make DIY cooking recipes. Once that’s out of the way, you can go about cooking and even learning new recipes.

How to unlock DIY cooking recipes

cooking diy recipes unlock animal crossing new horizons
The Be a Chef! DIY Recipes+ will unlock the ability to start cooking meals.

To unlock DIY cooking recipes, you will need to visit the Resident Services building on your island. In here you will find the Nook Stop, which is where you can redeem Nook Miles. This is where you will be able to unlock the ability to make and collect DIY cooking recipes.

  1. Go to the Resident Services building
  2. Interact with the Nook Stop
  3. Select Redeem Nook Miles
  4. Unlock “Be a Chef! DIY Recipes+” for 2,000 Nook Miles

After buying “Be a Chef! DIY Recipes+” you will be able to find new cooking tabs in the DIY Recipes section of your NookPhone. Look for the Savory and Sweet sections for the appropriate recipes.

more cooking recipes animal crossing new horizons
Visit Timmy and Tommy to purchase some more cooking recipes.

Your next stop should be Nook’s Cranny. Timmy and Tommy will have a card inside the cabinet called Basic Cooking Recipes. Purchasing this is a great way to flex those culinary muscles.

  1. Go to Nook’s Cranny
  2. Open the cabinet
  3. Scroll down to the cards
  4. Unlock “Basic Cooking Recipes” for 4,980 Bells

Basic Cooking Recipes will add whole-wheat flour, brown sugar, seaweed soup, organic bread, gnocchi di patate, tomato puree, brown-sugar cupcakes, and carrot cake to your list of available DIY recipes.

From here on out, you should check the Nook Stop and Nook’s Cranny for new DIY recipe cards. You can also likely acquire new recipes like you would other DIY workbench cards: by finding them on the beach, in bottles, from balloons, and all the other avenues in-game.

How to get ingredients

animal crossing new horizons ingredients

While getting started on collecting DIY recipes, the real challenge will be getting ingredients in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. This process will take some time, as it requires investing in Leif's shop on Harv's island. Any shop you invest in will take until the next day to open, and you won't be able to donate to any more vendors that day. It will take a bit of time! Keep a minimum of 100,000 Bells with you when you visit Harv's island, that way you're always prepared to fully invest in a shop. Of course, if you don't mind time travel in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you can open all the shops in a short amount of time.

Once Lief's shop is open and doing business, you can come back to Harv's island to purchase ingredients. So far, we've been able to snag the following items via time travel:

  • Seed Potatoes
  • Carrot Starts
  • Sugarcane Starts
  • Wheat Starts
  • Tomato Starts
  • Pumpkin Starts

There are two important things to note here: First is that starts and seeds are not full blown ingredients. They are what you plant to grow the ingredients you need. You'll still have to do quite a bit of farming and gardening to get the ingredients you require. Secondly, you can get full-blown ingredients by speaking to Kapp'n at your island's dock, and then spending 1,000 Nook Miles to have him ferry you to a random island. These islands can contain actual ingredients. The first island I visited was full of Ripe Carrot Plants. I was able to either dig them up to re-plant them on my own island, or just pick them for Carrots. Carrots, in this case, are an example of an actual ingredient you need for cooking recipes.

Now, spending 1,000 Nook Miles every time you need cooking ingredients isn't ideal, but it is a good way to get ingredients quickly. You see, Leif appears to update his stock weekly instead of daily, so you could wait weeks to buy everything you need if you aren't a fan of time traveling. What I did was dig up 10 Ripe Carrot Plants to take back to my island and plant again, plus I picked a bunch of Carrots to start cooking with immediately.

How to cook

how to cook animal crossing new horizons
To start cooking, visit a kitchen and interact with the bench. You may need to purchase a kitchen first!

After you’ve got your DIY cooking recipes and your ingredients, you will then need to find a stove to cook. Thankfully, cooking in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a rather logical process. You must use any of the cooking stations available in the game. This includes things like the kitchen island, open-frame kitchen, and other kitchen areas.

After interacting with a kitchen bench and confirming you want to cook, you can select what items to make. A lot of recipes require basic ingredients like flour (which requires wheat to make), so stocking up on your common goods is a great idea. Select what you want to cook and then confirm.


Now that you know the basics of cooking in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you can start unlocking new DIY cooking recipes, buying and finding ingredients, and cooking! Remember to check the stores each day for new ingredients and recipes so you can expand your cookbook. Check out the Shacknews Animal Crossing: New Horizons guide for info on the latest update and even coverage of the Happy Home Paradise DLC.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler brings a bit of the southern hemisphere flair to his work. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and entering the video game industry, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can Tweet him: @SamuelChandler 

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