The 8 Best Vegan Cookbooks of 2021, According to a Dietitian

Spice things up in the kitchen with these plant-based cookbooks

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"You’ll find meal prep plans, weeknight one-pot recipes, favorite holiday and seasonal recipes, and inspired dinner recipes."
"Recipes here feature whole food, affordable ingredients, with plenty of easy substitutions to use what you have on hand."
"Specifically written for beginners, it will help you gain confidence in the kitchen and explore easy but delicious recipes."
"Her creative and flavorful recipes are paired with narratives about traditional soul food recipes."
"You'll discover familiar tastes as well as new recipes and flavors to entice your taste buds."
"Along with over 100 recipes, you’ll find tips and tricks for healthy baking, beautiful photography, and allergy-friendly options."
"Learn to love cooking from scratch and appreciate slow food and homemade ingredients with this cookbook."
"This book features recipes and stories from plant-based eateries around North America."

A vegan diet can be one of the healthiest eating patterns. Vegan diets eschew all animal products, including eggs, dairy, meat, fish, poultry, and honey. A well-balanced vegan diet will include plenty of vegetables, fruit, beans and legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

If you currently follow a vegan diet, or if you’re trying to eat more plant-based meals, you may feel a bit overwhelmed or bored of your typical recipes. A vegan cookbook is the perfect tool to help make meals exciting, delicious, satisfying, and fun. We’ve rounded up the best vegan cookbooks to get you inspired.

Here, the best vegan cookbooks:

Best Overall: Angela Liddon Oh She Glows for Dinner: Nourishing Plant-Based Meals to Keep You Glowing

Angela Liddon’s blog, Oh She Glows, is one of the most popular vegan blogs on the web. Since 2008, Liddon has published hundreds of recipes on her blog, as well as three vegan cookbooks. Her latest cookbook, Oh She Glows for Dinner, came out in 2020 and is filled with a variety of dinner recipes everyone will love. 

In her book, you’ll find meal prep plans, weeknight one-pot recipes, favorite holiday and seasonal recipes, and inspired dinner recipes. There is also a handy index, which helps you look up recipes based on other dietary preferences such as gluten-free, nut-free, or freezer-friendly.

Best Budget: Toni Okamoto Plant-Based on a Budget

Following a vegan diet might seem expensive and time-consuming, but Toni Okamoto is here to show you how to eat Plant Based on a Budget. The recipes in this book feature whole food, affordable ingredients, with plenty of easy substitutions to use what you have on hand. Each recipe in this book also takes only 30 minutes or less to prepare.

Want some ideas about what recipes you’ll find in this book? Banana zucchini pancakes, peanut butter ramen stir fry, and real-deal chocolate chip cookies, to name just a few.

Best for Beginners: Gabriel Miller The Plant Based Diet for Beginners


If you’re new to veganism or just dipping your toes into a plant-based lifestyle, Gabriel Miller’s cookbook The Plant-Based Diet for Beginners is perfect for you. It’s specifically written for beginners to help you gain confidence in the kitchen and explore easy but delicious recipes. Each recipe in this book uses simple ingredients that you can find in your local grocery store and includes nutrition information and detailed instructions.

This book also has other beginner resources, including shopping lists, sample menus, and a guide to cooking grains and beans.

Best Comfort Food : Jenne Claiborne Sweet Potato Soul

Do you follow a plant-based diet but constantly crave your favorite non-vegan foods like cinnamon rolls or fried chicken? You need Jenné Claiborne’s cookbook in your life because she has vegan alternatives for just about every craving.

Raised in Atlanta, Jenné grew up eating Soul Food like biscuits, collards, and sweet potato pie. As a plant-based chef, she has spent years perfecting her delicious vegan versions of classic, comforting favorites. Her creative and flavorful recipes are paired with narratives about traditional soul food recipes, plus nutritional information about the ingredients.

Best International Flavors: Richa Hingle Vegan Richa's Indian Kitchen

Want to replicate your favorite Indian recipes at home? Richa Hingle’s cookbook has you covered, with recipes like mango curry tofu, avocado naan, and tempeh tikka masala. When making your way through this cookbook, you will discover familiar tastes as well as new recipes and flavors to entice your taste buds.

The vegan recipes in this cookbook feature vegetables and pulses, like cauliflower, split peas, lentils, and tofu. Richa also provides substitution suggestions and replacement spices in case your pantry isn’t fully stocked with all the required ingredients.

