Looking to organize your food blog’s recipes for your readers? Learn how to create a WordPress recipe index that’s easy to navigate and visually appealing.

Do you want to create a recipe index on WordPress? You're in the right place. Today, we’ll show you how to organize the recipes on your site with tools that are built into the WordPress platform. 

For example, having a search bar on your site allows your readers to find exactly what they’re looking for. You can also customize your site’s menu navigation to ensure visitors have access to the most useful pages quickly. 

How to Create a Recipe Index on WordPress Sites

Creating a recipe index on WordPress can be a useful way to organize your recipes and make them easily searchable for your readers. 

After all, you’ve spent hours in the kitchen perfecting your recipes. Why not make them easy to find, peruse, and reference? In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to make a recipe index where your audience can quickly pinpoint and enjoy all of your creations.

Ready? Here's how you can create a recipe index on WordPress:

  1. Get a URL, Web Host, and Create a WordPress Site
  2. Install a Recipe Plugin
  3. Add Recipe Pages to Your Site
  4. Use Categories and Tags
  5. Create a Recipe Index Page 
  6. Customize Your Site’s Navigation & Add a Search Bar

1. Get a URL, Web Host, and Create a WordPress Site

First and foremost, you need a website! 

To create a WordPress site, you must pick a domain name and buy a URL. Then, you’ll need to find a hosting platform – we recommend WP Engine.

Finally, you’ll install WordPress. If you need more direction on how to do this, here's a detailed tutorial.

And if you’re just getting started on your food blogging journey, check out our recent blog: How to Easily Create a WordPress Recipe Site

2. Install a Recipe Plugin 

Want to build a recipe index? You’ll need to create recipe pages then. This can be done simply by creating pages in WordPress and adding your recipe content there.

There’s nothing wrong with that approach, but WordPress doesn’t make it easy for food bloggers by default. If you want the best-looking recipes on the block, you'll need to install a recipe plugin like this one: Tasty Recipes

This step is optional, but here’s how it makes your recipes look:

recipe card

Amazing, right? And you can do that in just a few clicks!

But wait ? what about WordPress recipe themes? Recipe themes are a great option for food bloggers, but they can’t do everything. If you’ve already got a recipe theme, don’t sweat it. Tasty Recipes works with all WordPress themes, including the Yummy Recipe, Genesis, Foodica, and Foodie Pro themes. 

Using a premium version plugin gives you an easy way to create and format recipes, including adding ingredients, directions, recipe images, and many other details. It also includes the option for users to rate, print, or save recipes.

3. Add Recipe Pages to Your Site

 Remember those old-school recipe cards your grandma kept in a tiny box?

recipe box

Those might have worked for grannie, but these days you’ll need detailed recipe pages to satisfy hungry audiences.

Of course, you’ll need a number of recipes before there’s enough to start an index. Assuming you have your recipes ready, the first thing to do is create new posts in the WordPress admin. Then you’d go ahead and add all the text, images, and instructions needed.

If you’re using WP Tasty’s WordPress recipe plugin, you’d start by adding the Tasty Recipes block. Then you'll be able to fill in all the fields to provide more information about the recipe. This includes ingredients, instructions, prep time, cook time, and everything else you would need to beautifully display your delicious recipes. 

By the way, Tasty Recipes gives you:

  • Tools for readers to comment, save, and share your recipes on social media
  • Organized recipe cards with nutrition labels, ingredient checkboxes, and more
  • Built-in optimization to ensure your recipe blog appeals to search engines

Using the Tasty Recipes WordPress (WP) recipe maker can help your readers understand what to expect from the recipe and make it easier to search and filter your recipe posts based on specific criteria. 

See our recent blog for a more detailed tutorial on how to add recipe cards in WordPress

4. Use Categories and Tags

One of the most vital steps to organizing your recipes on WordPress is to create categories and tags. Categories and tags help you group similar recipes together and make it easier for your readers to find what they're looking for.


To create categories, go to PostsCategories in your WordPress dashboard (as shown above). Here, you can add new categories and assign them to your recipe posts. It's best to keep your categories broad, so you don't end up with too many of them. For example, you might have categories like “Appetizers”, “Entrees”, and “Desserts”.

Tags, on the other hand, are more specific and allow you to add additional keywords to your recipes. You can add tags to your recipe posts when you create them, or you can add them later by going to PostsTags

For example, you might add tags like “gluten-free”, “vegetarian”, or “low-carb” to your recipes to make them easier to find for people with specific dietary needs.

5. Create a Recipe Index Page

To create a recipe index on your WordPress site, go to PagesAdd New and title the new page “Recipe Index.” If you use WP Tasty, you won't need to play around with any custom post type, which requires special formatting and features. 

In this new page, list the names of each Category you have, and then create links to the new pages for them (more on how to create these below). Alternatively, you can create images and then link the images to each category page, but to begin, using text will be simpler.


You can also just type in the name of each recipe title, then link it up. See the example above. You’ll then have a list of all your recipes in one place, and you can organize them however you please – whether that’s by category or season or date. It’s up to you!

6. Customize Your Site’s Navigation & Add a Search Bar

A website navigation menu is an organized list of links to other web pages, usually internal site pages. You can use your menu navigation to organize tour recipes according to the category!

Organize Your Menu Navigation 

Let’s say you want “Recipe Index” in your website’s navigation. 

You can then have category pages underneath that to help with organization. To do this, create a page for each category (Appetizers, for example) you have on your blog. After you have typed the category name as the title, go over to Page Attributes on the right. Click on the Parent Page dropdown menu to then select “Recipe Index” as its parent. 

Page Attributes

This will create a menu hierarchy, which makes your Appetizer page appear underneath the Recipe Index tab. 

You can also add a sidebar (side menu) that gives your visitors easy access to important pages. You can also use it to highlight recipe pages that are “Top Picks” or “Most Popular” as examples.  

Add a Search Bar to Your Site

To add a search bar to your site, navigate to Appearance and click on Widgets from your WordPress dashboard. 

Search widget

Look for the widget named Search. 

Search widget

Then, on the search widget, click the section where you want the search bar to appear. You may also drag and drop the search widget to where you want it.

Just like when you search through a cookbook or recipe box, having a search feature on your site will make it easy for readers to find whatever it is they’re looking for.

A search bar will return results from the titles and the bodies of your posts and pages, and from media titles, alt text, and file names. This is why it’s especially important to add tags and categories; users can search for specific tags like “pizza” and it will list all pages with that tag.

There You Have It!

That's it! Your recipe index is now set up and ready to use. Make sure to keep it updated as you add new recipes to your site, and your readers will be able to easily find all your delicious creations in one place. 

Want an easier way to showcase your recipes in an organized, appealing way? You can use our Tasty Roundups plugin to create an index of your recipes with beautiful roundups that rank in search results.

If you're looking for more ways to monetize your recipe website and increase traffic, check out our recent blog on How to Start a Recipe Membership Site.