Food

The 33 best new cookbooks to buy in 2021

Morgan Olsen

There’s a lot to look forward to this year as cities around the world spring back to life. As much as we’re frequenting the heck out of our favorite restaurants again, home cooking has become an essential part of our weekly routine – and we don’t hate it. Whether you’re just mastering sourdough or you’re a TikTok-famous feta influencer, we could all use some new material. The best new cookbooks of 2021 offer just that: heaps of fantastically fresh recipes that span the globe and boost your skills.

Trying to break out of a cooking rut? Pick up Sam Sifton’s No-Recipe Recipes, which ditches formality in favor of fun. Craving something lighter? You’ll find plenty of inspiration in Julia Turshen’s Simply Julia as well as Gregory Gourdet’s Everyone’s Table. But that’s just scraping the surface. Take a look at the best new cookbooks of 2021 and pre-order your favorites today. Rest assured, we’ll keep this list updated as more new titles are announced throughout the year.

Best new cookbooks of 2021

Rice by Michael W Twitty

‘Rice’ by Michael W. Twitty

Ever given much thought to the ubiquitous nature of rice? Michael W. Twitty has. The author and culinary historian explores the grain’s importance to foodways of the South through 51 recipes that span Creole, Low Country and soul food cuisines. Readers will delve into rice’s African diasporic identity while making dishes like Savannah rice waffles and Ghanaian crab stew. Buy now

Simply Julia by Julia Turshen

‘Simply Julia’ by Julia Turshen

If you’ve already cooked your way through bestselling author Julia Turshen’s other hits (namely Now & Again and Small Victories), you’ll want to snag her latest: a collection of 110 ‘foolproof’ recipes that are equal parts practical and nutritious. Sprinkled throughout the pages are personal essays, adaptations for dietary needs and tips you’ll return to again and again (like how to use up that leftover buttermilk).

Today's Special cookbook

‘Today’s Special’ by Phaidon Editors

The premise of this book is simple but captivating. Twenty culinary leaders from around the globe each name five emerging chefs you should know. Nestled among the profiles and stunning photography are 300 recipes from those up-and-comers—a great way to get familiar with the world’s next class of top chefs.

Food Between Friends: A Cookbook

‘Food Between Friends’ by Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Julie Tanous

BFFs turned food bloggers Jesse Tyler Ferguson (yes, the Modern Family star) and recipe developer Julie Tanous compiled their all-time favorite recipes for their debut cookbook. The ideal gift for the cooking buddy you miss the most, Food Between Friends explores the duo’s childhood food memories through crave-worthy dishes like hatch green chile mac and cheese and little grits soufflés.

Jew-ish cookbook

‘Jew-ish’ by Jake Cohen

Self-proclaimed Nice Jewish Boy and former Time Out New York dining editor Jake Cohen makes his cookbook debut with a collection of new-ish Jew-ish recipes. Home cooks can expect a bevvy of modern recipes that are rooted in tradition—like Cohen’s take on kugel, which is imbued with the savory, cheesy flavors of spinach-artichoke dip.

My Shanghai by Betty Liu

‘My Shanghai’ by Betty Liu

Organized by season, My Shanghai explores the dynamic, destination-worthy fare of one of the world’s largest cities. Author Betty Liu transports readers to Shanghai through homestyle eats, many of which have been passed down through generations and reexamined with a modern lens. Start with a weeknight stir-fry and work your way up to Liu’s mother’s deeply savory Suzhou red-braised pork belly.

The Food of Oaxaca

‘The Food of Oaxaca’ by Alejandro Ruiz and Carla Altesor

Bring the culinary hub of Oaxaca, Mexico, to your kitchen with 50 recipes from celebrated chef Alejandro Ruiz (Casa Oaxaca restaurants). This cookbook is a treasure trove of staples—including handmade tortillas, tamales and moles—as well as a step-by-step guide to some of Ruiz’s most noteworthy plates. Psst! The book also includes a list of must-visit restaurants in Oaxaca for all your post-pandemic travel needs.

