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How to Get Instant Nutrition Facts for Any Recipe

NutritionFacts

Update 3/7/17: The old website, caloriecount.about.com is being shut down and rolled into their new site, VeryWell.com, which introduced a new version of the same tool. I updated the post below with the new links and screenshots.

Some of the most common questions I get about my recipes are in reference to the nutrition information. “How many calories does this soup have?” or, “how many grams of fat are in these cookies?”

Up until now, my answer has always been something like, “I dunno…” because this is a much more complicated question than it seems. While there are countless websites and mobile apps designed to help you find calorie information for different ingredients, that’s not too helpful for entire recipes. Finding the grams of fat in one serving of my Sesame Rice Bowl, for example, is no trivial matter… First, you’d have to look up the fat in brown rice. And then sun-dried tomatoes. And then a few slices of cucumber. Each of these ingredients would then need to be written down, divided by weird fractions for each serving, and then added together. The end result (assuming the math was correct) would still be a rough estimate and you would have to start at the beginning for calories, carbs, sodium, and more until your calculator catches fire and you throw your hands up in frustration.

Calculating nutrition facts by hand is an absolute nightmare.

Thankfully, dear readers, there’s a better way. I was excited to recently discover a free resource that allows you to create a nutrition label for any recipe you find online, and I thought it could be useful to give you a quick overview of how it works. The tool is located at VeryWell.com and it’s incredibly simple to use: to make a complete nutrition label, all you have to do is paste a list of ingredients into a text box, click a button, and it’ll churn out all the details in seconds – complete with a per-serving breakdown. Here’s a quick tutorial of how this tool can be used…

Step One

Find the recipe in question, highlight the entire ingredient list, and right-click to copy everything. For this example, we’re using my recent Sunflower Pesto Tabbouleh. You can also do this with a printed recipe, just have your ingredient list handy by your computer.

Step Two

Head over to https://www.verywell.com/recipe-nutrition-analyzer-4129594 and paste the list of ingredients right into the text box. Take a second to look everything over and ensure it’s just one ingredient per line. You can also adjust the number of servings to get a readout for each portion if you so desire.

Step Three

Click “Analyze Recipe” and watch the magic happen. Behind the scenes, this tool is figuring out which ingredients you’re using and the quantities of each. It’s smart enough to interpret most wordings of certain foods, but it may need additional clarification on some ingredients. If that’s the case, those ingredients will be highlighted in yellow. For example, it didn’t understand “1 lemon (juice)” but by clicking the yellow area, I was able to clarify this as one whole lemon. It also needed clarification on the curly parsley. It’s also a good idea to look over each ingredient and ensure it didn’t do anything funny.

Step Four

After fixing those errors, the page automatically updates with a complete breakdown of the calories in each ingredient (on a per serving basis), plus a nutrition label for the entire recipe (also per serving).

Amazing! If you aren’t already using this tool, it’s definitely something worth bookmarking for future use. Beyond just online recipes, it is also extremely useful for recipes in cookbooks or ones you create on the fly – simply type in everything you added to your meal and it’ll automagically create a label for you.

Finally, I can put an end to the, “how many calories are in this?” comments you have all been leaving on my recipes. πŸ™‚

58 Comments

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  1. Best post ever! anywhere! anytime! This is the best tool by far for cooks, chefs, and stay at home dads like me who watch what we make. Thank you so much!!!!!

  2. It did not work for me for ingredients like dal, toor dal, moong dal or any times of lentils for that matter. The ingredient is found in the list but it just was not able to figure out the calories. and once you start editing the information, it goes all weird.

    • Hi Prash, well “dal” isn’t really an English word and it typically references a prepared dish with lentils, not the lentils themselves. If you actually search for “red lentils”, “green lentils”, etc., ingredients will come right up!

  3. Nice and informative. There are also apps that make it super simple as well. Myfitnesspal for example allows you to scan the barcode of the box, food, etc and automatically adds it to your daily count. You can also draw from tens of thousands of ingredients that have all the nutritional value all ready for you. Its fantastic and a super convenient way to count your daily calories. It also pairs with many fitness apps πŸ™‚

  4. Awesome! This is so helpful!!! Thanks for sharing. Your blog is one of the best out there. Love your enthusiasm for real food-very inspiring.

  5. Hi Andrew,
    I’ve tried a few of your recipes and they’ve all been winners. I was wondering about the calorie count app. I just downloaded it and I can’t find the feature that figures nutrition. Have you used this lately?

