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Best Overall: The Whole Smiths Good Food Cookbook at Amazon
"Most recipes are Whole30-compliant, meaning there are no grains, dairy, or sugar."
Best for Beginners: The Easy Gluten-Free Cookbook at Amazon
"Using minimal ingredients, many of these recipes take under 30 minutes to make."
Best for Instant Pot: Paleo Cooking With Your Instant Pot at Amazon
"These recipes aren’t just gluten-free; they’re also grain-free with no dairy or refined sugar."
Best Vegetarian: Whole Bowls at Amazon
"Create quick and easy meals that are ready in a pinch."
Best for Meal Planning: Cook Once, Eat All Week at Amazon
"Prepare an entire week’s worth of dinners with minimal time and effort."
Best for Baking: Paleo Baking at Home at Amazon
"It's the ultimate resource for pulling off delicious treats, sans gluten and dairy."
Best Grain-Free: Eat Happy at Amazon
"Cutting grains out of your life doesn't have to make you sad."
Best Dairy-Free: The Everything Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Cookbook at Amazon
"A whopping 300 recipes cover every meal and snack of the day."
With more people adopting a gluten-free diet, either out of want or need, there’s an increasing demand for delicious recipes that are free of glutenous ingredients, like wheat, barley, and rye. With so many gluten-free cookbooks out there, it can be overwhelming to try to find the right one for you, especially if you’re new to the diet.
To make things easier, we set out to find gluten-free cookbooks with a wide range of recipes for breakfast, snacks, desserts, appetizers, and beyond. There are even dairy-free, grain-free, and vegetarian options, so if you have dietary restrictions or preferences, you’ll be able to find something that works for you. Below, the best gluten-free cookbooks.
Best Overall: The Whole Smiths Good Food Cookbook
The first cookbook to ever get an endorsement from Whole30, "The Whole Smiths Good Food Cookbook" by Michelle Smith is designed for people learning how to incorporate the diet's principles into everyday life. Smith’s goal is to optimize the nutrition of each recipe while providing rich flavors that appease the entire family. All 150 recipes, from breakfast to dessert, are gluten-free. Most are also Whole30-compliant, meaning there are no grains, dairy, or sugar, but Smith does utilize a few grains and legumes throughout.
Best for Beginners: The Easy Gluten-Free Cookbook
If you’re diving into gluten-free cooking for the first time, Lindsay Garza guides the way in "The Easy Gluten-Free Cookbook." Designed for the busy cook who wants to get a meal on the table fast, this book combines no-fuss recipes with minimal ingredients that take under 30 minutes to cook and/or require a single pot or pan.
This cookbook opens with basic guidelines on how to follow a gluten-free diet, and then breaks the recipes down into eight chapters that cover breakfast through dessert. Garza also provides additional identifiers, like "vegetarian," "vegan," "nut-free," and "dairy-free" on each recipe, so you can easily pinpoint the ones that fit into your lifestyle.
Best for Instant Pot: Paleo Cooking With Your Instant Pot
The Instant Pot is a kitchen lifesaver, but many of the quick and easy options aren’t appropriate for a gluten-free kitchen. In her cookbook, "Paleo Cooking With Your Instant Pot," Jennifer Robins aims to solve that problem. The 80 recipes aren’t just gluten-free; they’re completely grain-free with no dairy or refined sugar in any of them.
Best Vegetarian: Whole Bowls
Many vegetarian cookbooks rely on pasta and bread to make a meal satiating, but Allison Day figured out a way to fill bellies without meat or gluten. "Whole Bowls" is a unique approach that turns every meal into a “power bowl” full of plant-based foods that are ready to eat in a pinch. Each recipe is designed around the right balance of protein, starchy vegetables or fruit, non-starchy vegetables, grains, condiments, a crunch factor, and optional cheese. There are even dessert bowls, like Mexican chocolate pudding and bumbleberry pie, that help satisfy your sweet tooth.
Best for Meal Planning: Cook Once, Eat All Week
"Cook Once, Eat All Week" sounds like a description of the American dream, but it’s really a gluten-free cookbook by certified nutrition consultant Cassy Joy Garcia that makes meal planning easy. In her cookbook, Garcia walks you through the process of batch-cooking or preparing an entire week’s worth of dinners with minimal time and effort.
To make things super simple, the cookbook is divided into 26 separate weeks. Each week includes a shopping list, the dinners you’ll prepare, comprehensive instructions on how to prep ingredients, and cooking instructions. The cookbook also contains storage and reheating tips to help you make sure your meals stay fresh and delicious all week.
