How To Unlock Cooking Recipes In Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Want to know how to unlock Cooking Recipes in Animal Crossing: New Horizons? From the random finds to the more rare unlocks this guide has you covered with a list of all the people, places, and things where you can find them.

How To Unlock Cooking Recipes in Animal Crossing New Horizons

In the recent 2.0 update for Animal Crossing: New Horizons Nintendo brought a whole new range of fun features and gameplay to spice up our islands. One of those new features was cooking. Something that has long been requested by fans of the series but now finally has been added to the game. However finding cooking recipes can be difficult to do if you don’t know the best places to look. And in this guide I’ll telling you how to unlock cooking recipes in Animal Crossing: Horizons by listing all the places, people, and items that can give you new recipes for you to cook up a storm with.

This guide does not contain a comprehensive list of every recipe currently in the game. It lists the various places and methods that you can use to unlock more of them. And if you have found any other methods that are not listed in this guide then be sure to share them in the comments down below.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Ver. 2.0 Free Update - Nintendo Switch


To begin with the first set of recipes that you will unlock will be gained when you first unlock the cooking mechanic. In case you haven’t already done so, to unlock the cooking mechanic you need to purchase the upgrade for your phone from the ABD in Resident’s Services. This upgrade will cost 2000 Nookmiles and will not only give you the ability to cook but will allow you gain more recipes down the line. You cannot cook or unlock recipes without the upgrade.

I know it almost goes without saying but it could get overlooked.

I know it almost goes without saying but it could get overlooked.

Granted, if you are reading this guide you likely will have already done this. But if you are still new to the game or have not had the time to do this yet make sure to do so. Once you have done it you’ll be given a collection of starting recipes. You will also unlock a DIY recipe to allow you to make your own stove so you can cook them. You can cook in your house or outside should you wish. With many furniture items being updated to allow cooking on them.


The next place to unlock Animal Crossing: New Horizons cooking recipes is Nook’s Cranny. If you go to the  item cabinet and scroll down the item list you will find a recipe bundle titled ‘Basic Cooking Recipes’ which retails for 4,980 Bells. This bundle will include recipes for Brown Sugar and Whole Wheat Flour which are vital ingredients for some recipes. Additionally if the time of year allows it you’ll find some seasonal cooking recipes for sale too.

These cooking recipes might be basic but they are useful!

These cooking recipes might be basic but they are useful!

The day after Turkey Day you’ll find recipes to cook the various meals that Franklin was cooking the day before. And during the lead up to Halloween you can find a recipe for some spooky cookies. At the time of writing it isn’t known if additional seasonal cooking recipes will be added to the game for future events (for Bunny Day and such) or if said recipes will be purchasable from Nook’s Cranny. But if they are this guide will be updated to reflect that.


The 2.0 update made many food base furniture items edible. For example the Yule Log item that you can buy in December can now be eaten like any other item you might cook. Eating said items does not give you the ability to cook them yourself. However it does mean that Nook’s Cranny will occasionally sell food which can be a great alternative to cooking yourself. Additionally you don’t need to unlock the cooking mechanic to eat food items. So if you want to stock up on said items whilst you grind Nookpoints to unlock the ability yourself you can!

I'm not sure the bucket sells the quality of this drink...

I’m not sure the bucket sells the quality of this drink…


Cooking recipes have now been added to the pool of recipes that you can find in bottles which wash up on the beach. You won’t be able to tell which ones have a DIY recipe or a cooking one until the bottle is in your inventory. When it is you’ll see the logo for cooking recipes on the icon for the item. 

Message Bottles will wash up on your island twice a day. You can also sometimes find them on Dodo Island Tours, and on the Kapp’n Mystery Island Tours. Typically the recipe that you find on a Kapp’n island will relate to the resources that you find on the island; if there are seasonal collectables it will be a DIY or cooking recipe related to them. And if you find an island with vegetables on them, even if you already have them on your island, there is still a chance you could get a recipe related to said vegatables.

Thank you mysterious stranger for helping me unlock a new cooking recipe!

