If you’re a foodie, you know it’s not enough to just cook. You have to save your recipes.
But where do you put them? On scraps of paper? On the back of a napkin? In a notebook that’s so messy and disorganized that you never find what you’re looking for?
If so, then we’ve got the best apps for storing recipes for you! These apps will help keep your recipes organized and easy to access, so you can find them when you need them without having to search through piles of papers or dig through drawers.
Best Apps For Storing Recipes
(Image credit: Emma Christensen)
Even though all of us at Kitchn have pretty extensive cookbook collections, we’re also always looking at new recipes online, and trying to figure out ways to save those precious family recipes that are on notecards slowly deteriorating from overuse.
Luckily, there are plenty of websites apps, and smart features (like the one on this very site!) to help you save all of your precious recipes and the ones you have yet to try. Here’s a look at a bunch that are worth checking out.
- Kitchn’s Recipe Box
Let’s say you’re poking around on Kitchn (welcome!) and you come across this recipe for Creamy Shrimp and Spinach Alfredo. Yum! You want to make this! But maybe next week because you’ve got this week all planned out. Just click “Save to Recipe Box” at the start of the post (you do have to make sure you’re signed in). You can even add your own special tags — like “dinner” or “seafood” — which you can use to filter saved recipes later. Whenever you want, you can pull up your recipe box and scroll through your saved recipes or sort them by your pre-selected tags.
- Big Oven
Big Oven has all the standard features you would expect with a recipe management tool. You can clip recipes, upload your own, and create grocery lists. But probably our favorite feature is the tool that helps you use up your leftover ingredients. Simply pick three foods you have lurking in your fridge or pantry, and Big Oven will suggest recipes that you can make with all three.
- Dish Dish
Another great basic, Dish Dish lets you arrange recipes you’ve saved from your favorite sites or typed in yourself into specific collections or cookbooks. The service that really stands out is for their pro users, called the Concierge Offer, which allows you to send in 30 recipes to Dish Dish for them to input for you. If you have tons of recipes, but are short on time, this might be your answer.
- The Recipe Box
Available for purchases on iPhones and iPads, this app allows user to create, display, and manage recipes. You can import recipes from top food sites, sort them, and even shop from them while you’re at the grocery store. We have an old-but-still-accurate full review here, if you want to read it!
Paprika is a recipe management app that allows you to capture online recipes and sync them automatically between various devices. You can save recipes from all around the web, make grocery lists, make meal plans and more. It’s also possible to enter your own personal recipes, so that everything is stored in one place. Read our full review here.
And when in doubt … use Pinterest.
No, you can’t input your family recipes, unless you take photos of the recipe cards, but Pinterest is still one of the easiest ways to save and organize recipes from your favorite magazines, blogs, and websites. We might be biased, but we think the best place to start is our account. You are following us, aren’t you?
how to store recipes digitally
After following these steps, you’ll finally have a recipe organization system that works the way you need it to. Let’s get started!
- Gather all of your recipes
The first step to organizing your recipes—and really anything for that matter—is taking inventory of what you have. Where do your recipes live? Take a minute to think about all the different places you currently store your recipes—both physically and digitally.
Are you a cookbook collector? Do you have recipe clippings collecting dust in the back corner of your junk drawer? What about your Pinterest boards? Here are a few places your recipes might be lurking:
Handwritten recipe cards
Food box cutouts
Saved links on your computer
Notes on your phone
Pinterest or Instagram
Photos or screenshots
Word or Google documents
YouTube or TikTok
Your email inbox
Once you’ve found all the places where you store your recipes, gather them all up, spread them across your kitchen table, and get ready to sort!
- Group recipes together based on format
These days recipes come in all shapes and sizes. From blogs to cookbooks to TikTok videos, with so many different formats, it’s difficult to get a grasp on how to organize them all. What works for one format, doesn’t always work for another.
The second step is to start grouping similar recipe formats. With all your recipes laid out in front of you, group them into the following buckets:
Image of a person holding a recipe cookbook
Printed Recipes—This includes any physical recipes you have. These may come in the form of cookbooks, handwritten recipe cards, magazine cutouts, box clippings, even recipes scribbled on a piece of scrap paper. If you can hold it in your hand, it belongs in this bucket.
Image of a recipe on a laptop
Digital Recipes—There are endless ways for recipes to be stored digitally. For that reason, digital recipes can be broken out into a few subcategories:
Digital Notes—These may include recipes you’ve jotted down on your phone, recipes that have been emailed to you, recipes stored in your Google Drive, or recipes added to a note-taking app like Evernote.
Web Content—This includes any websites, blogs, or recipe publisher sites that you repeatedly go to for recipes.
Social Media—Any recipe you find on social media. These could be recipes saved to your Pinterest boards, saved Instagram posts or stories, and even recipes you find in Facebook groups.
Videos–Video recipe content is becoming more and more prominent. Do you follow recipe channels on Youtube or recipe creator’s on TikTok? If so, you can group those into this bucket.
After you’ve grouped your recipes based on format, it’s time to do a little housekeeping.
- Declutter your recipe collection
Before you go any further, you might want to tidy up a little. Take a good hard look at everything you have in front of you. Ask yourself, are there any recipes you no longer need? Sift through your recipes and decide which you want to keep and which you want to toss.
Image of cluttered documents
Start with physical recipes, and then move onto your digital recipe collection. Are you holding on to recipes you’ve tried and didn’t like? What about recipes that you’ve been meaning to try but never have?
There’s no use in organizing a recipe you’re not all that interested in. Try to stick to your tried-and-true recipes—the ones you really couldn’t live without—or ones that you’re excited to try out. Once you’ve gone ahead and decluttered your recipe collection, you’re finally ready to get to the good stuff.
