On the menu

Ten of the best vegetarian and vegan cookbooks

Check out these recipe collections and create some delicious meat-free meals

The number of people switching to a meat-free lifestyle continues to rise in the UK.

Driven by health concerns and environmental determination, Sainsbury’s Future of Food report found that vegetarians, including vegans, look set to make up a quarter of British people by 2025, and flexitarians just under half of all UK consumers.

Supermarkets are supplying more products than ever to cater for the trend and according to The Vegan Society 2020 became the year that “every one of the top UK supermarkets [by revenue] had their own vegan range”.

With products readily available, cooking up a vegetarian or vegan feast has never been easier. Here we pick out some of the best cookbooks you can buy to help with your at-home meal menus in 2021…   


By Prue Leith and Peta Leith

The Vegetarian Kitchen

The Vegetarian Kitchen by Prue Leith and Peta Leith

This gorgeous cookbook features simple, meat-free family dishes that bring delight to the extended Leith family table, time and time again. Recipes include black bean chilli with lime salsa, and blackberry and lemon pavlova. Forty-two of these recipes can be made vegan.


By Maria Elia 

The Modern Vegetarian 

The Modern Vegetarian by Maria Elia

This is food that will stop you in your tracks. Maria Elia has created recipes full of sensational flavours, colours and textures - stunning, imaginative vegetarian dishes that taste fantastic. The vegetables are, of course, the stars of her show, and Elia showcases the astounding versatility of her favourites.


By Reiko Hashimoto

Japan: The World Vegetarian

Japan The World Vegetarian by Reiko Hashimoto

Vegetarianism has long been a feature of the Japanese diet. In this book Reiko Hashimoto walks us through the history of vegetarianism in the country, as well as providing tips on the key ingredients - such as miso, tofu and seaweed - that are most used in Japanese vegetarian cooking. 


By Rich Harris 

Root & Leaf: Big, bold vegetarian food

Root & Leaf: Big bold vegetarian food by Rich Harris

In this exciting book vegetables take centre stage as Rich Harris explores the many ways of using them, including pickling, smoking and fermenting, alongside the more traditional roasting and braising. As a chef and committed carnivore, Harris’s use of vegetables focuses on flavour, bringing out the natural tastes of vegetables and playing with complementary textures and qualities. 


By Emma Hollingsworth

Vegan Treats: Easy vegan bites & bakes

Vegan Treats : Easy vegan bites & bakes by Emma Hollingsworth

An irresistible selection of sweet vegan treats from hugely popular blogger Mrs Hollingsworth’s. From peanut butter chocolate cheesecake to classic banoffee pie, each mouth-watering recipe is totally vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and free from refined sugar. Easy to make, deliciously decadent and using natural, easily available ingredients, Emma Hollingsworth’s amazing recipes will transform any plant-based diet.


By Katy Beskow

Vegan Fakeaway

Vegan Fakeaway by Katy Beskow

Katy Beskow’s Vegan Fakeaway offers 70 recipes that deliver fast, easy, vegan takeaway classics that will make sure you’re able to indulge, whenever the craving strikes. Divided into chapters on American, Chinese, Indian, Italian and Middle Eastern classics you’ll find recipes which take just 15 minutes to cook, slow-cooker recipes that do the hard work for you, and menus that will feed up to four people. 


By Gaz Oakley

Vegan Christmas

Vegan Christmas by Gaz Oakley

There’s no reason why you can’t enjoy festive food all year round. In this book Gaz Oakley has put together some fantastic alternatives to the turkey and trimmings. There are vegan recipes for mince pies, pavlova, the traditional Christmas pudding with custard, and even a “cheese” board.


By Roxy Pope & Ben Pook

So Vegan in 5

So Vegan in 5 by Roxy Pope & Ben Pook

The co-founders of the online channel So Vegan, Roxy Pope and Ben Pook, have released a perfect cookbook for those who fear that vegan cooking is too daunting. Each of the easy-to-follow recipes has a maximum of five cheap and simple to source ingredients and “don’t require complicated gadgets”, says The Independent. “If you’re worried that using only five ingredients may leave your taste buds less than tantalised, fear not – you’ll be rustling up the likes of jerk tofu burgers that a serious flavour punch,” says the newspaper.


By Leah Vanderveldt

First-time Vegan

First-time Vegan by Leah Vanderveldt

This information-heavy recipe book will help guide those who have decided to make the transition from carnivore to herbivore, without risking daily nutritional value in the process. Leah Vanderveldt, who is certified in culinary nutrition from the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City, knows exactly what a new vegan needs. Waitrose Weekend says Vanderveldt “offers sound practical advice on how to make the change – and how to stick to it… [and] won’t leave you pining for what you’ve given up”.


By Mark Bittman

How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

This classic, initially published more than a decade ago, was billed as a “breakthrough cookbook” that made vegetarian cooking “accessible to everyone”. A tenth-anniversary revamp of the famous veggie cookbook includes vibrant colour photos as well as ingredients that were not widely available when the first edition was published in 2007, such as oat milk instead of soy milk. Also in this revised version is a new chapter focused on smoothies, teas, and more. “Whether you’re a flexitarian, take a solid no-meat stance or just want to explore more vegetable-forward food, this cookbook won’t let you down,” Spruce Eats reports.


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