The College Housewife » Recipes » Homemade Dog Food Recipe

Homemade Dog Food Recipe

This easy homemade dog food recipe is filled with hearty ground turkey and is all-natural. Skip the kibble and try something fresh.  Rascal’s homemade dog food recipe is filled with ground turkey, sweet potatoes, carrots, and zucchini squash and macaroni noodles.

Please note** I am not a veterinarian, just a loving dog Mom, and I highly recommend consulting with a vet that practices homemade / human-grade dog food practices before changing your dog’s diet. This meal plan has worked wonderfully for us and I hope it does the same for you. 

You can grab all the shopping items and products used for this recipe over on The Inspired Home from this post!

A large pot of homemade dog food filled with ground turkey, carrots, sweet potatoes, broccoli and zucchini squash.

Our golden retriever Rascal eats a 100% human-grade dog food diet.

Jared and I always joke that we could eat Rascals food with enough sriracha.

Let me preface but saying that I NEVER thought I would be the type of person that made their dog’s food homemade.

After Rascal turned a year old or so, he started developing really strange eating habits.

He wasn’t finishing his food, had loud intense stomachaches, and frequently threw up.

We went through a number of blood tests. He had been diagnosed with things like pancreatitis, anxiety and one vet even thought he had parvo. We were stressed and at a loss at how to more forward. That is until we did an allergy test.

We uncovered that Rascal was allergic to a dozen different food items, one being beef, the main ingredient in his traditional dry dog food.

Our Vet introduced us to an all-natural human-grade dog food company called ‘Just Food for Dogs’. The company sells premade food and teaches people how to make a homemade dog food recipe at home. Once we started this all-natural diet the stomach aches subsided and he was the happiest we had ever seen him.

A golden retriever puppy outside being walked with a leash and his owner.

At first the thought of homemade dog food was so daunting and just downright ‘boogie’.

I can honestly say that making his food doesn’t cost much more than the prescription diet he was on beforehand.

After watching the documentary ‘Pet Fooled’ we realized just how unregulated the dog food industry was and started to feel stronger about our homemade switch.

Is homemade dog food good for dogs?

While I am not a vet, and I certainly can’t speak for all animals (pun intended) I can tell you that switching to homemade dog food made the world of difference for Rascal. We had a very unique case with him and his food allergies, but we have also seen other positive changes.

On traditional dog food Rascal was lethargic, he shed in abundance and his appetite was mediocre. He was also low in his weight class, weighing in at just 64 pounds for a full sized male Golden Retriever. 

Since the dog food switch he has been energetic, focused, and calmer. He has also put on about 15 pounds in just one year after switching to homemade food. On a traditional diet we’re vacuuming at least once a day but now 1-2 a week. We no longer have to coax Rascal into mealtime and have finally developed a great eating schedule.

How much homemade dog food should my dog eat?

This will definitely vary from dog to dog and I highly recommend speaking to your vet before going homemade. Generally speaking, for every 10 lbs your dog weighs is roughly 1/2 cup of prepared food.

Rascal weighs 75 lbs and we feed him about 3-3.5 cups of food per meal (2 meals per day).

Step by step process on how to make a homemade dog food recipe.

Ingredients for Rascal’s homemade dog food:

  • Olive oil
  • Ground Turkey
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini squash
  • Broccoli
  • All-Natural Chicken Stock or water 
  • Macaroni noodles (I love DeLallo) 
  • Omega 3 Oil
  • Dog Food Supplement 

Ingredients on a black and white tray for homemade dog food recipe.

How do you make homemade dog food?

  • Food Processor: Before I start cooking a batch of homemade dog food, I blend up all the vegetables in my food processor. This Cuisinart food processor is my go-to. It’s a bit smaller than traditional food processors (we don’t have a lot of counter space) but works just as well as a larger model. Blending up the veggies nice and fine will speed up the cooking process.
  • Dutch Oven: I make the entire batch in my large Le Creuset round Dutch oven. I love using a Dutch oven because I can ground the meat first, and then finish off the batch right in the same pot. The process is very similar to making chili… except for dogs. Ya know…Dog Chili. (Yes, you can also use a crockpot. Just add all the ingredients and set it on high for 4 hours).
  • Measuring Cups: Rascal has his own set of measuring cups now because it makes measuring out food ingredients and the finished batch WAY easier.
  • Meal Prep Containers: This is basically meal prepping for your dog, so you will need some great Tupperware. 

A golden retriever dog eating homemade dog food in a standing bowl in a kitchen.

