There’s all sorts of stuff to do in Stardew Valley, from farming to mining, to fishing and more! However, you only have so much energy in a day, and your time is limited. Fortunately, all you need to top up your energy is some food. Today, we’ll be covering the best food to cook in Stardew Valley so you can make the most of every day.

Let’s get started!

Stardew Valley Cooking 101

Stardew Valley Cooking 101
Image: ConcernedApe via HGG / Ethan Erekson

Once you have Robin upgrade the farmhouse for the first time, you’ll unlock the kitchen, which means you can start cooking! With some recipes and ingredients, you’ll be able to start making food, which you can then use to boost your energy and health.

You can also cook up some items to help with various tasks via stat buffs. Cooking opens up all sorts of opportunities, so you’ll definitely want to know the ins and outs of it.

Recipes & The Queen of Sauce

Recipes & the Queen of Sauce
Image: ConcernedApe via HGG / Ethan Erekson

Before you can start cooking, you’ll need to learn a couple of recipes. The recipe for Fried Eggs comes with the farmhouse upgrade, though you’ll need to unlock the rest of the recipes on your own.

Some of these recipes can be purchased, but most of the recipes you’ll learn will come from The Queen of Sauce, a cooking program that airs every Sunday. Just turn on the TV, select The Queen of Sauce, and you’ll learn a recipe. That’s all there is to it!

If you miss a day, don’t worry — The Queen of Sauce does re-runs every Wednesday. It prioritizes recipes you don’t have yet, so you’ll have a pretty good chance of getting the ones you missed.

You’ll get the rest of the recipes from leveling up skills and increasing your friendship with villagers. So in addition to routinely watching The Queen of Sauce, make sure to talk with and give gifts to villagers regularly.

Refrigerator and Mini-Fridge

Refrigerator and Mini-Fridge
Image: ConcernedApe via HGG / Ethan Erekson

Refrigerators are more than just a convenient way to store items in the kitchen. When you cook in Stardew Valley, ingredients in the refrigerator are also available to use. As such, you can keep just about everything stored in the refrigerator, and it’ll be there, all ready to use. If you need more space, you can also purchase some Mini-Fridges from Robin.

However, you’ll want to organize your fridge, since you’ll want the lower-quality ingredients to be consumed first. For the most part, you can just use the Organize button, which will auto-sort each type of ingredient from the lowest quality to the highest quality (right to left).

You’ll still want to make sure that lower-value fish are towards the bottom right so they’ll get used first whenever you’re making Sashimi or Maki Rolls, since you want to save the more specialized fish for their respective recipes.

Profitable Cooking?

Profitable Cooking?
Image: ConcernedApe via HGG / Ethan Erekson

So, is cooking profitable? For the most part, no. More often than not, the individual ingredients will sell more than the cooked dish, even if you use the lowest-quality ingredients. As such, you usually can’t turn a profit.

There are a few exceptions, but for the most part, trying to sell your dishes isn’t worth it.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t use cooking to make money in Stardew Valley. Food can give you energy, health, and certain buffs, meaning you can do money-making tasks longer and more efficiently. So if you’re strapped for cash, consider using the dish instead of selling it.

Health & Energy

Health & Energy
Image: ConcernedApe via HGG / Ethan Erekson

Most tasks in Stardew Valley deplete energy, with the exception of combat. As such, there’s only so much you can do in a day, whether you’re farming, fishing, or mining. And even when you’re engaged in combat, you still have to worry about your health bar.

There are certain things you can do to maximize your stamina and minimize the energy expended, such as finding Stardrops and upgrading your tools. However, that can take time. Fortunately, all you need is some food.

When you consume food, you recover energy and health. This lets you spend more time working each day, and it means that you won’t ever have to call it quits and go to bed early ever again. So if you want to make the most of every day, you should have some food on you wherever you go.

Best Foods for Recovering Health and Energy

Here’s some of the best food to cook in Stardew Valley for recovering your health and energy.

FoodEnergy/HealthIngredients
Fruit Salad263 Energy / 118 HealthBlueberry
Melon
Apricot
Pink Cake250 Energy / 112 HealthMelon
Wheat Flour
Sugar
Egg
Red Plate240 Energy / 108 HealthRed Cabbage
Radish
Pumpkin Pie225 Energy / 101 HealthPumpkin
Wheat
Milk
Sugar
Fiddlehead Risotto225 Energy / 101 HealthOil
Fiddlehead Fern
Garlic
Crab Cakes225 Energy / 101 HealthCrab
Wheat Flour
Egg
Oil
Maple Bar225 Energy / 101 HealthMaple Syrup
Sugar
Wheat Flour
Lobster Bisque225 Energy / 101 HealthLobster
Milk

Status Effects & Buffs

Status Effects & Buffs
Image: ConcernedApe via HGG / Ethan Erekson

Another perk of food is buffs, which temporarily boost certain skills and stats. Buffs like Farming, Fishing, Mining, and Foraging decrease the amount of energy you expend performing those activities, while buffs like Defense, Magnetism, and Luck increase those respective stats.

