The Best 21 Cooking Websites
It seems like only a few years ago that we had a shelf of cookery books to refer to from time and again. While some were more for show and would sit unused for years, others would become much loved classics, passed down through families as well-worn heirlooms.
These days, cookery books are more popular than ever, and many sit at the top of the bestseller lists for months. But as we live more of our lives online, cooking sites have also been thriving.
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert cook seeking new inspiration, there are an incredible number of sites to choose from. Not only do they feature thousands of tried and tested recipes, user reviews, tutorials, and information about the latest food trends, they’re also free and updated regularly.
In this article, we take a look at some of the most popular cooking sites around. We hope you’ll be inspired to browse, find the ones that match your interests and lifestyle, and take your love of cooking to a whole new level. So enjoy looking, choosing, making, and eating!
This is one of those go-to sites, with everything you’ll ever need to prepare varied and delicious meals. In depth sections cover different meal types, dishes from around the world, and even special diets – for example, there are 361 ideas for keto dishes. Or you can just type in the name of a dish – a search for mac ‘n cheese will yield over 8,000 results!
The ‘Food news and trends’ section is more focussed on product reviews than the latest directions in cooking, but, still, if you want an expert opinion on which mint choc chip ice cream is best, this can save you a lot of time.
Overall, Allrecipes is a very useful resource when you’re looking for some quick inspiration.
2. Food Network
What’s really cool about the Food Network recipes is that you can see at a glance the difficulty level of each suggestion and the time you’ll need to prepare and cook. Also, sections such as ‘What we’re eating this week’ make it easy to change the style of your meals according to the food that’s in season.
And if you’re a fan of Rachel Khoo, Michel Roux’s mouth-watering take on meat dishes, or follow any one of the Food Network shows, you’ll find many of the featured recipes right here.
3. Taste of Home
This site is a little different in that it concentrates on hearty home-style cooking rather than fancy exotic dishes or complicated techniques. While some of the recipes come from the test kitchen, the majority have been sent in by users of the site, meaning they’ve been real-world prepared and taste-tested by people who are proud to share their creations.
What’s really fun is that they hold regular contests. Just send in your most innovative recipe, your ‘one pan wonder’, or ‘Grandma’s holiday favorite’ recipe and you could win up to $500!
This site provides a mix of recipe ideas and food-related articles. The ‘What We’re Cooking This Week’ pages offer a great selection of themed treats, from soups and meat dishes to sweet treats and party nibbles.
The ‘Food trends’ section features a range of well-written articles, some of which indeed focus on trends and others which are product or brand reviews (eg Starbucks Drinks Ranked by Caffeine Level’, ’10 Things to Know Before Buying Booze at Costco’).
5. BBC Good Food
A great site for anyone wanting to expand and upgrade their cooking skills. There are hundreds of recipes, for every meal type, cuisine, special occasion, or special diet.
Each one is also rated by users, who’ve tried it and give their feedback on how well it worked or how they’ve tweaked it to improve it. There are also podcasts, featuring chefs such as Tom Kerridge, video tutorials, and even masterclasses (though these cost around $14 each).
Given that this site ranges from the basics to the most ambitious dishes and everything is explained in an easy-to-follow way, it’s a great one-stop resource.
6. The Spruce Eats
Boasting 16,000 recipes, 35,000 step-by-step photos, and over 1,200 instructional videos, The Spruce Eats is clearly offering the 240+ million cooks who visit each year everything they need!
The site has evolved from a 25-year archive of recipes, created by chefs, cookbook writers, home cooks, food makers, and more, and it continues to develop. New recipe ideas and inspiration are constantly appearing on the site.
What we especially like is the depth and variety of their regional food section, for example, over 330 ideas from the Middle East, 120+ from Africa, and over 800 from Latin America. There’s never any need to stick to the same boring formulas.
Although it features over 6,000 recipes, Kitchn is also something of a lifestyle blog, with lots of style articles (‘How this Boho Kitchen Got its Chic Look for Under $30,000’), and ‘must-have’ gift ideas and special deals (‘Sizzling Gifts for Bacon Fanatics’).
The ‘Sales and Deals’ section can be a useful guide to big-store and Amazon bargains.
This site has a great range of recipes – really, whatever you’re looking for is here – but it’s not the most intuitive or easy-to-navigate site out there. It’s best if you either know what you’re looking for, and use the search option, or are ready to go with the flow and try out their suggestions.
8. Chef’s Pencil
A bit of shameless promotion you might argue, but Chef’s Pencil deserves a spot on the list of best cooking websites out there. An international culinary magazine, Chef’s Pencil started out as a place where home cooks could find recipes from their favorite celebrity chef. The website features hundreds of recipes from top chefs all over the world.
Recently, the collection of recipes has expanded to cover international cuisines, from Italian to French, Japanese, Colombian, and Filipino, to mention just a few. In addition to recipes, Chef’s Pencil features how-to guides and insightful industry reports.
Easy to navigate, with recipes organized by category or by collection, Recipetineats focuses on great food with everyday ingredients, which can be put together even if you’re busy and on a limited budget.
