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Best Cookbooks to Have on Your Shelf in 2023

So many cookbooks, so little time! Whether you are gifting or buying for you, these are the best cookbooks to have on your shelf in 2023.

Recently, I was at a local book fair for Maine authors and got to meet a number of book lovers. The best ones for me were the cookbook lovers — like the woman who shared her passion for collecting cookbooks and her desire to donate her collection to a library for posterity. I loved that conversation.

As the holidays zoom past, I wanted to share a few of my very favorite cookbooks this year. Some are new. Others have been a beloved part of my shelves for years. All are worth checking out.

So whether you have some gift cards waiting to be used or need to buy a present for a belated celebration, these are the books I recommend.

For your convenience, I’ve included links to purchase these books on Bookshop, a lovely online book buying venture that supports small business. These links are provided through my local independent bookstore in Bangor, Maine, The Briar Patch. I don’t receive any compensation of any kind for including them. I just think it makes it easier to buy online.

Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day by Gemma Stafford

Pecan Pie Cobbler. Silky Coffee Pudding. Almond Twist. These are just some of the many recipes I have bookmarked to try in this beautiful and delicious baking book. What I especially love about these recipes is that they aren’t super taxing — you can make them after work without being stressed (as long as it’s not already a stressful night). For the person who likes baking or wants to bake more, this book is a gem.

Cook As You Are by Ruby Tandoh

Accessible, affordable, achieveable. These three words are used to describe this book on the inside flap and it’s all true. I love that this book features adventurous recipes that are easy. I’ve already bookmarked Earthy, Smoky Lentil and Beet Stew; Gnocchi with Chili Crisp, Capers and Parmesan; and Eden Rice with Black Beans and Plantain to try soon. Plus, the prose in this book are entertaining and interesting. Don’t just leaf through. You’ll want to dig into the reading.The recipes in this cookbook aren’t super hard, but you should know your way around the kitchen and read through thoroughly before starting to cook.

The Backyard BBQ Bible by Oscar Smith

When this cookbook arrived in my mailbox in late summer from the publisher, I marked off many recipes to try. There’s so many intriguing ones like xx and xx just waiting. But it was the xx chicken that captured my heart. I made this dish on the grill while family was visiting and it was a huge hit. And my kids? They added it to their absolute favorites list. The recipes in this cookbook aren’t for the absolute beginner. But if they know how to chop, marinate and heat a grill, they will have fun with the creative BBQ ideas.

Drinking with Chickens by Kate E. Richards

There’s something so joyous about this cookbook. Kate E. Richards has paired creative cocktail recipes like Apple Butter Buttered Rum with dozens of photos of the drinks with her chickens. It’s fun and fanciful. But the recipes also make you want to get right into the kitchen and shake something up. Pretty awesome for those in your life who have chickens or dream of getting some. And pretty cool for anyone who appreciates a good drink and some fabulous plumage.

Disney Princess Tea Parties Cookbook by Sarah Walker Caron

Hey, wait! I wrote that! In March, my latest cookbook was released and I have been so excited to hear from readers who adore it. The recipes, intended for young Disney Princess lovers to cook with adults, are reliable, fun and interesting enough for any palate. If you haven’t ordered your copy yet, do check it out. You’ll be prepping for the ultimate tea party before you know it.

Plus, three more I love