Here’s a little something you might not know about me. Most people have stacks of novels on their nightstand. Guess what I’ve got? Cookbooks! I read them like thrillers or page-turning romance tales. In fact, I have so many cookbooks that I have to do periodic purges. I love passing them on to friends and family—especially the dinged up, splattered ones. They’ve got personality, just like the food I love to cook.
If you’re on the hunt for some new plant-based meal inspiration, this is the perfect time of year to expand your library. Where I live in the Catskill Mountains, it already feels like Fall. Crisp air, roaring fires, root veggies, soups, hot apple cider…it makes a gal want to whip up some compassionate shizzle!
So to get your mouth watering and your ovens roaring, here are a few of my fave cookbooks. Some are oldies but goodies, others are this-just-in fresh editions that are destined to become well-stained classics.
One last thing, don’t worry if you’re a kitchen rookie. None of us were born knowing how to cook. The best way to learn is to just do it. Find a recipe that catches your eye—and make it! If you screw it up, who cares?! You’ll do better next time. Remember, health is an overall direction and so is cooking. And here’s the thing, sometimes our biggest mistakes create kitchen miracles. Amen, bon appetit!
Now, let’s explore the cookbooks that are near and dear to my heart and aprons.
10 Cookbooks I Love (and You Will Too!)
Oh She Glows Every Day: Quick and Simply Satisfying Plant-based Recipes by Angela Liddon
Coming from the popular Oh She Glows blog, this is Angela’s second cookbook and it’s focus is convenience. If you’re feeling busy and your schedule is packed, this is a treasure chest of nutritious recipes for the busy lifestyle. Plant-based eating doesn’t have to be complicated, and I love all the tips for adjusting recipes to you and your fam’s dietary needs.
This Cheese is Nuts!: Delicious Vegan Cheese at Home By Julie Piatt
Cheese. We love it and when changing our diets, it’s often the one thing we say we couldn’t live without. Enter Julie’s awesome book! She teaches us how make our own dairy-free cheese right at home. It’s better cheese with no more belly aches and all the other crappy stuff that comes along with dairy. Welcome to the world of nut-based cheese-making!
Chloe’s Kitchen: 125 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Making the Food You Love the Vegan Way by Chloe Coscarelli
I’ll be honest, I use this one so much that it’s broken—held together with a big paper clip! Chloe’s Kitchen is filled with a big array of recipes that I totally adore, along with tried and true tips for even the most seasoned chef. I have one more confession: I love her recipes so much that I’ve already pre-ordered her new cookbook a year out—so pumped for this one too!
Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking by Dana Shultz
If you want to keep things simple, this is a wonderful place to start. Each of the recipes only use one pot or pan, have ten ingredients or less, and take a maximum of 30 minutes to make. This is the ultimate book for starting slow and steady with high-quality simple plant-based recipes. If you’re a no-fuss and healthy kinda gal, this is a gem for you!
Deliciously Ella Every Day: Quick and Easy Recipes for Gluten-Free Snacks, Packed Lunches, and Simple Meals by Ella Woodward
I adore Ella. Like me, her health awakening lead to a wellness revolution. If you’re looking for nutrition on the go. She’s created a wonderful collection of recipes to help you avoid getting hangry (that’s hungry + angry) while you’re out and about. She delves into batch cooking, recipes you can make ahead of time, and yummy snacks to take with ya wherever you go!
The Homemade Vegan Pantry: The Art of Making Your Own Staples by Miyoko Schinner
Making your own pantry staples is truly an art that Miyoko has mastered and so delightfully has shared with us all. If you want to avoid buying products that are over processed or packaged, DIY is the best way to go—and it is much easier and quicker than you think! I love the beautiful imagery in this cookbook. Truly a treat for anyone who wants to further pursue the hand-crafted element of at-home cuisine!
