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21 Cookbooks That Are Actually Worth Buying

These cookbooks will give you a lot more than just pretty pictures.

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We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us about their all-time favorite cookbooks: the ones they actually use on a regular basis and go back to time and time again. Here's what they said:

1. For home cooks who want to get a little fancy: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

Deb Perelman / Via amazon.com, @aantinore / Via instagram.com

"The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is my *ALL TIME* go-to. I make the Baked French Toast for breakfast every Christmas. Also, the Sesame Turkey Meatballs With Smashed Chickpea Salad is amazing! The recipes in the book are all easy to follow and extremely delicious. I gift it whenever I can, and for bridal showers especially." —brittneys7

Price: $21.08

2. For recipes you can pass on to future generations: Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book

@shannancarlisle / Via instagram.com, old_school_cook / Via instagram.com

"The one cookbook I always return to is the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, also known as the 'checkerboard' or 'red plaid' cookbook. My aunt gave me a copy on my 10th birthday (which means I’ve used it something like 47 years, yikes!) and I replaced them as needed. I just wish I’d done what my aunt did: moved any page from the old book that had notes and so on to the new one.

"I often buy new cookbooks because I read them like novels, and my Pinterest board is a mess, but I always end up going back to my Better Homes and Gardens, and always will." —pammdurrellw

Price: $14.66

3. For people who enjoy snacking AND snarky humor: Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat

Chrissy Teigen / Via amazon.com

"I got Cravings by Chrissy Teigen for Christmas and it is the only cookbook I’ve actually used. The recipes range from more traditional food like fried chicken to unique dishes like Pork Stuffed Cucumber Soup (yes, you cook the cucumbers, and yes, it is delicious). What I love most is that many of the recipes use only a few ingredients, so you don’t get overwhelmed, but everything has so much flavor!" —sierrab48a461188

Price: $24.36

4. For beginners who don't know where to start: America's Test Kitchen 100 Recipes

America's Test Kitchen / Via amazon.com, America's Test Kitchen / Via instagram.com

"America’s Test Kitchen 100 Recipes. I love any ATK cookbook, but this one is for the essentials. The writers always provide detailed instructions and explanations that make everything so easy. Also, I’ve never cooked a bad ATK recipe, or been unable to easily alter a recipe to work best for me." —karaf44faa0b75

"America’s Test Kitchen: All they do is test recipes (and cooking tools, whatever). It’s literally their job to find the best lasagna recipe or yellow sheet cake recipe." —elavender14

Price: $25.58

5. For busy folks who don't have too much time to cook: The Skinnytaste Cookbook & Skinnytaste Fast and Slow

Gina Homolka / Via amazon.com, Gina Homolka / Via amazon.com

"I use both of the Skinnytaste cookbooks at least once a week. Her recipes are easy to follow and healthy for the most part, but everyone I've ever made a recipe for loves them." —Hayley Morrin

"Skinnytaste Fast and Slow. I’m obsessed. Every recipe can either be made in less than 30 minutes or uses a slow cooker. So good. So healthy. So easy. My new cooking bible." —lizk489fa39f5

Price: $14.55 and $18.72

6. For vegetarians and the carnivores to who occasionally want to eat like them: Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home

Moosewood Collective / Via amazon.com, Moosewood Collective / Via instagram.com

"Easy vegetarian recipes that are quite tasty! How tasty? I'm a freaking carnivore and I recommend this book to everyone. It's vegan-friendly, and most of the recipes can easily be made gluten-free. My copy is completely stained and falling apart. I'm a big fan of the Menestra and Blueberry Muffins." —Kit Collins

Price: $17.36

7. For science nerds: The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science

@floralthoughts / Via instagram.com, J. Kenji López-Alt / Via amazon.com

"The Food Lab by Kenji López-Alt from Serious Eats is an incredible resource for people who want to cook food to perfection. The technique is flawless, but the amount of information given and the experimentation that goes into each method makes this the ultimate cookbook. Follow his instructions (because he tells you why) and you’ll be cooking like a pro." —shrutiandspice

