Hey, guys, welcome back to my blog and welcome back to another article that is 14 Essential Cookbooks Everyone Should Own. today's article is a fun one and it's actually about my cookbook collection in my kitchen.
In fact, I had a bookcase installed on the end of my island specifically for organizing all of my cookbooks and I often talk a lot about cookbooks on my blog as I'm cooking and planning meals and referencing them and so one of my friends request is to know what isn't my must-have cookbooks and so I've gone through my whole collection and I've chosen 10 Essential Cookbooks Everyone Should Own today that I think anyone would benefit from having in their collection any of the cookbooks.
So let's get started so I'm gonna take you back to 2001 and that was when I started my cookbook collection and this is a reproduction of Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book by Betty Crocker and my grandma gave this to me when I turned 18.
and in fact, it still has my maiden name written on the front of it so this was definitely the cookbook that started off my collection once I moved out on my own throughout college and the early married life I was obsessed with collecting cookbooks I was obsessed with cooking food out of cookbooks and so I love that I get to share that here on my blog with you guys but it's something that I've enjoyed doing in my own life for a really long time okay.
I thought it would be really fun to share my favorite cookbooks with you so I use these cookbooks every week they're kind of are essential coke books. I think all these books have a really nice variety and these are just the cookbooks that we use time and time again over the last few years.
14 Best Cookbooks Everyone Needs for Home Cooks in Their Kitchen
1. Rachael Ray 50
I'm recommending right now is Rachel ray50 and this is one that was recently published and it acts actually includes recipes as well as essays and recipes in her handwriting and to me, it's more like a scrapbook of her time as a cook in the public eye I actually started watching Rachel ray when food network premiered the 30-minute meal show that's when I was in college.
and I've talked before about how I loved watching food network while I was in college and back then it was like the dog food network it was like Giada and Aina and iron chef and Rachel ray.
and now I feel like all the food network is just guy Fieri in his like 18 different grocery shows but anyway I've been a fan of Rachel ray for the longest time and so I actually wanted to share also that I have the very first issue of every day with Rachel ray it's one of my prized possessions uh not really but this issue is from November December 2005. so at this point, it's almost 15 years old maybe I'll do like a throwback and cook some recipes out of this.
but I have been a Rachel fan for a long time and so I've cooked many of her recipes and most of them have turned out really well so I would recommend this cookbook especially if you are a Rachel ray fan it has great pictures it has a lot of her classic recipes in it and it is a big thick cookbook and I think that if you are a fan of hers you'll enjoy it okay.
2. Skinnytaste Fast and Slow
next up is the skinny taste fast and slow cookbook and I actually have three or four of gina's cookbooks of the skinny taste cookbook she also has a fantastic blog so if you haven't checked her out make sure that you check out her blog she does a lot of lightened up recipes she also includes the points for weight watchers.
if you're interested in that kind of thing but this is my favorite cookbook of hers I think it is the most comprehensive and I also like that it has both quick fix and slow cooker recipes one of her recipes that is my favorite is her slow cooker lasagna soup.
but I have cooked many recipes out of this cookbook and none of them you can really tell are healthier versions and so if this is something that sounds like it would interest you and if you like cooking crock-pot meals I would definitely recommend this cookbook okay.
3. The Pioneer Woman Cooks
next up is pioneer woman's cookbook and she's another one that I started following before she was on the food network and before she had any cookbooks and before she had a cooking show I actually followed her blog from way back in the day but I love her cookbooks if you guys have ever tried her recipes you know that a lot of them are filled proof.
but the reason I really like her cookbooks is that she has step-by-step instructions of all the recipes and she has lots of pictures so for someone that might be a more newbie cook or someone who needs a little bit more help following directions I think these are really convenient even for someone like me who I would say is a pretty experienced home cook I love using these cookbooks because I can quickly find when I'm in the middle of cooking a recipe where I'm at in that particular recipe she has a lot of.
I guess you would say varied recipes she includes a lot of different cuisines a lot of different meals as far as like breakfast lunch and dinner and like I said all of her recipes are fabulous so this one is pioneer woman cooks the new frontier which I believe is the newest one but like I said I have several of hers and I love all of them okay.
