There aren’t very many universal interests out there, but one thing all humans have in common is a need to eat.

It makes sense that food blogging is so popular: there’s a food niche for everyone. Whether you’re a vegan or a meat-lover, an experienced specialist or a curious explorer of world cuisine, or if you’re gluten-free, soy-free, or deathly allergic to peanuts, there’s a tribe out there waiting to share in your cooking adventures, and looking for related recipes.

But as popular as food blogging is, it can be a bit technically challenging to get started.

WordPress is a wonderful tool, but it certainly wasn’t designed with recipe bloggers specifically in mind. While it’s possible to use any old theme, you’ll be missing out on a features and tools that can make managing and promoting your blog so much easier and effective.

If you’re looking to start your own recipe blog, it’s a good idea to take a look at themes specifically designed with food bloggers in mind.

As someone who’s getting ready to launch my own recipe blog (Solitary Fare, with single-serving recipes & tips on living solo), I’ve recently combed through all the best offerings for recipe themes and plugins – here’s what I’ve found!

(Pro tip: Grab a bite to eat first – just like grocery shopping, you don’t want to search for food themes when you’re hungry!)

Do you need a recipe custom post type?

I’ve found in my research that there are two main technical categories recipe blogs can fall under:

  • Blogs that post recipes as regular blog posts
  • Blogs that post recipes as a custom post type, separate from blog posts

A custom post type is a custom-created category of content on your blog, in addition to (and separate) from posts and pages. Custom post types can be added to your blog via themes, plugins, or by hand with a bit of code in your functions.php file.

There are several benefits to using a separate custom post type for your recipes, instead of just posting them as blog posts:

  • You can easily add recipe information (such as prep/cook time, nutrition facts, cuisine, ingredients, instructions, etc.) as metadata, instead of lumped altogether in your blog post. This helps to keep your site organized, your markup clean, and your content more easily readable by robots (such as Google crawlers).
  • A plugin that adds a recipe custom post type will often use schema markup, which can give you some nice SEO benefits.

If you’re only ever going to post recipes on your blog, and never other blog posts, then you might not need to keep your recipes separate with a custom post type (though you’ll be missing out on the other benefits above).

But if you’re planning on posting recipes and other types of content (such as site news, roundups, opinion pieces, etc., etc.), then it’s smart to keep your recipes organized into a separate custom post type.

Luckily, most of the themes and plugins I’m listing below will do that for you automatically.

Now, without further ado…

Best recipes themes for WordPress

Basil Recipes

Basil Recipes

Basil Recipes was the winning choice for Solitary Fare, since it’s packed with tons of features that make creating a recipe blog really easy and fun.

Basil comes equipped with the Cooked recipe plugin (more details on that below), which adds a recipe custom post type to your site. You can also allow visitors to submit their own recipes from the front end, and easily create a recipe membership site.

Other standout features include a recipe slider, a drag-and-drop page builder, and a clickable timer for your users.

Features:

  • Create a membership site with user profiles and a custom login form
  • Ten different page layouts for recipes
  • Drag-and-drop page builder
  • Enable front-end recipe submissions
  • Recipe video support
  • Supports schema for rich snippets
  • Add a clickable timer to your recipes via shortcode
  • Responsive and mobile-optimized
  • Works with WooCommerce
  • Includes a customized recipe search bar

Price: $39

Get Basil  Demo

Recipe

Recipe

The aptly-named Recipe theme is also designed to allow visitors to submit their own recipes. It’s a theme with a very modern look to it, featuring huge photos on the homepage and nice animation and hover effects.

Members can register via their social accounts or via email, login to the site and add their own recipes, rate and review other recipes, advance levels based on the number of recipes submitted, and much more.

And according to user reviews and comments, the developer provides excellent support.

Features:

  • Create a membership site and enable user-submitted recipes
  • Display recipe ratings, likes, and view counts
  • Advanced recipe search options
  • Custom recipe widgets (featured, latest, most liked, etc)
  • Supports recipe schema for rich snippets
  • Recipe video support
  • Recipe print feature
  • Includes 200+ custom-designed recipe icons

Price: $49

Get Recipe  Demo

Chow

Chow

In its design, Chow actually looks quite similar to Recipe (above), but there are a few key differences.