  6. Glad you’re on Andrew, I just used the link, there is a mobile version of the analyzer but it wouldn’t load on my phone.. the link for the desktop worked fine on my phone though..
    I’ve been on a cannellini bean kick lately and just ran my chocolate cannellini bean cupcake recipe thru and it comes out to 320 calories per large cupcake.. and only 50 are fat calories.. no dairy no cholesterol and gluten free.. high in iron protein potassium and other good stuff I can’t remember..lol.. my version of this is sweet moist and chocolicious.. my secret ingredient is macadamia nut oil in place of butter or other oils..
    I also used sugar and stevia.. all organic ingredients.. and this cake gets tastier overnight.. the texture is like a moist cake.. I’m sure you’ve tried a recipe of cannellini cake.. but I hope you try it using the macadamia nut oil next time.. you won’t be disappointed.. thanks for your site, it’s fun, interesting and great info ! After much prodding from friends I started a wordpress blog but am having a hard time finding time to figure out the menu setup.. but once I do, I’d like to link your site, if you’ll allow it..

    • Very interesting! I have definitely not tried a cannellini bean cupcake (!) but it sounds kind of amazing. I guess I know what to do with that can of cannellini beans that has been sitting in my cupboard forever πŸ˜€ thanks for the suggestion!

    • Am working on new projects right now to formulate recipes for the Ketogenic Diet .. and especially in the high fat to combined protein/carb ratios being used as a dietary therapeutic for non-respondent (doesn’t respond to anti-seizure medication) epilepsy. So, focused on low carb, relatively low protein, very high fat.. kicks cell metabolism from processing sugar to glucose to generating ketones and using fat as a cellular fuel..

      Having said all that, I’m not using ANY added sugars.. have discovered in my research that sugar alternatives are also not necessarily healthy… agave has a high glycemic index, stevia is highly processed with chemicals to produce the powder to remove the severe aftertaste prominent in stevia leaves. My new discovery.. with no as yet known issues.. Monk Fruit powder (make sure the product doesn’t include erythritol!) available on Amazon.com.

  7. There is a mine field of information to sift through..

    We’ve been helping lots of people with advice in the UK. Maybe we could help you?

    • Well, I don’t know what you’re using this for, but I certainly can’t guarantee the accuracy of their tool and I probably wouldn’t rely on it for more professional uses.

  8. I’m new to the use of Calorie Counter and see a message that it is going to be taken off line soon:

    “Important Update: Calorie Count will be shutting down on March 15th. Please click here to read the announcement. Data export is available.”

    Can anyone point me to a similar online nutritional label tool ( free?)

    • I just updated this article with the new tool from VeryWell. When I read CalorieCount’s notice I realized they weren’t actually shutting down, just moving to VeryWell.com and the same tool can be found there. New links and screenshots above! πŸ™‚

  9. Foul news. Had a look at that wonderful site. MFP is way off when it comes to counting calories. But had a look at Calorie Count and saw this

    Important Update: Calorie Count will be shutting down on March 15th. Please click here to read the announcement. Data export is available.

    Sad face

    • I just updated this article with the new tool from VeryWell. When I read CalorieCount’s notice I realized they weren’t actually shutting down, just moving to VeryWell.com and the same tool can be found there. New links and screenshots above! πŸ™‚

    • Hey Shannon, thanks for the link. It’s frustrating that you can only do one ingredient at a time. That seems like the best option once CalorieCount is gone, but I’ll let you guys know if I find anything better!

  10. JUST FYI – Calorie Count is shutting down in March 2017, I just saw the annoucement. I loved this feature myself but was unable to find any news if this feature was being hosted elsewhere.

    • I just updated this article with the new tool from VeryWell. When I read CalorieCount’s notice I realized they weren’t actually shutting down, just moving to VeryWell.com and the same tool can be found there. New links and screenshots above! πŸ™‚

  11. Hello Andrew – I only discovered your site today, when looking for a nutrition label generation tool. Seeing that Calorie Count is gone now I thought I’d touch base to keep up with the conversation as I’d love to hear your thoughts on where to next!
    BTW – your recipes also look superb. Congratulations!

  12. Does this allow you print a label? And maybe I missed something but did you say this is a free application?

    Thank you.

  13. I would like to use your tool but you don’t show the phosphorus level in your analysis. Can you add that so all kidney patients can use your tool?

    • LOL waiting two days for a website to load is some serious patience… at that point you might want to check your internet connection or something (the site is up right now for me).

  14. After you’ve entered the ingredients, it asks you to enter the number of servings, but doesn’t indicate in what quantity…it just has numbers…2 could be 2 cups, 2 oz, 2T…I would use it if they’d add a drop down menu for amounts. Thanks for the lead, though!

    • The measurements don’t signify. It’s asking how many servings you want the total to be divided by. Ie. how many people are eating it or if you know a recipe makes 24 mini muffins, then put 24 and you will know the nutritional info per muffin. How many each person eats is up to them.

  15. Thank you for posting this. I am wondering after I make a recipe and get the calculations right then how am going to calculate the calories after I fry my recipe in oil. For example I know how many calories in one pound of potatoes then how many calories in my fries for one pound of potatoes?

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