Our top picks:
- Best Overall Cookbook for Beginners: How to Cook Everything
- Best Traditional Cookbook for Beginners: Joy of Cooking
- Best Easy Cookbook for Beginners: The Best 3-Ingredient Cookbook
- Best Weeknight Dinner Cookbook for Beginners: The Best Simple Recipes
- Best Vegetarian Cookbook for Beginners: Dada Eats: Love to Cook It
- Best Simple Cookbook for Beginners: Ottolenghi Simple
- Best Italian Cookbook for Beginners: The Silver Spoon
- Best Baking Cookbook for Beginners: Beginner's Baking Bible
- Best Instant Pot Cookbook for Beginners: The Instant Pot Bible
- Best Vegan Cookbook for Beginners: The Homemade Vegan Pantry: The Art of Making Your Own Staples
Starting out in the kitchen can be intimidating if your idea of a home-cooked meal is a slice of toast (and no shame there, toast is great). Whether you're a young adult or a late bloomer, if you're new to cooking, making a simple smoothie can seem just as daunting as taking on a multi-step birthday cake recipe. But you don't have to resign yourself to eating cereal for dinner forever — as long as you have the right cookbook on hand, that is! Once you build up your library of cookbooks for beginners with little experience, you'll start feeling more confident in the kitchen as you expand your weeknight dinner repertoire.
On our list of the all-time best cookbooks for beginners, you'll find a variety of options that deliver easy and healthy recipes that can be ready quickly thanks to clear step-by-step instructions, plenty of pictures and other helpful resources. When choosing which beginner cookbooks to add to your collection, it's helpful to think of what type of meals you enjoy cooking most. Are you looking to whip up some vegan or vegetarian recipes? Or do you want to focus on quick 30-minute meals? Maybe you prefer to make a specific cuisine or use a particular kitchen tool (hello there, Instant Pot!). Either way, you'll find a must-have cookbook that touches on all of these preferences and more, while also demystifying exactly what goes on behind closed kitchen doors.