The 10 Best Vegetarian Cookbooks, According to a Dietitian

Love & Lemons Every Day tops the list with flavor-packed, approachable recipes

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Best Vegetarian Cookbooks, According to a Dietitian

Verywell Fit / Crea Taylor

Whether you’re following a vegetarian diet or just looking to incorporate more veggies into your meals, vegetarian cookbooks are an excellent resource to have on hand. They provide a platform to explore different plant-based ingredients, preparations, and flavor combinations, helping to inspire home cooking and creativity in the kitchen.

Reviewed & Approved

Our best overall pick is Love & Lemons Every Day, with over 100 flavor-packed, nutrient-dense, approachable recipes for everyday cooking. If you're looking for a fully comprehensive option, you can't go wrong with How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

When selecting our top list of vegetarian cookbooks, we considered author credibility, the skill level required, accessibility of ingredients and equipment needed, as well as nutritional content and diversity of recipes. Ultimately, the best vegetarian cookbook for you is the one that contains ingredients and recipes that appeal to your tastes and dietary needs and suits your lifestyle and comfort level in the kitchen.

Here are the best vegetarian cookbooks, according to a dietitian.

Best Overall

Love and Lemons Every Day

Pros
  • Approachable recipes for everyday cooking

  • Includes complete guide of plant-based proteins

  • Includes strategies to meal plan and reduce food waste

Cons
  • Some recipes may not be kid-friendly

Love & Lemons Every Day is our top pick because it's packed with a diverse range of flavorful, balanced meals that are approachable for everyday cooking. Author Jeanine Donofrio of the Love & Lemons blog also incorporates helpful tips, including quick-flavor fixes, seasonal produce guides, plant-based protein lists, a grains and legumes cooking cheat sheet, and strategies for reducing food waste.

This book includes over 100 vegetarian recipes, including breakfast, snacks, soups, salads, dinner, side dishes, sauces, and more. Recipes are made for everyday cooking, suitable for both new and seasoned home cooks. We love that these recipes are family-friendly, too, making it easier to get more plant-based meals on the table for everyone to enjoy.

Price at time of publication: $21

Number of Recipes: Over 100 | Experience Level: Beginner to intermediate | Recipe Categories Include: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, soups, sauces, dressings, side dishes, desserts, drinks

Best Comprehensive

How To Cook Everything Vegetarian: Completely Revised Tenth Anniversary Edition

How To Cook Everything Vegetarian

Amazon

Pros
  • Comprehensive guide including vegetarian cooking basics

  • Detailed breakdown on vegetarian ingredients

  • Provides substitution suggestions making recipes easily adaptable

Cons
  • Organized by ingredients, not meal type, which can be difficult to navigate for meal planning

If you're feeling like a vegetarian diet is limiting, look no further than this book for endless inspiration. Legendary New York Times food journalist and author of thirty books, Mark Bittman, delivers a comprehensive guide to all things vegetables in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.

This impressive compilation has over 1,000 recipes, showcasing the limitless varieties of plant-based cooking. We named this the best comprehensive book for a good reason—it covers almost everything you could think of, including teas, smoothies, pastas, grains, plant-based proteins, desserts, sauces, and more. It also offers vegan substitutions for different staples used throughout the book to make recipes easily adaptable, and there are step-by-step guides to the principles of cooking.

Price at time of publication: $20

Number of Recipes: Over 1,000 | Experience Level: Beginner to intermediate | Recipe Categories Include: Salads, soups, pasta, grains, fruits and vegetables, high protein foods, sauces and condiments, desserts, beverages

Best Gourmet

On Vegetables: Modern Recipes for the Home Kitchen

On Vegetables: Modern Recipes for the Home Kitchen

Amazon

  • Includes a quick reference on a variety of vegetarian ingredients

  • Recipes incorporate unique, elevated textures and flavors

  • Minimal food waste approach

Cons
  • More advanced recipes that may not be suitable for everyday cooking

Jeremy Fox applies the “nose-tail” cooking approach to vegetables in his book On Vegetables: Modern Recipes for the Home Kitchen. This book will inspire you to use all parts of the vegetable in unique and creative ways, leaving no waste behind. We love all the attention to detail in these recipes that result in beautifully plated, delicious, restaurant-worthy plates.

