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Top cookbooks for everyday cooking

by Lottie Huckle

published on 31 March 2016

When it comes to special occasions, we’re all about spending hours on multi-course feasts and elaborate show-stoppers, but as far as midweek evenings and lazy weekends are concerned, speed, flexibility, and accessibility are our priorities. The recipes we turn to again and again are those which deliver maximum flavour in return for minimum effort; one-pot wonders, nutritious family recipes, and the kinds of dishes you can throw together in twenty minutes flat. So, we’ve gathered a list of cookbooks that deliver reliably excellent everyday meals, time and again. From Jamie Oliver to Rukmini Iyer, these are our favourite books for everyday cooking.  

Jamie Oliver: 7 Ways

Jamie Oliver: 7 Ways

In classic Jamie Oliver fashion, 7 Ways is designed to help everyday home cooks turn commonplace ingredients into dynamic, flavour-packed meals. Jamie has come up with seven brilliant new ways to cook with 18 of the UK’s most popular supermarket purchases, from whole chickens to sweet potatoes. You’ll find time-saving traybakes, creative twists on old favourites, and plenty of Jamie’s signature cheats and shortcuts to help you cut back on time spent in the kitchen.

Jamie Oliver: 7 Ways

Jamie Oliver: 7 Ways

7 inventive new ways to cook with each of the UK's 18 favourite ingredients

7 inventive new ways to cook with each of the UK’s 18 favourite ingredients

With pared back ingredients lists and easy-to-follow instructions, you'll find plenty of quick and easy dinner solutions

With pared back ingredients lists and easy-to-follow instructions, you’ll find plenty of quick and easy dinner solutions

Featuring family favourites, one-pot wonders, tray bakes, roasts, fakeaways and more

Featuring family favourites, one-pot wonders, tray bakes, roasts, fakeaways and more

The Quick Roasting Tin Jacket

The Quick Roasting Tin

Any of Rukmini Iyer’s Roasting Tin cookbooks could have been featured in this collection, as all of them encapsulate the kind of fuss-free, flavour-focussed cooking we look for in an everyday cookbook. The Quick Roasting Tin won out though – with its focus on speed and its clever kitchen hacks, this is the book you need at your side on a hectic weekday evening.

The Quick Roasting Tin Jacket

The Quick Roasting Tin

75 fast and simple one dish recipes to revolutionise the way you cook

75 fast and simple one dish recipes to revolutionise the way you cook

Leave the hard work to the oven with minimal prep and less washing up

Leave the hard work to the oven with minimal prep and less washing up

From fast dinners to simple desserts

From fast dinners to simple desserts

One Pot Wonders

One Pot Wonders

by Lindsey Bareham

If you could do with a bit less washing up in your life, Lindsey Bareham’s One Pot Wonders is the book for you. Each of the easy and warming dishes in this book can be cooked in just one pot, from orzo risotto with goat’s cheese to sausage and lentil stew. With cosy dishes to curl up on the sofa with, to dinner party-worthy mains, you’ll find a one pot dish to suit every occasion in One Pot Wonders.

One Pot Wonders

One Pot Wonders

100 easy one-pot recipes

100 easy one-pot recipes

Crowd-pleasing family favourites

Crowd-pleasing family favourites

Fuss-free one-pot puddings and bakes

Fuss-free one-pot puddings and bakes

Everyday Super Food

Everyday Super Food

The clue is in the name with this one. Jamie Oliver’s Everyday Super Food is a book we reach for again and again. Packed with innovative, exciting and nutritious meals, it’s a an indispensable guide to healthy, family-friendly cooking.

Everyday Super Food

Everyday Super Food

Jamie's inspiring recipes for delicious and nourishing meals

Jamie’s inspiring recipes for delicious and nourishing meals

Simple, trusted recipes that leave you feeling great

Simple, trusted recipes that leave you feeling great

Satisfying salads and guilt-free desserts

Satisfying salads and guilt-free desserts

Chicken: Over two hundred recipes devoted to one glorious bird

Chicken: Over Two Hundred Recipes

by Catherine Phipps

The humble chicken is the cornerstone of many a kitchen, and Catherine Phipps’ book is all about celebrating this ‘glorious bird’ with with everything from curries, to salads, to pies. Chicken is the perfect book for you if you’re looking for new, creative ways to cook with this failsafe ingredient.

Chicken: Over two hundred recipes devoted to one glorious bird

Chicken: Over two hundred recipes devoted to one glorious bird

Inspiring chicken recipes to expand your repertoire

Inspiring chicken recipes to expand your repertoire

Delicious recipes for family occasions

Delicious recipes for family occasions

Simple, classic dishes for every level of cooking expertise

Simple, classic dishes for every level of cooking expertise

Comptoir Libanais Express

Comptoir Libanais Express

by Tony Kitous, Dan Lepard

Comptoir Libanais Express celebrates the big flavours and vibrant colours of Lebanon with a collection of fuss-free recipes designed with home cooks in mind. From Lebanese-inspired fried chicken to a unique twist on lasagne, this book will have you looking at everyday cooking in a new light. 

