The Best Vegetarian Cookbooks In 2022

Although interest in plant-based diets was already on the uptick pre-pandemic, per Food & Beverage Insider, the combination of mandatory quarantines and the need to turn our attention away from politics and pathogens really gave this niche industry some serious momentum. 

Being cooped up inside meant we had a lot of time on our hands. Thankfully, there was a lot of educational binge-watching at our disposal. Educational documentaries involving sustainability, global health, animal advocacy, and meat-free diets flooded online streaming services, and most definitely made an impact, as per the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. The plant-based food industry is here to stay, with the Good Food Institute noting that, from 2020 to 2021, retail sales generated from plant-based foods increased 6% from $6.9 to $7.4 billion.

It also wouldn't be wrong to call 2020 a good year for cookbooks, notes the New York Times. Many of us were forced to stay at home, which meant we needed to learn how to cook. It was a perfect storm for anything plant-based. Vegetarian and vegan cookbooks, both old and new, continue to saturate the market, riding on the coattails of the surging veggie meat industry. As of 2018, veggie cookbooks were the third most popular genre, via Plant Based News. These niche cookbooks have only gained momentum since, which means that there is an overwhelming number of vegetarian cookbooks to sift through, even for a seasoned vegetarian.

How we chose these vegetarian cookbooks

There's most likely a veggie-based cookbook for every cuisine and interested individual. That's why we first looked at the core issues people typically encounter when reading any cookbook. Readability was a major factor, because when you're in the midst of cooking some highly tasty veggie dish, you want to easily digest what you're reading. Pricing also came under consideration, but because all of the vegetarian cookbooks here came in at under $40, this wasn't a big issue.

Meanwhile, reviews from independent sources and individual customers were a significant part of our search. We also wanted to make sure there was a good assortment of plant-based reads that had recipes which were appropriate to all levels of cooking skill. Other factors, such as ingredient availability, recipe variety, and any little extra bites (like anecdotes, cooking tips, and visually pleasing photos), were also part of the decision-making process.

Best overall vegetarian cookbook

You might've heard of Mark Bittman. He's an award-winning food journalist, author of over 30 books, and former columnist for the New York Times. He's a wealth of foodie and veggie knowledge, and his masterful cookbook, "How To Cook Everything Vegetarian: Completely Revised Tenth Anniversary Edition" is the perfect representation of that. 

While this updated release came out in 2017, "How To Cook Everything Vegetarian" still wins for best overall category because it really is that good. It's considered to be the bible of plant-based cooking, and not just because it's a monster of a book, coming in at over 830 pages. It's also filled with helpful cooking knowledge that goes beyond vegetarianism and veganism. Veg Paradise notes that Bittman's tome has chapters dedicated solely to individual ingredients and cooking tips, which makes this a plant-based informational powerhouse. It's rated 4.7 out of five on Amazon, with 80% of reviewers giving it five out of five for overall satisfaction.

If you're looking for the most comprehensive vegetarian cookbook of all, purchase "How To Cook Everything Vegetarian: Completely Revised Tenth Anniversary Edition" on Amazon starting at $19.59.

Best vegetarian cookbook for beginners

Searching for beginning vegetarian books will inevitably turn up thousands upon thousands of results. Lucky for you, author Ashley Colman's "Vegetarian Cookbook For Beginners: 600 Effortless Vegetarian Recipes For Everyday Meals" was released earlier this year.

"Vegetarian Cookbook For Beginners" includes some very basic vegetarian recipes, which this particular Amazon reviewer wasn't too thrilled with, though true beginners may be relieved to see them. Another reviewer noted that there are no images (the book is a mere 100 pages), which means you'll have to use your imagination when plating. However, there are no issues when it comes to variety. Both Amazon and Goodreads reviewers rate "Vegetarian Cookbook For Beginners: 600 Effortless Vegetarian Recipes For Everyday Meals" a respectable 4.3 out of five stars.

If you're looking to introduce more super simple vegetarian dishes into your meal rotation, purchase "Vegetarian Cookbook For Beginners: 600 Effortless Vegetarian Recipes For Everyday Meals" on Amazon for $11.90.

Best vegetarian cookbook for experienced cooks

For the experienced chef or the super ambitious cook who's willing to just go for it, this one's for you. "On Vegetables: Modern Recipes for the Home Kitchen" is authored by award-winning chef Jeremy Fox. As noted by We Cook Books, this isn't so much a vegetarian cookbook as it is Fox's paen to vegetables. Cookbook Review says that it's full of witticisms, which makes it an entertaining read. It also found the recipes to be inventive, though not always easy to create. The photography was also marked out for distinction. 

