35 Essential Jewish-Authored Cookbooks

From traditional to modern recipes, these are the dishes that would make any bubbe proud.

Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links. Learn more.
Updated on May 14, 2024

Related To:

Fruit and Salad Roll and Lamb Hummus Bowl from 52 Shabbats

Photo by: Photo by Clara Rice for 52 Shabbats c/o The Collective Book Studio

Photo by Clara Rice for 52 Shabbats c/o The Collective Book Studio

Fruit and Salad Roll and Lamb Hummus Bowl from 52 Shabbats

Jewish food is rich, storied and complex. It's a melting pot of immigrant traditions with different dishes hailing from various parts of the world. Traditional Jewish food in America often comes from Ashkenazi Jews (think: matzo ball soup, kugel, a good bagel and shmear), whose ancestors lived in central and eastern Europe. However, Jewish cuisine expands beyond this: Sephardic Jews descend from Spain, Portugal and Italy, and their dishes tend to be more spice-forward. Mizrahi Jews in Israel, the Middle East and North Africa also have their own foodways, which have helped shape what we consider Israeli food today. In addition to regional cuisines, there are Jews that keep Kosher, following the rules of Kashrut, which prohibit the consumption of shellfish and pork (and any other meat that is not considered Kosher), and the mixing of milk and meat.

This collection of Jewish cookbooks — by no means exhaustive — reflects the diversity of Jewish cooking. These books span the decades and offer perspectives for both modern and traditional styles of cooking for holidays, the everyday and beyond: You'll find books specific to Jewish holidays, many of which have their own traditional foods, and Shabbat, the day of rest that comes with special meals as well. There are books catering to specific diets like vegetarian and paleo. We also found collections of Jewish recipes from around the world. And we couldn't forget the books about dessert and baking.

And while we love a beautiful, thoughtful cookbook, we have to admit, sometimes the best Jewish recipes are the ones passed down from Bubbe to Bubbe (Yiddish for "grandmother"), or the ones you find in a community cookbook put together by the local synagogue or Jewish community center. Many families also use handwritten recipe cards or cookbooks with notes in the margins that have been passed down for generations.

The few recipes that snuck their way out of history, surviving the Holocaust, found in cookbooks and in family kitchens honor tradition, look to the future and remind us there are so many other Jewish recipes from around the world that are still yet to be discovered.

$16.99
Barnes & Noble

Miri Rotkovitz's cookbook embodies Bubbe's beloved recipes: The ones we modernize and the others, that are so sacred, we make exactly as-written every time. This Kosher cookbook is an ode to both traditional and modern Jewish dishes. Classic recipes like brisket, apple cake and apricot chicken are there, paired with more modern takes like pecan-topped cherry ricotta kugel and roasted beet Reubens. The book is also worth sitting down for a read, as it's hard not to fall in love with all of the familiar family stories along the way.

$40 $22.99
Amazon

This book explores the long history of Jews in Italy, told through history lessons and guides to the Italian cities with a strong Jewish history. Beautiful Kosher dishes like pumpkin-filled tortelli, Roman fried artichokes and goose prosciutto fill the pages of this cookbook, preserving recipes that may have otherwise been lost.

$45 $34.19
Amazon

If you have a collection of Jewish cookbooks, there is a good chance you own one from Joan Nathan, one of the greatest Jewish cookbook authors of our time (with many of her other books throughout this list). Her latest book is a chronicle of her own Jewish family journey with dishes representative of her family history, upbringing, marriage and motherhood and the stories that match. The pages are filled with classics like roast chicken and matzo ball soup, as well as more recent discoveries like salmon with lemon and za'atar.

$45.60
Amazon

There's a good reason that this cookbook won the James Beard Best Cookbook Award. It is a deep dive of more than 800 recipes from Jewish communities around the world. Not only is it a compendium of recipes, but it also details the story of the Jewish diaspora making it a cookbook you’ll want to read as much as cook from. You’ll find plenty of traditional Jewish recipes as well as less familiar ones like Yemeni Wedding soup.

