4 Easy Dog Food Recipes ANYONE Can Make! (+Bonus Steak Recipe)

You see, you don’t have to be a master chef to satisfy your dog’s taste buds!

March 8th, 2020

If you feed kibble or wet food to your dog, there are some really easy ways to enhance their diet and make it more healthy and tasty.

You see, you don’t have to be a master chef to satisfy your dog’s taste buds!

Today, we present four easy dog food recipes anyone (yes, literally anyone!) can make. Since it was Yuna’s 4th birthday just a couple days ago, we’ll also throw in a fifth–her surprise pan-seared steak dinner.

A dog posing cutely in front of a beautiful doggy birthday cake.

Ingredients & Portioning

Please note that for the recipes we introduce here, we base them all off a daily intake of 1,000 calories, which is around what Yuna consumes in a day as a 58 pound Lab.

This means that each meal aims to have around 500 calories of food.

Also, because Yuna has a sensitive tummy, she has a special prescription kibble that has helped us deal with her pancreatitis and tummy issues.

Thus, all the recipes you see here will be part kibble, part home-cooked.

Note that if you wanted to feed a pure home-cooked version, just simply scale up the ingredients to account for that and remove the kibble. Because we’ll usually have ~250 calories dedicated to kibble and ~250 calories to cooked food, you can ballpark it and just double the cooked food portions.

Let’s dive right in!

A dog offering her paw at a waterfront park.

Recipe 1: Boiled Chicken & Green Beans

First, we’ll be boiling chicken breast and green beans. Sound easy enough? Good!

This recipe will add tons of extra protein and fiber to your dog’s diet, without going overboard on fat content. This is great for dogs that require low-fat diets.

Moreover, boiling chicken breast allows it to retain a lot of its moisture after cooking, making it nice and juicy for your pup!

Ingredients (per 500 calorie meal)

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breast: 5oz
  • Green Beans: ½ cup (~50g)
  • [Optional] 1 Egg

Cooking

The following makes 3 meals.

Chicken Breasts

Most likely, your chicken breast will not come in 5oz chunks. We are able to get chicken breast by the pound (16oz).

Bring a pot of water to a boil and toss in your chicken breasts. Boil for about 18-22 minutes, for 1 pound of chicken breasts. The exact time will vary based on thickness and quality of the chicken: you may only need 8-12 minutes for butterflied chicken breasts, for instance.

Consider using a meat thermometer to check that the chicken is cooked thoroughly–165F (75C) is the official safe “cooked” temperature.

When the chicken is cooked, remove. You can cut in half to check that the chicken is cooked in the middle. (Note that healthy dogs can eat raw chicken–their bodies are perfectly capable of processing it).

Finally, use a couple of forks to shred the chicken into appropriate sizes. Measure about 5 ounces of meat per serving, based on our 500 calorie standard.

Green Beans

I chopped up about 1.5 cups (~150g) of green beans into appropriate sizes and washed them.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and toss in the green beans. Boil for about 3-4 minutes to maintain their firmness and crunchiness while softening them a bit.

You can cook slightly longer for even softer beans.

Plating

  • Kibble: ⅔ cup Hill’s Prescription i/D Low Fat (~222 kCal)
  • Kibble: 1 tbsp Taste of the Wild, Pacific Stream (~28 kCal)
  • Chicken Breast: 5 oz (~235 kCal)
  • Green Beans: ½ cup (~15 kCal)
  • [Optional] 1 Egg (~78 kCal)
A cooked dog food recipe consisting of chicken breast and green beans, along with labels for portions and calorie content.

Recipe 2: Boiled Ground Beef, Carrots, & Green Peas

Next up, a nice ground beef recipe to further sharpen our boiling techniques! Have you ever met a dog that doesn’t like beef?

Here, we are using 90% lean, 10% fat ground beef. I would recommend using leaner ground beef meats for your dog.

Granted, ground beef has slightly less protein than chicken breast, but the green peas will make up for that! Beef is yet another excellent, tasty choice of protein for your dog.

Ingredients (per 500 calorie meal)

  • Ground Beef, 90% lean, 10% fat: 4 oz
  • Chopped Carrots: ½ cup (50g)
  • Green Peas: ¼ cup (25g)

Cooking

The following makes 4 meals for your dog.

Ground Beef

Remember, we’re using 90% lean ground beef. We are able to get such ground beef by the pound at our local Trader Joe’s.

Toss the meat in a pot of boiling water. As it cooks, you can use a spatula to separate the ground beef so that it doesn’t get all stuck together.

When all the meat turns brown, drain and set aside. You may want to continue separating any larger pieces of meat, depending on what your dog can chew!

Carrots

Chop 2 cups of carrots into suitable sizes. We cut each carrot into thin slices and then cut each circular slice into four.

Toss those carrots into boiling water for about 4-5 minutes (if chopped). It also depends on how soft or crunchy you want them to be.

