Swipe your way to simple and easy dishes.
by Reem Khaleel Aug 31, 2022
A lot of preparation goes into hosting a Labor Day party. You have to curate your guest list. You have to locate and decorate a venue. You have to create an exciting party playlist. But one of the most important aspects of hosting any party is planning the menu. Well, did you know there’s an app for that?
If you’re struggling with what food to serve your guests, all you have to do is pick up your smartphone and click on the app store icon. There, you’ll discover a sea of recipe apps with endless dish suggestions, each new app offering something more extraordinary than the last. Some cater to the more adventurous eaters, while others target those of us who can’t toast bread without burning it (IYKYK). Among them are seven that we tested and loved.
Here are the best free recipe apps to help you host your Labor Day party.
Like Google but exclusively for recipes, all you have to do is search for the dish you want to cook, and voila, thousands of suggested recipes result. Since most are compiled from independent food bloggers, you’ll get to choose not only which recipes best fit the dietary needs of your guests, but also, from a selection of traditional dishes and fun alternatives for the occasion. By curating your searches based on ingredients you already have, downloading the app can even mean skipping a run to the grocery store.
Connect with other home chefs to share, modify, and discuss your best recipes in this community-based app that simplifies keeping track of your favorite dishes. Similar to Facebook Groups, create posts in the Conversations tab to ask fellow members for cooking tips or recipe variations or reply to other members’ questions to offer solutions or ideas. You can even upload your own recipes or adapt ingredients of existing recipes to add to your Saved tab, which means effortless menu planning each and every time.
Cooking made simple, even if you aren’t an expert in the kitchen. Activate “cooking mode” to learn how to craft your party menu dishes using step-by-step guides and video tutorials, or refer to the app’s measurement converter to modify serving sizes to match your total guests. New healthy and crowd-pleasing recipes are added daily, never leaving you short of ideas.
With over 3,500 recipes to choose from, it’s no wonder Make Me A Cocktail hails itself as “the world’s greatest online cocktail resource.” Simply enter all the alcoholic and booze-free drink fixings you have on hand, and the app will offer cocktail suggestions based on your ingredients. Throwing a themed soiree? Browse drink collections inspired by your favorite TV shows or holidays. Looking for drinkspiration? The app’s featured “today’s top pick” offers something new and exciting every day, 365 days a year. And if your mixology skills are seriously questionable? Pop these cocktail cubes in the freezer at least four hours before serving, then slip one into a glass (or shaker) with the spirit of your choice for the perfect blend. Mix it behind closed doors, and your guests will never know you're not a stupendous bartender.
5. So Yummy
Say goodbye to endless TikTok scrolling with So Yummy, an app that offers bold recipes based on some of the hottest viral food trends to hit social feeds. Recipes range from comfort food entrees like “Mac & Cheese Stuffed Chicken,” to sweet treats like “Mini Chocolate Lava Cakes” to help you plan each course with ease. Like social, the app’s video how-tos demonstrate exactly how to recreate some of the most talked about dishes on the web, so you can mindlessly watch or use it as a guide while you prepare.
Your party menu isn’t truly complete without busting out the grill or smoker. Hey Grill, Hey features the best in barbecue across meat, seafood, and plant-based dishes along with recipes for classic sides, sauces, and rubs. You can even browse recipes by cooking time, including those that require overnight marinades or same-day preparation, and locate videos of the best recipes and cooking tips to ensure you’re serving the ultimate barbecue in town.
Forget that heavy cookbook with scattered recipes, and digitally store all your family and party favorites in one place with RecipeBox. Personalized sub-categories make it easy to separate grandma’s famous desserts from your best friend’s boozy specialties, and you can even incorporate both in a special title for your party dishes. Whether the recipes that you add are your own, from social media, a food blog, or any other online source, you can easily plan out your entire party menu ahead of time to decrease same-day stressors.