The recipe game

the recipe gameThis recipe game is based on a suggestion from the absolutely essential teacher’s resource book 700 Classroom Activities. This fun activity lets learners get creative while practising food vocabulary and presentation skills.


What to do

Put students into pairs or threes and tell them that they are going to write a shopping list, then write on the board or dictate the following list (or give each group a copy of this shopping list).

  • a green vegetable
  • another vegetable
  • a type of meat or fish
  • a tin of something
  • a jar of something
  • something salty
  • something sweet
  • a dairy product
  • a herb or spice

In groups, students choose one food item that fits each category. When everyone has finished, collect the shopping lists and randomly redistribute them so that each group has a different group’s list.

Students now have 15 minutes to come up with a three-course meal using only the ingredients on their shopping list (plus salt, pepper and cooking oil). Circulate among the groups and help out where you can.

When the time is up, tell the groups that they must take it in turns to present their menu to the other students, encourage them to make each course sound as appetising as possible. Give them five minutes to practise before starting the presentations.

Finally students all vote on which menu they would be most willing to eat.

Recipe game printables

4 thoughts on “The recipe game

  1. Hi there!

    love this game, however I am just wondering what Level CLB do you think this game would be the most appropriate for?

    let me know please!
    Thank you

  2. Hi, glad you like it, it’s one of my favourites too. I think it works best for A2 / B1 level groups. But I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work with higher level groups too.

  3. These games work with any level above A2. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t work with a C1 class; just introduce lots of advanced cooking phrases and techniques beforehand and off you go!

  4. I am working with Hotel School ESL students I think this will be a great start!
    Thank you,

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