Price: $27.47

8. For vegans who are tired of garden salad: Isa Does It

Isa Chandra Moskowitz / Via amazon.com, @bluecat_forest / Via instagram.com

"Isa Does It by Isa Chandra Moskowitz is full of super flavorful, approachable, grocery-store-friendly, and delicious vegan recipes. Whenever I don't know what to make, I turn to this book. There are easy recipes for weeknights and more involved meals for leisurely weekend cooking. Everything is full of healthy vegetables and tastes great!" —Claudia Cravens McCormack

Price: $17.85

9. For those with limited space and equiptment: Eat: The Little Book of Fast Cooking

dylane410f08657 / Via buzzfeed.com, Nigel Slater / Via amazon.com

"Nigel Slater has long been the inspiration behind my cooking. There is a style and elegance to his writing that conveys a true passion for his ethos: that food doesn’t have to be complicated, just good ingredients cooked simply. This book has over 600 recipes that are truly delicious, inspired, and accessible to anybody with a frying pan and a desire to eat as well they can. This book taught me how to cook, and I hope others might give it a chance — they won’t regret it." —dylane410f08657

Price: $18.57

10. For people who want to eat out less: The Dude Diet

Serena Wolf / Via amazon.com, @fielding_greens_ / Via instagram.com

"The Dude Diet. I bought it for my boyfriend because we were eating out a lot and it was time for us to start cooking at home (not to mention he’s found a knack for cooking!). It’s great because it’s filled with a ton of restaurant/bar-quality recipes while keeping the nutrition facts reasonable. We end up choosing about three meals to try a week, and we haven’t found one yet that we wouldn’t want to make again!" —jenb4e9e36893

Price: $16.06

11. For those with limited grocery options: Six Sisters' Stuff

Six Sisters' Stuff / Via amazon.com, Six Sisters' Stuff / Via instagram.com

"Six Sisters' Stuff has some of my favorite recipes. The recipes are easy to cook and use ingredients I can find at the grocery store in my small town, which doesn’t carry a lot of fancy or rare ingredients." —heatherm41a47f97f

Price: $16.10

12. For people who love chicken: Fifty Shades of Chicken

F.L. Fowler / Via amazon.com

"Fifty Shades of Chicken. I swear this cookbook is amazing. I bought it for my mother as a joke, but damn if I didn’t steal it for the amazing recipes. There’s a creepy storyline and silly puns involved, but I just skip over all that nonsense for the food. Chicken can be a bland protein, but with this cookbook, you can eat it every night of the week without getting bored. Seriously, I hate the Fifty Shades of Grey series, but I cannot recommend this cookbook enough." —karaf44faa0b75

Price: $11.59

13. For couples without kids: Comfort and Joy & Dessert for Two

Christina Lane / Via amazon.com, Christina Lane / Via amazon.com

"Christina Lane’s series of cookbooks have recipes that are pared down to small batches: Dessert for Two, Comfort and Joy (comfort food dinner recipes for two), and the more recent Sweet and Simple. My boyfriend and I don’t have children yet and we’re terrible about eating leftovers, so these recipes make the perfect portions when we're craving cookies or a delightful homemade Southern dinner." —elizabethr38

Price: $16.61 and $17.27

14. For people who want to make restaurant-quality meals at home: The Food You Want to Eat: 100 Smart, Simple Recipes

Ted Allen / Via amazon.com, Ted Allen / Via instagram.com

"Ted Allen of Chopped and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy released this book years ago, and I’ve used it consistently since it came out. His burger recipes are my go-tos, and I make the Potatoes Au Gratin for just about every holiday meal I host. If you want really good, fancy-tasting food that is relatively simple to make, this is a great cookbook." —BeeBeeAte

