Our 109 Most-Tweaked Recipes

You cook, you tweak, you share! Dive into our community's very best tips, swaps and suggestions for your favorite recipes.

Best Banana Bread

"I add two tablespoons of apple vinegar to the wet mix. The reaction between the baking soda and vinegar creates fantastic lift making the bread very fluffy."

-Roxanne Sterling

Bourbon Chicken

"Instead of chicken, I use pork loin cubes and replace the apple juice with orange juice."


Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

"When I didn't have sun-dried tomatoes on hand, I used two tablespoons of tomato paste instead, and it turned out delicious!"


Easy & Delicious Meatloaf

"I exchanged the ground beef for a mixture of veal, pork and beef. I also followed others' advice and switched to stuffing mix in place of bread."


Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

"Great, but I soaked the raisins (and dried cranberries, too) in bourbon whiskey overnight, and it was so delicious!"


Creamy Burrito Casserole

"One of our favorite recipes! I use salsa instead of the soup, and wow, I end up making this once a week!"


Zuppa Toscana

"Anyone can make this dish, and it tastes good even with the cauliflower instead of potatoes."


Banana Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

"I substituted the buttermilk for a small tub of plain yogurt and wow!"

-Jodie W.

Oven-Fried Chicken Chimichangas

"For ease, I used a rotisserie chicken from the deli at our local grocery store. I also replaced the picante sauce with mango peach salsa and added a can of diced chilies."


Japanese Mum's Chicken

"I substituted pineapple juice for the water, added more garlic and a knob of ginger."

-Lynn L.

Blueberry Muffins

"Try replacing the milk with orange juice; it adds another layer of flavor."


World Famous Spaghetti

"I used two cans of condensed tomato soup in place of tomato sauce giving this dish a beautifully creamy texture."

-William B

Beef & Broccoli Stir-Fry

"After reading the reviews that both chuck steak and round steak are tough cuts of meat I used flank steak instead. Great substitution!"

-Roni V

Beef Stuffed Peppers

"I did not have time to cook rice, so I used leftover couscous. It added an interesting texture and flavor."

-Laura M.

Chicken Tikka Masala

"I usually use a whole can of light coconut milk instead of whipping cream to cut a few calories and stretch out the sauce a bit."


Microwave Chocolate Brownie

"I switched out the two tablespoons of water for two tablespoons of coffee, and it turned out wonderfully!"

-Amanda T.

MockDonald Breakfast Sandwich

"So good! I make 5 at a time and freeze them for a quick breakfast during the week. Just a minute or 2 wrapped in a paper towel in the microwave and you have a hot, fairly healthy breakfast."



"I reduce the sugar and replace the cayenne pepper with a mixture of chipotle and ancho chili powders. The smokey flavor they provide really adds depth of flavor."


Delicious Chicken Pot Pie

"To boost the flavor of the sauce, I add a little sherry or white wine to the broth. I also add some additional seasonings: celery seed and thyme."


The Best Brownies

"If you want impressive and complex taste, substitute brown sugar for the white sugar."

-Eric G.


"I used hominy instead of corn, as it was what I had on hand, and my family loved it."


Turkey Meatloaf

"Replacing breadcrumbs with brown rice is not only a clever idea, but it makes this a more 'complete' meal and boosts the overall moisture of the dish."



"Made this as written, except I substituted white wine for the water. A recipe to die for!"

-Stacy in BG

Sour Cream Banana Bread

"I used oil and yogurt instead of butter and sour cream. Another tip of mine is to bake the batter in two loaf pans, and it'll be done in just 40 minutes!"


5-Minute Vegan Pancakes

"Delicious! I used vanilla almond milk instead of soy and added a heaping quarter teaspoon of cinnamon."


Orange Chicken

"I used garlic infused oil in my wok and shallow-fried the chicken pieces instead of deep-frying them. I also added some sweet chili sauce to the orange sauce to give it a little more kick."

-Amanda L.

The Easiest Pork Chops

"I skipped the baking step and simmered on the stove. I added ginger ale instead of ginger, and a quarter tsp of cornstarch to thicken the sauce."