The introduction section breaks down key tips for the storage, purchasing, and basic preparation skills for over 30 vegetable varieties, which comes in handy as a quick reference guide to set you up for the recipes the book has to offer. You’ll apply techniques to vegetables that are usually reserved for meat, like braising, which yields a complex depth of flavor.

Our savory favorite is the Potato Beignets, Romesco, and Charred Scallion, and for a sweet treat, try the Peas, White Chocolate, and Macadamia Blondie. This book is for the adventurous home cook looking to expand beyond the simple roasted vegetable and experiment with innovative approaches to plant-based meals.

Price at time of publication: $38

Number of Recipes: 160 | Experience Level: Intermediate to advanced | Recipe Categories Include: Lunch, dinners, desserts, sauces

Best Gourmet Runner-Up

Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London's Ottolenghi

Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London's Ottolenghi

Amazon

  • Teaches cooking methods that can be applied to a variety of plant-based ingredients

  • Recipes incorporate unique, elevated textures and flavors

  • Includes a detailed index for a quick reference guide of ingredients

  • Some recipes have longer ingredient lists and prep time, may not be suitable for everyday meals

If you're looking to really elevate the flavors of plant-based ingredients and experiment with different cooking techniques, try Plenty More: Vibrant Vegetable Cooking from London's Yotam Ottolenghi. Ottolenghi is a world renowned, Israeli chef, known for his Mediterranean focused restaurants and markets in London that serve up some of the most creative vegetarian dishes and unique flavor profiles. Pick up this book and transport yourself into one of Ottolenghi’s kitchens to learn how to create his perfectly balanced plates at home.

Each section of the book is dedicated to a different cooking method, including tossed, steamed, blanched, simmered, braised, grilled and more. It allows you to develop a variety of methods to prepare and cook plant-based ingredients. This book is best for at-home cooks that are ready to move beyond the basics and develop more complex flavors. Some recipes involve several ingredients and have longer cook and prep time, which may not be suitable for everyday cooking and quick, family meals. However, the cooking skills and flavor combinations you will learn from this book will make you a more confident vegetarian chef, with the ability to improvise and make recipe modifications.

Price at time of publication: $22

Number of Recipes: Over 150 | Experience Level: Intermediate | Recipe Categories Include: Organized by preparation/cooking method, including both sweet and savory dishes.

Best Back to Basics

EatingWell Vegetables: The Essential Reference

EatingWell Vegetables Cookbook

EatingWell

Pros
  • Comprehensive resource for prepping and cooking different vegetable varieties

  • Enables you to look up recipes based on what vegetables are in your refrigerator

  • Includes tips for produce shopping

Cons
  • Organized by ingredients, not meal type, which can be difficult to navigate for meal planning

  • Limited breakfast recipes

EatingWell’s Vegetables: The Essential Reference serves as an encyclopedia of vegetable preparation and cooking methods. It’s perfect if you’re looking for some inspiration on how to cook up whatever veggies might be in your refrigerator.

The book is laid out as an A to Z reference guide of over 40 vegetables, providing market tips, cooking basics, nutrition facts, and simple preparations for each vegetable. Additionally, there are a few sample recipes in each vegetable section, showcasing the different ways to incorporate them into your cooking.

We consider this book a kitchen staple, referencing it whenever we need a quick tutorial on some basic prep and cooking methods for our vegetables.

Price at time of publication: $25

Number of Recipes: Over 250 | Experience Level: Beginner | Recipe Categories Include: Organized by vegetable, including mostly lunch and dinner recipes

Best Budget-Friendly

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

Pros
  • Recipes for easy, inexpensive meals

  • Suitable for vegans

  • Includes one-pot meal recipes

Cons
  • Recipes are very basic and may not be innovative enough for more experienced home cooks

Eating plant-based doesn’t need to be an expensive endeavor, and Plant-Based on a Budget is proof. The introduction section walks you through vegan cooking basics, pantry essentials, and general tips on how to save money on food and how to navigate grocery aisles.

