The Best New Cookbooks in 2021

Get 'em while they're hot

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Best Sure to Be a Classic: Cook This Book at Amazon

Many of the included recipes have accompanying QR codes that link directly to videos of Baz executing certain steps of the instructions.

Best for Families: The Unofficial Aldi Cookbook at Amazon

First-time shoppers and repeat customers will be surprised by the variety of dishes and beverages they can create from one shopping trip.

Best Sequel: Cook Once Dinner Fix at Amazon

Readers will be pleasantly pleased to discover how many different meals can be made from one entrée.

Best Instant Pot: The Lighter Step-By-Step Instant Pot Cookbook at Amazon

Most recipes are adaptable for a keto, paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan diet.

Best Vegan: Dada Eats: Love to Cook It at Amazon

This cookbook will be a welcome addition to any kitchen thanks to Dada’s fresh takes on favorites that require minimal ingredients and labor.

Best for Easy Recipes: The Pepper Thai Cookbook at Amazon

Thai-inspired fare is the focal point of every dish, most of which requires eight ingredients or less to make.

Best for Dessert: How to Cook That: Crazy Sweet Creations at Amazon

Wow family and friends with elaborately decorative desserts that taste phenomenal using this baking primer.

Best for Italian: The Italian Deli Cookbook at Amazon

It's all about putting Italian delicatessen staples to good use by making memorable lunches and dinners or when entertaining guests.

Best Celebrity Chef: Nadiya Bakes at Amazon

This cookbook of hers is primarily focused on baked goods “high in demand” around the United States.

Best Popular Culture: Street Fighter: The Official Street Food Cookbook at Amazon

The included dishes are variations of street food it’s possible to stumble upon in various regions around the world.

Recipe repertoires occasionally need a refresh. Luckily, there is no shortage of cooking inspiration thanks to an array of food bloggers and professional chefs willing to share their go-to meals online or in print. Providing the inside scoop on creating new delish dishes, along with time-savings tips, has indeed boosted the popularity of home-cooked eats once more—so much so that a 15 percent increase in overall cookbook sales occurred in one year, according to market research company The NPD Group. The list below is fully loaded with trending themes curated for foodies ready to solidify their A game in the kitchen.

Here are the best new cookbooks.

Best Sure to Be a Classic: Cook This Book

What We Like
  • Kitchen tool recommendations

  • Digital resources included

What We Don't Like
  • Slang and acronyms may be confusing

Since departing her previous day job as an editor at Bon Appétit magazine, Molly Baz has been utilizing Instagram, YouTube, and a recipe club on Patreon to regularly share advice and demos with fans. Her first cookbook channels the upbeat, yet down-to-earth mannerisms Baz is known for into a “foundational” guide for learning how to level up one’s cooking skills. In fact, many of the included recipes, like orzo al limone, pastrami roast chicken, and mushroom toast, have accompanying QR codes that link directly to videos of Baz executing certain steps of the instructions.

Number of Recipes: More than 90 | Pages: 304

Best for Families: The Unofficial Aldi Cookbook

What We Like
  • Modifiable recipes

  • Inexpensive cookbook

What We Don't Like
  • Many ingredients only sold at Aldi

Thanks to its economical prices and wide product selection, Aldi is a prime shopping destination for parents. Author Jeanette Hurt has compiled a selection of wallet-friendly and tasty meals that can be made by using solely Aldi products. First-time shoppers and repeat customers will be surprised by the variety of dishes and beverages they can create from one shopping trip. Dalgona coffee, baked onion soup, pancake cereal, baked salmon with honey-mustard sauce, and cannoli dip are just the beginning of the affordable sustenance Hurt has developed specifically for busy families.

Number of Recipes: 75 | Pages: 128

Best Sequel: Cook Once Dinner Fix

What We Like
  • Gluten-free options

  • Low-cost ingredients

What We Don't Like
  • Hardcover edition is pricey

Certified holistic nutritionist and Fed + Fit creator and podcast host Cassy Joy Garcia’s latest cookbook is all about repurposing leftovers to maximize taste, in addition to the number of servings. Filled with over 100 recipes, readers will be pleasantly pleased to discover how many different meals can be made from one entrée, such as when the “leftover roasted garlic turkey breast transforms into spiced turkey potato soup or dry-rubbed barbecue brisket becomes crowd-pleasing cheesesteak-stuffed peppers.”

