Whether or not you’re vegan, there are so many reasons to try more plant-based recipes. For one thing, eating vegan is one of the best things humans can do for the Earth — one person eating a vegan diet for just one day can save 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 square feet of land, 20 pounds of CO2 equivalent, and the life of one animal, according to Cowspiracy’s website.
Not to mention, going vegan is a no-brainer for any animal-lover — taking them off your plate is a great way to extend your love and respect for animals into your everyday life. Plus, going vegan is usually an amazing choice for personal health, as it can help prevent and treat conditions such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, according to the American Dietetic Association, who found that well-planned vegan and vegetarian diets are “appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle.”
Going vegan doesn’t mean you need to get rid of all your other cookbooks — there are plenty of tips and tricks on the internet that can help you veganize all your family favorites. But no matter what kind of recipes you’re looking for — recipes for beginners, for a budget, for kids, for the health-minded — read on for a list of vegan cookbooks perfect for any and every occasion.
Easy Vegan Cookbooks for Beginners
If you're a new vegan or thinking about eating more vegan food, dedicating yourself to one easy-to-use cookbook can be a great starting point — for example, one of the following!
But I Could Never Go Vegan!
When I was first thinking about going vegan, but didn't think I would ever be able to actually commit, a book called But I Could Never Go Vegan! by Kristy Turner caught my eye at the library. As I made my way through the book, I grew more and more confident that I would eventually be able to make the leap — and eventually I did. Turner’s book is filled with 125 recipes that are great for beginners, plus plenty of stories and tips to help you explore the vegan lifestyle.
The cookbook Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F--k is perfect for those new to the vegan lifestyle (or anyone looking for a cookbook with a personality). Not only is it filled with yummy and easy-to-make recipes, but it’s also littered with delightfully-crass sentiments like “A just-lettuce salad is some sad s--t that should only be done the day before your paycheck hits.”
Vegan 101: A Vegan Cookbook: Learn to Cook Plant-Based Meals that Satisfy Everyone by Jenny Engel and Heather Bell of Spork Foods is the perfect gift for anyone who’s new to cooking and/or the vegan lifestyle. Anyone with basic cooking skills can follow these recipes, and the book is also filled with tips and tricks to up your kitchen technique.
Vegan Comfort Food Cookbooks for Junk Food Lovers
Eating a vegan diet is pretty much always healthier than eating a diet rich in meat, dairy, and eggs. That’s because even if you eat greasy and decadent vegan meals every now and then, they will still be free of cholesterol and carcinogens. Here are a few of the best vegan cookbooks for people who are vegan for the animals and the Earth, but not so much for their personal health.
The Edgy Veg
YouTuber Candice Hutchings, better known as the Edgy Veg, made sure that all 138 recipes in The Edgy Veg: 138 Carnivore-Approved Vegan Recipes got a stamp of approval from her meat-eating friends and family. So next time you need to impress a group of meat eaters, this book has got you covered.
Sam Turnbull turned recipes from her YouTube channel It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken into a cookbook called Fuss-Free Vegan: 101 Everyday Comfort Food Favorites, Veganized, which is filled with 101 indulgent, veganized versions of comfort food. Fun fact: she is a former professional artist, and she did all the graphic design and illustrations for the book by herself.
Celebrity Vegan Cookbooks
From Natalie Portman to Woody Harrelson to Miley Cyrus to Ariana Grande, so many celebrities are helping bring veganism to the mainstream — and a few even wrote cookbooks about it.
Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet
Actress and vegan activist Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet is all about her journey to veganism, interspersed with a ton of yummy and healthy recipes. She also wrote a follow-up called The Kind Mama, with more stories, recipes, and advice on using plants and lifestyle changes to help with infertility, pregnancy, and motherhood.
Mayim Bialik’s Mayim's Vegan Table
Actress Mayim Bialik’s book Mayim's Vegan Table: More than 100 Great-Tasting and Healthy Recipes from My Family to Yours is filled with yummy recipes, information on raising your kids vegan, advice on pantry essentials, tips for eating out, and more. You can also watch her cook some of her favorite recipes in action on her YouTube channel.
Will.i.am’s Upcoming Vegan Cookbook
In January 2019, Black Eyed Peas musician and Impossible Foods investor will.i.am shared that he would like to write a vegan cookbook, focused around healthy recipes, LiveKindly reported. Will.i.am is vegan himself, so if the cookbook ever happens, it will be awesome to see what some of his favorite recipes are.
