If you’re new to the idea of eating more plants, there’s no better way to become inspired than to stock your kitchen with a few trustworthy cookbooks. And there are so many great ones out there!
Here are some of my favorites for families (aka the ones without swear words, which I’m also a big fan of), a bit about why I like them, and a few recommended recipes to look for in each one.
Note: This blog post contains affiliate links as part of the Amazon Associates program. This means that, if you purchase one of these cookbooks through the links provided, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products that I love and think my readers will find useful.
Top 10 Best Plant-Based Family Cookbooks
by chef Julia Nordgren, MD
I was lucky to meet Julia at a recent plant-based nutrition leadership symposium, where she spoke about her work as a pediatrician with children and families – and the importance of eating more plants for health and longevity.
Note that her cookbook contains some animal products. Even though I don’t serve these in my household, you might, and that’s okay. Plant-based living is NOT a box. There isn’t one “right” way to do it, and if your family choose to eat occasional animal-derived foods, there’s no judgment here. I just want you to know that!
My personal philosophy is – first and foremost – to do what’s best and most feasible for your family, and to do what you can to work toward a plant-centric lifestyle. Sometimes that means a slow transition, in which case, this cookbook is a great resource. This book also uses inexpensive and mainstream ingredients, which can easily be made vegan.
- Pickle Platter (can substitute dairy-free cheeses if you prefer! This is a great idea for introducing strong flavors to kids, like olives)
- Kid Friendly Kale Salad
- Cauliflower Tacos
- Indian Lentil Soup
by Chloe Coscarelli
Chloe is one of my all-time favorite vegan chefs. She’s totally down to earth and her cookbooks are the same way. This was one of the first plant-based cookbooks in my own collection and I’ve used it so much that the pages are actually falling out!
- Pistachio Guacamole
- Rosemary Sweet Potatoes with Sweet n’ Spicy Mustard
- Cauliflower Soup with Pesto and Pasta Shells
- Tomato Bread Soup
by Chloe Coscarelli
Again, Chloe does a fantastic job of offering simple, nutritious recipes that require varying degrees of prep time. I’ve also found that her recipes are easy to adapt to whatever I might – or might not – have on hand at the time. I honestly haven’t made anything I don’t like from her books and find them to be great for starting out.
- Coconut Mashed Yams with Currants
- BBQ Pineapple Pizza
- Mongolian BBQ Seitan
- Cheesy Broccoli Soup in Sourdough Bread Bowls
by Chloe Coscarelli
The newest in the Chloe series, this cookbook focuses on flavors, which I find really helpful in introducing a variety of tastes and textures to young kids. This cookbook offer new takes on breakfast, incorporates simple and delicious sauces, and has some kickass alternatives to traditional “meat lovers” recipes. I think you’ll find something for everyone in here.
- Sloppy Chlo’s
- Almond Butter Berry Bowl
- Panang Curry
- General Tso’s Tofu
by Catherine Gill
One of my best friends got this one for me a couple of Christmases ago and it’s quickly become one of my favorites. Catherine uses simple, normal ingredients to make delicious, hearty recipes that my whole family enjoys. And some days, it’s easier to build meals around pre-made vegan products. So it’s nice to see that in some recipes, she incorporates things that can easily be found at the grocery store and used in several ways, like vegan cream cheese, vegan sausages, or cheeze shreds.
- Peanut Butter Tofu Stir Fry
- Avocado, Kale, and Tofu Salad
- Franks, Beans, and Biscuit Bake
- Split Pea Soup with Tempeh Bacon
by Dana Shultz
I first found Dana through her blog, and her recipes are spot on. I love that they use ingredients that are easily accessible, inexpensive, and that there are so many “one-bowl” recipes that require very little prep time. Her cookbook is no different!
Dana recently shared that she has added some animal products back into her diet due to personal health concerns. She received a lot of flak as a result, which is really unfortunate. Whether your values align with hers, this is an excellent cookbook to have in your home (and any of her new non-vegan recipes can likely be easily still made plant-based) – and she remains an awesome recipe developer.