Zoë Bakes Cakes

‘Zoë Bakes Cakes’ by Zoë François

If we’ve learned anything over the past year, it’s that cake can be a suitable substitute for any meal. Baking star and pastry chef Zoë François restocks our arsenal with 85 new recipes that are simple yet wildly impressive (coconut candy bar cake, anyone?). Plus, she’ll teach you the basics along the way with helpful, photo-heavy guides to techniques you’ll use again and again, like creaming butter and sugar like a pro.

New York Times Cooking: No-Recipe Recipes

‘New York Times Cooking: No-Recipe Recipes’ by Sam Sifton

Sam Sifton wants you to ditch the recipe and have some fun in the kitchen. The founding editor of NYT Cooking does away with fussy ingredient lists and step-by-step instructions, opting instead for casual, conversational descriptions that allow home cooks to improvise, learn and evolve. With a dash of this and a fistful of that, you’ll be whipping up fettuccine with minted ricotta in no time.

Rodney Scott's World of BBQ: Every Day Is a Good Day: A Cookbook

‘Rodney Scott’s World of BBQ’ by Rodney Scott and Lolis Eric Elie

Calling all wannabe pitmasters! Award-winning chef and restaurateur Rodney Scott is spilling meaty, saucy secrets in his debut cookbook. Learn how to build your own pit before delving into fan-favorite recipes like barbecued spare ribs, smoked chicken wings and Ella’s banana puddin’. Along the way, Scott opens up with intimate stories from his remarkable journey.

The Twisted Soul Cookbook

‘The Twisted Soul Cookbook’ by Deborah VanTrece

Chef Deborah VanTrece’s ode to Southern soul cooking is rife with impressive but approachable recipes that are rooted in tradition. Sprawled across 200-plus pages are 100 recipes that range from salads and seafood to dressings and desserts.

The Arabesque Table

‘The Arabesque Table’ by Reem Kassis

Explore the beauty and bounty of Arabic cooking through Reem Kassis’s compliation of home recipes that are organized by primary ingredient. The followup to her acclaimed deubt, The Palestinian Table, this new release allows Kassis to flex her deep knowledge of the ancient cuisine while also offering her takes on classics.

The Pepper Thai Cookbook: Family Recipes from Everyone's Favorite Thai Mom

‘The Pepper Thai Cookbook’ by Pepper Teigen and Garrett Snyder

If you follow Chrissy Teigen on Instagram (honestly, who doesn’t?), you’ve already fallen in love with her mother and culinary muse, Pepper. In her debut cookbook, everyone’s favorite Thai mom shares some of her most iconic recipes, including roasted lemongrass chicken, seafood pad cha and Thai beef jerky. Between recipes, Mother Teigen shares personal anecdotes about moving to the U.S. from Thailand and learning how to cook her favorite meals with American ingredients.

Bress 'N' Nyam by Matthew Raiford

‘Bress ‘n‘ Nyam’ by Matthew Raiford

Part history lesson, part cookbook, this stunning new tome by chef-farmer Matthew Raiford delves into the rich history of the Gullah Geechee people, “descendants of Africans who were enslaved on the rice, indigo and Sea Island cotton plantations of the lower Atlantic coast,” according to the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission. Raiford examines the singular and essential culture through soul-soothing recipes like Gullah fish stew and hot buttermilk biscuits.

Everyone's Table by Gregory Gourdet

‘Everyone’s Table’ by Gregory Gourdet and JJ Goode

If your bookshelf is dotted with healthy-eating cookbooks that are collecting dust, Top Chef star Gregory Gourdet has just the thing: A delicious new take on mindful eating. Since getting sober, Gourdet has focused on nourishing, superfood-charged recipes that are full of flavor and free of gluten, dairy, soy and legumes. Rather than leaning on copycat-style fixes, Gourdet sends readers globetrotting with dishes that are hearty, filling and bold.

