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Chopped Mystery Basket Ideas for Middle School and High School

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Mystery Ingredient Challenge

Creating a chopped mystery basket challenge for your Culinary Arts or Family and Consumer Science activity after a popular show like Chopped is a great idea because it gets kids excited about cooking.

Whether you have the ingredients or not it can be possible to set up a mystery basket for students to have the opportunity to get creative in the kitchen.

You may have seen the show Chopped as chefs compete and turn baskets of mystery ingredients into a three-course meal. Why not have your students do a modified version of chopped to help them practice knife skills, cooking techniques, and teamwork all while being creative in the kitchen?

1- Put the students in teams- Mystery baskets can be great ice breakers for the beginning of the school year as students work together to create a delicious dish as a team. It also helps them learn to navigate the kitchen and practice kitchen safety.

We made a Mystery Basket activity that students can use either real ingredients or the “basket” sheet given to them.

Mystery Basket Ingredient Ideas

Here are some “basket” ingredients ideas:

  • Nutella
  • Bananas
  • Heavy whipping cream

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  • Baked potato
  • Eggs
  • Ricotta Cheese
  • Flour
  • Sage

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Baking Mystery Basket Ingredient Ideas

  • chocolate chips
  • bananas
  • flour
  • eggs
  • oats
  • butter

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  • Shortening
  • Rhubarb
  • Flour
  • Strawberries

2- Prepare a pantry- It is a good idea to have a pantry available to students as well as they make their dishes. Items in the pantry could be salt, butter, eggs, milk, etc. The pantry is accessible to all students. Even spices and herbs are a great addition to their pantry to choose from.

3- Plan 3 rounds, one round a day– Students have to use all ingredients in the basket, and presentation matters. The rubric should include time management, mise en place, teamwork, kitchen safety, presentation, the taste of the dish, etc.

This fun lesson includes 10 pages of sets of ingredients, 10 pages of questions, and rubrics. It also includes ideas for the teacher about what students can make with each list of ingredients.

chopped mystery basket ideas for cooking in the classroom.
Click to check out the lesson!

3- Give them a score sheet to judge the dishes of the other teams or for you, the teacher to judge the dishes. You can then give them a “score” based on the rubric provided in the lesson.

The mystery basket activity in our TPT store can also be used as a sub-plan if you do not intend on having them make the dishes with real ingredients. I love this one because it can be assigned to students that are absent as well through Google.

Click the image of the Chopped Mystery Basket activity below and it will take you to Teachers Pay Teachers to purchase it if you are interested!

Other Chopped Mystery Basket Ideas

Show videos on different mystery baskets being prepared.

This website has some ideas for easy chopped mystery basket challenges.

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