3 best WordPress recipe card plugins compared

Which WordPress recipe card plugin is the best and easiest to use?

In this post, we break down the pros and cons, considerations, costs, and main benefits of today’s top three recipe card plugins for WordPress—all of which we work with each day.

Before diving into the comparison, it’s important to first say that all three recipe card plugins are excellent, well-supported, credible options.

The decision really comes down to budget, look and feel, how you monetize your food blog, plus a few extra features. 

At a high-level the biggest difference between the three recipe card plugins is that Create and Tasty Recipes are both really simplified recipe management compared to WP Recipe Maker, which is robust and flexible, but requires more back-end effort to benefit from its great feature base.

Reasons to use a WordPress recipe card plugin

Using a recipe card plugin to automatically generate structured data, more specifically JSON-LD Schema Markup, unlocks a long list of possibilities for your recipe content. 

A few of the big wins are:

  • Rich snippets for recipes, including star ratings and reviews
  • Swipeable recipe carousels on mobile
  • Featured snippets
  • Eligibility for Google’s Assistant directory for Google Home 
  • Google Home smart displays, and voice activated search
  • Recipe badges in mobile image search results 

Contrary to popular belief there’s no ranking benefit for using structured data. 

What structured data does do—in the form of a rich snippet and featured snippets—is provide the possibility for increased clickthrough and conversion rates, plus the ability for visitors to one-day make your recipe using Google Home voice activated search.

Recipe rich snippets

Screengrab of a recipe rich snippet for buckwheat pancakes in Google's search results.

A rich snippet for a recipe encourages a searcher to take that highly competitive first click. It uses star ratings and reviews as forms of social proof. Once the searcher does clickthrough, it’s up to you wow that visitor and give them a reason to become a loyal, returning reader.

The task of entering ingredients and instructions, plus keywords, cuisine, prep time, cook time and more into a recipe card plugin is admittedly a bit tedious but be thorough, it’ll pay off.

Consistency is key when it comes to success with structured data.

Voice search optimization for recipes

Voice search optimization for recipes isn’t a thing of the future, it’s here already.

Watch this tutorial to see Google Home in action making a batch of cookies based off of a Google search: How to cook using Google Home.

Pretty amazing, right? And this is probably only the beginning.

You can see how Google Home uses the structured data information you input into key fields in your recipe card plugin to read out the recipe and cooking instructions to a home cook.

To participate in voice search, using a recipe card plugin such as Create, Tasty Recipes or WP Recipe Maker is an absolute must to automatically generate recipe structured data.

A few notable recipe card plugins not in this post

The business of food blogging has changed a lot in the past few years. Maintaining a well built, Gutenberg compatible, future-proofed recipe card plugin for WordPress isn’t easy or inexpensive.

A few recipe plugin developers have shut their doors, shifted focus or not maintained the plugin’s feature base to keep up with current standards.

This includes:

  • Ziplist
  • EasyRecipe
  • Cookbook
  • WP Ultimate Recipes 

If you’re actively using one of these WordPress recipe cards plugins, we suggest you start to planning a switch soon. Create, Tasty Recipes and WP Recipe Maker all offer importer tools that make making a change relatively seamless and straightforward.

Alright, let’s dive in!

Create by Mediavine

Cost: Free!

Create by Mediavine is a new WordPress recipe card plugin from the Florida-based ad network.

You don’t have to be a Mediavine publisher to use Create, but exclusive features for Mediavine publishers are likely in the works.

Released in the fall of 2018, Create is lightweight and its feature base is good though relatively basic, but we expect many more features to be added in the future. It’s a good option for Recipe, How-To and List structured data mark-up for Google and Pinterest, including rich pins. 

Nashville’s Purr Designs worked with Mediavine to create several thoughtfully designed recipe card themes, which add value. Create is new, but it has a ton of potential. It’s definitely one to watch. 

Examples

How to add a recipe in Create by Mediavine

Pros

  • Mobile friendly
  • Block editor compatible (formerly known as Gutenberg)
  • Lightweight, no extra bells and whistles to slow you down unnecessarily
  • Interface for recipe info is easy to use and intuitive
  • Interface for recipe info includes a handy preview window (very cool!)
  • Two taxonomies available by default: course and cuisine
  • Yield available
  • Prep time, cook time, and additional time fields
  • Ingredients field is freeform with some structural elements
  • Instructions field is freeform but can quickly be auto-optimized
  • External video URL, or Mediavine video can easily be added
  • Links can easily be added in the ingredients field when in detail view
  • Nutrition facts can be easily added to a recipe using nutrition API
  • Dedicated ‘print recipe’ and ‘pin recipe’ buttons at the top the recipe card
  • Print functionality for visitors is available
  • Recipe cards aren’t tied to individual posts; they can be reused
  • Importers available for a long list of existing recipe card plugins

