How to Make a Cookbook Outline

by Chelsea Baldwin ; Updated September 28, 2017

Make an outline for your cookbook recipes so it is easier for users to navigate.

sunday cooking image by Lovrencg from

Cookbooks are great ways to make money for charity fundraisers and event funding or to promote your own cooking or nutrition business. However, simply throwing a bunch of recipes together can cause confusion and frustration for those trying to navigate the cookbook to find one specific type of recipe. Creating an outline will help you organize your recipes to create an easy-to-navigate cookbook complete with a table of contents.

Step 1

Decide how you want to organize your recipes, which depends on the purpose of your cookbook. If it is a dinnertime cookbook, you may want to divide the recipes into appetizers, soups, salads, entrees and desserts. If it is a general cookbook, you may want to divide it into meals--like breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks--or by main ingredient--like beef, chicken and pork.

Step 2

Create the order of the outline. Place the sections in a logical order to make it easier for readers to navigate. For example, place breakfast items before lunch items. Or, organize the sections in alphabetical order, such as by main ingredient.

Step 3

Create subsections to your cookbook outline, if needed. Make sure all of your recipes can be organized easily within each section.

Step 4

File each recipe under its appropriate section. Organize the recipes in each section alphabetically.

Step 5

Type up a final listing of the outline to put in the back of your book or to use as a table of contents once all of the recipes have been organized.

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About the Author

Chelsea Baldwin began writing professionally for local newspapers in 2008. She has published articles in “High Country Press” and “Kernersville News.” She also produced newsletters for a local chapter of AIESEC, a global nonprofit organization. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from Appalachian State University.