Top Selling Cookbooks You Should Own

Published on November 14, 2021 | Updated on April 9, 2022 | by Samantha

Top Selling Cookbooks You Should Own Featured Image

We take an in-depth our favorite top selling cookbooks from around the world. Throughout this page we’ll feature cookbooks that we feel deserve a spot in any kitchen. See which books made our list that align with the way you cook or your lifestyle.

Table of Contents
1. Best Cookbooks for Beginners
2. Best Grilling & BBQ Cookbooks
3. Best Healthy Eating Cookbooks
5. Best Baking Cookbooks
5. Trader Joe’s Cookbook Series

Best Cookbooks for Beginners

The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen

The Complete Vegetarian Cooking book

You might be wondering why there’s a vegetarian cookbook on this top list, so we’ll need to clarify what’s happening here. It seems that many people are curious about vegetarian food and often wonder where to start. The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen is a sure-fire way to get the introduction you’ve been looking to experience. Whether or not you feel like being a total vegetarian, this book covers more than you’ll expect.

The entire cookbook includes a very complete selection of over 300 recipe ideas packed into 475 pages of information about nutrition, vegetables, grains, meat alternatives, and of course lots of appeal for everyone. It’s an excellent companion if you like to cook meat and veggies and struggle to find a tasty side dish that will make everyone satisfied.

How to Boil Water by Food Network Kitchens

How to Boil Water Cooking book

Despite the title being pretty brazen, this isn’t a book that aimed at total dummies in the kitchen. It is a way to inform those who have a strong desire to cook! Using How to Boil Water in your kitchen will be the best crash course for anyone looking to extend and refine their basic skills in any kitchen. It includes everything from learning cooking tips to cool cooking tricks.

It’s no slacker for being a basic cookbook with 256 pages that are filled with vibrant pictures and how-to instructions. You might say this book is best for those who have minimal experience but for any novice who is confident, this cookbook is a must-have! Perfect for those who also want to learn about preparing meals that aren’t just Mac and cheese…

How to Cook Everything: 2000 Simple Recipes by Mark Bittman

How to Cook Everything Cooking book

While looking to find the most complete guide to cooking in the kitchen for anyone who is just starting to cook, you can’t ask for a more complete rendition. How to Cook Everything features more than 2000 recipes within these pages. You’ll learn how to work with natural ingredients, use kitchen equipment, and learn vital tips on the cooking process. This is a modern-day cookbook for those who want to learn from the very start.

Luckily, their hardcover edition includes more than 1000 pages of instructional recipes that cover breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s categorized by different chapters that cover techniques and methods to improve what you’re preparing such as how to thicken a sauce to the best way to crack open crab shells. We recommend this book for young students or those who have no experience whatsoever.

Betty Crocker Cooking Basics

Betty Crocker Cooking Basics Cooking book

You’ve seen the name on hundreds of off-the-shelf mixes at the store and probable know the name from that dusty cookbook your grandmother has in her kitchen. Betty Crocker’s Cooking Basics is a classic revised edition that helps you start cooking with confidence. This 2nd edition is filled with 112 individual recipes that are very simple favorites ranging from meatloaf to strawberry shortcake.

It also includes photos of the preparation process, cooking tips, a glossary for foods terms and expressions, and even food storage tips. Betty Crocker is the All-American favorite when it comes to lending a hand in the kitchen with easy-to-understand instructions that will allow you to handle everyday cooking up to holiday meals like Christmas and Thanksgiving. Way better than Cooking for Dummies, this cookbook is the ten commandments of cooking.

Tasty Ultimate: How to Cook Anything

Tasty Ultimate Cooking book

Not only is this cookbook great for beginners, but it also helps those who have experience get through situations where you need some new ideas for cooking. How to Cook Anything is filled with clever hacks and how-to tricks that everyone should know in their kitchen. It’s a great guide to master chopping and cutting like a pro, yet easily shows how to cook for nearly anyone who comes over to your house.

Packed with a stunning list of 150 recipes across 300 pages, the color pictures and info on how to cook and prepare nearly anything. With a little bit of luck, this book also steers you in the direction to become more creative and explore cooking methods with many more foods you haven’t prepared yet. We would like to think this is the perfect gateway cookbook to become more involved in the cooking process.

