10 Best New Vegan Cookbooks
Plant-based, flavor-packed recipe inspiration straight ahead.
Proof that plant-based has morphed from mere trend to mainstay is the abundance of vegan cookbooks from this season’s crop. Some push the boundaries of flavor and texture, others draw on heritage recipes for inspiration, while some focus on baking. But all deliver on their plant-based premise to offer dozens of creative, inspired recipes wrapped up in a beautiful package. Whether you’re a practicing vegan, plant-based curious or somewhere in between, there’s a vegan cookbook for you.
Charity Morgan first made a name for herself as a private chef catering to rockstars and elite athletes like Venus Williams (who wrote the book’s forward). Now, she’s sharing more than 100 of her mind-bendingly good plant-based recipes, whether your aim is to go completely vegan or incorporate more meatless dishes into your repertoire. The flavorful dishes are inspired by her Puerto Rican and Creole heritage, imbued with influence form the American South, where she currently calls home. The result are crave-worthy dishes that prove that vegan, delicious and comfort food are not mutually exclusive concepts. We predict falling hard for the cover-worthy Nacho Average Nachos, amply topped with homemade cashew queso spiked with a duo of chilies, and Fried Chick’n with Spicy Maple Syrup, which smartly pulls in meaty oyster mushrooms for the chicken.
Sheil Shukla, a recipe developer, food photographer, and physician, can now add cookbook author to his resume. This gorgeous collection of more than 100 recipes captures the diverse and vibrant vegetarian food traditions of India, many of which are inspired by heritage Gujarāti dishes that he learned to make from his ba (grandmother). Categories include Shāk (spiced vegetable dishes), such as Butternut Squash Chanā Nu Shāk, a comforting Gujarāti dish that’s a specialty of his mom’s; Dāl (legume stews), such as hearty Dāl Makhani; Rotli (flatbreads), like a spot-on vegan Nān; and Bhāt (rice dishes), including festive Navratan Rice studded with nuts and dried fruit. There are delightful desserts too, including Chocolate Chāi Mousse with Berries as well as Cardamom Coffee Cake, one of Shukla’s most popular recipes.
Award-winning food writer Georgina Hayden has filled this beautiful cookbook with 120 vegan recipes that are peppered with stories and tips and tricks. Hayden draws inspiration from the Mediterranean, Middle East and Eastern Europe, with recipes that are oriented around the central tradition of nistisima, a Greek word that translates to Lenten, or fasting — often in relation to animal products. We plan to take a page from Hayden’s own cooking approach, first stocking the fridge with fresh staples such as salad leaves, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and a bevy of fresh herbs like mint, coriander, parsley and dill. Then, making a few dishes on Sunday to have a satisfying array of mix-and-match components to nourish ourselves for the week ahead. Think: tender za’atar buns, fava (a creamy yellow split pea dip), braised fennel and a colorful cooked root vegetable slaw.
Food blogger, cookbook author and longtime vegan Gena Hamshaw wants to make plant-based cooking accessible, even if you have just one hour of kitchen time. The book is chockful of meals that are equal parts colorful and comforting, ensuring that you’ll actually look forward to eating the dishes you’ve batch-cooked, say Tangy Cashew Lime Noodle Bowls or Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Greens. On the snacks and dessert front, we’re looking forward to Lemon Poppy Seed Snack Balls, anchored by raw cashew and dates, and Everyday Carrot Cake, which Hamshaw promises freezes like a dream. Hamshaw also shares some of her favorite meal prep techniques and tricks, which help her maintain a vegan lifestyle even amid her hectic schedule.
Years of cooking experience, 15 countries worth of traditions, and countless childhood memories from growing up on the Ivory Coast all add up to Marie Kacouchia’s beautiful tome of flavorful, naturally plant-based African dishes. The 70-plus recipes span diverse vegan cuisine from Ghana to Ethiopia, Nigeria to South Africa, organized by main courses, rice dishes, sauces, snacks, desserts and drinks. We can’t wait to make Potato Stew with Olives, a Moroccan-influenced stew inspired by a family recipe that Kacouchia counts as one of her favorites. We’ll take a cue from the Menus for All Occasions section next time we’re planning a get-together, say pre-dinner drinks and snacks starring Peanut Hummus and Lemongrass Lemonade, or a decadent Sunday brunch featuring Plantain Pancakes, Roasted Cauliflower with Peanut-Ginger Sauce and Spiced Hot Chocolate.
