The 9 Best Vegan Cookbooks for More Than Just Rice and Tofu

Charity Morgan's "Unbelievably Vegan" is our top pick

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The Spruce Eats / Lecia Landis

The Spruce Eats Top Picks

For vegan twists on familiar favorites, we recommend Charity Morgan’s best-selling "Unbelievably Vegan." If you're well-versed in vegan cooking and want to expand your knowledge of meatless East Asian dishes, Joanne Lee Molinaro's "The Korean Vegan Cookbook" is a new classic.

Vegan lifestyle trends are generating much buzz. Whether you've been following a plant-based diet for years or you are looking for ways to stretch Meatless Mondays into a more habitual routine, learning how to best utilize legumes, grains, produce, and seasonings in an array of new entrées can be overwhelming. A vegan cookbook is sure to come in handy for sourcing meal ideas, grocery lists, nutritional advice, and more.

Before deciding on a title, think about how often you want to make vegan meals and your level of expertise in the kitchen. As with all cookbooks, they range from basic to advanced and some are more suited for kids or for quick meals as opposed to elaborate dishes aimed to impress at a party.

Here, the best vegan cookbooks.

Best Overall

Unbelievably Vegan: 100+ Life-Changing, Plant-Based Recipes: A Cookbook

Unbelievably Vegan: 100+ Life-Changing, Plant-Based Recipes

Clarkson Potter

What We Like
  • Recipes based on familiar dishes

  • Full-page images

  • Foreword written by Venus Williams

What We Don't Like
  • Not many quick meal options

An instant national bestseller, private chef Charity Morgan’s debut cookbook is intense with flavor and creativity that makes you want to get in the kitchen.

Morgan is a professionally trained chef with a culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, but you don’t have to be a pro to follow along. She adopted a plant-based diet and routinely prepares meat-free meals for her celebrity clientele, including professional athletes and musicians. If you’re wondering the types of foods she prepares for them, borrow a page from her book. Though her recipes don’t contain animal products, she has clever ways of transforming plant foods into mouth watering dishes, such as “toona” poke bowls, “fysh” and chips, and walnut chorizo tacos.

Price at time of publish: $30

Number of Recipes: 100+ | Pages: 288 | Date Published: 2022

Best for Weeknights

Rachel Ama's Vegan Eats: Tasty Plant-Based Recipes for Every Day

Rachel Ama's Vegan Eats: Tasty Plant-Based Recipes for Every Day

Amazon

What We Like
  • Full-page photos

  • Recipes for all meal times, from breakfast to dessert

  • Uses widely available ingredients

What We Don't Like
  • Uses metric measurements and UK cooking terms

One of the misconceptions about vegan cooking is that it’s time consuming and requires hard-to-find ingredients. While this may be true of some recipes, Rachel Ama makes cooking vegan food enjoyable, easy, and approachable—even on busy weeknights.

Many of her recipes in this cookbook only require one pot and are quick to come together. Several customer reviews mention how easy and beginner-friendly the recipes are. Dishes like sweet potato falafel, Caribbean fritters, tabbouleh salad, and plantain burgers are full of vegetables and inspired by Ama’s Caribbean and West African roots. Just keep the conversion table in the back of the book handy since the recipes use metric measurements.

Price at time of publish: $40

Number of Recipes: 100+ | Pages: 256 | Date Published: 2019

Best for Affordable Ingredients

Plant-Based on a Budget: Delicious Vegan Recipes for Under $30 a Week, in Less Than 30 Minutes a Meal

Plant-Based on a Budget

Amazon

What We Like
  • Low-cost tips

  • Bulk shopping advice

  • Most recipes are 7 ingredients or less

What We Don't Like
  • Basic for those adept at vegan cooking

“Frugal, but delicious” is the motto behind author and meal planning whiz Toni Okamoto’s book, which contains 100 recipes. The cookbook came about after Okamoto's website, Plant-Based on a Budget, became a hit.

Okamoto also guides readers through saving time in the kitchen by being efficient with leftovers, preparing dry mixes, buying canned goods, and using frozen vegetables. Her easy-to-follow instructions for whipping up quick eats, like homemade granola clusters, tempeh hash, and peanut butter ramen stir fry, often require seven ingredients or less.

Price at time of publish: $22

Number of Recipes: 100 | Pages: 256 | Date Published: 2019

Expert Tip

Juan Umaña, vegan chef and owner of Vengan Pa’ Ka, says it's important to stimulate your receptors with fat, acid, salt, and sweet flavor profiles. "You will be delighted with every bite if you break down each component of the dish into different layers that will highlight the next flavor profile, like tamari-marinated seared tofu (salt), Spanish rice (acid), maple-roasted carrot-ginger puree (sweet), and carrot-top pesto (fat)," Umaña says.

