In some games, the character doesn't need to eat or else will only eat some food items not needing to be transformed.
Game developers can include these minigames for increased realism; however, because of the complexity of such mechanisms, there are often other causes such as wanting to add additional effects for elaborated dishes (such as better HP recovery, various Status Buffs, or dispelling debuffs) or merely additional nutrition.
If we have food diversity without cooking, then we just have Game Gourmet.
- In Overcooked!, this is the point of the game. You must chop ingredients, assemble dishes, and cook them quickly within a time limit.
- Battle Chef Brigade: You can make plenty of fantastical meals based on which ingredients you pick up and cook using a Match-Three Game. Each recipe can be further combined with sides, and each character has their own unique cooking style and set of dishes. Mina bakes dished bakes on her family's restaurant's Chinese inspired cuisine, Thrash cooks Mexican-inspired orc cuisine, Ziggy makes elevated fast food, etc.
- Divinity: Original Sin: Cooking is a type of Item Crafting in both games, providing food and drinks that heal and sometimes provide stat boosts. It's notable for having multi-step recipes: Instead of flour+water+cheese making cheese bread, flour+water makes dough, dough+cheese makes cheese dough, and cheese dough on a furnace makes cheese bread.
- Final Fantasy XV: Coming off from XIV, this game features a wide array of beautifully rendered foods you can cook and enjoy, including prime ribs, Chinese dumplings, skewers, soup, fried eggs, and chicken with rice. There's even a sidequest which doubles as a massive Product Placement for Nissin Cup Noodles.
- In Monster Hunter, the Player Character can harvest raw meat from herbivores, usually Aptanoths, Apceros', or Kelbis, and cook said meat on a barbecue spit. The meat's quality and effects are affected by how long the player cooks it. For example, cooking for a short time results with rare steak (moderate stamina increase), cooking for a little longer results with well-done steak (maximum stamina recovery and reduced natural stamina decrease), and cooking for too long results with burnt meat (small stamina increase).
- Kingdom Hearts III: Sora becomes an amateur chef after encountering Remy's dining establishment in Twilight Town. Recipes are classified between starters, soups, fish, meats, and desserts, and boost the party's stats based on how well the player plays each dish's respective cooking minigame. There's also a Full Course Bonus for consuming one dish from each dish category for a meal, which provides additional buffs based on how many "Excellent" quality dishes were consumed.
- In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, making Poffins for contests requires playing a mini-game where you stir a hot batter with your stylist, careful not to burn it or spill it. The better you do, and the type of berry you add, changes the flavor and strength of the Poffin.
- At the camps in Pokémon Sword and Shield, you can make curry. Various motion controls and button inputs are used to fan the flame, stir the pot, and "put your heart into" the meal at the end. Following these controls properly will result in a higher-ranking curry, which will increase your Pokémon's stats and sociability more and heal it better. There are over a hundred different flavors of curry to cook based on what Berries and extra ingredients you put into the pot.
- The Seven Deadly Sins: Grand Cross of Light and Darkness: As part of the daily duties at the Boar's Hat Tavern, the player can control either Meliodas or Ban in cooking a vast variety of dishes out of ingredients found in the world. These dishes can later be served to customers or eaten to provide buffs.
- Nancy Drew: Used in multiple games, such as:
- Danger on Deception Island: Nancy Drew, as the Player Character, makes a sandwich, and there's many possible sandwiches the player can choose to made, adding things such as jellyfish, mayonnaise, baking soda, ice cream, tomatoes, mustard, and peanut butter. If a bad sandwich, a.k.a using the expired mayonnaise, or adding baking soda, is created, The Food Poisoning Incident, which is a Non Standard Game Over, results.
- Danger by Design has a parfait-making minigame, in which the player must pile ice-cream, fruit, cream, and candy into a layered sundae.
- In Minecraft, the player can turn basic food items into prepared dishes such as cakes, which provide additional effects such as status effects or merely additional nutrition compared to the raw version.
