Can You Fill In the Missing Ingredient to These Basic Recipes?



By: Beth Hendricks

6 Min Quiz

Image: PeopleImages / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

There's no time to make a shopping list, so you grab the recipes for your impromptu dinner party and run out the door. It's not until you get to the grocery store that you realize you grabbed incomplete recipes. The first recipe only printed part of the ingredient list, and the other is smudged, making the ingredients unreadable. Now what? There's no time for Googling as you're standing in the pasta aisle, but there's plenty of time for panic. Guests will be arriving shortly, but your recipes are incomplete! Luckily, you're a pretty savvy cook, and you think you can navigate your way through the missing pieces of your recipe puzzle.

Now, let's see if you can put your chef smarts to the test in our missing ingredients quiz! Here, you'll find 40 pretty simple recipes that need one extra thing to take them from good to great. What would you add to a basic pizza dough when you already have flour, water and oil in your cart? Can you guess what's missing from a macaroni and cheese recipe that indicates only pasta and milk? Don your thinking cap (or your chef's hat) and finalize the recipes for these tasty dishes. Bon appétit and let's go!

A shepherd's pie is a mixture of meat and vegetables topped with what?

A traditional shepherd's pie combines meat and vegetables in a savory broth, all topped off with a healthy serving of mashed potatoes. Nobody said it was a healthful meal, but it certainly is tasty.


Ground beef, an egg and some onion would make a good meatball, but this missing ingredient takes it from "good" to "great." What is it?

All good meatball recipes need some bread product in them. The addition of breadcrumbs helps as a textural element and also provides a type of binding agent to help hold all the other meatball goodness together.


You have bread and cheese for your grilled cheese sandwich, but what else do you need?

Of course, you can add just about anything to a grilled cheese sandwich that tickles your fancy, but you won't get that nice crispy, brown crust without a little bit of butter smeared on the outside of the sandwich.


The classic campfire treat, s'mores, wouldn't be the same without which of these ingredients to accompany marshmallow and graham crackers?

Once you get that marshmallow warm and gooey, it helps to melt the chocolate bar squished in between two graham cracker pieces. Not camping out anytime soon? You can accomplish a similar s'mores experience with just your microwave!


There are lots of variations of chili, but most have ground beef, tomatoes, onion, chili powder and which of the following ingredients?

Chili is one of those great one-pot meals that lends itself to a wide variety of ingredients. While regional variations may dictate ingredients, most versions typically have ground beef, tomatoes, beans and a variety of spices.


A typical lasagna recipe includes meat, lasagna noodles, pasta sauce and which of these?

Layers of meat, sauce, noodles and, finally, ricotta cheese, meld together to make this classic Italian fare. Most recipes also call for extra cheese for sprinkling, but in that case, the mozzarella variety.


Salsa is one of the easiest recipes you can attempt on your own. All you need is cilantro, onion, jalapeño, and which of these?

Most traditional salsas have a tomato base to which other ingredients can be added. Think outside the box, though, and consider adding pineapple or mango to your tomato starter.


Our quiche recipe is torn! We have pie crust, spinach, cheese and milk, but we can't see the final ingredient. What is it?

Even the most basic of recipes for quiche requires eggs! The beautiful thing about quiche recipes, though, is that besides the eggs, you can't pretty much throw in any ingredients of your choosing.


Deviled eggs are a staple at church potlucks and family reunions. If you have eggs, mustard and paprika, what else could you add?

In most deviled egg recipes, you scoop out the egg yolk from hardboiled eggs and mix it with amounts of mustard and mayonnaise. After you place it back in the empty egg, hit it with a dash of paprika and you're done.


Serving cheeseburgers at your next cookout? You'll need ground beef, buns, lettuce and which of these?

The sky's the limit with hamburgers, but a true cheeseburger requires cheese. Once you've eclipsed this basic burger recipe, you can add a sunny-side-up egg, avocado, bacon, onions, tomatoes ... See where we're going here?


Flour, sugar, milk, butter and eggs are combined with which of these ingredients to make cornbread?

Cornmeal puts the "corn" in cornbread! This versatile ingredient is ground from dried corn to an almost flour-like consistency and can be used to lend a crumbly texture to homemade cornbread.