Recipe Variations:

  • Protein: Rascal digests ground turkey really well but you can try ground beef, pork, chicken, lamb, and Rascal’s personal favorite: venison. If you don’t have a meat grinder you can ask your butcher to grind it for you or cut it up super fine before cooking.
  • Vegetables: Spinach, butternut squash, cranberries, cauliflower, apples, green beans. Here is an entire list of AKC approved fruits and vegetables you can give your dog. 
  • Grains & Carbs: Rice, quinoa, barley, whole grain pasta, and potatoes can be great options. If you can believe it, Rascal is actually allergic to rice. I wish I were kidding.
  • We add in a supplement nutrient blend from a company called ‘Just Food For Dogs’ very similar to dog vitamins as well as Omega oil to make sure he is getting enough healthy fats. I highly recommend adding both of these into your dog food so you can rest assure that they are getting proper nutrients.

What to season homemade dog food with:

While dogs can’t have all of the same aromatics as humans can (skip the onions!) they can have a small variety of dried or fresh herbs and spices that contain great nutrients and help flavor their meals. Use a few teaspoons sprinkled on top or mixed into the food. These are some easily digestable herbs and spices to try: 

  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary 
  • Cinnamon
  • Turmeric 
  • Ginger 

A jar of peanut butter being scooped out with a spatula.

How long does homemade dog food last?

This homemade dog food will last 5-7 days in the refrigerator and up to 3 months in the freezer. We usually make a weeks worth of food at a time and store it in the refrigerator. 

How to store homemade dog food:

We store all of the meals in simple Tupperware containers and we ALWAYS save our plastic take out containers and re-use them for Rascals Dog Food. 

Is it cheaper to feed your dog homemade food?

Homemade dog food is more affordable than you might think. It’s very relative to how large your dog is, but I’ll break down the numbers for you (we buy the ingredients at Sprouts)…The last dry kibble dog food Rascal was prescribed was over $90 a bag. A homemade batch costs us roughly…

  • 3 lbs ground turkey- $10.49
  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes- $5.19
  • 3 carrots- $1.04
  • 2 zucchini squash- $1.32
  • 1 cup broccoli- $0.49
  • 2 lbs macaroni noodles- $3.34

Grand total: $21.87 per batch 

Your meat/protein will be the largest cost. I always pick up ground turkey when it’s on sale and freeze it until we need it for a batch. 

Ingredients for homemade dog food cost analysis.

What kind of homemade snacks can you make a dog?

  • Peanut butter: Rascal has his own dedicated jar of peanut butter. He loves a traditional kong but you can also mold and freeze peanut butter in any shape for a quick frozen treat. When the jar is almost finished I break out my peanut butter spoon.
  • Greek Yogurt Ice Cream: In the summer we blend up unflavored Greek yogurt, fresh berries, and peanut butter. Place a spoonful or two into a silicone cupcake pan and freeze for a few hours. These make for a great dog ‘ice cream’.
  • Dehydrated Sweet Potatoes: Rascals favorite easy treat. We love bringing these over to family and friends’ houses so Rascal always has a healthy treat on hand.

Other Rascal posts to check out! 

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Homemade Dog Food Recipe

  • Author: Elizabeth Van Lierde
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 meals for a 75 lb dog 1x
  • Category: Paw-sta
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Dog Food


This homemade dog food recipe is made of ground turkey, sweet potatoes, carrots, zucchini squash, broccoli, and macaroni noodles. This large batch recipe comes together in one large pot or can be made in a slow cooker. 



2 tbs of olive oil

3 lbs. ground turkey

3 medium sweet potatoes

3 carrots, peeled

2 zucchini squash

1 cup of broccoli florets

3 cups of chicken stock or water (no salt added)

20 ounces of macaroni noodles


  1. In a large Dutch oven heat oil on medium heat. Add ground turkey, begin to break it down, and cook for 8-10 minutes or until mostly cooked through.
  2. With a food processor finely chop sweet potatoes, carrots, zucchini, broccoli. Add in vegetables and stock to turkey.
  3. Add in the chopped vegetables and cook on a strong simmer for 7-8 minutes or until veggies are tender and cooked through.
  4. Mix in your cooked pasta noodles to the turkey vegetable mixture. 
  5. Portion out meals accordingly. For every 10 lbs is roughly 1/2 cup of food per meal. Example: If you have a 20 lb dog they will eat 1-1.5 cups of the batch per meal (2-3 cups total per day).Rascal weighs 70 pounds and eats about 3-3.5 cups per meal (7 cups total per day) 



Slow Cooker: Yes you can make homemade dog food in a slow cooker. Add in all the ingredients and cook on high for 4 hours. This does cook down some of the nutrients as the mixture cooks longer but it is can be an easier cooking method depending on your kitchen/time. 

