Get some cooking inspiration with Snapchat’s new Food Scan feature

The tool will recommend recipes based on the ingredients you already have.
Food scan by snapchat screens
We're sure you don't need an app to tell you you can make bacon and eggs, but still, Food Scan is pretty useful. Courtesy of Snapchat

Spending your money in the grocery store is a great way to eat healthier and reduce your expenses. The problem with buying food is that you have to prepare it, and that, of course, takes time. 

Enter Snapchat’s latest feature: Food Scan. This tool began rolling out across the US today and it’ll recommend recipes for whatever it’s in your fridge. All you have to do is, well, scan your food.

Learn how to use it and eat those delicious vegetables before they start rotting on the kitchen counter. 

How to use Snapchat’s Food Scan

Snapchat’s scanning feature is fairly similar to Google Lens. Just open the app, point the camera at something, and let artificial intelligence read what you’re seeing. As a result, the AI gives you a relevant recommendation: a link to a webpage, a product, or something else, like a filter or an app.  

[Related: Wield your smartphone camera in new ways with this all-purpose app]

To get recipe recommendations, open Snapchat, point your camera at an ingredient, and then press and hold on the image to start scanning. The platform works in partnership with, so when results are in, you’ll see a carousel with recipe suggestions that include the food you’ve scanned. 

If you have guests over, you may not only want to impress them with delicious preparations but also with knowledge about the dishes you’re munching on. To give you a helping hand, Food Scan is also connected to Wikipedia, so you’ll also get an article with information about your meal. 

But—probably because it is in its early stages—the feature is not perfect, and it seems to work best with unpacked ingredients. This means you’ll be more successful in scanning your eggs if you take them out of the tray, for example. There are also limitations to how the platform can identify foods. For instance, Food Scan had no problem recognizing an avocado when it was cut in half and showing its green flesh. But despite multiple attempts, it could not identify the same avocado when it was whole.   

Finally, Snapchat’s new feature still doesn’t know how to gauge quantities, so it’s possible you won’t be able to make any of the recipes the platform suggests. For example, if you scan that one tomato you have left, maybe you’ll get a recipe for pasta sauce, which requires more than one of the red, plump veggies. 

[Related: Use your phone to identify plants, landmarks, and other mysterious objects]

Regardless of its current limitations, Snapchat’s Food Scan can, at the very least, serve as a source of inspiration so nothing in your fridge goes to waste.