$35 $19.29
Amazon

Michael Solomonov has become one of the chefs credited with the rise of Israeli cuisine, making it popular with his Philadelphia restaurant Zahav. His second cookbook in partnership with Steven Cook makes the food that Israelis eat day-in and day-out approachable to the home cook. Whip up five-minute hummus or cauliflower shawarma and learn how to make spice mixes that for a number of Israeli dishes. The instructions are clear and the photography is stunning. This is a cookbook you'll pull out over and over again.

$24.95 $13.99
Amazon

If you poll a room of Jewish people on the most important Jewish food, you'll likely get a different answer every time. For this cookbook, Tablet Magazine did just that; talking to well-known Jewish chefs about their most memorable meals and sharing the recipes that go along with them. This is a fun read, conversation starter and book that reminds you just how familiar Jewish food can be.

$50 $35.56
Amazon

It's impossible to have a conversation about Jewish cooking without including Joan Nathan, author of many long-lasting and award-winning Jewish cookbooks. This book ​​won both the IACP/Julia Child Cookbook Award for Best Cookbook of the Year and the James Beard Award for Best Food of the Americas Cookbook when it was released in 1994. Inside, you'll find fluffy matzo balls, sweet and savory kugels and other recipes that define American Jewish cooking.

$35 $26.41
Amazon

Keeping Kosher is part of many Jewish homes, but just like any other eating lifestyle, it can be difficult to constantly find new dishes that work. Jamie Geller's Kosher recipes have long been a staple in Jewish homes as they are approachable and easy enough for busy nights. This book also has a special section for holidays and making Challah.

$40 $27.49
Amazon

Another classic by Joan Nathan, this book traces Jewish cuisine around the world and over decades, dating back to biblical times. Through her travels to more than 15 countries, plus expansive research, she finds ways to connect ancient dishes to their modern interpretations. Each recipe page offers a story and a place, be it Morocco or Los Angeles, in addition to an ingredient list and directions. The book is filled with plenty of Jewish classics and others less familiar that are sure to become new favorites.

$18.95
Barnes & Noble

A huge part of Jewish cuisine is sweets. You'll find specific cakes or desserts for each Jewish holiday and sweets are often a part of sitting Shiva, Jewish mourning. There are favorite Jewish deli sweets like the black and white cookie, babka and rugelach. This cookbook is a must-have for the Jewish baker and anyone with a sweet tooth.

$16.99 $12.99
Amazon

Baked goods like bread, bagels and cake are an important part of Jewish cooking, and this cookbook is filled with all of the delightful recipes your Bubbe always made. You'll find savory baked like onion-scented bialys and deli-style rye bread. There are also plenty of classic sweets including hamantaschen, apple cake and coconut macaroons.

$35 $26.41
Amazon

Many beloved Jewish dishes don't always align with a vegetarian diet — until now. Author Micah Siva maintains the soul and flavor of these dishes but makes them vegetarian in dishes like tofu and mushroom "brisket," celeriac "pastrami" sandwich or carrot "lox." The cookbook is easy to follow and perfect for entertaining a crew of vegetarians, vegans or those who appreciate a creative take on traditional cuisine.

$35 $18.16
Amazon

If you follow Smitten Kitchen, you'll know that Deb Perelman is serious about delicious, unfussy food. Her third cookbook is filled with "keepers," recipes you'll want to make over and over again. Some are influenced by Jewish culture like the bialy babka, while others like her perfect spaghetti and meatballs are just dishes you'll want to make over and over again. Save room for dessert (hello, luxe s’mores bars) with over a dozen options to whip up.

$7.99
Amazon

The reason people used to flock to Jennie Grossinger's Catskill resort? Her Jewish cooking. The book is full of classics, some of them very rich like chopped liver (and its vegetarian counterpart), and beef tongue. Those who grew up in the 1950s (when this book was published) still cherish today, making this a book to pass down to the next generation.

$35 $18.6
Amazon

Adeena Sussman's latest cookbook centers around all things Shabba,t from dishes perfect for gathering with family on Friday night to plenty of room-temperature dishes ideal for those who don't cook during the Sabbath. Sussman mixes traditional and creative dishes like her lemon black sesame bundt cake, Moroccan-style carrot salad and pull-apart challah sticks.

