The Best New Cookbooks of 2020

Get 'em while they're hot!

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Best Sure to Be a Classic: Modern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook at Amazon

"Your favorite comforting foods with an elevated twist."

Best for Families: The Full Plate by Ayesha Curry at Amazon

"Everything from easy sheet pan dinners to filling pasta, including healthy updates and takeout favorites."

Best Sequel: Magnolia Table, Volume 2 at Amazon

"Most of these recipes come straight from the Gaineses' kitchen, as well as a taste of menu items from the couple’s restaurants."

Best Instant Pot: The Step by Step Instant Pot Cookbook at Amazon

"It provides plenty of inspiration with more than 100 recipes and detailed instructions that break down all the time you'll spend cooking."

Best Vegan: Vegetable Kingdom at Amazon

"Rather than by meal type, the book is organized by ingredient to make it easier to cook fresh meals around what's in season—or in your fridge."

Best for Easy Recipes: The Complete 5-Ingredient Cookbook at Amazon

"For simple recipes that are high on flavor and don't require a laundry list of ingredients—five at most!"

Best for Dessert: Dessert Person at Amazon

"It features easy-to-follow instructions, do's and don'ts for recipes, and a note on difficulty level."

Best for Italian: Old World Italian at Amazon

"Mimi Thorisson's cookbook takes you through a food journey of Italy, featuring authentic recipes."

Best Celebrity Chef: Milk Street: Cookish at Amazon

"Placing an emphasis on reinventing dinner, the book is filled with 200 recipes geared toward throwing together meals in a pinch."

Best Popular Culture: Friends: The Official Cookbook at Amazon

"Cooks of all levels can enjoy this delicious tribute to the hit 90s show."

We're still spending plenty of time at home, and that includes cooking and eating. So you'd be forgiven if your go-to dishes were getting a little stale. If you're looking for new recipes this fall, one of these new cookbooks is bound to bring forth new energy in the kitchen. From comfort foods to worldly fare and, of course, classic baked goods, there is no shortage of inspiration to be found.

The year 2020 has brought us several highly anticipated titles by top names including Ina Garten, Ayesha Curry, and Joanna Gaines. Now, good luck trying to find a new favorite recipe because all of these picks are stellar in their own right.

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Best Sure to Be a Classic: Modern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

Ina Garten, aka The Barefoot Contessa, is a household mainstay with her lineup of cookbooks with easy-to-follow instructions and heartfelt notes for the home cook. In her latest release, Modern Comfort, out October 6th, and available for pre-order now, you can expect just that: your favorite comforting foods with an elevated twist. At a time when things feel so uncertain, this cookbook will be a welcome treat with hearty dishes like cheddar and chutney grilled cheese with the creamiest tomato bisque, smashed hamburgers with caramelized onions, and classic NY deli-style black and white cookies.

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Best for Families: The Full Plate: Flavor-Filled, Easy Recipes for Families with No Time and a Lot to Do

Getting a dinner on the table that pleases the whole family can be a task. Culinary entrepreneur, television host, and restaurateur (and not to mention mom of three) Ayesha Curry aims to solve those gripes with her beautifully orchestrated and efficient meals that taste amazing. With over 100 recipes, you'll find everything from easy sheet pan dinners to filling pasta, including healthy updates and takeout favorites. Hot honey chicken sandwiches or maple-glazed bacon donuts, anyone? The book drops September 22nd, but you can pre-order now.

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Best Sequel: Magnolia Table, Volume 2: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering

If you're a fan of Joanna Gaines (and who isn't a fan of the Fixer Upper star and the modern farmhouse empire she has finessed?), she's back with Volume 2 of her mega-popular cookbook, Magnolia Table. Here, Gaines shares over 175 new recipes spanning breakfast to dinner that are meant for coming together. Most of these recipes come straight from the Gaineses' kitchen, as well as a taste of menu items from the couple’s restaurants: Magnolia Table, Silos Baking Co., and the new coffee shop, Magnolia Press. We can't wait to try dishes like Mushroom-Gruyére Quiche, Chicken-Pecan-Asparagus Casserole, or the Magnolia Press Chocolate Cake.

