Best vegan cookbooks for beginners

Hi guys, today we’re going to recommend 5 best vegan cookbooks for beginners.
I took myself for an example: what do I want of a vegan cookbook for  beginners?
When I use a cookbook I want pictures, I need pictures. I’m a visual person and if there’re no picture I probably won’t cook. 
I’m also after quick recipes and common ingredients that I have in my pantry.
No long, pre-preps or too fancy kitchen appliances.
So every cookbook on this list is pretty to look at, will make you mouth water and are full of easy recipes to get you started and then some more elaborate recipes for special occasions or just to treat yourself.

5 best vegan cookbooks for beginners

I chose cookbooks that have a range of recipes for starting a vegan diet, are good for non-vegan friends and family and will please a full-on vegans. Nothing to fancy or exotic, just pure plant goodness in a familiar taste.

Every cookbook also has a section with useful tips, introduction to ingredients and how-to stuff.

#1: But I could never go vegan!, Kristy Turner

But I could never go vegan is probably my favorite vegan cookbook.
Unlike other cookbooks where you have chapters grouped by meal or type of dish, this one addresses each complaint or issue you hear or think about vegan diet in each chapter.
Really cool.

But I could never go vegan cookbook shows chapter by chapter that you sure can go vegan.

Recipes are creative, simple and on the healthy side but some are really just indulging.
Some recipes are more difficult and more to impress your friends and family. So you have a wide range to choose from and a great way to get yourself familiar with vegan ingredients.
At the beginning of the book, Kristy explains the basics like how to cook beans, grains and lentils,  how to make nut butters, vegetable broth, etc.
So if you don’t know what to get and you’re new, get this one because you’ll have recipes to cook for yourself and some recipes to show your friends.

#2: Isa does it, Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Amazingly easy and delicious.
Isa does it is such a great cookbook to have! She’s focused on making food from scratch but made easy.
It’s fun to read, recipes taste amazing. Nothing to fancy, simple and every recipe is sooo good.
Isa does it is, at least for me, the cookbook I trust  with ingredients and taste – nothing is off taste or needs adjusting, literally just follow the recipe.
And the photos are so pretty and appealing.
One of my fav recipes for transitioning vegans is her’s tempeh meatballs and spaghetti. You have to try it!
Or on cold days, dumplings in a stew.  So, so good! 

#3: Vegan yack attack on the go, Jackie Sobon

Vegan yack attack on the go is a life saver.

Recipes are quick and easy and portable – either you pre-prep it or it’s an easy recipe.

Jackie wanted for this cookbook to give a wide variety of meals that are fun, tasty and easy to make.

Everything in the book is on the go, for fast paced lifestyle.

Some recipes for the book: creamy berry polenta, breakfast burrito, smoothie jars – put everything in a jar and in the morning just throw it in a blender.

#4: No meat athlete cookbook, Matt Frazier and Stepfanie Romine

The no meat athlete was voted top 7 health and fitness books in 2017 and rightly so. It’s in general a trusted source of information for athletes eating plant-based diet.

If you’re an active, gym, fit dude or dudette who want more muscle, strength food this cookbook is the one for you. 

The cookbook is designed specifically for athletes. Plant-based diet makes recovery time  shorter, gives more energy for workout and better performance so the book is orientated around it.

Recipes are flavorful and healthy, quick, easy and family friendly.

#5: The homemade vegan pantry, Miyoko Schinner

The homemade vegan pantry could easily be on top of this list. But it’s not, because it’s not an ordinary cookbook. There’s something intimate about this book.

It’s a bit different than regular cookbooks. This one isn’t so much about meals and lunch and what to eat than it’s about what we eat.

In order to read, you need to know the letters of the alphabet. In order to understand food, you need to know ingredients.

The homemade vegan pantry goes back to the beginning and teaches you about food. This book shows the backbone of the healthiest diet you can possibly have. And that’s where it’s value is.

In the book, you’ll find a recipe for anything and everything that you’d want to have with your meal – condiments, cheese, feta, parmigiano, mozzarella, cream and butter, soup stocks and then vegan “meats”, pastas and so much more.

Everything is absolutely from scratch which is amazing if you have allergies, want to fix your relationship with food or just want to understand what food is. The next time you’ll go to the supermarket and flip the packet to read an ingredients label, you’ll see the difference between that package in your hand and real food.

This book, makes your house a home. I truly believe every house should have this book.

If you enjoy spending time in kitchen, are into doing your own, healthy food,  then this is your Bible.

