Cooking is my love language, there is nothing that gives me more joy than picking a recipe, sourcing the ingredients, putting it all together and then serving it to my loved ones. As Nigella says, ‘A bad meal can’t ruin a good day, but a good meal can save a bad one’.

During the past year many a good meal has been enjoyed, many thanks to the new cookbooks that landed on our table. Below are my best cookbooks of 2023, a collection of 6 new cookbooks that have inspired countless meals, introduced us to new flavors and will continue to be well-used and loved for years to come. If you’re looking to add to your cookbook collection these are ones to consider.

The Food Savers A-Z by Alex Elliot-Howery and Jaimee Edwards

Food Savers A-Z is not a traditional cookbook, although it does have recipes. Rather it is an essential guide that will help you get the most out of every ingredient you buy and prevent food waste. Set out like an ingredient dictionary, it is easy to flip through to find ideas for the ingredient you have on hand. They’ve specifically shared tips and recipes that utilize odd ingredients you can’t seem to get rid of, but don’t know what to do with. Like the times you went a little too crazy with buying apples, or that half packet of nuts and even those specialty ingredients you bought for one recipe and now can’t find a recipe that calls for them.

Dietary Notes

Most ingredients they share are pantry items and produce, in other words, all plant based. They do however also include animal proteins and products. In addition, some recipes do use ingredients like meats, fish, cheese, and poultry.

Best For

Everyone. This is an ingredient dictionary that would be a valuable addition to every kitchen. If you hate wasting food and often find random ingredients you bought for that one recipe, this cookbook will become your saving grace.

My Favourite Recipes

I’ve used this cookbook more as inspiration and guidance than recipes. However, some favorite little recipes include the garlicky, cheesy roasted green beans and the ideas for using up a jar of capers and dried fruit!

Read my full review and learn how to use bay leaves here

Et Voila by Manon Lagrève

French Yogurt Cake from Et Voilà

Et Voila is the debut cookbook of Manon Lagrève who some may recognize from The Great British Bakeoff and her Tuesday Bake Along videos on Instagram and Tiktok. It is centered around French baking classics and will teach you the art of making authentic French sweets. As an avid home-baker, this cookbook has become my go-to whenever I’m looking to bake something or pick-up a new baking technique. I love that in True French style, recipes are not overly sweet.

Dietary Notes

Vegetarian – Being French, pretty much all the recipes include butter, cream, or milk.

Best For

Everyone. This is an ingredient dictionary that would be a valuable addition to every kitchen. If you hate wasting food and often find random ingredients you bought for that one recipe, this cookbook will become your saving grace.

My Favourite Recipes

The French Yogurt cake, millefeuille au caramel and her simple cookies. On my list to make still is the Paris Brest and Buch de noel.

Read my full review and get the recipe for the French Yogurt Cake here

Eataly: Contemporary Italian Cooking

Eataly: Contemporary Italian Cooking is all about rediscovering the excellence of Mediterranean cooking and reproducing authentic Italian dishes at home. This comprehensive guide contains recipes that are mostly quick and easy to prepare but they also embrace the philosophy of the Slow Food Movement where the focus is on local, high-quality ingredients made with love. It’s a cookbook that will teach you about food, ingredients, and cooking.

Dietary Notes

With 14 chapters and hundreds of recipes there is something for everyone inside this cookbook. Most recipes however are not suited for those who follow a strict plant-based diet.

Best For

Those who love Italian food and put a focus on ingredients.

My Favourite Recipes

The tomato tart, meat ragu and potato focaccia with mozzarella cheese and porcini mushrooms.

Read my full review and get the recipe for the pesto and tomato tart here

The Curry Guy’s One Pot by Dan Toombs

This is a collection of over 150 curries (and other spicy dishes) from around the world. What makes this cookbook so authentic is that in researching each recipe, Dan and his wife spent two years travelling through India, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, Europe, and The United States. He talked his way into countless kitchens to pick up tips, tricks and recipes from chefs along the way. This is my most tagged cookbook as I need to make just about every single recipe!

Dietary Notes

There is something for everyone (both in heat and diet), but there are a lot of recipes that include chicken, making it most suited to meat eaters.

Best For

Curry lovers especially if you want to reproduce dishes you’ve had at a restaurant.

My Favourite Recipes

The chicken balti, chicken vindaloo, Korean braised beef short ribs and meen molee

Read my full review and get the recipe for the Chicken Balti here

Recipetin Eats Dinner by Nagi Maehashi

Recipetin Eats Dinner by Nagi Maehashi

Recipetin Eats Dinner is the first cookbook from popular Australian food blogger, Nagi Maehashi. It is one of the most user friendly and detailed cookbooks I have seen.   It’s incredibly well-rounded with interesting and flavor packed recipes that are easy to make. It’s one of my go-to cookbooks for weekday night dinners.

Dietary Notes

While plant-based recipes do feature, most recipes do have either meat, poultry, seafood, or dairy, making it most suited to a flexible diet.

Best For

Those who’ve been following Nagi’s blog and those who love Asian inspired dishes.

My Favourite Recipes

One tray Moroccan baked chicken with chickpeas, Korean pancakes, green spaghetti and the chipotle salmon tacos

Read my full review and get the recipe for the crispy parmesan rice here

Beer Country’s Blackouts and Boerewors

I love a good braai cookbook and blackouts and boerewors is just that. Aside for a name South Africans will appreciate, it’s filled with recipes that will make your next braai a little more fabulous.

Dietary Notes

This cookbook is ideally suited to meat eaters as most recipes are meat heavy.  However, there are a handful of vegetarian friendly recipes and a section dedicated to flavor bombs aka their signature sauces.

Best For

Braai lovers

My Favourite Recipes

Charred Bone Marrow toast (as a wow starter), steak panzanella salad and caprese quesadillas

Read my full review and get the recipe for the Charred Bone Marrow toast here

What’s your Best Cookbooks of 2023?

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