Cream Cheese Potato Soup

"Instead of using cubed potatoes, bake whole potatoes, scoop out the flesh and add to the stock. Then rebake the shells to get them crispy and serve the soup in the potato skins."

-Gina R

Chicken Tortilla Soup

"I used masa harina instead of corn tortillas - delicious!"

-Sher Shields

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

"I added cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and ground pepper to the chicken, cheese and onion mixture. This really amped up the flavor of the dish."

-Katie S.

Snickerdoodle Cookies

"Instead of cream of tartar and baking soda, I use three teaspoons baking powder. I also add a splash of vanilla!"

-Jennifer E.

Perfect Meatballs

"I subbed rice flour for the breadcrumbs to make these gluten-free, and they were still melt-in-your-mouth delicious."


Carrot Cake

"I reduced the oil to half a cup and added a cup of apple sauce. Then, I removed the pineapple and replaced it with two heaping tablespoons of marmalade."



"The only way these could be better is if you used buttermilk in place of the milk."


Soft Peanut Butter Cookies

"I made the cookies as is and thought the flavor was a little weak, so I added salt to the batter, and it made a huge difference. It really brought out the peanut flavor."

-Michael Watts

Vegetarian Meatloaf

"Even my carnivore bestie couldn't get enough. I did substitute garlic salsa for the spaghetti sauce but followed everything else exactly."


Award Winning Chili

"Drain grease from the meat off into a pan and add cornmeal. Brown the cornmeal and then add it back into your chili to thicken and add a hint of corn flavor."


Game-Changing Lasagna

"I tweaked the recipe a little and used a low-fat alfredo sauce in place a homemade bechamel, and it turned out perfect."


Moist Banana Bread

"We reduced the sugar and made it a little savory by replacing vanilla with a reduction of fig and raspberry balsamic vinegar and one teaspoon of chipotle pepper."


Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken

"Instead of cream of chicken, I used cream of mushroom and added additional mushrooms as suggested by other reviewers, and it was superb!"


Budget Meal

"Great recipe! Easy too and I did use beef broth instead of water!"

-Summer W.

Traditional Irish Shepherd's Pie

"My favorite version is to substitute a can of Guinness for the wine and add chopped porcini mushrooms, which have been rehydrated in beef stock."

-Bent C.

Scalloped Potatoes

"I soak my potato slices in the milk and then use that milk to make the roux, which I then toss the potato slices in — it makes for great depth of flavor. I also added diced ham and sauteed onions."

-Brenda N.

Awesome Baked Pork Chops

"I swap the wine for chicken broth, add Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce. Then top the chops with sliced onion and green pepper before baking."


Broccoli Cheese Soup

"I like to replace the broccoli with asparagus; this swap comes out awesome!"


Beer Bread

"We folded green apple pieces, coated with cinnamon and sugar, into the batter."

-Yvette C.

Crumb-Topped Banana Muffins

"I substituted whole wheat flour, used honey instead of sugar and swapped virgin coconut oil for the butter."


Pete's Scratch Pancakes

"Brown the butter in a pan on the stove rather than simply melting in the microwave for additional flavor."

-David B.

Healthy Cabbage Soup

"I used red cabbage as that was all I could find, and it came out a beautiful color! In addition, I added some fresh sweet corn and a couple of cooked meatballs."

-Alexandra M.

Wonderful Gingerbread Cookies

"My Grandmother said that when making gingerbread or gingerbread cookies, one should always replace half of the regular shortening with bacon grease. It's an amazing tweak!"

-One Happy Woman

Slow Cooker Lasagna

"I used ricotta instead of cottage cheese, added sauteed portobello mushrooms and a layer of fresh spinach."


Bacon Hash Brown Casserole

"Kick it up a notch by adding a 1/2 cup of minced onion and using cream of bacon soup instead of cream of chicken soup. Wonderful!"


Maple-Garlic Cheese Ball

"This recipe was easy and delicious! I found that it's easier to shape the mixture into a ball if you wrap it in plastic wrap, shape it, then refrigerate it until it's firm."