Green Peas

Add 1 cup of green peas into boiling water for about 3-5 minutes. Peas cook rather quickly even from frozen.

Note that frozen peas can make a nice occasional snack for dogs as well!

Plating

  • Kibble: ⅔ cup + 1tbsp Hill’s Prescription i/D Low Fat (~240 kCal)
  • Ground Beef, 90% lean: 4oz (~200 kCal)
  • Carrots: ½ cup (~27 kCal)
  • Green Peas: ¼ cup (~33 kCal)
A cooked dog food recipe consisting of ground beef, carrots, and green peas, along with labels for portions and calorie content.

Recipe 3: Boiled Ground Turkey, Potatoes, & Green Beans

Is it too early for Thanksgiving? Not for this recipe.

Ground turkey is a great choice of protein. It’s pretty similar to ground beef, but it contains even more protein and less fat per serving. Even compared to our 90% lean choice in the previous recipe.

We’ll add a couple of other Thanksgiving themed staples to this recipe with some potatoes and green beans.

While historically safe for dogs to eat when cooked, potatoes may be considered a controversial ingredient here. Sources online will disagree over this, but note that there was a warning issued in July 2018 saying that potatoes may not be appropriate for a dog’s diet, because they could cause canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).

In general, potatoes are safe, provided you don’t go overboard with them.

Do also note that we advise against feeding your dog potatoes if they have diabetes. They can cause blood sugar spikes.

Also, never feed your dog raw potatoes. Make sure they are fully cooked before serving.

With that out of the way, here’s our recipe.

Ingredients (per 500 calorie meal)

  • Ground Turkey (lean): 4oz
  • Potatoes, mashed: ½ cup (50g)
  • Green Beans: ½ cup (50g)
  • [Optional] 1 Egg
  • [Optional] Parsley (sprinkle)

Cooking

The following makes 4 meals for your dog.

Ground Turkey

We are able to get lean ground turkey by the pound at Trader Joe’s.

Add the ground turkey into a pot of boiling water. While it cooks, you can use a spatula to separate the ground turkey so that it doesn’t get all stuck together.

When all the meat turns grayish brown, drain and set aside. You may want to continue separating any larger pieces of meat, depending on what your dog can chew!

Potatoes

We used 3 smaller-sized Yukon gold potatoes from Trader Joe’s here. For larger potatoes, one potato could be enough for 2 or even 3 servings of this recipe!

Toss in your potatoes into a pot of boiling water. Potatoes will take a while to cook; even our small ones took around 20-25 minutes to cook and soften.

After cooking, set aside and allow to cool for a bit before mashing away at it (with a spoon or fork). If it’s still really hard to mash, you’ll need to cook the potatoes longer.

Green Beans

I chopped up about 2 cups (~200g) of green beans into appropriate sizes and washed them.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and toss in the green beans. Boil for about 3-4 minutes to maintain firmness and crunchiness while cooking them thoroughly.

Cook slightly longer for softer beans.

Plating

  • Kibble: ⅔ cup + 1tbsp Hill’s Prescription i/D Low Fat (~245 kCal)
  • Ground Turkey, lean: 4oz (~170 kCal)
  • Potatoes, mashed: ½ cup (~70 kCal)
  • Green Beans: ½ cup (~15 kCal)
  • [Optional] 1 Egg (~78 kCal)
  • [Optional] Parsley, small sprinkle for garnish & fresh breath (~0 kCal)
A cooked dog food recipe consisting of ground turkey, potatoes, green beans, and parsley, along with labels for portions and calorie content.

Recipe 4: Baked Atlantic Salmon & Broccoli

Last but not least, let’s turn to our good friend the oven for this recipe.

Your dog will surely love this scrumptious baked salmon fillet. This recipe will have slightly more fat than the other recipes we’ve shared. It is also very protein-rich.

Salmon is also packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which help your dog’s immune system.

Be sure to select a good-looking boneless skinless fillet from your supermarket. We get our Atlantic salmon at Costco–I cut an appropriate size for Yuna, and eat the rest myself!

Some sources instruct to limit your dog’s salmon intake to once a week, where one “intake” is considered no more than 100g per 10 pounds of body weight.

Because the salmon is only part of a complete meal for Yuna, we are only feeding about 4oz (113g) per meal. Thus, based on this quantity restraint we are able to feed Yuna salmon a couple times per week.

We chose broccoli for this dish to switch up the vegetables here. Broccoli is perfectly fine for dogs to eat, but probably shouldn’t be eaten in large quantities.

With its high fiber, high vitamin C, and low fat content, broccoli still makes an excellent addition to a dog’s bowl, as long as it’s not overfed.

Ingredients (per 500 calorie meal)

  • Atlantic Salmon Fillet: 4oz
  • Broccoli: ½ cup (50g)
  • [Optional] 1 Egg

Cooking

The following makes 4 meals for your dog.

