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Cooking software

While using grocy to manage my recipes I've found what I want from a recipe manager:

  • Write recipes in plaintext files.
  • Import recipes from urls.
  • Import other recipes in a recipe. To avoid code repetition. For example if I want to do raviolis carbonara, I want to have a basic recipe to create raviolis and another for carbonara, then a normal recipe that imports both.
  • Define processes that can be imported as steps in recipes, for example boil water
  • Change the number the servings
  • Annotate lessons learned
  • Translate common cooking units (spoonful, a piece) into metric system units of volume and weight.
  • Helper to follow the recipe while cooking
  • Keep track of the evolution of the recipe each time you cook it with deviations from plan, evaluation of the result dish, lessons learned and changes made to the recipe.
  • Attach image to the recipe
  • Specify the storage size (a ration of lentils uses 2cm of a tupper).
  • Give rating to recipes
  • Track the number of times you do a recipe
  • Grade the maturity level of a recipe by the number of times done and the number of changes.
  • Browse all available recipes with the possibility of:
    • Search by name
    • Search by ingredient
    • Filter by season
    • Filter by meal type (lunch, dinner, dessert...)
    • Sort by rating
    • Sort by number of times cooked
    • Sort by last time cooked
    • Show never cooked recipes
  • Do a meal plan
  • Create reusable meal plans
  • Be able to talk to the inventory management tool to:
    • See if there are enough ingredients.
    • Fill up the shopping list.
  • Select which recipes I want to cook this month, the program should show me the available ones taking into account the season.
  • Keep track of the season of the ingredients, so you can mark an ingredient as in season or out of season, and that will allow you to select which recipes to add, or tell you which recipes are no longer going to be available.
  • Define variations of a recipe, imagine that instead of red pepper you have green
  • Be able to tell the brand of an ingredient
  • Define the cooking tools to use, which will be shown when preparing a recipe
  • Define the preparing and clean steps of a cooking tool.
  • Show the number of inactivity interruptions, their time and the total amount of inactive time.
  • Calculate the recipe time from the times of the processes involved and subsequent recipes
  • Be able to define where each process is carried out, what is the distance between the places
  • Suggest optimizations in the cooking process:
    • Reorder of steps to reduce waiting time and movement
  • Be able to start from the basic features and incrementally add on it

Software review


Grocy is an awesome software to manage your inventory, it's also a good one to manage your recipes, with an awesome integration with the inventory management. In fact, I've been using it for some years.

Nevertheless, you can't:

  • Write them in plaintext.
  • Reuse recipes with other recipes in a pleasant way.
  • Do variations of a recipe.
  • Track the variations of a recipe.

So I think whatever I choose to manage recipes needs to be able to speak to a Grocy instance at least to get an idea of the stock available and to complete the shopping list.


Cooklang looks real good, you write the recipes in plaintext but the syntax is not as smooth as I'd like:

Then add @salt and @ground black pepper{} to taste.

I'd like the parser to be able to detect the ingredient salt without the need of the @, and I don't either like how to specify the measurements:

Place @bacon strips{1%kg} on a baking sheet and glaze with @syrup{1/2%tbsp}.

On the other side there is more less popular:

It could be used as part of the system, but it falls short in many of my desired features.


KookBook is KDE solution for plaintext recipe management. Their documentation is sparse and not popular at all. I don't feel like using it.


RecipeSage is free personal recipe keeper, meal planner, and shopping list manager for Web, IOS, and Android.

Quickly capture and save recipes from any website simply by entering the website URL. Sync your recipes, meal plans, and shopping lists between all of your devices. Share your recipes, shopping lists, and meal plans with family and friends.

It looks good, but I'd use grocy instead.


Mealie is a self hosted recipe manager and meal planner with a RestAPI backend and a reactive frontend application built in Vue for a pleasant user experience for the whole family. Easily add recipes into your database by providing the url and mealie will automatically import the relevant data or add a family recipe with the UI editor.

It does have an API, but it looks too complex. Maybe to be used as a backend to retrieve recipes from the internet, but no plaintext recipes.


Chowdown is a simple, plaintext recipe database for hackers. It has nice features:

  • You write your recipes in Markdown.
  • You can easily import recipes in other recipes.

An example would be:


layout: recipe
title:  "Broccoli Beer Cheese Soup"
image: broccoli-beer-cheese-soup.jpg
tags: sides, soups

- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1/2 cup shredded carrot
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1 tablespoon garlic
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 quart chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 10 ounces muenster cheese
- 1 cup white white wine
- 1 cup pale beer
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

- Start with butter, onions, carrots, celery, garlic until cooked down
- Add flour, stir well, cook for 4-5 mins
- Add chicken broth, bring to a boil
- Add wine and reduce to a simmer
- Add cream, cheese, Worcestershire, and hot sauce
- Serve with croutons


This recipe is inspired by one of my favorites, Gourmand's Beer Cheese Soup, which uses Shiner Bock. Feel free to use whatever you want, then go to [Gourmand's]( to have the real thing.

Or using other recipes:


layout: recipe
title:  "Red Berry Tart"
image: red-berry-tart.jpg
tags: desserts

- Bake the crust and let it cool
- Make the custard, pour into crust
- Make the red berry topping, spread over the top

- Graham Cracker Crust
- Vanilla Custard Filling
- Red Berry Dessert Topping


A favorite when I go to BBQs (parties, hackathons, your folks' place), this red berry tart is fairly easy to make and packs a huge wow factor.

Where Graham Cracker Crust is another recipe. The outcome is nice too.

Downsides are:

It redirects to an interesting schema of a recipe.