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Best Instant Pot: The Step-by-Step Instant Pot Cookbook

Sometimes, the ways to use an Instant Pot can feel dauntingly endless, but this Step-by-Step Instant Pot Cookbook from Jeffrey Eisner, who runs the Pressure Luck Cooking website and YouTube channel, can help you maximize this kitchen favorite. It provides plenty of inspiration with more than 100 recipes and detailed instructions that break down all the time you'll spend cooking. Recipe highlights include French onion chicken, Jewish brisket, and even crème brûlée.

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Best Vegan: Vegetable Kingdom: The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes

True plant-based aficionados looking to lead the most wholesome diet possible will want to flip through Vegetable Kingdom, from the James Beard Award-winning chef and author of Afro-Vegan, Bryant Terry. Terry includes 100 simple recipes that teach you the basics of a satisfying vegan meal focused on real food, not powders or meat substitutes.

Rather than by meal type, the book is organized by ingredient to make it easier to cook fresh meals around what's in season—or in your fridge. From caramelized leek and seared mushroom toast to citrus and garlic-herb-braised fennel, you'll be eating fresh and inventive vegan delights.

And just like in his earlier cookbooks, Terry includes a playlist to get you further inspired.

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Best for Easy Recipes: The Complete 5-Ingredient Cookbook

For simple recipes that are high on flavor and don't require a laundry list of ingredients, we're turning to The Complete 5-Ingredient Cookbook: 175 Easy Recipes for Busy People by Denise Browning. After months of three meals a day at home, sometimes all you want is something simple to reclaim your time in the kitchen, while also wanting something nutritious and delicious without being bogged down by a search for hard-to-find ingredients.

This cookbook also features weeklong meal plans with a shopping list, including Vegetarian, Low Carb, Gluten-Free, Quick & Easy, and Global Feast options, so you can plan out your week ahead of time. In the meantime, we'll be leaning into Baked Banana Bread Oatmeal or One-Pan Chipotle Chicken Thighs with Guacamole Salsa.

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Best for Dessert: Dessert Person: Recipes and Guidance for Baking with Confidence

Calling all you self-proclaimed "dessert people," you're going to want to pay attention to this sure-to-be-a-hit from Bon Appetit's Claire Saffitz, which is meant to inspire more confidence when it comes to baking beautiful desserts. It features easy-to-follow instructions, do's and don'ts for recipes, and a note on difficulty level including recipes like a Babkallah (a babka-Challah mashup), Strawberry-Cornmeal Layer Cake, and Malted Forever Brownies. Pre-order now ahead of its October 20th release, and you'll have enough time to decide on what you'll be serving at your Thanksgiving table!

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Best for Italian: Old World Italian: Recipes and Secrets from Our Travels in Italy

While our travels may be limited at the moment, Mimi Thorisson's newly released cookbook takes you through a food journey of Italy, featuring authentic recipes inspired by local producers and the country's abundant food heritage. Not only is the book spectacularly photographed—by Mimi's husband, Oddur—like a travel diary, but it shares 100 recipes for classic dishes, complemented by conversations with devoted local food experts who share their wealth of knowledge. You'll soon be transported to the rich heritage of Italian cuisine, right in your own kitchen.

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Best Celebrity Chef: Milk Street: Cookish

James Beard Award-winning chef and renowned editor and talk show regular Christopher Kimball of Boston's Milk Street releases his next cookbook, Cookish, on October 13th, available for pre-order now. Placing an emphasis on reinventing dinner, the book is filled with 200 recipes geared toward throwing together meals in a pinch.

Most of the recipes require fewer than six ingredients and focus on common pantry ingredients and common proteins. Chow down on dishes like Charred Broccoli with Miso Vinaigrette, Skirt Steak with Green Chile Tacos, West African Peanut Chicken, and Spiced Strawberry Compote with Greek Yogurt.

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Best Popular Culture: Friends: The Official Cookbook

Even 25 years after the first episode, Friends remains a constant in the pop culture canon, and Friends fans will flock to pick up over 100 recipes inspired straight from food on the show. If you're up for a sitcom binge, you can whip up these dishes alongside certain Friends' episodes—like The Moist Maker from "The One with Ross's Sandwich" or Chocolate Chip Cookies the French Way from "The One with Phoebe's Cookies." You don't have to be a pro chef like Monica—perhaps your just a food enthusiast like Joey—cooks of all levels can enjoy this delicious tribute to the hit 90s show.

