What are the most profitable meals and elixirs I can cook?

The name, effects, and image of the food or elixir you produce is not important. The sell value of your cooking is entirely dependent on only two factors:

  • The value of the ingredients you use
  • How many ingredients you use

The price is determined by the following formula:

  1. Add the value of the ingredients together.
  2. Multiply this by:

    • 1.5 if you used one ingredient
    • 1.75 if you used two
    • 2.05 for three
    • 2.4 for four
    • 2.8 for five
  3. Round the resulting number to the next ten. (101 -> 110, 87 -> 90, etc)

Here's an example:

You cook four Gourmet Meats. Each meat sells for 35 rupees. Add them together and you get 140. Multiply this by 2.4 because you use four ingredients. This gives you 336, so you need to round it up to the next ten, which is 340, the sale price.

So the most profitable meals and elixirs you can cook are simply the ones made with five of the most expensive ingredients you can find. Just make sure they actually produce something edible, because if you end up with "Dubious Food" or "Rock-Hard Food", they will sell for next to nothing.

Source: GameFAQs

For meals, this reddit post describes a good way to make money. It describes getting lots of boar and deer meat, then making 5-meat skewers (use the same time of meat for each, if possible). Supposedly, the deer skewers sell for 210 and the boar meat ones sell for 120, and this is one of the get rich quick schemes the game offers.

From the post, here is a fast way to gather meat:

Near Hateno Village, there is farmer named Dantz up on the large hillside pitching hay under a horse stable who offers a mini-game to hunt deer that can be spammed and will reward you with 5 rupees or 20 rupees depending on the number of deer you kill in the time limit.

This by itself is not the money maker, though. All the meat you get from the animals you kill is. To ensure maximum meat gain, a three-spread-shot bow is the best choice. However, you can also get a Soldier's Bow on the crate of the east side of the Tabantha Bridge Stable, which will kill the animals in one shot.

It's recommended to either wear the full Sheikah set or get other stealth buffs (potions, etc) to make this easier.

I have found that creating elixirs using specific monster parts yields extremely expensive potions. I've experimented with several parts, but it seems like the monster guts are the most profitable. Combine 4 guts with 1 bug/frog/etc to create an elixir. The effect of the elixir doesn't matter, since your goal is to make money. (To maximize profits, the effect ingredient should be something worth more money, such as a hearty lizard or a tireless frog; however, you'll only be making an extra 50 or so rupees, so it's probably not worth using rare ingredients here - stick to darners and fireflies.)

You can use any guts you find, but in my opinion the most cost effective are Molduga and Lynel guts. When combining 4 guts with 1 elixir ingredient, the resulting potions will be worth about 1200 rupees (300 per gut) or 2400 (600 per gut) for Molduga or Lynel guts respectively.

Whatever you do, do not use star fragments or dragon pieces in your crafted food/elixirs if your goal is profit. Even though the base value of these items is very high, for some reason this value doesn't seem to get included in the price of the resulting food item.