Best Grilling & BBQ Cookbooks

The BBQ Bible by Steven Raichlen

The BBQ Bible by Steven Raichlen Cooking book

This is often blasted because it doesn’t go into specifics about grilling technique and is how most pros would call The BBQ Bible on the surface. It’s one of the best BBQ books because it covers a lot of uncharted ground and doesn’t dwell on one single method for BBQ -for that matter. What this book does cover is the sheer volume of what can be considered barbecue from all over the world and the types of foods that go with their international association.

It contains over 500 recipes from all over the world and does offer good advice on BBQ tips, methods, and advice. It’s not heavy on tutorial info but it does make up for this by adding more recipes of meals that are easy to prepare. If you need to own a defining collection of BBQ-related recipes, this book needs to be on your list.

Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling

Meathead The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling Cooking book

There are a lot of titles that Meathead Goldwyn has been given over the years, but if you ask us, he’s the ultimate Mythbuster of BBQ meat. His ultimate guide book The Science of Barbecue and Grilling is proof that Meathead knows more than just the history and methods of BBQ. His research dives deep into the pool of science behind the methods used and proves how these methods work or don’t work, and ultimately what will make them work!

It might be impressive to know that this book covers 400 pages, but only offers 100 actual recipes. If that gives you any idea how Meathead can explain the science using humor and debunking old husband tales of how BBQ supposedly works. All the embarrassing barbecue questions you were afraid to ask are revealed in this innovative tell-all BBQ book.

Peace, Love, and Barbecue

Peace, Love, and Barbecue Cooking book

If you’ve ever wanted to get an insider view of what a pitmasters life experiences have taught, you can’t go wrong with Peace, Love, and Barbecue. Author and pitmaster Mike Mills takes you on a journey of the trials and tribulations of his experience within the BBQ competitions with stories and explanations of what makes award-winning barbecue dishes possible.

It’s packed with 360 pages of helpful info on rubs, sauces, and private recipes that he shares within this book that provide 100 creative ways to prepare barbecue dishes in your own backyard. Don’t let the fame and fortune fool you, since Mike Mills brings his unique all-American view on what makes the barbecue culture in America so driven with grilling passion.

Smokin’ with Myron Mixon

Smokin’ with Myron Mixon Cooking book

Some might say that winning isn’t everything except when you stop and read what Myron Mixon has to say. He’s one of the few guys that are considered the biggest winner of more than 180 Grand Championships and 3 world championships in his career. His book is a great example of smoking and barbecue techniques made simple. It covers a load of info about marinades, rubs, injections, and sauces for a variety of meats ranging from beef, pork, and chicken.

There are over 75 award-winning recipes included within this book which is why the spiral-bound version makes perfect sense for avid newcomers to the barbecue arena. It’s not the longest book by page count being just shy of 200 pages but is certainly a keeper in your collection for learning about smoking meats and meat preparation. Check it out!

Master of the Grill

Master of the Grill Cooking book

Another excellent example of science and research into the world of barbecue was brought to you by America’s Test Kitchen. Their extensive book Masters of the Grill is a perfect guide to kitchen-tested recipes. This book is the perfect excuse to learn all about barbecue items that are essential favorites to more complicated grilling and BBQ techniques. You’ll get colorful pictures that show you hands-on how to prepare and cook on a grill.

This book will teach you how to cook steak, ribs, and burgers, in addition to side dishes that accompany barbecue dishes. The book includes 454 pages with many color pictures and step-by-step shots showing you how to prepare the food. If you’ve ever heard of America’s Test Kitchen, you’ll know that they cover everything from the right tools to use to special techniques that work best for making BBQ.

Best Healthy Eating Cookbooks

Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy by W. Willett

Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy Cooking book

Some books simply make controversy no matter how scientifically backed they might be. As in the case of Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy which was co-created with the help of the Harvard Medical School, the trolls have come out to trash the findings within this guide to healthy eating. It focuses on the food groups within the food pyramid that directly challenge what the USDA has said for decades is reported to be healthy eating.

