Copycat your favorite restaurant dishes with Pinterest Lens' new food features

Food is the most-searched-for (and most-tried) topic on Pinterest, from what’s for dinner to which drink to make. Now the visual discovery platform is launching new features to make sifting through the 15 billion food ideas a bit easier. Today, May 23, Pinterest launched dish compatibility with Lens, as well as adding filters for finding recipes based on time and ingredients, and a new rating system for food pins.

Pinterest’s beta feature, Lens, could already take a photograph of one ingredient and suggest recipes, but now the visual search tool can suggest recipes based on fully prepared meals. Now, when users enjoy a dish at a restaurant, they can snap a photo with Lens and the artificially intelligent program will use tools like object recognition to suggest similar recipes to make at home.

The traditional text-based search is also getting a boost in the latest update for food. New search filters make it possible to filter out results based on dietary patterns — like only searching for recipes that are vegetarian or gluten-free. And if users only have half an hour to make dinner, searches can also be narrowed down based on the prep time. Users can now even type in what ingredients they have on hand to find new ideas on dishes to make without running to the store.

Pinterest says searches for dairy-free recipes have climbed 88 percent year-over-year, while gluten-free dishes jumped 63 percent and vegan options 52 percent. The new search tools make it simpler for users with dietary restrictions or preferences to find recipes that suit their tastes.

The new search and Lens features are also joining an updated rating system. Pinterest says recipes are the most-tried Pins on the platform, where users make the recipe and comment on whether or not it was what they expected or if it was a recipe for a Pinterest fail. Now, users that try the recipe can use a star system to rate it, which makes it easier for other users to quickly see any recipe’s rating.

Recipe searches on Pinterest have grown by 40 percent year over year, and while the platform  allows users to save any visual idea, food and drink remains the number one category. Out of the over 100 billion Pins, more than 15 billion are food related.