Updates are continuously added. Watch this space!
A good recipe plugin can help you generate more traffic and keep visitors coming back for more. Here is a comparative post of the top 4 recipe plugins that includes ease of use and features.
In early 2018, Google called for recipe plugins to be submitted for voice search inclusion on Google Assistant. And, they released new structured data (schema markup) guidelines with specific markup that recipe plugins are required to have.
The top recipe plugins we tested were:
The following plugins were considered, but did not make the cut for testing. They are listed below, with reasons given for exclusion.
WP Ultimate by Bootstrapped LLC. Parent plugin of WP Recipe Maker
Meal Planner Pro By mealplannerpro
Cooked By Boxy Studio (not supported in 4 years)
Zip Recipes By HappyGezim
Recipes by Simmer By Simmer (out of business)
Ziplist by Ziplist announced it would no longer be supported 4 years ago.
Recipe Card by Yumprint (not supported in 4 years)
Yummly Rich Recipes by Yummly (not supported in 2 years)
While this was a super plugin, we chose not to review it further than schema evaluation.
On August 2, 2018 Feast Design Co, creator of the Foodie Pro and other popular Foodie Themes, announced it acquired the Cookbook Plugin. In the announcement they also reported the plugin would be retired and no longer supported when Gutenberg rolled out in Word Press v.5.0.
If you use this plugin currently you need to read this announcement from Feast Design for more info on their reasons for discontinuing the plugin, and what to expect if you are currently using it.
This is our top pick recipe plugin.
While the free version has everything Google requires, and more, the paid version offers features and benefits that you’ll want to seriously consider.
Support help is located in Belgium. Help concerns can be answered through the FB group WP Recipe Maker Food Bloggers as well as support ticket. This plugin was released in September, 2016.
According to the developer, Brecht Vandermissen,
“This plugin was actually created because a few structural choices made early on have caused their main plugin, WP Ultimate Recipe, to be quite complex and not 100% compatible with all themes. With WP Recipe Maker they are trying to build the perfect recipe plugin from scratch, without all the baggage of years of development”.
In my opinion, the user end of the latest release has not changed much from WP Ultimate Recipe, as most of the changes are in the code. And this plugin is well written and has all of the required schema markup that Google requires, plus extra schema markup that no other plugin has.
The entry portion of the plugin is completely different than the copy/paste type I am used to in recipe plugins. By entering ingredients and directions manually, the plugin gives you a huge SEO benefit by adding the HowToStep schema markup. No other plugin tested included this information.
The plugin also creates a database of terms making it easier to add these same entries again. In other words, as you add terms, they will auto pull from the database and be available as a pop up to choose from as you create the next recipe.
The upgrades in the paid version offer features that make this plugin stand out ahead of the crowd.
The Nutrition API that is available in the paid version automatically calculates each ingredient correctly, but manual entry of the data is necessary to use it. This API is what allows nutrition generators to work. See the screenshot below of the ingredient and direction portion of the recipe card.
The premium versions all come with a 30 day money back guarantee.
On July 30, 2018 they announced the plugin was Gutenberg ready as of FREE version 3.1.2 and PAID version 3.0.4.
The FREE version is available in the WP plugin repository. It offers
- Compatibility with both the Classic Editor and new Gutenberg editor
- Option to disable metadata per recipe if you want to publish non-food or DIY recipes
- Recipe ratings in the user comments
- Clean print recipe version for your visitors with optional credit to your website
- Fallback recipe shows up when the plugin is disabled (no styling)
- Ability to Include a recipe video in the template and metadata
- Add photos to any step of the recipe
- Print recipe and jump to recipe shortcodes
- Structure your ingredients and instructions in groups (e.g. icing and cake batter)
- Full text search for your recipes
- Built-in SEO check for your recipe metadata which is a Green Dot similar to Yoast
- Import your recipes from other plugins – this is a huge time saver
Recipes can be imported from
- WP Ultimate Recipe
- Meal Planner Pro
- Recipe Card
- Tasty Recipes
- Simple Recipe Pro
- Purr Recipe Plugin
The FREE version also comes with 2 recipe card templates as well as two styles for print templates.
This plugin also has a section to manage your recipes which is a great perk that is unique to this plugin. Here you will find a wealth of information about each recipe.
One feature I am very excited about is the ability to use the recipe card for non-recipe posts. You can use the template for instructions on creating things like Essential Oils, DIY Projects and Tablescaping. For a non-food recipe you can set the post to not output the JSON-LD metadata, making sure you’re in line with Google’s guidelines.
It also includes a bulleted SEO checker and the option to edit right from that page.
***This SEO check is NOT the same as Yoast. It only considers the SEO of the recipe itself and NOT the entire post. Both are needed to satisfy your SEO needs.***
Premium Features and Pricing include all Free Options as well as those below.
I believe the Nutrition Label, Adjustable Servings option and Ingredient Links definitely make the Premium version worth paying for.
