There’s a lot to be said for the element of surprise, both in life and in cooking. So many things in this world are planned out, so why not embrace the unexpected whenever we can? My personal favorite way to spice things up with surprises is in my meals. There’s nothing quite like the look on people’s faces when I reveal the “secret” ingredient in my dishes. Even when I tell them ahead of time that their meal was made with a secret ingredient, my family and friends can rarely ever guess what that surprise element is. It’s like my own little kitchen game, and it’s so much fun!
So let me let YOU in on a little secret. Cooking with “secret” ingredients is really easy. There are tons of great recipes out there that you can try, and many of them were created by home cooks just like you and me. These are people who put imagination and creativity into their cooking, trying to figure out how to improve upon the standard recipes from their mother’s cookbooks. Adding a little dash of this or a sprinkle of that… it can totally change the way a dish turns out. And oftentimes it’s for the better. Without experimenting with secret ingredient recipes, we’d all just be eating the same old boring meals, day in and day out.
So why not get started with a few easy “secret ingredient” recipes that I’ve pulled together for you? These dishes are so unexpectedly delicious, your family won’t know what hit them!
6 “Wow Factor” Secret Ingredient Recipes:
1) Secret Ingredient Chicken Crunch – Chicken recipes are a dime a dozen, so how does this one stand out from all the rest? With each piece of tender, juicy meat coated in a perfect layer of herb-seasoned stuffing (yes, you read that right), this chicken dish is unlike any you’ve ever tasted before. It has just the right amount of crunch and a deliciously seasoned coating. Your family won’t be able to get enough of this extraordinary chicken dinner.
2) Loaded Baked Potato Soup -I absolutely LOVE the idea behind this recipe. If you’re always struggling to get your family to eat more veggies (don’t we all know THAT battle?!), try this creamy and delicious soup. The secret ingredient is cauliflower but shhhh… what they don’t know can’t hurt them!
3) The Best Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (via Tales of an Overtime Cook) – If you’re anything like me, you’re always on a quest for the perfect cookie recipe. Well, I think I may have just found it! These Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies have the best texture of any cookie I’ve tasted (and I’ve tasted a lot!). So what’s the secret? Believe it or not, two little teaspoons of corn starch are a total game changer. Try it out and see for yourself!
4) Amazing Red Devil’s Food Cake – I would have never guessed you could use tomato juice in your baking, but this recipe proves that it’s an essential ingredient in deliciously moist cakes. I’m now a firm believer of mixing savory ingredients into sweet treats… how unexpected is that?
5) Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes (via Mennonite Girls Can Cook) – Since we’re on a dessert kick here, I thought I’d share this really interesting recipe for chocolate cupcakes… with a twist! 3/4 of a cup of pureed beets is what makes these cupcakes so moist and delicious. But don’t worry – you won’t taste the beets at all!
6) Cheater’s Guacamole -With just three simple ingredients you can really taste the avocado in this awesome guacamole recipe. No more messing with chopping onions and garlic. All you really need to make an out-of-this-world guac is a tablespoon of Mrs. Dash seasoning blend. You get just the right amount of spice but don’t have to go overboard with the prep work. You’ve gotta love easy and convenient recipes like this one!
So there you have it: my 6 favorite recipes with “secret” ingredients. Now go have fun in the kitchen and fool your family with some surprising new dishes!
What’s your favorite secret ingredient to use in your cooking?