If the enforced lockdown has exposed your kitchen skills for what they really are (ie below par), now might feel like a good time to address that. With all of us spending more time at home, there has definitely been less opportunity to hide behind ready meals, takeaways and restaurants. But with a few simple tips and tricks, you’ll be able to get a tasty plate of food on the table, fast.
We’ve rounded up a selection of best cookbook for beginners, all of which will have you cooking up a storm (even if you’re a complete beginner). Whether you’re cooking for yourself or need to feed a whole family, we’ve got the books to help you on your culinary journey.
We’ve turned to the best chefs to teach us the absolute kitchen basics. Whether you’re looking to eat less meat, sticking to a budget or simply want to make the delicious dishes you enjoy elsewhere, all by yourself, these books will show you how, leaving you with a newfound confidence you can’t beat.
Top 10 Best Cookbook For Beginners In UK 2021
Whatever you’re looking to make in the kitchen, follow our list of cookbook recommendations for some inspiration.
1. The Roasting Tin
The Roasting Tin is the perfect gift for new cooks or kitchen phobes. Featruring 75 inspiring and delicious recipes that all come together in just one roasting tin with little preparation, it leaves all of the hard work to the oven. All that’s left is to marvel that something so easy tastes so good and leaves so little washing up!
Budget friendly and super easy, the recipes in TV chef, Dean Edwards’ cookbook take inspiration from all over the world to help beginners make everything from fajitas to pizza. Great for students or reluctant cooks, Dean proves cooking great food doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.
3. Time to Eat
Although better known for her showstopping bakes, in this title Nadiya shows us how to make inexpensive recipes, that will appeal to the whole family, in no time at all. We were astonished by how she turns humble ingredients – such as a can of baked beans – into the altogether more impressive harissa bean pizza. The book accompanies the BBC2 TV series of the same name, so if you found yourself watching that and thinking you’d quite like to give dishes a go, this is a must for your bookshelf.
4. One: Pot, Pan, Planet
In this new collection of over 200 recipes, Anna Jones limits the pans and simplifies the ingredients for all-in-one dinners that keep things simple and celebrate vegetables.
5. 5 Ingredients – Quick & Easy Food
Jamie Oliver’s 5 Ingredients cookbook is a must-have for those who want great tasting food without an endless shopping list of ingredients.
This is great for fast and easy to make dinner ideas covering everything from meat and fish to salads, pasta and rice dishes.
6. Good and Cheap
Leanne Brown wrote this book specifically for people on SNAP/food stamp benefits with $4 a day to spend on food. No matter what your budget is, Brown teaches you how to make everything from Barley Risotto with Peas and White Bean Ragù to Vegetable Jambalaya—without breaking the bank.
7. Delia’s Complete How to Cook
Many a proficient home cook started their culinary life with this classic book from Delia Smith. The techniques she covers can be very, very basic – how to boil an egg, for example – so it really is for those who are interested in mastering the basics. It’s a great way to learn the techniques you’ll need when your skills level up and you’re a bit more confident in the kitchen.
8. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat
“Anyone can cook anything and make it delicious,” begins Nosrat’s blockbuster 2018 cookbook. That reassuring sentiment is reinforced throughout the book, which rests less on recipes (although there are 100 of them) than on explaining the four titular elements that determine the deliciousness of the meals we make. Nosrat’s message — that you can learn to build food by trusting your instincts — is delivered with contagious enthusiasm, and further sweetened by Wendy MacNaughton’s winsome watercolor illustrations. This is an ideal book for anyone as interested in the “why” of cooking as the “how.”
9. How to Cook Everything The Basics
If your cooking skills are limited to sprinkling hot sauce on takeout orders, How to Cook Everything: The Basics is the cookbook for you. It offers more than 1,000 photos illustrating techniques and offers useful hacks like “think of vegetables in groups.”
It will teach you how to crimp a pie crust, the difference between chopping and dicing, how to shop for seafood, how to hold a knife, how to properly rinse your vegetables and fruits, how to crack an egg, and how to cook any grain you’ve got. Written by acclaimed food writer Mark Bittman, this book is the perfect way to start getting comfortable in your kitchen.
10. The Plant Based Diet for Beginners
Whether you’re a huge veggie fan or wanting to stray away from meat and dairy, you’ve come to the right place. This is the perfect guide and smooth segue into cooking only with plant-based foods. I know it seems a lil scary, but you’ll love it!! And it has amazing benefits for both your health and wallet.
How to Choose the Best Cookbook For Beginners
Making now the perfect time to add to your collection. But with more than 24,000 new cookbooks published each year, how do you choose the absolutely best cookbook for you?
Does the cookbook meet your needs?
New or busy cooks should look for: Family-friendly dishes, an easy-to-follow format, look for key works in the title like basic, simple, busy, or quick.
Experienced cooks might be looking for more creative recipes: Maybe a specialty book on pasta, or Chinese cooking or vegetarian dishes.
Is the recipe arrangement logical?
Are the recipes in defined sections and arranged according to: The main ingredient, (chicken, pasta), or cooking method (grilled, baked, one-pot), or type of dishes (entrees, salads, soups).
A book of 800 consecutive recipes may seem like a great deal, but excitement can quickly turn to frustration when the recipe that piqued your interest is hidden somewhere in the middle of a never ending tome.
Are the directions easy-to-follow?
Most of us prefer easy-to-follow numbered directions written in chronological order. Avoid cookbooks whose directions are in a narrative format and avoid cookbooks whose directions are continued on a non-facing page.
Is there any bonus information?
Good cookbooks show: The preparation time, number of servings for each recipe.
Really good cookbooks also give you: Cooking tips, serve-with suggestions, Unusual ingredient definitions and Recipe history and/or nutrition information
Does the cookbook provide inspiration?
A cookbook should inspire you to go beyond the written recipe and experiment on your own. Some books do this by: Suggesting alternative ingredients, others by the shear creativity of the recipes.
Cooking is a creative endeavor and the best cookbooks will serve as a jumping off point to your own unique dishes.
Chances are, you’ll never want to make a banana bread or a loaf of sour bread again, so it’s time to get creative in the kitchen and match your dishes. If you’re having trouble finding inspiration, investing in a brand new cookbook is the easiest way to start expanding your recipe portfolio. These 10 cookbooks will help you – even if you have never cooked before, you can make yourself the best food.