We have chicken and cheese already. What's missing from our quesadilla recipe?

Quesadillas can have all kinds of ingredients inside, but a common pairing is chicken and cheese instead of a tortilla. Once you've stuffed it, sear it to get that cheese melty and create a crispy exterior.


You have green beans, butter and garlic. What else do you need for green beans almondine?

Green beans almondine is a fairly simple side dish that goes great with steak or chicken. The almonds are toasted to add a deeper nutty taste to the greens. Garlic and even shallots are also nice complements.


You've got the eggs, baking soda, baking powder and buttermilk. What else do you need for basic pancakes?

The missing ingredient — flour — in a basic pancake recipe is the "glue" that holds all of the other ingredients together! Once you've mastered this, you can add fresh berries and whipped cream to the final product. Yum!


Which ingredient complements this cinnamon roll recipe: yeast, flour, sugar and butter?

Cinnamon rolls can have a lot of add-ins (like pecans), but you need that cinnamon spice to really give the rolls a kick. Once baked, they can be topped with a homemade icing.


Overnight oats are all the rage right now. What do you need in addition to fruit, milk or yogurt and sweetener?

Overnight oats need the oats! Typically, old-fashioned oats are used to create this jarred treat, which is usually created at night and left in a refrigerator overnight for the next morning. Topped with crunchy granola, it's a perfect ready-to-go breakfast.


Potatoes au gratin may sound fancy, but all it takes is potatoes, flour, buttermilk and which of these?

When you think "au gratin," think cheese because that's what it's loosely interpreted to mean. In French, "au gratin" means "to grate," as in "on top" ... like cheese. Some people also call this recipe scalloped potatoes.


Making pizza dough? You'll need flour, water, oil and which one of these?

Yeast is in every basic pizza dough recipe, functioning as the ingredient that helps the dough to rise. Active dry yeast requires extra steps in the recipe, while instant yeast can be added to a recipe as you go.


What's missing from this carrot cake recipe: flour, spices, sugar, eggs, chopped nuts ... and which of these?

A lot of people choose to add things like raisins or other fruits to a carrot cake, but you still need to add the carrots! Finished with a decadent cream cheese frosting, you'll hardly know there are vegetables included.


You've decided to get fancy and try your hand at a bread pudding. You have bread, eggs, butter, vanilla and raisins. What else do you need?

Throw some milk in that recipe and you are golden! Bread pudding is a pretty simple recipe that packs an impressive punch, with an egg mixture, bread and milk to soak it all.


Egg noodles, cream of mushroom soup and sometimes frozen peas and carrots will make a delicious tuna noodle casserole, with which necessary addition?

If you didn't catch that, "tuna noodle casserole" would just be "noodle casserole" if you forget the tuna! This easy one-pan dish can be thrown together quickly and inexpensively and then baked until bubbly.


Chocolate chip cookies always hit the spot. You have flour, sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla, but something's missing. What is it?

Well, you can't very well have chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips, now can you? Get creative and try different varieties of chocolate chips like milk, dark or white chocolate for a twist on a classic recipe.


Nothing says "comfort food" like macaroni and cheese. What do you need in addition to butter, cheese and milk?

While we think "bacon" is probably the right answer no matter what the question is, the missing ingredient here is the pasta. Whether you're an elbow macaroni person or a cavatappi person, you can't really go wrong when ooey-gooey cheese is involved.


A pot of chicken noodle soup wouldn't be complete without chicken, noodles, carrots and which of these?

Traditional chicken noodle soup is a combination of chicken and noodles (obviously) and vegetables of your choice, most notably celery and carrots, all swimming in a flavorful chicken broth base.


Let's end this quiz with a toast! What is missing from this Bloody Mary: tomato juice, hot sauce and horseradish?

A Bloody Mary isn't a party until you add the alcohol ... or so we've heard. Your typical Bloody Mary has vodka, along with tomato juice, horseradish for kick and hot sauce, among other spices. Serve it with ice in a glass and garnish with celery, lime, black pepper, olives or even bacon!


Making a homemade cheesecake? You'll need graham crackers, butter, sugar and which of these?

Cream cheese, whipped until smooth, is the basis of any good cheesecake, combined with extra ingredients like sugar and butter, of course. Once mixed, it all goes into a graham cracker crust. Yum!


