Who said our smartphones don’t belong in the kitchen? These days, you can use your phone and tablet to pull up a recipe for any dish: Mexican, Italian, Lebanese, or any other cuisine you can dream of. Whether you run iOS or Android, there’s no shortage of freemium and reasonably priced recipe apps. To help you cut through the noise, we’ve rounded up a handful of our favorites, so you can get your grub on without wasting time on duds that are loaded with more ads than info.
Are you vegan or aspiring to convert to a plant-based diet? This recipe app from the makers of the film Forks Over Knives can help you get started. With this app, you can discover 400 meals from more than 50 celebrated chefs, with new recipes added each week. Recipes featured can help stave off and sometimes reverse chronic illnesses like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Step-by-step instructions make food prep simple, while a gallery of gorgeous photos whets your appetite. Each step shows you the ingredients you need, while a shopping list lets you track the grocery items required.
BBC Good Food (free)
The BBC doesn’t just make great British TV; it also offers a huge database of more than 10,000 recipes accessed most easily through the BBC Good Food app. The app brings together both user-submitted recipes and tested recipes from the BBC Good Food team and celebrity chefs. You can create an account and save your favorite recipes into custom collections, as well as rate and save recipes for later. Step-by-step guides make sure you know exactly what you’re doing, and it’s easy to share your favorite recipes with family and friends.
Paprika is a recipe manager app. That means that you can use it to save recipes you find on webpages from around the internet. You can even add your own, while the app also lets you create grocery lists of ingredients, plan meals, and save your favorite meal plans as menus. The app is also helpful when it comes to cooking meals, allowing you to scale ingredients according to serving sizes, cross off ingredients as they’re used, and set cook timers. While not a free app, it promises to be a one-stop shop for your recipes, given that it also lets you store recipes from other apps.
Tasty provides great step-by-step instructions and keeps your phone’s screen awake while it does so. You’ll get the earliest access to the latest Tasty videos, and it’s also a customizable app. Vegetarian? You can choose to hide all recipes involving meat. Filters allow you to search by gluten-free, vegan, low carb, and more. It will even send you personalized recommendations for your next meal based on the day of the week and major holidays. You can now also shop for recipe ingredients via Walmart Grocery Pickup. For any recipe you’re prepping, tap Add to Bag and schedule an ingredient pickup or delivery through Walmart. You can also swap out ingredient brands, purchase pantry items, and adjust the serving size for the right ingredient amount. The latest versions feature community recipes submitted by community members that offer a wide-ranging variety of dishes. For more information on how to submit your own recipe, view any community recipe in the app.
Oh She Glows ($2)
With more than 140 plant-based recipes, including 120 gluten-free recipes, Oh She Glows meal options aren’t just healthy, they’re also aesthetically pleasing. From gazpacho to butternut squash mac ‘n cheese to cheesy lentil bolognese casserole, the mouthwatering dishes are endless. While the photography alone might make it tough to choose what you want to whip up, the interface is simple. Each recipe has a brief description, directions, a list of tips, and nutritional information. You can also mark specific recipes as favorites to refer back to later or to keep track of ones you want to make again. The detailed search allows you to filter your recipes based on dietary and allergy information, season, dish type, and more. You can also check out this list of the best keto cookbooks for more choices.
With its hundreds of thousands of recipes, BigOven makes cooking simple. With this cooking app, you’ll be inspired and organized in the kitchen and on the go. Some of the highlights include access to BigOven’s massive library of recipes, the ability to add snapshots of your recipes, and the option to make a grocery list in the app based on recipes you want to create. Simply type in three ingredients you have in your fridge, and BigOven shows you what you can make with them. The app also adds a social feature, allowing you to check out what your friends, family, and some of the best food blogs are making.
Food Network Kitchen (free)
Food Network Kitchen brings all your favorite TV chefs from the network directly to your mobile device. There are more than 70,000 recipes to choose from. You can search for what you want or need by chef or ingredient. You can also add your own notes, tips, and substitutions for any recipe. It features a slideshow with new and crave-worthy recipes, videos, hacks, and food trend how-tos. You can now create, edit, and order your shopping list directly from the recipe page, get all the nutritional information you need, and have any special notes and equipment required for the dish clearly called out. The newest update gives you quick access to the recipe’s full ingredient list so you don’t lose your place while reading the directions. There are also suggested ingredient substitutions, and you can add placeholder reminders for dining, take-out plans, or easy side dishes you don’t need recipes for. You can also set your diet and allergy preferences for personalized search results and add personal recipes or recipes from anywhere on the web.
