How to Cut Recipes in Half

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Cut any recipe in half with these easy tips! Cutting down recipes doesn’t have to be difficult anymore. I’m teaching you how to halve recipes with ease!

graphic saying how to cut recipes in half

How to Halve Recipes

Sometimes you come across a great recipe that you’re dying to make, but the recipe makes WAY too much food.

You don’t need two dozen muffins; you just need a few for breakfast. You don’t need a huge casserole; you just want a small portion to serve with other dishes.

But when it comes time to halve the recipe, trying to figure out exactly how much to use of each ingredient becomes a huge math problem. I know I didn’t sign up for math when I started cooking!

Well, don’t give up on that recipe just because you need to cut it down. Halving recipes isn’t so hard once you understand the most basic cooking measurements and conversions. So let’s start there!

graphic of kitchen conversions

Basic Cooking Conversions

I wrote an entire post about cooking conversions because there’s a lot to learn (I even made a printable cooking measurements chart for you!). But I’m going to give you the basics here so that you can figure out how to cut that recipe in half without going insane.

It’s easy enough to halve 2 cups into 1 cup, or 4 tablespoons into 2 tablespoons, but what about when we start getting into numbers that are more difficult to cut in half?

Here’s the simplest thing to remember:

1 cup = 16 tablespoons

1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons

If you can remember this fact, you can cut down recipes with ease!

Convert cups to tablespoons, and cut the tablespoons in half. 

For example: If you want to cut 3/4 cup in half…how do you do that?

1 cup = 16 tablespoons.

3/4 of 16 is 12.

So divide 12 tablespoons in half and you get 6.

So half of 3/4 cups is 6 tablespoons!

I know doing that math on the run is a bit tedious though, so I’m going to make it even easier for you.

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Cutting Measurements in Half

When you need to halve a recipe, getting out your pen and paper to do the math is just a hassle. So here’s a quick cheat sheet to give you the answers!

    • What is half of ¾ cups? 6 tablespoons
    • What is half of ½ cup? 1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons
    • What is half of ¼ cup? 1/8 cup or 2 tablespoons
    • What is half of ⅓ cup? 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons or 8 teaspoons
    • What is half of 1 teaspoon? 1/2 teaspoon
    • What is half of 1 tablespoon? 1/2 tablespoon
    • What is half of ½ teaspoon? 1/4 teaspoon

sliced loaf of bread on a cutting board

Tips for Cutting a Recipe in Half

  • A good way to halve an odd number of eggs for a recipe is to beat together the egg white and yolk, then measure out half the egg to add to your recipe.
  • Weighing out your ingredients (instead of measuring them with spoons and cups) is a more accurate way to halve ingredients. This level of precision isn’t necessary for all recipes, but it will be helpful when baking.
  • For spices and seasonings, it might be better to use slightly less than half, and then season to taste.
  • Just because you’re cutting the ingredients in half, doesn’t mean you should cut the cooking time in half. This is harder to calculate, but your cooking time will usually be slightly less than what’s listed in the recipe.
  • Before halving a recipe, consider whether or not that recipe would freeze well. For example: soups, casseroles, and cookie dough are all things you can easily freeze for months. It might be useful to make the full recipe (instead of messing with halving it), then saving the other half for another time. Your future self will thank you!
  • I mostly focused on dry ingredient measurements here, but if you’re using liquid ingredients, it’s much easier to cut those in half. Get a good liquid measuring cup that marks small increments, and you’re good to go!

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Now that you know how to cut recipes in half, go and make that great recipe and enjoy! Find more recipe tips here.

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