If you've been mulling over the idea of going vegan and don't know where to begin, stocking up on a few cookbooks is a great place to start. Sure, you know the basics of following a vegan diet: no dairy, no eggs, no meat and fish, no honey — but do you know how to make a complete, balanced meal with everything you can eat?
Following a few recipes can get your creative cooking juices flowing so you can re-create your favorite flavor profiles using vegan-friendly ingredients. In fact, vegan cooking can expose you to a variety of foods you probably haven't tried yet, like sea vegetables, coconut yogurt, bean-based burger patties, nutritional yeast and cashew cheese.
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To help you find the perfect vegan cookbook, we rounded up the tastiest titles and divided them into seven categories for all of your baking, grilling, roasting and stir-frying needs.
1. Best Vegan Cookbooks for Beginners
America's Test Kitchen Vegan for Everybody: Foolproof Plant-Based Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and In-Between
Made for the newbie and veteran vegan, this cookbook will make you feel right at home with its robust guide to the vegan diet. Here, you'll learn how to replace pork, chicken and beef in dishes with plant-powered "meats," such as tofu, cauliflower and mushrooms.
Plus, you'll get a first-hand look at how to fill your plate with nutritious grains, like barley and quinoa, every bean in the legume spectrum and an assortment of nuts and seeds to ensure you are getting adequate vitamins and nutrients. And, there are pages dedicated to navigating the non-dairy world of nuts milk, almond and coconut yogurts and vegan cheese substitutes.
Of course, there's no vegan diet without vegetables, so you'll also learn how to expand your palate with a variety of veggies. From whole-wheat pancakes and banana bread to warm farro bowls with tofu, mushrooms and spinach and pan-seared tempeh steaks with chimichurri sauce, you'll want to earmark every recipe in the book.
Buy it: Amazon; Price: $21.49
More Great Options for Beginners
2. Best Vegan Cookbook for Everyday Cooking
The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow From the Inside Out
The New York Times best-selling author Angela Liddon is the writer and recipe developer behind the popular vegan blog Oh She Glows. While her cookbook was released six years ago, it's still an all-time favorite for its easy-to-follow recipes and friendly approach to plant-based eating.
From broccoli and cashew cheese-quinoa burritos to portobello steak fajitas, dishes you never imagined to be vegan come to life in more than 100 delicious recipes.
Many people may also relate to Liddon's story of overcoming an eating disorder and subsisting on low-calorie, processed foods. After more than a decade later of starting her blog, Liddon continues to share healthy, vegan recipes to her readers, meat eater and plant lovers alike.
Buy it: Amazon; Price: $18.66
More Great Options for Everyday Cooking
- Deliciously Ella The Plant-Based Cookbook: 100 Simple Vegan Recipes to Make Every Day Delicious ($30, Amazon)
- Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-Based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes ($40.93, Amazon)
- Veganomicon, 10th Anniversary Edition: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero ($26, Amazon)
3. Best Vegan Cookbook for Meal Prepping
Vegan Meal Prep: Ready-to-Go Meals and Snacks for Healthy Plant-Based Eating
Let's face it: Going vegan is one thing, but meal prepping is a whole other level, especially if you're new to the diet and aren't as familiar with common ingredients. Think of this cookbook as your starter kit to a vegan lifestyle.
It features eight meal preps and 70 recipes, so you'll never get bored and you'll expose your taste buds to different types of dishes. Not to mention, you'll learn how to save time in the kitchen by portioning out your meals and cooking one-pot meals, sides and mains to mix and match and dishes you can freeze and reheat.
To help ensure you're getting enough nutrients, vegan chef JL Fields outlines five plant-based food groups you should include in your meals: vegetables, fruits, beans and legumes, grains and nuts and seeds. Get cooking with sumptuous recipes, like healthy mac and cheese, tortilla breakfast casserole and Asian-inspired chili.
Buy it: Amazon; Price: $14.84
More Great Options for Meal Prepping
- Plant-Based on a Budget: Delicious Vegan Recipes for Under $30 a Week in Less Than 30 Minutes a Meal by Toni Okamoto ($17.59, Amazon)
- Vegan Recipes in 30 Minutes: A Vegan Cookbook With 106 Quick & Easy Recipes ($10.79, Amazon)
- Frugal Vegan: Affordable, Easy & Delicious Vegan Cooking by Katie Koteen and Kate Kasbee ($9.55, Amazon)
4. Best Vegan Cookbook for Baking
Whole Food Vegan Baking: Delicious Recipes Using Healthy, Natural Ingredients
Contrary to what many people think, not all vegan baked goods are healthier than their egg- and dairy-laden counterparts. In fact, many vegan desserts may be just as calorie-dense and contain just as much refined flour and sugar, if not more, than traditional baked goods.
But thanks to Annie Makowitz's vegan baking cookbook, you can re-create many of the treats you love, using natural, plant-based ingredients.
Timeless favorites, such as banana bread, fudgy brownies, sugar cookies and red velvet cupcakes, will transport you to your childhood. And there are treats for more "adult" tastes, too. Think: strawberry oatmeal bars, lemon poppy seed cake and sweet potato pie.
