My 5 Favorite Vegan Cookbooks

Five years ago, I admittedly had no idea what vegetarians ate or how they met their nutritional needs. When I met my boyfriend, he had been a vegetarian for over 13 years, so I immediately began my inquisition. What do you eat? Where do you get your protein? Do you feel satisfied after plant-based meals?

I downloaded recipes, purchased cookbooks, and examined store aisles to figure out which foods might appease both a long-time vegetarian and a skeptical carnivore. I soon began testing the new recipes. From green curry tofu to sweet potato and black bean enchiladas, I quickly discovered how filling and delicious the meat-free dishes actually were.

Though I still eat wild-caught fish and pasture-raised eggs on occasion, I’ve gone months at a time without consuming animal products. The biggest reason I’ve been able to accomplish this is because committed chefs have taken the guesswork out of new recipes, sharing their favorite discoveries online and in published cookbooks.

Here are my five most well-loved vegan cookbooks–the ones with worn binding, food splattered pages, and modification notes in the margins.

Best of the best vegan cookbooks

1. The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out (link): My very first vegan cookbook, this one offers familiar ingredients combined in innovative new ways to resemble other familiar dishes (think vegan burgers, street tacos, and pad thai). This may still be my all-time favorite.

2. Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck (link): This bad-ass, user-friendly guide is filled with curse words and an introduction to vegan ingredients and procedures. The cookbook has tons of sideways comments and is a fun read that leads to some great meals. The black bean and sweet potato enchiladas are always a hit.

3. Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook (link): I love South Indian cuisine, so was thrilled to try out some of my favorite dishes at home. From dosas and fritters to curries and dals, this cookbook provides straight-forward recipes filled with lots of flavorful spices.

4. The Forest Feast: Simple Vegetarian Recipes from My Cabin in the Woods (link): This simple, minimalist cookbook contains countless recipes that are easy-to-assemble and aesthetically-pleasing, making them perfect for entertaining. The delicious drinks, appetizers, and deserts are sorted by color, which adds an odd charm.

5. Plenty: Vibrant Vegetable Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi (link): This cookbook is filled with gourmet recipes that will wow vegetarians and carnivores alike. The dishes are delicious and easy to make, yet also offer a gorgeous and visually-intriguing presentation.

Have you ever experimented with vegetarianism or veganism, or have you been living a plant based-diet for many years? If so, do you have any favorite cookbooks, recipes, or realizations on your journey?

NOTE: The above are NOT affiliate links and are simply provided so you can explore the overview and reviews of some of my favorite vegan cookbooks. Enjoy!

16 thoughts on “My 5 Favorite Vegan Cookbooks

  1. I have been Vegan for three years and Vegetarian for three before that. I have no recipes as my husband does all the cooking. He is an experimental cook and never follows recipes. He just throws what ever we have in the fridge, as ingredients together. He has a few failures, but mostly delicious success. I am gluten free too (long story), so a challenge for him.

    A few simple things he does that you won’t find in any recipe book…sorry, no measures available…

    Coconut Milk Yogurt…
    Admittedly not entirely dairy free. He feeds a litre of coconut milk with a teaspoon of Greek yogurt and then puts the bottle (usually a cleaned out juice or milk bottle) into a warm place to feed the bacteria. It works well on top of a bar fridge in a cupboard where the coils warm the space up. He turns it and mixes it up every few hours. Next day, it is thickened. To make it thicker, he filters it through a funnel lined with a cotton handkerchief. The whey pours through, leaving thick plant based (mostly) yogurt in the handkerchief. We drink the whey mixed with fruit juice.

    Fruit and Nut Chocolate
    My husband melts coconut oil in a double pan (one pan inside another filled with water over heat to prevent burning).
    Into the oil he mixes pure, dairy free cocoa powder and stirs until blended and thick. He adds raisins and pieces of almond and stirs again. Then he pours it into trays lined with grease proof paper and places them onto the shelf of the fridge. Just before it is completely hard, he scores it with a knife. Later he breaks it into bars and keeps it stored in the fridge in a container to eat as we want… It doesn’t last long. It is the yummiest chocolate that I’ve ever had.

    Kale is an important source of Calcium. My husband coats curly kale leaves in coconut water oil and bake them in a fan oven (low heat) until dry and crispy. If no fan oven, they can be fried… tossing them frequency. He then drains the oil on paper towel and allows the kale leaves to cool. When completely dry and cool, he puts them into a container in the fridge where they will keep for several days. He adds them to salads and stir fries. Yummy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s fantastic! My boyfriend is currently vegan, gluten-free, low-FODMAP, and low-sulfur due to some ongoing digestion issues. It has been a challenge, but I’ve been especially experimental lately. We’re subscribed to a local farm’s CSA box, so each week we build gut-friendly recipes around his diet. Lots of veggies and exotic spices!

      All three recipes sound amazing! I actually have some curly kale in the fridge, so I’ll make tonight. 🙂 Maybe the chocolate too….that sounds so yummy!

      Big thank you!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What a fun and informative site! The post you shared is particular potent–we can all use the reminder to be kind to ourselves and those around us. Thank you for sharing! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been vegan for last three years and have amassed loads of books, including your five faves, to which I would add:-
    Plants Taste Better by Richard Buckley
    Any book by Anna Jones, her recipes are vegetarian with vegan options
    Planted by Chantelle Nicholson
    On Vegetable by Jeremy Fox
    Crossroads by Tal Ronnen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh! I have not heard of any of these, so I’m excited to go check them out and perhaps pick up a few. Thank you so much for the suggestions! 🙂


  3. I absolutely LOVE ‘Oh She Glows’! All her recipes are delicious and pretty simple to make. Would be a good one for those transitioning to more plant-based eating. Will check out the other recs! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Esoterica! (:
    Loved your post – i definitely found that after going vegan i became a much better cook! Eating at lots of vegan restaurants around the world opened me up to new ingredients, cusisines and flavour combinations. It inspired me to use these new found foods at home and i gradually got better and better. It just takes that little bit of extra care and attention to make flavoursome dishes (:


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