Image: Nintendo Life

One of the biggest departures The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has made from other games in the series's storied history is the move away from finding hearts to replenish your health; instead, this time around Link will need to don his chef's hat and craft some delicacies if he is to survive Calamity Ganon's onslaught.

With that in mind we've put together this exhaustive (and now freshly updated) guide which aims to take the effort out of cooking meals in the wilds of Hyrule, and we've also included some of our favourite recipes.

How To Cook In Breath of the Wild

Like real cooking, ingredients are key and one wrong thing can totally change the impact of a dish. We here at Nintendo Life have taken a crash course in the culinary arts and are going to share what we have learned about Hylian cuisine with you, dear reader.

To cook dishes which involve more than on ingredient, you'll need to find a cooking pot with a fire underneath it - these are often located at the many stables dotted around Hyrule. If you're just looking to cook individual ingredients to unlock their potential, you can use a normal campfire or alternatively any location in the game where the temperature is especially high - Death Mountain and Gerudo Desert being two examples. Just drop the ingredient on the floor and it will cook.

There are quite a few dishes you can make in Breath of the Wild - well over 100, not counting variations on the same dish. Those variations, however, are the most critical component of making of a successful dish, as they alter greatly the effect that meal has on our Hylian hero.

Most ingredients are neutral, meaning they offer no effects beyond restoring a heart or two when raw or more when cooked. What you really want to keep an eye on is the adjective preceding an ingredient's name, as it will give you insight as to what the ingredient will add to a completed dish. Below is a list of each adjective and what its effect on your cuisine.

Ingredient Categories and Status Effects

Image: Nintendo Life
  • Chilly/Heat resistance
  • Electro/Shock resistance
  • Enduring/Extra stamina
  • Energizing/Restores stamina
  • Fireproof/Fire resistance
  • Hasty/Speed up
  • Hearty/Full Recovery & 1-5 Extra Hearts
  • Mighty/Attack up
  • Sneaky/Stealth up
  • Spicy/Cold resistance
  • Tough/Defense up

It's important to note you can only add one status effect to your dish, so mixing ingredients with different categories will not do you any favours. You can, however, increase the potency of your ingredients by doubling up on ingredients of the same type. For instance, If you create an energizing risotto with one Stamella Shroom, you may get half of your stamina back; with two, that effect will double. Ingredients won't always spell out which category they belong to, but they'll give you a good idea.

How To Cook Successful Dishes In Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

Image: Nintendo Life

Occasionally while cooking, a special jingle will play and Link will appear especially excited about the resultant dish, which is usually of higher quality than the average fare. These dishes will have a random effect applied to them, though the effect can only be one of the following five:

  • Level of effect raised by one
  • An extra yellow heart
  • Restoration of three extra hearts
  • Effect duration increased by five minutes
  • An extra two-fifths of your stamina wheel being added or restored (yellow or green)

These effects seem to be applied at random, but there are actually ways to guarantee a successful dish. The first (and easiest) is to prepare your dishes during a Blood Moon. That's right, any dishes cooked while the Blood Moon is visible in the sky will be successful and have one of the five random boosts above applied to them.

If you can't wait for a Blood Moon, however, you can use certain items as part of your recipe to guarantee their success as well. If you use any dragon parts or a star gem as part of a recipe, that recipe will also be a guaranteed success, though we don't recommend this method as both dragon parts and star gems are incredibly hard to come by and should be used for much more important tasks.

Best Recipes

Knowing how to cook is one thing, but having the best recipes is quite another. We've compiled a list of some of our favourite dishes from the game to save you the bother of experimentation.

Baked Fruit

Ingredients: Any fruit

This one doesn't give you a massive health boost, but the abundance of fruit in the game makes it a quick and easy option. If you want to do this fast then simply fast-travel to Death Mountain and dump all of your fruit on the floor - it will cook in the heat.

Spicy Mushroom Skewer

Ingredients: 5x Sunshroom

This one gives you mid-level cold resistance for a whopping 12 and a half minutes. Sunshrooms are pretty common so you can stockpile plenty of this for when you're racing around snowy locations.

