The Best Cookbooks of 2021 to Add to Your Holiday Wish List
On every foodie's holiday list: the best cookbooks. 2021 was full of terrific new releases in baking, barbecue and beyond.
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Life Is What You Bake It
by Vallery Lomas
We guarantee you won’t make it more than a few pages into Life Is What You Bake It before you start bookmarking recipes. After all, who can resist chocolate-mint moon pies, apple cider fritters and hot cornbread baked in a cast-iron skillet?
Alongside dozens of tempting recipes, you’ll learn about Vallery herself, a lawyer-turned-baker who believes when life gives you lemons, make lemon curd. Now that’s a motto we can get behind.
by Angie Rito, Scott Tacinelli and Jamie Feldmar
Is there anything more comforting than homemade meatballs simmering away in a delicious red sauce? Get recipes for all the best in Italian-American cooking in this new release from husband-wife duo Scott Tacinelli and Angie Rito. In Italian American, the chefs and owners of New York’s Don Angie share more than 125 cozy classics from handmade pasta to Campari-glazed ribs.
by Abigail Johnson Dodge
While we all love elaborate layer cakes, sometimes you’re craving a sweet for everyday occasions. Enter Sheet Cake. This charming cookbook is full of 50 fuss-free recipes starting with a gorgeous red velvet sheet cake topped with cookie crumbs, gingerbread cake with cranberry-cream cheese frosting and a sweet and salty pretzel-caramel cake.
Cooking at Home: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Recipes (And Love My Microwave)
by David Chang and Priya Krishna
While there’s something to be said for foods that take all day to prepare and require patience, skill and attention, that’s not the only way to cook deliciously. Chef David Chang and food writer Priya Krishna teamed up to create Cooking at Home, a celebration of smart, fast, unfussy cooking. Inside you’ll find effective shortcuts, smart substitutions and techniques that’ll have you creating your own dishes in a flash.
Cheryl Day’s Treasury of Southern Baking
by Cheryl Day
Author of two successful cookbooks, Cheryl Day is back with her most comprehensive volume yet. Cheryl Day’s Treasuring of Southern Baking boasts 400 pages of stunning images and mouthwatering recipes for all the Southern classics plus plenty of Cheryl’s original bakes including recipes for black-bottom cream pie, almond butter cake and cat head biscuits (named after their generous size).
Cook This Book
by Molly Baz
Know someone that’s looking to get into the kitchen a bit more? Or are you just starting on your cooking journey? Pick up a copy of Molly Baz’s Cook This Book. This foundational cookbook is filled with tips and stories to help you build up your kitchen confidence while making delicious meals that you’ll turn to again and again. And if you run into a snag, don’t fret! Use the QR codes inside the book—they lead to short videos to help you along.
by Thalia Ho
Open a copy of Wild Sweetness and you’ll find a visual feast. Author and foodie Thalia Ho guides readers through the seasons with tempting recipes starting with treats like amaretti and lemon curd streusel cake to guide readers through the winter.
As you turn the pages, Thalia reveals even more delicious treats like raspberry blondies, black forest cookies and chocolate cassis ice cream. There are plenty of delicious classics woven into this treat of a cookbook as well, like fudgy brownies, tiramisu and the perfect chocolate chip cookie—be sure to use these cookie tips as you stir them up.
by Iska Lupton and Anastasia Miari
Everyone knows that grandmothers are the best cooks. In Grand Dishes, Iska Lupton and Anastasia Miari prove it in this 2021 cookbook. Inside you’ll find dozens of recipes and heartwarming stories from grandmothers across the globe. Some standout dishes include Abuela Betsy’s chicken tostadas, Yiayia’s Greek oregano fries and Grandmummy’s panna cotta with espresso caramel (sounds divine!).
by Renee Erikson
Food has the power to transport us. One bite of a lobster roll and we’re reminded of summers on the Cape; a sip of a mojito takes us back to a beachside resort in the Caribbean.
In Getaway, chef and restauranteur Renee Erikson takes you on a trip around the world with recipes from some of her vacation destinations: Rome, Paris, Seattle and beyond. Inside you’ll find 120 recipes plus 60 amazing cocktails. One sip of the apricot bellini, and you’ll feel like you’re on a Roman holiday.
That Sounds So Good
by Carla Lalli Music
Want a cookbook full of recipes to suit any mood, any occasion and any day of the week? You’ll want to get your hands on a copy of That Sounds So Good. This 2021 cookbook cleverly separates quick, weekday cooking and relaxed weekend recipes.
Among the 100+ recipes inside, you’ll find plenty of one-pot meals, hearty salads and speedy recipes for busy nights like fat noodles with pan-roasted mushrooms and spicy cucumber salad. When you’ve got more time on the weekend, Carla suggests recipes with a more relaxed timeline, like low-and-slow spiced chicken legs, hands-off pork and beans, and charred flatbreads.
