The 10 Best Plant-Based Cookbooks for Veggie Lovers and Staunch Carnivores Alike
Whether you’re a veteran vegan, newbie vegetarian or just want to eat more vegetables, a plant-based diet can be a solid (read: delicious) route to take. As long as you have a steady supply of recipes that keep you from eating oatmeal and salad for every meal, that is. Here are 10 plant-based cookbooks both new and old, all jam-packed with exciting ideas.
1. Vegan Soul Food Cookbook: Plant-Based, No-Fuss Southern Favorites by Nadira Jenkins-El
We love these better-for-you, meat-free alternatives to soul food classics like Cajun fried “chicken” and barbecue “riblets.” Jenkins-El will teach you how to cut fat, sugar and animal products without sacrificing flavor, as well as how to transition your pantry for a plant-based lifestyle. Better yet, if you have any food allergies, the recipes are equipped with easy labels for gluten, nuts, oil and soy.
2. The Plant-Based Diet for Beginners: 75 Delicious, Healthy, Whole-Food Recipes by Gabriel Miller
Contrary to popular belief, a plant-based diet isn’t the same as being vegan. You can actually still eat meat, fish and dairy occasionally, as long as most of what’s on your plate is plant-based. Consider this book your guide to making the switch, complete with recipes like Hawaiian luau burgers, an easy enchilada bake and peanut butter nice cream.
3. Decolonize Your Diet: Plant-Based Mexican-American Recipes for Health and Healing by Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibel
Recipient of the International Latino Book Award for Best Cookbook, this read redefines America’s flawed idea of “traditional” Mexican food. The recipes put heritage crops and indigenous ingredients like corn, beans and squash front and center. Taste your way through dishes like aguachile de quinoa, tepary bean salad and—wait for it—amaranth chocolate cake.
4. The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison
Julia Child is to French cuisine as Deborah Madison is to vegetarian cooking. This book was originally published back in 1997 and won both a James Beard Foundation award *and* the IACP Julia Child Cookbook of the Year award. Its second iteration is even better with more than 200 new recipes that are just as creative, healthy and simple as the first 1,600.
5. The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook: Wholesome, Indulgent Plant-Based Recipes by Nisha Vora
We’re big fans of Vora’s plant-based recipes—not only are they easy to tackle at home, but they’re downright gorgeous, too. Explore her first cookbook for a range of healthy, comforting recipes that can all be made in the pressure cooker. A few standouts include her vegan farro risotto, vegetable lasagna with vegan basil ricotta and spicy Thai butternut squash soup.
6. The Complete Plant-Based Cookbook: 500 Inspired, Flexible Recipes for Eating Well Without Meat by America’s Test Kitchen
Any recipe that comes out of ATK is basically foolproof, so we have high hopes for this December 1 release. The cookbook takes newbies into account, as all the recipes are naturally vegan but flexible enough to accommodate meat and dairy if that’s what you’re craving. For instance, swap eggs in for tofu when making rancheros with avocado or use butter instead of coconut oil to make no-bake cherry-almond crisp. You’ll also score a ton of tips for cooking with plants, like how to turn veggies into pasta sauce.
7. Bazaar: Vibrant Vegetarian Recipes by Sabrina Ghayour
This gem was named one of the most inspiring cookbooks of 2019 by the Washington Post for a reason. Each recipe is influenced by classic Middle Eastern flavors, spices and aromatics. Ghayour applies these to hearty grain and veggie dishes that you’ll actually be excited to eat, like grilled halloumi flatbreads with preserved lemon salsa or feta, pul biber and oregano macaroni and cheese.
8. The Friendly Vegan Cookbook: 100 Essential recipes to Share with Vegans and Omnivores Alike by Michelle Cehn and Toni Okamoto
The author of Plant-Based on a Budget and the founder of World of Vegan teamed up to create this new release full of flavorful recipes that both diehard vegans and veggie-curious newbies will love. Add this one to your cart for rigorously-tested recipes like fettuccine alfredo, pot pie and sushi, as well as meal planning tips and helpful shopping lists that’ll help you stay on track.
9. Frugal Vegan: Affordable, Easy & Delicious Vegan Cooking by Kate Kasbee and Katie Koteen
If you’ve noticed your grocery bill getting higher and higher since making the switch to plant-based eating, you’re not alone. This book will teach you to avoid pricy perishables and single-use fancy ingredients while still enjoying exciting plant-based meals. The recipes are approachable and practical, prioritizing minimal time in the kitchen and maximum payoff. Think everything from pineapple scones to beer-battered avocado and black bean tacos to salted peanut butter popcorn.
10. Vegan Cakes: Dreamy Cakes & Decadent Desserts by Sarah Hardy
This recent release is full of confections that look like they were yanked straight out of a fairy tale—and there’s indeed something magical about desserts that look this good without any eggs or dairy. Whip up impressive treats like rose and ginger cheesecake, black sesame banana bread and pink vanilla dream cake and sherry berry trifle with the help of step-by-step photos and icing instructions.