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How to Write a Good Recipe

Author profile imageLars Salling·May 9, 2023
A table with a notebook, a smartphone and a plant in a white pot

Have that one recipe that you've been making since forever and finally tempted to share it with the world? Been wanting to share your culinary enthusiasm with the world but no clue how you actually go about writing that perfect and easy to follow recipe?

Follow along in this article where we'll go through some of the most crucial steps to go over when sketching out your recipe.

If you're interesting in creating your own cooking blog, check out our recent blog post on how to start your own food blog.

Choosing the recipe

There are many ways to come by a recipe that you want to create and share. It could be a family recipe that your grandmother always used to make or it could be a recipe that you accidentally crafted in the kitchen after a late night out.

Whether you're creating a new recipe from scratch or building on top of an existing one it is always a good idea to make some initial thoughts about the recipe in order to convey in the best way possible.

  • Who is the audience that I'm writing the recipe for? This can help you figure out how you should communicate your recipe to the audience - if you're for example making recipes for amateur cooks it'll be better to keep terms simple and basic rather than if you'd create a recipe meant for professional chefs.
  • Have I tested the recipe properly? Make sure that you have made sure that the recipe is replicable multiple time in order to ensure consitent results and make sure that it wasn't just a success the first time because you put a one-off spin on it.
  • Is the recipe on-topic? This one is more dedicated to people who run recipe- and food blogs that bound to a specific genre og category. If for example you're running a food blog for students that centers around creating quick and budget-friendly recipes, you should reconsider if your slow cooked beef stew might be suited for your blog - at least not without a disclaimer.

Formatting your recipe

One of the most crucial characteristics in easy-to-follow recipes is the way that the recipe is formatted. A good layout with references across the recipe will make it easier for the reader to follow along as they're cooking the recipe and will make it easy to go back and forth between different sections in the recipe.

A good and common way to structure a recipe is to section it into sections - these sections are usually:


A tray holding ingredients such as mushrooms, chilis and herbs

Ingredients are one of the main points of a recipe and are usually read through multiple times, for example before heading to the supermarket to make sure you have everything on your shopping list for creating the recipe - and later on when actually creating the recipe.

Therefore the ingredient section should be good at describing exacly what is needed and how much of that is needed. Some of the most important points in creating a good ingredient list are:

  • Group ingredients by component to make it easier to get an overview over the purpose of each ingredient. If you're for example writing a recipe on fresh spring rolls with peanut sauce, it would be a good idea to group the ingredients for the spring rolls and for the sauce separately. One drawback of this method is that it can be more difficult to get an overview over how much of one ingredient is needed for the recipe if the ingredient exists in multiple groups.
  • Provide appropriate measurement units. You should be aware who you are going to share the recipe with in order to forego some of the troubles that are often caused by differentiating measurement units - Europeans will for example not enjoy using a recipe that measures everything in inches, pounds and ounces. A way of mitigating this would be to provide conversions of your measurements to different units or using a measurement unit that is typically used by your general audience.
5 spoons holding various types of spices
  • Provide alternative ingredients. Nothing is worse than following a recipe only to find out that you need that one special ingredient that is only sold in a special shop on the other site of the globe. A good way to make your recipe accessible to more people and cultures is to research alternative ingredients to use that will still make it possible to create the recipe despite not being around the same ingredients.

Recipe instructions

The instructions in a recipe should be short and concise while still keeping enough detail to not keep the reader wondering about certain details. Some points for creating recipe instructions are:

  • Use a numbered list to display the different instructions. This will make it easier for the reader to get back into the recipe after having attention elsewhere. It also makes it easier to cross reference to your instruction points if that is needed throughout your recipe.
  • Mention ingredient amounts directly in the instruction to not make the reader have to jump around in the recipe to find out how much of what goes in where. If you're mentioning seasoning you could for example write "...pour all of the paprika (1/2 tbsp) in the mix...". This might not be an option that is suitable for everyone and some food blogging software even handles it by creating hyperlinks between ingredients and instructions to avoid the reader's attention being drawn back and forth all the time.
  • Make sidenotes that are not included directly in the instruction. This makes it easier to keep the instructions short and allow the reader to read more detailed information about the instruction if they wish to - this could for example be if there are alternative ways of doing a technique or if you have any comments about the instruction itself.

Provide background information

This again depends on your audience and the way you want to share the recipe. If you are a food blogger on the internet it might be a good idea to provide some background information on how you came up with the recipe or how it originated as it may connect you a bit more with the reader. Here you can also explain some of the different thoughts that went into the recipe which may allow readers to further experiment with the recipe themselves.

Providing some further information about the recipe can also be a good way for search engines to pick up on your recipe if you're trying to rank better in search engine results (through SEO) - but be careful that you are not putting too much irrelevant information into the page as that can lead to visitors not being able to find the intended recipe or getting distracted and eventually bouncing from your page.

Additional information

It is also important to include whatever additional information there might be about the recipe, for example:

  • How many servings that the recipe produces
  • The difficulty of the recipe
  • How much time it will take to create the recipe (usually split up between preparation time and cooking time)

Recipe templates

A good way to propely structure and define your recipe is to use pre-built templates that are pre-tested. This allows you to focus more on the recipe at hand rather than semantics and layout.

If you wish to use a template you can usually find them for most text programs such as recipe templates for Word and then fill them out either in the program itself or by printing it out and doing it by hand. You can also use template generators which allow you to create and print out pre-made recipe cards - a good and easey to use is Wasabee's Recipe Template Generator.

Food bloggers can usually find plugins and tools to create recipes in their blog management panels. Platforms like Wasabee have these tools already built-in which makes it a breeze to organize ingredients, instructions and information for your recipes.

Final words

The outside of a recipe may not seem like a lot but behind the scenes there is a lot of work to be done and it takes skill to convey the essential information of creating a food dish. But it is a very good skill to have if you wish to share your culinary passion with other people.

If you wish to create your very own food blog in just a few minutes you can check out Wasabee which makes it easy to create and share recipes on your own blog. Wasabee has a lot of built-in features designed for the very features discussed in this article.

Ready to start your own food blog?

Wasabee is the easiest way to get up and running with a food blog and provides both hosting and an admin panel for creating recipes.

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Frequently asked questions

Should I create my own recipes?

When running a food blog, creating your own recipes can give you an advantage by providing more exclusive and personal recipes, which may drive more recurring visitors. You can make a recipe your own by experimenting with alternative ingredients and cooking methods and can often lead to more a more exciting and tasty outcome than the original.

How to create your own recipe

A recipe can be made from scratch through experimenting or you build on top of an existing recipe and try out different variations of ingredients and techniques. Creating a recipe is a creative and subjective process that is also a very essential skill to have in an everyday context.

Is there an app to create recipes?

There are plenty of online tools to create and organize your own recipes - Wasabee being one of them. Wasabee has a specialized dashboard for creating recipes with features such as drag-and-drop ingredient grouping with units and measurements, image uploads and much more.

How do I come up with recipes?

The best way of coming up with recipes is to gain inspiration from various places such as other cookbooks, cooking shows or when eating out. When you have the inspiration and experience with certain cousines and dishes, you can start experimenting yourself until you find yourself with a recipe that is ready to share.