4. Cook Once, Eat All Week
Cook Once, Eat All Week: 26 Weeks of Gluten-Free, Affordable Meal Prep to Preserve Your Time & Sanity by Cassy Joy Garcia
next up is my favorite meal prep cookbook of all time and this is cook once eat all week by cassie joy Garcia.
basically, the concept of this cookbook is that you are meal prepping but you're using three core ingredients so essentially you have a protein and a couple of vegetables and those are kind of like the building blocks for your three meal prep recipes for that week and the reason why this is great is that not only does it save on food waste but it's also a budget-friendly way to meal prep you also can use as the same core ingredients but then cook different meals so you're not eating the same thing for every meal in a week.
which is something that I really like the other great thing about this book is that she has tons of customization options in here so all of the recipes are inherently gluten-free but she also has options for like paleo low carb and I believe dairy free if you are interested in that there's a lot of great pictures in it like I said everything I've tried has been fabulous.
so I would definitely recommend this cookbook especially if you're looking for a meal prep cookbook I think that it's great otherwise you can also just cook the recipes straight out of here even if you're not interested in meal prepping okay.
5. Simply Keto
Simply Keto: A Practical Approach to Health & Weight Loss, with 100+ Easy Low-Carb Recipes by Suzanne Ryan
next up is actually a keto cookbook and I'm not on a keto diet currently I have been intermittently in the past however I do think this is a great cookbook if you are doing keto or even if you're not doing keto a lot of the recipes in here are great I have several keto cookbooks and so I feel like I can be a good judge of which one is my favorite since I've tried out several of them.
I think the recipes here are super approachable like there's not a lot of weird ingredients every recipe has a picture that's another thing that I really like to see in cookbooks is that there are lots of pictures.
and there's just a lot of variety which I think is great and I've tried probably I don't know five to ten recipes out of this and they have all been fabulous the cookbook is called simply keto by Suzanne Ryan I believe she also has a youtube channel last I checked she doesn't post on it much but if you're looking for a low carb or keto cookbook I would definitely recommend this one okay.
so you guys know I'm always talking about America's test kitchen and their cookbooks on my channel and I've recommended many of them but this one has to be one of my favorites and I've made several different videos featuring recipes out of this is the America's test kitchen bowls cookbook vibrant recipes with endless possibilities.
so the reason why I like this cookbook is that there's just a lot of innovative ideas in here I think especially when I'm doing meal prep whether it's for lunch or dinner sometimes I just have trouble coming up with innovative ideas you know.
I feel like sometimes we eat the same things every week and so there's just a ton of different cuisine options in here there are hot meals cold meals salads grain bowls vegan recipes soups main dishes so definitely a lot of variety in this cookbook and the great thing about America's test kitchen is that you know that all of their recipes have been extensively tested to make sure that they turn out properly.
and there's also a lot of great pictures in the cookbook and then at the end, there are also tons of recipes for like quick pickles there's a whole section of dressings and sauces so I have been super happy with this cookbook I've had it for a while now and would definitely recommend it okay.
7. The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook
The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook: A Fresh Guide to Eating Well With 700 Foolproof Recipes by America's Test Kitchen
so next up is another cookbook from America's test kitchen and I have several of these complete cookbooks. so there are several different ones there's a complete vegetarian cookbook which I'm sharing with you here. there's also a complete Mediterranean cookbook there's a complete vegan cookbook I have all of them and all of them are fabulous.
but the reason why I'm sharing this one even though I'm not a vegetarian is that I think it just has a ton of great recipes in it and even if you're not vegetarian and you want to customize some of these recipes by adding meat you can totally do that but they have a great recipe in here for pad thai I have also made the vegetable spring rolls out of this is also the cookbook where I get my granola recipe.
and so I definitely think that if you get this you will not regret it like I said even if you aren't a vegetarian I just think there are a ton of great recipes in here that anyone can use and all of them turn out fabulous okay.
8. Cook's Illustrated Revolutionary Recipes
Cook's Illustrated Revolutionary Recipes: Groundbreaking Techniques. Compelling voices. One-of-a-kind recipes by America's Test Kitchen
so next up is the cookbook I have to share with you before I have one honorable mention is the cook's illustrated revolutionary recipes so if you've read any of my articles I'm sure you've heard me talk about this cookbook before it is a huge cookbook I would almost like to call it my cooking bible I really think this cookbook is kind of similar to like the betty crocker cookbook of our time like maybe we could call it the modern betty crocker cookbook but there is just a ton of great like classic recipes in here.
so this is honestly the first cookbook I go to if I'm looking for a basic recipe so let's say I'm looking for like a basic biscuit recipe or a pie crust or a roast chicken or just anything like that this cookbook is going to have it and it's going to be great in fact this is the biscuit recipe that I use most often the ultimate flaky biscuits they're super delicious every recipe has a picture every recipe also has an extensive write-up and then they also often recommend products which I think is super helpful too like I said.
I am a fan of cooks illustrated in America's test kitchen and you can't go wrong with any of their cookbooks but I think especially if you're looking to build your collection and have something that has a lot of classic recipes in it I would definitely recommend this one okay.