Each recipe includes "Toni’s Tips" to troubleshoot common cooking pitfalls and to modify recipes based on your tastebuds and what’s in your pantry. Flip to the one-pot meal section for easy, affordable, everyday dinners you’ll cook on repeat. Try the Stovetop Blueberry Oatmeal for a satisfying breakfast with an antioxidant boost or the Sweet Potato Breakfast Bowl for a hearty, nutritious start to your day.

Price at time of publication: $20

Number of Recipes: 100 | Experience Level: Beginner | Recipe Categories Include: Breakfast, salads, snacks, staples, one-pot meals, desserts

Best for Everyday Meals

At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well

Pros
  • Includes pantry stocking guide and meal planning guides

  • Most recipes are suitable for gluten-free diets

  • James Beard Award winning cookbook

Cons
  • Requires a lot of pantry stocking to execute the recipes

When it comes to everyday cooking, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen is our go-to cookbook. Part One of this book sets the stage with a pantry stocking guide, simple recipes for daily nourishment, plus meal planning guidelines and tips for living a whole food lifestyle. Part Two is packed full of delicious plant-based recipes. We love the pantry meal section, which offers up some tasty combinations utilizing basic ingredients you likely have on hand in your kitchen. 

Recipes range from light, fresh salads and soups to heartier stews, grain bowls, veggie burgers, and casserole dishes—you’ll find a veggie dish that will satisfy any mood or craving. Check out the "Snacks, Nibbles and Drinks" section to inspire a health-forward “mocktail party”—and we promise you won’t miss the meat and cheese plate.

Price at time of publication: $24

Number of Recipes: 150 | Experience Level: Beginner to intermediate | Recipe Categories Include: Breakfast, salads, soups, snacks, whole meals, dessert, drinks, pantry recipes

Best Seasonal

Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables

A New Way with Vegetables

Amazon

Pros
  • James Beard Award winning cookbook

  • Recipes incorporate unique, elevated textures and flavors

  • Includes pantry stocking guide and prep and cooking tips for different vegetable varieties

Cons
  • Some recipes incorporate meat, seafood and dairy and are not suitable for full vegetarian or vegan diets

  • Limited breakfast recipes

If you’re looking to cook with the seasons, Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables is your pick. As the title suggests, this book is organized by season: Spring, Early Summer, Mid Summer, Late Summer, Fall, and Winter.

In this great reference, you’ll learn about seasonal harvesting and highlighting the flavors of peak-picked produce. We love the "Sauces, Dips and Dressing" section for recipes to elevate any simply roasted vegetable, like the Caper Raisin Vinaigrette and the Salsa Verde variations. 

Local, in-season produce typically contains higher nutrient contents as it’s harvested at peak ripeness and has reduced transit time—go to your local farmer’s market or join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) to stock up on ingredients for the Six Seasons recipes.

Price at time of publication: $25

Number of Recipes: Over 100 | Experience Level: Intermediate | Recipe Categories Include: Organized by season and vegetable, including mostly lunch and dinner recipes

Best Vegan

Sweet Potato Soul: 100 Easy Vegan Recipes for the Southern Flavors of Smoke, Sugar, Spice, and Soul : A Cookbook

Sweet Potato Soul

Amazon

Pros
  • Suitable for vegan diets

  • Recipes incorporate unique flavors and vegan-friendly comfort food favorites

  • Includes pantry stocking guide

Cons
  • Some recipes require many ingredients and steps

Jenne Claiborne’s Sweet Potato Soul cookbook is our top pick for flavorful, innovative vegan dishes. The introduction provides a brief history of southern cooking and soul food and a breakdown of adapting this way of cooking to a vegan diet. Her vibrant recipes highlight southern flavors, including smokey, sweet, and spicy.

Pair the Date BBQ Jackfruit Sliders with the Coconut Collard Salad for a comfort meal packed with nutritious ingredients. Vegans, Vegetarians, and omnivores will delight in these thoughtfully-crafted dishes.