Easy Moist Banana Blueberry Muffins

"I doubled the recipe, swapped out the egg for an extra banana, and used melted coconut oil instead of butter. Also, I replaced white refined sugar with organic brown sugar cane. With these slight changes the muffins were the bomb!"


Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

"I waitressed at Red Lobster for a short time, and while they do use ice water in their mix, I've always enjoyed it much more using regular 2% milk in the same quantity. The biscuits come out a little fluffier and taste just like the real thing."


Szechuan Noodles With Spicy Beef Sauce

"We added mushrooms and red and green bell peppers because we like them, so why not?! Oh and I agreed with other reviewers about needing a little acidity; a couple splashes of apple cider vinegar in lieu of rice vinegar was the perfect tweak."


Chicken Makhani (Indian Butter Chicken)

"I used sour cream instead of yogurt and made my own garlic-ginger paste out of ground ginger, fresh garlic and olive oil. The sauce was creamy and the spice combination was perfect!"

-Stephen B

Blow-Your-Mind Banana Pudding

"For a richer natural banana flavor, use vanilla pudding and mix it with two blackened bananas and two tablespoons of sour cream. Just be sure to use less-ripe banana slices to provide a good contrast of textures and prevent the flavors from blending into mush."

-Curtis C

Crook's Corner Shrimp and Grits

"For a low-carb version, try using cauliflower mash, which has a consistency very close to that of grits!"


Mexican Hot Chocolate

"I added a generous pinch of masa harina and, instead of using a whisk, put it in a preheated blender to make it super-frothy. It tasted just like the hot chocolate served in Guadalajara."

-Pierre Dance

Granny's Fried Green Tomatoes

"Once the slices are wet from the salt and lemon pepper seasoning, my mantra is to coat the tomatoes in the dry mix, dip them in the beaten egg, coat them again, and lastly, fry. This helps the coating stick and leads to the perfect crunch!"


Charlie's Famous Chicken Salad With Grapes

"This is great as a sandwich, and would be even more fresh with some chopped herbs like chives, dill and parsley!"

-Andrew Purcell

Fresh Blueberry Cobbler

"I love the combination of blueberries and lemon, so I grated half a lemon rind into the batter and then mixed the other half of the lemon rind into the sugar for the topping and sprinkled it on top. So perfect! Came out moist and with just a hint of lemon flavor."

-Mirriam R

Dorito Taco Salad

"I always make this vegan (except for the Doritos) by using Boca Burger crumbles, vegetarian chili beans and Daiya shredded vegan cheddar cheese. It's always a huge hit at my house!"



"I put a gluten-free spin on it. I substitute out flour for extra corn meal, milk for buttermilk and I use extra butter, because who doesn't love a little bit more butter on their bread!"

-Kimberly S

Bacon 'n' Egg Lasagna

"Aside from using cheddar cheese, the only thing I did differently was to scramble the eggs instead of hard boiling them. I left them a tad on the runny side, layered them in the dish and allowed them to finish cooking in the oven. They came out perfect!"


Egyptian Red Lentil Soup

"Add a few tablespoons of tomato paste to get richer flavor and color—beautiful!"

-Vicki M

Chicken Alfredo

"As far as the sauce goes, I would add a splash of the wine (it truly complements the parmesan) and an additional 1/4 cup of milk. For a final touch, add a sprinkle of fresh parmesan over it all and a fresh basil leaf."

-Zach B


"I didn't have all of the ingredients, but I was able to make some great substitutions. I used ginger ale instead of the 7-Up, bourbon instead of brandy, and amaretto liquor instead of grenadine and orange liqueur."


Best Ever Bruschetta

"I added cut-up, fresh spinach and portobello mushrooms for a heartier bruschetta. Perfection!"

-Sue F

Southern Pecan Pie

"Someone on here suggested dusting the crust with cinnamon, so I sprinkled just the rim with cinnamon sugar before filling. That lent a churro-like scent to the kitchen as well! Great idea!"

-Kathryn M

Cheese Potato & Smoked Sausage Casserole

"I made this with tater tots instead of boiled potatoes, since they have a more interesting texture. Gouda was a better balance to the sharp cheddar than Velveeta. Someone suggested that it would be great with andouille sausage. Can't wait to make it again!"


