20 Of The Best Cookbooks If You Need Some Dinner Inspiration – As Recommended By Team Grazia

Now that a home-cooked dinner is the highlight of everyone's day, here are the cookbooks you need.

Best cookbooks

by Rhiannon Evans |

Whether you flick vicariously, are already planning your next dinner party, or are just looking for some dinner inspiration for tonight, there's never been a better time to pick up a new cookbook.

So, with that in mind, the Grazia team have come together and recommended their favourite cookbooks - the ones they actually use and don't just stick on their shelves because they look good on a Zoom call...


Grazia's Best Cookbooks

Best Cookbooks
1 of 20
CREDIT: The Modern Cooku2019s Year, Anna Jones

Rosamund DeanFor people… who are trying to eat more ethically.This beautiful book of absolutely scrumptious vegetarian recipes is organised by the seasons, with categories such as 'start of the year' and 'first warm days', making it easy to eat seasonally all year round.

Best Cookbooks
2 of 20
CREDIT: Eat Green, Melissa Hemsley

Emma StoddartFor people... looking to make healthier meal options that still taste delicious. The 'flexitarian' recipes are mainly vegetarian but do encompass some fish and meat options, too. I was surprised to learn how much you can do with the humble lentil – and at £1.80 a packet, these recipes are great if you're on a budget.

Best Cookbooks
3 of 20
CREDIT: Leon Happy One-Pot Cooking Book, By Rebecca Seal and John Vincent

Emma StoddartFor people... missing their desk lunchIf you don't want to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen but fancy a freshly cooked meal – this recipe book is for you. Every dish is easy to make, requires few ingredients, one pot, and most importantly, doesn't take up your entire evening. My absolute favourite is 'make a hash of this' with eggs, chorizo and potato – it's a great breakfast, lunch or dinner dish.

Best Cookbooks
4 of 20
CREDIT: Darina Allenu2019s Ballymaloe Cookery Course by Darina Allen

Lynn EnrightFor people... who want to get good at the basics.Want to make a roux? Or a pavlova? Or custard? Or looking to use up a particular fish or meat or vegetable? This is a brilliant resource for every kitchen, jam-packed with useful recipes and clear instructions. Indispensable.

Best Cookbooks
5 of 20
CREDIT: Dishoom by Kavi Thakrar, Naved Nasir, and Shamil Thakrar

Lynn EnrightFor people... who are missing Dishoom.No one is going to Dishoom for a while – and that's a hard blow to all of us who adore Dishoom. Luckily, this cookbook fills the gap. Admittedly, to get Dishoom-standard food, you have to put in the hours as the recipes are intricate and time-consuming, but you might yourself with the time over the next few months.

Best Cookbooks
6 of 20
CREDIT: The Everlasting Meal: Cooking With Economy and Grace by Tamar Adler

Lynn EnrightFor people... looking to reduce waste.This cookbook has no pictures and features quotes from Seneca and Chekhov. It's wordy and maybe also a little worthy – but I love it. It feels especially right for now, with an emphasis on avoiding waste and cooking from leftovers or with items often thrown away (the bones, the skin, the peel).

Best Cookbooks
7 of 20
CREDIT: The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adriu00e0

Anna DewhurstFor people... looking for fool-proof cooking.I mostly love this book because of its back-to-basics 70s style photography, but what this book does brilliantly is simple food, cooked well. It has step-by-step photos and a super-helpful timeline for all of the three-course meals – so there is little room for error. In fact, just looking at it now has got me very inspired for tonight's dinner (Farfalle with pesto, since you ask).

Best Cookbooks
8 of 20
CREDIT: Sardine, by Alex Jackson

Anna SilvermanFor people… who want to feel like they're on that cancelled holiday in Southern France.A mixture of simple mid-week and showstopper dinner party meals using the kind of Mediterranean ingredients that make you feel like you'll live to 102. It's also divided into seasons, which feels especially helpful during corona-times - when we might find it harder to order exotic, out-of-season foods.

Best Cookbooks
9 of 20
CREDIT: Leon Fast Vegetarian, Jane Baxter & Henry Dimbleby

Joely WalkerFor people… who want veggie, fuss-free, easy-to-follow recipes with bloomin' delicious results.To be honest, I'd buy the book for Baxter's Brunch (page 39) alone (gruyere and Marmite sourdough with poached eggs – bliss), but it really is ideal for people who want speedy solutions with flavours that pack a punch.

Grazia Staff's Best Cookbooks
10 of 20
CREDIT: The Vegetarian Kitchen, Prue Leith & Peta Leith

Joely WalkerFor people... looking to cut down on meat.Proving veggie food goes well beyond your average onion and goats cheese tart, this new cookbook gives smart spins on classic dishes without trying to make things too fancy schmancy. Homecooked and delicious, but out there enough to impress dinner party guests.

