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17 Cookbooks That Are Actually Worth Buying

Read it, then eat it!

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1. For people who like their recipes with a side of humor: Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat

Instagram: @letsgetlunch_, Instagram: @brittanynzielinski

"It's easy to follow, funny, and the recipes are delicious. I can't wait until she puts out her second book!"


"Cravings made me actually WANT to cook. If given the option between going out to eat or trying one of the recipes, I’d choose cooking out of the book EVERY time. Plus, it helped me put together different spices or flavors when I’m cooking other dishes as well."


Get it on Amazon for $17.99.

2. For people who want to master the basics: Joy of Cooking

Instagram: @juliewrightpr

"Not new, but Joy of Cooking is enduring for its practicality. Need a basic recipe that's always good and isn’t overly complicated? It's in there. Forget the flash in the pan food trends and add a classic to your collection."

"When the long-awaited new version came out in 1997, I was thrilled!!! I was then-engaged, so having the vast variety of recipes (American & international) to choose from gave me 100% more confidence!"

—Meli Alexander, Facebook

Get it on Amazon for $23.18.


5. For people who want to amp up their flavors: Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat

Instagram: @naturebox, Instagram: @mollyfwhyte

"Half is recipes and the other half teaches you WHY the recipes call for certain things (focusing on these four essential elements of good food). It's full of great illustrations and charts, too. This will take you from following recipes to making your own."


"She really focused on teaching you how to cook rather than teaching you how to follow a recipe."

—Alexandra Rae, Facebook

Get it on Amazon for $20.09.

6. For people who literally want to learn it all: How to Cook Everything and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

Instagram: @sarah.c.kremer

"Every section begins with an introduction to the topic that's written in a way that a novice can understand (but a seasoned cook would still find interesting). The intro gives the basics on practices and techniques, and Bittman encourages the reader to improvise based on what's in their own kitchen. Both books have made me a better intuitive cook and improved my techniques and skills!"


Get How to Cook Everything for $20.30 and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian for $15.40.


8. For people always looking for easy weeknight recipes: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Dinnertime

Instagram: @pattyscollection,

"I picked up this cookbook solely on the fact that it was one of the few that looked achievable for my very small amount of kitchen skills. I have been so pleasantly surprised by how delicious everything is, and how much I’ve learned through making the dishes. Her penne with vodka sauce has become my go-to!"


Get it on Amazon for $15.

9. For people who aren't afraid of bold flavors: Dinner: Changing the Game

Instagram: @millielottietotes, Instagram: @theeyesoftx

"Delicious recipes, great ideas for dinners, and super easy to follow. (It does use strong flavors, so you have to be game for curries, Aleppo pepper, etc.)"


Get it on Amazon for $20.74.

10. For people who want to cook like a chef: The Chef Next Door

Instagram: @chefamandaf

"This book came out in 2015, but I just discovered it a month ago. It's got great, bare-bone recipes that encourage you to master the basics and then gives you suggestions for when you're feeling confident enough to branch out. I'm slowly working my way through all of the recipes, and all of them have made me progressively go DAYUM because they're so good."

—Victoria Vanover, Facebook

Get it on Amazon for $19.25.


12. For the Alton Brown fans: EveryDayCook

Instagram: @dcraigen

"He gives so many recipes for every part of the day and the first few chapters have ingredients and equipment all pantries should be stocked with. Plus, he explains how to do everything and nothing is complicated. Alton Brown is the best!!!"

—Paige Goodnight, Facebook

Get it on Amazon for $23.79.

13. For the food blog lover: Half Baked Harvest Cookbook

Instagram: @halfbakedharvest, Instagram: @angela_thomsen

"This book elevated my cooking and her recipes transformed my meals from good to UNFORGETTABLE. Everything is absolutely BURSTING with flavor and unexpected combinations. You definitely have to trust her recipes, because there are times you might think, "do I really need to add that?" or, "I could leave that out" but every ingredient serves to make the most incredible dishes. Highly recommend."


Get it on Amazon for $18.95.


15. For the health-conscious foodies: The Skinnytaste Cookbook

Instagram: @fergiesbites

"It started with her website SkinnyTaste because I was in the process of losing weight and still wanted something yummy to eat. Her instructions are easy to follow and the foods are easy to make and so very yummy!!!"


Get it on Amazon for $21.62.

16. For the foul-mouthed vegans: Thug Kitchen

Instagram: @jennachapple

"A cookbook that changed my life is the Thug Kitchen cookbook. The recipes don't call for any animal products, which is pretty out of my comfort zone, but I've never made anything bad from it. My husband and daughter are pretty picky eaters and they've enjoyed the recipes I've made. I also appreciate the casually cursing in the directions."


"Vegan recipes even non-vegans will appreciate!"


Get it on Amazon for $15.99.

17. For the aspiring chef: Jacques Pépin New Complete Techniques

"I do quite well with creating my own recipes — what I needed work on were basic skills to improve and expand my repertoire. This is a straightforward instructional book that helps you learn the basics that'll allow you to confidently make the intriguing recipes you find in all other cookbooks."

—Sterling Gray, Facebook

Get it on Amazon for $26.50.

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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