- Trails Series has an extensive cooking mechanic that is your main way of healing outside of a town. Monster parts are the main ingredients, sometimes supplemented by local ingredients from shops. Cooking can be done anywhere from a special menu, and usually creates an item that can be used at any later time, but some recipes have an immediate effect on your party. You have to learn recipes in order to make specific items, which is usually done by just eating the food a restaurant or shop. Each town you visit has special local ingredients, unique monster parts in the surrounding area to harvest, and unique recipes to use them.
- Etrian Odyssey V allows the player to cook food that restores HP and/or TP. To do so, the player needs to learn the recipes from NPCS, gather the ingredients from specific types of gathering points, and then go to one of the dozen or so campfire points hidden throughout the game's labyrinths to make the food out of the ingredients they've gathered.
- Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night allows Miriam to cook various foods from the items she gathers while exploring Gebel's castle. Most of the foods act as healing items, but they also provide a one-time boost to her stats the first time a particular food is consumed.
- Free Realms had a cooking minigame, which in turn tied in to the chef occupation your character could take up. You had to slice, fry and, garnish various items to create tasty dishes.
- In Cataclysm the plater can prepare several dishes and can learn further dushes with cooking books on French cuisine, Italian cuisine, Japanese cuisine and human flesh dishes.
- The Sims: Food affects various game mechanics such as hunger and fitness. There are enough different foods to be classified as cooked meals, instant meals, snacks, raw ingredients, and so on, as well as by the actual meal they can be prepared for.
- The Sims Medieval: Sims have the option of cooking in a cauldron, oven, or spit, all of which produce different recipes (a lot of them) that have effects on a Sim's mood. Cooking Gruel or Roast Rat is convenient since it doesn't require you to have ingredients in inventory, but you'll receive a minor Focus loss from it, while a more complicated or expensive meal gives you a positive. (There's no Cooking skill; whether your meal is Bland, Yummy, or Marvelous depends only on what it consists of.)
- Teddy Together: You can prepare meals in a minigame and feed them to the living Teddy Bear.
- Don't Starve: As the name of the game suggests, food is an important element here. Stranded in the wilderness, you can forage for, cook, and eat various foods, and if you're able to craft a crock pot, you can prepare dozens of different food items that restore different amounts of your hunger meter as well as other stats. Foods made from fish, such as fish sticks and sushi, tend to restore your hit points, while primarily meat-based dishes like stew and meatballs usually fill up your stomach more, and sweet foods like taffy and cookies help to restore your sanity. And this doesn't include the limited-time special event in the multiplayer game called The Gorge, where players team up to cook tons of fancier foods like pizza, pasta, and cakes, which are exclusive to the mode, to appease a hungry hole in the sky.
- Dragon Quest Builders 2 has over 150 different recipes that the player can cook or brew to refill their hunger meter and feed their villagers, some of which may also restore HP or provide other bonuses (ranging from simple things like salads and steak, all the way to complex stuff like cheeseburgers and spongecake). Villagers will also cook for the player if provided access to the proper ingredients and a kitchen, though they can only use recipes that the player has already discovered.
- The Elder Scrolls: Throughout the series as a whole are bread, butter, cheese, ale, carrots, stew, and various kinds of meat. In Morrowind and Oblivion, food (of all kinds) is a type of alchemical ingredient, which can be eaten raw or used to make potions; they have various effects, mostly restoring stamina. In Skyrim, food is different from alchemical ingredients and can have a plethora of effects, from Health Food to "poor man's" potions with various other effects, depending on the item in question. There is also several mods available that adds in additional recipes for the player to cook, and to make any attempt of cooking adding a bit to Alchemy experience.
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has cooking as your main source of health (as enemies no longer drop hearts). Ingredients are mixed together to make dishes, some of them quite elaborate.
- Starbound: the player can prepare edible items, ensuring they would give more nutrition the more complex they are, along with additional effects such as additional energy.