Not entirely focused on the ideology of creating or following recipes, this 300+ page guide is a viable resource for those who want to eat healthy while steering clear of the recommendations that we’ve all been told are supposedly healthy. It’s a modern approach to nutrition when it comes to food preparation.

Ultimate Fit Food by Gordon Ramsay

Ultimate Fit Food Cooking book

Gordon Ramsay is a notorious hothead when it comes to little details and he’s proved his passion for cooking many times over through his flamboyant style. His book on Ultimate Fit Food is a great reminder that eating healthy is no substitute for taste and flavor. It also covers breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a generous topping of snacks and side dishes in between.

He even includes a section for those who are exercising and helps to create pre and post-workout dishes that are helping to boost energy levels for those who are fitness-centered. Even if you despise Ramsay for his outlandish outbreaks, he earned his credentials by slaving under world-renowned chefs and received the prestigious OBE (Order of the British Empire) that came directly from Queen Elizabeth II in 2006.

Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle by Bobby Flay

Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle Cooking book

It seems that Bobby Flay is no slouch when it comes to writing cookbooks and garnishing fame for his television appearances. Despite being the very first chef that has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, his book: Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle is a neat example of healthy eating. It’s packed with recipes that don’t compromise flavor but explains how age and diet can be a trap when it comes to nutrition.

This book contains 200 recipes for meals for all times of the day or night. Some extras include soups and salads, juices and smoothies, and workout snacks with fitness tips. If you like a bit of everything for healthy eating, this book is more than just recipes. Bobby opens up about his personal feelings on how he decided to get healthy and how nutrition plays such an integral role in a healthy lifestyle.

The Laura Lea Balanced Cookbook by L.L. Goldberg

The Laura Lea Balanced Cooking book

Talk about the small-town girl from Virginia who struck her fortune and fame in New York City is also the author of her own cookbook called The Laura Lea Balanced Cookbook. Laura uses a common-sense approach to healthy eating that doesn’t clash with the older concepts for healthy eating and doesn’t exactly embrace the newfangled trends of dieting these days. It’s a refreshing combination that creates the best of both worlds.

Her cookbook covers 120 recipes that are all structured to be easy enough to make in 30-minutes or less and have universal appeal with adults and kids. Her approach is centered on moderation rather than limitation, which is what makes this cookbook more practical for cooking. If you like healthy cooking, this cookbooks is as balanced as it gets.

The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor by G. Homolka

The Skinnytaste Cooking book

Here’s a whopper of a cookbook that combines step-by-step color pictures with great recipes. Gina Homolka has combined classic recipes with totally new creations in her latest edition of The Skinnytaste Cookbook. This healthy guru turned the whole industry upside down when she blasted the Weight Watchers program inside out. Her quest to develop what she calls skinny-frying is one aspect that finally helped her to lose weight.

You’ll find 125 new and exciting recipes along with 25 classic dishes that are all designed to help you lose weight without starving yourself completely, and they’re great for the whole family. What’s nice is that she adds nutritional charts for each recipe. If you’re big on taste and easy-to-follow recipes, this book is a must-have for healthy eating!

Best Baking Cookbooks

The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen

The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs Cooking book

Let’s face it, those who learned cooking and baking skills from their parents are getting to be harder and harder to find these days. We are reaching a point where the newest generation that’s around 4 to 5 years old is showing an incredible interest in showing initiative and interest in baking and cooking. The Compete Baking Book for Young Chefs is the perfect introduction for young minds that are much more independent than previous generations before.

Since this cookbook will be better off for those viewing it on Kindle, tech-savvy starter bakers will love the practicality of 100 kid-tested recipes that include sweet and energy-packed baked goods. America’s Test Kitchen hits this out of the ballpark for excellent baking cookbooks for the younger generation.

100 Cookies: The Baking Book for Every Kitchen by Sarah Kieffer

100 Cookies Cooking book

Are you looking for a go-to cookbook for pastries and cookies of all kinds then The Baking Book for Every Kitchen is just for you. You’ll find that 100 recipes for cookies, brownies, pastries, and goodies are explained over 300 pages accompanied by color photos that go with each recipe. The recipes are easy to follow and well written for those who are curious about making desserts and sweet snacks.