Number of Recipes: 120| Pages: 304

Best Instant Pot: The Lighter Step-By-Step Instant Pot Cookbook

What We Like
  • Cook time specs included

  • Allergen-friendly recipes

What We Don't Like
  • “Basics” challenging for new Instant Pot users

YouTube chef and Pressure Luck blogger Jeffrey Eisner’s second cookbook focuses on using an Instant Pot to make cuisine well-suited for a variety of food sensitivities. Most recipes, like the Mexican street corn, turkey taco soup, chicken congee, and pork pozole, are adaptable for a keto, paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan diet, plus there are step-by-step photo instructions for each condiment, side dish, and main course.

Number of Recipes: More than 90 | Pages: 272

Best Vegan: Dada Eats: Love To Cook It

What We Like
  • Whole-food focused

  • Flexible substitutions

What We Don't Like
  • Small-size font for text

In her debut cookbook, Samah Dada, host of NBC Digital’s #Cooking with Samah Dada, shows how easy it is to go plant-based. Combining stellar recipes with stories from her life in California, New York, and London, this cookbook will be a welcome addition to any kitchen thanks to Dada’s fresh takes on favorites requiring minimal ingredients and labor. Many of the recipes are also allergen-free, gluten-free, Whole30- and keto-compliant, and vegan. With a mix of hits from her blog and brand new recipes, home cooks will learn how to make modern, veggie-only versions of staple dishes, such as masala scrambled eggs and caramelized onion savory oatmeal.

Number of Recipes: 100 | Pages: 256

Best for Easy Recipes: The Pepper Thai Cookbook

What We Like
  • Easy-to-follow steps

  • Contains celebrity information

What We Don't Like
  • Not a photo for every recipe

Fans of Chrissy Teigen’s “Cravings” and “Hungry For More” will want to snag a copy of her mother Pepper’s new cookbook. Thai-inspired fare is the focal point of every dish, most of which requires eight ingredients or less to make. The easy execution of the recipes is a big rave for readers. The same goes for Pepper’s contemporary spin on Southeast Asian cooking—best showcased in her renditions of roasted lemongrass chicken, pad see ew, and massaman beef curry.

Number of Recipes: 80 | Pages: 256

Best for Dessert: How to Cook That: Crazy Sweet Creations

What We Like
  • Metric and imperial measurements stated

  • Affordable ebook

What We Don't Like
  • Time-intensive recipes

Get ready to wow family and friends with elaborately decorative desserts that taste phenomenal, too, using this baking primer written by award-winning YouTube series "How to Cook That" star and Australian food scientist Ann Reardon. Novelty cakes resembling popular "Minecraft" and "My Little Pony" characters are her jam, in addition to making fancy sweet treats adults will equally love, such as watermelon pizza and soft-serve Nutella-flavored ice cream.

Number of Recipes: 50 | Pages: 200

Best for Italian: The Italian Deli Cookbook

What We Like
  • High-quality photos

  • Authentic recipes

What We Don't Like
  • Some expensive ingredients recommended

Chef Theo Randall has run restaurants in London, Bangkok, and Hong Kong, but his newest cookbook is about putting Italian delicatessen staples, like fine cheese, wine, cured meats, smoked fish, and olives, to good use by making memorable lunches and dinners or when entertaining guests. Popular entries include the spaghetti alla puttanesca; trofie with pesto, potatoes, and green beans; and sausage and squash risotto.

Number of Recipes: More than 100 | Pages: 256

Best Celebrity Chef: Nadiya Bakes

What We Like
  • Many photos

  • Metric and imperial measurements given

What We Don't Like
  • Less recipes than some other cookbooks

Whip up brioche, flan, scones, and much more using the detailed instructions British baking maven Nadiya Hussain provides in her fifth cookbook for adults. This one, however, is primarily focused on baked goods “high in demand” around the United States. So "Time to Eat" and "Nadiya Bakes" fans will have a chance to test out a handful of recipes Hussain has not previously demonstrated on either show, such as spiced squash strudel, cheat's sourdough, and raspberry amaretti biscuits.

Number of Recipes: More than 100 | Pages: 256

Best Popular Culture: Street Fighter: The Official Street Food Cookbook

What We Like
  • Dynamic illustrations

  • Fun read

What We Don't Like
  • May lack general appeal

In the video games realm, "Street Fighter" has become a cult classic, and this book is a quirky continuation of the journey a teen martial artist (Sakura Kasugano) embarks on, plus the other fighters—and their favorite foods—she encounters along the way. The included dishes are variations of street food it’s possible to stumble upon in various regions around the world, like platanos maduros, everything bagel, and matcha affogato.

