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In the kitchen: 55 cooking + baking words in French

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Do you love French and also enjoy cooking and baking? If the answer is yes, this post is for you. Frenchanted has collected an exhaustive list of French verbs and phrases linked to kitchen activities (55 in total!). It covers nearly all important verbs and instructions commonly found in French recipes.

Pick your favorites and learn the ones you deem most useful for the type of recipes you prefer, or bookmark this page so that you’ll have it on hand the next time you decide to dive into a French cookbook. Even if it’s a virtual one.

We made sure to include example sentences where deemed useful. We believe in the importance of learning everything in context as opposed to learning the word or expression in itself, without placing it in a sentence.

Have fun cooking/baking while learning French!


  1. French verbs and expressions connected to both cooking and baking
  2. French verbs and expressions connected to cooking
  3. French verbs and expressions connected to baking
  4. Bonus expressions

1. French words connected to both cooking and baking

ajouter qc / mettre qc = add sg

Ajouter le beurre mou. = Add the softened butter.

arroser qc de qc = to drizzle/ spray sg with sg

Arrosez le tout de vinaigre balsamique. = Drizzle the whole thing with balsamic vinegar.

brûler = to burn

Comment éviter que votre caramel ne brûle ? = How to prevent your caramel from burning?

(Note: the ne in this sentence is a ne explétif, a common sight with the subjunctive. In this case, ne does not signify negation but is simply put there because it’s considered to be an elegant addition to the subjunctive. The ne explétif is only used with certain verbs, so if you want to use it, you must learn which verbs allow for it. Its use is optional, though, so no worries if you don’t feel like diving into this topic right now.)

couper qc en rondelles = to cut sg into rounds

cuire qc au four = to cook sg in the oven

Combien de temps faut-il pour cuire les légumes ? = How long do vegetables need to be cooked?

cuire qc 30 minutes à feu doux dans le four = to cook/ bake sg in the oven for 30 minutes on low heat

Cuisez votre tarte meringuée 30 minutes à feu doux dans le four. = Bake your meringue pie in the oven for 30 minutes on low heat.

décorer qc = to decorate sg

Vous pouvez ensuite décorer vos biscuits comme vous le souhaitez. = Then you can decorate your cookies as you wish.

garnir qc de qc = to fill, stuff sg with sg

mettre qc au frais = put in a cool place/ chill

mettre qc au freezer pendant … heures = to put sg in the freezer for … hours

Ne pas oublier de mettre la crème au freezer pendant 4 heures. = Don’t forget to put the cream in the freezer for 4 hours.

mettre qc au congélateur = to put sg in the freezer

mettre qc au réfrigérateur = to put sg in the fridge

peler qc = to peel sg

rattraper qc = correct, remedy, save sg

rattraper un plat trop salé = save a dish that’s too salty

remuer qc = to stir (a liquid)

Remuez au moins 4 fois. = Stir at least 4 times.

réserver qc = to put sg on one side

Pelez les pommes de terre et réservez-les. = Peel the potatoes and put them on one side.

s’évaporer = to evaporate

se colorer légèrement = to lightly color/ to lightly brown

Enfourner 8 à 10 min à 185°C jusqu’à ce que les biscuits se colorent légèrement. = Bake them in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 185°C until the cookies lightly brown.

2. French words connected to cooking

assaisonner qc avec qc = season sg with sg

Avec quoi assaisonner le saumon ? = What spices to use with salmon?

éclabousser = (e.g., oil) = splash, splatter

égoutter qc = drain, strain sg

éplucher un oignon = to peel an onion

Comment éplucher les oignons sans pleurer ? = How to peel the onions without crying?

faire cuire à gros bouillon = cook at a rolling boil

Faites cuire pendant 40 minutes à gros bouillon. = Cook for 40 minutes at a rolling boil.

faire dorer qc à la poêle = to fry sg until golden in a frying pan (literally: to make sg golden in a frying pan)

Les faire dorer des deux côtés. = Fry the two sides until golden.

faire revenir (à feu doux) = to lightly brown/ to brown (over low heat)

frire qc à l’huile = to deep-fry sg

frotter qc avec de l’ail = rub sg with garlic

griller qc = broil sg (for bread: to toast)

passer qc au presse-purée = to mash sg with a potato masher

Passez la soupe au presse-purée.