Ground Beef Gyros

"Great for a low fat version! I doubled the spices, used ground turkey instead of hamburger meat, and added fat-free sour cream instead of yogurt. I also added 1/4 teaspoon of dried dill to the gyro sauce."

-Claudia Dawn

Oven-Fried Zucchini Chips

"I made the process quicker by using Caesar salad dressing as my batter, then dipping the zucchini slices in prepared Italian breadcrumbs."


Sweet Potato Pie

"If you want to try something that is just as wonderful, make it with white sweet potatoes. It's lovely and really makes a statement. I add a few toasted pecan halves and a dollop of Cool Whip when serving."

-Rhonda A

Spaghetti Sauce

"I added a little chopped bell pepper, parsley and a tad bit of rosemary. I used brown sugar to balance the acidity and it was fantastic."

-Alice G

New York Cheesecake

"I have made this recipe with many variation stir-ins, but a favorite of mine is using a chocolate cookie crust and Hershey's Special Dark syrup swirled into the cheesecake batter. I have also made a cranberry-orange swirl for Christmas or Thanksgiving. No matter how you prepare this cheesecake (as long as you use a Springform pan), it will turn out lovely!"


Super Easy Naan Bread

"I brushed some with garlic butter once cooked and made other ones with cheese in the middle!"

-Harlow S

Slow-Cooker Meatball Subs

"I replaced the hot dog buns with some panini rolls and removed the top quarter of each, leaving a trough-like groove to place the meatballs in. I then covered them with grated mozzarella and broiled them in the oven for a few minutes."

-The Pie Queen of CA

Oven-Baked Cod

"I always sprinkle sea salt on each side of the cod and refrigerate uncovered for a couple of hours or more. This removes excess moisture and firms up the fish. For breadcrumbs, I keep a tub of panko crumbs mixed with dried lemon peel as a base for fish. This helps add flavor."

-John C

Easy Cherry Delight Dessert (No-Bake)

"My mother-in-law has been making this for years. She uses crushed Nilla Wafers instead of graham crackers—they're lighter, have a better flavor, and when you add the butter and sugar, it makes a really nice crust that sticks together well."


15-Minute Shrimp Scampi

"Excellent recipe! I used raw shrimp, added mushrooms and used butter instead of olive oil. It was great! If you want more sauce, just add a bit more wine, butter and flour."

-Rosealicious chef

Green Bean Casserole

"I make this with a slight twist. I use cream of broccoli soup instead of cream of mushroom, and I add one tablespoon of soy sauce and one teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce. Huge hit!"


Best Beer Margarita

"I use club soda instead of 7-Up. I also add about a 1/2 cup of triple sec and a 1/2 cup of orange juice to make for a smoother drink. My guests gave that modification a thumbs-up after having had both versions."

-Licia Eacott

Chicken Parmesan

"I went for a 'healthy' take on the recipe. I air-fried my chicken for 20 minutes at 400 degrees and flipped it half way through. I also added sautéed diced onions and green pepper, tomato paste and diced tomatoes (flavored with garlic, oregano and basil) to make a more robust, hearty sauce."


Zucchini Bread

"This a wonderful recipe that I made healthier by replacing all that sugar with two very ripe bananas and only a 1/2 cup of raw sugar. Instead of the oil, I used one cup of no-sugar-added applesauce."


Tex-Mex Breakfast Sausage Cups

"You can also make it barbecue-style by using ground turkey, one cup of good-quality barbecue sauce and one cup of diced onion (sweet or red)."


Butterfinger Pie

"A nice twist is to substitute in coconut meringue or even vanilla ice cream for the cream cheese—yum!"

-Christie M

Classic Old Bay Crab Cakes

"A good idea for the crab cakes is to replace the bread with saltines. A pinch of crab seasoning and white pepper adds a nice touch of spice."

-Joan T

Herb-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

"We substituted horseradish Dijon for regular Dijon on the pork loin, just to give it a little extra kick. I also added a little dried dill and some stone ground mustard to the sauce, to give it a little more mustard flavor."


