Need some inspiration in the kitchen? These apps focused on healthy recipes and simple meal planning will invigorate your cooking routine. Whether you’re looking to eat what’s in season, get more vegetables in your meals, or expand your culinary horizons, these apps will make it easy to answer the eternal question: What’s for dinner?
Described as a climate-friendly cooking app, Kuri offers recipes based on what’s available near you and in season. Over 700 recipes will keep you busy trying out new flavors. Start by selecting your dietary preferences, whether that’s vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, or flexitarian. The app also takes any food allergies and your general cooking skills into consideration.
On the Home page, scroll through in-season recipes like egg bhurji or lentil and sweet potato soup. The bright, colorful photographs highlight each recipe’s ingredients, and you can easily curate ones that strike your fancy with the Favorites button.
Recipes pull from a variety of culinary backgrounds, so it’s a great option if you want to sample foods from around the world. And like other apps that help make a positive difference in the world, Kuri plants a tree when you try out a recipe and offer feedback. You can view the running tally of trees planted on your Preferences screen. It’s even more motivation to try out these recipes. Anyone looking to sample more world cuisine and plant a few trees in the process will enjoy the free Kuri app.
Download: Kuri for iOS (Free)
2. Plantry Meal Planner
Featuring over 1,000 vegetarian and vegan recipes, this app includes meal plans and a shopping list feature to make planning and cooking easier. If you want to add more vegetable-packed recipes to your repertoire, this is the app to make discovering and cooking new dishes a cinch.
Browse the Plan tab to view recipes built around a particular theme, whether that’s beginner-friendly or freezer meals. Once you find one you like, tap the Start Plan button to automatically send all the ingredients to your shopping list. The ingredients appear in alphabetical order to make things even easier.
It’s fun to scroll through the preset plans, and you can also access all recipes from the Search screen. From here you can browse a selection of cookbooks, including Nordic Kitchen, Blue Light Yokohama, and Bloody Good, which feature unique takes on plant-based foods. For instance, you can learn how to make a tofu bahn mi or curry stew.
Lastly, you can save recipes to your Favorites list to revisit again and again. There are many excellent meal planning apps available, but Plantry stands out with its selection of meals that make vegetables the star of the show.
Download: Plantry Meal Planner for iOS (Subscription required, free trial available)
3. KptnCook Meal Plans & Recipes
Designed to cook in 30 minutes or less, the KptnCook app’s recipes include easy-to-follow visual instructions. With dishes like creamy tomato risotto and chili con tofu, there’s sure to be a delicious dish you’ll enjoy among their catalog of over 2,500 recipes.
On the Today tab, flip through each day’s three new recipes. The Weekly Special screen, meanwhile, includes seasonal recipes to liven up your cooking, such as vegan sweet and spicy pumpkin hummus.
The Meal Plan screen, meanwhile, lets you work with a particular theme (such as budget-friendly or vegan), ingredients, or preselected favorite recipes. There’s also a Surprise Me option, which is great if you’re willing to leave your meal plans up to chance. If you like the selections, tap the shopping bag icon in the upper right-hand screen to upload all ingredients to your shopping list.
The app features a generous selection of vegetarian and vegan recipes, and it’s easy to curate a cookbook’s worth of beloved recipes in the Favorites menu. For the most part, anyone who enjoys visual recipe sites will also appreciate the clear, step-by-step photo instructions on the KptnCook app.
Download: KptnCook Meal Plans & Recipes for iOS | Android (Free, subscription available)
4. Fivesec Health by Alexandra
Created by vegan foodie Alexandra Andersson, the Fivesec app offers over 400 plant-based recipes. Presented in colorful photos, the huge selection gives you plenty of cooking ideas. Meanwhile, a simple, built-in meal plan offers even more guidance.
From the Home screen, you can check out a selection of new recipes, helpful how-to videos, and meal prep information. The Search screen, meanwhile, lets you scroll through the app’s generous selection of recipes, from aubergine lasagna to roasted pumpkin pasta. Any time you’re out of ideas for your next meal, simply browsing this curated list of gorgeously photographed meals is sure to help you find a new favorite.
The Meal Plans screen offers a variety of plans based around different themes, whether that’s a Protein Packed Week or an Eat More Plants Challenge. Find one you like and tap the Generate Shopping List button to add all the ingredients to your list in one go. In no time, you’ll have a week’s worth of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners at the ready, in addition to some snacks. It’s a great option any time you want to let someone else do the meal planning and experiment with several new recipes all at once.
Finally, the Learn screen includes some basic nutrition information, as well as a selection of videos with recipe and meal prep tips. With its large recipe library and new additions every week, the Fivesec Health app is a fantastic resource for refreshing your meal routine.
Download: Fivesec Health for iOS | Android (Subscription required, free trial available)
5. SideСhef: Easy Cooking Recipes
With a staggering 18,000 recipes, all presented with clear step-by-step instructions, SideChef could be the last recipe app you need. The SideChef app helps you eat healthier by offering plenty of recipe recommendations as well as a meal-planning tool. When setting up the app, there’s even a Get Inspired choice that you can set as your goal. With recipes like sheet pan chicken fajitas and weeknight carbonara in the mix, you’re sure to find something that piques your interest.
On the For You tab, select tags like New, Editor’s Choice, or Originals and scroll through the long list of recipes. Find one you like, then select Add to Plan (for your meal plan preparation) or Add to Cart (to add all the ingredients to your list). For even more options, search through additional recipe categories, including comfort foods, budget-friendly meals, and vegetarian dishes. There’s even a whole category devoted to pizza.
Round up your favorite recipes in the Saved tab to curate your meals later on. You can also filter for various dietary preferences (including vegan or vegetarian). The app also allows you to avoid allergens or any ingredients you simply dislike. To use the Meal Plan option, navigate to that screen and tap the Add button to pull in recipes from your saved section or search for a new one. Once the recipes are in place, assign them to each day of the week.
There’s also the option to follow different chefs and bakers, including Great British Bake-Off contestant Manon Lagrève and Seung Hee Lee of Koreanfusion fame. This is another great avenue for discovering new dishes and cooking tips. With a seemingly endless list of recipes for every meal of the day, plus plenty of desserts, snacks, and drinks, the SideChef app offers a tremendous number of options for any home cook.
Download: SideChef for iOS | Android (Free, subscription available)
Get Inspired in the Kitchen With These Recipe and Meal-Planning Apps
Break out of a cooking rut and try some fresh recipes with help from these cooking apps. Browse their incredible recipe collections and get inspired to create some new dishes in no time. For even more, you can explore other online recipe databases and blogs.