You can't get patents or copyrights on a recipe.
I think the issues are a little more complex than this. No copyrights on a recipe: sort of right. You cannot copyright a simple list of ingredients or basic instructions explaining how to put them together. Cookbooks, on the other hand, which include cute or clever language, photos of meals and so on are certainly copyrightable.
I believe you may be able to get a patent on a recipe. The reason companies don't bother -- why Coca-Cola has never patented its secret formula, for example -- is because it would be pointless, because patents are public. As soon as Coca-Cola patented its formula, everybody in the world would know exactly how it was made, and it would be trivial to create taste-alike products. Instead, Coca-Cola maintains its formula as a trade secret and does not rely on government protections such as patents.