Happy Healthy Vegan Kitchen by Kathy Patalsky
Kathy is one of my all-time favorite cookbook authors, plus her site has so many great free recipes. Her cookbook is a staple for the seasoned vegan or newbie, with loads of flavor-packed recipes and invaluable kitchen tips. And her vibe is infectious—who doesn’t wanna make cooking fun?! She’s definitely a cook to keep on your radar!
The Superfun Times Vegan Holiday Cookbook: Entertaining for Absolutely Every Occasion by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
When it’s party time, it can sometimes be a challenge to prep an app, entree, side or dessert that is tasty for all your friends and family. Isa has solved that problem with this book that offers up loads of delicious recipes for any special occasion. Also important shout-out—the updated 10th anniversary edition of Veganomicon is right around the corner. I’m super excited!
The Joy of Vegan Baking: More than 150 Traditional Treats and Sinful Sweets by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
I’ve never learned how to bake, but I most certainly want to. I love all of Colleen’s books because they’re so approachable, easy and delicious. She outlines how to make our favorite decadent treats without skimping on our health. Colleen has put vegan baking on the map—and I’m so grateful for all her yummy treats!
But I Could Never Go Vegan!: 125 Recipes That Prove You Can Live Without Cheese, It’s Not All Rabbit Food, and Your Friends Will Still Come Over for Dinner by Kristy Turner
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard one of these excuses, I could start an animal sanctuary! Kristy’s book is filled with humor and more importantly, delicious recipes that will convert anyone into being a plant-based believer. She slices and dices through every excuse, proving that you can still enjoy life and be vegan too!
Crazy Sexy Kitchen: 150 Plant-Empowered Recipes to Ignite a Mouthwatering Revolution by Kris Carr and Chef Chad Sarno
I mean, how could I not include my own book?! My pal, Chef Chad Sarno and I spent months working together and pouring our hearts and souls into creating a cookbook for y’all. It’s a veggie manifesto for plant-empowered gourmands and novices alike. It’s filled with inspiration, education, cooking tips and over 150 nourishing, nosh-worthy recipes. Enjoy!
Your turn: What are your go-to, favorite cookbooks? Let us know in the comments below.
Peace and happy cookin’,
Check out my cookbook, Crazy Sexy Kitchen, for mouth-watering, nourishing recipes for every occasion. Get your copy here.
I love reading all of your lists, Kris! I own several of these cook books and just ordered the rest from my library. Thank you so much!
I was going to suggest Tara Stiles’ “Make Your Own Rules Cookbook”, but then I realized that the dishes are leaning more towards vegetarian rather than strictly vegan. However, most of the recipes are vegan-friendly, in that ingredients can be omitted or altered to suit your personal tastes. I’m a big fan of Tara and love the little anecdotes that are scattered throughout the book, as well as her take on living with ease and creating space to feel good, so this is my go-to cookbook. On the vegan side, I also love “Crazy, Sexy Kitchen” and I also have both of Ella’s cookbooks sitting on my shelf 🙂 I’ve had “This Cheese is Nuts” on my wishlist on Amazon since it came out, so maybe it’s time to take the plunge.
Wonderful suggestion, Marianne! Thank you! xo, kc
I had been following you for the past few months and already make many delicious dishes from your website. Now, eagerly looking for your cookbook.
Keep sharing great work!
The Moosewood Restaurant cookbooks are always a classic!
Added to the list to check them out! Thanks Sarah! xo, kc
Thanks for sharing. I really can recommend Atilla Hildmann https://www.amazon.com/Vegan-Fit-Hildmanns-Vegetarian-cholesterol/dp/3954530120
Baconish by Leinana Two Moons, is amazing!!
Ah, a woman after my own heart❤️ I have a serious cookbook addiction too. I also love refresh (and anything by Ruth Tal).
Thank you for sharing Lynn! <3 xo, kc
I love Julie Montagu’s “Superfoods”. She’s just about to release “Recharge” about self care
We love Julie too!