I must say that once I dug deep into this plugin I realized it was a real contender in the Recipe Plugin Race. It had more features in the FREE version than the others tested such as keywords, ability to add your own taxonomies (method of cooking, skill levels) and the best results in the schema markup tests.
I was surprised that even though I found entering the recipe tedious and frustrating I actually got used to the procedure. After a few days I was able to zip through entry.
Support is fast and Brecht goes out of his way to provide you with any understanding or code you would like.
If you are a serious recipe blogger there is little competition against this plugin. And new bloggers, as well as bloggers that occasionally add recipes will find this plugin suits all their needs.
The dev has numerous other plugins for photography and creating image grids that may also be useful to Food Bloggers.
The free templates are plain and there are only a few options to add your own style. The premium templates are a bit better, but still lacking some built-in styling perks of other recipe plugins.
If you know a bit about CSS you have more options to personalize the recipe card. Some additions require getting into your php. These changes are added directly to your theme. If your theme changes, or updates require a new install, your recipe changes are lost. They will need to be added again.
I think there is a bit of learning curve on using the plugin if you are a serious blogger and want to utilize the many outstanding features the paid versions offer.
If you are new to blogging and only want to add a recipe here and there you will find the caveats are not much of a problem. However, the free plan would be enough to keep you in the Google game.
Also, when you upgrade to any of the paid plans, it is necessary to keep the plugin for the FREE plan installed and activated.
WP RECIPE MAKER UPDATE 9-12-18 v.3.2.0
Introduced recipe shortcodes for different recipes. This can be used to integrate the recipe with your theme and do things like displaying the recipe video anywhere in the post content. ex:you aren’t needing to display the entire recipe, but have content you want to highlight info from a recipe. The short code can insert just the piece you need.
Added a setting to show recipe and/or instruction images on the print page.
Jump to Recipe Video shortcode and block
Ignore incompatible recipe shortcode in Yoast SEO readability test. This removes the words count within the recipe itself.
Show ingredient links when using one of the print templates.
Allows the recipe its own category for WP Recipe Maker blocks in Gutenberg
Import Meal Planner Pro Plugin instruction images
Import ingredient links for various plugins
Import instruction links and styling from various plugins
Register settings and labels for translation in WPML (multilingual plugin)
Fixes to WP RecipeMaker
Now will import ingredient and instruction groups in Cookbook
Ability to update recipe rating when comment gets trashed
Ability to update recipe rating when (un)approving comments
Plugin will only update post content in find parents tool when necessary
Scheduled recipes are now showing in recipe grid
Fixes the first letter of paragraph not displaying correctly on print page for iOS
Fixes error caused by fallback recipe (recipes when Plugin is removes still are readable)
This paid plugin earned the next top position in our tests.
Support help is located in California, USA. Help concerns can be answered through the intercom button at the bottom right of every page as well as support ticket.
Bjork Ostrom, (the dev) and his wife Lindsay are the founders of a recipe blog, Pinch of Yum, the Nutrifox Nutrition Generator, as well as Food Blogger Pro. It is a well known and respected company providing courses, podcasts and forums. The Tasty Recipes plugin is just one of their developments. Tasty Pins and Tasty links are also popular plugins they offer. Created specifically for their blog, Pinch of Yum, Tasty Recipes was released for purchase in January 2017.
This s a paid plugin only and not available through the WordPress repository. It has quickly become well known and widely used in the Recipe Blogger Community. It comes with a 15 day money back guarantee.
The plugin offers 5 premium templates containing different fields and styles. The templates are capable of matching your theme style, fonts and colors.
On August 10, 2018 they released a post announcing they are now Gutenberg compatible. The cost of the plugin is $79/year with a free 14 day trial.
Following are a few highlights of the plugin interface and features.
- Recipe entry is a copy/paste feature. The editor is similar to the WordPress Classic Editor and easily accommodates links within the recipes to other posts.
- Media between the ingredients and directions and inside the recipe ads are also built in.
- The plugin also can include a Pin Button in some templates next to the print button. An Instagram call to action at the end of the recipe is also available.
- Video integration is supported, however the additional info a YouTube video should bring in isn’t fully schema ready for recipe plugins at this time.
- Links and built in ads can be used within the recipe
- Aggregate ratings are located in the comments
- Print button included
- Fallback to display your recipe if plugin is deactivated or deleted.
Nutrition information is manual input. Most templates will include the information but in a line fashion.
**Food Blogger Pro has an add-on plugin, Nutrifox, that creates labels through a nutrition generator. There are 2 label styles. (Nutrifox is a paid plugin costing $9/mo or $89/year.) It integrates seamlessly with Tasty Recipes and provides embed codes to add to your recipe card.
Like WP Recipe Maker, it has an importer available to changeover your existing recipes from other plugins.
Recipes convert from:
- Easy Recipe
- Easy Recipe Pro
- Meal Planner Pro
- Recipe Card
- WP Recipe Maker
- WP Ultimate Recipe
- Yummly Rich Recipe
- Simple Recipe Pro (coming soon)
Food Blogger Pro uses an intercom support system which is located at the bottom of every page of their site as well providing an extensive library of articles and informational posts.
