As you’ll see below, I use a variety of cookbooks. I regularly reference everything from Paleo cookbooks to vegetarian cookbooks and never shy away from a quality dessert cookbook. In addition to giving a little bit of information about each cookbook below its title, I’ve also included a few of our favorite recipes from each cookbook just in case you want to try out some of our favorites in your house, too!
And please let me know about the cookbooks you love most in the comments section of this post so I can check them out as well!
My Favorite Cookbooks
The How Not to Die Cookbook by Michael Greger, MD
This book is fascinating (the beginning pages are basically a crash-course in disease-fighting foods) but, most importantly, the recipes are wonderful. They’re all plant based and incorporate lots of vegetables, fruits, seeds, whole grains and beans. I have yet to make a recipe from this cookbook that I didn’t absolutely love but I will also admit that a handful of my absolute favorite recipes in this one are a bit time-intensive. Still, the extra effort is always worth it and I always feel good whenever I cook up a recipe from this cookbook to feed to my family. (Note: There are also very easy ways to shortcut some of the more labor-intensive recipes. For example, when a recipe calls for homemade date syrup, often substituting maple syrup or honey works well!)
Favorites recipes: Lentil Shepherd’s Pie, Split Pea Dal, Golden Quinoa Tabbouleh, Berry Chocolate Chia Pudding
The Whole Smiths Good Food Cookbook by Michelle Smith
I swear the recipe for The Whole Smiths’ Whole Roasted Chicken is worth the purchase of this cookbook alone! It’s SO GOOD and a recipe I’ve made more times than I can count since purchasing this cookbook last year. It’s a cookbook packed with delicious whole food recipes made with simple ingredients and I love the way the recipes taste like elevated versions of old favorites… but without any extra work! Of all of the cookbooks I own, I’ve made the most recipes from this cookbook and I haven’t had it nearly as long as some of the others which is saying something.
Favorite recipes: The Whole Smiths’ Whole Roasted Chicken, Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potato Bites, Pizza Soup, Sweet Potato Hash, Charred Shishito Peppers
This cookbook has been my go-to cookbook for cookie recipes for years because they’re always a slam dunk! It’s also a visually stunning cookbook with pictures of nearly every recipe and I love the way the cookies are categorized (Soft and Chewy, Chunky and Nutty, Cakey and Tender, Crisp and Crunchy, etc.), making it easy to find a cookie recipe to satisfy any craving. As an added bonus, it’s a great cookbook to break out when I want to make cookies with Chase because he can easily point a picture of a cookie that appeals to him in the front of the book because they’re all laid out together in the first few pages — the ultimate cookie index!
Favorite recipes: Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies, Ne Plus Ultra Cookies, Brown Butter Toffee Blondies, Classic Shortbread
Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook by Juli Bauer
Juli Bauer knows flavor and the Paleo recipes in this cookbook are unbelievably delicious. The recipes in this cookbook are some of Ryan’s favorite meals (the marinated flank steak with chimichurri is #1 in his eyes) and I feel 100 percent confident that whenever I attempt a recipe from this cookbook it will be a big-time crowd-pleaser. It’s also my go-to cookbook when I’m preparing a meal for friends with any kind of gluten or dairy allergies because every recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free. And nothing is easier than prepping a big batch of Juli’s Oven Chicken Fajitas to serve with tortillas, pico de gallo and all the fixings when you have to feed a crowd!
Favorite recipes: Oven Chicken Fajitas, Marinated Flank Steak with Chimichurri, Maple Vanilla Candied Walnuts
Pioneer Woman Cooks by Ree Drummond
When I want to make an indulgently delicious recipe, this is my go-to cookbook. Ree’s recipes are perfect for special occasions and holidays and something about flipping through the pages of her cookbooks (yes, I have multiple) fills me with a feeling of comfort. Also, if you’re someone who is typically intimidated by cooking or baking, this cookbook is a winner because it includes step-by-step photos of how to make the recipes with plenty of detailed descriptions, making her recipes virtually fool-proof.
Favorite recipes: Sour Cream Pancakes, Lasagna, Chocolate Sheet Cake, Mocha Brownies
Without a doubt this is the most nostalgic cookbook in my collection. When I think about my mother following a recipe from a cookbook in our kitchen when I was a little girl growing up in Illinois, I picture her flipping through the pages of this red five-ring binder recipe book. Though Betty Crocker’s cookbook is packed with staple recipes for everything from beef stew to chicken curry, the real winners in my eyes are the desserts and sweet treats!
Favorite recipes: Apple Pie, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Oatmeal Cookies, Quiche Lorraine
Against All Grain: Meals Made Simple by Danielle Walker
I received Meals Made Simple as a Christmas gift from a friend a few years back and have so many recipes dogeared in this bad boy! The Pepperoni Pizza Pasta was the first recipe I made from this cookbook and it’s still our favorite to this day. Meals Made Simple is a cookbook that incorporates lots of vegetables and simple ingredients and every recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free and Paleo-friendly.
Favorite recipes: Pepperoni Pizza Pasta, Creamy Mashed Root Vegetables, Chipotle Barbacoa, Ginger Chicken and Broccoli