26 cookbooks for every type of home cook

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26 thoughtful cookbooks to gift 4x3

Do you know someone whose greatest joy is arranging an artisanal cheese board, watching "Barefoot Contessa," or "coaxing" flavors out of ingredients? For them, a cookbook may be your most thoughtful gift. Pair it with a rolling pin, apron, or nice bottle of wine. Or, keep a couple on hand as expert-level host gifts. 

Below are 26 cookbooks to give as gifts this year — spanning notable newcomers, cult-favorite food-blogs-turned-books, and award-winning tomes from renowned chefs that reimagine the culinary landscape. Some are bestsellers, some hidden gems, and some plucked from our own thoughtfully stocked kitchens at home. 

The top 5 cookbook gifts:

  1. "Molly on the Range" by Molly Yeh ($22.67)
  2. "Cooking for Jeffrey" by Ina Garten ($19.88)
  3. "Eat What You Watch" by Andrew Rea ($25)
  4. "The Ultimate Instant Pot Cookbook" by Simon Rush ($10.34)
  5. "The Frankie Spuntino Kitchen Companion" by Frank Falcinelli, Frank Castronovo, and Peter Meehan ($19.59)

Here are 26 giftable cookbooks:

'Antoni in the Kitchen' by Antoni Porowski
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"Antoni in the Kitchen," $15

Antoni Porowski, the food and wine expert on Netflix's "Queer Eye" reboot, has debuted his first cookbook. It's full of weeknight healthy-ish meals that are typically composed of fewer than five ingredients. 

'Where Cooking Begins: Uncomplicated Recipes to Make You a Great Cook' by Carla Lalli Music
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"Where Cooking Begins," $21.96

This cookbook is perfect for anyone who is just beginning to master their cooking skills. Carla Lalli Music walks readers through recipes that are easy and simple to make, yet incredibly delicious. 

'Feast' by Sarah Copeland
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"Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite," $14.49

Sarah Copeland's "Feast" includes over 140 vegetable-based recipes that cater to cooks of all skill levels and meal occasions — from peppery Hungarian cuisine to bibimbap. 

'Eat What You Watch' by Andrew Rea
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"Eat What You Watch: A Cookbook for Movie Lovers," $25

This is the perfect cookbook for the movie buff, transforming iconic movie moments into delicious recipes — from the redemptive birthday cake in "Sixteen Candles" to the elaborate timpano from "Big Night." 

'Natural Wine for the People: What It Is, Where to Find It, How to Love It' by Alice Feiring
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"Natural Wine for the People," $13.59

Know friends who love wine, and might appreciate an intro into natural wine? This condensed illustrated guide makes short work of the fundamentals: minimal intervention, lack of additives, and organic and biodynamic growing methods.

'The Frankie Spuntino Kitchen Companion' by Frank Falcinelli, Frank Castronovo, and Peter Meehan
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"The Frankie Spuntino Kitchen Companion & Cooking Manual," $19.95

Frankies Spuntino is a tin-ceilinged, brick-walled restaurant in Brooklyn that draws crowds from every walk of life for food that is deeply satisfying. Here, the entire Frankies menu — and it's reimagined Italian American comfort food — is adapted for the home cook. 

'The Southerner's Cookbook' by Garden and Gun
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"The Southerners Cookbook: Recipes, Wisdom, and Stories," $26.99

"Garden and Gun" is a magazine for all things Southern, including the best of cooking dining, cocktails, and customs. The basics like biscuits and fried chicken are present, as well as uniquely regional dishes like sonker from North Carolina and Minorcan chowder from Florida. 

'Mastering Spice: Recipes and Techniques to Transform Your Everyday Cooking' by Lior Lev Sercarz
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"Mastering Spice," $23.49

Readers will learn all about spice from Lior Lev Sercarz, owner of New York City spice shop La Boîte, and a professionally trained chef who has cooked at some of the world's most renown restaurants. Every section begins with a master recipe and technique, then Lior teaches readers how to change the spices or a few of the ingredients to get a profoundly different dish for a more creative and intuitive way of cooking.

'Platters and Boards' by Shelly Westerhausen
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"Platters and Boards: Beautiful, Casual Spreads for Every Occasion," $19.29

In her best-selling cookbook, author and food blogger Shelley Westerhausen shares 40 casually chic spreads (complete with meat and drink pairings) that anyone can make and enjoy. It's also a visual cornucopia that's just as satisfying to flip through as to use when hosting get-togethers. 

'Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking' by Dana Shultz
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"Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes," $24.87

"Minimalist Baker's Everyday Cooking" is the highly anticipated cookbook from the popular food blog "Minimalist Baker," covering over 100 simple, delicious, vegan recipes that require 10 ingredients or less, one bowl or pot, or 30 minutes or less to prepare. 

'Weeknight Baking: Recipes to Fit Your Schedule' by Michelle Lopez
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"Weeknight Recipes," $19.14

If you're looking for a how-to on balancing a love of baking with a busy schedule, Michelle Lopez is the right fit. On top of a demanding tech job, Lopez has been running the popular blog "Hummingbird High" for the past several years. In her cookbook, Lopez delivers delicious confections alongside cute stories and time-saving tips and tricks. 

'Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.' by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky
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"Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.: Quick-Fix Recipes for Hangry Athletes," $19.29

This best-selling cookbook is full of the recipes Shalane Flanagan ate while training for her historic 2017 TCS New York City Marathon win. That includes pre-run snacks, recovery breakfasts, and 30-minute dinners that are healthy but also taste indulgent — perfect for athletes of any kind. 

'A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches' by Tyler Kord
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"A Super Upsetting Cookbook About Sandwiches," $18.02

Chef Tyler Kord reveals the recipes that made his New York City sandwich shop No. 7 Sub so delicious. As former Insider Reviews reporter Brandt Ranj put it, "what makes the cookbook 'super upsetting' are many of the revelations it contains about the realities of factory farming, produce accessibility, and balancing the desire to create food that's affordable while also paying his staff a living wage. This cookbook made me drool and think, which is no small feat."

'The Food Lab' by J. Kenji López-Alt
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"The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science," $44.95

Winner of the James Beard Award for General Cooking and the IACP Cookbook of the Year Award, "The Food Lab" has been called the "one book you must have, no matter what you're planning to cook or where your skill level falls" by The New York Times Book Review. Kenji focuses on the science behind beloved American dishes (heat, energy, molecules) that make the food great — showing that often, conventional methods don't work very well, and home cooks could benefit from new — but simple — techniques. 

'The Ultimate Instant Pot Cookbook: Foolproof, Quick & Easy 800 Instant Pot Recipes for Beginners and Advanced Users' by Simon Rush
Cookbook gifts

"The Ultimate Instant Pot Cookbook," $10.34

Instant Pots are such a time-saver in the kitchen that they're becoming more popular by the day. This cookbook has 800 Instant Pot-ready recipes, so it's the perfect to gift to someone who just received an Instant Pot as a gift.

'Jerusalem' by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
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"Jerusalem: A Cookbook," $24.57

Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi were both born in Jerusalem in the same year — Tamimi on the Arab east side and Ottolenghi in the Jewish west. This cookbook is a unique, cross-cultural homage to the vibrant flavors of the city in totality with over 100 recipes. 

'A Baker's Year' by Tara Jensen
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"A Baker's Year: Twelve Months of Baking and Living the Simple Life at the Smoke Signals Bakery," $25.99

"A Baker's Year" is part biography, part recipe guide by Instagram bread-baking sensation Tara Jensen. It's broken up into 12 chapters (one per month) and contains both a recipe reliant upon seasonal ingredients as well as a chronicle of what's happening in Jensen's life at the time. It's personal, compelling, and compiled with good at-home recipes. 

'Molly on the Range' by Molly Yeh
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"Molly on the Range: Recipes and Stories from An Unlikely Life on a Farm," $27.49

Molly Yeh is the star of Food Network's "Girl Meets Farm" and winner of the Judges' Choice IACP Cookbook Award. "Molly on the Range" explores home, family, her Jewish and Chinese heritage, and Yeh's Midwestern farm life. 

'Plenty' by Yotam Ottolenghi
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"Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London's Ottolenghi," $17.99

"Plenty" is the well-lauded cookbook from Yotam Ottolenghi that launched him as an international food celebrity. Ottolenghi includes 120 vegetarian recipes in "Plenty" that meld the surprising flavors and fresh combinations of London's diverse cuisine. 

'Cooking for Jeffrey' by Ina Garten
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"Cooking for Jeffery: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook," $19.88

One of the best-loved cookbooks of recent years, "Cooking for Jeffery" celebrates Garten's joy of cooking for loved ones — particularly her husband, Jeffrey, ever since they were married over 40 years ago. The delicious, comforting meals the Gartens shared became the basis for her career in food, and this cookbook is an homage to them. 

'The Flavor Bible' by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg
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"The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs," $28.96

Drawing on dozens of leading chefs' combined experience in top restaurants across the country, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg set down a definitive guide to seasoning ingredients to coax the greatest possible flavor from them.

'Appetites' by Anthony Bourdain
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"Appetites: A Cookbook," $23.99

"Appetites" boils down 40-plus years of professional cooking and traveling into this the canon of all the dishes that (in Bourdain's opinion) everyone should know how to cook. 

'Heritage' by Sean Brock
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"Heritage," $28.29

Sean Brock is the chef behind the popular Husk and Mcgrady's restaurants in Charleston and Nashville. Brock grew up in Appalachia and Charleston, and much of his culinary drive comes from preserving and celebrating heritage foods of the south — with an inspired reinterpretation of recipes he learned at home and at work. "Heritage" is a very personal cookbook, with notes that also explain Brock's background and give context to his food and essays. 

'Power Foods' by Whole Living Magazine
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"Power Foods: 150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients," $24.99

Whole Living Magazine helps you incorporate more of the world's healthiest foods — like berries, tomatoes, and nuts — into everyday meals. The cookbook is broken into chapters on breakfast, snacks, sandwiches, soups, main dishes, and so on for easy navigation. 

'A Feast of Ice and Fire' by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer
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"A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook," $35

Look no further for a practical but entirely fun gift for Game of Thrones fans. With a foreword by George R.R. Martin, this book pieces together recipes for honeyfingers, lemon cakes, and the meals served at a feast at Winterfell. 

'Dining In' by Alison Roman
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"Dining In: Highly Cookable Recipes," $23.56

This is one of the most notable cookbooks of the moment. "Dining In" comes with over 100 recipes for chic dishes that utilize quick-trick techniques for building ideal flavor and saving time. 

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