The 8 Best Cookbooks to Give as Wedding Gifts in 2020

When everything on the registry has already been purchased...

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Our Top Picks

Best for Overall: Martha Stewart's Newlywed Kitchen at Amazon

"Everything the newlywed couple needs to be successful and enjoy their time together in the kitchen."

Best Practical: The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook, Gift Edition at Amazon

"Recipes have been specifically designed for the two-person household so you can rest assured you won’t be eating leftovers for a full week."

Best Healthy: Healthier Together at Amazon

"Specifically targets for-two households with the goal of nourishing your body and your relationship in tandem."

Best Memoir: Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir at Amazon

"This book dives head-on into 'the intersection of race, fame, and food,' and his personal account will inspire and motivate anyone to follow their dreams."

Best Celebrity: Cravings: Hungry for More at Amazon

"Whether or not the newlyweds are Chrissy fans, it’s a solid cookbook worth adding to anyone’s collection."

Best for Entertaining: Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over at Amazon

"This lax mindset is exactly what newlyweds need to hear when it comes to future entertaining."

Best Baking: Pastry Love: A Baker's Journal of Favorite Recipes at Amazon

"All newlyweds should have at least one dessert-centric book, and this is the one to get."

Best Technical: Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking at Amazon

"Filled with plenty of recipes, as well as infographics and illustrations, this thorough guide will enhance the knowledge of any novice or experienced cook."

Brides and grooms pack wedding registries full of new and fancy kitchen gadgets and appliances for aspirational future kitchens, but the often-overlooked kitchen essentials—cookbooks—are the gift that keeps on giving. This list includes our top picks for the perfect gifts for newlyweds, sure to keep them motivated in the kitchen for years of married life to come.

Best Overall: Martha Stewart's Newlywed Kitchen

Martha Stewart's Newlywed Kitchen: Recipes for Weeknight Dinners and Easy, Casual Gatherings: A Cookbook
Courtesy of Amazon

From casual weeknight dinners for two to more involved, larger gatherings, Martha Stewart has everything the newlywed couple needs to be successful and enjoy their time together in the kitchen. The first part of the book details essential kitchen equipment and tools, teamwork tips, and even dining decor suggestions (in true Martha fashion). The 100+ recipes range from basics like 30-Minute Spaghetti and Meatballs and Double Chocolate Brownie Bars, to more refined entertaining options like Buckwheat Blinis with Caviar and Crème Fraîche or Browned Butter-Herbed Cashews.

Best Practical: The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook, Gift Edition

The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook, Gift Edition: 650 Recipes for Everything You'll Ever Want to Make
 Courtesy of Amazon

America’s Test Kitchen has specifically published a “gift edition” of this popular for-two book. Its luxe package looks impressive and gift-worthy, and the content is tailor-made for newlyweds (or empty nesters, college students, etc.). Recipes have been specifically designed for the two-person household—even dishes like lasagnas and cakes have been precisely scaled down—so you can rest assured you won’t be eating leftovers for a full week.

The test kitchen team has developed creative ways to utilize kitchen equipment in new ways, and a thorough introduction section provides you with shopping and storage tips and tricks.

Best Healthy: Healthier Together: Recipes for Two—Nourish Your Body, Nourish Your Relationships: A Cookbook

Healthier Together: Recipes for Two--Nourish Your Body, Nourish Your Relationships: A Cookbook
 Courtesy of Amazon

This cookbook targets for-two households with the goal of nourishing your body and your relationship in tandem—perfect for the health-conscious newlywed couple. The 100+ recipes to cook with your partner are all gluten-free, dairy-free, and plant-forward, but with mouth-watering dishes like Chocolate Tahini Brownie Bites and General Tso’s Cauliflower, you won’t even notice what’s missing. Chapters like “Better Than Takeout” and “Brunch Vibes” make it easier than ever to cook your own meals and dine out less often. There’s even a 20-minutes or less chapter for when you’re in a time crunch but still want to get a homemade meal on the table.