Price: From $9.47

15. For those who wish their home was a literal Cheesecake Factory: Cheesecake Extraordinaire

timothytaddk / Via buzzfeed.com, @jessicaparratto / Via instagram.com

"If you love cheesecake, you need this cookbook ASAP: Cheesecake Extraordinaire by Mary Crownover. It will not disappoint. My family and friends adore all the cheesecakes made from this book, and they taste just as good, if not better, than the ones from the Cheesecake Factory. I have had this cookbook for 20 years now (yeah, I am 42), and it still does not disappoint. I highly recommend this cookbook for all your cheesecake needs." —timothytaddk

Price: From $1.99

16. For visual learners: Nigella Bites

Nigella Lawson / Via amazon.com, @willpscott / Via instagram.com

"Nigella Bites by Nigella Lawson. She is a cooking goddess and makes trying new things in the kitchen totally approachable. The beautiful full-page pictures in the book show just what the recipes should look like when you’re done, and her no-rules approach makes using this cookbook super fun for all occasions!" —laurene416c71895

Price: From $7.87

17. For baking addicts: Betty Crocker Cookbook

Betty Crocker / Via amazon.com, @leann321 / Via instagram.com

"Betty Crocker was how I learned to cook, and it also had sections on how to butcher large cuts for economy, how to set a proper table, create balanced meals — pretty much everything a girl needed to know if she was going to be a housewife (which was common when the book was published). Still, a great book for beginners even today." —trinkav

"My most treasured cookbook is my grandma’s Betty Crocker cookbook circa 1960. Why? The sheer number of pie recipes, each with proportions for an 8-, 9-, or 10-inch pie tin. This is literally my go-to cookbook for every pie, including ones rarely made anymore. My favorite is the rhubarb. There are no strawberries, just loads of everyone’s favorite veggie that tastes like a fruit with lots of sugar, flour, butter, and orange zest. It’s just the way my grandma used to make it." —omgitsaclaire

Price: $16.84

18. For your cool kitchen gadgets that don't get enough use: The Kitchen Decoded

Logan Levant & Hillary Hattenbach / Via amazon.com, @kitchendecoded / Via instagram.com

"This book has so many amazing recipes that I constantly go back to. I’m a serious carnivore, but the black bean burgers made me believe in the veggie life. The book gives you lots of little tips and tricks, and teaches you how to use all those appliances that have been collecting dust in your kitchen. This book is worth it for the famous Buttercake Bakery lemon squares and banana cake alone!" —Taylev

Price: $19

19. For those interested in making authentic Chinese food: Chopsticks, Cleaver, and Wok

Jennie Low / Via amazon.com, @arjunc / Via instagram.com

"Chopsticks, Cleaver, and Wok by Jennie Low. I wanted to learn how to cook good stir-fry that tasted better than what most American cookbooks called 'stir-fry.' Not only does it have great recipes for beginners but it also shows how to cut the ingredients, their phonetic pronunciation, and what the Chinese characters look like so you can buy them in a store." —trinkav

Price: $21.95

20. For the world traveler: New York Cult Recipes

Marc Grossman / Via amazon.com, @lindy_ / Via instagram.com

"It includes basic recipes for things like coleslaw and ketchup, but also recipes that reflect NYC's multicultural climate (e.g. the Chinese-Jewish-crossover pork buns). I have nothing to do with Jewish culture and had never tried challah before, but thanks to this book I am convinced it is one of the greatest things ever. Also, if you're not that into New York, do not despair. There are a couple other 'cult recipes' books for cities like Tokyo, Istanbul, and Venice." —Pia Nagata

Price: $17.83

21. For those who want to cook good food on a budget: Jamie's Food Revolution

Jamie Oliver / Via amazon.com, http://@amira.ismant / Via instagram.com

"Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution cookbook is one of my favorites. It has very easy recipes that are delicious! Any of Jamie's cookbooks read like a normal book with his own stories relating to recipes, and recommendations to change things up. I love the Chicken Stroganoff in this book, as well as the Sweet Potato and Chorizo Soup!" —Suzanne Leshovsky

Price: From $26.60

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

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