Thank you mysterious stranger for helping me unlock a new cooking recipe!


By this point you should be well aware that in Animal Crossing: New Horizons you can gain DIY recipes from islanders who are currently working on stuff in their homes. And as of the 2.0 update they’ll now be cooking in addition to doing DIY! All you need to do is go into villager’s homes when they are in and you might come across someone who is cooking something. 

There are few things more wholesome than a villager cooking.

There are few things more wholesome than a villager cooking.

There is no way to tell if someone is cooking or doing some DIY before entering their house. But it is always worth checking in on them because you might still get something you haven’t unlocked before. I’m not totally sure if the kinds of cooking recipes that you can unlock are tied to the villager personality type as is the case with DIY ones. But regardless of if they are or are not it is worth taking a look whenever you get the chance.


The least reliable way of unlocking new cooking recipes is to get them from popping balloons that float over your islands. Even if the skies above your islands are chock full of balloons there is no guarantee that they will contain a cooking recipe. As typically the recipes that you find are more likely to be linked to seasonal DIY recipes more so than more general cooking recipes.

I'm lucky this cooking recipe didn't land in the ocean.

I’m lucky this cooking recipe didn’t land in the ocean.

For example, you are more likely to find cooking recipes that use mushrooms in the autumn when they are growing than at another time of year. Again, it isn’t terribly reliable as you are more likely to find resources, items, money, and just about any other given object in the game over a cooking recipe but the option is there.


A far more reliable way of unlocking Animal Crossing: New Horizons cooking recipes is to unlock them from fishing. Just like with the DIY recipes that you unlock from fishing out junk from your rivers and the sea around your island catching certain fish can grant your villager inspiration to try and cook something new.

That's it! A tuna smoothie! I'll be rich!

That’s it! A tuna smoothie! I’ll be rich!

You will always unlock a recipe that uses that fish when you catch them providing you haven’t already unlocked all the recipes associated with it. You don’t need to catch a certain number of them, you just need to catch one. There are can be multiple cooking recipes for a singular type of fish. So that should help take the sting out of catching endless sea basses! Oh and by the way, if you want to make your time unlocking recipes a little easier be sure to check this guide on how to repair your tools. That should help save you a little time along the way.


The final method in unlocking cooking recipes comes from your interactions with some of the special characters on your Animal Crossing: New Horizons islands. Both of methods can be rather expensive. The first method involves you simply buying coffee from Brewster once a day. After you have done this for enough days Brewster will give you a recipe for the cookie that you’ll sometimes see him serving. 

You don't get this at Starbucks!

You don’t get this at Starbucks!

The second involves buying turnips from Daisy-Mae. She appears every Sunday morning on your islands selling turnips which you can sell for vast profits during the week. The day after you buy some from her she will send you a letter which might well include a recipe using turnips. Granted its probably not the most financially friendly way of cooking; the value of the turnips on the stalk market vastly outweighs their value when cooked. But if you want to boast to your friends by showing that you are so rich you eat turnips rather than selling them then you can. Its a weird flex but sure, you do you.

[wpdiscuz-feedback id=”84uhw8oza5″ question=”Do you have any tips for unlocking cooking recipes in Animal Crossing: New Horizons?” opened=”1″]And so concludes this guide on How To Unlock Cooking Recipes in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I hope that you have found this guide useful. If so be sure to share it with your friends, give it a like, and for more guides, reviews, and gaming news updates be sure to follow KeenGamer on Twitter. Go on, its free! And if you have any tips to share leave them down below![/wpdiscuz-feedback]


  1. Avatar photo

    A newbi to the game kind of, didn’t get the app on my phone and cannot find the basie cooking recipes in nook store

  2. Avatar photo

    some how i didn’t get upgrade on my phone a new player i just messed help. is it possible to find it some or go back in time to try and get it

    • Avatar photo

      Hello there, in order to unlock the cooking app for purchase you need your island to have a 3 Star rating and have resident services upgraded from a tent to a building. I hope this helps.


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