When you want to find a recipe for cooking something, don’t just google it. These dedicated recipe search engines will find you much better recipes and allow you to filter them by food preferences, cooking methods, time and budget.
Web search engines like Google or DuckDuckGo tend to find recipes based on popularity and your previous search patterns. But you won’t find a keto-friendly recipe quickly, or find out if the cooking process can be completed in 15 minutes. This is where you need specialized recipe search engines, which always get their recipes from reputable food websites.
1. Cook (Web): Powerful recipe search with many filters
Stovetop is an amazing directory for quickly finding and filtering recipes from top food websites. It features over 44,000 recipes from top cooking sites such as Serious Eats, New York Times Cooking, Bon Appetit, Woks of Life, Hot Thai Kitchen, Maangchi, and Dassana’s Veg Recipes.
When you search for an item, Stovestop will instantly filter its repertoire of recipes to show those whose name appears in the title. Since all the links are already indexed, it’s much faster than any other search engine. At a glance, you’ll see the name of the recipe, the source and author, the time it takes to prepare the dish, as well as reviews and ratings.
Stovetop also allows you to filter search results with different parameters. You can include or exclude certain items (like in case of allergies) or if you are trying to cook according to ingredients. You can set a minimum or maximum score, or an evaluation score. You can choose the time limit (less than 30, 30-60, 60-120 or more than 120 minutes) and you can choose the sources of the recipes.
2. Typesense Recipe Search (Web): ultra-fast recipe search on the best cooking sites
Typesense is a fast new open source search engine. To prove its capabilities, it created a demo via a recipe finder mini-site, which pulls together data from top cooking sites on the internet like Food.com, Food Network, Epicurious, AllRecipes, and more.
As a demonstration, it is quite impressive. Typesense’s recipe search is extremely fast, finding the keywords in the recipe title or name. Do not hesitate to add several keywords in the search field to refine your search. You can also filter results by ingredients and see a label showing how many results they appear in.
Besides the quick search, Typesense also saves you from going to the recipe site and reading the long foreword of the writer or blogger. In any search result, click “Read cooking instructions” to read Typesense’s recipe summary, which only includes ingredients (with measurements) and step-by-step cooking instructions. With the growing number of websites writing lengthy personal experiences before giving you the recipe, this is a welcome and user-friendly feature.
3. Dish Dragon (Web): AI Tells Which Ingredients Go Well With Something
Wondering what you can do with feta cheese? Dish Dragon uses the power of artificial intelligence (or more accurately, machine learning) to determine which ingredients go well together. The database analyzed more than 150,000 popular recipes on the internet, learning which ingredients are usually matched and rated well.
Continuing with the feta example, Dish Dragon will tell you what the average rating of recipes with feta is and which combinations rank it higher (eg feta with sumac) or lower (eg feta with bell pepper red) . The app can show you these combinations and connections in a “visual explorer”, which is a beautiful interactive map that looks like a word cloud. Click on another ingredient in the map to find recipes with the combination of the two, and click on more for other combinations.
If you don’t want to use the visual explorer, you can scroll through the initial results to find notable ingredient combinations, as well as select recipes with that ingredient as a key element. Recipes appear as cards with an image, review rating, Dish Dragon rating, and the source cooking site.
4. Cooking with Google (Web): Best Google search for recipes
Everyone’s knee-jerk reaction when looking for a recipe is to Google it. But while Google has the broadest index of cooking sites, it’s not a recipe search engine. Cookin’ With Google is a clever attempt to harness the power of Google to improve recipe searching.
Research Buzz created a custom search engine on Google that adds two main features: searching by ingredient and filtering by diet type. You can also search for recipes normally, but the cool part is the ability to write down three or four ingredients and get a hit on what recipes you can make with them. Then you can filter recipes by food or cooking preferences, such as Weight Watchers, Vegan/Vegetarian, Diabetic, Atkins, Seafood, and Crockpot.
The Cookin’ With Google live demo has a weird URL, so you’ll probably want to bookmark it if you plan to use it. In case the URL ever doesn’t work, refer to the Research Buzz blog post for an updated link. Read the post before using it for additional tips, such as searching for singular then plural to get different results, and include cooking terms.
5. Reddit Recipes (Web): Search popular recipe-sharing subreddits
Although Reddit is not a search engine, it hosts several communities of cooks who share their favorite recipes. Use our tips for searching Reddit effectively and you may find a treasure trove of recipes you won’t get through Google or the other search engines in this article.
Mainly, we recommend searching in three popular subreddits: r/Recipes, r/EasyRecipesand r/GIFRecipes. Of these, r/Recipes is the largest and most active community, with over three million members and multiple daily updates. r/EasyRecipes is for beginner cooks if you’re trying to find something easy to make. And r/GIFRecipes is one of the best visual recipe sites for learning how to cook with GIFs demonstrating the process.
When you search these sites, you will also find several other niche subreddits with their own specializations, such as Keto recipes (or other dietary needs) and those based on time or budget to cook a meal. Check out this giant list of cooking related subreddits to find something you like. Searching through these will get you even better results for specific types of recipes that suit your needs.
Don’t stop at just one recipe
With so many different ways to find recipes, you’ll often be tempted to stick with the first one that meets your needs. But don’t stop there. Search more and find alternative recipes for the same dish.
The best part about these search engines is that you can quickly find several ways to prepare the same dish, with some differences. Use a recipe you like as a base, but then read the others and get the best bits.
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