Must Have Cookbooks for Busy People Who Love Great Food

My husband and I have been fortunate enough to live in many wonderful places where eating is a big part of the local culture. From New York, NY to San Francisco, CA, Portland, OR to San Antonio, TX and all the way to Fairbanks, AK and back home again to some true culinary delights in good old NC. We have become people who LOVE to eat and appreciate great food. Like everyone else, we often don’t have a lot of time to prepare the meals we’ve come to love and crave, so we look for ways to get our foodie delights with recipes that keep it simple and turn out something amazingly edible in no time flat.

Here are some of our favorite cookbooks that have made it easy to eat well and still have time to linger over the delicious meal.

One: Simple One-Pan Wonders (2023)

Jamie Oliver is so lovable to watch and makes it easy to put a great home-cooked meal on the table, even on the busiest weeknights. In this inspiring cookbook, he provides simple, delicious recipes that require no more than eight ingredients – and are prepared using a single pot or pan. With minimal prep and quick cleanup, these convenient recipes include everything from colorful vegetarian specialties and hearty pasta dishes to juicy burgers and succulent chicken. For a sweet ending to the meal, try one of Jamie’s irresistible desserts.

Crave: Recipes Arranged by Flavor, to Suit Your Mood and Appetite (2021)

Author Ed Smith has provided a cookbook that offers up six flavor profiles with more than 100 recipes. The book promises to offer recipes for the things we crave. The book’s six flavor profiles are as follows: fresh and fragrant, chili and heat, tart and sour, curried and spiced, rich and savory, and cheesy and creamy. There are many interesting recipes for snacks, sides, main courses and desserts to suit all your moods.

Milk Street: COOKish: Throw It Together (2020)

Cookish is a fresh take on fast food at home. Six ingredients. Minutes, not hours. Fresh, bold flavors for any night of the week. The recipes are so simple and big on flavors featuring: Charred Ginger-Lime Chicken, Turmeric Potatoes with Red Onion and Chutney, Coconut-Cilantro Rice, Pasta with Parmesan Cream, Salmon in Chipotle-Tomato Sauce, Spice-Crusted Pork Tenderloin Bites and Swedish “Sticky” Coffee Cake to name just a few. Author, Christopher Kimball and his team of cooks and editors harness the most powerful cooking philosophies from around the world to create 200 simple and delicious recipes. These recipes, most with six or fewer ingredients make it easy for you to be a great cook.

East: 120 Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Beijing (2020)

Many devoted foodies have discovered Meera Sodha on Instagram, so having a cookbook in your kitchen with some of her most delicious recipes will surely level up your cooking game. In East, Sodha explores modern, vibrant, fuss-free food made from easy-to-find ingredients. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or simply want to eat more delicious meat-free food, this book is a must-have for your collection. With recipes featuring noodles, curries, rice dishes, tofu, salads, sides and sweets, East will take you from India to Indonesia, Singapore and Japan, by way of China, Thailand and Vietnam.

Half Baked Harvest Cookbook: Recipes from My Barn in the Mountains Hardcover (2017)

If you’re looking for a fresh take on comfort foods, this may be the cookbook for you. The author, Tieghan Gerard brings you into her mountain kitchen, not only taking you through unique recipes, but also advising on how to best serve those dishes in a way that will excite your guests. Growing up in the Colorado mountains as one of seven children, the author took over the cooking for her large family where she found her love for creating interesting, flavorful dishes. In this book, she offers 125 recipes, featuring maximum flavor, minimum fuss and the farm to table style that turned Half Baked Harvest from a beloved blog into a megahit cookbook series.

Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes (2005)

Author Giada De Laurentiis gained a wide following by providing fresh and fabulous recipes on her Food Network show “Everyday Italian.” In her first cookbook, she continues to bring readers simple but exquisite Italian dishes to make for any occasion. This is a cookbook you will return to again and again for easy-to-make recipes that are perfect for quick family meals or larger occasions. The book is focused on the real-life considerations of what you actually have in your refrigerator and pantry and what you’re in the mood for – whether it be a simply sauced pasta or a hearty, family friendly roast, these great recipes cover every situation.


Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Stay up to date with our events and get exclusive article content right to your inbox!

Latest Stories

Other Featured Articles


All Article in Current Issue

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay up to date with our events and get exclusive article content right to your inbox!