Free Printable Recipe Card Templates (Word / PDF)

printable recipe card template

A recipe card template is a helpful document that assists you in arranging your instructions and ingredients so that they can be easier to read. This document provides you instructions that help you in producing best dishes to serve on the dinner table.

A brief history of recipe card:

In the past, our grandparents wrote their favorite recipes on pieces of paper or cards and stored in recipe boxes. But, nowadays, we store these recipes from electronic devices or from sheets of paper from online recipe sites. However, most people still use handwritten recipe card templates.

People have handed down several recipes orally from one generation to the next through the centuries. In the beginning, the results of these recipes were frustratingly terse because of instructions such as ‘enough flour to create a stiff dough’ that weren’t meant to impart anything new.

After that, in the early 20th century, the advent of women’s magazines is the main source that presented written recipes into light. These magazines then reached out to housewives. During 30s and 40s, the printable recipe cards became hugely popular. When the written format for recipes got developed, the women also started their own recipe cards. You should also check Meal Plan Template.

The standard size of a recipe card:

The best dishes need the right ingredients, enough time, and a great recipe. Finding the recipes can be a task on its own at times. This isn’t the most difficult part of cooking. You can gather all of the best recipes in one place with the help of recipe card templates. After that, you can organize them and find your favorites faster. The most standard sizes of recipe cards are;

  • 8.5-inches * 11-inches
  • 3-inches * 4-inches
  • 4-inches * 6-inches

What to include in your recipe card?

The standard recipe card should include the following components;

Recipe number:

The dish found on a master sheet, you will associate this number with it that you will make later.

Menu category:

In this part, you classify a particular recipe. Usually, menus fall into categories like soup, appetizers, main course, snacks, and dessert. For each of these categories, you can create Excel sheet.

Name of dish:

As its name implies, here you have to write the name of the dish.


It is also an essential part that most people forget. It is extensively suggested to make recipes based on 10 portions for restaurants. For home use, make the portions on the basis of how many family members you have.


For making the dish, all the food items you use, include a detailed list of them here.


You should know how much you will produce for a particular dish. It is very crucial when creating recipes.


The unit is the most important measurement of the ingredients. In weight and size, the packaged food items may vary. Therefore, in terms of units, it is important to maintain uniformity. It is suggested to use kilograms for solids and liters for liquids.

Unit price:

There can be changing in terms of costing due to different packaging. It’s up to you whether you keep all of this uniform or input the current unit price per unit.


When preparing the dish, this indicates the total cost of the ingredients. By multiplying the unit price and the quantity, you can get this value.

Miscellaneous Cost:

During preparation, miscellaneous cost is the added cost to a recipe. This cost accounts for other factors. These factors may include the salt you use while blanching, the spices you add while cooking, and so on.

Total cost:

The sum of all of the prices of the ingredients is the total cost.

Waste and drain:

While computing the total cost, assign 5% of the total cost as cooking, draining frozen items, and so on.

Cost per portion:

In each dish, by using the total cost, you can compute this plus 5% drain and waste divided by the number of portions. Under the recipes, you may add the method of preparation to make sure consistency through standardization.

How to make a recipe card template for a restaurant?

Follow the below steps in order to make an effective recipe card for a restaurant;

Menu item name:

The effective recipe card should contain the name of the dish that is clearly printed. This way, it won’t get mistaken for another item. The name of the restaurant and the chef who came up with the recipe can also be included.

Total preparation time:

The food at its freshest should always reach the customers. So, include the preparation time on the card will be highly helpful.

Descriptions and Qualifiers:

Reserve some space for the following;

  • From a single batch, how the number of servings come
  • what part of the menu you can find this
  • a brief description of the item


A recipe card should contain a list of ingredients for a certain dish along with their portion sizes. Keep in mind that it is the cook’s first time to make the dish so make your list as detailed as possible.

Cooking procedures:

In a cooking procedure, all the steps that you think intuitive should mention in detail on your recipe card template. Each procedure must contain its corresponding time.

Plating notes:

Here you have to describe the packaging and presentation best practices. The customers will always see their food first before devouring it.

Allergen information:

This section acts a reference point for any customer with allergen issues. Include the note for dishes that include nuts, gluten, vegetarians, and other special diets.

Shelf life and other storage notes:

Record the steps for food storage if you have prepared some of your meals in bulk. Also, include the facts about how long these would last.

Date revised:

In a menu, the items can constantly get subjected to changes so revise your recipe card templates along with the date.


In conclusion, a recipe card template is a tool used by restaurant owners and chefs to measure food costs. This document makes them aware of the cost of each dish on their restaurant menu and the average cost of all costs per dish.

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