Eat Happy: 30 Minute Feel-good Food

Eat Happy

Melissa Hemsley’s Eat Happy is premised on the belief that nutritious, feelgood food shouldn’t require complex cooking processes or hard-to-find ingredients. With 120 recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less, plus plenty of tips on how to get the most of your leftovers, Eat Happy is a brilliant companion for time-strapped or budget conscious cooks.

Eat Happy: 30 Minute Feel-good Food

Eat Happy: 30 Minute Feel-good Food

Easy midweek meals

Easy midweek meals

Vegetarian mains

Vegetarian mains

Feelgood desserts

Feelgood desserts

5 Ingredients Quick & Easy Food

5 Ingredients Quick & Easy Food

Yet another of our favourite books from Jamie Oliver, 5 Ingredients champions the kind of no-nonsense cooking that Jamie is famous for. Every recipe in this book uses just five key ingredients to create satisfying, nutritious meals with minimal effort. Our favourites include easy sausage carbonara, sweet and sour chicken noodles, and apple crumble cookies.

5 Ingredients Quick & Easy Food

5 Ingredients Quick & Easy Food

It only takes 5 ingredients and less than 30 minutes

It only takes 5 ingredients and less than 30 minutes

All the recipes from the TV series

All the recipes from the TV series

Simple, step-by-step recipes

Simple, step-by-step recipes

Simply Nigella: Feel Good Food

Simply Nigella

Simply Nigella is all about balance, making it a joy to cook from on an everyday basis. From familiar favourites to dishes that will expand your repertoire, this is another failsafe from Nigella Lawson. We love this simple chicken traybake with orange and fennel.

Simply Nigella: Feel Good Food

Simply Nigella: Feel Good Food

125 recipes to celebrate the joy of homecooking

125 recipes to celebrate the joy of homecooking

Delicious dishes from Nigella's hit BBC TV series

Delicious dishes from Nigella’s hit BBC TV series

Quick and easy dinners for busy weeknights

Quick and easy dinners for busy weeknights

Bake Me a Cake as Fast as You Can

Bake Me a Cake as Fast as You Can

Baking isn’t just for the weekend – at least, not when you’ve got this book from Miranda Gore Browne on your bookshelf. It’s full of speedy and low-effort bakes, all designed to help you enjoy homemade sweet treats even on the busiest of days.

Bake Me a Cake as Fast as You Can

Bake Me a Cake as Fast as You Can

Quick and easy bakes

Quick and easy bakes

Perfect for beginners

Perfect for beginners

Easy enough to bake every day!

Easy enough to bake every day!

Feelgood Family Food

Feelgood Family Food

Busy dad Dean Edwards knows exactly how important fuss-free recipes are for those hectic weeknight evenings. With this collection of healthy recipes, Dean ensures that easy never means boring. 

Feelgood Family Food

Feelgood Family Food

Nourishing everyday meals

Nourishing everyday meals

Failsafe family recipes

Failsafe family recipes

Budget-friendly ideas from TV's Dean Edwards

Budget-friendly ideas from TV’s Dean Edwards

Fresh India: 130 Quick

Fresh India

Do you find yourself reaching for Meera Sodha’s Made in India over and over again? Then you’ll love Fresh India, packed with 130 Indian-inspired, vegetarian recipes. Meera uses easy-to-find ingredients to create a variety of everyday recipes, from traditional dishes to modern twists.

Fresh India: 130 Quick

Fresh India: 130 Quick, Easy and Delicious Recipes for Every Day

The go-to guide for vegetarian Indian cooking

The go-to guide for vegetarian Indian cooking

130 stunning recipes with a fresh and light feel

130 stunning recipes with a fresh and light feel

Beautiful puddings with Indian-inspired flavours

Beautiful puddings with Indian-inspired flavours

Time To Eat

Time To Eat

Time to Eat is a cookbook designed for busy people who want to get more nutritious and flavoursome meals on the table, even when they’re pressed for time. From a crowd-pleasing chicken shawarma to a peanut butter and jelly traybake, this book is destined to become one of the most-thumbed books on your shelf.

Time To Eat

Time To Eat

Nadiya's foolproof recipes for family dinners

Nadiya’s foolproof recipes for family dinners

Every recipe from the BBC2 TV series

Every recipe from the BBC2 TV series

Reliable recipes and time-saving tips

Reliable recipes and time-saving tips

Stirring Slowly: Recipes to Restore and Revive

Stirring Slowly

by Georgina Hayden

Georgie Hayden’s debut cookbook is a comforting collection of recipes that promise to restore and revive – perfect for busy days and restful weekends. This book celebrates the process of cooking and time spent in the kitchen.

Stirring Slowly: Recipes to Restore and Revive

Stirring Slowly: Recipes to Restore and Revive

Hearty comfort food to bring joy

Hearty comfort food to bring joy

Inspiring home-cooked food with global flavours

Inspiring home-cooked food with global flavours

Beautiful and accomplished bakes

Beautiful and accomplished bakes

The Happy Pear Vegan Cooking for Everyone

The Happy Pear Vegan Cooking for Everyone

If you’d like to incorporate more plant-based recipes into your diet but don’t know where to start, The Happy Pear: Vegan Cooking for Everyone is the book for you. David and Stephen Flynn will provide you with an easy-to-follow step-by-step foundation to vegan cooking, and will have you brimming with confidence in no time.

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