How to Write a Recipe

You have decided to write a cookbook, and you have got the basic outline ready. Now it’s time to start writing your recipe. It’s easy to cook the recipe, but writing it might be a bit confusing for a first-timer. Here is a small guide on how to go about writing your recipes.

Recipe Title

The title of the recipe is the first thing anyone will see, so it has to be simple and right to the point. It should be the same everywhere, including the table of contents and should not differ.


The yield is very valuable as it tells us the size and servings of the recipe. Knowing it beforehand helps to determine if the food is too much or less. It can be written in several ways.

As servings (how many can it feed)

• 3 servings
• 6 servings as a side
• Makes 3 servings, 9 as an appetizer
• Feeds 10

As amount

• 3 cups salsa
• 2 litres iced tea


Is the introductory text for the recipe. Recently written cookbooks use headnotes more! Headnotes are used to make the readers imagine how the recipe is going to turn out and sell them on it. Here are some examples:

Some flatbreads use pesto as a base sauce, but this recipe separates the pesto components and allows them to shine on their own. The basil is turned into a thick drizzle for the flatbread while the other ingredients remain whole and add bursts of flavor.


My father-in-law is a huge fan of beets, but I never ate them growing up, so I’m still not completely sold. I’ve been trying to work beets into my cooking so I can develop a better appreciation for them. Turning them into crispy chips is one way I’ve found that I really enjoy beets, especially when served with flavourful dips.

Ingredient List

It is the central element while writing the recipe. The exact amount must be listed and should be in order it’s used while cooking the recipe. This helps prevent ingredients from being left out. Usually, the ingredients are listed one below the other.

Preparation Method

It explains how the recipe must be made step by step. To prevent any confusion, it is easier for the reader if the steps are numbered. Sometimes it is written as a paragraph as well.

Equipment Information

Consists of the suitable container and its size type although many recipes do not tell the readers the equipment required; however sometimes specific equipment like an 8 x 8 square pan is written. It is usually better to use containers as listed.

Time & Temperature

It will be helpful for the readers to know how long it takes to cook the recipe so that they can plan accordingly.

Most cookbooks give readers the exact cooking temperatures like 375°F for 15 minutes, and some tell the reader how to cook the food like ‘heat liquid until it simmers.’

Nutrition Information

If you’re writing a cookbook on healthy foods, it’s better to provide information on it. It can range from some recipes including calories per serving, a simple statement “this has no sugar in it,” or a chart.

Recipe Variation

Providing variation for your recipe helps readers think of new ways of making it. This can be suggestions for substitutions, alternate preparation method, etc.

If you chose to make the vegetarian version of this dish, substitute the ground meat with 2 large mushrooms.


This marinade also works well with fish, replace the chipotle peppers with lemon peel and cumin.

More information can be shared here such as places to purchase, hard-to-find ingredients, storage tips, re-heating ideas, alternative ingredients, that doesn’t fit into the other components of the recipe.

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