In this paper, we introduce an effective strategy for subgoal division and ordering based upon recursive subgoals and combine this strategy with a genetic-based planning approach. This strategy can be applied to domains with conjunctive goals. The main idea is to recursively decompose a goal into a set of serializable subgoals and to specify a strict ordering among the subgoals. Empirical results show that the recursive subgoal strategy reduces the size of the search space and improves the quality of solutions to planning problems. © Springer-Verlag 2004.