Price at time of publication: $20

Number of Recipes: 100 | Experience Level: Beginner to intermediate | Recipe Categories Include: Breakfast, salads, soups, sides, mains, sweets, drinks, pantry staples and sauces

Best Vegan Runner-Up

Oh She Glows for Dinner: Nourishing Plant-Based Meals to Keep You Glowing

Oh she glows

 Courtesy of Walwart

Pros
  • Includes a meal planning guide and meal prep tips

  • Includes dietary labels and recipe modifications to navigate food allergies

  • Family-friendly recipes

Cons
  • Does not include breakfast recipes

Oh She Glows For Dinner is the third cookbook from The New York Times best selling author, Angela Liddon. This book offers over 100 nutrient-dense, vegan recipes, primarily for lunch and dinner. It's a great resource for tips and tricks on how to meal plan and prep, geared towards healthy family meals. It also provides a convenient index of recipes in the back based on preferences, including one pot meals, freezer friendly, gluten-free and more, in addition to a helpful pantry stocking guide.

We like that this book makes it easy for those those navigating dietary allergies or specific food preferences. Each recipe includes dietary labels, noting if they are gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, grain-free and/or oil-free along with suggested recipe modifications.

Oh She Glows For Dinner is filled with a flavorful variety of plant-based dishes that both vegans and omnivores will enjoy, including meal-worthy salads, casseroles, hearty soups and stews, desserts, drinks, sauces, dressings and make ahead spice mixes. Our favorite recipes are the Cheesy Lentil Bolognese Casserole, Fast Family Fajitas, and the Glow Green 30-Minute Pesto Pasta.

Number of Recipes: Over 100 | Experience Level: Beginner to intermediate | Recipe Categories Include: Salads, soups and stews, sides, mains, sweets, drinks, sauces, dressings, and spice mixes

What to Look for in a Vegetarian Cookbook

Skill Level

Look for a cookbook that feels approachable and suits your comfort level in the kitchen. If you’re a newer cook, go for one of the introductory or comprehensive cookbooks. If you’re confident with the fundamentals of cooking with vegetables, push yourself out of your comfort zone and go with an elevated, gourmet, vegetarian cookbook. Bottom line: flip through the pages and go with what inspires you most.

Ingredients and Recipe Lists

Before you purchase a cookbook, take a look at the recipe list, which is generally located in the table of contents. Review it to ensure that the recipes appeal to you and that they use ingredients that fit your dietary requirements. For example, if you avoid gluten, the recipes should include gluten-free grains or offer easy modifications. Even if you are buying the book online, many retailers give you the option to take a peek before purchasing.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between vegan and vegetarian?

    Vegan means eating a diet consisting of 100% plant products and excludes meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, and fish. A vegetarian diet is primarily plant-based but may include dairy and eggs. 

  • How nutritious is a vegetarian diet?

    Current research shows that vegetarian diets rich in plant-based foods can reduce the risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension. However, not all vegetarian diets are created equal. The health benefits of a vegetarian diet are associated with high intakes of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and healthy fats. Vegetarian diets that are primarily made up of processed foods with high amounts of added sugar and saturated fats are less likely to produce positive health outcomes.  

    There are some potential drawbacks to following a vegetarian diet, including the risk of inadequate intake of protein and certain micronutrients, including vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, calcium, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. However, incorporating a range of plant-based proteins such as soy, legumes, nuts and seeds, as well as dairy, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats, reduces the risk of deficiencies. Supplementing with the appropriate nutrients, depending on your diet and individual needs, can also help to meet your nutritional needs on a vegetarian diet.

  • How hard is it to be a vegetarian?

    It is not necessarily difficult to follow a vegetarian diet, depending on your dietary preferences and access to plant-based foods. As plant-based styles of eating become more common, vegetarian foods are even easier to find in grocery stores and restaurants. Many restaurants offer a variety of vegetarian options or accommodate substitutions. You may want to consult with a registered dietitian to ensure you are meeting all of your dietary needs and eating a well-rounded diet. 

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

As a Registered Dietitian, Anne Carroll uses her clinical expertise to cut through marketing claims and get down to the science. These are all products that she has researched, vetted, and would recommend to her clients in private practice and incorporate into her own cooking.

1 Source
Verywell Fit 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. Melina V, Craig W, Levin S. Position of the academy of nutrition and dietetics: vegetarian dietsJournal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2016;116(12):1970-1980.