Although wonderful food can most definitely be the result of cooking without a recipe, sometimes relying on recipes is the best way to stay organized and give your cooking focus after a stressful day or week. Whether it’s a dog-eared page in a beloved cookbook, a paper printed recipe from the internet, a “pinned” recipe on Pinterest, or a shared recipe from a blogger’s/family member’s/friend’s email saved in your inbox, keeping track of your favorite recipes can get messy. In addition, trying to remember needed ingredients on-the-fly or having to write out grocery lists in advance is unreliable and cumbersome. For this reason, I am often asked how I manage to keep track of my collection. After nearly 30 years of cooking and gathering recipes in every which way, the absolute best solution I’ve found is Paprika Recipe Manager, a robust and feature-filled app that I cannot more highly recommend!
Paprika is like an iTunes for recipes, but it is so much more than a “library” of your favorites – Paprika makes it easy to plan, save, shop for, cook, and organize all your favorite recipes and is available for Mac, Windows, iOS, and Android. I use it on my iMac and MacBook as well as on my iPhone and iPad, and Paprika works wonderfully across all devices with seamless and constant cloud-based syncing.
FULL DISCLOSURE: Paprika has no idea who I am so this post is NOT sponsored, I am simply sharing a resource that I think anyone who cooks for their health needs!
- Quick Way to Build Your Recipe Repertoire
- Easy In-Use and Management of Recipes
- Makes Meal Planning Magic
- Includes Extra Helpful Features
Import from the Web to Build Your Recipe Repertoire – Fast & Easy!
Adding recipes to Paprika is a snap and can be done in multiple ways. When you first download Paprika, its “inventory” is blank/empty and then it’s up to you to “clip” or save recipes (most often from the web) to build your collection. There is no need to worry about having to actually type in anything, however, instead you just need a couple of clicks and you’ll be set. Let’s say you’re browsing the web and see a recipe you would like to try – here you have a couple of options. You may highlight and copy the webpage address, then open your Paprika app and it will prompt you with “Would you like to load the copied URL?” and by clicking “yes” the recipe will be auto-populated where, if desired, you can edit or modify it before clicking “save.” it into the app. Another option involves simply clicking the “action/share” icon (small box with up arrow) on your device and choosing Paprika as the recipient OR using the Paprika “save recipe” short cut/bookmarklet directly from your browser – either option automatically gathers all the metadata from the recipe you have found and drops it into Paprika without even having to open the app (there’s a tutorial available from Paprika to walk you through all of this). Of course, if you would like to add your own original recipes or those you cannot find on the web, you may always type it in from the blank “Add Recipe” form in the app. Two final options are also worth mentioning: 1) you can share recipes between other Paprika users you know by simply using the in-app email feature, and 2) you may use Paprika’s built-in browser and “suggested sites” to search for recipes with an easy-add option. Suffice it to say that Paprika gives you multiple fast and easy options to add recipes that will have you building a repertoire in no time! Play around with it – it can be your new browsing activity 🙂
All Your Cooking Tools in One Place
When cooking, Paprika gives you the ability to keep multiple recipes at your fingertips, cross out ingredients as you add them, set timers right from the directions, and mark your spot in the directions – all of which are huge benefits over a paper recipe. When you make changes to a recipe or want to remember what you did or things you liked or didn’t like, Paprika makes it easy to make adjustments and keep notes and even ratings on all your recipes, so that you no longer have to set timers on your microwave and stove, or scribble notes on your printed recipes, only hoping to find them in the future.
When preparing a meal that includes various dishes, Paprika enables you to have quick access to multiple recipes on the fly. In the app you may pin active recipes to the bottom toolbar — just tap the pin icon at the bottom left of any recipe to get the menu for it — making it easy to switch in the midst of cooking so you don’t burn the cream sauce while trying to look up the right temperature to which you need to cook the roast. What’s even cooler is that these pins instantly sync between devices to make busy cooks’ lives as easy as humanly possible.
In-App Viewing and Managing Recipes
When you first open Paprika, you’re presented with the main recipes screen. From here you can browse recipes by category, run a search using different criteria, and sort the list by Name, Rating, or Most Recent. Once you find a recipe, the ellipses button (•••) gives options for duplicating, printing, emailing, and sharing the recipe by either AirDrop or link. One of my favorite features when working with a recipe in Paprika is the ability to scale it up or down in size as needed – this is super helpful when entertaining!
“Categories” is hands-down my favorite way to personalize, tag and organize recipes throughout Paprika. Does your family have a traditional birthday breakfast recipe? Or do you repeat meals at certain holidays? Or do you collect some recipes to meet a loved one’s dietary needs? You can create your own Categories like “Brunch” or “Thanksgiving” or “Nut-Free” and tag recipes accordingly so you can always browse just those recipes within your desired criteria. Of course, recipes can have multiple Category tags for even more customization.
Grocery List Making in A Matter of Clicks
One of the best features of Paprika is its ability to let you easily make your grocery list based on recipes you’re planning to cook soon. While viewing a recipe, tap the Shopping Cart button at the top to instantly add all the ingredients needed for that recipe to your Grocery List. A popup will display, allowing you to check or uncheck ingredients before adding them to your list in case you already have certain items. You can also manually add items to your Grocery List. Even slicker, when viewing the Grocery List, similar items are consolidated, so that if one recipe calls for one egg and another one needs two, your grocery list will have 3 eggs with both recipes listed underneath for reference. Items are also sorted by category, making it easy to find everything in the store without having to backtrack while shopping. As you proceed through the store, Paprika allows you to check off items as you purchase them.
One of my favorite tricks in Paprika is to create multiple shopping lists. Do you hit up Trader Joe’s for their pork belly, cauliflower gnocchi and cruciferous crunch, but prefer Whole Foods for your bone broth, produce and grain-free baking flours? Or how about Costco for your bulk paper products, coconut oil, and summer grilling meats? Then make a separate list for each store with all the items you buy when shopping at it! I promise that by having these evergreen lists on hand, you’ll never get home and realize you forgot something after a spontaneous trip to the market!
Although I do not use it often, another feature in the Grocery List is the Pantry section where you can keep track of all the ingredients you already have in your kitchen. When adding recipes to your Grocery List, any items already in your Pantry will automatically be unchecked.
Meal Planning Magic
Once you’ve collected your recipes, Paprika makes meal planning simply effortless. The Meals view (calendar icon in the sidebar) allows you to make daily, weekly, and/or monthly meal plans directly inside Paprika. To add meals to your Meal Plan, you can select recipes from inside the Meal Planner, or add them to your Meal Plan from the recipe screen. You can even add notes to your menu to assist in organizing your meals. The Meal Planner also allows you to add all the ingredients from a plan to your Grocery List, minus the ones already listed on your Pantry page. By using the Meals planning feature, you can easily re-use, and email or print your Meal Plan as needed.
I have just shy of 1,000 recipes in Paprika and I simply cannot imagine life without it. Thanks to Paprika’s great customer support and regular updates, I hopefully never will!
Paprika is free to use once you pay the applicable (desktop and/or mobile) one-time nominal fee using the Downloads HERE. The User Guides are very helpful and Customer Service is top notch. You can also find user-generated videos on YouTube with a simple search, however, Paprika s quite intuitive so you probably won’t need those.
Given its robust, life-changing features, I highly recommend buying Paprika for all your devices!