Best Dessert : Brittany Berlin Baked with Love: Over 100 Allergy-Friendly Vegan Desserts

Brittany Berlin bakes up enticing vegan dessert recipes for her blog, The Banana Diaries, and her new cookbook. Her recipes prove that vegan desserts can be just as decadent as traditional recipes, even when they don’t have any butter, eggs, or dairy.

In addition to over 100 recipes, you’ll find tips and tricks for healthy baking, beautiful photography, and allergy-friendly options that are gluten-free, nut-free, and grain-free. The list of drool-worthy recipes is long, but some examples include s’mores brownies, red velvet cupcakes, and caramel-stuffed chocolate chip cookies.

Best Advanced: Miyoko Schinner The Homemade Vegan Pantry: The Art of Making Your Own Staples

If you’re a confident cook with plenty of complex plant-based recipes under your belt, you may want to consider Miyoko Schinner’s cookbook. For someone who has already mastered basic cooking techniques, you can branch out to learn how to make vegan versions of pantry staples from scratch.

In this cookbook, you’ll find simple recipes for handcrafted foods, such as homemade ice cream, pizza dough, French buttercreams, and pasta. Learn to love cooking from scratch and appreciate slow food and homemade ingredients with this cookbook.

Best Adventurous: Mena Massoud Evolving Vegan

Is your favorite part of traveling exploring new restaurants and enjoying different cuisines? Check out Mena Massoud’s cookbook, Evolving Vegan. This book features recipes and stories from plant-based eateries around North America, so you can take a trip around the continent without leaving your kitchen.

Some featured recipes include Indian Tofu Curry from The Sudra in Portland, Oregan, Young Coconut Ceviche from Rosalinda in Toronto, and Boston Cream Pie-Cake from Veggie Galaxy in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This book also has a personal twist, with authentic Egyptian recipes from Mena’s mother.

Final Verdict

For an excellent vegan cookbook that will boost your dinner (and leftover lunch) game, consider Angela Liddon's Oh She Glows For Dinner.

What to Look for in Vegan Cookbooks

Author’s Experience with Vegan Cooking: For vegan cookbooks, it’s important that the author has experience eating a plant-based or plant-focused diet, because they will know the ins and outs of vegan ingredients. An author who regularly makes plant-based recipes will know how to troubleshoot tricky recipes to make them perfectly doable for the home cook.

Use of Whole Food Ingredients: Vegan diets can lean towards the unhealthy side if you rely on processed foods more often than whole food ingredients. When choosing a vegan cookbook, take a look at the ingredients in the recipes. If most of the ingredients include nutrient-dense vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes, you’ll be able to find plenty of nutritious recipes to support your health.

Experience level: If you're new to cooking, you may need a bit more guidance and explanation of cooking methods. If you're more experienced, on the other hand, you may prefer a cookbook that's light on advice and heavy on recipes. Also, consider the time each recipe requires. If you're short on time or just prefer more uncomplicated recipes, many cookbooks offer simple, healthy dishes.

Equipment: Take a look at the kitchen tools you will need before investing in a cookbook. Many cookbooks feature quick, easy, and nutritious recipes that can be incredibly convenient—but only if you have the kitchen equipment needed.

FAQs

What's the difference between vegan cookbooks and vegetarian cookbooks?

While vegetarian and vegan cookbooks both promote the use of plant-based ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, they differ because vegan cookbooks will not include honey, eggs, or any animal products.

How do I know if a cookbook fits my experience level?

Whether you're a beginner or experienced chef, it's important to browse through the recipe lists and directions before purchasing a cookbook to ensure it fits your experience, time, equipment on hand, and taste buds. Read through a few recipes to see if you feel confident that you can follow the directions to achieve the result. If it feels too challenging, select a book that specifies it is for beginners.

What Experts Say

"Look for a cookbook with lots of variety, but be sure that it includes recipes that fit your life, not the other way around. Part of good health is minimizing stress, so make sure the recipes aren't too complicated."—Beth Lipton, recipe developer and cookbook author

Why Trust Verywell Fit

As a Registered Dietitian, Alex Aldeborgh puts the same thoroughness and care into researching these recommendations as she would for herself or her clients. A passionate home cook herself, Alex assesses the content of cookbooks for creativity, feasibility, and variety.

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