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Keep your Viking belly full with this Valheim food guide

Valheim food cauldron
(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

Why do you need a Valheim food guide? Because in Valheim, food has just as much importance as it does in other survival games, even if it's not immediately apparent. 

In Valheim you will never starve to death from not eating. You won't even suffer any negative effects or debuffs, no matter how long you go without food. However, you'll also have very little health and stamina if you don't eat, and you won't recover hit points as quickly.

So even though not eating can't kill you, food is monumentally important to your survival in Valheim. Eating the right Valheim food will raise your maximum hit points and increase your stamina, sometimes dramatically, which will let you tackle more dangerous areas and challenges. In many cases, having your stomach full of good food is even more important than the armor you're wearing and the shield you're carrying.

For that reason, simply snarfing down a mushroom or quickly roasting some boat meat over a campfire isn't going to cut it in the long term. If you want to conquer Valheim, your journey begins in the kitchen. Here's why food is so important, how it works, and what meals you should be cooking.

Best food

Best Valheim recipes list

Before we get deeper into food, recipes, cooking, and equipment, here's a quick list of the best foods in Valheim, and some notes explaining where to gather the ingredients.

Carrot soupCarrot x3, mushroom x1Cultivator, CauldronMeadows, Black Forest
SausagesEntrails x2, Raw meat x1, Thistle x4CauldronMeadows, Black Forest, Swamp
Serpent StewCooked serpent meat x1, Honey x2, Mushroom x1Raft/ship, Cooking Station, Beehive, CauldronMeadows, Ocean
Lox meat pieBarley flour x4, Cloudberries x2, Cooked Lox meat x2Cooking station, Cauldron, Windmill Plains
Blood puddingBloodbag x2, Barley flour x4, Thistle x2Windmill, CauldronDark Forest, Swamp, Plains
Fish wrapsCooked fish x2, Barley Flour x4Fishing pole, Cooking Station, Windmill, CauldronMeadows, Plains

Carrot soup: Carrots can be grown from carrot seeds using the cultivator tool.
Sausages: The entrails needed are dropped by Draugrs, found primarily in the Swamp but also certain Meadow biomes, in abandoned villages.
Serpent stew: Serpents spawn in the Ocean biome, and serpent meat must be cooked on the cooking station before it can be used for stew.
Lox meat pie: Lox are creatures found in the Plains biome, and cloudberries also only grow in the Plains.
Blood pudding: Bloodbags are dropped by leeches, which you'll find in watery regions of the Swamp biome. Barley flour can be created using the windmill with barley, which can be found on the Plains near fuling villages. You can also plant barley with the cultivator, but only in the Plains biome.
Fish wraps: Fish can be caught with a fishing pole (or by hand, if you're fast). Raw fish will need to be cooked at the cooking station first.

Best Valheim food combos

Best food combos for max health, stamina, and healing

If you're looking for the best food combinations, here's a table showing the best combos if you're looking for the biggest boost to your maximum health, an increase to your stamina, or the fastest healing rate.

Best food combos
Max HealthStaminaHealing rate
Base Health (25)Base Stamina (90)Base healing rate (1)
Lox Meat Pie (80)Lox Meat Pie (80)Lox Meat Pie/Fish Wraps (4)
Blood Pudding (90)Fish Wraps (90)Honey (5)
Serpent Stew (80)Serpent Stew (80)Serpent Stew (4)
Max Health: 275Stamina: 340Healing rate: 13

How your stomach works

How your Viking stomach works

It's important to know how your stomach works in Valheim before you decide what to cram into it. If you're confused by the words "You can't eat more raspberries" popping up on the screen after eating only a single raspberry, you're not alone.

Your stomach has three slots for food, like a little inventory, but you can only fit a single item of food into each slot. You also can't fill those slots with more than one of the same type of food. For example, you can have one cooked meat, one mushroom, and one raspberry in your three stomach slots at the same time, but you can't have two or three raspberries (or any other duplicate food items) in there at once. When all three stomach slots are filled with different foods, you cannot consume a new food item until at least one of them has been digested (its icon will begin to blink and the words "You could eat another bite" will appear on the screen). 

(Image credit: Iron Gate Studios)

You'll also see a narrow bar next to your stomach slots, above the fork icon. It shows a color-coded health regeneration duration of each item food in your stomach. Above, you can see the bottom of the bar is silver, showing my base health regeneration. The light brown bar represents the sausages, the little red segment is the raspberry, and the darker brown bar at the top is the cooked meat. For more on that, let's get to what the food is doing in your stomach.

