6 Cookbooks You’ll Actually Want To Cook Through This Year

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December 9, 2022
Kiersten Hickman for Clean Plates

Do you ever find yourself buying a cookbook, cooking through maybe one or two recipes, then never touching it again? I admit it’s one of my pet peeves as a home cook—and something I try to avoid. Why spend the money on a cookbook if I know I’m never actually going to use it? This, of course, inspired a recent desire of mine to find some of the best books to cook through this year, full of recipes that are complete winners from start to finish. So I collected a plethora of cookbooks—a mixture of recently published and brand new—and found six that are absolutely worth the money and the time. So if you’re ready to end your cookbook slump and want to whip up some delicious meals in the kitchen this year, here are six cookbooks that are actually worth it.

Hot tip! Can’t figure out a recipe to cook with the ingredients you have? You can always turn to Eat Your Books, an online resource that makes it easy to find which recipes in your cookbook you can throw together using what you already have in your pantry and fridge.

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1. Simple Pasta by Odette Williams

Get ready to make the best carbonara of your life. If you’ve always dreamed of learning how to make fresh pasta from scratch, this book makes the process painless and fun. Learn how to make all kinds of dough and shapes thanks to Williams’ painless step-by-step process of making the freshest pasta you’ve ever tasted. Her book Simple Pasta is split into four seasons, walking you through the authentic pasta dishes—as well as other cuisine—enjoyed throughout the year in Italy. From hearty pasta dishes to light soups and even cocktails along the way, with this book, you’ll be wishing pasta night was every night.

BUY NOW: Simple Pasta by Odette Williams, $25.99

2. Healthy in a Hurry by Danielle Walker

If you find yourself dealing with an onslaught of allergies and stomach issues and are hoping to lighten up your meals, Danielle Walker should be your go-to gal. Her latest book Healthy in a Hurry walks you through mouthwatering recipes that are so healthy, they seem a little too good to be true. Her recipes are free of gluten, grain, and dairy, making it easy to skip out on any of the foods causing you issues this year. From veggie-style noodle dishes to sheet pan dinners and all the soups and salads your heart could desire, this book makes allergen-free eating look like a complete breeze.

BUY NOW: Healthy in a Hurry by Danielle Walker, $21.70

3. The Blue Zones American Kitchen by Dan Buettner

Sick of cooking the same ol’ recipes over and over? If you’re up for a challenge and want to learn new dishes you’ve likely never heard before, this cookbook is it.

Known for his extensive research around The Blue Zones, home to five regions with the longest-living people in the world, Dan Buettner himself what felt like an impossible question—was the American food system always this bad? After diving into the heritage of authentic American cuisine, Buettner was surprised to find that before the time of processed and packaged foods, America was home to some of the most delicious—and healthiest—diets in the world. His new cookbook shares a handful of plant-based recipes from five people groups within the country that still follow the principles of a Blue Zones diet—focusing on whole, real foods and avoiding anything processed.

BUY NOW: The Blue Zones American Kitchen by Dan Buettner, $24.50

4. Modern Bistro by America’s Test Kitchen

There’s something about dining out at a French bistro that truly feels magical, and now thanks to America’s Test Kitchen, you can bring that magic right to your home. Although Julia Child’s Mastering The Art of French Cooking is a classic for learning how to whip up this cuisine in the kitchen, Modern Bistro makes the process seem painless and easy. Learn how to make your favorite bistro classics like Ratatouille, Cassoulet, Apple Tarte Tatin, Coq Au Vin, and of course, Steak Frites.

BUY NOW: Modern Bistro by America’s Test Kitchen, $28.99

5. Food Between Friends by Jesse Tyler Ferguson & Julie Tanous

While this cookbook isn’t exactly a new one on bookshelves, it has quickly become a classic in my kitchen. Every single recipe in this book is dynamite, and I can’t get enough of it. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply cooking a cozy meal for the fam, these recipes work for it all—like Tomato Confit Pasta, Sorghum Butter Spatchcocked Chicken, and Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Pie. Plus, you can’t miss out on baking the absolute perfect Old-Fashioned Yellow Cake that will actually have you ditching the box mix for good.

BUY NOW: Food Between Friends by Jesse Tyler Ferguson & Julie Tanous, $23.02

6. Chinese-ish by Rosheen Kaul & Joanna Hu

I admit, I absolutely love the mission behind Chinese-ish. It’s an honest take on their lived experience as immigrants of Chinese heritage growing up in Australia, melding their cultures and their memories together with each recipe they share. This book not only teaches the basics of Chinese cooking to its readers, but each subsection shares meals along with it—like their favorite recipes for dumplings, noodles, and fried rice. The book is also a shared memoir, full of stories from the two as children of immigrants and what their experience was like growing up in a place where the cultures of their heritage and the culture of their surroundings meld into one.

BUY NOW: Chinese-ish by Rosheen Kaul & Joanna Hu, $35

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