Best Memoir: Notes from a Young Black Chef

Notes from a Young Black Chef: A Memoir
 Courtesy of Amazon

Food is an extremely personal part of life, and it is therefore no surprise that there’s a whole sub-genre of cookbooks that fall into the “memoir” realm, recounting the associations one has with certain dishes. In his inspirational new memoir, Kwame Onwuachi, the award-winning executive chef at Kith/Kin and former Top Chef contestant, takes readers on a journey through his career thus far, recounting the good and the bad.

The culinary industry is notoriously tough on any new chef, but as a person of color, it can be even more unfavorable. This book dives head-on into “the intersection of race, fame, and food,” and his personal account will inspire and motivate anyone to follow their dreams, no matter the challenges ahead.

Best Celebrity: Cravings: Hungry for More: A Cookbook

Cravings: Hungry for More: A Cookbook
 Courtesy of Amazon

Chrissy Teigen may be a celebrity, but she’s just like us when it comes to dinnertime. No stranger to the kitchen, this is her second cookbook and it’s a diverse collection, with recipes ranging from comfort food like “banana bread that breaks the internet” to more exotic dishes like Thai fish cakes or more refined recipes like scallop linguine. For the starch-enthusiasts out there (and let’s face it, who isn’t?), there’s even a chapter devoted to potatoes called “Potatoes and Their Friends.”

The book is full of fun anecdotes and tips that bring the reader/home cook into Chrissy’s kitchen, and, whether or not the newlyweds are Chrissy fans, it’s a solid cookbook worth adding to anyone’s collection.

Best for Entertaining: Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over

Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over
 Courtesy of Amazon

Alison Roman’s collection is all about “unfussy food, unfussy vibes and the permission to be imperfect,” and this lax mindset is exactly what newlyweds need to hear when it comes to future entertaining. An introduction section offers Roman’s key tips, as well as recommendations for shopping, essential ingredients, and the must-have equipment for small apartment living.

Recipes like One-Pot Chicken with Dates and Caramelized Lemon and Smashed Eggs and Fancy Fish on Crackers are the perfect crowd-pleasers, and there are also plenty of veggie-centric sides and salty snacks (Labne with Sizzled Scallions and Chile (Almost Ranch)—yes please!) to satisfy all your guests, all the while minimizing the stress that too often accompanies entertaining.

Best Baking: Pastry Love: A Baker's Journal of Favorite Recipes

Pastry Love: A Baker's Journal of Favorite Recipes
Courtesy of Amazon

All newlyweds should have at least one dessert-centric book, and this is the one to get. James Beard Award-winning baker Joanne Chang, known for her notorious Boston bakery chain, Flour, has released a new “baking bible” that includes her favorite dessert recipes, but specifically those that she could never sell in her bakery for logistical reasons. However, lucky for us, she’s bringing them to home kitchens everywhere now.

Throughout the book, recipes progress in difficulty, so you can start out simple with cookies and work your way up to a masterful crepe cake. The book also details kitchen tips and tricks, an equipment breakdown, and essential techniques (homemade puff pastry anyone?).

Best Technical: Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking
Courtesy of Amazon 

Acclaimed chef and writer Samin Nosrat breaks cooking down into the four key elements that make food so delicious and appealing in this part-encyclopedia-part-cookbook. The book received so much notoriety that it even got Netflix’s attention—you can follow Nosrat around the world as she explores salt, fat, acid, and heat in a documentary-esque series. But even those who’ve seen the Netflix show will still want the hefty book that started it all; filled with plenty of recipes, as well as infographics and illustrations, this thorough guide will enhance the knowledge of any novice or experienced cook.

Final Verdict

For an overall winning newlywed cookbook that offers plenty of recipe variety, entertaining tips, and a gifty exterior that’ll look nice in any kitchen or bookshelf, we recommend Martha Stewart's Newlywed Kitchen. For those looking for an even more comprehensive collection with recipes specifically pared down for two, your best bet is The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook, Gift Edition.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

The Spruce Eats writer Alyssa Langer is a cookbook enthusiast herself, collecting dozens over the years and always turning to them for inspiration, whether it’s a time-consuming weekend baking project or just a quick Monday night dinner. Having worked in the cookbook publishing world in the past, she knows what it takes to create a quality book that delivers something new and exciting to readers—particularly in an increasingly online world.

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