It’s not a rehash of old-fashioned sweets but new and exciting variations that are updated for a modern generation. The photos also serve as a great guide so you can compare what you make to how it should look. It’s not a beginner book per se but for those who love baking, you’ll need to add this to your collection soon enough.

Baker Betties: Better Baking Book by Kristin Hoffman

Baker Betties Cooking book

Don’t be fooled by this sound-alike name, it doesn’t have anything to do with Betty Crocker. The actual writer Kristin Hoffman uses the Baker Bettie name perhaps to sound more classic than she is which is why Gordon Ramsay doesn’t need to pull this kind of stunt. Kristin’s Better Baking Book is an outstanding view into the science behind baked goods more than Betty Crocker books ever did justice for.

You will learn the foundations of baking techniques and the appropriate mixing methods that go with baking. You will also learn how to bake from scratch, which is something not too many cookbooks are teaching. The end result is learning to master baking formulas and understand how to create scratch-baked recipes of your own. What more can you ask for when it comes to baking?

The Baking Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum

The Baking Bible Cooking book

You ask for the impossible and now you’ve got it with Rose Beranbaum’s Baking Bible. This extensive edition is more than 576 pages of glorious recipes that define the baking spectrum. Not exactly a book for beginners and doesn’t dwell in the instruction on how to bake. It’s everything

you wanted to know about baking nearly anything that helps as this cookbook stand on its own.

There are pictures peppered throughout the book but not for every single recipe, which is nice for some and a bane for others. For those with little to medium level experience in the kitchen, this book is easy to follow and incredibly detailed. It also includes troubleshooting for each recipe which reduces the mistake that can happen along the way.

Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza

Flour Water Salt Yeast Cooking book

What list is not complete without adding a cookbook on bread and pizza dough for artisan bakers? Ken Forkish is well-known throughout Seattle and tells all about his methods for baking bread. It’s not the longest book ever written on the subject but is cram-packed for information on the baking methods, starting with the dough all the way through various ways to bake your bread.

His expertise on the subject talks you through step-by-step tips and info on making simple bread to gradually more complex dough. He also gives an excellent definition of how hydration works when creating rustic bread. As mentioned before, it’s more focused on artisan bread and pizza. If you’re living in the US, this book explains hydration percentages very well, but the UK and other English-speaking countries may need to make slight adjustments with this cookbook.

Trader Joe’s Cookbook Series

Cooking through Trader Joe’s Cookbook

Cooking through-Trader Joe’s Cookbook

Starting things off with a bang is a book that isn’t supported or endorsed by Trader Joe’s. In fact, it’s from an average Instagram Influencer who decided to make a book out of her collective thoughts of what to do with Trader Joe’s food items. It’s a collection of meal recipes, desserts, and drinks that fill a total of 17 various recipes and 6 drink recipes.

The author-Kelsey Lynch has turned her Instagram profile dedicated to Trader Joe’s Food Reviews into a paperback book. It’s also available as a Kindle file if you enjoy reading recipes on your smartphone screen. For the asking price, it’s not a terrible effort although the meals could be considered healthier.

Surprisingly, some people have found this book easy to follow with recipes that all feature real food items that are sold at Trader Joe’s. In our opinion, this book is perfect for beginners who like simple and easy recipes for many types of comfort foods.

Cooking with Trader Joe’s Cookbook: Dinners Done

Cookbook Dinners-Done

Here is a great hardcover from a pair of collective writers working together to cover many extensive recipe options with food items from trader Joe’s. The authors Deanna Gunn and Mona Miniati also have a series of books that have new updated versions. The newest edition of this copy is titled: “Cooking with All Things Trader Joe’s”, yet this edition had been jam-packed with healthy and hearty meals.

The book itself is filled with 272 pages and also features nutritional info with each recipe. The recipes are easy to follow with steps and photos. And though this hardcover book is available, it’s also offered as a Kindle download. The total price of this book is well-worth the sheer number of recipes that are pleasing and great for families.

Even if you’re not an expert chef, this book is great because it gives all the information that you need to make these meals perfect. If you’re cooking on a budget for a family, this book is a keeper that has many favorites that are all food products you can get at any Trader Joe’s.