Yummly’s greatest strength lies with its search engine. Of course, it’ll provide hundreds of recipes to replicate and experiment with, but you can also tailor searches to fit your specific needs and lifestyle. Going on a diet but still want to enjoy a good burger? Yummly has you covered. Have a particularly nasty food allergy to coconut? Yummly can adjust for that as well. The app will come to learn what you like and don’t like over time and begin recommending recipes more suited for your tastes. You can then easily save those recipes or add the needed ingredients to an in-app shopping list, with ingredients delivered from local grocery stores. Yummly also features a store where you can buy cooking essentials right from the app, from a wine opener to a cast-iron grill. New updates let you sort your collections alphabetically, by time created, or by last modified. This release offers an improved subscription plan to help you bring more to the table every day. Get quick and easy meal plans that integrate with your calendar, powerful filters and nutrition details, exclusive video recipes, and more.
Allrecipes Dinner Spinner (free)
Every recipe available from Allrecipes comes from a community of more than 50 million people. This extends to the photos, reviews, and ratings, which gives this particular app more of a social feel than others. One awesome feature is that you’re able to see what ingredients are on sale near you and what recipes are the cheapest to make on any given day. The app will also recommend recipes when you walk into certain stores, which could come in handy if you’re in the mood to make something special but don’t really know what yet. Aside from all of that, Allrecipes comes with all the usual features, like the ability to create shopping lists, save your favorite recipes, and filter your search results by diet, cooking time, and foods you don’t like.
Cookpad, a social media-oriented app, creates a virtual place to exchange recipes with friends, family, and strangers. When you’re done cooking, you can upload a recipe with a picture of the finished dish so others can comment. The comments range from potential substitutions for food allergies to side dishes that would pair well with the recipe, each of which is suggested based on the dish at hand. Recipes are sorted into different categories, and the app creates a profile for each user, so you can easily see what others have uploaded and liked. The app is constantly getting tweaked, and the latest version has added the ability to access recipes in your Cookplan without an internet connection. You can see all the important recipes in a single place, while a new Community tab lets you observe cooking activity from other users. Adding a recipe has been simplified, while followers and following lists are displayed in order of the most recent activity.
Epicurious has been heralded as a flagship cooking app since it was first released. The app, for iOS only, provides thousands of tested and member-rated recipes within a beautiful, streamlined interface. The app also allows you to manage your shopping lists and recipes across platforms and even perform voice-activated commands that are specifically designed for hands-free cooking. With the smart kitchen timer, you know exactly how long it takes to cook salmon, chicken, and more than 40 other items. Though editors of Epicurious offer their own selection of recipes, the app also manages to present those from the likes of Gourmet magazine, Bon Appetit, Harper Collins, and other notable publications.
SideChef facilitates access to more than 11,000 food recipes from top food bloggers and chefs. The app’s main goal is to make cooking easier for all cooks, regardless of how much experience they may have. Each recipe comes with step-by-step instructions and an accompanying set of photos, videos, voice commands, and timers. You can also adjust the serving size of a recipe on the fly, which automatically converts the ingredients. See a recipe you want to try out but don’t have the ingredients for it? Make a list within the app and email it to yourself. You can even buy the ingredients from the app and have them delivered to your door. Feeling proud of your creation? Take a photo and share it with the rest of the SideChef community. Recipe recommendations now take into account allergies and food intolerances. A new Personalized Meal Plan was only on the web before, but now it’s available directly within the app and will replace the old meal plan on the meal plan tab. There’s also new access to curated meal plans via the Meal Plan row on the Recipes tab.
Grilling may be the staple of summer, but it’s hard to find a large variety of quality grilling recipes online. Weber Grills makes it easy, supplying 300 different recipes for an entire grill-prepared meal (dessert included) with the whole process for preparing the dish. You can add and delete items on your grocery list once you select a recipe. When it’s time to add fire to the equation, you can enter the thickness of the meat, and the app will automatically adjust the grilling time and temperature accordingly. The app even includes a built-in grill timer that works with the Apple Watch, so you won’t have to put your beer down to check if it’s time to turn your steak. It features a Recipe of the Week, an enhanced home screen with added content, and in-app browsing.
Kitchen Stories (free)
Kitchen Stories brings media-rich snippets to cooking apps. Instead of simply providing recipes, it offers an array of photos and videos, as well as some easy-to-follow instructions. Themed menus make finding a dish easier with options like “all-time classics” and “20-minute dishes.” The app lets you display your cooking skills by sharing your recipes, photos, and videos with an international community. You can also set up a personal profile and save your favorite recipes in personalized cookbooks, use the measurement converter to adapt ingredients to serving sizes, plan your grocery list with the automatically generated shopping list, rate and share your favorite recipes, and get inspiration from other cooks.
Green Kitchen ($4)For vegetarians and vegans, as well as those just wanting to eat more greens, Green Kitchen delivers dozens of tempting vegetarian recipes. Its founders chose all the recipes featured on this iOS app. You’ll find a variety of dishes, including main courses, snacks, and healthy drinks. Each recipe features a gorgeous photo and is clearly labeled so you can tell if they are vegan, raw, gluten-free, or whole grain. The app is streamlined and straightforward, with active checklists that offer clear directions. You can easily share your No. 1 recipes with friends and family members. Green Kitchen doesn’t complicate the process — it just makes it fun to eat healthy, with new recipes appearing often.
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