Baked Atlantic Salmon

As we mentioned before, we get our Atlantic salmon from Costco! It’s a huge piece of fish, with the skin and bones already removed.

I cut four 4oz pieces of salmon off for Yuna (the rest is for me!).

Preheat your oven to 450F.

Cover an oven tray with aluminium foil, and lay all four pieces of salmon on it. Brush a super tiny amount of oil on each piece.

Slide your tray into the middle rack of your oven. Cook for about 12-15 minutes.

Ensure that the salmon is thoroughly cooked! Once the salmon cools, you may want to gently pat the fillets with a paper towel to remove any excess oil and fat.

Broccoli

Measure out about 2 cups of broccoli, breaking the larger florets into smaller ones by hand if necessary.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and throw in the broccoli. Boil for about 3-5 minutes.

Remove from the pot, drain, and allow to cool.

Plating

  • Kibble: ⅔ cup + 1tbsp Hill’s Prescription i/D Low Fat (~240 kCal)
  • Salmon, baked: 4oz (~233 kCal)
  • Broccoli: ½ cup (~27 kCal)
  • [Optional] 1 Egg (~78 kCal)
A cooked dog food recipe consisting of salmon and broccoli, along with labels for portions and calorie content.

Bonus Recipe 5: Special Steak Dinner

Note: this recipe is not for every pup! Because we are using a pan and a considerable amount of oil to sear and cook the steak, this can add a lot of extra fat and calories. Stomach upset may occur, just because of how different this is from your typical meal.

We recommend saving this recipe for those special occasions.

Our choice of meat is a New York steak, which we get from Costco for $7.99 a pound (USDA choice).

For the side dishes, we have some spinach and red bell peppers.

Ready to spoil your pup? Let’s go!

Ingredients

  • New York Steak (about 8oz)
  • Spinach (about ½ cup, or 50g when cooked)
  • Bell Peppers (about ½ cup, or 50g)

New York Steak

Let’s talk about the meat first. Before doing anything with it, make sure no part of the meat is still thawed, otherwise it will cook very unevenly!

If you need to quickly defrost your steak, the best way would be to put them in airtight plastic bags and submerge them in cold water for about an hour.

Ideally, 24 hours before cooking the steak, you move it from the freezer to the fridge to slowly defrost.

And even after this defrosting process, we recommend leaving the steak out at room temperature at least another 20-30 minutes before cooking (you can boil the veggies while waiting!)

Once your meat is ready, depending on your cut, I would highly recommend cutting off and throwing away any of the fatty portions. We want the meat to still be as lean as possible.

After cutting off the real fatty parts, the meat weighed in at about 8 ounces. This amount of meat contains a lot more calories when cooked than our other recipes, so keep that in mind.

We’ll be pan-searing this steak today, so bring a pan to medium-high heat. Once you can feel the heat in the pan, add about a tablespoon and a half of oil and allow that to heat up for about 30 seconds.

Place the steak in the pan, away from you. Be careful of oil splatter! It’s normal because of the fat and juices in the steak.

Cook each side on medium-high for about 4 minutes. This should nicely sear the steak and bring out that beautiful brown color.

After each side is nicely seared, the steak should be somewhere between rare and medium rare inside (internal temperature about 135 F). Highly recommend that meat thermometer!

I usually turn the heat to medium or medium-low at this point, and continue to grill each side for about 2-3 minutes each, to bring it up to a medium (internal temperature about 140F).

Once you’re satisfied, remove the steaks from the pan and set them aside for about a minute. You can choose to use a paper towel to gently pat down the steaks to remove any excess oil and fat.

Make sure the steak cools down before serving!

Spinach

Take about a small handful of spinach and wash it thoroughly.

Toss the spinach into a pot of boiling water for about 4-5 minutes, until the spinach softens.

Remove from the pot, drain, and allow to cool.

Bell Peppers

De-seed and dice a bell pepper–we’re using a red one here.

Toss the diced bell peppers into boiling water for about 4-5 minutes, to cook and soften. This will retain its crunchiness–cook for 7-10 minutes to more fully soften.

Remove from the pot, drain, and allow to cool.

Plating

  • New York Steak: 8oz (~500+ kCal)
  • Spinach: ½ cup (~20 kCal)
  • Red Bell Pepper: ½ cup (~27 kCal)
A delicious dog-friendly steak dinner, along with labels for portions and calorie content.

Conclusion

5 recipes to spoil your pup and enhance their regular dog food… and all are easy to make! They are all super healthy for your dog as well (ok… with the exception of the last one I guess).

Yuna loved each one and I’m sure your dog will as well. We are glad we get to cook her some special meals every once in a while despite her sensitive tummy.

Have you tried any of these recipes? Which one is your favorite? Let us know!

Be sure to follow Yuna’s Instagram for more daily updates and free dog tips.

Leave a Reply