Recipe Organization - The Print Edition

Since I cook...a lot...one thing asked by many of my clients is how I organize my recipes. With the upcoming holidays, I thought you too might like some ideas on how to get your recipes in order so it's easier to plan for your holiday cooking. Today I'll show you how I organize my printed recipes and Wednesday I'll show you how I organize my emailed recipes.

I subscribe to a couple of cooking magazines and often print off recipes that I want to try. I keep all of them organized in plastic sleeves a three ring binder. They are categorized in order by:

  • Breakfast
  • Baked goods
  • Snacks and appetizers
  • Salads
  • Soups, cold then hot
  • Pastas then pasta sauces
  • Mains – pizzas/sandwiches/quesadillas then chicken, pork, seafood, lamb and beef.
  • Sauces
  • Sides
  • Desserts – fruit, pumpkin, cookies, chocolate
  • Beverages, smoothies and cocktails

I don’t use specific dividers because you can’t see the tab over the sheep protectors. This way takes a little time up front to set it up and maintain it, but it is so easy to find exactly what recipe I’m looking for in moments. It’s also easy to browse for meal planning ideas.

Because it does take some time to find the section to pop a new recipe in - plus getting out the extra plastic sleeves, etc. etc. - I keep a three-ring binder pocket in the front to hold new recipes until I have the time to put them in their proper place.

What I like best about this method is that when I use a recipe, I can remove the sleeve and the recipe itself is protected from splatters.

Side note: Yes, I only use ONE binder. When the binder gets full, I flip through and pull out anything I know I won't use. I also don't put any recipes back in if I didn't like them. In my tiny kitchen, I really only have the space to spare for one binder. In a larger kitchen, I would have multiple binders. Ideally, one for each category.

How do you organize your printed recipes?