“Where do you get your protein?” is a common question vegans are asked. But a balanced vegan diet with nuts, beans, lentils, peas and veggies can meet all your daily protein requirements. Any of the best vegan cookbooks can help you prep meals with these ingredients. Eating nutrient-rich foods gives your body plenty of vitamins and minerals to sustain your health and energy levels. You could also opt for many meat-alternatives like vegan burger patties to fill a hamburger craving or crumble a patty into another typically beef-based recipe, such as tacos. But wait — isn’t a vegan diet always supposed to be healthy?
While the terms “vegan” and “plant-based” are often used interchangeably, there is a difference between the two. Plant-based diets focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. People often switch to a plant-based diet for health and environmental reasons. On the other hand, vegan diets exclude all animal products with the ethical stance of saving animals. So, if you see vegan “cheese” and vegan meats that look a tad unhealthy, it’s because vegans aren’t primarily concerned with healthy eating as much as plant-based eaters. Vegans just consider animals friends, not food.
But countless studies show eating a vegan or plant-based diet has a positive impact on your body. One study found that making the switch helps people with chronic migraines ease their debilitating headaches. Researchers report that a man suffering nonstop migraines rid himself of the condition after going vegan for just three months. In the case report, study authors note that the patient was able to stop taking migraine medication. And in the eight years after making the diet change, he has not had a migraine since. And if you’ve been noticing more aches all over your body, research suggests a plant-based diet could help that, too. Scientists with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine report eating a low-fat vegan diet (without calorie restrictions) can improve joint pain symptoms in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Study participants also lost excess weight and saw their cholesterol levels improve!
So, if you’re looking to improve your health, reduce your carbon footprint or save animals, a plant-based or vegan diet could be for you! To help you ease into the lifestyle, StudyFinds has done the research to find the best vegan cookbooks. Our list contains the top recommendations across ten expert sources. Already familiar with vegan cooking and have some favorite cookbooks in your arsenal? Let us know which ones in the comments below!
The List: Best Vegan Cookbooks, As Recommended By Experts
1. “Unbelievably Vegan” by Charity Morgan
This best-seller features more than 100 creative and flavorful plant-based recipes. When you’re ready to take your taste buds on an adventure, The Spruce Eats recommends making a meat-free meal from this book: “An instant national best-seller, 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. She adopted a plant-based diet and routinely prepares meat-free meals for her celebrity clientele.”
If you’re wondering which recipes to try first, Food Network has you covered: “We predict falling hard for the cover-worthy Nacho Average Nachos, amply topped with homemade cashew queso spiked with a duo of chilies, and Fried Chick’n with Spicy Maple Syrup, which smartly pulls in meaty oyster mushrooms for the chicken.”
2. “The Homemade Vegan Pantry” by Mikyoko Schinner
For all the kitchen staples, you need this cookbook. Food & Wine describes what you’ll find inside: “This guide to making unprocessed basics is expansive: Schinner covers condiments, stocks, prepared foods, and more. The book, geared towards kitchen crafters/tinkerers, offers recipes for mayonnaises, Asian sauces, non-dairy milk, egg alternatives, and a variety of ‘meats’ (breakfast unsausage, peppy unpepperoni). Schinner is best known for … her artisan vegan cheese company, Miyoko’s Kitchen, and she shares her trade secrets.”
According to Verywell Fit, this book can help you advance your skills: “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. 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.”
If you’re new to plant-based eating, Cozymeal recommends this approachable cookbook: “If there’s one thing that makes this one of the best vegan cookbooks, it’s that none of the recipes require you to go to a specialty food store. The Plant-Based Diet for Beginners is dedicated to showing you healthy and easy recipes with accessible, simple ingredients. Some tasty recipe examples include Southwest sweet potatoes, whole wheat blueberry muffins and jalapeño-lime guacamole.”
Treehugger recommends this book for beginners, too, writing, “This cookbook is geared for newbies, and you won’t feel intimidated by the easy recipes that help you adopt a whole food lifestyle. There’s advice on how to cook basics such as potatoes and lentils, as well as a focus on using easy-to-find ingredients that you won’t have to hunt down at some specialty grocer. From Hawaiian luau burgers to split pea soup, there’s a good cross-section of options for novice vegans.”
(FYI: Nooch is nutritional yeast. Its savory, cheesy, umami flavor makes it tasty, and it’s packed with nutrients — including fiber, B vitamins, minerals and protein. Yes, protein! Just a tablespoon has 3 grams.)
Veganomicon has earned rave reviews! MindBodyGreen says this is a time-tested cookbook you’re sure to enjoy: “The 10th-anniversary edition of this cookbook was released in 2017, proving it has certainly stood the test of time. A whopping 250-plus recipes for vegan dishes fill the pages.”
Food52 likes how thorough this book is: “The largest book of the bunch, Veganomicon is almost an encyclopedia for all things related to vegan cooking. If an ingredient is vegan, this book probably has a guide on how to cook it. The recipes here are extremely approachable, using ingredients and techniques that most home cooks would feel comfortable buying and attempting.”
Runner’s World loves the author’s ability to turn classic Korean recipes into vegan masterpieces: “Most Korean food isn’t vegan, but this recipe book by Joanne Lee Molinaro takes both classic recipes and her family’s recipes and makes them into vegan masterpieces. While the dishes appear complex and gourmet, they are surprisingly easy to follow and give an incredibly delicious result. For the less common Korean ingredients, there is a guide to help you find them, and substitutes if you can’t.”
Bon Appétit notes the cookbook’s seamless blending of memoir and cuisine: “While leafing through The Korean Vegan, you might forget it’s a cookbook and feel as if you’re reading Joanne Lee Molinaro’s memoir. With this cookbook Molinaro takes you by the hand and teaches you the ins and outs of Korean cuisine; you’ll learn about vegan pantry essentials and the meanings behind the names of dishes with various levels of ease and difficulty.”
You might also be interested in:
- Best Of The Best Vegan Burgers
- Best Vegan Protein Powder
- Best Plant-Based Super Bowl Recipes
- Best of the Best Vegan Chocolate Brands
- The Spruce Eats
- Food Network
- Food & Wine
- Verywell Fit
- Runner’s World
- Bon Appétit
- 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.