It’s no surprise that more and more people are cooking at home throughout the coronavirus pandemic: The simple act of cooking and sharing a meal has become a way to feel normal and connected during stressful times. With more people opening up to a plant-based way of life and growing increasingly wary of the current status of the meat industry, vegan options are on the rise.

For those who are new to the plant-based lifestyle, cookbooks are a great way to learn how to tweak some of your favorite dishes and tastes to make them vegan-friendly and help you ease into your new diet. For those who have been free of animal products for a while, these books will help guide you to new recipes that can shake up your routine and make it a little more interesting-- and delicious! We’ve rounded up the five best vegan cookbooks to help you cook your way through quarantine and beyond.

1. Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes for Every Day of the Week by Isa Chandra Moskowitz

Why we love it: An unfussy and approachable look at vegan cuisine from a master cookbook creator and restaurateur, Isa Does It hits every high note possible. Most of the 150 new recipes take less than 30 minutes to throw together and use readily available ingredients.

Favorite Dish: Everyday Pad Thai 

Chef’s great quote: On her blog, Post Punk Kitchen, Isa waxed poetic about this Pad Thai, saying “Here it is: the quintessential sweet and sour Thai noodle. Also, the key to my heart. If I didn’t think it would give me some sort of vitamin deficiency, I’d probably eat Pad Thai for every meal. This recipe introduces my super top-secret ingredient. (Um, as usual, it’s miso.) It adds a bit of fermented depth that mimics traditional fish sauce.”

Use it when: You’re craving complex Southeast Asian flavors in a conveniently short time frame or to impress a last-minute dinner guest.

2. The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out by Angela Liddon

Why we love it: This New York Times Bestselling cookbook offers plenty of helpful, approachable vegan recipes (a hundred of them!). The author’s fun and laid back personality from her well-known blog shine through in cookbook form as well.

Favorite dish: Crowd-Pleasing Tex Mex Casserole

Chef’s great quote: On her food philosophy, Angela says on her blog that “I thrive on a diet made up of whole, plant-based foods that are minimally processed and organically grown whenever possible. I make room for dessert, believing a balanced diet can still include indulgences like chocolate or sweet treats (in moderation—usually!).”

Use it when: it’s finally time to entertain again, and you want a fun backyard dinner party option that will please even the pickiest of guests.

3. Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook, Eat Like You Give a F***

Why we love it: The first in the wildly popular Thug Kitchen series, this humorous take on plant-based cooking takes the stuffiness out of vegan cooking and adds some curse words instead.

Favorite dishes: Pumpkin Chili for delicious fall vibes all year long

Chef’s great quote: “We make dope food and bad puns” is the tagline on the @thugkitchen Instagram, and it perfectly sums up their delicious recipes with a side of sass.

Give it to: Your meat-loving friends (once it’s safe to share) or quarantine buddy, to convert them to some plant-based goodness.

4. Sweet Potato Soul: 100 Easy Vegan Recipes for the Southern Flavors of Smoke, Sugar, Spice, and Soul by Jenné Claiborne

Why we love it: True Southern comfort vegan food is something we can all get behind. Plus, the enlightening Southern pantry staples section makes it even easier to cook your way through this beautiful book.

Favorite dish: Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

Chef’s great quote: From her blog, “Cinnamon rolls remind me of watching Saturday morning cartoons sticky-fingered with my favorite doll Kenya, and eating Cinnabon at the mall as a tween. Along with sweet potato pie and pound cake they are the embodied form of comfort. And when I made these vegan Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls I imagined making them on Saturday morning with my future kids, the smell of sugary spiced love making its way to every corner of our home.”

Give it to or serve it when: You’re feeling homesick or missing someone and need a little extra comfort.

5. Frugal Vegan: Affordable, Easy, and Delicious Vegan Cooking by Katie Koteen and Kate Kasbee of Well Vegan

Why we love it: Common misconceptions with vegan food are that it can be expensive and time-consuming. This cookbook proves that neither of those are the case.

Favorite dish: Pineapple Scones for a taste of the tropics in a simple baked good

Chef’s great quote: About the book, “With practical tips and approachable recipes, Frugal Vegan will help our readers create stunning plant-based meals that save both money and time in the kitchen.”

Use it when: You have overnight guests (eventually!) as a bright, vegan way to start the day.

While there are so many vegan cookbooks to choose from, starting with these fab five will provide an excellent base for a plant-based kitchen. With tons of personality and approachable recipes, our favorite vegan cookbooks are a sure way to success, no matter where you are on your vegan journey.

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