Pros++

  • Ability to add custom author name
  • Option recipe review pop-up can be enabled in settings (love this!)
  • No-follow tag for compliance is a part of the product offering (very nice!)
  • Includes How-To schema mark-up for non-food recipes and instructions
  • Custom affiliate message can be included (nice to have!)
  • Custom nutrition disclaimer can be included (nice to have!)
  • Nutrition info is automatically calculated based on serving size
  • Visitors can apply a 4 or 5 star rating without commenting (so great!)
  • Visitor who give a 1, 2, or 3 star rating must leave a comment
  • Recommended products section for affiliate product promotion
  • Product section includes images that auto-generate (time saver!)
  • Ability to save recommended products in a library for reuse (nice time saver!)
  • Ability to display or hide video in the recipe card plugin (so smart!)

Considerations

You’re required to individually format ingredients and instructions (as opposed to be putting them into pre-set fields like in WP Recipe Maker); some people love the flexibility, some don’t.

In the future, what this means is that if you choose to make a format or layout change to your recipe instructions or ingredients you have to make the change manually in each post—there is no way to make formatting changes globally in the CSS in the recipe card.

You’ll want to make sure you settle on a recipe format you really love because changing it down the road isn’t a quick fix.

Cons

  • Not exclusively a recipe card plugin; developed for other creatives too
  • Limited to two taxonomies; no ability to include special diet, difficulty, etc…
  • No ‘jump to recipe’ button (workaround is possible!)

Tasty Recipes by WP Tasty

Cost: $79 USD per year

Tasty Recipes by WP Tasty (the same development team behind Tasty Pins and Tasty Links) is a good option for structured data mark-up for Google and Pinterest, including rich pins. 

It’s a visual recipe card with several nice-looking theme options, and the recipe input interface in WordPress is easy to use and intuitive. It’s lightweight, with no extra bells and whistles that’ll slow you down unnecessarily. Tasty Recipes is tried and tested—it’s definitely a credible, trusted choice.

Examples

Pros

  • Mobile friendly
  • Block editor compatible (formerly known as Gutenberg)
  • Lightweight, no extra bells and whistles to slow you down unnecessarily
  • Interface for recipe info is easy to use and intuitive
  • Three taxonomies available by default: category, method and cuisine
  • Yield available
  • Prep time, cook time and total time fields
  • Ingredients field is freeform
  • Instructions field is freeform
  • Nutrition facts can be easily added to a recipe using your Nutrifox ID
  • Print functionality available
  • Links can be added in the ingredients field (nice!)
  • Dedicated ‘print recipe’ and ‘pin recipe’ links at the top the recipe card
  • Print functionality for visitors is available
  • Includes a ‘jump to recipe’ button
  • Visitors can comment and give a recipe a star rating easily

Pro++

  • Ability to add custom author name
  • No-follow tag for compliance is a part of the product offering (very nice!)
  • Video URL can easily be added; it also recognizes videos in your post body and automatically includes the video info in the structured data

Considerations

Just like Create, you’re required to individually format ingredients and instructions (as opposed to be putting them into pre-set fields like in WP Recipe Maker).

Also, just like with Create, in the future if you choose to make a format or layout change to your recipe instructions or ingredients you have to make the change manually in each post. Settle on a recipe format you love because changing it down the road isn’t quick or easy.

Cons

  • To enable a product/equipment section for affiliate product promotion you have to buy Tasty Links, an additional paid plugin
  • Limited to three taxonomies; no ability to include special diet, difficulty, etc…
  • Interface for recipe info does not includes a preview window (Create has this!)
  • No custom affiliate message can be included (Create has this!)
  • Recipe cards are tied to individual posts; not easily cloned or reused
  • Users must post a comment to give a star rating
  • Serving size is supported but not configurable by the end user (workaround is possible!)
  • Tough to leave. No current degradation option (likely in development)

WP Recipe Maker by Bootstrapped Ventures

Cost: Ranges from free to $49, $99 and $149 USD for different bundles

WP Recipe Maker is a widely used, and extremely well thought through recipe card, though the paid versions of the plugin do require more back-end effort to benefit from the great feature base.

It’s a good option for Recipe, How-To and List structured data mark-up for Google and Pinterest, including rich pins. 

