All you need is three ingredients to cook up sizzling stock returns. Those ingredients are a sufficient upfront amount of cash to invest, the right stocks to buy, and a long enough period of time.

You might have noticed there are some vague words included in those ingredients, though: sufficient, right, long enough. How much upfront cash is sufficient? What are the "right" stocks to buy? How long is long enough to hold those stocks?

The correct answers to those questions can vary. Some stocks don't require as big of an upfront investment or as lengthy of a holding period to generate tremendous returns as others do.

However, I'll take a stab at answering all three questions in a way that is specific instead of vague. I think that $10,000 invested in these growth stocks could make you a fortune over the next 10 years.

A person holding a laptop with dollar signs drawn on a chalkboard in the background.

Image source: Getty Images.

Nvidia

If you had invested $10,000 in Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) a decade ago and held onto your shares, your investment would now be worth over $500,000. Will the stock deliver that kind of return over the next 10 years? Almost certainly not. However, I think that Nvidia will still be a huge winner for a long time to come.

To be sure, there could be considerable volatility along the way. A cryptocurrency crash could pull down Nvidia's share price. It's happened in the past. The stock could also fall when the supply of chips catches up with demand.

But over the long term, there are multiple tailwinds that work to Nvidia's advantage. One is the massive popularity of gaming with frequent upgrade cycles that drive demand for the company's latest graphics processing units. Another is the increased use of artificial intelligence in applications, which creates an expanding market for Nvidia as well.

My view is that self-driving car technology will become a much larger opportunity for Nvidia over the next few years. I also expect that the proliferation of devices connected to the internet via 5G networks will also be a key growth driver for the company.

Nvidia's market cap currently stands at close to $470 billion. I think the company can more than double its size over the next decade.

Etsy

You couldn't have invested any amount in Etsy (NASDAQ:ETSY) 10 years ago. The e-commerce company didn't list its shares on a public exchange until 2015. Since then, the stock has soared more than 500%. And Etsy has just begun to tap its potential.

The company operates the go-to platform for buying unique hand-crafted products. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, Etsy attracted lots of new customers. It also realized that its total addressable market was much bigger than it previously thought. Etsy CEO Josh Silverman put it this way: "The size of Etsy's addressable market starts with a T not with a B." 

Etsy continues to enhance the product experience for customers to drive higher sales, including using strategic discounts and improving its search capabilities. It has also made a couple of acquisitions recently that give the company a presence in Latin America and in the fashion resale market.

The company's market cap is less than $24 billion despite Etsy's tremendous growth. Although the stock trades at nearly 65 times expected earnings, I think that Etsy is actually cheap in light of its huge growth opportunity.

DermTech

DermTech (NASDAQ:DMTK) is by far the smallest of these three growth stocks with its market cap below $1 billion. Unlike Nvidia and Etsy, the company isn't profitable yet. And DermTech hasn't delivered nearly as impressive gains. However, I believe that it could potentially make investors the most money over the next 10 years of the three stocks on the list.

Great companies address big problems in a new way. That's exactly what DermTech is doing. It's trying to revolutionize how skin cancer is detected. The current approach requires visual inspection and surgical biopsy. DermTech uses non-invasive genomic testing. Adhesive patches are applied to the skin and then sent to a lab for analysis. No cutting is required.

DermTech's skin genomics tests are 17 less likely to miss a diagnosis of melanoma than the current biopsy approach. And the cost of DermTech's method is significantly lower as well. 

The total annual market opportunity for DermTech including all types of skin cancer is around $10 billion. DermTech already has two products on the market for melanoma and continues to develop new products that will enable it to target other types of skin cancer. The company is still only in its early innings, but I expect that DermTech will be a big winner over the long term.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.