Best for Baking

Bakerita: 100+ No-Fuss Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Refined Sugar-Free Recipes for the Modern Baker

Bakerita: 100+ No-Fuss Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Refined Sugar-Free Recipes for the Modern Baker

Amazon

What We Like
  • Paleo-friendly

  • Stunning photos

  • Wide variety of sweet treats

What We Don't Like
  • No nut-free modifications

Bakerita blogger Rachel Conners’ debut cookbook is a fabulous primer on baking soy-, gluten-, grain-, dairy-, and refined sugar–free treats that actually taste good. Her straight-forward recipes are organized into seven sections encompassing baked goods well suited for breakfast, like baked chocolate doughnuts and one-hour cinnamon rolls, in addition to more decadent sweets, such as salted maple pecan tart with pretzel shortbread crust and "brookies"—chocolate chip cookie and brownie hybrids fans swear are scrumptious.

Price at time of publish: $25

Number of Recipes: 100+ | Pages: 288 | Date Published: 2020

Best for Beginners

Vegan Richa's Everyday Kitchen: Epic Anytime Recipes with a World of Flavor

Vegan Richa's Everyday Kitchen: Epic Anytime Recipes with a World of Flavor

Amazon

What We Like
  • Allergy-friendly options

  • Lists cook and prep times

  • Includes nutritional information for each recipe

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't have many images

If you’re a brand-new vegan or just dipping your toe into the world of plant-based cuisine, you’ll likely stumble across the highly successful vegan food blog Vegan Richa at some point. Award-winning recipe developer Richa Hingle has mastered the art of (and won awards for) crafting step-by-step recipes that explode with flavor but don’t lose you along the way.

Hingle is best known for her Indian-inspired recipes, but her second cookbook is inspired by cuisines around the world. Her easy-to-follow recipes are beginner- and allergen-friendly with more than 100 recipes that can be made gluten-, soy-, and nut-free. In its pages, you’ll find doable and delicious recipes like sweet and sour chickpeas, black bean burgers, and kung pao cauliflower as well as Indian-inspired dishes like curry fried rice and mushroom matar masala.

Price at time of publish: $26

Number of Recipes: More than 140 | Pages: 288 | Date Published: 2017

What Our Experts Say

"When you source plant-based produce locally and in-season, flavor cannot be matched—and vegetables are your main component. An organic heirloom tomato from your local farmer’s market only needs a little salt to beat a conventional, store-bought tomato that has been stored in cold temperatures and driven hundreds of miles before it hits your palate. If you have great ingredients, you will have to do less to heighten their flavors." — Juan Umaña, Vegan Chef and Owner of Vengan Pa’ Ka

Best for Kids

The Vegan Cookbook for Kids: Easy Plant-Based Recipes for Young Chefs

The Vegan Cookbook for Kids: Easy Plant-Based Recipes for Young Chefs

Amazon

What We Like
  • Kitchen safety tips

  • Math skills practice

  • Teaches advanced cooking skills

What We Don't Like
  • Adult supervision needed

“That Was Vegan?” blogger Barb Musick’s easy-to-follow instructions are aimed at introducing kids and tweens to 50 plant-based meals and snacks by taking on a new role in the kitchen: the cook. Musick also reviews basic skills, like accurate measuring, chopping, and slicing, and cleaning up in tangent with how to use standard cooking tools, like a colander, food processor, and Dutch oven. Young readers really seem to be fans of her family-friendly renditions of enchilada casserole, cinnamon swirl pancakes, and baked tempeh bacon.

Price at time of publish: $16

Number of Recipes: 50 | Pages: 156 | Date Published: 2020

Best for Entertaining

Bad Manners: Party Grub

Bad Manners: Party Grub

Amazon

What We Like
  • Includes cocktail recipes

  • Comical jargon

  • Large recipes

What We Don't Like
  • Not everyone will appreciate the humor

Featuring more than 100 recipes for a variety of celebratory occasions, this cookbook from Forked Up podcast hosts Michelle Davis and Matt Holloway infuses humor into every ounce of time spent in front of the oven via colorful jokes and gritty dialogue. By insisting the “only real VIP of any party is food,” these plant-based pros make feeding a hungry group manageable with recipes like pumpkin French toast casserole, breakfast tempeh, and Mexican lasagna.

Price at time of publish: $27

Number of Recipes: 100+ | Pages: 256 | Date Published: 2021

Best for Quick Meals

Fast Easy Cheap Vegan: 101 Recipes You Can Make in 30 Minutes or Less, for $10 or Less, and with 10 Ingredients or Less!

Fast Easy Cheap Vegan: 101 Recipes You Can Make in 30 Minutes or Less, for $10 or Less, and with 10 Ingredients or Less!