Grazia Staff's Best Cookbooks
11 of 20
CREDIT: The Hemingway Cookbook, by Craig Boreth

Jasmine Langcaster-JamesFor people... who are fans of literature.It's a bit of a niche one - a collection of recipes taken from all the food/meal references in Hemingway's novels and short stories. It not only contains beautiful recipes of delicious and wholesome food but accompanies them with passages from Hemingway's fiction and some interesting biographical/geographical info. As Hemingway did a lot of camping in his time the cookbook actually has a good few tips for making the best of what you have in terms of ingredients so I personally think it would make a great read and inspiration to anyone in self-isolation with limited ingredients!

Grazia Staff's Best Cookbooks
12 of 20
CREDIT: Forever Summer, Nigella Lawson

Rhiannon EvansFor people… who want to practice for the dinner parties to come.Pick any of the Nigella books tbh (and she also does great recipes on her Instagram every day) but I'm going for Forever Summer, because why not imagine you're about to pop off on a foodie trip if you're going to walk around the kitchen pretending you're as sassy and sultry as the Food Queen herself?

Grazia Staff's Best Cookbooks
13 of 20
CREDIT: Ottolenghi, Simple

Rhiannon EvansFor people… with time on their hands and want to make instagrammable foodThe title of this book belies some classically complicated Ottolenghi dishes, so it's good if you've finally got some time of your hands (and you can get a delivery slot for all those spices). Definitely produces recipes for the grid.

Grazia Staff's Best Cookbooks
14 of 20
CREDIT: The Naturalista, Xochi Balfour

Melissa HenryFor people... who know you are what you eat!I personally love this book as Xochi has the perfect mix of recipes that will suit both meat eaters (me) and non-meat eaters. Also doubles up as great cookbook for babies (see banana pancakes). She provides short paragraphs for each recipe, explaining the benefits, alternative ingredients to use (Banoffee Pie may not be suitable for breakfast but a Banoffee Chia pot definitely is), along with stories of how she was inspired. Along with this she's included a beauty section raising awareness of whether we actually know what we put in our bodies and provides natural alternatives to mainstream brands, such as how to make your own deodorant (still haven't braved this one yet), body scrub and hair rinse (I swear by this). Could not need this more than ever in my life now!

Grazia Staff's Best Cookbooks
15 of 20
CREDIT: East, by Meera Sodha

Natalie HammondFor people... who want to be whisked away on a taste holiday.There are so many delicious recipes in East, but the Chilli Tofu is my absolute favourite. It's an Indo-Chinese dish, often made with paneer instead of tofu, that mixes Indian spices (cumin seeds) with Chinese sauces (soy) to utterly glorious effect.

Best cookbooks
16 of 20

Rebecca HolmanFor people... who want proper old-school comfort food.From the banging chicken pie to the macaroni cheese that's the subject of far too many of my 3pm daydreams, this book is full of straightforward, delicious crowdpleasers.

Best cookbooks Brasserie Zu00e9del: Traditions and recipes from a Grand Brasserie
17 of 20

Rebecca HolmanFor People...who want an evocative restaurant review with their recipesCome for the 40 iconic Brasserie Zedel recipes, including Soupe à l oignon, Moules marinières, Boeuf bourgignon, Profiteroles and Tarte au citron, stay for the late AA Gill's evocative history of the iconic French brasserie.

Best cookbooks Amaretto, Apple Cake and Artichokes: The Best of Anna Del Conte
18 of 20

Rebecca HolmanFor people... who are obsessed with amazing Italian foodSo that's everyone, right? Anna Del Conte is the undisputed queen of Italian cooking, spanning far beyond the standard pasta dishes we all know and love. A must read.

Best Cookbooks
19 of 20
CREDIT: Ekstedt: The Nordic Art of Analogue Cooking

Rhiannon EvansRenowned for his back-to-basics approach of cooking over fire, largely in the depths of Swedish forests and at his Michelin-starred restaurant Ekstedt in Stockholm, Niklas is a pioneer of outdoor cooking using traditional techniques including open fire grilling and foraging.

Best Cookbooks
20 of 20
CREDIT: Midnight Chicken, by Ella Risbridger

Rhiannon EvansOne night, Ella found herself lying on her kitchen floor, wondering if she would ever get up – and it was the thought of a chicken, of roasting it, and of eating it, that got her to her feet and made her want to be alive.Midnight Chicken is an honest and funny book about how cooking can save your life. It is the story of Ella's life in a Tiny Flat, and the food she cooked there, sharing stories and recipes that are about people, about love and about the things that matter every day. This is a cookbook-of-stories to make you fall in love with the world again.

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