Cook with the Best Recipe Apps
Apps have taken over the kitchen. With phone screen sizes regularly topping 6 inches these days, it doesn't take a genius to realize that mobile devices equipped with the right apps can make for a handy digital cookbook, able to help home cooks and pro chefs discover and organize recipes, track shopping lists and organize menus and meal calendars. Whether it's a family meal or a quiet dinner for two, now's the time to find mouth-watering recipes on your mobile device — especially if you're pressed into whipping up a holiday feast this winter. From recipe discovery apps and classic cookbooks, to personal recipe organizers, and mixed drinks guides, check out 20 of the best recipe apps for Android and iOS. (Image Credit: Shutterstock)
Sidechef (Android, iOS: Free)
Learning to cook can be an intimidating experience, as you juggle ingredients and kitchen implements while keeping track of a recipe. Sidechef (Android, iOS) helps by delivering recipes with step-by-step instructions, complete with photos, videos and even voice instructions. Timers are built in so that you can follow along to free up your hands and eyes. In addition, Sidechef also delivers a rich serving of extra content in the form of search tools with filters based on ingredients, diet, and featured recipes.
Tasty (Android, iOS: Free)
Buzzfeed's Tasty app (Android, iOS) delivers, short, simple, and delicious recipes with accompanying videos providing an excellent and punchy visual how-tos. (And they're also easy to share over your favorite social network.) A search tool lets you discover recipes just right for a certain ingredient, cuisine, or social occasion from Tasty's library of more than 3000 recipes. Filters help you drill down to vegan, gluten-free, and other specialized recipes.
Cookpad (Android, iOS: Free)
Cookpad (Android, iOS) aims to offer the best of both recipe tutorial app and cooking social network, providing users with a forum to search and share crowd-sourced recipes for everything from appetizers to desserts. Users can search from a rich variety of recipes, with filters for ingredients and special occasions. You also get tools to post your own results, discuss ideas and rate recipes.
Yummly (Android, iOS: Free)
Rather than wade through a torrent of recipes to find that one golden nugget, Yummly (Android, iOS) takes into account your dietary restrictions and tastes to help you discover recipes that you might find interesting. The app shows you a selection of recipes to "Yumm" (another way of saying "like"). Once you've chosen five (and entered any dietary restrictions), Yummly uses this data to constantly refine a list of recipes to feature every time you open the app. You can save your favorite recipes, create instant shopping lists and even order your shopping lists for delivery through Instacart.
Kitchen Stories (Android, iOS: Free)
Kitchen Stories (Android, iOS) delivers various media-rich recipes highlighted by easy-to-follow instructions, videos and mouth-watering food photography, interspersed with a smattering of food and lifestyle articles. Presentation is king in Kitchen Stories, with recipes displayed in a tile interface showing off food images, as well as illustrated step-by-step recipes. You can save your favorite recipes, add notes to each recipe and create a shopping list of ingredients.
Drop Recipes (Android, iOS: Free)
Drop Recipes (Android, iOS) may at first blush look like just another recipes app. But the real magic is how Drop connects with smart kitchen appliances, like its original Drop Scale as well as smart ovens by Bosch or GE, allowing you to do some neat kitchen tricks like perfectly pre-heating your oven for your next roast or dynamically resizing your recipe's ingredients list based on how much of a main ingredient you've got on your Drop Scale. The app comes with hundreds of recipes that you can resize to fit the ingredients in your pantry, and each recipe comes with step-by-step visuals and helpful extras like built-in timers that can sync with your smart ovens so that nothing ever ends up burned or undercooked.
Tastemade (Android, iOS: Free)
If you like a touch of travel and culture with your recipes and food videos, check out Tastemade (Android, iOS). The app features tastemakers and young chefs, a variety of recipes and how-to videos, as well as regular shows with a culinary bent. Features include “Breaking Bread,” about cooks making a difference in their community through food, or “The Grill Iron,” featuring football-obsessed cities and sumptuous tailgate feasts. Free users can access and save a limited amount of content and shows, while a premium subscription removes these limits.
Hippie Lane (Android, iOS: $4.49)
Have a sweet tooth but also want to eat healthy? Hippie Lane (Android, iOS) might just be the app for you. The app focuses on delivering recipes for sweet treats that are vegan, gluten free, and devoid of refined sugar, dairy, and GMO ingredients. Users can check out more than 50 baked and raw recipes, covering the gamut from cakes and pastries to chocolates and copies of popular candy bars. Each recipe comes with convenient keywords, such as Raw, Nut Free, or Vegan, so you can search for the recipes that fit your dietary needs.
Oh She Glows (Android, iOS: $1.99)
Oh She Glows (Android, iOS) brings you tasty, healthy recipes from New York Times bestselling author Angela Liddon and her award-winning recipe blog, OhSheGlows.com. The app comes with more than 150 plant-based recipes, with detailed instructions accompanied by mouth-watering food photography. Users can search for food by ingredient, diet or allergy restrictions, season or dish type, and then save recipes into a favorites category for easy look up. Notes, ingredient strike-throughs, and offline recipe access add to the app’s utility. Finally, if you get tired of the recipes that come included in the app, you can also check out additional recipe bundles that you can add to your collection with in-app purchases.
NYT Cooking (iOS: Free)
The Grey Lady might not be the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to cooking recipes, but the New York Times Cooking app provides users with access to more than 17,000 recipes from the newspaper's archive. Search filters let you find just the right recipe based on diet, cuisine type, preparation method, meal type, and more, and users can save and annotate recipes, leave reviews, and sync their personal recipe box with Evernote for easy access.