Amazon

What We Like
  • Modifiable recipes

  • Food storage tips included

  • Includes dessert recipes

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

It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken whiz Sam Turnbull’s collection of inexpensive meals is equally light on prep and cooking time. She sets readers up for success by sharing how to make certain meal bases, like avocado pesto and maple Dijon dressing from scratch, along with the importance of experimenting with a variety of flavors in hopes of appealing to different palates. Her sage knowledge as a recipe developer is apparent by kudos from fans for recipe standouts, such as sweet Korean lentils, caramelized onion pasta, and creamy Tuscan mushrooms.

Price at time of publish: $25

Number of Recipes: 101 | Pages: 248 | Date Published: 2021

Prep Tip

When it comes to must-have pantry ingredients, Umaña suggests keeping the following on hand at all times: tamari (for umami flavor), tahini (for added nuttiness or to make savory sauce, vegan cheese, and dressing), sesame oil (add just a few drops, though, as it's quite flavorful), nutritional yeast (for cheesy flavor), herbs (buy fresh, dehydrate, and use year-round), and kombucha vinegar (Umaña suggests infusing with herbs and peppercorn to make a green goddess dressing).

Best New Release

The Korean Vegan Cookbook: Reflections and Recipes from Omma's Kitchen

The Korean Vegan Cookbook: Reflections and Recipes from Omma's Kitchen

Amazon

What We Like
  • Stellar photos

  • Personal stories throughout

  • Includes an ingredient primer

What We Don't Like
  • Might need to special order some ingredients

For those eager to learn how to prepare meatless Asian cuisine, Joanne Lee Molinaro’s debut cookbook will be a welcome addition to any plant-based kitchen. The vegan versions of traditional Korean fare, such as banchan, tteokbokki, kkanpoong tofu and gamja guk, are the clear forerunners of recipes she’s curated. Plus, the narration synonymous with Molinaro’s TikTok @thekoreanvegan is authentically depicted in captivating food photos in addition to personal reflections on the author’s lifelong journey to embracing her passion for cooking—details which make this title a compelling read even when one is done using the oven.

Price at time of publish: $35

Number of Recipes: 80+ | Pages: 336 | Date Published: 2021

Final Verdict

If you're looking for vegan twists on familiar favorites, try Charity Morgan’s "Unbelievably Vegan." More experienced plant-based cooks are also likely to find new dishes worth trying in "Bad Manners: Party Grub" and "Bakerita: 100+ No-Fuss Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, and Refined Sugar-Free Recipes for the Modern Baker."

What to Look for in Vegan Cookbooks

Expertise

When shopping for a cookbook, it’s imperative to consider your current cooking skills and interests. Many texts are written explicitly for beginners, while other titles are crafted with the assumption that the reader already has foundational knowledge of certain culinary techniques; dietary requirements; and more. Reviewing the introductory section of most books can provide an overview of the content and the author’s intended audience.

Images

Stunning food photography is a big draw for the foodie crowd. However, the aesthetic of the pictures should be informative as well as eye-catching. It's helpful if there are step-by-step images and/or finished product photos of the majority of recipes in a book. Graphics, such as illustrations of kitchen gadgets or pantry organization charts, are also practical visuals to keep an eye out for.

Serving Sizes

The average yield in regard to the number of servings per recipe is an important detail to scan for when perusing cookbook options. If you have a large family, but most of the dishes are meant to serve three to four people, check the introductory section to see if the necessary info is included on how to double or triple recipes (or make smaller versions for single individuals or two-person households).

FAQs

What's the difference between vegan and vegetarian?

Vegans do not consume animal byproducts in any form. This includes meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, all dairy products, and honey.

While vegetarians also abstain from eating meat, some still incorporate eggs or dairy products, like milk and cheese, into meals. Vegetarian diets are more flexible, and there are several subsets of the diet, which are defined by which animal products are eaten. For example, some vegetarians eat eggs, but no dairy and vice versa. Other forms of vegetarianism include pescatarians, who eat fish, but not meat, and flexitarians, who eat a plant-based diet most of the time, but may occasionally eat meat or fish.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Rachel Werner is an eco-conscious vegan and professional foodie who has been profiling farmers, chefs, restaurants, and food-based businesses for more than seven years. Her enthusiasm for food styling and photography is evident in the content she’s created for a variety of regional and national publications, such as Fabulous Wisconsin, BRAVA, and Hobby Farms Magazine. See examples of Rachel’s work “behind the camera” via the vegan lifestyle Instagram account @trulyplanted.

Lacey Muinos is a food and wellness writer who also happens to be vegan. She adopted a plant-based diet more than five years ago and never looked back. Over the years, she’s amassed an impressive collection of vegan cookbooks.

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