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7 of the best vegetarian cookbooks for beginners

by Malou Herkes

published on 4 January 2024

Are you trying to break away from the cycle of meat with every main course? Seeking satisfying ways to create flavoursome meals that just happen to be meat-free? These vegan and vegetarian cookbooks for beginners will help you do just that. From midweek meal planning to weekend feasting, you’re sure to find a cookbook on this list that will help you on your path towards a more plant-based diet.

Fresh India

Fresh India is a loving homage to both meat-free cooking and Indian cuisine. With 130 vibrant recipes, from midweek meals that can be on the table in under half an hour, to show-stopping centrepieces fit for a feast, this lively cookbook will see you through every season of the year.

Elly Pear’s Green

by Elly Pear

Elly Pear, the best-selling author of Fast Days, Feast Days, turns her hand to tasty veggie and vegan dishes in her new cookbook, Green. In the first half of the book, she shows you how to make fast weeknight dinners that pack in the flavour. Recipes including harissa chickpeas with za’atar baked feta, stir-fried kimchi grains with fried eggs and a vegan BLAT sandwich with umami mayo are sure to grab your attention. Flick to the second half of the book and find all the weekend feasting inspiration you could want, from simple brunch recipes to indulgent seasonal recipes for every occasion.

The Green Roasting Tin

Rukmini Iyer’s The Green Roasting Tin, which follows her immensely popular first cookbook The Roasting Tin, will transform how you cook midweek. Perfect for busy evenings when you don’t have the time or energy to spend hours in the kitchen, she’ll show you how to assemble ingredients in your trusty roasting tin and let the magic happen while you enjoy your evening.

Curry Easy Vegetarian

Following on from her bestselling cookbook Curry Easy, Indian cooking queen, Madhur Jaffrey is back with Curry Easy Vegetarian. She shows yet again how easy it is to recreate authentic Indian food at home, focussing on pulses, grains and punchy spices so you won’t miss meat at all. 

The Happy Pear: Recipes for Happiness

popular cookbooks to prove it. Their latest cookbook, The Happy Pear: Recipes for Happiness, is perfect for novice vegetarians with plenty of recipes including plant-based alternatives to family favourites, from burgers to nuggets to kebabs, as well as budget-friendly easy dinners and sumptuous treats. Both David and Stephen Flynn are dads and the book is packed with recipes that will make it a doddle to get kids wolfing down their veg

Buddha Bowls

by Hannah Pemberton

The Buddha Bowls cookbook is an easy-to-follow guide of over 50 creative variations using the simple formula of combining grains, greens and protein. Chapters cover breakfast, lunch and dinner so you’ll never be stuck for ideas, plus there is a Quicker-Than-A-Takeaway section to stop you reaching for the pizza menu when hunger strikes. 

Proper Healthy Food

by Nick Knowles

If you’re looking for hearty, boldly flavoured dinners that more than make up for the lack of meat, then Nick Knowles’ Proper Healthy Food is the book for you. Nick will show you you how to transform your meat-centric diet into one that champions veg and won’t leave you hungry. Recipes we love? A Caribbean-inspired curry, falafel with creamy garlic sauce, and a soul-soothing winter veg stew with dumplings.

Veg: Easy & Delicious Meals for Everyone

For anyone looking to expand their repertoire of inventive, fuss-free recipes, Jamie Oliver’s veg-focused cookbook, Veg: Easy & Delicious Meals for Everyone is the best place to start. This cookbook is designed for beginner vegetarians or flexitarians who want easy, accessible ways to cook flavourful meals that just happen to be meat-free.


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