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Best Meat-Alternative: Impossible: The Cookbook: How to Save Our Planet, One Delicious Meal at a Time

Fun fact: The meat from an Impossible Burger, compared to that of a cow, uses 96 percent less land, 87 percent less water, and 89 percent fewer emissions. Vegans and those looking to lower their meat intake for the sake of the environment (or their health) who've had a taste of Impossible Burger and want to replicate the popular meat alternative at home will want to turn to this cookbook. It features recipes from the various chefs who were at the forefront of bringing this meat alternative to their kitchens. The cookbook is comprised of 40 recipes from the likes of Brad Farmerie, Chris Cosentino, Eric Wareheim, Jamie Bissonnette, and more and includes recipes like Pan-Fried Chive Dumplings, Lasagna Bolognese, and Spicy Jalapeño Burgers. Oh, and there are wine pairings too because we'll always consider a wine recommendation.

Additionally, for each Impossible: The Cookbook sold on Amazon in 2020, $3 will be donated to No Kid Hungry.

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Best for Baked Goods: 100 Cookies: The Baking Book for Every Kitchen

For your next cookie swap, you'll have the most in-demand cookies with the 100 Cookies book, from blogger Sarah Kieffer of The Vanilla Bean Baking Blog, in your repertoire. While everyone has nailed down their own version of classic chocolate chip or sugar cookies (yes those are included, too), you'll impress family and friends with creative cookies and baked goods like Olive Oil Sugar Cookies with Blood Orange, Neopolitan Cookies, and Marshmallow Peanut Butter Brownie.

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Best for Southern Inspired: Meals, Music, and Muses: Recipes from My African American Kitchen

Chef and co-owner of Harlem's jazz club Minton's and world-renowned opera singer Alexander Smalls joins his greatest passions―food and music―in his latest cookbook, Meals, Music, and Muses. It offers a look into popular Southern recipes of the African Diaspora with a heavy dose of musical pairings and tales of Smalls' southern upbringing. 

Each chapter is named for a type of music to link readers to the spirit that gives life to these recipes. We're salivating at recipes like Carolina Bourbon Barbecue Shrimp and Okra Skewers and Prime Rib Roast with Crawfish Onion Gravy, with one reviewer calling the cookbook the "happiest food experience I've had since the start of quarantine."

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Best for Middle Eastern: Eating Out Loud: Bold Middle Eastern Flavors for All Day, Every Day

Bring some Middle Eastern flavor into your kitchen this fall with the newly released Eating Out Loud from Top Chef Canada host Eden Grinshpan, whose family origins hail from Israel. Here, she works to makes Middle Eastern cuisine more accessible with its worldly, bold flavors like Sesame Challah Monkey Bread, Shakshuka, and Lamb Flatbread with Pomegranate and Mint.

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Best for Korean: My Korea: Traditional Flavors, Modern Recipes

Looking for flavors from afar, My Korea by Michelin Star chef Hooni Kim introduces home cooks to the Korean food culture and breaks down the fundamentals of Korean cuisine in a part culinary lesson, part autobiographical memoir. At the center is its culinary trinity: doenjang, ganjang, and gochujang (fermented soybean paste, soy sauce, and fermented red chili paste). These ingredients are the base of the 90 recipes that follow, including Korean dishes like Soy-Poached Black Cod with Daikon and one-bowl meals like Haemul Sundubu Jjigae (Spicy Soft Tofu Stew with Seafood).

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Best for Kids: Super Good Baking for Kids

New York Times bestselling celebrity chef and host of Ace of Cakes and Kids Baking Championship, Duff Goldman has grabbed our attention with the extremely colorful Super Good Baking for Kids, debuting September 29th, and available for pre-order now. Young bakers ages 8-12 will have access to over 35 creative concoctions, from confetti snickerdoodles to unicorn cupcakes. There's even a fun educational component with sidebars on topics like the science of yeast and the history of baking as well as kitchen safety tips.

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