passer qc sous l’eau froide = run sg under cold water

Passez les oeufs sous l’eau froide afin d’arrêter la cuisson. = Run the eggs under cold water in order to stop the cooking process.

placer qc 1 minute au micro-ondes = to put sg in the microvawe for 1 min

porter à ébullition = bring to a boil

porter l’eau à ébullition = to bring water to a boil

Portez l’eau à ébullition et cassez les œufs directement dedans. = Bring your water to a boil and crack the eggs directly into it.

réchauffer qc = reheat sg

Egouttez les haricots puis réchauffez-les. = Drain the beans, then reheat them.

retourner qc = flip sg

Retournez les chips puis laissez cuire encore 10 minutes. = Flip the chips pieces, then bake them for an additional 10 minutes.

servir qc = serve sg

Servez la soupe bien chaude. = Serve the soup hot.

3. French words connected to baking

retomber après la cuisson = (e.g., soufflé, sponge cake, etc.) = to deflate / sink / collapse after baking

Mon gâteau de Savoie est retombé à la sortie du four ! = My sponge cake collapsed when I took it out of the oven!

devenir mousseux = to become frothy/ foamy

Fouettez 8 jaunes d’œufs avec le sucre glace. Le mélange va blanchir et devenir mousseux. = Whisk 8 egg yolks together with the powdered sugar. The mixture will whiten and become frothy.

disposer qc sur une feuille de papier cuisson = place sg on a sheet of baking paper

emballer qc dans du film plastique = to wrap sg in serene wrap / cling film

enfourner qc … min = to put sg in the oven for … minutes

étaler qc (sur une épaisseur de…) = roll sg out (to a thickness of…)

étaler une pâte = to roll a dough

Étaler la pâte sur une épaisseur d’un centimètre. = Roll out the dough to a one-centimeter thickness.

étaler qc sur qc = to spread sg over sg

Etaler le mascarpone sur le biscuit de Savoie. = Spread the mascarpone over the sponge cake.

faire lever une pâte = to prove (literally: to make a dough rise)

La température idéale pour faire lever la pâte est 26°C. = The ideal temperature for proving is 26°C.

faire qc fondre au bain-marie = melt sg in a double boiler/ melt sg in a water bath

Si le miel est cristallisé, faites-le fondre au bain-marie. = If the honey has cristallized, melt it in a water bath.

Faire fondre du chocolat au bain-marie. = Melt chocolate in a water bath.

fouetter qc vivement = whisk vigorously

laisser reposer = let stand/ let it rest

Laissez bien reposer la pâte. = Give the batter a rest.

mélanger qc = mix sg

Mélanger jusqu’à obtenir une pâte homogène. = Mix until you get a smooth dough.

(une pâte homogène = a homogeneous paste / a smooth dough)

monter les blancs (m plural) en neige = to beat the egg whites into peaks

monter des blancs en neige parfaits = to beat the egg whites into perfect peaks

Montez 6 blancs en neige ferme. = Beat 6 egg whites into firm peaks.

obtenir la couleur désirée = to obtain the desired color

Afin d’obtenir la couleur désirée, verser ensuite du colorant alimentaire. = To obtain the desired color, next pour in some food coloring.

tamiser la farine = to sift the flour

Pourquoi tamiser les ingrédients secs ? = Why sift dry ingredients?

verser qc dans un bol = to pour sg into a bowl

Verser le sucre, le sel et la cannelle dans un bol profond. = Pour the sugar, the salt and the cinnamon into a deep bowl.

  1. se ramollir, 2. faire ramollir = soften (1. happens on its own, 2. you do it yourself)

Comment faire ramollir du beurre rapidement = How to soften butter quickly

4. Bonus expressions

la difficultédifficulty
la préparationpreparation
la cuissoncooking/ baking
le levageproofing / proving
le temps totaltotal time required
les portions (f pl)portions
la meilleure recettethe best recipe
les ingrédients (m plural)ingredients
l’astuce (f) , astucestip, tips

Want more? Take a look at our carefully written French glossaries and thematic word lists:

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