Let’s face it: this has been a tough last few months.
But at a time when it feels like our country is more divided than ever, and when it seems like there really just isn’t much to look forward to, there’s one thing that we can always count on to bring us together: food.
Whether you’re planning to see relatives from afar, have canceled your Thanksgiving plans and just hope to sit down and eat with your family, or even if you’re spending the holidays solo this year, cooking is a great way to lift your spirits. So, with the holiday season just weeks away, we thought that now would be a great time to review our favorite cooking apps that can help inspire you with new recipe ideas and make planning your meals just a bit easier.
As you ponder what to cook this holiday season, here are our 5 favorite cooking apps right now:
- Kitchen Stories: Kitchen Stories is a terrific cooking app that offers a wide variety of step-by-step cooking videos, both from the app team and from home cooks around the world. We like this app for its terrific design, focus on instruction for cooks of all skill levels, and huge variety of types and styles of foods across all the recipes.
- Paprika: Unlike the other apps on this list, which host their own recipes, Paprika touts itself as a “recipe manager” that integrates with your web browser and saves recipes for you from all over the Internet. If you find yourself browsing for recipes across websites and are looking for a good way to store them all in one place, Paprika is hard to beat. There are of course better choices (like the ones on this list) if you’re looking for a curated listing of recipe ideas, but we like Paprika’s ability to integrate with recipes from across the web, and find it a lot handier than trying to print things out or write them down and keep track of them.
- SideChef: SideChef, like other apps on this list, has good recipes. What’s unique to SideChef is its integration with Walmart and Amazon Fresh. When you find a recipe you like, not only does SideChef create a grocery list for you, it actually allows you (to varying degrees, depending on where you’re located) to shop for those same ingredients directly through the two retailers. This one gets a nod from us for its extreme convenience.
- Mealime: Mealime takes your food preferences and creates a curated meal plan for you based on what you most like to eat. Then, it creates a quick grocery list for you, and offers suggestions for how best to use ingredients so you don’t waste food. And finally, if you opt for Mealime’s pro meal planner functionality, you’ll have even more options for curated meals and easy-to-follow recipes that make dinner a breeze.
- Tasty: Last but not least, Tasty, the food arm of online news outlet BuzzFeed, features quick-hit video recipes with a special focus on sweets. If you spend time on social media, you probably know Tasty for their quick gif recipes (some of which are, we admit, a little wacky). While we don’t love all of their recipes, Tasty has its fair share of ideas that are easy to throw together on short notice, so we think it’s worth a look.
Have a favorite cooking app, or a holiday cooking tradition that you love and would like to share? Reach out in the comments and let us know. We’d love to hear from you. Happy holidays!