I love it. I really really love it.

Bonus #6: Forks over knives Flavor!, Darshana Thacker 

Forks over knives documentary was a game changer for a lot of us.

A lot of people went vegan after watching it, so it’s a great influence on vegan awareness.

Their cookbook have super healthy recipes and is a good way to get yourself into it. If their documentary struck a cord with you, than I’m sure their cookbook will as well.

Note to yourself: There’s a Forks over knives cookbook and Forks over knives Flavor cookbook. Flavor has pictures, while the first one doesn’t.

P.S.: if you haven’t watched Forks over knives, go check it out.

These are my 5 best vegan cookbooks for beginners, plus the Forks over knives Flavor. I’m sure that any of them will have tonnes of recipes that’ll give you inspiration to cook and indulge in different tastes.



If you liked what you’ve read, please leave a comment bellow. Your comment help to push this post so more people can read it and find the info they were looking for.  I also have a growing Facebook group that’s a  perfect place to chat away, meet people that are either thinking of going vegan, are fresh vegan or seasoned veterans.

Till next time,


18 thoughts on “Best vegan cookbooks for beginners”

  1. I have been a meat eater my whole life and I have been thinking about turning vegan for a while now. However, I don’t have the slightest idea of how to maintain a vegan lifestyle or even cook vegan meals.

    Which one of those books is the best for beginners? I need one which doesn’t just have recipes but also the basics about being vegan such as raw materials to use, cooking basics, etc.

    • Hi Xaric, good news, you found the right website for yourself 🙂  

      Going vegan is a big change in lifestyle but it’s not as difficult as people think. You have to read more ingredients labels and know what is what, which is smart in any case. You have to experiment a little when cooking but it’s all good fun because there are new ingredients you have to figure out. At the end of the day, you have to figure it out, for yourself, what you like and don’t like within vegan options (any there’s plenty to choose from, plenty).

      For cookbooks, I’d recommend 2 of them: #4 No meat athlete, because he really focuses on the body and ingredients. The meals are much more structured and so you get more knowledge about it. And #5 The homemade vegan pantry, because this cookbook is the basics of raw ingredients, making your own food and really knowing what you eat.

      Keep in mind that, changing the way you eat can be sometimes overwhelming and if you put too much pressure on yourself you may never enjoy it and do it. So take it easy, do it at your own pace and enjoy it. 


  2. With my body already aching from multiple health problems, from being high in uric acid to over secretion of oil in my face and scalp, I realized it’s time for me to go back to my original diet of being a vegan. 

    I grew up when I was a child in a family of vegans, mostly Seventh-Day Adventists. But it all changed when I started in the city and began eating at restaurants offering budget meals. Most of the meals via the fast food route are trash and can actually cause you myriads of health problems.

    Thanks for this article, for this list of cookbooks, because at the same time that I realized going back to being a vegan, I also decided to cook my own food to control my salt and cholesterol intake. 

    I’d like to ask, among these books, which one has a list of Asian recipes that are fitted for me?

    • Hi Gomer, I’m sorry to hear about your health problems and happy to hear you’re switching to vegan. 

      I have to admit, there are many Asian recipes in any of the above cookbooks – so I found you a vegan cookbook for beginners focused on Asian cousine – Vegan: The essential Asian cookbook for vegans .

      I hope it’s what you were looking for to make your transition easier.



  3. Very decent reviews. You get the cliffnotes for each book so you get a feel of what they represent. Although for the future it would be nice to have an in depth review of all of them individually. You could always link them to this blogpage as well.

    It’s nice you feature the covers as well, you are every bit the visual person you state you are 🙂

  4. I think all of your recommendation have variety of easy to do vegan recipes. I am not a vegan, nor my whole family but we like to eat more of our veggies than meat. My kids like any soup in our meals like pumpkin, mushroom or asparagus. They also like their sauteed greens as side dishes so I don’t think I won’t have a problem with vegan recipes from time to time. 

    My friend actually decided to go vegan all the way. He said it was a really bad adjustment at first but he’s doing great with his diet. He is on the 3rd year of going vegan so I think this will he a good gift idea for him. I am pretty sure he is running out of meal ideas from you tube. Thank you for the great choices of vegan cook book. I think all of them are great for non vegans as well. 

    • Thank you MissusB, for leaving your comment. A cookbook is always a good gift, specially if you’re not a mainstream, omnivore eater.