Maya Sozer – Easy Vegan Breakfast & Lunches
Amber St. Peter. – Home style Vegan
I just recently got Cook Lively! – a really great plant-based cookbook by Laura-Jane Koers. She’s known as the Rawtarian, but the cookbook contains non-raw dishes as well. The book has beautiful photography, similar to Kris Carr’s beautiful books. The recipes are simple, with short ingredient lists.
Nice list 🙂 I already own most of em including yours. I like to add Pure & beautiful vegan cooking from Kathleen Henry and my go to warming wintertime favourite Vegan Richas Indian Kitchen from Richa Hingle
thanks for this list! I just ordered 2 books and can’t wait to start cookin’! 🙂
Kris I’m new to vegan cooking and I need which ones are the. Best to start out with if you can only get two or three to start with.
Hi Jackie, I’d definitely recommend ‘Chloe’s kitchen’ first then the ‘Oh she glows’ then ‘Happy healthy Vegan kitchen’. The others are getting into specific genres like dairy-free cheese, home made staples, baking and gluten free. They all look great but if you’re just starting out these three would be best. Kris also recommended a few of the chef’s websites, I find that a great place to start and tinker with a few recipes and see if you like the types of recipes the chef offers and their personal cooking style. Good luck and welcome to going the vegan-way, Yay!!!
Hey Jackie, Cris’s comment is really great––though I’d add my book Crazy Sexy Kitchen to the mix! 😉 I do love the 3 she chose and use them A LOT. Hope that helps and glad you’re taking vegan cooking for a spin. Woot!
Hi Jackie! All of these books are amazing. I have the same addiction and had have a separate shelf in my kitchen just for all my books!! Crazy Sexy Kitchen is the BEST book to start but also, Crazy Sexy Diet is my bible for going Vegan and understanding how all the food groups affect us. Kris did an amazing job explaining so much to the world in her loving, kind way about how everything affects our individual bodies, our chemistry, and anything you want to know about a plant based diet. There’s also a 21 day cleanse included to jumpstart you into the world of this way of living/cooking/self care. Have fun and enjoy!! Your body will thank you!
LOL! I chuckled when I read your comment about Chloe’s book. Mine is in the same tattered, torn-up, food-splashed and rubber-banded-together condition. That original book of hers is simply AWESOME. 🙂
I love “Vegan Bowls” by Zsu Dever. The recipes take 30 minutes and the best feature of this cookbook is the diversity – so many delicious cuisines. There are also gluten-free and soy-free options. I have several of the books on your list & am looking forward to checking out the rest! Thanks for your dedicated “research” 😉
I love Dreena Burton’s recipe books as well. Great list Kris
Which cookbooks have pictures for most of the meals/recipes? I find I have a harder time with cookbooks that don’t have pictures sorry to say (I need pictures to interest me). I am really trying to find more vegan cookbooks but I notice a lot of them have only a few pictures in the and I am a visual person. Thank you
Great question Jeanne! All of these cookbooks have beautiful photography of their recipes! The pages that aren’t as visual are filled with tips and tricks to help you in the kitchen. Hope that helps! xo, kc
Hey Kris – thanks for sharing your list. The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen has been with me for a lot of years, I saw another person mentioned it too. It’s been around a good long while, a classic. I’m wading deeper into plant based, have all of your books … Crazy Sexy Diet, Crazy Sexy Kitchen, and Crazy Sexy Juice! Looking for cheese alternatives, so going to check out the one you recommended and some others. Thank you for your enthusiasm and spark … love it!
Ha! Glad to see that I’m not the only one who reads cookbooks like novels! One of my fave cookbook authors is Jessica Nadel. She has two vegan cookbooks called Superfoods 24/7 and Greens 24/7. One of the books even has a recipe for coconut bacon! They’re great books for the beginner vegan because they have a bit of everything to satisfy a variety of tastes. Thanks for the new book suggestions!
Thank you for your suggestions, honey! xo, kc
Passion…organic vegan recipes to live for. Anthea Amore