16 of the best healthy cookbooks to buy
This is our definitive list of the best healthy cookbooks. We've included our favourite gluten-free, veggie, vegan, healthy student and family books – add them to your repertoire and you'll never run out of ideas
We've got good news. Eating healthily (or making considerable changes to your diet) doesn't have to be hard. When you're armed with the right cookbook, you have a whole world of recipes to explore, meaning you'll never run out of inspiration and hopefully find it easier to stay on track. But with so many cookbooks available to buy, how do we know which ones are best?
We asked our team of food experts to recommend their favourite cookbooks with a healthy angle and compiled a list of our top finds. From books which help with losing weight, eating less dairy, going gluten-free or following the change of the seasons, we have everything you need below.
There are books filled with healthy family dishes, hearty salads, vegan brunch recipes, veggie weeknight dishes and even nourishing student meals.
For more cookbook inspiration, check out our guides to the best keto cookbooks, best air fryer cookbooks or best gluten-free cookbooks. For more unbiased expert buyer’s guides, visit our reviews section to find over 400 round-ups, including the best healthy cereal, gluten-free bread and high-protein snacks.
16 best healthy cookbooks at a glance
- Best vegetarian cookbook: A Modern Way to Cook, Anna Jones (£20.82)
- Best gluten-free cookbook: The Gluten-Free Cookbook, Cristian Broglia (£29.79)
- Best for uni students: The Green Roasting Tin, Rukmini Iyer (£10)
- Best for filling salads: Savage Salads, Kristina Gustafsson and Davide Del Gatto (£1.25)
- Best for families: Joe's Family Food, Joe Wicks (£8.54)
- Best for healthy classics: Honestly Healthy for Life: Healthy Alternatives for Everyday Eating, Natasha Corrett and Vicki Edgson (£9.99)
- Best for fresh flavours: A Change of Appetite, Diana Henry (£15.97)
- Best for nutrition: How Not to Die, Michael Greger (£10.40)
- Best vegan cookbook: Rachel Ama's Vegan Eats, Rachel Ama (£18.05)
- Best budget cookbook: Broke Vegan, Saskia Sidey (£9.09)
- Best for healthy inspiration: The Sprouted Kitchen: Bowl and Spoon, Sara Forte (£18.15)
- Best healthy Indian cookbook: Chetna's Healthy Indian, Chetna Makan (£10.49)
- Best for seasonal cooking: The Magnificent Book of Vegetables: How to Eat a Rainbow Every Day, Alice Hart (£20.55)
- Best for gut health: The FODMAP Friendly Kitchen, Emma Hatcher (£19.99)
- Best for overall health: The Doctor's Kitchen, Dr Rupy Aujla (£12.99)
- Best sugar-free cookbook: The Extra Virgin Kitchen, Susan Jane White (£14.40)
The best healthy cookbooks to buy 2023
A Modern Way to Cook by Anna Jones
Best vegetarian cookbook
This is the second book from Anna Jones, who we consider the queen of vegetarian cooking. Her first, A Modern Way to Eat, specialised in simple yet delicious meals, all made without meat. A Modern Way to Cook continues in this vein, but introduces slightly more adventurous dishes and unusual flavour pairings.
It includes clean, nourishing, vegetable-focused recipes which can be enjoyed any night of the week. Chapters are broken down into cooking times (under 15, 20, 30 and 40 minutes). In classic Anna Jones style, every recipe is balanced – taste, texture, acidity, spice, sweetness and crunch are always considered. And she uses clever tricks to both save time and enhance flavour. The kale, tomato and lemon one-pot spaghetti, which makes a silky sauce using the starchy water, will change the way you cook pasta forever.
The Gluten-Free Cookbook by Cristian Broglia
Best gluten-free cookbook
Consider this sizeable book a gluten-free bible. It packs in as many as 350 gluten-free recipes from all around the world. In this way, it shows how easy and varied it can be to eat a diet that's naturally gluten-free, without having to rely on substitutions. There's enough recipes to keep you cooking all year round, including summer rolls, cornbread, steak with chimichurri sauce, curry, pavlova and lots more.