Cooking with Trader Joe’s Companion

Trader Joe’s Companion

Another great hardcover from Deanna Gunn and Mona Miniati now adds another asset to the kitchen with their 200-page debut book “Cooking with All Things Trader Joe’s”. This companion book is filled with slightly exotic recipes that can be created in 15 minutes or less. Not just a book for making family meals, this book is perfect for meals on the go.

One of the best parts of this book is that it’s small enough to fit in a purse so you can take it with you to Trader Joe’s while you shop. Another advantage is this book can also be downloaded on Kindle making it even more portable to take with you. If you’ve ever wondered what to do with many of the items at TJs, now you have plenty of choices.

There’s no question that this book is perfect for a variety of smaller meals and perfect for students who are looking to make quick dishes. It doesn’t have pictures, which also serves to create inspiration for those who want to modify these simple recipes.

Eat Your Way Healthy at Trader Joe’s Cookbook

Healthy at Trader Joe’s-Cookbook

At just 208 pages, this book created by Bonnie Matthews is a cool collection of meals and recipes on the go for cooks on the go. There are actually 75 recipes that include skillet recipes for making delicious and healthy foods. The emphasis that is found in this book is more or less an exercise in padding out a week and great tips for shopping at Trader Joe’s.

Another great facet to this book is how each recipe will appeal to many who are sticking with vegetarian or vegan diets. It also includes date night entrees to kid-friendly snacks. Of course, it will have plenty of appeal for families. The books are available as a hardcover and on Kindle.

We found this book is very simple to follow and include recipes that will appeal to college students and families alike. When it comes to buying your favorite foods from TJs, this book will make an ideal addition to recipe ideas.

Trader Joe’s Cookbook: Gourmet Recipes Made Simple

Gourmet Recipes Made-Simple

In reality, the sub-title of this book is a lot longer than it appears here but the main point could not be more apparent. This book is dedicated to making fast and easy gourmet recipes using items and food products commonly found at Trader Joe’s. This is not exactly an extensive book but takes advantage of mixes and sauces to make wonderful meal creations.

Complete with just 155 pages written by Elijah Baily and available in paperback. It is found on Kindle but is all part of 1000s of other subscriptions to other E-books if you purchase the Kindle Unlimited option. Many recipes are perfect for vegetarian and vegan diets in addition to comfort foods that students will enjoy.

We don’t feel this book is the bible of family meals and has a better fitting place for bachelors and starving students. The beauty of this book is more or less a great way to make a recipe without much effort at all.

The I Love Trader Joe’s Cookbook

The I Love Trader Joe’s-Cookbook

This is just one in a whole series of I Love Trader Joe’s Cookbooks’ are all serious recipe books written for lovers of TJs. All of these books are written by Cherie Mercer Twohy and is covering more than just meals. This information-packed book features 240 pages and includes recipes on nearly everything in highly-detailed chapters.

This book contains everything from breakfast, lunch, dinner, appetizers, and party snacks in addition to anything that you’ll find at Trader Joe’s. It’s available on Kindle, yet you’ll want to have the hardcover book in your collection. It doesn’t include nutritional information but the instructions are meant for those who love cooking nonetheless.

This series of books are great for aspiring kitchen cooks looking t make interesting meals of all kinds. We highly recommend taking a look at the other books in this series to make a complete library that will appeal to nearly anyone who likes being creative on a dime.


Here at Cookware Junkies we are dedicated to bringing you reviews from our hands-on experience however, we did not test out the methodologies and recipes from many of these books. Our recommendations for these cookbooks are based on some of the books from our personal cooking libraries, but also, award winning mentions, customer reviews, and recommendations from industry aficionados. Additionally, Cookware Junkies is a member of the Amazon Associates program which allows us to receive a commission from any purchases made through Amazon as a result of our sponsored links. Thank you for your support!

About the Author Samantha

I am Samantha, former sous chef, turned full-time blogger. I specialize in reviewing the latest in cookware. With a small team dedicated to researching appliances, cookware, and tech gadgets we bring you only the best selection to ensure you can spend your hard earned money confidently on the accessory that is best for your cooking, grilling or baking needs. With over 100 products reviewed, we are leading the way in cooking and home buyers guides. Happy Cookin’!

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