Best for Baking: Paleo Baking at Home
If you don’t know what you’re doing, gluten-free baking can be a disaster. Michele Rosen’s cookbook, "Paleo Baking at Home," is the ultimate resource for pulling off delicious treats, sans gluten and dairy. Rosen starts by providing a list of essential pantry items and baking equipment, and then jumps into 60 gluten-free recipes that are just as nutritious as they are tasty. Whether you want to bake a chewy bagel or are looking for something more decadent, like a lemon-curd layer cake with lemon buttercream frosting, you’ll find it here.
Best Grain-Free: Eat Happy
Cutting grains out of your life doesn't have to make you sad, and that’s what Anna Vocino aims to prove in her cookbook "Eat Happy." She designed 154 gluten- and grain-free recipes that ensure a pleasurable eating experience. Vocino takes you through what you need in your pantry and refrigerator, and then provides a wide variety of recipes from appetizers, like sausage-stuffed mushrooms, to desserts, like homemade ice cream.
Best Dairy-Free: The Everything Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Cookbook
If you’re following a gluten- and dairy-free diet, "The Everything Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Cookbook" is the comprehensive resource you need to stay on track. In the first chapter, author Audrey Roberts explains in simple language how to identify gluten and dairy sensitivities, how to recognize gluten- and dairy-containing ingredients in foods and recipes, and how to avoid them. She then dives into a whopping 300 recipes that cover every meal and snack of the day. From soft pretzels to pressure cooker cashew chicken to red velvet cookies, there’s something to satisfy you with every turn of the page.
What to Look for in Gluten-Free Cookbooks
One thing to consider when buying a gluten-free cookbook is the approachability of the recipes. If you're an average home cook, are the recipes approachable? Do they seem like ones you could make or do they seem overly involved? Are the ingredients hard to find, or can you source them easily at your local grocery store? These factors will determine whether or not you will use the book to your utmost advantage.
Do you need to avoid gluten, specifically, or all grains? Here's where these cookbooks distinguish themselves. Paleo cookbooks will contain recipes that are gluten-free, but they will likely skew toward being grain-free, too. Grain-free cookbooks contain recipes with absolutely no grains in them at all. Gluten-free recipes (and therefore cookbooks) may contain other grains such as millet, quinoa, legumes, buckwheat, and/or oats.
It's a simple consideration, but it may make or break your level of engagement with a cookbook. Are there photos? If so, how many of the recipes are photographed? Photography is expensive, and not all cookbooks feature a photo for every recipe. But are there enough photos to give you a sense of the style of the recipes, how they'll look on the plate, and whether or not they are appetizing?
What else do cookbooks offer besides recipes?
Good cookbooks will often have sections devoted to technique, especially if the book focuses on a specific cooking style (such as Instant Pots or slow cookers, for example), They might also provide a short list of ingredients or tools that would be helpful in executing the recipes. Sometimes, too, cookbooks will offer a glossary of terms that are specific to the style of cooking or the culture or country from which the recipes come. In the case of gluten-free and grain-free recipes, a glossary can be very helpful to anyone who's new to this way of eating.
What makes a good recipe?
A recipe that's regarded as good is one that you can easily follow. The instructions are clear, understandable, and written in a logical manner. The ingredients are written in a list in the order in which they are used in the recipe. Most good recipes will also give you some information about the background of the recipe—its story—and suggestions about what to serve with it, substitutions for ingredients that you might not have or might not like, and information about storing and freezing the dish. A good recipe will have all the bases covered.
Are recipes in a cookbook tested?
The cookbook author will have already developed and/or tested the recipes in order for the recipes to be published, but often, some publishers and authors will go beyond that process and hire testers. Often, recipe testers will keep an eye out for whether or not the recipe works as it's written, whether there are steps that can be simplified or added, or clarified. The recipe tester is looking out for the reader, keeping their concerns and questions in mind as the recipe is tested and tasted. It's not uncommon for a recipe to be tested 3 or 4 times before it's printed in a cookbook—especially if the recipes are complicated or require an unusual techinque.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Lindsay Boyers is a certified holistic nutritionist who has written several gluten-free cookbooks, including "The Healthy Gut Cookbook" and "200 Under 20g Net Carbs." She understands how big of a problem gluten can be for many and knows how important it is to have a collection of easily accessible, delicious recipes to help you stay on track.