Chilly Mushroom Skewer

Ingredients: 5x Chillshroom

This one is like the Spicy Skewer, but in reverse - it cools you down in hot locations for 12 and half minutes.

Hasty Steamed Fruit

Ingredients: 2x Fleet Lotus Seeds, 3x Swift Violet

If you find that Link just isn't moving fast enough for your liking then this is the dish for you. It gives you a significant boost not only on foot, but when climbing, too. This one is especially handy for when you're trying to activate all of the towers with a small stamina wheel.

Sneaky Steamed Fish

Ingredients: 2x Silent Shroom, 2x Silent Princess, 1x Stealthfin Trout

This dish will give you increased stealth for 10 whole minutes, giving you more than enough time to sneak into enemy encampments and kill all of the monsters inside.

Hearty Mushroom Skewer

Ingredients: 5x Big Hearty Truffles

If you haven't unlocked enough heart containers to take down some of the game's tougher enemies then you might want to try this one for size. You'll get 20 temporary hearts to add to your existing total.

Tough Steamed Fish

Ingredients: 3x Armoranth, 2x Armoured Porgy

Finding that you're getting beaten down pretty comprehensively by the baddies of Hyrule? You need to bolster your defense, pal - and this is the dish to do it. Amaranth is as common as muck beneath Tarrey Town, and Armoured Porgys aren't hard to find either, making this the ideal way to toughen yourself up for those key battles.

Mighty Simmered Fruit

Ingredients: 5x Mighty Bananas

This dish grants a high attack boost, and Mighty Bananas are easy to find in Faron. Twin this dish with Ancient weapon and armour, and you can take down Guardians in double-quick time.

Enduring Mushroom Skewer

Ingredients: 1x Endura Shroom

This one seems like a waste of time, as all it does is overfill your stamina by a tiny amount. However, it also totally refills your stamina gauge at the same time, making it the idea solution to all of your swimming, climbing and paragliding needs.

And Finally, The Best Recipe In The Entire Game...

Hearty Fried Wild Greens

Ingredients: 1x Hearty Radish

This has to rank as one of the most stupidly overpowered recipes in the game. All you need is one Hearty Radish and you'll have a dish which totally refills your health. It also gives you additional temporary hearts, too. Once you know this, there's little point in bothering with any other healing dishes, to be honest.

How To Make Elixirs

Elixirs are an important part of survival in Breath of the Wild as well; think of them as potions with very targeted purposes. To make an elixir all you need is a monster part and an animal or insect. For instance, to make a Hasty Elixir you would combine a Hot-Footed Frog with any monster part, such as a Bokoblin Horn. Animals fall into the same categories as other ingredients, though the effects of a hearty elixir are different than those of hearty food, as elixirs don't restore health.

This is part of our Zelda Breath of the Wild walkthrough, which includes All Shrine Locations And Maps and help with specific shrines, including the Keo Ruug Shrine Puzzle Solution, Mirro Shaz Shrine Puzzle Solution, Sha Warvo Shrine Solution, Shae Loya Shrine Puzzle Solution, Eventide Island - How To Beat The Hardest Shrine Quest, and Shee Vaneer And Shee Venath Shrine Answers and Solutions.

If you're just starting out, Getting Started And Beginner Tips will be useful. We also have BOTW guides to help you with the Tarrey Town Quest, how to get equipment such as the Hylian Shield, the Master Sword, the Green Tunic, and the Radiant Set, plus advice on the Best Clothing And Armour Sets and How To Find Every Item in the Master Trials DLC. We can help you find key places such as All Captured Memory Locations, All Great Fairy Fountain Locations, and Where to find The Lord of the Mountain, too.

If you're looking for general advice on various topics, you might want to check out the Best Recipes And How To Cook Food, How To Farm Star Fragments, How To Farm Dragon Parts, How To Defeat Guardians, How To Shield Surf Like A Pro, and How To Get Unlimited Korok Seeds. And if you're wondering what amiibos work with the game, our guide to All amiibo Unlocks lists them all.