The Green Roasting Tin by Rukmini Iyer
Best for uni students
Rukmini Iyer's roasting tin books have been hugely successful, and for good reason. She takes one tin and a few simple ingredients then pops them in the oven, what comes out is a balanced, healthy meal that you can enjoy any night of the week. There are six books to try, and we love this veggie and vegan one. It contains 75 meat-free recipes, including hearty three-bean chilli with guacamole, miso aubergine, and beetroot, chickpea and coconut curry. We appreciate that there are no complicated ingredients and absolutely no faff.
More like this
Savage Salads by Kristina Gustafsson and Davide Del Gatto
Best for filling salads
Salads can be a great way to get your daily dose of vegetables, grains, protein and fats. However, when not done right they can be a little lacklustre and leave you feeling hungry. With this book, you'll never eat a sad salad again. It's written by Kristina Gustafsson and Davide del Gatto, who set up shop in London to sell fully-loaded salads and soon had long queues out the door. They knew they were on to something and pulled together a book of their famous protein-rich, vitamin-packed salad recipes, all made with meat, fish or cheese. Ideal for anyone looking to fuel up before or after a workout.
Joe's Family Food by Joe Wicks
Best for family meals
You'll probably recognise Joe Wicks from the cover of his Lean in 15 books, which promote healthy eating habits and helped millions to lose weight. Now he focuses his attention on helping families put nourishing meals on the table, while spending less time in the kitchen and more time together.
His book offers family recipes with a healthy twist. It's approachable, as most of the recipes are classics the kids already know and love, from pasta to pizza, burgers and even popcorn. The chapters are divided into sections like speedy suppers, big batch and hob recipes, so you can choose meals depending on how much time and effort you feel like putting in.
Honestly Healthy for Life: Healthy Alternatives for Everyday Eating by Natasha Corrett and Vicki Edgson
Best for healthy classics
Honestly Healthy is a book for anyone following the alkaline diet – a way of eating which aims to reduce acid in the body and restrict the amount of sugar, meat and processed foods consumed. The recipes are mostly vegetarian and packed with pulses, nuts, fruit and sprouted grains. There's lots of helpful information about the alkaline diet, should you wish to learn more. There's even a short five-day cleanse with meal plans to help get you started.
Although there's no scientific evidence for some of the claims made about the diet, you'll still benefit from reducing your intake of processed ingredients and eating more healthy, balanced meals.
A Change of Appetite by Diana Henry
Best for fresh flavours
This is senior food editor Anna Glover's go-to cookbook when she's looking for something lighter. "It made me think about eating healthy as something to enjoy rather than fear," she told us, "and I knew the recipes would be full of flavour and interesting. I was bookmarking every page as a ‘to make’ which is when I know it’s a good cookbook! The griddled Vietnamese chicken with table salad, Burmese chilli fish with hot and sour salad, and Israeli chicken with harissa griddled peaches and mint were the first things that caught my eye."
How Not to Die by Michael Greger
Best for nutrition
Dr. Michael Greger's best-selling book focuses on enriching your diet so that you can you reduce your risk of illness and disease. In a time when most doctors prescribe medicine or surgery, he suggests that adopting a healthy, plant-based diet could be enough to avoid some types of sickness and even reverse the effects of disease.
Beyond the sensationalist title is a selection of excellent plant-based dishes waiting to be enjoyed. As well as cutting edge nutritional science and a helpful checklist of 12 foods we should consume every day. It offers a clear, actionable path for anyone looking to eat more mindfully to boost longevity.
Rachel Ama's Vegan Eats by Rachel Ama
Best vegan cookbook
Rachel Ama is changing what it means to be vegan with her inspiring debut book. Drawing on her heritage, she combines Caribbean and West African flavours with ingredients you can easily get in the supermarket. The results are bold, playful vegan dishes you'll come back to again and again. From ackee scramble with smoky aubergine bagels, to curry-roasted cauliflower with coconut raita and peanut fried rice. The recipes look so good, you'll want to get cooking immediately.
Broke Vegan by Saskia Sidey
Best budget cookbook
Whether it's for the health of the planet or ourselves, we all want to increase the amount of plant-based recipes in our repertoire. But going vegan can be expensive – there's meat and dairy-alternatives to buy, not to mention all the extra nuts, herbs and spices for flavour. Luckily there's this handy cookbook from food stylist Saskia Sidey, who breathes new life into vegan cooking while keeping costs down.