How food works

How Valheim food works

 Each item of food modifies three things:

  • Your maximum health
  • Your stamina
  • Your rate of healing (hp/tick)

With no food in your stomach, your base health is a mere 25, your stamina is 90, and you heal at a rate of 1 hp/tick, or hit point per tick (a tick being 10 seconds). Each item of food has a score for health, stamina, rate of healing, and duration. Here's an a comparison of three different foods you can get early on in Valheim, starting with cooked meat (raw meat from a boar, deer, or wolf cooked over a fire at a cooking station) when your stomach is empty.

Cooked meat403021200
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Eating cooked meat will instantly raise your maximum health to 65 (your base health of 25 + 40), though it won't immediately fill that extended health bar. You'll need to wait as your healing bar rises to fill it, though cooked meat's hp/tick of 2 means you will heal that amount twice as quickly as you would without food. So, your health will increase 2 hp every 10 seconds until it reaches max. Cooked meat will also raise your max stamina from 90 points to 120 points. Finally, the benefits of cooked meat will last for 1,200 seconds, which is 20 minutes.

Not bad, but compare that to a superior food consumed on an empty stomach, like sausages, which will increase your max hp by 60 (giving you 85 hp), give you 3hp regeneration per tick, and add 40 to your stamina, giving you 130.

One more example: honey. It only raises your max health and stamina by 20 points, and the effects only last for 300 seconds (5 minutes) but it raises your healing to 5 hp/tick, very important if you want to fill your max health up quickly. 

So, what happens when you eat cooked meat, sausages, and honey at the same time? Now we're talking, because all those effects stack. Your maximum hp will rise to 145 (base 25+40+60+20), your stamina will raise to 180 (base 90+30+40+20), and your healing will be a juicy 10 hp/tick, healing 10 hit points every 10 seconds (2+3+5). Not only can you take much more damage, but you can run longer, fight harder, and heal much faster. And that's why food is so dang important in Valheim.

Basic foods

The best fuss-free food in Valheim

No need to cook them, just pick them up and eat them. 

Note: Honey requires a queen bee and a beehive, and carrots require carrot seeds and a cultivator to plant them. Cloudberries are found on the Plains biome, so you may not encounter them until late in the game.

FoodMax HealthStaminaHealingDurationBiome
Blueberries15201600Black Forest
Mushroom15201600Meadows, Black Forest
Yellow mushroom20201600Black Forest, Swamp (in caves)
Honey20205300Meadows, Mountains (in old houses)
Carrot15151600Black Forest (as seeds)

Cooking Station foods

The best Valheim cooking station recipes

A cooking station can be crafted over a campfire or hearth using 2 wood. Multiple cooking stations (up to 6) can be placed over the same fire. To catch fish, it's best to have a fishing rod and bait which you can buy from Haldor, the Valheim trader.

Cooked meat403021200Raw meat
Grilled neck tail352021000Neck tail
Cooked fish452521200Fish
Cooked serpent meat704032000Serpent meat
Cooked lox meat704031600Lox meat

Cauldron recipes

The best Valheim cauldron recipes

To craft a cauldron, you'll need to mine 10 tin. A cauldron must be placed over a fire or hearth to cook. Cooking food in the cauldron is instant, but you must have an empty slot in your inventory for the finished dish to be placed in.

Note: Sausages require entrails, which are dropped by draugr. If you're not ready to visit the Swamp biome, draugr can sometimes be found in Meadows, too, though typically in Meadows biomes located on different continents that your starter island. The abandoned villages the draugr inhabit in the Meadows are a bit safer than the Swamp if you're looking to harvest entrails. Turnips, meanwhile, can be grown from seeds found in the Swamp biome. Turnips cannot be eaten raw by players (though they can be fed to boars).

Queen's jam304021200Raspberries x8, Blueberries x8
Carrot soup206021500Carrot x3, Mushroom x1
Sausages604031600Entrails x2, Raw meat x1, Thistle x4
Serpent stew808042400Cooked serpent meat x1, Mushroom x1,Honey x2
Turnip stew506021600Turnip x3, Raw meat x1

Late-game recipes

The best late-game recipes in Valheim

A late-game item can be crafted once you've defeated Valheim's 4th boss, Moder. That item is a windmill, and it'll allow you to create barley flour using barley, a resource found in the Plains biome, which can then unlock a few new recipes for your cauldron. Note that barley can only be grown in the Plains.

Blood pudding905042400Bloodbag x2, Barley flour x4, Thistle x2
Fish wraps609042400Cooked fish x2, Barley flour x4
Lox meat pie808042400Barley flour x4, Cloudberries x2, Cooked lox meat x2
Bread409021800Barley flour x10
Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring stories in RPGs so he can make up his own.