Top 20 Best Recipe Sites And Apps For Cooking Beginners

Photo KnowInsiders
Photo KnowInsiders

Cooking has never been easier with the help of technology. With the help of apps, newbies and professionals alike can make time in the kitchen easier than ever. There are thousands of recipes, instructions, and lists in the palm of foodies' hands that can be accessed with one click.

With thousands of apps out there, it can be hard to find the best apps for food lovers. It's even harder to find quality apps that are easy and fun to use that are free. The apps below aren't just free, they're highly rated by users and are easy to access when things get a little messy in the kitchen.

Top 20+ Free Cooking Sites And Apps

1. Yummly

Photo yummly
Photo yummly

When it comes to time in the kitchen, Yummy wants to be as helpful as possible. With over 22 million users and a 4.8 rating in the Apple apps store, Yummly is one of the most used apps in the cooking sphere.

According to the site, there are over two million recipes to choose from, all ranging from breakfast to side dishes. The app allows users to save their favorite recipes, create meal plans for the home, and it comes with educational articles on all things food. After using Yummly, users are going to feel prepared for any kind of cooking competition.

2. Get Noodles

Run a Google search for anything and one of three recipe sites will dominate the results: The New York Times' Cooking, Epicurious, or All Recipes. Each has its own format for how it displays and talks about recipes, ingredients, and so on. Get Noodles strips this formatting for a minimalistic view, and ingredients listed by your preferred units of measurement.

You'll need to sign in to use Get Noodles. Go to the Explore section and search for a recipe. Find what you like and add it to your Recipes section. It's a simple, standardized text format, stripped of all the photos and videos that these sites usually throw in your face. Of course, you can follow the link to the original site to see those photos or videos if you want.

3. Cinc

Cinc calls itself the Github for cooking. Geeks, you're going to love this one. The site is a giant database of recipes from various sites. It also supports several blogs, so you can import a recipe from your favorite food writer.

There are several things that set Cinc apart from a regular cooking site. It can automatically convert ingredients between metric, US, or cup-based calculations, and even scale them up or down so you can serve more or fewer people. Unlike Get Noodles, Cinc also imports photos from the recipe site, giving you that visual guidance you sometimes need.

But what's the Github connection? Well, Cinc lets you "fork" recipes, which means you can take an existing user's recipe, and "fork" it to create a variation of your own with some different ingredients or techniques.

4. Kitchen Pal

Photo kitchenpal
Photo kitchenpal

For the ultimate smart pantry assistant, there is no cooking app quite like KitchenPal. It has a kitchen inventory manager, shopping lists, and it can even pull up recipes based on ingredients you've already got.

When you first sign up, this food recipe app asks you to swipe left or right on a long list of pantry staples, Tinder-style. Once you've made it through the entire thing, you can add everything else that you have on hand.

Once your rations have been depleted, you're ready to dive into KitchenPal's grab-and-go grocery shopping section, complete with a scanner to add anything that you don't see on its default list. Add grocery items from a huge selection of stock options, and you're ready to hit the town; you can sort items by aisle, marking everything off to add it to your virtual pantry automatically.

5. Oven Timer

Oven Timer is a kitchen multi-timer with a charming visual twist. You're able to customize a digital oven and stovetop to match your set-up at home.

On each burner, you can assign a different pan or dish, and the clock will tick down on each of them independently. You can also assign simple timers under another tab for other kitchen tasks—the chicken marinating in the fridge, for example.

When you've always got your hands full in the kitchen, time tends to get ahead of you. This is one of the best apps for cooking if you hate over-cooking or burning your food.

6. Food Monster

For plant-based foodies, Food Monster is a dream. With over 20,000 vegan recipes, the app’s Instagram account claims it’s the “largest plant-based vegan food app.”

The app categorizes its menu options in a plethora of ways (meals, desserts, holidays, produce, etc…) and can even be found by season. Users who tried a recipe can even share comments, tips, and recommendations. Users can also bookmark favorite recipes and meal plan for the week. For pant-loving foodies, this app has it all to spice up breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

7. Kitchen Stories

Photo kitchen stories
Photo kitchen stories

If you depend on visual aids for pretty much anything (which most of us do) then Kitchen Stories is the perfect app. Every recipe comes with step-by-step image guides, and some have video tutorials. They have an extensive recipe archive created by Kitchen Stories’ in-house chefs. You can save your favorite recipes and comment on them to give tips to other users. Another nice feature of this app is that it has a shopping list generator that you can export to your phone’s reminders. Kitchen Stories focuses on simple meals with simple ingredients. There’s also a ton of original content in the form of articles and videos that you can use for inspiration. In our opinion, Kitchen Stories is by far the best option for a totally free app that doesn’t ask you to subscribe to a premium version.

8. BBC Good Food

Like the BBC’s TV programming, the BBC Good Food app is an excellent source for unbiased, straightforward recipes. The app contains a large library of over 10,000 recipes submitted by users, Good Food professional chefs, and celebrity chefs. The recipes are clear, set-by-set instructions. Plus, you can save and categorize your favorite recipes for easy access offline. It’s also easy to share recipes with family and friends.

9. Allrecipes Dinner Spinner

If you’ve ever searched recipes online, chances are you know about Allrecipes. Over the years, the brand has positioned itself as one of the more trusted online recipe resources. They have a huge community as well (over 50 million) that is encouraged to rate, comment, and share ideas on their database of over 50,000 recipes.

