Break Out the Recipe Box: These 5 Contests Pay Cash Prizes (Up to $5,000!)

I’m certainly not a cook.

My family members, boyfriend and former roommates can all speak to this. But my Southern family sure has some A+ recipes.

Mimi’s sweet potato casserole is incredible. So is her pecan pie (I can actually make that), boiled custard and pound cake.

But little does my Mimi know, she could earn some substantial cash for these recipes. How? Through online recipe contests.

And yes, Mimi is nearly 90 years old, but she’s a seasoned pro on her iPad.

Submit Your Favorite Recipes to These 5 Contests

I’ve never really understood secret family recipes. If it’s that good, why not share the carbohydrate-rich joy?

This is exactly what you can do — and compete for prizes in monetary form.

I found five recipe contests open now until the end of the year that offer up cash prizes. Because why not?

You already have your recipe box out, flipping through index cards searching for the dish your mother-in-law might actually enjoy.

1. The Lucky Leaf “Simple Treat” Recipe Contest

Lucky Leaf makes canned fruit dessert filling. This probably isn’t ideal if you’re a seasoned baker, but it sure does make things a heck of a lot easier.

With this contest, you’ll need to showcase that canned filling within a simple holiday dessert recipe. Really simple — nine ingredients or less.

You’ll submit the recipe and an image, though that’s optional if presentation isn’t your thing.

Here’s all the fine print.

Prize: $5,000 check; nine runners-up receive a $250 Amazon gift card

Deadline: Nov. 26

2. 2016 Kenmore’s Fully Loaded Idaho Potato Cook-Off

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t appreciate a hearty potato — especially when cheese is involved.

This “spudtacular” contest (that’s Kenmore, not me unfortunately) asks you to submit your favorite potato recipes — mashed, baked, frenched, scalloped, whatever your desire.

Along with the recipe, include a photo and a 100-250-word description about the dish’s history and what it means to you.

Don’t be a couch potato; read the rules first.

Prize: $1,500 cash, plus Kenmore small kitchen appliances; second and third places get a small kitchen appliance and a 15-pound bag of potatoes; the social spud with the most likes gets $500 cash

Deadline: Nov. 30

3. Old Croc’s Most “Aussome” Recipe Contest

I have to say, I’m a big fan of the puns these contests are using — and cheese. I love cheese.

Explainer: Old Croc is a brand of Australian cheese. Your task for this contest is to submit your favorite original recipe featuring extra sharp cheddar, sharp cheddar or smoked sharp cheddar cheese.

Submit the recipe and a photo (you’re granted up to five submissions), and you’ll be judged on taste, creativity and visual appeal.

In queso questions, here are all the details.

Prize: $1,000, second place gets $500, third gets $300, fourth gets $200, fifth gets $100

Deadline: Dec. 9

4. Avocados From Mexico Mini Chefs Contest

Use your adorable child (between the ages of 4 and 12) to earn money — featuring the most trendy fruit: avocados.

You can choose an existing recipe or submit your own. Record a short video (less than 10 minutes) of you and your spawn whipping up the avocado-focused treat. Then, submit the video for public vote.

A ripe perk: This is a monthly contest that runs until June, so you have plenty of time to let those avocados ripen, test the perfect recipe and train your child.

Read the official rules.

Prize: $1,000

Deadline: Dec. 14 — or the 14th of each month

5. Taste of Home: Thanksgiving Time Savers Recipe Contest

Do you make some dishes for your big holiday get-togethers before the event? Probably.

If not, you’re something supernatural.

“Taste of Home” — yup, the cooking magazine you see on shelves at the store — is calling for Thanksgiving time-saver recipes. Ideas include a five-ingredient sausage stuffing, cranberry crumble bars and bacon maple cheese spread. (Stomach’s growling over here.)

The recipe must have 12 or fewer ingredients and scream Thanksgiving.

No shortcuts here; read the rules first.

Prize: Up to 12 prizes including a $500 grand prize

Deadline: Dec. 19

Here’s to Contest Cook for showcasing awesome recipe contests!

Your Turn: Which recipe are you submitting?

Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. After recently completing graduate school, she focuses on saving money — and surviving the move back in with her parents.