You can only use the buffs of one food at a time, so if you need to top up your health or energy while a buff is active, consume food that lacks status effects so your buffs won’t be lost or replaced.

However, drink buffs are done separately, so if you need a little extra speed, energy, or luck, consider drinking a Triple-Shot Espresso, Green Tea, or Ginger Ale with your food.

Best Foods for Status Effects

Here’s some of the best food to cook for buffs in Stardew Valley.

FoodBuffsDurationIngredients
Crab CakesSpeed (+1)
Defense (+1)
16m 47sCrab
Wheat Flour
Egg
Oil
Complete BreakfastFarming (+2)
Max Energy (+50)
7mFried Egg
Milk
Hashbrowns
Pancakes
Lobster BisqueFishing (+3)
Max Energy (+50)
16m 47sLobster
Milk
Seafoam PuddingFishing (+4)3m 30sFlounder
Midnight Carp
Squid Ink
Tropical CurryForaging (+4)5m 1sCoconut
Pineapple
Hot Pepper
Miner’s TreatMining (+3)
Magnetism (+32)
5m 35sCave Carrot (2)
Sugar
Milk
Lucky LunchLuck (+3)11m 11sSea Cucumber
Tortilla
Blue Jazz

Gifting Food in Stardew Valley

Gifting Food in Stardew Valley
Image: ConcernedApe via HGG / Ethan Erekson

Just about everyone loves a home-cooked meal, and the same is true in Stardew Valley. Almost every giftable villager has a favorite meal or two, so if you’re wanting to get some gifts and level up your friendships, consider giving cooking a try.

Stardew Valley Villager’s Favorite Foods

Here’s the best food to cook in Stardew Valley for gifting and the corresponding villagers.

VillagerLoved Foods
AlexComplete Breakfast
Salmon Dinner
ElliotCrab Cakes
Tom Kha Soup
HarveySuper Meal
SamMaple Bar
Pizza
SebastianPumpkin Soup
Sashimi
ShanePepper Poppers
Pizza
AbigailBanana Pudding
Blackberry Cobbler
Chocolate Cake
Spicy Eel
EmilySurvival Burger
HaleyFruit Salad
Pink Cake
LeahPoppyseed Muffin
Salad
Stir Fry
Vegetable Medley
MaruCheese Cauliflower
Miner’s Treat
Pepper Poppers
Rhubarb Pie
PennyPoppyseed Muffin
Red Plate
Roots Platter
Tom Kha Soup
CarolineFish Taco
Tropical Curry
ClintArtichoke Dip
Fiddlehead Risotto
DemetriusBean Hotpot
Ice Cream
Rice Pudding
EvelynChocolate Cake
Stuffing
GeorgeFried Mushroom
GusEscargot
Fish Taco
Tropical Curry
JasPink Cake
Plum Pudding
JodiChocolate Cake
Crispy Bass
Eggplant Parmesan
Fried Eel
Pancakes
Rhubarb Pie
Vegetable Medley
KentFiddlehead Risotto
Roasted Hazelnuts
LeoPoi
LewisAutumn’s Bounty
Glazed Yams
Vegetable Medley
LinusBlueberry Tart
Dish O’ The Sea
MarnieFarmer’s Lunch
Pink Cake
Pumpkin Pie
PamGlazed Yams
Parsnip Soup
PierreFried Calamari
RobinSpaghetti
SandyMango Sticky Rice
VincentCranberry Candy
Ginger Ale
Pink Cake

Qi Seasoning

Qi Seasoning
Image: ConcernedApe via HGG / Ethan Erekson

If you want to take all of this to the next level and elevate your dishes, consider getting ahold of some Qi Seasoning. This is an ingredient available in the latter part of the game, as you have to unlock Ginger Island and Qi’s Walnut Room before you can purchase it for 10 Qi Gems. However, once you get there, you should definitely get some, as food made with Qi Seasoning is gold quality.

This increases the value of the dish by 50%, and on top of that, it makes the energy and health restored increase by 80%! It also improves buff duration by 50% and increases them by one level. Gold quality gifts also grant 25% more friendship. All in all, if you want the best dishes possible in Stardew Valley, you’ll want to use Qi Seasoning.

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Happy gaming!

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