Our guide to the 9 best cookbooks out there right now.

What better gift to receive than the gift of new recipe ideas?

Sometimes Pinterest dinner ideas just don’t cut it. You want a meal tailored to you and your taste, you want to be taken step by step through the recipe, enjoying the time spent cooking, rather than rushing through it as just another task to tick off that day. The cookbooks that we have selected are a luxurious indulgence in meal-time. Sensory and beautiful, they deliver the full experience of a home cooked meal, providing inspiration, insight and time out to really enjoy your food.

From vegan recipes to lunch ideas to themed food, this year’s range, truly has it all.

‘Gluten Free Baking From The Heart’ by Soraya Quigley (Self Published)

This a wonderful baking book which is jam-packed with easy-to-follow recipes which are tried and tested. It has taken many years to perfect as, anyone who has every tried to bake a gluten free recipe will know that it’s extremely difficult to take a non-gluten recipe and to turn it into a gluten free one. Simple swaps just don’t work.

The beauty of this book is that each recipe has been made and tweaked until you can create a perfect bake. This is extremely rare in the world of cookery books where often authors pay other people to write or test their recipes – think about it – have you ever made something from a well-known baking book and it just doesn’t work despite following all of the exact steps? That’s the reason why. So, this book is a little gem and one that every family should have on their recipe bookshelf.

Recipes from the book include Fudgy Brownies, Fluffy Scones, Gooey Chocolate Cake, Blueberry & Lemon Loaf Cake, Raspberry Almond Tart, Sausage Rolls and Cheese Muffins to name a few.

‘Gluten Free Baking From The Heart’ costs €25 with €2 from the price is donated to the LauraLynn Children’s Hospice. To purchase, visit www.cozebakes.com.

Cook, Eat, Repeat by Nigella Lawson (Penguin)

Cook, Eat, Repeat is a delicious and delightful combination of recipes intertwined with narrative essays about food, all written in Nigella's engaging and insightful prose. Whether asking 'What is a recipe?' or declaring death to the guilty pleasure, Nigella's wisdom about food and life comes to the fore, with tasty new recipes that readers will want to return to again and again.

'The recipes I write come from my life, my home', says Nigella, and in this book she shares the rhythms and rituals of her kitchen through over 150 new recipes that make the most of her favourite ingredients. Dedicated chapters include 'A is for Anchovy' (a celebration of the bacon of the sea), 'Rhubarb', 'A Loving Defence of Brown Food', a suitably expansive chapter devoted to family dinners, plus inspiration for vegan feasts, solo suppers and new ideas for Christmas.

Within these chapters are recipes for all seasons and tastes: Burnt Onion and Aubergine Dip; Butternut with Beetroot, Chilli and Ginger Sauce; Fish Finger Bhorta; Spaghetti with Chard and Anchovies; Chicken with Garlic Cream Sauce; Beef Cheeks with Port and Chestnuts; and Wide Noodles with Lamb in Aromatic Broth, to name a few. Those with a sweet tooth will delight in Chocolate, Tahini and Banana Pudding; Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake; Basque Burnt Cheesecake; and Cherry and Almond Crumble.

‘The Wonky Spatula’ by Nicola Halloran (Orpen Press)

Nicola's approach to cooking is simple - eat healthy, live happy! Like all of us, the award-winning blogger wants to eat healthy and tasty food, but doesn't have the time to spend hours slogging over the stove. In this, her first book, she will show you how to cook tasty, healthy meals while juggling a busy lifestyle, using readily available ingredients with simple instructions. There's nothing extreme about this.
Written in a wonderfully accessible way, this cookbook is packed full of 100+ easy-to-follow recipes that pack a serious punch in the flavour department.

With many of the recipes taking under 30 minutes, this book is perfect whether you're a seasoned cook or have never boiled an egg. The Wonky Spatula will take you on a journey to find the perfect balance, leaving you feeling energised, healthy and ready to take on anything that life throws at you. Eating well has never been easier!

‘Mid-Week Meals’ by Nevin Maguire (Gill)

Even if you like to cook, getting dinner on the table Monday to Friday can be a daily drag. But not any longer! Neven Maguire’s fantastic new book will inspire you to create real, fast and delicious family food – all ready to eat in jig time.

Chapters include ‘Low and Slow’ for when you have time to plan ahead, ‘Cupboard’s Bare’ for when you don’t; ‘One-Pan Dinners’ for quick and easy soups and stir fries and ‘Supermarket Sweep’ for when you can pick up an ingredient or two on your way home. This family-friendly, modern cookbook is packed with easy, everyday dinners to inspire you Monday to Friday!

‘Clodagh’s Weeknight Kitchen’ by Clodagh McKenna (Kyle Books)


With her trademark twists, Clodagh's inspirational but achievable dishes elevate the simple to something special. Clodagh's 100 interesting, simple recipes from meat-free meals to quick-fix dishes and store cupboard suppers offer the answers to all your weeknight dinner dilemmas.

Including ideas for:

  • Quick Fixes - recipes on the table in less than 30 minutes - perfect for when you've been stuck in the office and need a quick fix.
  • One and Done - a variety of one-dish dinners, including roasting tin meals, one-pot stews and casseroles and one-pan recipes.
  • Meat-free - vegetarian dishes for meat-free Monday (or any other night of the week).
  • Storecupboard stand-bys - recipes based on basic storecupboard staples like pasta and tinned tomatoes, which don't require a long list of ingredients.
  • Friday Night In - satisfying and substantial dishes that can feed 6-8 people for weeknight gatherings of friends and family.

The perfect all-rounder, this one is sure to fly off the shelves!

