Best vegan cookbooks for plant-based meals that are full of flavor

We round up the best vegan cookbooks that'll excite the tastebuds of both long-time vegans and newcomers to plant-based eating

A guide to the best vegan cookbooks
(Image credit: Various)

Whether you’re trying to eat more plant-based meals or are a committed vegan already, the best vegan cookbooks will inspire you to try new things. 

In the UK, the number of vegans - defined as those who follow a plant-based diet that avoids all animal foods, dairy, eggs and honey - quadrupled between 2014 and 2019, according to The Vegan Society. It's a similar story in the US, where the number of vegans went up 0.4 per cent to almost 3.5 per cent in the last two years - some 1 million people.

What's more, those numbers only covers people who consider themselves fully vegan. Many more of us are introducing elements of plant-based eating into our diets on a regular and part-time basis. 

And the trend is set to spike this January - already a time when people generally think about how to eat healthily - thanks to Veganuary, a movement that encourages people to begin their year by experimenting with veganism.

All this upward interest in vegan cooking has equalled an explosion in the number of vegan cookbooks on the market. From celebrity chefs and restaurants to YouTube stars and influencers, it seems everyone is getting in on the action.

It can be quite overwhelming for the novice vegan cook, and we're hear to help cut through the noise. Our number one recommendation for anyone starting out on their vegan journey is The Happy Pear: Vegan Cooking For Everyone. It introduces vegan cooking in a really simple and informative way, with great recipes and lots of tips around technique. 

Alternatively, if you’ve already mastered the basics then you can’t go wrong with Dirty Vegan: Another Bite, which offers big flavours, hearty meals and great taste. 

For these and more of the best vegan cookbooks that cater to a range of flavours, budgets and experience, check out our recommended buys below.

Oh, and FYI - a vegan cookbook is also one of the best fitness gifts you can buy for friends who currently follow a vegan diet, or those who have expressed an interest in doing so.

The best vegan cookbooks you can buy right now

Best vegan cookbooks: The Happy Pear: Vegan Cooking For Everyone by David Flynn, Stephen Flynn

(Image credit: David Flynn, Stephen Flynn )

1. The Happy Pear: Vegan Cooking For Everyone

The best vegan cookbook for novice vegan cooks

Specifications
Author(s): David Flynn, Stephen Flynn
Pages: 352
Released: 2020

Created by twins David and Stephen, The Happy Pear aims to help people to live happier, healthier lives. Part of this is about eating more vegetables, plant foods and whole foods, but emphasis is also placed on togetherness and community. 

The Happy Pear started out as a small shop, but now spans four cafés, numerous online courses, a farm and a roastery, as well as four cookbooks to date. This book is designed to break down vegan cooking to its basics. If you’re looking to get started with vegan cooking, this covers techniques and ingredients to give you a solid grounding in everything you need to know. As well as following the delicious recipes, it will help you grow the confidence to develop your own vegan dishes for any occasion. 

Best vegan cookbooks: Vegan(ish) by Jack Monroe

(Image credit: Jack Monroe)

2. Vegan(ish)

The best vegan cookbook for introducing plant-based meals

Specifications
Author(s): Jack Monroe
Pages: 224
Released: 2019

More and more of us are starting to reduce our intake of animal-based products and incorporate plant foods. But it’s not always easy to know where to start. This book is typical of Jack Monroe’s offerings – it’s simple, non-nonsense and budget-friendly.

 The book presents 100 vegan recipes that are affordable and easy to follow, aimed at both the committed vegan and those looking to introduce plant-based meals for the first time. There are sections on things like soups and sandwiches, which offer practical options for switching up lunches and inspiring new flavour combinations. 

The ‘ish’ in the title doesn’t refer to the meals themselves – they are 100% plant-based – but rather her philosophy in the book that even one extra vegan meal makes a big difference.  

Best vegan cookbooks: Zaika by Romy Gill

(Image credit: Romy Gill)

3. Zaika

The best vegan cookbook for Indian food

Specifications
Author(s): Romy Gill
Pages: 208
Released: 2019

Chef Romy Gill is known for her unique Indian food, combining the best of her West Bengal heritage with the best of British food. As a regular food writer and a familiar face on some well-known cookery programmes, it’s clear that Romy knows her spices. 

Romy learned to cook from her mother in India, where there was less of an emphasis on meat in their meals. Many home-cooked dishes were naturally vegan, and it’s these childhood memories that are presented so beautifully in this book. 

From breads and sides, to hearty, warming curries and puddings, every single recipe in this book looks appetising and delicious. If you’re craving a bit of spice, this is definitely the title for you. 

