If you and I are friends IRL there’s a solid chance I’ve given you a stack of vegan cookbooks at some point. Each month I receive anywhere from 5-10 new ones to review and most of them end up in a friend’s collection. It’s not that I don’t love having a plethora of vegan cookbooks, but I’ve dedicated one kitchen shelf to them and once the shelf is full, the purge begins.
There is a small handful of these books that will never get donated. I may even be buried with them. They’re sticky, the pages are falling out, and often times I don’t even need to reach for them because I have all my favorite recipes memorized. There are definitely more than five favorites in my collection, but for the sake of brevity, here are the five vegan cookbooks I use the most:
1. Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Yeah, I could do a whole post about my favorite Post-Punk Kitchen books, so hang onto your butts. Vegan Bunch tops the list if for no other reason than it contains Tony’s most-requested recipe: Navy Bean Gravy. (Real talk, Tony also loves Isa because she always kind of makes fun of me when we run into her in NYC.)
Aside from that super-savory, rich and creamy gravy recipe, Vegan Bunch is also home to Teno’s favorite Old-Fashioned Chelsea Waffles recipe and about ten more that I make all the time. It is by far the dirtiest, most falling-apartiest cookbook in my kitchen.
2. Vegan Casseroles by Julie Hasson
This was a tough call for me, because I also reach for Julie’s Vegan Pizza book pretty often, but when it comes to simple, delicious recipes I want to make over and over again I just can’t quit Vegan Casseroles. Whether you grew up calling them casseroles, bakes or “hot dish” you cannot beat some starch, veggies, protein and sauce mixed together and baked.
My personal favorite is the Truffled Cauliflower Mac n’ Cheese, but I also make the Almost Alfredo Sauce by itself all the time to use on pizzas or to pour over veggies. I’m so committed to my 4-5 favorite recipes I still haven’t even ventured into the dessert section of the book, but one of these days it’ll happen.
3. Artisan Vegan Cheese by Miyoko Schinner
Recently, my friend Melisser and I were trying to talk a cheese monger into making nut-based cheeses. When we told him about Artisan Vegan Cheese we both blurted out “It’s the Bible” at the same time and kind of freaked him out. But it truly is a must-own for anyone who’s ready to move beyond nooch sauce and get serious about vegan cheese.
You’ll need a few special ingredients, but nothing you can’t buy online or track down in a health food store, and once you have them, most of them will last you for months. It’s well-worth the time and effort the first time you unveil perfectly fluffy pillows of homemade cashew mozzarella to a party full of astonished guests. Oh, and there are a couple simple noochy sauces in there too if you need baby steps.
4. Vegan Cooking in Your Air Fryer by Kathy Hester
Oh shit, a rookie made the top 5! Well, with eight or so cookbooks under her belt Kathy is no rookie, but this book just came out in January so to already be a go-to on my shelf is pretty special. What can I say, I love my air fryer and Vegan Cooking in Your Air Fryer makes it easy.
I already went on and on about this book when I shared the Carrot Cake in a Mug recipe, so I’m not going to repeat myself. But if you own an air fryer, you need this book.
5. Bake and Destroy: Good Food for Bad Vegans by Natalie Slater
YAAASS bitch, I named my own book in this list! Listen, if I’m not using my own book all the damn time, why should you? Bake and Destroy, even five years later, still stands out from the crowd. I make my Nacho Chee-Zee Sauce at least once a week, and I can’t tell you how many hundreds of Banana Bread French Toast Cupcake photos I’ve been tagged in over the years.
The first edition sold out, so it can be a little tough to find new but you can definitely grab a used copy on Amazon or track it down on another online seller. I’m working on getting the rights back from my publisher now – still trying to decide if I should make some major updates and reprint, or just give all the recipes away on my blog while I work on a second book. What’s your vote?
So that’s my top five – what are your faves? Tell me in the comments.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you click and make a purchase I may earn a commission. That being said, the opinions expressed in this post are my own.