9 Great Recipe Apps to Use Up that Last Bit of Food

looking up recipes on the phone representing balancing time and positive food experiences

Have you ever opened the refrigerator, saw some random food item from several days (or even weeks) ago and thought, “What can I possibly do with that?” Well have no fear – the food apps are here! As of this post, there are currently 9 recipe apps that use ingredients you have on hand. This post links to and describes each of them, including offering valuable features for you to examine on your own.

As a disclaimer, we are not being compensated in any way by any of the products or companies listed here. We are including them as a service to our readers. All of these apps are free, and are available for both iPhone and Android devices.


SuperCook is the crème-de-la-crème of recipe apps that help you use up ingredients you already have in your kitchen. There is such a diversity of categories and types of food available. Chances are you have at least one ingredient hanging around your kitchen. Based on your selections, there is a ton of different recipes. Here we are not just talking about basic, throw-something-together recipes. These are recipes from professional chefs. The options include vegan, vegetarian, low-carb, and other eating plans. There is something for (almost) everyone. SuperCook comes to your rescue!


Yummly easily combines culinary and technology advancements to help you in the kitchen. Their newest Yummly 2.0 app uses ingredient recognition to help you identify recipes based on what food you have available.  Unfortunately not all app features are available at this time (based on this news article, for example, the ingredient recognition is supposed to roll out later in 2018).

Currently included in the app, however, is quite a sophisticated list of recipes from a whole host of cooks, restaurants, and culinary websites. You can search for recipes based on the foods you have on hand by selecting pre-listed categories or by typing in your own. Depending on your ingredient combinations, you may come up with a wide variety of dishes.

You can also filter your selections based on cuisine, diet, type of dish, and time it takes to make the dish. The Yummly app offers a lot of guides to assist you in the kitchen. There are step by step instructional videos, photos, and written instructions.

empty refrigerator representing grocery list

(photo courtesy of Pixabay)


Although Big Oven is well known as a meal planning app, it does have a fairly robust feature to use leftover ingredients. Under the “Use My Leftovers” section of the app, you can type in whatever ingredients you have on hand, and “Voila!” Some fabulous recipe comes up! Similar to other apps, it has a wide variety of options and recipes.


MyFridgeFood offers a great variety of recipes as well. The recipes are user-submitted to give you different perspectives. Depending on your ingredient combinations, you can get some pretty creative recipes such as pot pie muffins (from leftover turkey), or a cauliflower “brain bowl” (a head of cauliflower with buffalo sauce on top) just in time for Halloween.

What is unique about MyFridgeFood is the user submission feature. That gives you an opportunity to get creative in the kitchen, and then spread your wisdom via this app. You can also filter recipes based on diet (vegan, low-carb, etc.), timing (quick, crock pot), or cuisine. There is even a little quiz to help you decide what type of meal would be best.

Make a Meal

Make a Meal is not as robust as other recipe apps. However, the app still offers plenty of choices depending on what’s in your fridge. This app works best with single ingredients, although it does offer some good choices with more ingredient combinations.

Whole Foods Market Recipes

Whole Foods Market is not just for buying food. They are now helping you use the ingredients in your kitchen. Although the search feature is limited to a few dozen ingredients, you can search, by the key ingredients you want to use up, as well as any dietary restrictions, cuisine, or type of dish. The app has a host of different recipes of varying creativity and level of difficulty from a variety of chefs. For example, if you want a vegan recipe to use up some quinoa, try this minted quinoa with pine nut recipe. Users can even upload photos and rate the recipes after they make them.

Epicurious Recipes

The Epicurious app also has a sophisticated search feature to identify recipes based on a variety of ingredients you may have in your kitchen. Got an eggplant just sitting around? Make a stir-fry, eggplant parmesan, or other fun dish. The app allows you to select several different ingredients to use.

You can filter the search results based on the type of dish, meal, cooking technique, or even for a certain holiday. Depending on the ingredients you select, you will receive a host of different recipes from top chefs from around the world. You can even leave reviews of the recipes you make, and leave notes based on your cooking outcomes.

AllRecipes Dinner Spinner

Although the Dinner Spinner only allows you to enter in one ingredient you have on hand, it does have some good search features in terms of the type of dish and amount of cooking time. It even has an option to look up crock pot recipes. The ingredient categories are pretty general, so be sure to examine the search results carefully to select a recipe that applies to your situation.


CookPad is also a very handy app. You can enter several ingredients into the search feature. The search results then produce a variety of different recipes to choose from. All the recipes and photos are user-submitted. The app includes a variety of user-experiences while making the dishes. As you make these recipes, you too can upload a photo and include your comments on how a recipe turned out. In this sense, the app is more geared toward networking as well as being a stand-alone recipe resource.

Got some zucchini sitting in the fridge? With this app, you can make everything from traditional zucchini bread to a very unique zucchini oatmeal dish. The app is very creative and efficient with the food items you have on hand. The app is very down-to-earth with instructions, food photos, and comments.

There you have it! Nine great recipe apps at your fingertips. Mealtime has never been so easy!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Is there a recipe app not on this list that uses ingredients you already have on hand (in your pantry, fridge, freezer, etc.)? Let us know!

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