Published: April 30, 2018
11 min read
Last updated: May 2, 2022
In this article, you'll learn:
📱 Basic Features: a Must-Have for Your MVP
🛠️ Tech Tips: How to Make a Recipe App From the Development Perspective
💰 What Are the Development Costs to Make Own Recipe App?
👌 Top 7 Advanced Ideas to Improve Your Cooking App
Cooking is an absolutely special process. Some see it as a highly artistic event, while for others it’s just a part of their daily routine. However, no matter on which side you are — cooking app development is something that can help lots of people.
Easy! People from almost any social group can be your Target Audience. Men and women, adolescents and adults, families and those who live alone — they all cook in one way or another and having a special recipe app on their smartphones can definitely help them.
It’s also possible and even reasonable to concentrate on a specific niche for your Target Audience. For example, build a cooking app especially for vegetarians.
An example of a great cooking app design (image by tubik)
In today’s article we’re going to share with you our insights on how to make own recipe app MVP and then enhance it with a bunch of cool features. Read on, it’s going to be yummy!
When surfing the Web, you could find articles about all different types and modes of recipe apps, as well as other really sophisticated stuff. Frankly speaking, they don’t help a lot when it comes to building a recipe app.
On the contrary, they just leave readers even more confused. We at Stormotion decided to choose a more straightforward way and supply you with everything you need to create a recipe app: features, tech tips & estimations.
In fact, our first stop today is the list of essential features; just like an apple pie can’t be made without apples, your cooking application can’t be developed without these features. Let’s discuss them!
Since you’re building a recipe app, these sacred pieces of information on how to turn separate ingredients into something tasty should mean the world to you. Without them, your application doesn’t make sense.
How are you going to fill your cookbook? That's one of the most important questions for you (image by Plankton)
But how can you get them? This is the most challenging thing for anyone who thinks about building such an app.
There are 3 ways to fill your mobile app with recipes:
Each approach has its strong and weak sides.
If you’re thinking about API integration, here are the main pros and cons:
Building your own database is a good solution if you want to stay independent. Yet, it has own disadvantages as well:
Finally, the so-called “social cooking apps” that rely predominantly on users themselves also have both benefits and drawbacks:
Also, nobody is telling you that you can’t combine different approaches while building a recipe app. In fact, that’s exactly what we at Stormotion recommend you to do! Here are the 4 best combinations to remember:
🥇 Leading Approach
🥈 Supplementary Approach
Your own database
You’ll have a big pre-established database which you can improve and “supplement” any time with your own content (to stand out from competitors, target particular niches, etc.)
Enlarge the database with new users’ recipes and their variations of already existing ones
Your own database
In this cooperative model, you can fill up your database with your own content but let users upload their recipes as well
Your own database
Upload only a narrow amount of the most popular/basic recipes on your own and encourage users to share their versions of these dishes and other recipes
Which one to choose to build a cooking app? Depends on your goals, niche and business model.
However, if it seems challenging to you, you can always contact us using the button below the article and we’ll try to help you figure it out.
Your whole target audience (regardless of age, sex, etc.) can be divided into 2 big groups:
During cooking app development you should keep the second group in mind. The best thing you can do for them is to implement step-by-step instructions in a clearly distinguishable way — whether it’s a separate screen or a dedicated table.
Step-by-step instructions in a cooking app (image by Pavlo Aliko)
You can improve this feature by adding related photos to each stage of cooking. Having descriptive pictures can significantly improve the UX.
Looking for more ways to improve step-by-step instructions? Read on, we’ll share them in the next section!
We all have different preferences and habits when preparing food and your cooking app design should reflect it, too. That’s why we believe some personalization features should be in your application in one way or another.
First of all, you can make it possible for the users to upload their own recipes. They can either be private or public. In the first case, each user will be able to only see his/her recipes and the ones that were shared publicly; therefore, no moderation will be needed. In the second case, anyone will be able to see each other’s recipes, so moderation from your side will be needed.
A great implementation of the "add a recipe" feature (image by Maria Shanina)
Secondly, you can deliver more personalization by letting users leave comments. And even more interesting — getting into discussions with the author. Thus, they will be able to share their own hints & tips regarding particular recipes or simply express their thoughts about the dish.
Thirdly, an absolute must-have is bookmarks. The possibility to save favorite recipes is essential for many users, so don’t neglect it during cooking app development.
The searching and filtering function is extremely important for both advanced culinarians and cooking amateurs. That’s why it’s important to take care of these features when you create a recipe app.