Ice Cream Party by Shikha Kaiwar

‘Ice Cream Party’ by Shikha Kaiwar

I scream, you scream, we all scream for 3,375 ways to dress up ice cream. Baker and influencer Shikha Kaiwar delivers just that with this lovable, illustration-packed board book that helps you upgrade your ice cream with fun toppings like buckwheat brownies, spiced hot fudge sauce, and black and white sesame brittle.

Bavel Cookbook

‘Bavel’ by Ori Menashe, Genevieve Gergis and Lesley Suter

The chefs behind one of Los Angeles’s most beloved restaurants bring the Middle East to your kitchen through 85 masterful recipes that teach age-old techniques and inspire an open mind. Penned to celebrate “the freedom to cook what we love without loyalty to any specific country,” Bavel covers a lot of ground in an effort to bridge cultures and break down borders.

Colombiana

‘Colombiana’ by Mariana Velásquez

Daydreaming of a sun-soaked vacation in South America? This stunning tome should hold you over. Recipe developer and food stylist Mariana Velásquez explores her Colombian roots through 100 recipes that range from traditional arepas and empanadas to remixed lemony chicken soup. And if the cover didn’t tip you off, Velásquez serves plenty of tablescape inspiration along the way, too.

‘Let’s Make Dumplings!’ by Hugh Amano and Sarah Becan

Part comic book, part cookbook, this comprehensive dumpling bible is wonderfully accessible and delightfully educational. Artist Sarah Becan brings chef Hugh Amano’s words to life through playful illustrations that walk readers through the basics (and then some). Learn how to wrap wontons, stuff potstickers, pleat gyoza and deep-fry crab rangoon – all from the comfort of home.

Afro Vegan by Zoe Alakija

‘Afro Vegan’ by Zoe Alakija

London-based cook Zoe Alakija makes her splashy debut with Afro Vegan, a cookbook that melds her Nigerian roots with modern British flavors. An art director and food stylist by trade, Alakija promises 50 plant-based recipes that are easy on the eyes and the environment.

‘Makan’ by Elizabeth Haigh

Acclaimed chef and MasterChef contestant Elizabeth Haigh pens a love letter to Singaporean food with a remarkable new book that brings beloved family recipes to the masses. Dabble in dishes like spicy noodle soup, fried tofu with peanut sauce, Nonya-spiced braised duck stew and miso apple pie. Then, make plans to dine at Mei Mei, Haigh’s solo debut in London.

Grand Dishes: Time-Perfected Recipes and Stories from Grandmothers of the World

‘Grand Dishes’ by Iska Lupton and Anastasia Miari

Easily the sweetest entry on this list, Grand Dishes rounds up tried-and-true recipes and fables from grandmothers around the globe. Cook your way through 30 grannies’ prized plates before contemplating your own family’s special food traditions. There’s room in the back of the book to jot down your grandma’s favorite recipe, too.

Nadiya Bakes: Over 100 Must-Try Recipes for Breads, Cakes, Biscuits, Pies, and More

‘Nadiya Bakes’ by Nadiya Hussain

Got a sweet tooth? The written companion to Netflix hit Nadiya Bakes, this cookbook by the same name allows home chefs to hit pause and actually try their hand at raspberry amaretti biscuits, key lime cupcakes and so much more. You can feel (and almost hear) the Great British Baking Show star’s bubbly energy wafting off of the pages. Out July 27.

Middle Eastern Sweets

‘Middle Eastern Sweets’ by Salma Hage

Bake your way through the Middle East at home with a helping hand from award-winning author Salma Hage. Soon enough, you’ll be lining your kitchen counters with flaky pistachio-apricot baklava, dense sesame power balls and tahini-infused chocolate fridge cake. But first, a piping-hot cup of cardamom-scented arabic coffee (the recipe’s on p16). Out August 5.