New Native Kitchen
by Freddie Bitsoie and James O. Fraioli
In New Native Kitchen Freddie Bitsoie, former executive chef at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and award-winning author James O. Fraioli team up to give us all a better understanding of Native American cuisine and how it varies from community to community.
Inside you’ll find recipes from many tribes including clam soup from the Northeastern Wampanoag, nopales from the Navajo nation and pumpkin salad from the Chumash people. Each recipe is full of history and emphasizes what we all know to be true: Eating in-season and locally always tastes best.
The Weekday Vegetarians
by Jenny Rosentrach
Eating a plant-based diet is more popular than ever, but going veggie isn’t all or nothing as Jenny Rosentrach proves in The Weekday Vegetarians. In this new cookbook, Jenny goes beyond Meatless Monday and shows off family-friendly, satisfying meals to enjoy during the week. You won’t be missing meat as you dive into pizza salad, crunchy and cheesy bean bake or a fresh mushroom galette.
Taste of Home Ultimate Baking Cookbook
by Taste of Home Editors
Consider Taste of Home Ultimate Baking Cookbook your go-to resource for all things baking. This hefty volume is full of 575+ recipes and techniques to help you master any bake you set your hand to. Full of gorgeous photography, learn how to roll out cookie dough perfectly, decorate cupcakes and even master tricky pie crust.
Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ
by Rodney Scott and Lolis Eric Elie
Rodney Scott grew up with barbecue. He got his start working in the family restaurant in Hemingway, South Carolina. After gaining experience and even more love for the craft, he opened his own place: Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ, the nation’s most awarded spot for barbecue.
In Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ, you’ll find the ultimate guide to this cooking style from a passionate pitmaster. Learn how to make classics like ribs and smoked chicken, but also top-notch accompaniments like hushpuppies, pimento cheese and apple hand pies.
Cook Real Hawai’i
by Sheldon Simeon
No need to hop on a plane to get a taste of the islands. In Cook Real Hawai’i, Top Chef alum Sheldon Simeon shares how different cultures—including native Hawaiian, Filipino, Chinese and Korean—blend together to create a distinct food tradition. In this cookbook, you’ll learn all about poke, barbecued Huli Huli chicken and how Spam earned a spot in the hearts and bellies of many Hawaiians.
by Jake Cohen
While traditional Jewish foods are delicious (who doesn’t crave matzo ball soup on a cold day?), they are also ripe for a refresh. In Jew-ish, Jake Cohen re-creates and remixes his family’s favorite recipes to create new combinations like a pumpkin spice babka, matzo tiramisu and roasted tomato brisket. While your bubbe may not have seen Jewish treats like these before, they will certainly be welcome—and devoured—at the dinner table.
It’s Always Freezer Season
by Ashley Christensen and Kaitlyn Goalen
Do you love working ahead? Get total satisfaction out of being prepared for anything? We bet you love a good homemade freezer meal. In It’s Always Freezer Season, you’ll find dozens of recipes that can be prepped in advance and stashed in the freezer to savor another day. Besides great recipes for braised short ribs, chicken kale soup and other dinners, you’ll also find tips on how to freeze homemade basics like broths, gravies, snacks and sips.
Before you click “add to cart,” make sure you follow our best freezer organizing tips.
Mooncakes and Milk Bread
by Christina Cho
Growing up visiting her family’s Chinese restaurant, Christina Cho gained an in-depth understanding of Chinese cuisine—including baking and cafe culture. While many folks aren’t familiar with this side of Asian cookery, Christina proves in Mooncakes and Milk Bread that it’s worth exploring with gusto.
This cookbook is 300+ pages of delicious baked goods, breakfasts and beverages that you might not have seen before but will soon crave. Try Christina’s steamed barbecue pork buns, milk tea and almond cookies.
by Anthony Falco
Professional chefs and home cooks alike strive to make the perfect from-scratch pizza. In his new release Pizza Czar, International Pizza Consultant Anthony Falco writes about how you can make everyone’s favorite comfort food even better by mastering classic techniques and embracing unique ingredients from around the world.
Maman: The Cookbook
by Elisa Marshall, Benjamin Sormonte and Lauren Salkeld
Every now and again we crave a good recipe that keeps us busy in our kitchens from noon to night; after all, our kitchens are our happy places. Maman: The Cookbook offers up plenty of comforting recipes inspired by the eponymous restaurants in New York City, Montreal and Toronto.
Inside you’ll find 100 recipes to inspire you to take time in your kitchen, like a cherry-rosemary crumble, summer vegetable spiral tart and pumpkin-maple madeleines. And with homey dishes like these, you’ll also be inspired to share.
The Twisted Soul Cookbook
by Deborah VanTrece
Restauranteur Deborah VanTrece is back with a new cookbook that blends her love for soul food with her understanding of cultures across the globe. Throughout The Twisted Soul Cookbook, Deborah shows how soulful, seasonal cooking techniques are worldwide and remind her of her Kansas City roots.
Page through this celebration of a book and be sure to bookmark the red bean risotto, Manischewitz-braised short ribs and strawberry moonshine pound cake.