Please note** I am not a veterinarian, just a loving dog Mom and I highly recommend consulting with your vet that practices homemade / human-grade dog food practices before changing your dog’s diet. This meal plan has worked wonderfully for us and I hope it does the same for you. 

Keywords: dog food, homemade dog food, natural dog food


  1. July 26, 2021 / 4:02 pm

    Question…in one place you say 1/2 cup per 10lbs but then down further you say and calculate 1 cup per 10lbs. Can you verify if it’s 1/2 per 10 or 1 per 10?

    • Elizabeth Van Lierde
      September 21, 2021 / 9:10 pm

      Hi! Yes, apologies for this. It is 1/2 cup per every ten lbs of dog.

  2. Peg
    June 2, 2021 / 12:43 pm

    We are getting a new Lab pup, would this recipe apply to a young pup?

    • Elizabeth Van Lierde
      September 21, 2021 / 9:11 pm

      Hi there! I would recommend consulting with your veterinarian as I know puppies need different minerals and supplements! However, I do believe it would be sufficient once you dial in those correct amounts.

  3. Vanessa Messano
    June 2, 2021 / 10:31 am

    Hi! Can i swap out ground turkey for ground chicken? Would the feeding proportions be the same?

    • Elizabeth Van Lierde
      September 21, 2021 / 9:11 pm

      Hi Vanessa, yes the feeding portions would be the same.

  4. Janet Robinson
    February 22, 2021 / 2:33 pm

    I noted someone saying her dog was allergic to peanut butter. My grandson is allergic to that also and a great substitute is sun butter. No peanuts in it made from sunflower seeds. Looks and tastes like peanut butter. I’m thinking it would be good to check with pet nutritionist to be sure it is okay. Hope this is helpful.

  5. January 22, 2021 / 1:36 pm

    How do you add the omega and other nutrient supplement? Do you squirt it on top of the dog’s food when feeding or do you mix it into the whole batch when cooking?

    Thank you!

    • Elizabeth Van Lierde
      September 21, 2021 / 9:12 pm

      I mix it into the batch after it’s finished cooking!

      • Elizabeth Jabbour
        September 29, 2021 / 7:43 pm

        Hello Elizabeth-
        We just found put our lab is also allergic to beef & rice, as well as oats, flax, pumpkin, corn & peas!!!
        And he did terrible on the rx foods from the vet, even our vet was stumped.
        Just found your info, was gonna try cooking his food again (i did early on, not knowing the rice & pumpkin were allergens for him!) – but thanks for the additional info!

  6. Tammie Cota
    December 31, 2020 / 3:09 pm

    My dog Daisy Mae is a really picky 10-year-old lab husky mix. She used to love eating her dog food until she lost her best friend to kidney failure he was a german shepherd then she stopped eating sometimes she wouldn’t touch her food for a couple of days she would eat her dog treats She just refused to eat her kibble even changing flavors didn’t help. I didn’t know what to do so on a whim I started adding ground beef and chicken to her dinner she liked that but I had to sit with her while she ate her dinner she preferred it that way. Then I started adding some veggies to her dinner she loves broccoli but it had to be finely chopped it worked but she wasn’t out of the woods yet. It’s been almost two years dong it this way so I came across your recipe and thought I would give it a try she already came in the kitchen to see what I was cooking so it smells great I am going to give it to her for dinner tonight. Looking forward to feeding her it looks delicious.

  7. Kristine
    December 6, 2020 / 5:59 am

    I also have a Golden Retriever. We got his allergy report back yesterday and he also is allergic to rice amongst many other things! And one of his favorites….peanut butter 😢. I will be getting everything together to make this. I am going to start by adding a 1/2 a cup of this to his hypoallergenic food we are starting tomorrow. If all goes well, I’d like to transition to all homemade! Thank you for the recipe.

  8. November 20, 2020 / 6:22 pm

    Thanks for sharing this recipe, you’re awesome as always! My dogs are definitely gonna love this.

  9. Patricia Barbieri
    September 9, 2020 / 5:28 am

    Mz dog loves this dog food. I have only one question . Is the 20 ounces of pasta measured from cooked or raw pasta and then cooked?

  10. Casey
    September 3, 2020 / 10:53 pm

    Hi Elizabeth! Thank you so much for the recipe! So informative and very easy!! I tried this for my dog and he LOVED it!!! We had some extra venison in the freezer so we thought we’d treat our chocolate lab to a special dinner. He’s usually a fast eater, but I’ve NEVER seen him get a meal down as fast as he did with your recipe!!! You are the absolute best!!! More recipes like this for sure!!!

