Caley Jack Steward

December 4, 2022

Hey Siri, Make Me a Recipe App: Part III

Without much ado, it is time for the series finale. In this part we will create a shortcut that adds a recipe’s ingredients to our grocery list. But not all the ingredients, just the ones we know we need.

Adding Ingredients to Your Grocery List

A lot a recipe apps have their own self-contained grocery list manager. This feature usually lacks for a multitude of reasons; They do not integrate with your existing grocery list workflow; They add all ingredients instead of just the ones you need; It does not sync across your devices.

Let’s make one that works with our recipes in Apple Notes by creating a shortcut that will add just the ingredients we choose to a list in Apple Reminders. Here are the steps needed:

  1. Share – Adds our shortcut to the share sheet
  2. Get Text from Input – The text of the recipe itself
  3. Match Text – Uses a RegEx expression to find the individual ingredients
  4. Get Group from Matched Text – Parses the results from the previous step
  5. Choose from List – Presents a list of selectable ingredients
  6. Repeat with Each – Iterates over the selected ingredients and performs an action of our choosing
    1. Add New Reminder – The action we want to perform, adding the ingredient to our grocery list

There is a bit of setup to cover in the first step. After adding the Share action we need to choose the type of input which I have set to “Shortcut Input.”


Next we need to define the type of input to receive which in our case needs to be either plain text or rich text. We can consider Apple Notes to be a rich text editor.

Then we set where the input comes from which I have set to “Show in Share Sheet”. This makes the shortcut easily accessible anywhere we see the share icon.


The next important step to setup is #3, Match Text. Here we use a bit of RegEx to find all the ingredients in our recipe. This works well as long as we don’t have other bulleted lists in our recipe besides ingredients. 

Here is the full RegEx statement I use:


It may be cryptic to some so here it includes a breakdown of what the various pieces do:

[•*-] – Looks for any of these characters that may indicate a list item (Because we have included * and -, this will work well with Markdown files as well)

\s – Looks for a space after the bullet

([\w].*) – Matches the actual words of the ingredient

\n – Stops matching when we reach a new line

This RegEx will return all matches, i.e. ingredients, from the text input. We can then use these matches in step #4 to allow the user to only select the ingredients they want to add to the their grocery list.

You can download my version of the Shortcut here:

Wrapping it Up

I hope I have clearly demonstrated a way to circumvent the need for a dedicated recipe app on any Apple device. While my setup relies only on Apple’s apps, you could easily swap in your preferred note-taking or to-do app as long as they support Siri Shortcuts.

Do not let the end of this series stop you from creating your own recipe shortcuts like “Dinner Roulette” or “Meals in less than 30 minutes.” The possibilities are nearly as endless as the recipes themselves.

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About Caley Jack Steward

Fanboí extraordinaire, technology is my passion