9. Cook's Country
so next up is a cooking magazine now I can tell you that I have subscribed to just about every single cooking magazine over the last almost 20 years I've subscribed to Rachel ray's magazine I've subscribed to pioneer women's magazine which by the way is terrible don't get it I've been subscribed to like cooking light eating well um food and wine bon appetit I mean any of them you name it and the one I go back to time and time again is definitely a cook's country.
this is also America's test kitchen so it's the same people that make all the cookbooks that I love so much but these magazines are great because I feel like they're like mini cookbooks in and of themselves so this cooks country comes out six times a year so about every other month you get one and this is the most recent one.
it's very colorful and on the back is all of the pictures of the recipes that are in this episode the other great thing about this magazine is that there are no ads in it so you can get a subscription to this I just looked at one of the cards inside for 25 bucks a year which I think is actually not bad.
10. Milk Street: Tuesday Nights
Milk Street: Tuesday Nights: More than 200 Simple Weeknight Suppers that Deliver Bold Flavor, Fast by Christopher Kimball
The next book that I'm going to talk about is milk street Tuesday nights by Christopher Kimball so we love this cookbook we've owned this cookbook for about two or three years it's kind of like the original cookbook for us as a couple and honestly we have not become bored with this book at all.
there's burger recipes, pasta recipes, curry recipes, so like I said there's a lot of variety within this book another really great thing about this book is that as the name kind of suggests it's a really great cookbook kind of for your every day so these recipes are kind of created to be able to be made on just a random Tuesday night with not a lot of time or preparation.
and the way that this cookbook is organized is that it's organized by the length of time for how long it's going to cook so it has fast faster fastest and they kind of range from anywhere from like an hour and 20 minutes to about like 35 minutes so they're even the longest recipes really don't take that long to prepare but the shorter recipes really only take about 35 to 40 minutes which is really nice.
because you're getting really dynamic flavorful dishes that don't take very long to make so for us I think the recipe that we probably make the most often is the orchestra pasta recipe so this utilizes some horchata noodles and it has a kind of garlic olive oil drizzle with some chard and jarred bell pepper but during the summer we've been kind of subbing the jarred bell pepper with roasted tomatoes and it is so good it's a really great meal that you kind of get some greens it's really light.
but it's still really homey another recipe that we really like are the parmesan herb burgers those are really really good too they're a turkey burger so like I said there's a lot of different variety for everyone and I just think these recipes are so simple to make but are not basic or bland by any means.
11. Dinner for Everyone
Dinner for Everyone: 100 Iconic Dishes Made 3 Ways--Easy, Vegan, or Perfect for Company: A Cookbook by Mark Bittman
the next book I want to talk about is dinner for everyone by mark Bittman this is another clever and really practical cookbook that uh does kind of a bunch of different iconic dishes but it does them in three different ways so it's going to be kind of a weeknight recipe a vegan recipe and an elevated kind for the entertaining recipe.
so this takes recipes like beef stroganoff and provides a recipe that you can make on a Tuesday night it provides a recipe that is vegan friendly and then one that takes a little bit more time to create so you might have to simmer something for you know three to four hours and so it kind of tries to meet you wherever you're at in your cooking journey and you were never bored with this book.
because you're basically getting a hundred recipes done three different ways I also really like this cookbook because it also encourages you to cook vegan dishes without really having to invest in a full cookbook dedicated to vegan recipes I think this is a great option if you do want to incorporate more kind of meat-free recipes into your diet but you don't really know where to start.
I think this is a great cookbook because it takes already familiar recipes but does them uh with a vegan twist I think the recipe that we make the most from this book is this skillet chicken pot pie recipe is so good and so easy to make another one is sweet and salty coconut rice I sub the lime of beans for red beans and I usually do it with a jerk chicken that's actually in the milk street cookbook.
12. Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables
Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables by Joshua McFadden
if you are looking to incorporate more vegetables into your cooking I definitely recommend Joshua McFadden's. six seasons cookbook not only is this cookbook absolutely gorgeous but it gives you a lot of really delicious vegetable recipes so when we cook our meals during the week we really try to have a protein starch and then a vegetable and a lot of our vegetable dishes.
and so this book has really elevated and kind of challenged the way that we cook and kind of perceive vegetables the cookbook is organized by the season too so you are getting kind of an education on what vegetables are seasonal for you and so you're also kind of having this extra element of being connected to uh the ingredients that you're using when you cook which I think is really beautiful.