  11. September 1, 2020 / 11:04 am

    Thank you so much for your help and support with all the information on feeding my babies. I have a white boxer and two small Chihuahua.
    I did the rice and chicken with carrots. My boxer hates carrots. Lol
    I will try this meal..

    • Elizabeth Van Lierde
      September 1, 2020 / 2:44 pm

      Hi Thelma! I’m so happy your doggos are loving their new meals! It’s amazing what a fresh, human grade diet can do.

  12. August 18, 2020 / 8:27 am

    Hi, thanks a lot for the recipe. My golden retriever has been putting on a lot of weight, so I am hoping that putting in the effort to try this will help with his overall health.

    • Elizabeth Van Lierde
      September 1, 2020 / 2:43 pm

      Hi Joshua! That is great to hear! I think a lot of people switch over to help their dog gain wait but it can be beneficial the other way as well. Yay for goldens, aren’t they the best?!

  13. Chelsea
    July 29, 2020 / 3:56 pm

    I have been having issues with my German Shepherd. Being picky, allergies, and just losing weight from being so uninterested in her food. She’s been on Honest Kitchen Dehydrated food which I love but you guessed it she hates. I started adding in ground chicken, pork and other meat options and she ate it so fast as soon as I put it down. So I went to the Internet and my head was spinning with all the information!!!

    I found you blog that answered all of my questions: How much should she be eating, what do I need to put in to, and how to make a big batch for the week or two weeks?

    I went to the store the next day got all of the ingredients I did not have a food processor so I boiled all the veggies together to make them soft enough. then Added the cooked ground chicken and cooked Pasta with a squirt of omega every time I heat up a plate for her.

    And I love that she eats when I put her food down and all of it! she’s back up to 80 pounds and thriving!!!

    Love this blog and would love any other recipes that you have. I kinda have just been going back and forth from rice to pasta and changing the meat from beef to chicken to Pork
    Always keeping the Sweet potato, carrots, broccoli, squash, and blueberries or cranberries the same!

    • Elizabeth Van Lierde
      August 14, 2020 / 12:06 am

      Hi Chelsea! This story was SO sweet. Thank you so much for sharing your German Shepards story. It’s amazing what a healthy, natural diet can do for our dogs. I’m so happy you tried it out and love the variations you’ve made!

  14. Heather Martin
    July 28, 2020 / 9:14 pm

    Can you email the approx weekly cost?

    • Elizabeth Van Lierde
      September 3, 2020 / 10:30 pm

      Hi Heather! It’s around $25 depending on whats on sale at the store.

  15. Betty Moore
    July 25, 2020 / 2:55 pm

    Can you freeze this and thaw to feed? I have a lhasa apso, about 18 lbs

    • Elizabeth Van Lierde
      July 27, 2020 / 10:05 am

      Hi Betty! Yes, you can freeze the mixture and defrost the night before or the morning of before feeding.

    • Elizabeth Van Lierde
      August 15, 2020 / 12:24 am

      Hi Betty! Yes, you can freeze it in containers. Just bring it out the evening before and place into the refrigerator on the the counter for a few hour to thaw.

  16. Amanda Ritchie
    July 16, 2020 / 6:13 am

    My girls are finicky when it comes to their food. We eat as a family and they beg so we give in and share our food with them. My bad, I know I started a bad habit. I have tried homemade dog food in the past and Ginger liked it at first then said no way. Pepper hasn’t had homemade dog food yet.

    My question is what is the shelf life of prepared food. Once we have cooked it I was going to portion size and put in the freezer. Also can we mix dry dog food in with the cooking process?

    We want to get them on a feeding schedule too. I’m excited to try once again because the dog food at Walmart is over. My girls won’t touch it. Ty so much you guys. I will keep you posted….Yay!!

    • Elizabeth Van Lierde
      September 3, 2020 / 10:34 pm

      Hi Amanda! So excited that you’re going to give homemade dog food a try. Yes, you can freeze the mixture. It will last about 5-7 days in an airtight container and up to three months in the freezer. I wouldn’t recommend mixing dry dog food in with the cooking process. I hope this helps 🙂

  17. Kevin
    July 11, 2020 / 11:01 am

    Rascal is a good dog, he is deserving of only the very best.

    • Elizabeth Van Lierde
      July 14, 2020 / 11:40 am

      It is def true 😉 He loves his homemade meals!

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