Best Healthy Plant-Based Cookbooks
One of the greatest benefits of eating vegan is the positive impact on personal health — especially if you focus on eating whole plant foods. Here are some of the best cookbooks for whole food, plant-based recipes.
Forks Over Knives
Forks Over Knives―The Cookbook: Over 300 Recipes for Plant-Based Eating All Through the Year is filled with recipes that will make whole food, plant-based cooking as easy and delicious as can be. The New York Times bestseller is from the same team that produced the documentary Forks Over Knives (available on Netflix), which is all about the healing powers of eating a plant-based diet.
The How Not to Die Cookbook
Dr. Michael Greger’s The How Not to Die Cookbook: 100+ Recipes to Help Prevent and Reverse Disease is the sequel to his book How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease. The famous plant-based doctor is known for his website NutritionFacts.org, and his cookbook is filled with “life-saving” recipes and advice centered around eating plants.
Best Vegan Cookbooks for Kids and Families
As mentioned above, the American Dietetic Association has approved well-planned vegan diets for people at all stages of life — including kids. The following cookbooks have great child-friendly recipes, as well as advice for raising your kids vegan.
Forks Over Knives Family
Forks Over Knives Family: Every Parent's Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy Kids on a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet, also by the Forks Over Knives team, will answer any questions you have about raising children on a plant-based diet. The book was written by two married physicians, Alona Pulde and Matthew Lederman, who are raising their own children as vegans.
Dreena Burton’s Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes is filled with whole food, plant-based recipes that her three kids taste-tested and approved. Burton also peppered the book with advice for parents transitioning kids to a vegan diet.
Affordable Vegan Cookbooks for Budget Recipes
Plant-Based on a Budget
Toni Okamoto’s Plant-Based on a Budget: Delicious Vegan Recipes for Under $30 a Week, in Less Than 30 Minutes a Meal is the perfect book for anyone who has zero interest in overpriced specialty ingredients. Okamoto’s tips will help ensure that your vegan diet is even more affordable than your standard American diet.
Frugal Vegan: Affordable, Easy & Delicious Vegan Cooking by Katie Koteen and Kate Kasbee is also filled with yummy recipes and tips that will make your plant-based diet as affordable as can be.
Vegan Cookbooks With Varying Cuisines
Going vegan doesn't mean you need to stop eating foods that celebrate your heritage or childhood. There is a vegan cookbook with veganized recipes from just about every cuisine on Earth — here are just a few.
Soul Food: Sweet Potato Soul
YouTuber Jenné Claiborne’s soul food-filled upbringing in Atlanta inspired her to turn her favorite flavors into a vegan cookbook. Sweet Potato Soul: 100 Easy Vegan Recipes for the Southern Flavors of Smoke, Sugar, Spice, and Soul is filled with plant-based soul food recipes, stories about Claiborne’s childhood, and gorgeous photography.
Italian Food: Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen
Chef and founder of By Chloe restaurants Chloe Coscarelli has four cookbooks in total, and she veganized 150 Italian recipes for Chloe's Vegan Italian Kitchen: 150 Pizzas, Pastas, Pestos, Risottos, & Lots of Creamy Italian Classics. Any lover of Italian food (aka everyone on Earth) will love her recipes.
Indian Food: Vegan Richa's Indian Kitchen
A lot of Indian food is already vegan or easily veganized, but chef Richa Hingle did all the work for you with Vegan Richa's Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook. You can get a taste of the recipes on VeganRicha.com
Vegan Dessert Cookbooks
Yes, vegan desserts are just as good as desserts made with eggs and dairy. In fact, they’re even better, because you can eat the batter without getting a stomachache. So feel free to lick the spoon after baking recipes from any of the following books.
The Joy of Vegan Baking
Podcast host and activist Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s The Joy of Vegan Baking: More than 150 Traditional Treats and Sinful Sweets will prove to you that vegan baking leaves nothing to be desired.
Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar
Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero’s Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar: 100 Dairy-Free Recipes for Everyone's Favorite Treats is bound to have your new go-to cookie recipe in it somewhere. The two seasoned chefs and cookbook authors also co-authored Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, with even more A+ vegan dessert recipes.
More from Green Matters
More From Green Matters
Do your part to help stop climate change.
How to make your home zero-waste, from the kitchen to the bathroom.
Homemade baby food doesn't have to be intimidating.
Coffee grounds have so many applications in the garden.