What's missing from this fabulous fajitas recipe that includes chicken, onions and flour tortillas?

You can't have fajitas without that delicious mixture of cooked onions and bell peppers. Experiment with different colors of peppers — red, orange, yellow and green — to slightly alter the taste of your final product.


You're craving guacamole, so you gather onions, tomatoes, cilantro, lime and which of these missing ingredients?

You can't have guacamole without avocado! In fact, you can pretty much craft good guacamole with nothing more than ripe avocados and salt. Other additions such as onion, lime and cilantro help deepen the flavor.


Want to make a killer chicken pot pie? Then, you'll need chicken, milk, vegetables and one of these. Which is it?

You can make a pretty good chicken dish with just chicken and some veggies, but it's that glorious puff pastry (or pie dough ... or biscuit) crust that transforms into into an official "pie."


If you're making hummus, you're going to need tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and which of these?

Chickpeas lend hummus its earthy, bean-like taste and its signature brownish color. But did you know chickpeas also are high in protein and provide a host of vitamins and minerals to a person's diet?


Chicken cordon bleu sounds fancy, but it's really just a combo of breaded chicken, cheese and which of these?

What could be better than a chicken cordon bleu with chicken, ham and melty cheese? There are many recipe variations for this treat, including casserole-based options.


You have sirloin strips, onions, beef broth and cornstarch for pepper steak. What else do you need?

After your sirloin has been cooked, it's time to add the peppers and onions. Cook the meat and veggies together so the flavors mingle and then add a thickened sauce for a complete dish.


There's nothing quite like grandma's chicken and dumplings. What did she forget in this list of ingredients: chicken, vegetables, broth and poultry seasoning?

If you're making homemade dumplings, you are going to need flour, but there are simpler ways of making dumplings, including using a baking mix or even rolls of pre-made biscuit dough.


Craving chicken parm? You'll need chicken, parmesan cheese, tomato sauce and which of these?

In a classic chicken parmesan, the chicken is breaded — typically in breadcrumbs — and then added to tomato sauce, parmesan cheese and pasta of your choice for a hearty Italian meal.


What's missing from this spaghetti bolognese sauce: tomato sauce, tomato paste, spices and red wine?

There are many ways to make a spaghetti bolognese sauce, but one thing's for certain — you need beef! Traditional bolognese is a meat sauce served with cooked spaghetti pasta. Don't forget the cheese!


Cheesy garlic bread wouldn't be complete without which of these missing ingredients?

A good garlic bread recipe can be made with or without cheese, although we think it's better with. However, you can't spread that fantastic garlic-y spread on the bread without butter. Some oil will also do, in a pinch.


On a quest to make the perfect onion rings? Which of these ingredients do you need in addition to onions, flour and eggs?

To create a batter for homemade onion rings, you'll need flour, eggs and enough water to make a type of paste to dredge the onions in. Then, drop them in a fryer until crispy.


We have cheese, chicken stock and white wine. What's missing from this risotto recipe?

The arborio rice, a short-grained, starchy version of the minute rice we all grew up with, is what makes risotto, risotto. The process of cooking it in the broth and white wine softens it, making what is essentially a more "grown-up" macaroni and cheese.


You can make a simple Caesar salad dressing with garlic, egg, oil, cheese and which of these ingredients?

Believe it or not, anchovies are the secret ingredient to a killer Caesar dressing. If fish make you squeamish, you can always try omitting them although it's the anchovies that pack the umami punch.


You need whipped cream for a dinner party dessert, but you only have heavy whipping cream. Unfortunately, you still need one other ingredient. What is it?

Sugar gives heavy whipping cream a dose of sweetness that it needs as an accompaniment to a dessert or fresh berries. You could buy pre-made whipped cream, but with it being so easy to make, why would you?


Explore More Quizzes

About Zoo

Our goal at is to keep you entertained in this crazy life we all live.

We want you to look inward and explore new and interesting things about yourself. We want you to look outward and marvel at the world around you. We want you to laugh at past memories that helped shape the person you’ve become. We want to dream with you about all your future holds. Our hope is our quizzes and articles inspire you to do just that.

Life is a zoo! Embrace it on