Cookbooks on shelf

(Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash)

Cooking is an integral part of our lives – some of us enjoy the art, and for others it can be a chore. When we have to cook every day, sometimes it can be challenging to come up with new and exciting recipes. That’s where cookbooks come in. Often written by experienced or even celebrity chefs, they provide a wealth of information and often inspiration for special occasion dishes or everyday meals. The best cookbooks provide everything from step-by-step instructions to ingredient lists and cooking times, making it easier to create delicious meals from scratch. 

Bored of cooking the same food? Most people, even those who are used to regularly cooking meals at home, often get tired of their creations. According to a recent poll of 2,004 people conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Jennie-O, 60 percent of people have experimented with an ordinary recipe out of sheer boredom. When asked where respondents get their inspiration for meals, 37 percent cite their friends and family as their prime source. A third also turn to Google for creative ideas and a similar number say they come up with the ideas themselves. The best cookbooks can become a go-to source of inspiration during your daily meals. 

Knowing your way around the kitchen not only impresses others but can boost your well-being. A study by researchers from Edith Cowan University have found that greater confidence in the kitchen — along with better eating habits and decisions — is good for mental health. The first step to learning the ropes is getting your hands on a carefully prepared collection of recipes.

Ready to go on a quest for flavor? StudyFinds has compiled a list of the best cookbooks to help you spice up your kitchen. Our list is based on the top recommendations across ten expert sources. If you have a favorite cookbook of your own that helps you find some inspiration when your dishes are feeling a little stale, let us know the title in the comments below! 

The List: Best Cookbooks, According to Experts


1. “First Generation: Recipes from My Taiwanese-American Home” by Frankie Gaw

The author, Frankie Gaw, is an enthusiastic blogger and writer who loves to use his cultural influences to pull together creative, out-of-the-box recipes. According to a reviewer at Serious Eats, “it was the honesty and the immediacy of First Generation that drew me in, and it was the recipes that made me want to stay and cook.” 

"First Generation: Recipes from My Taiwanese-American Home" by Frankie Gaw
“First Generation: Recipes from My Taiwanese-American Home” by Frankie Gaw

In the book you’ll find everything from dumplings, hand-pulled noodles, and even recipes like Cinnamon Toast Crunch Butter Mochi. Bon Appetit mentions “The dessert chapter, though, which uses boxed cereal in nearly every recipe as a nod to Gaw’s childhood, was my favorite.”

2. “Dishoom: From Bombay With Love” by Shamil Thakrar, Kavi Thakrar, & Naved Nasir

Dishoom is a famous Indian restaurant in London, and this is their first cookbook full of the recipes customers have loved over the years. If you need a starting point to get your Indian cooking up to speed, Dishoom is a great place to start. “Whether you fancy some jackfruit biryani, black daal or a bacon naan roll, Dishoom has you covered,” says GQ.

"Dishoom: From Bombay With Love" by Shamil Thakrar, Kavi Thakrar, & Naved Nasir
“Dishoom: From Bombay With Love” by Shamil Thakrar, Kavi Thakrar, & Naved Nasir

You’ll find unique recipes such as Okra Fries, Chicken Ruby and Lamb Raan, or Masala Chai. “Once you’ve found all the recipes you want to recreate, you can shop Dishoom’s online store and source their unique ingredients, too, such as a vintage-style tin of their House Chai and a chutney gift set,” explains Woman and Home. This cookbook also makes a great gift, with its immersive photography and accompanying stories for recipes.

According to Vogue, “Anyone who’s witnessed the queues snaking through Soho for a table at Dishoom will testify that it has an almost comically devoted following—and anyone who’s actually tried the dahl will tell you that it’s more than justified. The restaurant’s first cookbook is as much a lovingly illustrated paean to Bombay as it is a compilation of moreish recipes for everything from gunpowder potatoes to ruby chicken.”

3. “One: Simple One-Pan Wonders” by Jamie Oliver

Cooking can often become complicated, requiring multiple steps or dishes. The whole process can be especially daunting if you live alone, with loads of leftovers and endless cleanup. “Jamie Oliver decided to help us all out with an entire cookbook dedicated to one-pan meals,” adds Huff Post.

"One: Simple One-Pan Wonders" by Jamie Oliver
“One: Simple One-Pan Wonders” by Jamie Oliver

Even with only one pan, the recipes in this cookbook are deceptively simple but impressive. Make anything from appetizers and entrees to desserts and snacksEat This writes “Even though these recipes may look easy, they will be very impressive to serve, from Sausage Pappardelle, to Fragrant Fish Stew and Chocolate Party Cake, all in a single pan!”

You won’t run out of ammo, either. The cookbook contains over 120 recipes that can all be made in one pan. “Each of the over 120 recipes can be made in just one pan with eight ingredients or less, which makes for stress-free cleanup,” says Delish. This is Jamie Oliver’s 26th publication, and this cookbook’s appeal to everyone makes it a success. 

4. “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck

Julia Child was a famous American cooking teacher, author, and television personality. Her cookbook is a classic that every home chef should have on their shelf if they want to have base knowledge in cooking French cuisine. Vogue writes “Mastering the Art of French Cooking also looks exceptionally pretty on a kitchen shelf—and with traditional French cuisine back in fashion at last, learning how to make a truly perfect cassoulet or hollandaise is a brilliant use of dark winter evenings.”

"Mastering the Art of French Cooking" by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck
“Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck

This cookbook is more than just a book of recipes at your disposal. In it you’ll find stories, advice on how to shop for ingredients, and what equipment to use to get the best results. “Julia Child’s classic 1961 cookbook is a definitive resource for American chefs learning the basics and the intricacies of French cooking,” adds Insider.

5. “Sweet Enough: A Baking Book” by Alison Roman

Alison Roman gained popularity through viral recipes on social media, but was also torn apart by it after an online feud with Chrissy Teigen. Once the incident blew over, she returned with the same style that drew fans to her in the first place. “Roman continues her streak of parred-down, no-nonsense cooking gilded with chic, stylish flair in a volume entirely dedicated to the world of dessert,” says Tasting Table.

"Sweet Enough: a Baking Book" by Alison Roman
“Sweet Enough: A Baking Book” by Alison Roman

Delish explains “This will be the first cookbook by Alison Roman focused solely on dessert.” This will be Roman‘s 3rd cookbook, and you’ll find everything from Salted Lemon Cream Pie to more creative recipes like Ice Cream in Melon, Salty Lemon Shortbread, and Creamy Cauliflower Galette. 

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.

About Elsa Lee

Elsa is a freelance journalist, copywriter, and marketer based out of the Los Angeles area. She has been writing for 7 years.

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1 Comment

  1. Margaret Wells says:

    No Ina Garten books?