Their app has most of the same features, such as recipe search filters, grocery lists, and step-by-step instructions. Yet, if you need recipes from the desk of a professional chef, this app may not be for you, as all of Allrecipes recipes are submitted by users. If you’re not freaked out by Geotracking, a cool feature of this app is that it can recommend recipes based on sale items at your grocery store of choice. And, if you’re bored, the dinner spinner app will suggest random recipes as long as you can shake your phone.

READ MORE: How Many Teaspoons In A Tablespoon: Tips For Adding Correct Amount

10. Food Network Kitchen

For whatever reason, we trust celebrities. While the verdict is still out whether or not all celebrity chefs are actually chefs, if you need your recipes to come from Alton Brown or Giada De Laurentis, you’ll need the Food Network Kitchen app. It has a massive recipe database of over 70,000 recipes and most of the same features as the other apps. If you’re a Food Network junkie, a neat part of the app is that you can search recipes by show and air date. You can also watch shows and cooking classes through the app.

11. Tasty

A great thing about recipe apps is the ability to share knowledge among users, and Tasty has perfected that in its app. This app by Buzzfeed is designed for community interaction because it’s the self-proclaimed “world’s largest food network.” There are sections to rate, comment, and suggest recipe alterations. Remember to take all the comments with a grain of salt since they come from mostly amateur cooks. Another fun feature is you can edit your personal tastes within the app and blacklist recipes that don’t interest you.

12. Eat This Much

Eat This Much lives up to its motto: "Put your diet on autopilot." It's probably the most popular app for cooking recipes that all fit within daily nutritional and caloric goals.

Once you've established yourself in the app, it's able to cater to any type of diet—vegan, Paleo, ketogenic, gluten-free diets, and many others. You'll be able to browse an extensive library of recipes, all curated to your personal food diary settings.

Photo Twitter
Photo Twitter

First, take the app's quick survey to describe your needs and goals. Then, plug in the number of calories you plan on consuming daily and the number of meals that you prefer. You can choose your desired macronutrient profile, divvying your daily allotment between carbs, protein, and fat.

You can document each day by following some of the recipes that the app has to show, adding the meal to your food diary as a single unit. You can also add each ingredient individually if you're more experienced in the kitchen or just need an app to track calories and macros for simple ingredients.

The premium version of the app includes a shopping list feature and other advanced options that you can use to plan out each week of meals with incredible precision.

13. Epicurious Recipes & Shopping List

Epicurious150One of the original cooking apps and still one of the best, Epicurious features a huge selection of recipes culled from a wide array of sources, including Bon Appetit, Gourmet magazine and numerous other cookbooks. Search over 30,000 professionally created recipes and save favorites to your own personalized recipe box. E-mail recipes and shopping lists to yourself and to friends and get recommendations from other Epicurious users.

14. Foodily

foodily150If you are looking for something different, Foodily delivers daily recipe inspirations based on your preferences, people you follow, or friends’ recommendations. Every time you open Foodily you will see new recipes and photos, or you can search for something across hundreds of blogs and recipe sites. You can also add your own ideas and photos to share with friends. See something you like when eating out? Take a photo and add a few ingredients to get your own recipe to try at home.

READ MORE: TOP 10 quick dessert you can cook in 5 mins or less

15. Evernote Food

Evernote_food150An app that lets you photograph and record those special meals that you would love to remember, or maybe even try at home. You could be at a restaurant, or a friend’s house, or at home having a romantic dinner for two. Evernote Food lets you take a photo of the meal and your fellow diners and add captions, location tags, and additional notes to help preserve the occasion. Evernote Food is the perfect way to start your own cookbook or share special moments with family and friends.

16. SideChef

According to SideChef's website, the app was created by a cooking beginner who wanted better in the way of cooking apps. After not knowing what some of the cooking terms meant (i.e. blanch, mincing...), SideChef was created. With SideChef, those in the kitchen will be told what to do every step of the way and how to do it. There are over 16,000 recipes on the app, but there's more to it than recipe browsing.

17. Cookpad

Cookpad is easy and fun to use because, not only can iOS and Android users browse recipes, but they can also add their own recipes that other users may be interested in. It'll make users feel like they are on one of the best episodes of Chef's Table!

The app makes cooking a relatable and shareable experience. Users can upload pictures of their meals for recipes that they tried and liked, encouraging others interested in the same recipe. And like many other apps on this list, users can search for recipes based on their preferred diet.

18. BigOven

If you require virtually every recipe on the internet at your disposal, BigOven is the app for you. It allows you to curate your own recipe book from over a half a million verified recipes from across the web. You’ll have to upgrade to BigOven Pro if you want to plan your meals for the week, get access to collections from BigOven professional chefs, search by dietary preferences, or get nutrition insights. Even without the pro upgrade, though, BigOven is a great app that quickly and easily gets you an array of recipes.

19. Gourmet Fast

My personal favourite, Gourmet Fast is the app from the good folks at Gourmet Traveller. It’s a simple app, but the imagery is beautiful (obviously) and the recipes are all super drool-worthy. The recipes are split in to categories and you can create a shopping list of the ingredients you need in a single click.

What we like best: There’s a function that allows each step to be read out to you—perfect for wet or sticky cooking fingers.

20. Taste

Another media site that’s branched out into the app-osphere, Taste has taken all those recipes that we rely on and whacked them in to a super nifty little app. There are over 40,000 recipes available and a ton of content that you’ll only find on the app. You do have to enter a few details, BUT… it asks you some super helpful questions, ie. How much time do you spend cooking? How healthy are you? And do you have kids at home? The result is nothing short of love at first sight.

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