The Best Recipes to Make and Enjoy Based on Your Personality Type

Understanding how you, your loved ones, and your guests approach food will make menu planning much easier.


Meal planning, cooking, and eating are essential parts of life for practically everyone on the planet. These vital activities can also provoke a huge range of feelings for each and every person who takes part in them—and one end of this emotional spectrum is feeling overwhelmed.

There are so many ways to feel burned out by cooking, so it's actually a profound act of self-care to take a close look at the approaches that work best for you as an individual, and set yourself up for success by using them. By understanding the style of cooking and recipes that best suit your personality type—as well as the personality types of the loved ones you share a table with—you can make mealtime less stressful and more gratifying.

To learn more, we talked to Monica Vermani, C.Psych, a clinical psychologist and author of A Deeper Wellness: Conquering Stress, Mood, Anxiety and Traumas. In her work she helps people explore and understand their core character attributes through "The Big Five," also known as "OCEAN" or "The 5 Personality Types." "These categories offer a reference point for the public to understand their own and other people's behaviors, attitudes, and different ways of thinking, operating, and relating to the world," says Vermani.

The Big Five

We asked Vermani to explain the Big Five's key traits; understanding them can be useful when it comes to cooking for ourselves and our families.

  • Openness: imaginative, risk takers, open to new experiences
  • Conscientiousness: thoughtful, goal oriented, attention to detail
  • Extraversion: talkative, assertive, emotionally expressive, center of attention
  • Agreeableness: trustworthy, kind, empathetic
  • Neuroticism: moody, over-thinkers, difficulty relaxing

There has been a great deal of research done on the consumer habits and shopping preferences affiliated with the Big Five, but its connection to food is new, says Vermani. "Research from several studies shows that our personality traits—like openness to new experiences, or a tendency to follow rules—influence everything from our eating habits, our preferences, where and when we are likely to make less-than-optimal-choices, where we are most comfortable, and where we enjoy our meals," she says.

Ultimately, our food preferences are influenced by many factors, from our family backgrounds, communities, dietary restrictions, and health to our social groups, lifestyles, and personality-type categories.

The Best Recipes and Cooking Styles for Every Personality Type

Each personality associated with the Big Five is connected to a distinct approach to food. Understanding these personality types will make it easier to plan and create meals that better appeal to you and your loved ones.

greek layer dip
Pernille Loof


"People with high levels of extroversion enjoy festive occasions, and will probably try anything in a social setting. Many extroverts enjoy eating out at restaurants and dinner parties and consider themselves foodies," says Vermani. Since people with this personality type are energized by socializing, and food is often a social way to connect, extroverts find great pleasure in indulging—and sometimes over-indulging into the wee hours.

If you're an extrovert, you likely enjoy hosting a crowd—do so with a bit of adventure mixed in to enhance your personality's flavor (pun intended!).

There's the other end of this spectrum to consider, too: "Those with opposite traits of extroversion—also known as introverts—may also regard shared meals as a valuable, bonding social activity," says Vermani, but notes that introverts tend to enjoy preparing their favorite dish for a few close friends (not a big group!).

Mike Krautter


People with high levels of agreeableness are "generally kind, accommodating, and, at times, people-pleasing. They tend to hold an optimistic view of people and get along well with most people," says Vermani. They are likely to be open and adventurous when it comes to trying foods and recipes, but the inspiration or source behind these new ideas usually comes from other people in their social circles. In this way, they tend to be followers rather than leaders—but are willing to try anything a friend or loved one suggests.

There are many dishes that will appeal to you if you have high levels of agreeableness.

Ryan K Liebe


Individuals with high levels of openness tend to be intellectually curious, creative, and imaginative. Those high in traits of openness are often the frontrunners in seeking out new and exotic foods and innovative food preparation techniques. "They often attempt to create complex and challenging dishes and are often the first to discover the hidden gems and hole-in-the-wall restaurants and experiment with the latest trends," says Vermani.

If you fall into this category, you're likely game to serve up challenge, spice, and global-inspired culinary adventure.

  • Take a culinary trip to Saudi Arabia with this take on Beef, Mushroom, and Millet Kebabs.
  • Our Vietnamese Pho recipe calls for an array of toppings, so you (and your loved ones) can experiment.
  • Popular throughout India, Pakistan, and the Middle East, Chicken Biryani consists of rice layered with lavishly spiced meat or vegetables.
  • Technique is everything when it comes to Baked Alaska; get ready to try your hand at this challenging dessert.
Steamed Carrots with Lemon and Sea Salt
The Ingalls


People with high levels of conscientiousness are responsible, organized, hard-working, and goal-oriented; they adhere to norms and rules. These individuals also tend to follow recipes by the book and may eat regular, healthy meals, and stick to nutritional guidelines and goals.

"They may not be as open or adventurous as their peers, or prone to over-indulging. Some people may find people high in this trait challenging to be around in social settings where food is involved, as they tend to stick to rigid routines and find little joy in participating in culinary indulgences or adventures due to their strict adherence to their routines and rules," says Vermani.

If you fall into this category and want to plan a few dishes, you're likely looking for nutritious, straightforward recipes that are easy to follow.

Potato Broccoli and Cheddar Soup


"Neuroticism is defined as the degree to which a person experiences the world as distressing, threatening, and unsafe. People with high levels of neuroticism may stick to comfort foods, or recipes that make them feel like they are safe and at home," says Vermani.

They are unlikely to be adventurous when it comes to exotic or new foods and trends and may adhere strictly to rigid meal plans or eating patterns and structures that provide routine and safety; this may confuse or test the patience of their friends and family members.

Turn to better-for-you comfort foods if you need to feed someone who falls into this category.

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