While there were more than a few Amazon reviewers who said that the recipes were rather complicated and hard to recreate at home, "On Vegetables" overall is considered to be an inspirational and creative cookbook. Over 80% of Amazon reviewers give "On Vegetables" a five-star rating.

If you're looking for an inspirational vegetarian cookbook with challenging yet diverse recipes find "On Vegetables: Modern Recipes for the Home Kitchen" on Amazon, starting at $37.99.

Best vegetarian cookbook for families

When it comes to meal time with kiddos (or fussy grown ups), then you're probably all about convenience. So, how can you make sure your family is getting the veggie-rich, plant-based meals that they so desperately need but don't want? You let them be a part of the cooking process, that's what. "Vegetarian Family Cookbook: 100 Simple Kid-Friendly Recipes to Enjoy Together" will be your assistant, and you can be sure that your little ones won't run out of things to cook up (and hopefully the compliments will keep coming, too). 

That's because when it comes to recipe variety, there's a pretty impressive amount. There are both "healthy" and "traditional" twists on recipes, and sweet and savory option for each meal of the day. According to reviewers, the recipes included in "Vegetarian Family Cookbook" are also straightforward, easy to make, and don't require any hard-to-find ingredients.

If you're looking for a way to get your kids involved in the meal-making process, find "Vegetarian Family Cookbook: 100 Simple Kid-Friendly Recipes to Enjoy Together" on Amazon, starting at $14.

Best vegetarian cookbook for two

Who better to write a vegetarian cookbook for duos than a vegetarian couple from? According to the authors, "Vegetarian Cooking for Two: 80 Perfectly Portioned Recipes for Healthy Eating" came into being because most cookbook recipes are meant to feed a family or small party of four to six people. But if a household of two makes those recipes as intsructed, this would spell tons of leftovers and potential food waste, as per Commercial Appeal. The meals in this books are also plenty tasty, as this Goodreads reviewer notes that the dishes are creative, flavorful, and were enjoyed by their entire family unit. They also mention that it's clearly written and easy to follow.

This particular Amazon reviewer also notes that "Vegetarian Cooking for Two" is quite practical, given that only a few ingredients are needed per recipe. The recipes do tend to be on the higher-calorie side. However, the authors are primarily known for their plant-forward website, The Chubby Vegetarian, so calories may be a secondary consideration here.

If you're living with a roomie or your special beau and it's your turn to create an epic, zero-waste vegetarian dinner, check out "Vegetarian Cooking for Two: 80 Perfectly Portioned Recipes for Healthy Eating" on Amazon, starting at $11.69.

Best vegetarian cookbook for parties

This is not a cookbook for anyone who can't deal with bawdy language. However, if you're willing to look past the smattering of F-bombs, you'll be greeted with an abundance of eye-popping appetizers, main dishes, and cocktail recipes. "Bad Manners: Party Grub: For Social Motherf*ckers: A Vegan Cookbook" was created for everyone to enjoy.

One of the best things about "Bad Manners: Party Grub" (besides the bright and captivating pictures) are the easy-to-follow instructions. The authors have a very conversational tone, meaning they're also blunt and up-front with their cooking instructions. If you're sensitive to rough n' tumble language, you might have a hard time getting through this cookbook. In this book's defense, we think the cover gives you a pretty good idea of what to expect. "Bad Manners: Party Grub" has an 83% five-star overall approval rating on Amazon, even with the verbiage.

If you don't mind colorful language but do enjoy bright and bold vegetarian food and want to share it at your next social event, "Bad Manners: Party Grub: For Social Motherf*ckers" is available on Amazon, starting at $26.

Best vegetarian cookbook for one pot meals

It's not lazy if you just want to throw all of your ingredients into one cooking vessel and tend to more important things while your meal cooks away. That's why we're assuming "One Pot Vegetarian: Easy Veggie Meals in Just One Pot" was written. Whether it's time constraints, lack of motivation, or the simple fact that you'd rather be binge-watching your favorite show, you've probably cooked a meal using just one pot. 

One Goodreads reviewer states that this cookbook is perfect for individuals who aren't adept at multitasking, are accident-prone, or just don't want to babysit multiple ingredients. Some recipes lack a bit of flavor, and this Goodreads reviewer notes that some of the ingredients are a bit odd together (like blue cheese with mushrooms and coriander). Many reviewers found the pictures to be helpful. Others state that the recipes are tasty and simple to execute.