- Endive Hummus Boats
- Best Ever 20-Minute Vegan Queso
- Beet, Orange, and Walnut Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing
- The Trashy Vegan Sandwich
by Angela Liddon
This was one of my first vegan cookbooks and I still refer to it quite a bit. Angela also has a fantastic blog where she’s constantly adding new vegan recipes. She’s also a mom of two veg-kids and easy to relate to in her cooking style. I like that she uses normal ingredients but also has a creative flair, which helps me when I’m totally having a mom-brain day and out of ideas. She has some great ways to incorporate veggies that kids may not be fans of being served otherwise.
- Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas with Avocado-Cilantro Cream Sauce
- 10 Spice Vegetable Soup with Cashew Cream
- Summer Harvest Tortilla Soup
- Perfected Chickpea Salad Sandwich
by Angela Liddon
Another great book from Angela that combines tons of flavors and healthy ingredients to make family-friendly meals. I’ve found many recipes in here that pack a lot of nutrition into one meal, which is so important when you have little kids who love to “selectively eat”!
- Protein Power Rainbow Quinoa Salad
- Oh Em Gee Veggie Burgers
- Shepherd’s Pie
- 6 Vegetable and “Cheese” Soup
by Dreena Burton
Dreena is another veg-mom and an expert on with how to build plant-based meals that are kid-friendly. She offers personal advice in this book re: packing healthy school lunches, making DIY kitchen staples, and tips for feeding kids through picky eating phases. I appreciate the ease of use in this book and the serving suggestions/alternatives Dreena offers at the end of each recipe.
- Chickpea and Rice Soup
- Saucy BBQ Chickpeas and Green Beans (I like to add tofu to this!)
- Ultimate Teriyaki Stir Fry
- Lentil Loaf
by Kim Campbell
Daughter-in-law of T. Colin Campbell (The China Study), Kim has created this official companion to the PlantPure Nation film. This is a processed oil-free cookbook that uses alternatives like applesauce, avocado, and nut butters in the recipes. Similarly, the dessert section uses dates, agave nectar, and Sucanat in place of added sugar. This cookbook helps me create really colorful dishes that go well with easy sides I have on hand.
- Edamame Burgers
- Artichoke and White Bean Salad
- Sesame Noodle Lettuce Wraps
- Palak Paneer, Tofu Style
My Favorite Plant-Based Dessert Cookbooks
And because I can’t deny having a sweet tooth, here are a couple of my favorite vegan dessert cookbooks. The books listed above pretty much all have dessert sections in the back, which are great too!
by Chloe Coscarelli
From cookies, to cakes, to pies and tarts, this is a great book for transitioning to vegan baking. And since this was written by a winner of the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, you can bet on finding delicious cupcakes in here. It’s a nice reminder of how EASY it is to substitute plant-based ingredients in favorite sweet treats. I also found this book to include yummy new flavor combinations I hadn’t tried before.
- Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
- Black and White Cookies
- German Chocolate Cake
- Lemon Olive Oil Cake
by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero
I have to admit that there are so many more types of cookies I never knew existed before opening this book! Apparently I’ve been living under a rock with my traditional chocolate chip and peanut butter tendencies, so I’m happy to have these recipes in my arsenal for certain occasions (or random afternoons with veg-toddler). The book also includes bar, biscotti, shortbread, and brownie recipes.
- Cowboy Cookies
- Lemon Bars
- Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Brownies
- Linzertorte Thumbprint Cookies
This is certainly not an all-inclusive list of the greatest plant-based cookbooks out there, but they’re some of my favorites and most used. I encourage you to check some of them out – or find some at your local library to test – and see what you think!
Pinterest and Instagram are excellent places for finding food inspiration and links to recipes too, of course, but I find them easily overwhelming.
Plus, let’s be honest – I never remember where I saw something. For me, cookbooks are something I can return to again and again, right in my pantry.
Hope this helps get you started!
Tell Me Below:
- What are some of your favorite cookbooks?
- What are some of your favorite recipes to make with your family?