‘The Anti-Cancer Cookbook: Recipes to reduce your cancer risk’ by Aoife Ryan and Éadaoin Ní Bhuachalla (Cork University Press)

Cancer causes one in six deaths worldwide and has overtaken cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of death in many parts of the world.

 One in three of the world’s most common cancers could be preventable through maintaining a healthy body weight, eating a healthy diet, reducing alcohol and keeping active. There are thousands of websites, books and blogs written about how to prevent cancer. Many of these are not evidence-based. This book is written by two academic registered dietitians who have taken the most recent evidence-based recommendations for cancer prevention and translated them into an easy to use cookbook with a large selection of delicious healthy meals suitable for all the family.

Dr. Aoife Ryan is a Senior Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences at University College Cork and a registered dietician. Dr. Éadaoin Ní Bhuachalla, where she now works as a Senior Primary Care Dietitian in the Health Service Executive.

‘Evolving Vegan: Deliciously Diverse Recipes from North America's Best Plant-Based Eateries—for Anyone Who Loves Food’ by Mena Massoud (Tiller Press)

From actor and avid traveller Mena Massoud comes a collection of diverse, delicious, and accessible vegan recipes inspired from dishes all over the world, perfect for everyone at the table!

It’s safe to say that veganism is no longer just a trend. Lifelong vegans, part-timers, and aspiring vegans are a diverse and eclectic group of people from all walks of life and backgrounds, and yet, there’s very little out there in mainstream media that reflects this new reality.

The Evolving Vegan cookbook celebrates both flavours and stories from a wide array of plant-based eateries all across North America, proving that a plant-friendly diet is truly accessible to all!

Containing recipes from many different countries and cultures and including helpful tips for lifelong and transitioning vegans alike, Evolving Vegan takes you on a food-based road trip to explore the vibrancy of veganism across North America.

‘Friends: The Official Cookbook’ by Amanda Yee (Insight Editions)

Gather your friends and prepare to say “How you doin'?” to more than 100 recipes inspired by the beloved hit sitcom.

Whether you’re a seasoned chef like Monica Geller, just starting a catering business like Phoebe Buffay, or a regular old food enthusiast like Joey Tribbiani, Friends: The Official Cookbook offers a variety of recipes for chefs of all levels. From appetizers to main courses and from drinks to desserts, each chapter includes iconic treats such as Monica's Friendsgiving Feast, Rachel's Trifle, Just for Joey Fries, Chandler's "Milk You Can Chew," Phoebe's Grandmother's Cookies, and of course, The Moist Maker.

Complete with more than seventy recipes and beautiful full-color photography, this charming cookbook is both a helpful companion for home cooks and a fun homage to the show that’s always been there for you.

‘In Bibi's Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries That Touch the Indian Ocean’ by Hawa Hassan, Julia Turshen (Ten Speed Press)

In this incredible volume, renowned food writer Julia Turshen and Somali chef Hawa Hassan present 75 recipes and stories gathered from bibis (or grandmothers) from South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Comoros, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, and Eritrea.

We meet women such as Ma Shara, who helps tourists "see the real Zanzibar" by teaching them how to make her famous Ajemi Bread with Carrots and Green Pepper; Ma Vicky, a real-life princess from Tanzania, who now lives in suburban New York and makes a mean Matoke (Stewed Plantains with Beans and Beef); and Somalia's Ashura Babu-Bi Ashura, widow to Abdulrahman Babu, the late Zanzibari Marxist and revolutionary leader, known for her Samaki Wa Kupaka (Coconut Fish Curry).

Through Julia and Hawa's writing--and their own personal stories--the women, and the stories behind the recipes, come to life. With evocative photography shot on location by Khadija Farah, and food photography by Jennifer May, In Bibi's Kitchen uses food to teach us all about families, war, loss, migration, refuge, and sanctuary.

‘Dessert Person: Recipes and Guidance for Baking with Confidence’ by Claire Saffitz (Clarkson Potter)

This one’s for the bakers! Claire Saffitz is a baking hero for a new generation.

In ‘Dessert Person’, fans will find Claire's signature spin on sweet and savory recipes like Babkallah (a babka-Challah mashup), Apple and Concord Grape Crumble Pie, Strawberry-Cornmeal Layer Cake, Crispy Mushroom Galette, and Malted Forever Brownies. She outlines the problems and solutions for each recipe--like what to do if your pie dough for Sour Cherry Pie cracks (patch it with dough or a quiche flour paste!)--as well as practical do's and don'ts, skill level, prep and bake time, and foundational know-how.

With Claire at your side, everyone can be a dessert person.

‘Let's Fix Lunch: Enjoy Delicious, Planet-Friendly Meals at Work, School, or On the Go’ by Kat Nouri & Stasher (Chronicle Books)

‘Let's Fix Lunch!’ makes it easy (and fun!) to prepare meals that are good for you and good for the planet.

This eco-friendly cookbook features delicious, waste-free recipes for sandwiches, salads, soups, snacks, and more.

An inspiring guide for anyone who wants to do their small part to save the earth, ‘Let's Fix Lunch!’ makes it simple to create a sustainable, waste-free home. Alongside easy-to-make recipes for all home cooks, there is also more than 50 simple tips for reducing food waste and plastic use and a handy guide to buying in bulk, meal prepping, and food storage

This eco-conscious cookbook is written by Kat Nouri, founder of the beloved, environmentally friendly kitchen brand Stasher.

Fiona Murphy is a freelance writer, specialising in book-related content, fiction and poetry. She can be found drinking tea, craving tapas or attempting to finish her never-ending-novel.

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