Chow includes the exclusive FoodiePress Recipe Editor plugin, which enables you to add recipe metadata to your blog posts. With this theme, there is no recipe custom post type; instead, you’re adding the metadata onto your blog posts using custom fields. This theme might be better suited to those who are only posting recipes, and don’t plan on having separate blog posts.

Chow also includes advanced customizable layouts for your recipes, so your site can stand out from the rest.

Features:

  • Create a membership site with user dashboards
  • Allow user-submitted recipes
  • Supports WooCommerce
  • Schema support for rich snippets
  • Advanced recipe search

Price: $59

Get Chow  Demo

Talisa

Talisa

A vibrant, beautifully modern theme, complete with giant photos, fonts, and animations, Talisa also boasts a detailed help file for beginners, plus excellent support in case you get lost along the way. With beautiful menus and buttons, your visitors are encouraged to dive in and explore all your delicious offerings. Talisa adds recipes via custom post type, so it’s an ideal theme if you want to keep your regular blog posts separate.

You can also explore the site from a member’s point of view using a demo account, so be sure to check it out and give it a try.

Features:

  • Create a membership site
  • Users can favorite, rate, and review recipes
  • Front end recipe posting
  • Includes a color-picker for unique color schemes
  • Responsive with retina support

Price: $59

Get Talisa  Demo

Foodie

Foodie Pro

If you’re a Genesis fan like me, you’re probably wondering if there are any recipe themes built on the Genesis framework.

Foodie is a good option, since it was built with food and recipe blogs in mind. However, it doesn’t include a recipe custom post type, or schema support.

If you’re determined to use a Genesis theme, you’ll probably want to get a plugin that enables recipes custom post types, so keep reading for suggestions!

Price: $129.95 (includes Genesis Framework)

Get Foodie  Demo

Best recipe plugins for WordPress

Though the themes above are beautiful, you might feel a bit limited by your choices.

What if you’ve already decided on a theme, or you need to use a certain framework like Genesis, but it doesn’t include recipe custom post types?

You don’t really need a special recipe theme; a plugin can do the work for you.

Cooked

Cooked

Cooked is the plugin that powers the Basil theme, listed first in the themes above. It enables not only a recipe custom post type, but also drag-and-drop editing, user submissions, and a whole lot of other features.

Using Cooked, you can turn any theme into a recipe theme.

Features:

  • Create a membership site with user recipe submissions
  • Users get profile pages with favorites, recent reviews, and more
  • Schema support for rich snippets
  • Approve pending submitted recipes before publication
  • Drag and drop recipe builder
  • Recipe ratings and reviews
  • 10 different recipe layouts
  • Include recipe nutrition facts
  • Unique clickable timer for your visitors

Price: $39

Get Cooked  Demo

Le Chef

Le Chef

Le Chef is a recipe manager plugin that can turn any site into a recipe site.

One of this plugin’s standout features is the advanced recipe search features. User can use sliders to filter recipes by exact calorie, sodium, protein, sugar, and other levels.

It also includes a free Le Chef WordPress theme, if you don’t already have another theme you’d like to use.

Features:

  • Enable front-end recipe submissions
  • Advanced, customizable search and filter of recipes
  • Special CSS styles for printing recipes
  • Recipe video support
  • Fullscreen recipe view option
  • Chef dashboard allows users to edit previously submitted recipes from the front end
  • Users can save favorite recipes

Price: $19

Get Le Chef  Demo

Wrapping up

WordPress makes so many great things possible.

And creating awesome foodie blogs is one of them!

You have the plugins you need to display recipes and plenty of themes to choose from. So go out there and create yourself a rocking foodie blog!

Related Reading: 15 Remarkable WordPress Themes For Serious Bloggers.

Posted by KeriLynn Engel

KeriLynn Engel is a copywriter & content marketing strategist. Keri loves working with B2B & B2C businesses to plan and create high-quality content that attracts and converts their target audience. When not writing, you can find her reading speculative fiction, watching Star Trek, or playing Telemann flute fantasias at a local open mic.