The Weekday Vegetarians

‘The Weekday Vegetarians’ by Jenny Rosenstrach

If you’ve been thinking about cutting back your meat intake but you’re not sure where to start, bestselling author Jenny Rosenstrach has just the thing: A cookbook that offers a compromise. She and her family challenged themselves to go vegetarian on weeknights (hence the title), and they discovered a treasure trove of fantastic meat-free recipes along the way – including a hearty three-bean chili that’s served with honey-crusted cornbread. Beef who? Out August 31.

Life Is What You Bake It

‘Life Is What You Bake It’ by Vallery Lomas

When Vallery Lomas won the third season of The Great American Baking Show, she could have never imagined that the footage would be scrapped after one of the show’s judges was accused of sexual harassment. Her relentless determination makes this debut cookbook even sweeter. Get to know Lomas through a sprawling collection of 100 recipes that range from lemon-honey madeleines and apple cider fritters to crawfish hand pies. Out September 7.

Antoni: Let's Do Dinner

‘Antoni: Let’s Do Dinner’ by Antoni Porowski

Craving more time in the kitchen with Antoni than an episode of Queer Eye allows? His latest tome is jam-packed with approachable meal inspo that’ll keep your plate full Monday through Sunday with dishes like pulled chicken nachos and pan-seared steak with harissa butter and crispy potatoes. And because Antoni keeps his shopping lists tight and recipe steps to a minimum, you can always count on time for a post-dinner Netflix session. Out September 14.

Joshua Weissman: An Unapologetic Cookbook

‘An Unapologetic Cookbook’ by Joshua Weissman

YouTube star Joshua Weissman wants you to know that ‘great cooking does, and should, take time.’ That means learning how to make the stuff you’d usually buy, like nut butters, ketchup, flour tortillas and cheese. Then, he’ll show you how to take those newfound skills and apply them to seriously delicious dishes – from fluffy ricotta pancakes and loaded breakfast tacos to next-level peanut butter cookies. Out September 14. Advertising

‘Celebrate with Kim-Joy’ by Kim-Joy

Great British Bake Off finalist Kim-Joy knows how to make any celebration – whether it’s a birthday or Halloween – feel extra special. Her secret? Cakes – and tons of ’em! Her latest book is brimming with whimsical bakes, including cherry millefeuille fit for Valentine’s Day and a hurricane spider swiss roll that’s covered in a marshmallow web. Out September 28.

That Sounds So Good

‘That Sounds So Good’ by Carla Lalli Music

The key to becoming a great home cook is having a recipe in your back pocket for every situation – from rushed weeknights and boozy lunches to leisurely Sunday suppers. It’s why award-winning author and former Bon App editor at large Carla Lalli Music has organized her newest cookbook by logistical need. Along the way, she drops knowledge that’ll help you level up your skillset – like how to figure out what to make ahead to save yourself time and stress. Out October 4.

Slippurinn

‘Slippurinn: Recipes and Stories from Iceland’ by Gísli Matt and Nicholas Gill

Situated on Iceland’s Westman Islands, family-owned restaurant Slippurinn honors its unique environs, which were drastically altered when a volcano erupted in 1973 and changed the landscape forever. Expect involved recipes – like the picture-perfect cod wings with young spruce hot sauce – that might just lure you to Iceland. Out October 13.

Black Food Bryant Terry

‘Black Food’ edited by Bryant Terry

It doesn’t feel fair to label Black Food as a cookbook when it’s so much more than that. There are recipes, yes, but Bryant Terry’s hardcover masterpiece also houses poetry, history lessons, essays, artwork and more – all centered around Black culinary innovation. Feed your mind with works from more than 100 Black trailblazers, then try your hand at Jenné Claiborne’s sweet potato pie or Yewande Komolafe’s crispy cassava skillet cakes. Out October 19.

The Latin American Cookbook

‘The Latin American Cookbook’ by Virgilio Martinez

Packed with 600 earmark-worthy recipes, chef Virgilio Martínez’s exhaustive cookbook celebrates the remarkable range of Latin American cuisine – from Mexico to Lima to Belize (and everywhere in between). Go globetrotting as you prepare street cart ceviche, Argentinian empanadas and corn beer. Out October 27. 

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