Best vegan cookbooks: Leon Fast Vegan

(Image credit: Leon)

4. Leon Fast Vegan

The best vegan cookbook for healthy eats

Specifications
Author(s): John Vincent, Rebecca Seal and Chantal Symons
Pages: 304
Released: 2018

LEON is on a mission to get everyone to eat well and live well. The restaurant chain does this by preparing quick, easy, on-the-go foods that are healthy. They want to prove that fast food doesn’t have to mean junk food. 

The brand has numerous chains in the UK – it’s an increasingly common sight in service stations and train stations – but it’s spreading around the world, including a branch in Washington, DC. 

LEON has now released numerous books, each beautifully illustrated in its unique classic style. They look as good on your coffee table as they are practical in the kitchen. Fast Vegan has over 150 recipes that are exciting, tasty, interesting and quick, covering every meal from breakfast to supper. 

Best vegan cookbooks: Happy Vegan by Ferne Cotton

(Image credit: Ferne Cotton)

5. Happy Vegan

The best vegan cookbook for family meals

Specifications
Author(s): Ferne Cotton
Pages: 224
Released: 2019

Fearne Cotton might be best known to a certain generation as a radio and TV presenter and music industry (plus the wife of Rolling Stone offspring Jesse Wood).

 These days, however, she is more likely to be found discussing topics around healthy eating, wellbeing, yoga and mental health, with a full range of fitness, mindfulness and recipe books under her belt.

This book is her first featuring solely plant-based recipes (and her third cookery book overall), with a focus on foods the whole family will love. As a mother and step-mother herself, it’s clear that Fearne has really thought about the dishes in this book. They are simple and flavoursome, but familiar enough for even the fussiest eater. 

Fearne takes a gentle approach to vegan cooking; this book is a good first step for those who want to introduce more plant-based meals into their diet. 

Best vegan cookbooks: Dirty Vegan: Another Bite

(Image credit: Dirty Vegan)

6. Dirty Vegan: Another Bite

The best vegan cookbook for big flavours

Specifications
Author(s): Matt Pritchard
Pages: 208
Released: 2019

Following in the footsteps of the hugely popular first Dirty Vegan cookbook, this highly anticipated second title lives up to expectations. What Matt does so well is bring vegan food into the mainstream in a relatable and easy-to-understand way. 

The Welsh professional skateboarder, stunt performer and endurance athlete broke the mould when he hosted the BBC's first vegan cookery show. Throughout his robust recipes, he proves that vegan food can be big, delicious and packed with nutrients to serve even the most hardened athlete.

 The book is packed with both clear recipes and plenty of personality; it’s hard to decide what to cook first! This is a title that, along with the first book, deserves pride of place in any kitchen. 

Best vegan cookbooks: Speedy BOSH! by Henry Firth, Ian Theasby

(Image credit: Henry Firth, Ian Theasby)

7. Speedy BOSH!

The best vegan cookbook for fast food

Specifications
Author(s): Henry Firth, Ian Theasby
Pages: 288
Released: 2020

The boys at BOSH! have become the unlikely faces of the vegan cooking world. 

Unlikely because Henry and Ian both admit to being fairly big meat eaters, and their rise to plant-based fame was something neither of them anticipated. Now, the BOSH! channel on YouTube has over 187K subscribers and the boys are on a mission to prove that vegan food can be tasty and easy. 

Speedy BOSH! is their fifth book, with 100 new plant-based meals. Admittedly, the book uses quite a few shortcuts, including plenty of ready-prepared ingredients, which is a departure from their previous ‘from scratch’ approach. But the book has a specific purpose, and if you’re looking for really quick and really easy vegan food for a speedy meal, this is a good investment.  

Best vegan cookbooks: Deliciously Ella by Ella Mills

(Image credit: Deliciously Ella)

8. Deliciously Ella

The best vegan cookbook for mindful cooking

Specifications
Author(s): Ella Mills (née Woodward)
Pages: 256
Released: 2015

Part-cookbook, part-healthy-living guide, this is the original release from the Deliciously Ella series (there are now five different titles), and the best one to start with.

Before launching into any recipes, Ella talks through her personal experience with food and how she turned to a plant-based diet as a way of managing chronic health conditions. As a result, her approach is very health-conscious. 

This isn’t a book for simply reducing your intake of animal-based foods, but rather transforming the way you cook and eat entirely. It’s holistic, yet balanced, showing how food can be medicine for the body and yet taste amazing too. 

It’s clear throughout that Ella has a real passion for food, health, wellbeing and cooking. The recipes are more expensive to recreate than in some other books, but they are not complicated to follow.