Author, novelist and post-colonial academic Mary Anne Mohanraj’s latest cookbook reads like a vegan love letter to her native Sri Lanka and its diaspora. She distills thousands of years of vegetarian and vegan culinary traditions into a vibrant tome of more than 108 recipes. The dishes are geared toward exploring the vast riches of Sri Lankan vegan cuisine through both her mother’s cooking and her own American adaptations. Start with the master recipe for Sri Lankan curry powder, which underscores one of the signatures of Sri Lankan cooking — dark roasted spices — and your curry dishes will be all the better for it. We’re particularly excited to try Kaliya Kari, an eggplant, plantain and potato curry, as well as Palakkai Kari, a green jackfruit curry that Mohanraj suggests pairing with kale sambol, pickled beet salad, and rice for a nourishing weeknight supper.
Like many who adopt a vegan lifestyle, Hannah Che worried that she’d be removed from her family’s food traditions. But then she discovered zhai cai, an ancient plant-based Chinese cuisine centered on umami-rich ingredients. Through her research, she compiled more than 100 plant-based, flavor packed recipes that encompass traditional and modern Chinese vegan cuisine. Her creativity shines in dishes that are naturally plant-based, such as pea shoots braised in a luxurious mushroom broth bolstered by a sesame oil roux, as well as in meatless versions of traditional dishes, such as Sweet and Sour Tofu. Just as nourishing are the personal anecdotes and stories sprinkled throughout the book and recipe hednotes, alongside stunning, leap-from-the-page photography.
Some of the most challenging recipes to make vegan are baked goods, but vegan blogger Holly Jade has mastered the art of replicating the texture and flavor of our favorite baked goods without eggs, dairy or butter. In this colorful compendium, she shares recipes for veganized classics like red velvet cake, key lime pie, even shortbread, but we’re particularly smitten by her showstopping contemporary treats, like Neapolitan Celebration Cake and Mini Passionfruit Pavlovas. As if her inspired baking weren’t enough, this book proves that Jade’s talents extend beyond the kitchen, with recipes accompanied by her beautiful, original photography.
If you’re craving classic Italian pasta dishes but can’t figure out how to make it vegan, this book is your best bet to attaining the vegan carbonara of your dreams. It includes primers for making your own pasta, as well as techniques for making filled pasta, such as Beet and Tarragon Tortellini or Lemon Cappelletti with Pistachio Cream. The recipes also include recommendations for sourcing vegan staples and techniques for making vegan meat and cheese substitutes. Baked pasta is practically its own season, so it’s fitting that it gets a dedicated section in the book, with dishes such as Lasagna Bolognese, Penne Arrabbiata Parmesan, and Orecchiette with Pesto Cream and Walnut Crumble. For dinner parties and special occasions, refer to the Fancy Pasta chapter, which features the likes of Sweet Pea and Tarragon Alfredo and Linguine with White Clam Sauce. Other Italian-leaning mains and sides round out the book, including crowd-pleasers such as Stuffed Banana Peppers and Fennel Gratin.
In the follow up to their hit cookbook Original Flava, Craig and Shuan McAnuff are back to prove that Caribbean food is about so much more than jerk chicken and fish dishes. Their recipes showcase the Caribbean’s abundance of flavorful and nourishing produce, including plantain, yams, jackfruit and guava. Drawing from this ample source of inspiration, along with practices gleaned from the Ital diet (clean, natural, unprocessed as much as possible) of Jamaican Rastafarians, the McAnuffs have developed a collection of recipes that are flavor-forward, feel-good and plant-based. Think: ackee and cabbage with fried dumplings and plantains, ital-inspired and immune-boosting smoothies, and callaloo fritters.