Food Network In The Kitchen (Android, iOS: Free)
More than just a channel guide, Food Network's In The Kitchen app (Android, iOS) puts recipes from the network's celebrity chefs right at your fingertips. You can view thousands of recipes, photos and videos so you can cook with the pros, with new recipes added every month. Users can search by chef or ingredient, view seasonal collections, import recipes, create custom shopping lists and access useful extras like unit converters and cooking timers.
Epicurious (iOS: Free)
If you're looking for new recipes, check out the Epicurious app, which features more than 35,000 recipes sorted into convenient categories. Recipe search and categories make it an easy discovery tool, and a digital recipe box allows you to save your favorite recipes within the site and elsewhere on the Web. Extras include seasonal recipe collections, a seasonal ingredient finder, a hands-free cook mode and a smart timer that comes with Apple Watch support.
Allrecipes Dinner Spinner (Android, iOS: Free)
Allrecipes Dinner Spinner (Android, iOS) uses a neat spinning system for helping users find just the kind of recipe they need. A set of spinners allows users to look up the kind of course, main ingredient and preparation time they want to cook up. Allrecipes then brings up a set of recipes that fit the parameters, with detailed instructions and videos. In addition to the dinner spinner, the app also functions as a recipe box, shopping list and more.
BigOven (Android, iOS: Free)
In addition to more than 350,000 recipes searchable by keyword, course, ingredient or collection, BigOven (Android, iOS) includes great recipe management features for free and paid users. A leftovers feature lets you enter up to 10 ingredients in your pantry, with the app suggesting numerous recipes for you. You also get a menu planning calendar and shopping list to help you stay organized. Recipe Scan allows users to upload pictures of handwritten or typed recipes and have BigOven transcribe them for you (three pages for free users, or up to 25 for paid subscribers). A $2.49-per-month membership to BigOven Pro removes ads and includes a handy Web clipper in addition to other tools.
Paprika Recipe Manager (Android, iOS: $4.99)
Using Paprika Recipe Manager (Android, iPad, iPhone) is an excellent way to organize your custom digital cookbook. A built-in browser lets users easily search for recipes online and clip them into their recipe book, or manually type them in and edit them in-app. Once you've loaded in recipes, you can organize them into various categories and have the app automatically generate a grocery list by selecting recipes. The app also detects cooking times, providing built-in timers that you can trigger with a tap as you cook. You can even scale ingredients based on your desired serving size. Meal planners, a pantry log and more are among the many features of this excellent cooking app.
Basil Smart Recipe Manager (iPad: $2.99)
Another popular recipe management solution for iPad is Basil Smart Recipe Manager, which turns your tablet into a smart cookbook and kitchen assistant. Users can manually enter their favorite recipes, or import them from a variety of cooking sites. Basil then helps you organize your recipes, adding tags based ingredients as well as user-defined tags. Slick browsing and filters allow you to quickly find the recipes you want, and everything is stored offline. The app even functions as a cooking and shopping assistant, automatically generating shopping lists, smart-scaling ingredients and generating cooking timers based on your recipes.
My Cookbook (Android, iOS: Free)
My CookBook (Android, iOS) is a recipe management app designed to help you search for recipes from your favorite websites and blogs and then import them to the app’s database. The result is an all-in-one cookbook that you can turn to whether you’r online or off. Users can edit recipes, add photos, and create shopping lists based on ingredient lists. You’re also able to scale ingredients for different numbers of diners, and import or export a variety of cookbook file formats. Creating a free My Cookbook account lets you sync 105 accounts and eight shopping lists across devices, while a premium account removes these limits.
Cheftap (Android, iOS: Free)
Cheftap (Android, iOS) is a freemium Android recipe manager that does a great job at importing recipes from your favorite website, with a variety of tools for organizing your collection. Cheftap's built-in recipe scraper allows you to import from any website or blog, and it can even scrape all of the recipes from a Pinterest board, as well as from your Epicurious or Allthecooks recipe box. Users can tag and edit recipes. The app allows you to store 50 recipes offline or 100 recipes with a free account. A ChefTap Pro account also includes premium features such as unlimited recipe importing and cloud backup and syncing.
PDT Cocktails (iOS: $9.99)
New York speakeasy Please Don't Tell brings some of its finest offerings together into one place with the PDT Cocktails app, a premium recipe book app with more than 400 different mixed drinks recipes, including detailed photographs and ingredient profiles. Users can quickly search through the list with a variety of filters, such as base spirit and cocktail type, and available ingredients in your liquor cabinet, making it easy to find just the right recipe. Users can tag their favorite recipes and create custom lists, as well as annotate recipes with their own notes, likes and dislikes, with annotations syncing across devices. It's a richly detailed resource for bartender and cocktail enthusiast alike.
The Liquor Cabinet (iOS: Free)
If you're looking for a cocktail recipes app that won't cost you a cent, check out The Liquor Cabinet. The free cocktail recipes app comes with a hundred different recipes using the "basic six" (agave, brandy, gin, rum, vodka, and whiskey), complete with detailed instructions, ingredients lists and a short writeup on each drink and liquor variety. You can search through the recipe list with a variety of filters, such as base liquor used and tags for the drink's flavor profile, and you can save your favorite drinks for easy reference.
Gadgets for Home Cooks
Do you geek out about your kitchen gadgets? Then before you whip up that soufflé, roast a chicken, or grill that steak, check out our top Gadgets for Home Cooks. We've also got a guide to the best instant pots (as well as instant pot recipes), best microwaves and best air fryers. And, if you’re looking to keep a better tab on what you’re eating and cooking, here are our favorite Diet and Nutrition apps.