$54.95 $39.49
Amazon

This cookbook of Jewish foods is more than just that, it's a look at how Jewish food is interpreted around the world. In an easy-to-follow format, with a brief history lesson, recipes and beautiful photos, Leah Koenig shares over 400 recipes both for holidays and daily cooking with special recipes from notable chefs like Michael Solomonov and Yotam Ottolenghi.

$35 $19.29
Amazon

It is hard to talk about food in Israel’s capital city of Jerusalem without addressing that Jewish food in Israel has influence from Arab cultures and vice versa — even if there is a long history of political strife. Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, both born in Jerusalem, do a great job bringing history together through food (Ottolenghi is Jewish and Tamimi is Arab). The stunning photos in this book make it a great coffee table book when it’s not being used to cook from.

$40 $27.68
Amazon

So many traditional Jewish foods revolve around the holidays, so having a holiday-specific cookbook in your arsenal makes sense. Another Joan Nathan pick, this book divides recipes by holiday and gives you various menus inspired by celebrations around the world, whether it be a traditional Hungarian Shabbat with chicken paprikash and strudel, or chicken tagine from Algeria. There's also a great primer on how to make your own challah.

$35 $19.99
Amazon

Israeli food has become increasingly popular over the last decade with restaurants across America putting their own spin on the cuisine. If you want to learn this bright, spice-forward cooking at home, Adeena Sussman, who moved to Israel from New York, puts forth approachable dishes she cooks in her Tel Aviv kitchen. You'll also find a great primer on Israeli kitchen staples like tahini, sumac, za'atar and harissa.

$35 $21.52
Amazon

You may expect a dessert cookbook from Melissa Ben-Ishay, co-founder and CEO of bite-sized cupcake brand Baked by Melissa, but her latest cookbook Come Hungry is filled with plenty of sweet and savory options. Hearty salads including her viral Tik Tok Green Goddess salad, toasts topped with everything from burrata to dilly chicken salad, and her challah for Shabbat grace the pages. Don't bypass the end of the book, that's where you'll salivate over desserts like cookie butter icebox cake and cheesecake-stuffed chocolate cookies.

$36.99 $24.54
Amazon

​​There's a lot of work that goes into hosting a Jewish holiday that goes beyond just the food. Many require certain items on the table or other traditions that need preparation. That’s why this book is so great. Kosher by Design not only gives you recipes for all of the major holidays, but it also offers suggestions for different tablescapes, Kosher wines and other helpful tips.

$30 $19.58
Amazon

This cookbook is all about the Jewish holidays with recipes, rituals and meaning behind them detailed by rabbi Zoe B Zak and James Beard award-winning author, Susan Simon. Each section is broken out by holiday with insightful Q + A and recipes like apricot chicken and mixed vegetable latkes that are sure to fill your family tables with great joy.

$35 $22.99
Amazon

Every Friday at sundown until Saturday at sundown, Shabbat commences. For those who observe weekly, thinking of a diverse yet traditional menu can be daunting. This cookbook makes it easy offering a choose-your-own-adventure style menu with over 50 main recipes to mix and match with various sides and desserts. With plenty of seasonal recipes, your Shabbats will never get boring whether you host them on occasion or 52 weeks a year.

$10.30
Amazon

Poll any Jewish grandma and mom and they will likely tell you that the very best Jewish cookbook in their collection came from the local temple or synagogue or a Jewish school fundraiser. This version, from the Women's League of Adat and Ari El Synagogue in Valley Village, California, became particularly popular (it's been in print for 20 years!) for its fresh California take on traditional Jewish food.

$29.95 $21.62

Challah, babka, rugelach, bagels, matzah. There is a lot of baking involved in Jewish culture. This book breaks down the essentials including tools and toppings, tips on what you can make ahead and what to do with leftovers. It is the perfect primer for anyone looking to get started in or more creative with Jewish baking.

$36.99 $30.16
Amazon

Jewish tradition meets Southern tradition in this cookbook by Rachel Gordin Barnett and Lyssa Kligman Harvey. You'll find Jewish classics like stuffed cabbage, Southern classics like peach cobbler and modern takes on a fusion of the two in dishes like a lox and grits casserole. Plenty of history and stories on Jewish immigration to South Carolina make this a great read far beyond just the recipes.

