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8 of the best family cookbooks

Published: March 23, 2022 at 4:20 pm
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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.

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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? Find the best cookbooks for kids.

Check 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, £15.99
  • 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, £9.49
  • 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, £10

Best family cookbooks

How to Grow Your Family by Adam Shaw

A cookbook jacket against a white backdrop

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

Available from:
WHSmith (£15.99)
Foyles (£16.99)

River Cottage Baby & Toddler Cookbook by Nikki Duffy

A cookbook jacket against a white backdrop

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

Available from:
Waterstones (£16.99)
WHSmith (£16.99)

The National Trust Family Cookbook by Claire Thomson

A cookbook jacket against a white backdrop

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

More like this

Must-try recipe: Broccoli, feta & filo pie

Available from:
Waterstones (£20)
WHSmith (£16.99)

Feel Good Food by Joe Wicks

A cookbook jacket against a white backdrop

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

Available from:

Waterstones (£10)
Amazon (£10)

Family Comforts by Rebecca Wilson

A cookbook jacket against a white backdrop

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

Available from:

WH Smith (£9.49)
The Works (£10)

Green Kitchen at Home by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl

A cookbook jacket against a white backdrop

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

Available from:
Waterstones (£26)
Amazon (£18.79)

The Quick Roasting Tin by Rukmini Iyer

A cookbook jacket against a white backdrop

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

A cookbook jacket against a white backdrop

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

Available from:
Amazon (£10)
Waterstones (£26)

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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