- Choose a method for organizing your recipes
You’ve gathered, grouped, and decluttered your recipes. Now, you’re ready to choose a method for organizing them. There are a few different methods you can use, but deciding which one to go with really comes down to what will work best for you.
Think about how you use your recipes now. Do you find it easier to follow a printed or digital recipe? Do you like to use voice assistants like Alexa or Google to help you when you’re cooking? Maybe you prefer a mix of both.
Whether you decide to store your recipes digitally, physically, or both is dependent on how you prefer to use them in your everyday life. Here are some pros for each method:
Pros for storing recipes digitally:
It eliminates clutter
You’ll always know where your recipes are stored
You can use voice assistants to help you while you cook
It’s easy to share your recipes with others
Pros for storing recipes physically:
There’s no need to have your phone or computer in your cooking space
As a result, you’ll avoid getting your devices messy as you cook
They’re easy to pull from a drawer or shelf when you’re ready to cook
The feel-good nostalgia of handwritten recipes and cookbooks
As you can see, there are benefits to both methods of organization. Once you’ve determined the right method for you, it’s time to categorize!
- Categorize your recipes
Now that you’ve chosen a method for storing your recipes, the next step is to brainstorm a structure for how you’ll be organizing your recipe collection. To do this, come up with a list of categories you can use to organize your recipes. Here are a few ideas for how you can categorize your recipes:
Meal type: breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, appetizers, sides, snacks, drinks
Diet: low carb, keto, vegetarian, Whole 30, paleo
Cuisine: Italian, Mexican, Thai, Chinese, Greek
Main ingredient: chicken, beef, pasta, fish
Cooking method: InstantPot, air fryer, slow cooker, casseroles, sheet pan, grill
Season or holidays: Thanksgiving, summer bbq, fall soups, cozy winter recipes
Time to prepare or difficulty: 30 minute meals, 10 ingredients or less, one pot meals
Mix and match these categories and choose the ones that fit your needs. What works for someone else, might not work for you. You can always refine these categories as you go!
- Determine the best system for organizing your recipes
You’ve made it to the last step! It’s time to put that prep work into action. Based on the organization method and categories you chose, the last thing you need to do is determine the organization system you’ll use—then put it all together!
The best ways to organize your physical recipes:
Recipe binder or filing system
Image of a stack of white folders
Best for: Handwritten recipe cards, printed recipe pages, magazine cutouts, box clippings
One of the best things about a recipe binder or filing system is that it’s super simple to set up. Plus, as your recipe collection grows, it’s easy to add new recipes. With all your recipes in one binder or filing system, you can easily find what you’re looking for.
What you’ll need:
Binder or accordion file folder
Tab dividers for your category labels
Plastic sheet protectors (to hold recipes in your binder)
Your physical collection of recipes
Image of a four sticky notes
Best for: Cookbooks
If you love cookbooks but always struggle to find the exact recipe you’re looking for, then a recipe index might be just what you need! Think of your recipe index as a table of contents for all of your cookbooks. On a piece of paper, write down the recipe name, cookbook, and page number where it lives. Now you’ll always know which book and page the recipe is on.
Take it one step further and add color-coded tabs. Assign each color a category and mark each recipe page with the correct category tab.
What you’ll need:
A piece of paper to record your recipe index
Color post-it tabs
A list of your favorite cookbook recipes
The best ways to organize your digital recipes:
Organizing your recipes digitally allows you to bring your digital and handwritten recipes into one place.
Best for: Recipes stored as Word or Google documents, digital notes or photos, digitized or scanned physical recipes
Similar to a recipe binder or filing system, a digital recipe filing system allows you to “file” your recipes into digital folders. There are plenty of ways to create a digital recipe filing system, but two good options are Google Drive or a note-taking app like Evernote. You can use folders to store your recipes in different categories. This system also makes it easy to search for recipes by name since both of these tools allow you to search your digital files or notes.
What you’ll need:
Recipe documents or scanned recipes
A digital filing system tool
Best for: Recipe blogs, websites, publishers, and social media
Pinterest acts as a visual filing system for your recipe collection. You can create specific boards for your recipe categories and “pin” a recipe right to a board. Pinterest also makes it incredibly easy to search recipes and share them with others. Not to mention, Pinterest is full of other recipes you can browse for inspiration.
What you’ll need:
A Pinterest account
Boards labeled with your categories
Links to your recipes
Recipe saving app
Best for: All recipe formats
Recipe saving apps, like Whisk, were specifically designed for recipe organization, which makes them the perfect tool for organizing your entire recipe collection. Most recipe saving apps allow you to easily save a recipe with just a link. With Whisk, not only can you save recipes with a link, you can also use our mobile extension, scan and digitize your physical recipes with your phone’s camera, and even build your own recipes from scratch with our built-in recipe builder.
The best part though? Whisk makes it easy to use your saved recipes for creating meal plans and shopping lists. Plus, with Whisk Communities, you can find recipe inspiration based on your food interests, diet, and more. Oh, and did we mention it’s 100% free!
What you’ll need:
A Whisk account (or account with another recipe saving app)
Your recipes—physical and digital!
Download the free Whisk app
Loved by Home Cooks
The free Whisk app is rated 4.8 stars and was featured as “App of The Week” in the App Store and “Best Everyday Essential” in Google Play.
Download Whisk App for your iPhone from Apple Store Download Whisk App for your Android phone from Google Play
No matter which recipe organization system you choose, you’ll feel better knowing each recipe you love has its home. As you continue to discover and add new recipes to your collection, you’ll figure out which parts of your system work (and don’t work) and be able to further refine your system until it works just right for you.
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.