Number of Recipes: Over 80 | Pages: 208

Best Meat-Alternative: Super Natural Simple: Whole-Food, Vegetarian Recipes for Real Life

What We Like
  • Quick meals

  • Includes nutritional advice

What We Don't Like
  • Some content already published online

Best-selling cookbook author Heidi Swanson is back with a new roundup of meals that don’t require a lot of time or ingredients to make. Frugal vegetarians and flexitarians will appreciate her low-maintenance approach to preparing drinks, breakfasts, snacks, lunches, dinners, and desserts. Good recipes to break in this book include the dirty chai baked oatmeal, puffed rice party mix, California blender cookies, red-spiced tempeh with broccoli, and beet and feta socca.

Number of Recipes: 120 | Pages: 288

Best for Baked Goods: Zoë Bakes Cakes

What We Like
  • Useful definitions

  • Many photos

What We Don't Like
  • Small print

Prolific baker Zoë François lets her expert skills and Magnolia Network flair shine in her first solo book. The introductory sections are packed with very helpful explanations for beginners related to separating eggs, making vanilla extract, and selecting oils and flours. Once the perusal of those initial pages is complete, getting started on creating a François-original, like raspberry Charlotte royal, blueberry muffin cake, and coconut candy bar cake, should be a cinch.

Number of Recipes: More than 85 | Pages: 275

Best for Southern Inspired: Rice: A Savor the South Cookbook

What We Like
  • Gorgeous photography

  • Historical and cultural facts referenced

What We Don't Like
  • Less recipes than other cookbooks

Famed chef Michael W. Twitty reveals the key role rice plays in numerous soul foods, Creole, Low Country, and Gulf Coast cuisines. It’s not uncommon to consume a varietal of this grain via dishes eaten for breakfast, lunch, or supper in Southern homes and restaurants. Therefore, he demystifies how to maximize this staple’s versatility in such savory eats as Louisiana okra soup, Edna Lewis’s wild rice, sausage pilau, and crab fried rice.

Number of Recipes: 51 | Pages: 120

Best for Middle Eastern: The Arabesque Table: Contemporary Recipes from the Arab World

What We Like
  • Diverse book

  • Unique content

What We Don't Like
  • High price point

Award-winning Palestinian writer Reem Kassis uses the rich history of traditional Islamic dishes to help home cooks understand the ongoing evolution of modern Arabic cooking. This bridge between the past and present is further illustrated by the collection of recipes she shares, demonstrating that foods from this region has always been and remain nourishing on a holistic level, especially when eaten in flavorful pairings, like pomegranate molasses and Aleppo roast chicken, mustard greens and labaneh, and muhallabiyeh and hibiscus rose tart.

Number of Recipes: 130 | Pages: 256

Best for Korean: The Korean Vegan

What We Like
  • Gorgeous photography

  • Easy to read

What We Don't Like
  • May not appeal to meat eaters

The “real-life” narration synonymous with Joanne Lee Molinaro’s TikTok @thekoreanvegan has been authentically captured in captivating food photos and personal reflections on her lifelong journey to embracing her passion for cooking. Plant-based versions of traditional Korean cuisine, such as banchan, tteokbokki, kkanpoong tofu, and gamja guk, are the clear forerunners of this debut cookbook, which makes for a compelling read even when one is done using the oven.

Number of Recipes: More than 80 | Pages: 336

Best for Kids: Kitchen Chemistry

What We Like
  • Vibrant graphics

  • Contains educational information

What We Don't Like
  • Not as many recipes as other books

Cooking isn’t just an art—it’s also a science. "Kitchen Chemistry" provides readers ages 8+ with the scientific know-how to be better cooks. This fully illustrated book pairs kid-friendly food (like overnight bread, gluten-free pizza crust, and chocolate candy shell) with chemistry lessons that explain why the recipes work the way they do. Also included is a logbook to rate the recipes, plus stories about chefs, inventors, and entrepreneurs—past and present—who have played a useful role in creating and developing many products we eat today.

Number of Recipes: More than 30 | Pages: 112

Final Verdict

The 2021 cookbook most likely to withstand the test of time is Molly Baz’s debut "Cook This Book" (view at Amazon). For those eager to learn how to make more allergen-friendly fare, "Dada Eats: Love To Cook It" (view at Amazon) and "Cook Once Dinner Fix: Quick and Exciting Ways to Transform Tonight's Dinner into Tomorrow's Feast" (view at Amazon) will also make excellent additions to at-home libraries.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Rachel Werner is a cookbook reviewer, culinary writer, and former World Food Championship judge. Her lifestyle content, food styling, and photography have appeared in a variety of regional and national publications including Fabulous Wisconsin, BRAVA, and Hobby Farms Magazine. A selection of Rachel's recipes is also included in "Wisconsin Cocktails," a regionally themed mixology book (University of Wisconsin Press, 2020). Recent examples of her pro foodie pics are available on Instagram @trulyplanted.

Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Food and Drug Administration. Gluten-free labeling of foods. Updated August 12, 2020.

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