Edit ModuleShow Tags

How to Create, Test and Write a Recipe Like a Pro

Brittany Chin, RD, LDThis featured post is by Brittany Chin, RD, LD. You can follow this blogger @BrittanyChinRD.

As a registered dietitian and a food blogger, writing recipes is something that is part of my day-to-day routine. Wonder how to write recipes like a pro? Below some quick tips on writing your own recipes. 

Find your recipe personality
Start collecting recipes from your favorite cookbooks, TV shows, magazines or food blogs and observe what sort of “style” of a recipe you enjoy. Perhaps you like simple recipes with five or fewer ingredients that has only 4-5 directions. Or maybe you are looking for more detail and/or challenge, with a recipe that requires you learn a new skill, like poaching an egg. Regardless of your preference, before you start writing a recipe think to yourself what you want to accomplish with this recipe. Do you want to show someone a quick and easy way to make a one-pot healthy meal? Or would you like to teach them how to broil, braise or grill the dish to perfection? Your answer will tell you the style you will be writing in.

The perfect dish
Think about what type of foods do you want to write recipes for? Perhaps you would like to bake with new ingredients, rewrite recipes with healthy recipe substations or create a recipe with all of your favorite foods combined. Browse sites such as foodily.com for example recipes with similar ingredients. Use your cooking knowledge and experience to create a new original dish with your own ingredients and methods.

The nitty gritty of recipe writing
The bones of the recipe are the title, yield (servings), ingredients list and directions/preparation/method. Be sure you include all of these in your recipe. Cook and preparation times are optional — if you feel this would help your audience I would encourage you to write it. Next, think of the reading level of your anticipated audience. Do you find that your audience is cooking savvy and understands the abbreviations of tsp, TBSP, C or #? Or would they prefer teaspoon, tablespoon, cup and pound written out? This will determine the style in which you list your ingredients.

Tips for the ingredients

  • When several items are added into the recipe at the same time, list them in descending order according to their volume. For example, 2 cups of whole wheat flour would be listed before ½ cup skim milk.
  • Specify package sizes in parenthesis such as 1 (15 ounce) can no salt added tomatoes
  • Write any preparation techniques next to the food name. i.e. 1 onion, chopped or 2 tablespoons butter, melted. This will tell the reader to complete this step before starting the recipe.

Tips for the step-by-step instructions

  • For consistency be sure to pick a title whether it be “directions,” “preparation” or “methods” and use throughout all of your recipes.
  • For easy readability, I would recommend numbering the steps rather than listing in paragraph form.
  • State approximate cooking times with tips on how to identify if the food is cooked correctly — for example, sear each side for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.
  • For meats always include the correct temperature to cook the meat to for food safety.
  • Complete recipe with plating or garnish tips for the cook as well as how to store i.e. store in an airtight container for 3 days or can freeze for 1 month.

Try it out!
Last but not least, prepare your recipe following the directions exactly one or two times yourself. Have a few foodie friends or co-workers proofread your recipes and ask questions for clarification and have them prepare it as well. Ensure that the end product is desirable and comes out the same each time.

For more tips on writing a recipe and/or writing a cookbook check out Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Blogs, Reviews, Memoir, and More by Diane Jacobs.

Brittany Chin, RD, LD, is an upstate South Carolina-based registered dietitian and the content marketing manager for Pure Barre Corporation. She is also past president of the Piedmont Dietetic Association and has served as the PR/social media chair for the South Carolina Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She blogs at thehealthybachelorette.com. Follow her at BrittanyChinRD.com, and on Twitter and Pinterest.

Edit Module

More Stone Soup

Fresh from the Farmers Market Blueberry-Lavender Jam

Fresh from the Farmers Market Blueberry-Lavender Jam

At my local farmers market, the blueberries have finally arrived, and I just could not resist purchasing a flat. While I could have made a buckle or cobbler with the scrumptious little berries, I decided to make jam. But not just any jam — Blueberry-Lavender Jam!
Nutrition Science: Imprecise Discipline, Still the Best We’ve Got to Work With

Nutrition Science: Imprecise Discipline, Still the Best We’ve Got to Work With

In a recent op-ed article, a well known health and science journalist stated that nutrition science is an imprecise undertaking that is based on opinion and guesswork rather than strict scientific principles.
Chocolate Cherry Hazelnut Oatmeal Cookies

Chocolate Cherry Hazelnut Oatmeal Cookies

We love baking at home because we know exactly what we’re putting into the recipe, and subsequently, our bodies.
Celebrate World Vegetarian Day with Roasted Poblano Pepper Ratatouille

Celebrate World Vegetarian Day with Roasted Poblano Pepper Ratatouille

October 1 marks World Vegetarian Day, a day to celebrate the power of plants in improving public health. Why are plants so good for you? Studies have shown that plant-based diets can help improve health and fight disease. Plus, they taste amazing!
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Advertise with Food & Nutrition
Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags

Stone Soup

Guest bloggers from around the world share with Food & Nutrition Magazine.

About This Blog

Stone Soup is a guest blog written by members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Content — including information, recipes and views expressed — is that of the authors and does not reflect the positions or policies of Food & Nutrition Magazine or the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Bloggers are required to pledge they will not write for Stone Soup on topics, companies or trade organization they currently represent or have represented at any time.

Learn about our guest blogs!

Comments Policy

Food & Nutrition Magazine provides this forum to exchange ideas, opinions and contributions within a positive community. Diverse viewpoints and constructive, respectful dialogue are welcome. Rudeness, misinformation, self-promotion and abuse are not. We reserve the right, without warning or notification, to remove comments and block users we determine violate this policy or our Terms & Conditions. You must include your name or be logged into a personal account on Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or Google+ to comment.


Edit Module

Get Stone Soup in Your RSS

Use your RSS reader's instructions to add Stone Soup to your list:

Atom Feed Subscribe to the Stone Soup Feed »

Get Our Blogs in Your Email

Stone Soup
Student Scoop