Buy it: Amazon; Price: $10.99
More Great Options for Baking
- Chloe's Vegan Desserts: More Than 100 Exciting New Recipes for Cookies and Pies, Tarts and Cobblers, Cupcakes and Cakes—and More! by Chloe Coscarelli ($17.04, Amazon)
- Sweet Vegan Treats: 90 Recipes for Cookies, Brownies, Cakes, and Tarts by Hannah Kaminsky ($15.39, Amazon)
- Vegan Baking for Beginners: 75 Recipes for Sweet and Savory Treats by JL Fields ($13.89, Amazon)
5. Best Vegan Cookbook for African-American Cuisine
Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy and Creative African-American Cuisine
"This cookbook by award-winning, eco-chef Bryant Terry features soul food recipes that use fresh, whole and healthy ingredients," the Lakatos twins say. "Recipes keep the down-home flavor and lose the heavy salt and refined sugar, bad fats and unhealthy cooking techniques. Cooking methods focus on local, seasonal, sustainably grown food."
Bryant was inspired by the ingredients and tastes in African, African American, Native American and Caribbean cuisine, and designed these recipes through their complex flavors. Growing up in Memphis, Terry shares dishes from his childhood, and you'll find everything from gumbo, cajun-creole-spiced tempeh pieces with creamy grits and Jamaican veggie patties to chilled and grilled okra, corn and heirloom tomato salad.
Of course, no meal is complete without dessert. Indulge in chocolate-pecan pudding pie, molasses vanilla ice cream with candied walnuts and maple yam ginger pie.
Buy it: Amazon; Price: $11.59
More Great Options for African-American Cuisine
- Caribbean Vegan: Meat-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free Authentic Island Cuisine for Every Occasion by Taymer Mason ($18.69, Amazon)
- Rachel Ama's Vegan Eats: Tasty Plant-Based Recipes for Every Day by Rachel Ama ($30.99, Amazon)
- Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean, and Southern Flavors Remixed by Bryant Terry ($18.89, Amazon)
6. Best Vegan Cookbook for Southern Comfort Foods
Sweet Potato Soul: 100 Easy Vegan Recipes for Southern Flavors of Smoke, Sugar, Spice, and Soul
Jenne Claiborne is a New York City-based vegan personal chef and the blogger behind Sweet Potato Soul. Growing up in Atlanta, Claiborne was inspired to get into the food world from her nana, who taught her how to cook and play with different spices, oils and other ingredients, but she didn't discover the world of healthy vegan eating until college.
In her cookbook, Claiborne puts a plant-based twist to many of the dishes she grew up eating, including coconut collard salad, fried cauliflower chicken and sweet potato-pecan cinnamon rolls. (Are you salivating yet?) What makes Claiborne's cookbook especially unique is it gives you a bit of a history lesson on Southern cuisine, which spans different cultures, including indigenous Americans, Africans and Europeans.
More importantly, it pays homage to soul food, which is the embodiment of Black culture in America. While many people mistake soul food for being unhealthy, its foundation actually lies in many nutrient-dense foods, like collard greens, beans, corn and sweet potatoes.
Buy it: Amazon; Price: $15.29
More Great Options for Comfort Foods
- Hot for Food Vegan Comfort Classics: 101 Recipes to Feed Your Face by Lauren Toyota ($7.57, Amazon)
- Vegan Comfort Cooking: 75 Plant-Based Recipes to Satisfy Cravings and Warm Your Soul ($17.49, Amazon)
- Chloe Flavor: Saucy, Crispy, Spicy Vegan: A Cookbook by Chloe Coscarelli ($22.03, Amazon)
- Fuss-Free Vegan: 101 Everyday Comfort Food Favorites, Veganized by Sam Turnball ($16.34, Amazon)
7. Best Vegan Cookbook for International Cooking
Vegan Indian Cooking: 140 Simple and Healthy Vegan Recipes
The Lakatos twins love Anupy Singla's cookbook for its sumptuous Indian-inspired vegan recipes. Filled with more than 50 recipes, this cookbook features delicious vegan dishes that emphasize the use of flavorful spices, such as ground coriander, turmeric, garam masala and roasted cumin.
"This book features vegan recipes from Indian tradition, all in a lightened-up and healthy way. Rather than using heavy oils, unhealthy fats and lots of salt, recipes are slow-cooked and use flavorful spices with health benefits to get rich Indian flavors. The book also shows how the ingredients, along with the spices, can become healing foods," the Lakatos twins say.
Singla's cookbook also dismantles many of the myths around Indian cuisine, including it being too spicy, unhealthy and complicated, and shares ways that it is actually very nutritious, easy and approachable.
Buy it: Amazon; Price: $16.49
More Great Vegan Cookbooks for International Cooking
- Vegan Thai Kitchen: 75 Easy and Delicious Plant-Based Recipes With Bold Flavors by Sarah Jansala and Renoo Jansala ($15.89, Amazon)
- Viva Vegan! 200 Authentic and Fabulous Recipes for Latin Food Lovers by Terry Hope Romero ($14.59, Amazon)
- East Meets Vegan: The Best of Asian Home Cooking, Plant-Based and Delicious by Sasha Gill ($15.89, Amazon)