Make Your Contest Entries Stand Out with These Unique Recipe Ideas

How Create Recipe Contest Entries that Are Both Delicious and Unique

Do you think you're not talented enough to win recipe contests? Think again! With just a little bit of tinkering, you could create delicious, original recipes that will delight your family and help you to become a contest winner.

If you want to win, you'll need to come up with original recipes. Not only can you violate copyright law by simply copying recipes developed by other people. but most contests look for originality in their winning recipes. 

However, you can add a unique twist to an old favorite, or start with a beloved recipe and tinker with it until you have created something new. How? Here are a few different ways to ​find inspiration to create a unique recipe worthy of winning contests.

Get Recipe Inspiration from Other Cuisines

Exotic Ingredients from Thai Cooking
Inspiration from Other Cultures Can Help You Create Original Recipes. Image (c) Stuart Dee / Photodisc / Getty Images

One fun way to come up with an original recipe contest entry is to take a favorite dish and make it over in a style from a different cuisine. For example, imagine you're a big fan of pork chops or pot roast. How could you give that recipe a Chinese flair? What would happen if you added Italian spices? Can you imagine a Thai twist to your recipe?

If you'd like to get some ideas for creating an interesting fusion recipe, check out the World Cuisines section of Test out a few recipes from different cultures and see if you can use what you learn to make something that will wow the contest judges.

Combine Unusual Flavors for Unique Recipe Contest Entries

Unexpected spices can make your recipe unique.
Which spice will make your recipe stand out? Take risks and find out. Image (c) Adam Gault / OJO Images / Getty Images

My brother-in-law makes a fantastic chicken noodle soup. What makes it different? He uses vanilla flavoring in it. Vanilla is not something I ever would have considered using in chicken soup, but boy is it scrumptious!

If you're looking for a way to make a recipe pop, try experimenting with some unusual flavors. The results may be terrible, but then again, you might end up with just what you need for a unique contest entry.

Give Your Recipe a Healthy Makeover for a Unique Contest Entry

Healthy Ingredients for a Unique Recipe
Could you give a favorite dish a healthy makeover using fresh ingredients like these?. Image (c) BRETT STEVENS / Cultura / Getty Images

A lot of companies are focusing on healthy eating these days, so if you are looking for an unusual twist that might catch a judge's eye, take a typical recipe and make it low-fat, dairy-free, low-carb, or otherwise healthier.

If you'd like some inspiration for how to make recipes more healthy, check out this list of 83 healthier food substitutions from Greatist.

Combine Recipes to Create a Sensational New Contest Entry

Peanut Butter Baked Apple Cheesecake... Yum!
This peanut-butter baked-apple cheesecake combines popular flavors in an unexpected way. Result? An irresistable recipe. Image (c) Bill-Arce / StockFood Creative / Getty Images

Think of what you love most about your favorite dishes -- the perfect crunch of a toffee topping on one cake, the fluffy frosting on another, the rich chocolate flavor of a third...

Now imagine, what would happen if you combined those favorite parts into one recipe? Would it be something new that would capture the attention of a recipe contest judge? Why not try it and find out?

Get Saucy with the Recipe Contest Judges

Sauces Can Make the Difference Between a Win and a Loss
The perfect sauce can make your recipe stand out from the crowd. Image (c) Batista Moon Studio / Photolibrary / Getty Images

Another way to make an original recipe contest entry is to take a basic standard dish and spice it up with an unusual sauce. Pomegranate sauce with chicken, hollandaise over warm tomatoes and mozzarella, there are all kinds of interesting ideas that you can create by being creative with sauces.

Don't Overlook a Creative Name

Ice cream sundae
The Cherry on Your Recipe is a Great Name. Gerald Zanetti / Getty Images

 The cherry on the top of whatever fantastic recipe that you've come up with is a great name for your creation. 

Judges see the name of your entry before they have a chance to learn anything else about the recipe. Think of a compelling name as a first impression. You need it to be as creative as your cooking.

When you are looking for inspiration for your recipe, think about the name you'll end up giving your final dish. Try to choose a dish that lends itself to a good pun or a lavish description. That could give you a leg up over your competition.


A Boy Playing Dress-Up as Chef
You don't have to be a chef to win recipe contests! Have fun with your entries. Image (c) KidStock / Blend Images / Getty Images

You don't have to be a gourmet chef to win recipe contests. You only need to have the courage to try something new and different, and to submit your recipes into the contests.

Good luck!