$35 $22.99
Amazon

This cookbook reads like an autobiography. Alon Shaya, chef-owner of Saba in New Orleans and Safta in Denver, was born in Israel, raised in Philadelphia, and a chef in New Orleans and Italy. This cookbook contains tales of his life, which are intersected with his interpretation of Jewish cuisine including a halvah iced latte, peach and mascarpone hamantaschen, falafel and matzah ball soup.

$32.50 $17
Amazon

Although not your traditional Jewish cookbook, Molly Yeh has always had a special place in her heart for her Jewish and Chinese heritage, sometimes combining ingredients from both in inventive dishes. Her newest cookbook has plenty of fun twists on Jewish classics including doughnut matzo brei, cardamom babka, chicken and stars soup and potato challah.

$37.50 $29.6
Amazon

Author Leah Koenig dives deep into the Roman Jewish community through its rich history, stunning photography and of course, delicious recipes. You'll get a true understanding of how dishes, like Jewish-style fried artichokes, braised oxtail stew and sour cherry ricotta pie, weave a beautiful and sometimes harrowing story of Jewish culture in Rome.

$30 $16.99
Amazon

This cookbook from owners and chefs Sawako Okochi and Aaron Israel of Shalom Japan (with Gabriella Gershenson) in Brooklyn focuses on Japanese dishes perfect for the home cook with minimal time, like miso honey broiled chicken, salmon and ikura rice. Of course, like their restaurant, some of the dishes also take influence from Aaron's Jewish heritage, like the home-style Matzo ball ramen.

$30 $18.89
Amazon

Comfort food means different things to different people. It's not always mac and cheese and mashed potatoes. Jewish cuisine has its fair share of comfort food from a steaming bowl of matzo ball soup to Israeli-style yeasted rugelach. Similar to her other cookbooks, Modern Jewish Comfort Food by Shannon Sarna has recipes with plenty of easy-to-follow instructions and matching photos.

$47.49
Amazon

Old meets new in this cookbook taking traditional Kosher Jewish dishes and making them gluten-free and paleo. New spins on gefilte fish and kugel are accompanied by tips from "the bubbes." This is the perfect book to have on hand to appease the diets of all your relatives.

$39.99
Amazon

American-turned-Israeli blogger Danielle Renov started developing recipes when she moved to Israel over a decade ago, and the rest is history. Her cookbook is filled with both Ashkenazi- and Sephardic-inspired dishes, as well as weeknight dinner fare.

$40 $24.32
Amazon

Restaurants inspired by Jewish cuisine and Jewish delis certainly have influence on modern Jewish cooking, and for many, Jack’s Wife Freda in New York is a staple. Many of the recipes are a melting pot of owners Dean and Maya Jankelowitz’s history: Dean grew up in South Africa and Maya was born in Brooklyn before moving to Israel when she was a young girl. The result is a restaurant, and now a cookbook filled, with familial Jewish comfort food — potato latkes with apple cinnamon yogurt, green shakshuka, spiced lamb with Israeli couscous — with influence from around the globe.

$87
Amazon

Originally published pre–World War II, this Yiddish vegetarian cookbook by Fania Lewando, the proprietor of a popular vegetarian restaurant in Vilna, Lithuania, is brimming with delicious recipes to pass down from generation to generation. You'll discover everything from appetizers and soups to main courses and desserts.

Related Content:

Next Up

29 Essential Cookbooks by Black Chefs, Authors and Historians

Make room: These titles need a permanent spot on your shelf.

35 Gifts for Serious Home Cooks

Tear-open-the-box worthy gadgets, appliances, ingredients, and cookware? Yes, chef!

35 Gifts For Your Favorite Home Baker

Finding the perfect thing is now a piece of cake.

29 Essential Cookbooks for Mexican and Latin American Cooking

These recipes play a crucial role in preserving culinary traditions.

This Website Is Entirely Dedicated to Replacing Broken Dishes

Replacements, LTD is an online retailer specializing in replacement pieces for nearly half a million dinnerware lines.

11 Seafood Delivery Services That Ship Nationwide

Get the catch of the day delivered right to your doorstep.

6 Best Slow Cookers of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

After more than 150 hours of cooking, we found the best slow cookers you can buy.

The Espresso Machine One Food Network Editor Can't Stop Talking About

Espresso, lattes, Americanos and more right at your fingertips!

What's New