9 of the best family cookbooks
Discover the best recipe books for families, including cookbooks for first-time parents, vegetarians, and large households.
The right cookbook can become a family heirloom – memories of food and delicious recipes etch into children's memories just like bedtime stories and rhymes. We know that not every family cooks and eats the same. Some are beginning their journey into parenthood and need to adjust their nutritional needs during pregnancy; others are vegetarian households that require recipes packed with greens to keep both kids and adults sustained.
Many of the family cookbooks in our list focus on nutrition and ease. While cooking can be a type of therapy, family cooking is a particular kind of operation. Parents and carers are often managing a hectic schedule, busy environments and fussy appetites. Discover the right cookbook for your family's needs here.
Looking to grow your cookbook collection? Check out all our other cookbook recommendations including the best cookbooks for kids, best Italian cookbooks, best Indian cookbooks and our best budget cookbooks for savvy cooking tips.
For more recipe inspiration, out our range of family recipes, from family lunch recipes to healthy family recipes and family desserts. If you like to plan ahead, we also have our freezable family recipes, family traybakes and quick family recipes – perfect if you're usually in a rush around mealtimes.
Best family cookbooks at a glance
- Best cookbooks for a growing family: How to Grow Your Family by Adam Shaw, £17.47
- Best for seasonal recipes: River Cottage Baby & Toddler Cookbook by Nikki Duffy, £16.99
- Best for busy families: The National Trust Family Cookbook by Claire Thomson, £20
- Best for toddlers: Feel Good Food by Joe Wicks, £10
- Best for comfort food fans: Family Comforts by Rebecca Wilson, £6.87
- Best for vegetarian families: Green Kitchen at Home by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl, £26
- Best for oven cooking: The Quick Roasting Tin by Rukmini Iyer, £10
- Best for easy cooking: 7 Ways: Easy Ideas for Every Day of the Week by Jamie Oliver, £12
- Best for minimal ingredients: My First Meals by Grace Mortimer, £15
Best family cookbooks to buy 2023
How to Grow Your Family by Adam Shaw
Best for growing families
If you’re having your first child, then this is the book for you. Anyone on the other side will say that the transition to parenthood is an almighty gear shift, so enter Adam Shaw of @At_Dad’s_Table with something akin to a recipe guidebook to meet your changing nutritional needs. The first part of How to Grow Your Family focuses on recipes for each trimester of pregnancy, followed by a section on feeding new parents, before moving onto weaning and catering for all the family.
Must-try recipes: Look out for the crowd-pleasing potato and cheese rosti, as well as the surprise all-family win with spiced courgette, pea and feta fritters with turmeric yogurt
River Cottage Baby & Toddler Cookbook by Nikki Duffy
Best for seasonal recipes
First published in 2011, this weaning cookbook is still the go-to reference for thousands of parents. Its winning formula is a combination of accessible nutritional advice alongside failsafe seasonal recipes. There’s also a chapter on dealing with conflict and anxiety at mealtimes, which is full of kind, helpful ideas that you’ll want to copy down and send to all the parents you know. The recipes – split by season with additional sections on purées and all-year round inspiration – call for short ingredient lists (all easy to source) and cooking methods that don’t need much supervision, which is particularly handy when you have little ones at home.
Must try recipes: Cheese and apple on toast, frittatas and homemade burgers
The National Trust Family Cookbook by Claire Thomson
Best for busy families
This is a lifesaver if you and your family are in a recipe rut. Claire believes in cooking one meal for the whole family, and vegetables are often the focus. Chapters are divided into time frames, so whether it’s a chard & leek frittata ready in 10 minutes or a slow-roasted lamb shoulder with beans, rosemary & garlic, there are recipes for every eventuality
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Must-try recipe: Broccoli, feta & filo pie
Feel Good Food by Joe Wicks
Best for toddlers
Fitness guru Joe Wicks is on a mission to help everyone eat better, and he’s back with energy-boosting recipes for the whole family. I’m always looking for recipes my toddler will enjoy (particularly ones with lots of veg), as I don’t have the time or energy to cook two separate dinners, and Joe’s recipes have been a hit so far – think baked feta with roasted veg, creamy courgette & basil pasta, Thai green chicken & pea curry, and beef & black bean burgers, all tested on toddlers with great success. Recipes are easy to make, colourful and there are brilliant breakfast, weeknight and sweet treat ideas. We can’t wait to try more.
Must-try recipe: Chicken caprese burgers
Family Comforts by Rebecca Wilson
Best for comfort food fans
From the mum behind weaning and family cooking book, What Mummy Makes, Rebecca’s second book is packed with nutritious and easy dishes that everyone will enjoy, from babies to adults. There are quick recipes (we love the creamy spinach & fish gratin), breakfasts, midweek meals and a slow cooker chapter, too.
Must-try recipe: Garlic bread salmon
The Works (£10)
Green Kitchen at Home by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl
Best for vegetarian families
In their best-selling cookbook, Green Kitchen Travels, this vegetarian couple travelled the world with their toddler. Now a family of five, their latest book is packed with quick veggie recipes for all ages. Colourful and exciting, these recipes are a great way to get kids (and adults) eating more veg.
Must-try recipe: Middle Eastern sweet potato wraps
The Quick Roasting Tin by Rukmini Iyer
Best for oven cooking
Want quick, easy recipes that are ready in no time and don’t use every pan and utensil you own? This is the book for you! All the recipes are cooked in a roasting tin (you might need an extra bowl or pan for some of the prep), keeping washing-up to a minimum. Plus every recipe is ready in just 40 minutes max, from start to finish. There’s a chapter of family favourites including baked gnocchi and summer sausage traybake, as well as make-ahead lunches, lazy weekend feasts and indulgent desserts that everyone will enjoy.
Must-try recipe: Quick meatball pizza with cherry tomatoes & mozzarella
7 Ways: Easy Ideas for Every Day of the Week by Jamie Oliver
Best for easy cooking
For this book, Jamie Oliver researched what ingredients we as a nation put into our shopping baskets most regularly. Armed with 18 of the most popular everyday ingredients, including broccoli, peppers, chicken breasts, salmon fillets and eggs, Jamie invented new and exciting ways to prepare our favourite ingredients. The focus is ‘maximum flavour, minimum effort’, so every recipe is simple to make, and uses no more than eight easy-to-source ingredients. Expect new twists on classic favourites, such as filo chicken kiev, broccoli & cheese pierogi, potato lasagne and spiced cauliflower rice pie.
Must try recipe: Easy prawn curry
My First Meals
Best for minimal ingredients
This book is a saviour for busy parents. It’s full of five-ingredient meals that even the fussiest kids will enjoy, and there are so many clever ways with hidden veg and baked beans. We tested the baked bean bobble patties on a veg-avoiding toddler, and he ate six!
Must-try recipe: Carrot & cashew pesto pasta
Recipes for kids
Spaghetti and meatballs with tomato sauce
Vegan Thai green curry
Toddler recipe: Salmon fish fingers with chunky chips
Toddler recipe: Sweetcorn spinach fritters
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