The 10 Best Cookbooks of 2020

Create something delicious in the kitchen

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall Cookbook: The Joy of Cooking (75th Anniversary Edition) at Amazon

"Includes some of the classic recipes from previous versions as well as updated recipes for the modern cook."

Best Family Friendly: Magnolia Table at Amazon

"Filled with beautiful photos, the recipes include ingredients that are easy to find so there’s no need to plan ahead."

Best Instructional Cookbook: Salt Fat Acid Heat at Amazon

"Home cooks sing its for the way the book teaches how to cook rather than just spewing recipes to be made."

Best Instant Pot Cookbook: The Instant Pot Bible at Amazon

"Has instructions that cover all versions of the Instant Pot, including the Max."

Best Bread Baking Cookbook: Flour Water Salt Yeast at Amazon

"Great for beginners who want to learn the basics, and just as good for more experienced bakers."

Best for Sous Vide: Sous Vide for Everybody at Amazon

"This book has enough sous vide techniques and recipes to keep the device busy every day of the week."

Best One-Pan Cookbook: Sheet Pan Suppers at Amazon

"Has a good mix of simpler recipes along with more complicated ones that require a bit more prep."

Best Baking: Great British Bake Off Big Book of Baking at Amazon

"This book has 120 of the recipes created by both the bakers and the judges."

Best Celebrity: Cravings at Amazon

"The photos are fun, the commentary is funny, and the recipes are tasty."

Best Vegetarian: Forks Over Knives The Cookbook at Amazon

"There are 300 recipes for plant-based meals, so there’s plenty to choose from."

  • 01 of 10

    Best Overall Cookbook: The Joy of Cooking (75th Anniversary Edition)

    The Joy of Cooking (75th Anniversary Edition)

    Courtesy of Amazon

    A classic for generations, The Joy of Cooking has seen many revisions over the years—and each has its own charm. While only the more recent editions are available as new books, if you want the version your mom used you might be able to find it online.

    The 75th-anniversary edition is great because it includes some of the classic recipes from previous versions as well as updated recipes for the modern cook. With over 4,000 recipes total, this is a great starter book, and it’s also ideal for someone who doesn’t have the shelf space for a large collection of books.

  • 02 of 10

    Best Family Friendly: Magnolia Table

    With recipes based on family favorites, plus some from the Magnolia Table restaurant, this book has something for everyone. Comfort food shows up, along with healthier recipes. It’s filled with beautiful photos, and the recipes include ingredients that are easy to find so there’s no need to plan ahead and hunt for obscure spices online.

    This is a large, hefty book with 336 pages; some readers complained that it didn’t sit flat, so it might be wise to find a sturdy cookbook stand to make cooking easier.

  • 03 of 10

    Best Instructional Cookbook: Salt Fat Acid Heat

    This book is a James Beard award winner and a New York Times bestseller, and it won several IACP awards as well. But what’s more important is that home cooks sing its praises for the way the book teaches how to cook rather than just spewing recipes to be made.

    The instructional parts are engaging, making it easy to follow along. But the book doesn’t stop at instruction since it has recipes that use the techniques, so there’s a good reason to keep coming back to the book, over and over.

  • 04 of 10

    Best Instant Pot Cookbook: The Instant Pot Bible

    The Instant Pot has become a nearly essential cooking appliance, and there are a huge number of cookbooks that take advantage of that audience. This one is unique in that it has instructions that cover all versions of the Instant Pot, including the Max that can function at a higher pressure than other versions. With this book, there won’t be that annoying moment when the book instructs to push a button that doesn’t exist on your version of the Instant Pot.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Best Bread Baking Cookbook: Flour Water Salt Yeast

    Similar to Salt Fat Acid Heat, this book includes a lot of information about technique, which is incredibly important with bread considering the vast number of breads that can be made with just the four title ingredients. From pizza dough to boules, this book is great for beginners who want to learn the basics, and it’s just as good for more experienced bakers who want to hone their skills or learn new techniques.

    While the ingredients are simple, cooks might need a few extra tools to follow the recipes in this book, like an instant read thermometer, a scale, and a Dutch oven.

  • 06 of 10

    Best for Sous Vide: Sous Vide for Everybody

    The folks at America’s Test Kitchen are known for being precise, and perhaps a bit persnickety, which is exactly what’s useful when developing sous vide recipes where precise temperatures make a big difference. While sous vide cooking isn’t as popular as pressure cooking, it has been becoming much more popular as the prices of sous vide devices drop.

    From main dishes to desserts—and an excellent crème brulee recipe—this book has enough sous vide techniques and recipes to keep the device busy every day of the week.

  • 07 of 10

    Best One-Pan Cookbook: Sheet Pan Suppers

    Sheet pan suppers are the ultimate in one-pan cooking. No need for countertop appliances or an expensive Dutch oven—just put everything on a common sheet pan and pop it in the oven. This book has a good mix of simpler recipes along with more complicated ones that require a bit more prep, so it has a little of something for everyone. While the title says this book is for suppers, it also includes appetizers—and a sheet pan holds plenty of appetizers or snacks for a crowd—and even desserts.

  • 08 of 10

    Best Baking: Great British Bake Off Big Book of Baking

    Many Americans have fallen in love with the Great British Bake Off with its signature bakes, technical challenges, and showstoppers, all baked in a tent. This book has 120 of the recipes created by both the bakers and the judges. The recipes use British measurements and ingredients, so it can be a little more difficult for American bakers, but with a kitchen scale and a quick Google search for weight conversions, definitions, or substitutions, recipes are doable for home cooks.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Best Celebrity: Cravings

    You might expect that a model’s cookbook would be filled with carrot sticks and kale chips, but this book is pretty much the opposite, with plenty of comfort food, family meals, and party food. Sure, there are salads, too, but there’s also a chapter of “noodles and carbs” for all the pasta lovers in the house. The photos are fun, the commentary is funny, and the recipes are tasty. This really lives up to the title—it really is the food you want to eat.

    "I've made so many of the recipes from this book and many have become staples for when I'm cooking for my friends. I love the variety of recipes, too—incredible brunch dishes, great weeknight lunches or dinners, and fun appetizers to take to a party." Mary Kate Hoban, Editor, The Spruce Eats

  • 10 of 10

    Best Vegetarian: Forks Over Knives The Cookbook

    Whether you’re already eating a plant-based diet, you’re trying to limit meat-eating, or you need recipes to feed vegetarian guests, this book can help. There are 300 recipes for plant-based meals, so there’s plenty to choose from. Many users found this book after watching the documentary of the same name, but that’s not necessary for using the book.

    Like the best cookbooks on our shelves, this has a mix of simple and complicated recipes and plenty of basics like broths and sauces that can be used outside this book’s recipes. Not just for savory dishes, this book even has a chapter devoted to desserts for a sweet treat at the end of the meal. A second Forks Over Knives is also available for those who enjoyed this one.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Donna Currie’s cooking gadget collection is only out shadowed by her cookbook collection, which numbers in the hundreds. From antique books dating to the late 1800s to her own cookbook, Make Ahead Bread, to modernist books, she loves spending quality time with her books before she scurries into the kitchen to whip up something tasty.