From uni students to inexperienced vegans, plenty of people will enjoy this book. It's full of recipes that use whatever you have on hand, such as back-of-the-fridge fritters, vegetable tart and frozen smoothie bowls. Plus, there are tips for making food go further, batch-cooking ideas, and sweet recipes for times of indulgence.
The Sprouted Kitchen: Bowl and Spoon by Sara Forte
Best for bowl recipes
There's something about eating from a bowl that makes healthy recipes feel even more nourishing, as if nestling the ingredients together – instead of laying them out on a plate – makes them even better for you. This is the premise behind the second book from blogger Sara Forte.
She takes natural whole foods, lean proteins, unrefined sugars and filling grains and combines them to make comforting dishes you'll want to savour. Chapters are split into morning bowls, side bowls, big bowls, sweet bowls and there's a section on dressings and sauces. The recipes are easy to follow and truly delicious. We found it impossible to pick a favourite but we especially love the soba noodle salad with veg and maple tofu, the roasted mushrooms with tahini kale slaw and the easy chickpea salad.
Chetna's Healthy Indian Vegetarian by Chetna Makan
Best healthy Indian cookbook
You may remember Chetna from her time on The Great British Bake Off or her first best-selling cookbook, Chai, Chaat and Chutney. Either way, you'll be seriously impressed by her latest offering. Its pages are lined with healthy and vibrant Indian recipes, all made without meat. Recipes include courgette kofta curry and spicy roasted cauliflower.
Chetna proves that veg really can be the star of the show. Perfect for those times when you want big flavours without the calories, salt or fat. It's inspiring, especially to anyone who thinks Indian cooking only covers the cream-laden dishes we often order in restaurants.
The Magnificent Book of Vegetables: How to Eat a Rainbow Every Day by Alice Hart
Best for seasonal cooking
We all know the benefits of eating a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, with this beautiful collection of vegetarian and vegan recipes, you'll be eating a rainbow in no time. The book is split into seasons, so you can choose new wholesome dishes throughout the year. The focus is on simple-yet-satisfying flavours and ingredients which nourish our bodies and minds.
Highlights include crispy courgette and sweetcorn fritters, beetroot puttanesca and purple sprouting broccoli pasta.
The FODMAP Friendly Kitchen by Emma Hatcher
Best for gut health
FODMAPs are foods which cause problems for anyone with digestive issues, such as coeliac disease and IBS. After suffering from a sensitive gut for years, Emma Hatcher was recommended the FODMAP diet by a doctor and never looked back. Now, she brings the joy of cooking and eating back to anyone living with bloating, tummy pains and feelings of discomfort by making recipes without these problem foods.
Her recipes prove it's possible to look after your gut while enjoying quick, easy and nourishing meals every day. Try the baked eggs with tomatoes and feta, quinoa, kale and feta patties with rainbow slaw and rhubarb polenta cake.
The Doctor's Kitchen by Dr Rupy Aujla
Best for general health
For those who want to forget the fad diets and follow a doctor's advice, there's this fantastic first book from Dr Rupy Aujla. He's a strong believer in the power of food as medicine, something he calls 'plates over pills'. Within the pages, he explains the principles of living healthily, the impact of what we choose to put on our plate and how dangerous it can be to self-diagnose our intolerance to things like gluten.
He includes plenty of wholesome recipes to get you started – each one is a balance of nutrients, as well as textures and flavours.
The Extra Virgin Kitchen by Susan Jane White
Best sugar-free cookbook
After being advised to stay away from sugar, wheat and dairy due to intolerances, food writer Susan Jane White was left feeling unsatisfied and uninspired. She took matters into her own hands and, using her wealth of knowledge, began creating delicious recipes that didn't compromise her health. As her energy levels started to rise, so too did her enthusiasm for free-from cooking, so she created this excellent book to help others feel the same. Her recipes include hearty salads, wholesome breads, indulgent desserts and fragrant curries.
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This review was last updated in November 2023. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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