However, this site isn’t only about ‘quick and easy’. We liked the ‘Iconic Dishes’ collection, which features all those ‘wow’ dishes from around the world – from 12-hour baked lamb to Greek cheese and spinach pastries – simplifying the process so we can add them to our repertoire.
10. Simply Recipes
A valuable resource for home cooks, Simply Recipes features over 3,000 tested recipes, guides, and meal plans. The fact that over 15 million readers visit each month confirms that the mix of recipes, meal plans, and buying guides appeals to cooks of all abilities and budgets.
11. Spend With Pennies
Easy, home-cooked comfort food – that sums up this site’s approach to cooking. So while it won’t overwhelm you with thousands of options, you’ll always find something to whip up from everyday ingredients to provide a nourishing and delicious meal.
For visual learners, there are plenty of instructional videos covering everything from how to make the perfect corned beef hash to baked apple pie roll-ups. And if you just want a new idea every day, they’ll even send them to your email – so inspiration will always be at your fingertips.
12. NY Times Cooking
As you’d expect from the NYT, this site is an elegant mix of the basics, the trending, and the classically sophisticated. They keep it fresh with useful ‘Recipe of the day’ and ‘What we’re eating this week’ sections. Difficulty levels vary from the most basic to those needing more advanced culinary skills.
While meat-eaters are well catered for, vegetarian and vegan recipes are heavily featured as well. Special occasions are also covered, for example, there are over 100 Kwanzaa recipes and, as you’d expect, lots of inspirations for cocktails.
13. The Pioneer Woman
Heavily based on the lifestyle of founder Ree on her ranch, this site is also focused on style, beauty, and family life. The food section contains some great ideas for midweek dinners and ideas to freshen up the old staples, but it isn’t on the same level as some of the more targeted foodie sites.
14. Food & Wine
This is another lifestyle site that’s as much about travel (‘The 3 Things Everyone Should Eat in Yucatan’) as about cooking. Although there is a good selection of recipes, many require 1-3 hours of preparation, so they’re perhaps more suited to special occasions than regular meals.
What’s also surprising, given the name of the site, is that not every recipe comes with a suggested wine pairing – which would be useful for wine novices.
Now we’re back to the basics again! With 170 ‘Prep in 10’ dinners and over 1,500 easy dessert recipes, there’ll always be something to try out, even if you’re short of time or just want to make an unexpected end-of-meal splash.
And the site stays true to its Australian roots with easy recipes for iconic Lamingtons and Rainbow Billabong Ice-cream Cake (ingredients: ice-cream, more ice-cream, cream, icing sugar, and sprinkles!) that kids will kill for.
Of course, dieters will want to kill you for serving such a nutritional abomination, so to balance things out, pick some dishes from the ‘Healthy’ section.
16. Bon Appetit
Here is another mix of cooking and lifestyle. Some articles are mildly entertaining (‘We Made a Not-on-TikTok BA Editor Review the App’s Unhinged Food Trends’), while others seem totally random (‘How Eating Hawaii’s Invasive Deer Saves Its Ecosystems’).
However, the site does feature over 10,000 recipes, so if you’re looking for a new twist on a recipe or ingredient you’re a little bored with, this could be a great place to look for something a bit different.
This is perhaps the ultimate cooking-meets-shopping website. With a community of over 13 million, an influential Instagram site, and an online shop promoting gifts and best-in-class cookware, they’re at the forefront of innovation and trends in all things food-related.
The recipes on their site are user-generated, then tested in their kitchens, ensuring a diversity of approaches that will appeal to all tastes.
Epicurious has the typical range of recipes, organized by collection. It’s also a beautiful-looking site. But what really stood out for us were the fabulous blog and product reviews.
From witty titles such as ‘How to Clean Your Oven, Because It’s Really Not Going To Clean Itself’ to in-depth well-written articles such as ‘These Bite-Size No-Bake-Cheesecakes Are Like Ice Cream Bars, But Better’, any foodie will enjoy browsing through the site to uncover informative and entertaining gems.
19. Serious Eats
Claiming to be used by ‘7 million foodnerds a month’, this is an informative site that not only features recipe collections but also contains a wealth of ‘how to’ tips and techniques.
We especially like the ‘Entertaining’ section, with ideas for every kind of party. ‘The Food Lab’ takes basic dishes (eg pizza), breaks down the preparation and cooking process into clear steps, and outlines the ‘why’ as well as the ‘how’: something that’s often missing from standard recipes.
This site is an intriguing mixture of celebrity cooking trivia (‘Here’s What Keanu Reeves Eats When Training for Action Movies’), food-related information (‘How to Tell if Your Syrup Really Has Maple in It’), and even some recipe-based articles (’61 Brunch Recipes to Make Your New Year’s Day Party a Smash’).
Not perhaps the most serious site to turn to if you’re looking to upgrade your cooking skills or recipe repertoire, but if you want some light food-related-reading (‘Whatever Happened to Life Saver Holes?’) to pass the time and make you smile, you could do a lot worse than to check out Mashed.