Free option from WP Recipe Maker plugin

Examples

Pros

  • Mobile friendly
  • Block editor compatible (formerly known as Gutenberg)
  • Lightweight, no extra bells and whistles to slow you down unnecessarily
  • Unit measurements in set fields are flexible (i.e., 1 can, 1/4 cup, 1 tbsp, 1 bunch) 
  • Calorie count can be added to a recipe
  • Interface for recipe info is relatively easy to use and intuitive
  • Video URL or full embed code can easily be added
  • Video can also be uploaded directly to the recipe card
  • Basic ‘print recipe’ and ‘pin recipe’ links at the top the recipe card
  • Includes a ‘jump to recipe’ button at the top of the post
  • Two taxonomies available by default: course and cuisine
  • Strong, quick and reliable support program when issues come up

Pro++

  • Ability to add custom author name
  • Recipe round-up feature using ItemList metadata (nice!)
  • Includes How-To schema mark-up for non-food recipes and instructions
  • No-follow tag available (see cons for more detailed instruction)
  • You can deactivate the plugin and keep your recipe and UX in tact

Cons

  • Recipe card theme design is basic
  • Limited to just two taxonomies 
  • Users must post a comment to give a star rating
  • No-follow tag use is clunky and takes some effort to find and get used to
  • No-follow tag use is also limited to within the recipe card interface, and can’t be leveraged throughout your site
  • Users can’t adjust serving sizes (paid bundles only)
  • Unit conversion isn’t possible (paid bundles only)
  • Ingredient links aren’t possible (paid bundles only)
  • No equipment links for affiliate product promotion (paid bundles only)

Premium Bundle from WP Recipe Maker plugin

Cost: $49 USD per year

Pros

  • Nutrition facts can be easily added to a recipe
  • Users can give a star rating without posting a comment (yes!)
  • Ingredients can be linked inside the recipe card (yes!)
  • Equipment links can be added for affiliate product promotion
  • Visitors can change serving size
  • If you want to create a new recipe that’s similar or a twist on a recipe you’ve already created, you can easily clone the recipe card info (nice little timer saver if this scenario ever comes up)

Pro++

  • Ability to add custom author name
  • Links can be added to author name (readers can clickthrough to your about page!)
  • You can create as many taxonomies as you want, you’re not limited to course and cuisine
  • While you get the “pin recipe” button in the free version of the plugin, you can only pin whatever you set as at the recipe’s image in the recipe card; with the premium bundle you can set a custom pin image or disable pinning if you use a different tool

Cons

  • Nutrition facts design is very basic and not overly attractive
  • Configuration of the custom taxonomies requires developer-level skill set

Pro Bundle from WP Recipe Maker plugin

Cost: $99 USD per year

Example

Desiree Nielsen’s baked zucchini fritters with lemon & basil.

Pros

  • Readers can switch between unit conversions, such as metric and imperial
  • You can create your own custom recipe fields (very nice!)
  • Nutrition API integration, which calculate nutritional values automatically
  • You can create your own nutrients for the nutrition label

Cons

  • Unit conversion table isn’t super intuitive; takes a minute to learn
  • Configuration of the API requires developer-level skill set

Elite Bundle from WP Recipe Maker plugin

Cost: $149 USD per year

Pros

  • Visitors can create their own recipe collections on your site
  • Automatically generates a shopping list for the recipes collected
  • Recipe submission from outside contributors is possible

Cons

  • Configuration of the API requires developer-level skill set

This post was last updated on Oct 30, 2019 and will continue to be kept up-to-date as new features are released by the WordPress recipe card plugin developers.

Note: Foodie Digital doesn’t participate in affiliate programs for recipe card plugins. The opinions we share are rooted in our own researchand because we’re fans of a particular product.

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Liane Walker
Liane Walker
Liane is a mom of 3, committed meal planner, wannabe saucier chef, a seasoned systems analyst and content strategist, and Managing Director of Foodie Digital. Heaven to her is meal planning on a Saturday morning at her kitchen table while her kids run free in the backyard.
Banner Photo Credit: Ali Harper

2 thoughts on “3 best WordPress recipe card plugins compared”

  1. Great overview and thanks for including our WP Recipe Maker plugin!

    Could you elaborate on the “No-follow tag isn’t baked into product offering making no-follow compliance more effort ” con?

    When adding custom links in WPRM you can set them to be nofollow in the toolbar. For equipment and ingredient links you can set them to be nofollow on the settings page.

    Are you referring to something else?

  2. Hi Brecht,
    Thank you for your comment and contribution to improving the information in this recipe card plugin post. Also, thank you for all of the great work on WP Recipe Maker. It’s such a great plugin, and really well developed. It’s fantastic that such a well-supported free recipe card option is available for WordPress.

    On Nov 11, 2019 we updated the language in that we use in this post to describe how no-follow is applied in the free version of WP Recipe Maker. It would be GREAT to see no-follow made more intuitive in the recipe card’s WYSIWYG though. Right now, it’s very easy for recipe content creators to miss because it’s only unveiled in a hard-to-see secondary toolbar.

    Thank you again for your comment, and feedback. Keep it coming!

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