The search usually goes by the name of a dish or an ingredient. In the second case, the user gets the list of dishes in which the mentioned ingredient is among the main ones.
Here are the components of a great searching feature:
A quite minimalistic and nice-looking searching screen (image by antonleogky)
Also, it’s impossible to build a cooking app without a good filtering feature. It helps to narrow down the search results by setting additional requirements.
What is Machine Learning and How to Use it in Your Mobile App?
And that’s where you can get really creative. Some of the possible filtering options include:
Dish type 🍲
Salads, sides, mains, desserts, soups, breakfast/lunch/dinner
French, Italian, Mexican, Chinese
Particular ingredients in the recipe 🧀
Tuna, cheese, eggs, potatoes, cucumber, apple, beef, cinnamon
Diet prescriptions 🍚
Low-salt, high-protein, grain-free, vegan
Cooking time ⏲️
<15, <30, <60, 60+ min
Party, Easter, BBQ, Halloween, buffet dishes
Ways of cooking 🥄
Baked, fried, stewed, grilled, steamed
Your own categories 🍩
Quick & easy, on-the-go, cute, epic, bite-size, one-pot
Of course, you’re free to add any other categories that, in your opinion, will improve the UX.
So, this was our review of the top features that are needed to create a recipe app. Let’s briefly summarize them:
However, what technologies do you need to implement these features? Let’s find out!
As usual, our Stormotion team prepared a list of helpful technologies that you may use during cooking app development:
Finally, let’s find out what the average cost to create a recipe app is.
Android vs iOS Development: Which Platform is Better?
So, according to the estimations made by the Stormotion team, development costs are the following:
Basic Features estimated in hours
(using React Native)
Technical Foundation & Project Setup
Recipe Details, Step-by-Step Instructions
🕰️ Total hours
💵 Approximate costs
Note: we took an average rate of $45/hour but it depends on many different factors so don't think of it as the final price.
Thus, it will take about 8-10 weeks to create such an app. The costs to build it start from $19,800.
However, we at Stormotion came up with another 7 cool ideas on how to make the recipe app even cooler during the post-MVP stage.
In many cooking apps this feature is also known as “home screen”. However, it doesn’t really matter what you call it. Its main goal is to keep people engaged with your app as much as possible. How does it work?
On this screen, the most relevant recipes for a specific user are usually shown. For example:
A "quick recipes" section in a cooking app (image by Miro Koljanin)
To improve the UX, you can also build a cooking app with video guides. It’s been proven that people are more receptive to visual information so take advantage of it!
Moreover, this feature may be extremely helpful to people who aren’t proficient cooks. Actually, for some of them, the presence of video guides in the app may be one of the most important factors.
Oftentimes, users find a great recipe but can’t cook the dish due to the lack of ingredients. Let them have a shopping list right in your app!
This will encourage people to use the application even more frequently (not only when they’re preparing food but also while shopping).
Shopping list is a great addition to a cooking app (image by Alexandru Circo)
Tip: don’t forget to develop a special button that allows adding all the ingredients from the current recipe to the shopping list.
This feature is definitely not among the high-priority ones but as you grow, it may be a nice addition to your application.
With its help users will be able to locate nearby supermarkets/grocery stores. You can either:
Having a price comparing feature will be helpful to many users (image by Loong)
While preparing food and using a cooking app, people usually have only 2 options: either wipe their hands every time they need to touch the screen or smear the device with their “dirty” hands. However, with a hands-free mode, your users can relax.
By simply saying “next step” or “go back,” they can navigate through the recipe they’re following and concentrate on the process itself instead of risking dropping their iPhone in the boiling soup.
SideChef application’s ingredient section is a true inspiration for cooks. If you’re wondering how to make a recipe app with an improved ingredient info screen — that’s gonna be one of the best examples for you.
So, here’s what you can place on this screen to make it more useful for your users:
And, of course, when making this screen, don’t forget about the main rule of cooking app design — everything should look absolutely delicious and literally mouth-watering! 🙂
Ingredients info is a great additional feature (image by mikibrei)
This feature allows scanning barcodes or ingredients via your device’s camera. After that, users can get a list of recipes which include the scanned ingredient.
Just look how awesome it is! (image by Ksenia Butyrina)
[How and Why] Outsource Your Mobile App Development?
These were Stormotion’s insights on how to make a recipe app. We hope this article was interesting and useful. Let’s briefly remember the key points.
The must-have features for your application include:
Gradually, you can improve your app with the following features:
Have a great idea for a cooking app? Challenge us and we’ll help you to bring it to the market.
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