If you're into low-maintenance vegetarian meals and also little to no kitchen clean-up, find "One Pot Vegetarian: Easy Veggie Meals in Just One Pot!" on Amazon, starting at $11.99.

Best vegetarian cookbook for the budget conscious

According to The Hill, from 2021 to 2022, the cost of groceries increased 13%, while produce continually climbs 10.4% each year. Inflation predictions don't show any sign of giving us a break, either. That's why it's always good to be mindful of your budget.

"Plant-Based on a Budget" gives you the tools you need to save time and money and boost your veggie intake, too. Famous vegan and musician Moby, as well as Kip Andersen (co-creator of "What the Health") both endorse this cookbook. So Healthylicious argues that "Plant-Based on a Budget" not only helps you out financially, but also provides easy to make, super flavorful and healthy recipes. It's rated 4.6 out of five stars on Amazon, with a 77% overall satisfaction. This Amazon reviewer felt that the price ironically wasn't budget friendly, but that "Plant-Based on a Budget" ended up being an incredibly beneficial read nontheless.

If you're looking to save money and time, check out "Plant-Based on a Budget" on Amazon starting at $19.49.

Best gluten-free vegetarian cookbook

Who doesn't love a veggie bowl? "Whole Bowls: Complete Gluten-Free and Vegetarian Meals to Power Your Day" is the brainchild of Yummy Beet blog creator, Allison Day. This gluten-free cookbook uses the one bowl philosophy, as in, you eat your meal in a bowl, which Eat Live Travel Write says is a mess-free way of eating. That being said, they recommend "Whole Bowls" to anyone thinking about starting a plant-based diet, not just because the recipes are filling (but not to the point of food coma), easy to make, and gluten-free, but because the book is packed with tips and tricks on how to cook and serve your bowls, stock your pantry, and more.

One downside is that many of the recipes in "Whole Bowls" use multiple pans and have a substantial amount of prep work, which this Amazon reviewer found a bit annoying. Many other Amazon customers felt that the dishes in "Whole Bowls" were easy to make, even those that required a little extra kitchen time, and that the end result was most definitely worth it.

If you're a fan of homemade, hearty, gluten-free fare served up in a bowl, check out "Whole Bowls: Complete Gluten-Free and Vegetarian Meals to Power Your Day" on Amazon for $16.69.

Best vegetarian cookbook for keto

Yes, you can follow a ketogenic diet and also be a vegan. According to Healthline, the ketogenic diet (or "keto," for short) focuses on consuming high-fat and low-carb foods. Vegans generally eschew any animal products, from meat to honey. The two diets actually sync up quite well when you think about the overlapping food items between them.

Living Maxwell notes that this book is incredibly helpful in that it busts the myth that vegetables are all super carby and off-limits for keto followers. Nonstop Reader says that there aren't many photos, but that the included nutritional information was a plus, as was the addition of special dietary notes in the header. Amazon reviewers give the "Vegan Ketogenic Diet Cookbook" 4.4 out of five stars, citing that there was actually thought put into providing easy to make recipes, though one reviewer was less enthused with the portions of some ingredients.

If you're a keto follower who's thinking of moving towards the veg scene, purchase the "Vegan Ketogenic Diet Cookbook" on Amazon for $12.60.

Best global vegetarian cookbook

"Vegetables Unleashed" sounds like the produce section of your local grocery is sending out its best veggie warriors to battle against its animal-based foes, but it's not like that. This book is rather wordy, according to Kitchen Catastrophe, but it's also filled with bright, bold, glossy photos. What's more, it drives home the point that we need to eat more vegetables to not just save ourselves, but the entire planet. The New York Journal of Books notes that it's not a book about vegetarianism — some of its dishes include animal protein — but it is a book that shows how versatile vegetables really are. Surely, that's something vegetarians and omnivores alike can agree on.

"Vegetables Unleashed" pays attention to seasonally available foods and gives an accurate representation of co-author chef José Andrés' passionate and quirky personality (as well as his cooking prowess). Although you might assume that you'd have to be seriously experienced to follow in his footsteps, think again. This Amazon reviewer was pleasantly surprised to find that recipes were both tasty and easy to follow.

If want to find global, veggie-forward recipes with a Spanish twist, purchase "Vegetables Unleashed" on Amazon for $21.99.