I think my favorite recipe from this book is a beet couscous recipe so this is I believe for the fall and winter season but you're using different kinds of beets so I think you could use you know red beets kind of yellow beets uh and then rainbow carrots you use a variety of onions and then you have a lemon olive oil sauce that kind of goes on top of it all with some couscous and I think it is such an earthy but still bright dish that really makes a like a fish dish tastes so good during the winter I think.
it also really pairs well with kind of a roast chicken and you're getting your vegetables in as well as a starch so it's kind of like an all-in-one side which is sometimes really nice to do this recipe book definitely requires a little bit more preparation and planning and I wouldn't say skill but there are a lot of specialized ingredients in here that you might not normally use like stinging nettles which require special preparation.
so I think this is really good if you want a challenge and to really elevate your vegetable sides it's not only beautiful it has a really good message it helps you think more seasonally which is also kind of good for your budget as well um but I think this is just such a beautiful cookbook it also makes a really great gift so kind of going off of that cozy direction.
13. Easy Soups from Scratch with Quick Breads to Match
Easy Soups from Scratch with Quick Breads to Match: 70 Recipes to Pair and Share (Soup Cookbook, Low-Calorie Cookbook, Crockpot Cookbook) by Ivy Manning
the next cookbook I'm going to talk about is easy soups from scratch with quick breads to match by ivy manning. I love this cookbook and I totally recommend it if you live somewhere that gets cold this is a beautiful soup cookbook that's organized by different ingredients that you put into it so it's organized by kind of what the staple is so you have grains and beans section you have a poultry section seafood beef pork so it's kind of organized by protein I guess which I think is really great.
when you're kind of trying to pick a protein to put in your soup the soups themselves also are very very varied you have like a Thai chicken soup um and then there's a chicken dumpling soup or a minestrone soup with sausage you get a lot of different types of soups with a lot of different flavors you have some creamy soups more brothy soups which I think is really fantastic for a soup book.
because when you think of soup you don't really think of having that much to choose from and I think this will really challenge your soup-making skills but this book gets better because it also incorporates bread recipes in this book as well and there are some gluten-free options for the breads in this book that pair with each individual soup recipe.
so my favorite is a tapioca cheese biscuit they're so good and they go with a couple of different recipes I've had it with the sausage gumbo recipe that's in this book and it's just so delicious there's another biscuit a pimento cheese drop biscuit that's also really easy to make that tastes really good with the gumbo I think that's my favorite soup recipe.
I also like the minestrone soup as well I think that's really comforting but it's still hearty because there are some lentils and grains and a lot of veggies it also stores really well and so you can have that for lunch throughout the week.
I definitely recommend this book for this upcoming fall and winter season you're going to have so many cozy soups to choose from that will keep not only your belly warm but your heart warm.
14. Bread Baking for Beginners
Bread Baking for Beginners: The Essential Guide to Baking Kneaded Breads, No-Knead Breads, and Enriched Breads by Bonnie Ohara
speaking of bread I would be remiss if I did not recommend bread baking for beginners by bonnie O'Hara. this is an invaluable resource if you want to get started on a bread baking journey I think O'Hara does an excellent job at introducing kind of the science behind bread baking but also giving you practical tips and troubleshooting kind of question answers to kind of help guide you through possible mistakes you might make with the different types of recipes that are in this book.
she also gives you a nice list of kinds of equipment that you might need to start baking bread at home which I also think is a great resource as well because it can be overwhelming when you're researching what you need exactly to bake bread and you don't really need that much but there are some things that make your cooking experience a lot better like a scale if you do not bake with a scale I definitely recommend that you start.
but this book is organized by different types of bread so you have some no-need recipes you have needed recipes you have enriched doughs and then she also has a section on sourdough which she also teaches you how to make and maintain a sourdough starter which I'm still not very skilled at.
I love this book my favorite recipes are for sure the enriched dough so making brioche there's a good cinnamon roll recipe and a chocolate bobcat recipe that once you get started on enriched doughs you need to make the chocolate vodka because it is a braided loaf and so it looks really gorgeous and very impressive when you make it and it's so delicious too.
so yes definitely get bread baking for beginners it will be a very nice cookbook to complement your other cookbooks for the fall and winter season because fresh bread during the fall there's just nothing like it if you make the there's an oatmeal cinnamon loaf in this book that I just love putting with some cinnamon butter or some apple butter as well it's just so homey and it's so simple to do once you invest some time in learning how to do it properly.
Conclusion of the Essential Cookbooks Everyone Should Own
So those are my favorite cookbooks those are cookbooks that I reach for time and time again. I've grown with these cookbooks over the last few years as I've become more skilled as a home chef and I definitely recommend these to anyone they also make really great gifts if you're already starting to think about the holidays, yes these are excellent cookbooks. Thank you so much for reading, make sure to share and subscribe and to follow me on Twitter. I will see you in my next article bye.