Baba Ganoush

"I don't grill a lot when it's cold outside, so I cut the eggplant down the middle, drizzled with olive oil and baked in the oven. I followed the recipe using a food processor and kept the mixture chunky by adding the eggplant last and pulsing it a couple of times. Excellent taste, and loved by my Mediterranean family members."


Overnight French Toast Casserole

"I had some eggnog so I used that—diluted with a little water and almond milk—and topped it off with powered sugar!"


Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork

"I used Pepsi instead of ginger ale and Sweet Baby Ray's Honey BBQ sauce. Once I shredded the pork, I added a couple splashes of orange juice with the BBQ sauce to thin it out just a bit. My new favorite Crock Pot dish."

-Surreal Reality

Shish Kabob Marinade

"I made a minor decrease to the amount of sugar (about 1/3 cup) and added an ounce or so of beer to keep the sauce from burning before I added them to the skewers. Teenager loved it. Added pineapple, shrimp and mushrooms to the other items mentioned."

-Matt M

Chinese Fried Rice

"As vegetarians we substituted peanuts for chicken or pork. The peanuts were so tasty. We used green onions only and omitted the regular onions. Like other reviewers we also went heavy on the sesame oil and soy sauce!"


Fresh Peach Brown Sugar Pie

"I used fresh nectarines instead of peaches, vanilla extract instead of almond extract, and did the egg wash and sugar sprinkle recommended by Bev. Came out beautiful and tasted wonderful. Nectarine was a great substitution; it had a bit more tang."


Grandmas Sloppy Joes

"I added a little chopped orange bell pepper, jalapeño and garlic. Instead of yellow mustard, I added Dijon mustard. So freaking good!"


Super Easy Pumpkin Bread

"I made it with half-white and half-wheat flour, and added a bit of cardamom, coriander and ginger. It came out great! Moist and delicious!"

-Chef MamiMia

Max & Erma's Chicken Tortilla Soup

"I used a bit of sriracha sauce and cayenne pepper in place of the red chili powder, and didn't use cilantro or salsa. It was just the right amount of spicy—and pretty thick, too."

-Makenzie B

Healthy Fish Tacos With Chipotle Cream

"I used two tablespoons of the adobo sauce without adding the chipotles, since my daughter and grandson don't like their heat. It still had that wonderfully smoky flavor, and I added some chopped chilis to my portion."


Easy, Creamy Hamburger Stroganoff

"This is exactly how my family has made it for years. You know what's really good? Small tweak: Squeeze the juice of a lemon into it!"

-Steve in FL

Strawberry Salad With Chocolate Balsamic Dressing

"I used an English cucumber and doubled the amount, halved the sugar in the dressing and used fig goat cheese instead of the Stilton."


Barbecue Ribs in the Oven

"Substitute sea salt for the hickory salt and use smoked paprika instead of regular paprika if you can’t find the smoked hickory salt... You’ll be good to go."


Dutch Apple Pie

"I played with the topping by substituting finely-chopped pecans for half the flour. I also added the same amount of cinnamon and nutmeg as in the filling. My husband and I loved it."

-Susan B

Baked Mahi Mahi

"This is a great recipe, but you can easily cut back on the mayo and use garlic powder instead of garlic salt to cut back on saturated fat and sodium."


Chili Mac

"I used whole wheat pasta and cooked it for a couple of minutes less than the package indicated. Also, I added one teaspoon of creole seasoning and a 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper—we live in New Orleans and like a bit more spice."


Easy Stove-Top Macaroni & Cheese

"Perfect basic recipe. I added a little ground mustard for flavor, and I also added four ounces of Velveeta for a creamier texture"

-Quileute Girl 52

Authentic Spanish Paella

"We used chicken breasts and thighs instead of rabbit and replaced the green beans with asparagus. We also used arborio rice—it had a very nice al dente texture!"

-Nina Latina

Pepperoni Omelet

"I have made this many times now, substituting salami for the pepperoni and changing the types of cheese. One thing has never changed: it is always as good as the first time!"

-Baby Kato