transparent logo

What are the main parts of a recipe?

February 25, 2022

Trying to understand a recipe can sometimes be daunting, especially if you’re a budding chef. What does it mean by yield? Are the directions really that important to follow? 

Below you’ll discover more about the main parts of a recipe and how they unite to create a fantastic dish. 

1. Ingredients

One of the most recognizable recipe parts is its ingredients.

It displays the items you need as well as how much of them is required. For example, if you’re making lemon bars, you’ll probably find ingredients and measurements such as this listed:

  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup (200 grams) of sugar

If your recipe is broken up into different steps, the ingredients might be divided into several categories. This way, you can tell what and how much is needed for each stage. 

It is most helpful if the ingredients are listed at the beginning, however many food bloggers preface their recipe with a long introduction. They do this because they spend many hours on their blog, and they earn more money for each advertisement that you see. So, if you scroll through paragraphs of text and pass by five ads, they earn significantly more than if they immediately offer the ingredients and directions.

If you want recipes that show the ingredients and instructions first, Reciple is a premium platform with thousands of recipes formatted in a way that makes them easier to use than the standard food blog experience.


The directions are also a vital element of a recipe. They tell you how to mix, blend, chop, sauté, whip, or bake the ingredients. If you don’t carefully stick to them, you risk the entire recipe failing. A recipe’s directions will be broken up into steps so they’re easier to read. 


Want to know how many portions the recipe produces? If so, check its yield. This informs you how much it makes or how many servings it provides. The yield also helps you determine whether you might need to cut the recipe in half or double it. 


A recipe’s temperature specifies the correct oven degree or internal temperature for the food. This will be listed in the directions. However, it will also sometimes be placed at the top next to the yield. 

Time (prep, cook, and total times)

The time added to the recipe refers to various parts - prepping, cooking, and total. 

Prepping indicates how long it will take to prepare the ingredients for cooking. The cook time tells you how long the recipe needs to be heated in a saute pan, oven, or on the grill.

And, as its name suggests, the total time combines both of these so you know the length of the entire task.

Nutrition information

If you want to keep an eye on calories, sugar, sodium, and other nutritional aspects, scan the recipe’s nutrition information. This gives you a detailed look into the meal and how healthy it might be. 

Often, this will be nestled at the end of the recipe before its notes. Sometimes, a nutrition calculator will also be available with online recipes so you can personally adjust measurements.


The notes are a critical section that is often overlooked. Situated at the end, the notes give you additional guidance about the recipe. For instance, they might refer to different measurement conversions or even ingredient substitutes. 

If you look closely at the directions, you might also notice an asterisk next to certain items or steps. This generally means that you should check the notes for tips and comments about them. 

Alternatively, some food bloggers include their notes and tips near the top of the recipe, before the ingredients or directions.

Interpreting the main parts of a recipe doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By keeping this information in mind, you can easily read one during your culinary adventure. 

Unlock unlimited ad-free recipes

Enter your email to claim your free 3-month trial.

* indicates required
Get in touch