      I have actually never used Youtube for recipes but I will now, haha, thanks for the suggestion 🙂



  5. My partner’s sister is actually vegan but she lives quite a distance away – we haven’t had the opportunity to eat with her at her home as yet. 

    I decided that I’d like to know more and get more experience with this subject, and these books look like a great starting point. Which out of the books covered above would you recommend to a complete newcomer to the vegan lifestyle?

    • Hi Chris, it’s all about exploring new options and see how it does for you and I’m super happy you’re willing to explore 🙂

      Each cookbook on the list is really good to start with..but just because of all the myths and urban legends surrounding veganism, I’d recommend #1 But I could never go vegan

      It has great recipes that are easy to follow and taste delicious and is designed to bust that myth you heard about going vegan: Rabbit food,Tofu taste like nothing, It’s so expansive to cook vegan, All the fancy ingredients, I could never give up cheese, etc.

      It’s just a great cookbook to start with for recipes and for making that shift in your mindset.

      Hope this helps,


  6. Dear Katya,

    Thanks a lot for the informative and helpful article and every time I read an article of yours I get helpful insights.

    My wife is a vegan so after marriage I became a vegan (Not by compulsion I preferred it). When I started reading the benefits of vegan food I am amazed and I realized I made a good decision.

    One difficulty is my wife cook the same dishes often lol and she just know 3 to 4 dishes only. She asked me to look for some helpful cookbooks. While doing my research I came across your insightful post.

    I am going to share your article with my wife and I guess she will go with “But I could never go vegan” since that’s your top recommendation.

    Much Success!


    • Hi Paul, I’m so glad that you found what you were looking for! It’s often the thing that you get stuck with the same recipes and all you need is a little nudge of inspiration, or as my mum often says, she much prefers cooking when family comes together to the kitchen and prepares a meal together – it’s faster, more fun and this way we spend time together. 

      Happy cooking,


  7. Hello Katya. Nice to visit your vegan website. As I surrounded mostly by non vegans, it’s nice to see some vegan cookbooks. Me personally switched to an almost vegan diet for more than 3 months now and it certainly had an impact. Still need honey for my coughing but as soon as that problem is fixed, then I can turn on full vegan.

    I have never watched Forks over knives, so I might take a look at it because it influenced lots of people to turn vegan. The 2 cookbooks I’m interested most in the #1 and #2. #1 Because of the image and that it mentions the complaints about each issue when turning vegan. I like the hamburger image because you can use that to tease yourself and see if you really want to be vegan.

    #2 because it has soups, salads, pasta and other meals that interest me.

    Again thanks for this interesting article. I’m looking forward to your next ones. Take care.

    • Hi George, congrats on switching to vegan, even if it’s almost it have great health benefits for your health. I hope your cough isn’t to persistent and serious, try to make yourself a magic potion of lemon, ginger and maple syrup.

      Yes, #1 But I could never go vegan has a really clever chapters, I love it as well. And #2 Isa does ithas a really spot on recipes – tasty, comforting, healthy – mmm, yumm!

      I’m sure the 2 cookbooks would be super helpful coming up with new ideas, new ingredients to use and just a great way to get familiar with vegan food.

      Get well soon


  8. Great list Katya!

    I’m not a vegan but I’ve been learning to cook vegan dishes since many of my friends are and I feel embarrassed if I invite them over but there are no vegan food for them. Super attracted to Kristy Turner’s But I Could Never Go Vegan Cookbook! I’m slowly trying out full veggie meals, add some spice here and there and flavouring and voila! A proper meal! Which cookbook’s your favourite out of all these 5 Katya?

  9. What a great read. My mother has not eaten meat in years, I actually find it difficult to cook a meal for her when she comes over. I think I will look into one of these cookbooks for her, probably more for me seeing that she does not really enjoy cooking. I never actually thought about looking at vegan recipes and some of these dishes look delicious. What supplements would you recommend someone who does not eat meat?

    • Hi Anglewolf, you’ll love recipes in any of the cookbooks 🙂 

      Did you mean supplements as a dietary supplements or supplements for meat? In case of dietary supplements, I think that we all, no matter of the diet should take vitamin D and B12. Both of them are hard to find in foods and needs to have some extra TLC. You can read more about vegan supplements recommendations here.  

      In case of meat supplements you can have tofu, tempeh, lentils and beans (great for meatballs and patties), so much options to choose from. You can easily get enough protein in vegan diet – you don’t have to eat animals or animal products to get protein. Read more about protein in vegan diet here.

      Hope this helps,



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