Although cooking vegetarian is arguably easier than cooking meat, many home cooks are intimidated by the prospect of whipping up a meal that's completely meat-free. And whether you're looking to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet, or if you're thinking about transitioning to a fully vegetarian diet, you'll be doing the environment and yourself a favor.
If you aren't sure where to start, these are the best vegetarian cookbooks.
From Mediterranean to Caribbean food, this list encompasses a wide range of cuisines. Even if you weren't too familiar with these types of cuisines with meat, they're bound to bring unfamiliar flavors to your dinner table, as well as exciting new dishes to your weeknight meal rotation, to change things up a little from what you're used to eating.
'Moosewood Restaurant Favorites' by the Moosewood Collective
After the Moosewood Restaurant first opened its doors in 1973, it became one of the most iconic vegetarian restaurants in the world, bringing meatless dishes to the world of fine dining. Moosewood Restaurant Favorites rounds up 250 of the restaurant's most popular and requested recipes of all time, updating everything to phase out as many animal products as possible, provide gluten-free options, and to make everything as fresh and wholesome as possible.
From the Red Lentil Soup with Ginger to The Classic Moosewood Tofu Burger, you're bound to find a handful of recipes everyone at your dinner table will love.
'How to Cook Everything Vegetarian' by Mark Bittman
As a former NYT food columnist, Mark Bittman offers an expansive and diverse range of recipes in How To Cook Everything Vegetarian. Making plant-based cooking easier and more accessible, each recipe comes with full-color pictures and easy-to-follow steps that won't overwhelm you as many New York Times Cooking recipes might.
'My New Roots: Healthy Plant-Based and Vegetarian Recipes' by Sarah Britton
Named after her blog, Sarah Britton of My New Roots came out with a cookbook of the same name, providing fans with simple, healthy recipes beyond the ones on her blog. Encouraging readers to opt for whole foods over processed, and for in-season produce over out-of-season fruits and vegetables, it explains everything with easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions, to make home cooks just a little more comfortable in the kitchen.
'Love & Lemons Every Day' by Jeanine Donofrio
Jeanine Donofrio is another blogger-gone-cookbook-author, who named Love & Lemons Every Day after her popular recipe blog. With a wide range of flavorful, balanced meals, it makes tackling everyday meatless recipes simple and fast. Including helpful flavor fixes, seasonal produce guides, lists of plant-based proteins, and how-tos on reducing food waste, it's definitely helpful for anyone who simply wants squeeze a few more everyday recipes under their belt.
'Vegetarian Flavor Bible' by Karen Page
Karen Page's Vegetarian Flavor Bible isn't for beginners, but it's certainly helpful in helping you transition from basic home cook to proficient home cook. New York Mag claims it helps readers improve on cooking techniques as opposed to just the basics.
“I wouldn’t recommend it for first-timers, but if you really want to step up your game, Vegetarian Flavor Bible is what you need,” Amanda Cohen of Dirt Candy once stated. “It focuses on flavor pairings, like explaining why grapefruit pairs with fennel and arugula, which is the kind of thing that I find invaluable when thinking about recipes.”
'World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking' by Madhur Jaffrey
Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines are chock full of vegetarian staples, and Madhur Jaffrey's 1981 cookbook, World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking, gives readers step-by-step recipes on how to make a handful of them. It's filled with illustrations to make the execution processs a little easier, and with recipes spanning from India to Iran, you'll find a wide range of dishes you never knew you loved.
'Vegetarian Mediterranean Cookbook: 125+ Simple, Healthy Recipes for Living Well' by Sanaa Abourezk
Vegetarian Mediterranean Cookbook: 125+ Simple, Healthy Recipes for Living Well contains more than 100 recipes made with a wide range of recipes that come from everywhere in the Mediterranean, from Spain to Syria. The directions are super easy to follow, and the dishes are authentic and delicious, with ingredients you can find at any grocery store.
'Provisions: The Roots of Caribbean Cooking — 150 Vegetarian Recipes' by Michelle Rousseau
'Provisions: The Roots of Caribbean Cooking — 150 Vegetarian Recipes' by Michelle Rousseau features 150 recipes that reflect centuries of Caribbean history. With so many bright and fresh vegetarian dishes, you'll feel like you're on a delicious island vacation. Full-page color photos depict a wide range of delicious recipes, including everything from Ripe Plantain Gratin to Haitian Riz Djon Djon Risotto.