The best recipe apps for iPhone and iPad

By , Jun 1, 2014

best recipe apps

Even if you don’t cook on a regular basis, it’s always nice to have a good recipe book on hand. Whether you’re trying to impress that special someone, or you’ve been tapped to bake cookies for the office party, there are occasions when you need to flex your cooking skills.

Luckily, the invention of smartphones and the App Store have put thousands of great recipe books in the palm of your hand. And wouldn’t you know it, the iDB team has taken the time to sift through all of the noise to pick out the best recipe apps for iPhone and iPad.

Big Oven

big oven

I love the Big Oven app. Not only does it offer a huge selection of recipes, but it also includes a grocery list, metric converter, and recipe scale for reducing or increasing the servings. You can search for recipes based on course, ingredient, or keyword. You can even search for recipes using leftover ingredients you have around the house. This app is available for free.



Yummly gives you “every recipe in the world in your pocket.” That’s a lot of recipes. The app aggregates search results from top sites, including AllRecipes, Food52 and Epicurious, as well as popular blogs like Chow, Serious Eats, and Steamy Kitchen. You can customize your preferences to see recipe recommendations just for you, save recipes in your digital box, and find the right meal for the right occasion with the comprehensive search feature. This app is available for free.



“ChefSteps exists to inspire creativity and encourage expertise in the kitchen.” The app is extremely well designed, and very informational with hands-on videos made to be both helpful and entertaining. “We don’t tell you how to sharpen your knife, butcher a halibut, or make macarons from scratch, we show you.” ChefSteps offers both original recipes and twists on modern classics, making it worth having in your arsenal. This app is available for free.

Green Kitchen

green kitchen

This app may not have thousands of recipes on file, but what it does have is quality, handpicked recipes specifically for those trying to eat more greens, or are on a full-blown vegetarian diet. Recipes are marked for vegan, raw foods, gluten-free, sugar-free, and whole grain, so whatever your food restrictions, there is something for you. There is also a handy shopping list, metric converter, and lots of great photos to show you what your meal is supposed to look like. This app is available for $4.99.

Handpick Recipes & Ingredients


Handpick allows you to browse and discover millions of dishes from around the world. Plus it has a database of over 10,000 ingredients, so you can tell it what you have in your pantry or fridge, and it will give you recipe ideas. Suggestions for every type of diet— including gluten-free, paleo and vegan—and occasion. This app is available for free.



Sidechef promises to make cooking accessible, easy and fun at any skill level. It offers beautiful step-by-step photos, instructions and voice commands that’s good for both introducing novice cooks to the kitchen, and helping intermediate chefs hone their skills. The app has over 2,500+ curated recipes, integrated timers, and tips on how to select and store ingredients. This app is available for free.

Kitchen Stories

kitchen stories

Discover tasty, easy-to-cook recipes offered in various thematic packages such as all-time classics, pasta variations and 20 minute dishes. Kitchen Stories checks all the major boxes with easy to follow step-by-step instructions and how-to videos, and adds things like creative recipes, basic tips and tricks in the kitchen and other unique offerings. I would recommend beginners making Kitchen Stories a priority to check out. This app is available for free.

Epicurious Recipes & Shopping List


Epicurious has long been a mainstay in the web recipe/cooking space, and all aspiring chefs should try out their app. It’s packed with free offerings and more than 35,000 of the highest-quality recipes. Other notable features include Seasonal Ingredient Finder, Cook Mode with hands-free voice control, and inspired recipe collections that update as the seasons change and holidays approach. This app is available for free.

Don’t forget to check out our previous best-of lists.

A previous version of this post was written by Lory Gil.

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  • Regis

    Allrecipes should have been featured not honourably mentioned.

  • ephemeris

    IMO the best recipe manager is Paprika.

    • Me

      Very true. Makes me think maybe it’s better to ignore the article and just read the comments

      • They definitely listed some great ones so I wouldn’t recommend that.

    • Falk M.

      I was shocked to not see it in the list!

      iOS & Mac apps available. Can read recipes from absurdly many pages and convert them automatically to in-app recipes, scaling is super easy, the apps look great, etc…

      One-stop app for recipes!

  • Qasim

    Not a single app has the recipie for the weed cookies or brownies im just gonna eat the crap straight

  • Jonathan

    Thanks! I’ve been looking for a good app for this.