The devs of Tasty Recipes are well known and respected in the Food Blogger Community.
This plugin was the only one tested where the devs were actually part of the Food Blogger niche and have extensive background with the needs of Food Bloggers. They have developed additional paid plugins to complement their recipe plugin. These are compatible with other niches as well and are being used by numerous bloggers even outside the Recipe community.
The templates are well thought out and pleasing to the eye. They also are built to automatically take on the font and colors of your theme.
The plugin itself is a familiar style of cut and paste.
There are a few smaller options regarding user experience and schema I haven’t seen included in other plugins.
The plugin issues a schema warning when no video is present, and knocks out other schema when it is present. (See the BlogAid post for details.)
We contacted support to verify these findings. Although the team was quick to answer, it was not unusual for the responses to require numerous tickets by the agent on call at the time. This made it lengthy and frustrating to get complete answers as no one dedicated operator was involved.
When asked about popular features I was interested in, I was referred to Trello, a message board to add my “vote” for requests asked for by other users. I was not hopeful anything would come of my requests.
Not all templates showed all the information types entered in the recipe editor. I found this frustrating trying to compare them.
TASTY UPDATE 9-5-18 v1.7.0
Carryover Ratings from Conversions
This update included support for displaying ratings that were given to recipes from other plugins and also improved the identification of videos in the post content.
Added Fields Labeled Reviews
Any comment that loads on the first page (blogs with many comments will likely have paginated comments) that also has a rating will be included in the recipe structured data as a review. Recipe review structured data includes the author name, their rating, the date of the review, and the review text.
Non Food Recipes
According to Google, recipe markup should be included on human-edible food only. So if you use Tasty Recipes for things such as dog treat recipes, homemade cleaning product recipes, or even craft and sewing projects, those shouldn’t include recipe structured data. You now have the option to add a short code to turn the recipe data off.
Date Published and Author Type
Tasty Recipes now includes the date the recipe was published – which is the date that the post was published. If you “republish” a post by changing the post publish date to a newer date, the recipe date will update accordingly.
Prior to the update Tasty Recipes would identify the author as a “type: thing.” This has been corrected to use “type: person.”
Future Plans for Ease of Use for Jump & Print Buttons
In the next update (1.8.0, due out in early October), Tasty Recipes has announced plans to include Jump and Print buttons at the top of your posts. There will be a toggle button to turn them on and off. If you have manually added these buttons to your website, you’ll need to make sure both sets of buttons don’t show up.
Reported nutrition fields are not consistent between the templates. If you have a recipe showing all fields and use a template that only displays a few, the additional ones are not included until you change the template.
Abbreviations for time such as minutes and hours are accepted when filled out in the editor, but are not understood and displayed in structured data. This is HUGE.
We tested this plugin because it is so popular, but it had enough issues that we do not feel comfortable recommending it.
Support help for Easy Recipe is located in Australia. Easy Recipe was released in August 2011.
The creator of this plugin pretty much runs the entire company. He is the sole dev, support help and marketer. His wife owns The Orgasmic Chef blog and is the tester for the plugin.
There is a FREE as well as a paid version of this plugin. The free version only allows recipe entry and limited nutritional information. The featured image of the post is used as a thumbnail for the recipe card. Recipe entry is cut and paste. Support for Easy Recipe is handled by the wordpress.org support system through the plugin page or through a knowledge base.
FREE Plugin Features
- 9 templates available
- A star rating
- Print button
- Addition to their exclusive recipe DB called Fooderific
No styling of the card is available in the free version. There is an editor button to check your structured data results, however it did not work when I tried it.
Paid Plugin Features
- Easy Recipe Pro provides priority support through a login only ticket system
- An option of adding multiple recipes per post
- Ability to add images and links from other recipes
- Styling of the recipe card.
- Provides a platform allowing other bloggers to post recipes to your blog. This is a great asset for Guest Hosts.
The pro version is $24.95/year.
Regarding Gutenberg a support question was answered with:
“We are working on a Gutenberg compatible version of EasyRecipe right now and it will be available before Gutenberg is released in the WordPress core (WordPress version 5.0 – there is no expected release date as yet but there are still a LOT of changes happening to Gutenberg, so I doubt it will be “soon”)”.
Easy Recipe converts these recipe plugins:
- Recipe SEO
- Recipe Press
- Get Me Cooking
- Recipe Card
For new bloggers that just want to put up a recipe occasionally this plugin is very simple and easy to understand. It is a simple cut and paste entry system without many choices to make.
The plugin has some major problems with the current schema markup. (See BlogAid’s post for details.)
Investigating the plugin I saw many people that had switched to a different plugin boasted of increasing their ranking significantly and almost immediately.
The health of the dev caused this plugin to be unsupported and not updated for over 2 years. In January of 2018 he came back and started supporting the plugin again.
A more in depth comparison table of the 2 plugins I recommend.
For more tips and blogging articles see Are You Bewitched by SEO?