This post was originally published in April 2021 and has been updated.
Raise your hand if you’re in a committed relationship with your kitchen. Maybe you’re still on a sourdough kick, maybe you’re ready for something new. Either way, we could all benefit from some inspiration to shake up our meals now and then. So we rounded up our favorite cookbooks getting us through our breakfasts, lunches, and dinners right now. On your marks, get set, cook…
This one can do it all. Ten chapters, 110 recipes, one instant classic we’ll refer back to forever. The beloved author’s latest cookbook is a healthy (read: body positive) guide to comfort food. Her chapters cover everything from sweets and salad dressings to things like go-to side dishes and make-ahead mains. Turshen also provides menu recs, recipe adaptations for dietary restrictions, and kitchen organizing tips along the way. Don’t mind us...we’ve already got the weeknight salmon salad in heavy rotation. (Amazon, Bookshop)
Take a few notes from legendary pitmaster and James Beard Award-winning chef Rodney Scott. In this BBQ bible of sorts, he walks you through the magic behind his famous recipes and details his journey from cooking with his family as a kid to running his own majorly successful (and world-famous) biz in Charleston. It’s the ultimate reference book filled with BBQ classics. And it’s one you’ll want to keep cooking out of all summer long. (Amazon, Bookshop)
Make your dreams a reality. This NYT bestseller is an IG-friendly celebration of Jewish cooking. Cohen, who grew up eating Ashkenazi staples and whose husband is Persian-Iraqi, provides a roster of modern riffs on classic Jewish dishes. Think: cacio e pepe rugelach, pumpkin spice babka, and more. He’s got the typical stuff that’ll you want to nosh on come challah-days (helllooooo, matzo ball soup) and the dishes you’ll want to have on a regular Tuesday night. We’re so hungry-ish just thinking about it. (Amazon, Bookshop)
In Pepper’s cookbook you’ll get about 80 recipes of mostly Thai dishes with a side of personal stories. She writes about growing up in Thailand, moving to the US, and living with John and Chrissy Teigen. Plus she has fun sections devoted to salads (not the boring kind), her pantry staples, and leftovers. It’s lick-your-fingers good. Trust us. (Amazon, Bookshop)
Start here. The former Bon Appétit star’s first book is devoted to teaching foundational kitchen info and basics that’ll help you cook efficiently. It’s filled with QR codes you can scan with that’ll drive you to online tutorial vids where Baz offers tips for things like carving meat and chopping veggies. The book has recipes for all the major categories. Think: eggs, snacks, salads, seafood, baking, and more. And it doesn’t hurt that the finished products look great on the gram. (Amazon, Bookshop)
This book will help you through it. The founding editor of NYT Cooking has curated this book of accessible “no-recipe recipes.” If you’ve got your confused face on, we’ll explain. Sifton asks his readers to improvise. It’ll put the fun back in cooking and make you a more confident home chef along the way. The 100 recipes are structured differently than your normal cookbook’s: There are no precise measurements, but everything you need to know is still there. It’s perfect for busy parents and people who don’t always have the patience to follow detailed directions. You’ll basically be ready to star in an episode of “Chopped” in no time. Challenge accepted. (Amazon, Bookshop)
Have your cake and eat it too. In “Snacking Cakes,” Yossy Arefi teaches you how to make one-bowl, no-fuss, single-layer cakes. Her recipes rely on pantry staples and don't require electric mixers, so you’ll be able to whip them up between Zoom meetings. Finally, an easy way to fulfill that 2 pm sugar craving without dirtying every single bowl imaginable. How sweet indeed. (Amazon, Bookshop)
Judge away. Because Betty Liu’s popular blog and drool-worthy Insta turned us into one of her biggest fans. Liu, a first-generation Chinese American, grew up eating Shanghainese food and wrote her book as a way to “bring more awareness to the regional cuisines of China.” In it, she pays homage to classic dishes from the region and shares her incredible family recipes too. It’s broken down by season (we’re particularly obsessed with spring’s scallion recipes) so you can easily find something that’ll fit your mood. Oh, and if these dishes weren’t impressive enough...she also wrote the book while in medical school. Casual. (Amazon, Bookshop)
Bring the food of Oaxaca to your kitchen without hopping on a plane. Acclaimed Mexican chef Alejandro Ruiz divides his cookbook into three parts as a way to celebrate the city’s bustling culinary scene. The first covers classic dishes from his childhood. The second part’s all about food inspired by the coast. And the third section includes recipes from his restaurant in Oaxaca. The book also has a comprehensive glossary of terms and Ruiz’s personal recommendations on where to eat in the region. Can’t wait. (Amazon, Bookshop)
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It’s time to break up with your Seamless account. And start dating your kitchen. Warning: things may get hot and steamy.
This list has containers to keep your produce fresh, herb scissors, and a spoon designed for peanut butter jars. Dinner is served.
Like an egg cooker, veggie chopper and something to keep your counters clean AF.