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9 of the Best Cookbooks For Beginners, From Pasta to Pastries

Looking for easy recipe suggestions? Vogue editors share the best cookbooks for beginners that they use time and time again….

-Chloe Schama, Senior Editor

The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen

Simply by Sabrina Ghayour

“As a big Ottolenghi fan—but someone too lazy to make his more elaborate dishes on a regular basis—I was obsessed with Sabrina Ghayour’s first cookbook, Persiana, which explores a similarly eclectic mix of Eastern Mediterranean cuisines but using a more easily accessible range of ingredients. This summer I picked up her latest book, Simply, which offers even speedier weeknight takes riffing on Ghayour’s largely Iranian-inspired flavors: I love the chorizo and goat’s cheese borek and the falafel recipe, both of which are super quick to whip up and make for obscenely delicious next-day leftovers too.”

-Liam Hess, Contributing Writer

What to Bake and How to Bake It by Jane Hornby

“I’m an enthusiastic baker, but a bad one—I basically need subtitles to watch the Great British Bake Off. (Feathering, tempering, proving—what?) So thank goodness for What to Bake and How to Bake It, which is part recipes, part teaching manual, and overall, one of the best cookbooks for beginners. I’ll be on my way to ‘Star Baker’ in no time.”

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-Elise Taylor, Living Writer

What to Bake and How to Bake It



Pasta Grannies by Vicki Bennison

“If you adhere to the true Pasta Granny method of making your dough and sauce on Sundays, the pasta dishes in the Grannies’ cookbook are pretty easy to whip up on a weeknight—and far more delicious than any box pasta you could ever make. I think the easiest pasta shapes are probably the ones you can make with only your hands or small tools like cavatelli, orecchiette, corzetti, instead of rolling out the dough for noodles, but that’s just my take. Even if you don’t spring for the cookbook, the Grannies have a great YouTube channel too where they walk through their signature dishes. It’s a total joy to watch and cook along.”

-Steff Yotka, Fashion News Editor

Pasta Grannies

East by Meera Sodha 

“My mom gave this cookbook to my boyfriend for Christmas, and we’ve promptly made three of its recipes in a row. It features vegetarian dishes inspired by a variety of Asian cuisines, with the perfect balance of easy recipes and more intimidating ones I’m excited to try on a weekend. Categories include noodles, curries, rice, and tofu, plus a section on condiments so you can learn how to DIY pickled ginger and Sichuan chile oil. The asparagus and snow peas with chile peanut crumbs is a great starting point, with shiitake pho as a quick follow-up. I’m saving the four-ingredient ‘Breakfast at Shuko’s’ udon noodle dish for New York’s next rainy day.”

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-Ella Riley-Adams, Senior Living and Beauty Editor




Cravings by Chrissy Teigen

“One of my favorite cookbooks is Cravings by Chrissy Teigen. I love to infuse Asian recipes into my cooking, but often the ingredients list is too lengthy or the steps are too convoluted. She allows me to indulge in my favorite dishes with ease. One dish I’ve been making a lot lately is her Asian Chicken Salad dish served with fresh crispy wonton strips and a homemade dressing.”

-Julie Tong, Senior Commerce Editor

The Balthazar Cookbook by Keith McNally, Riad Nasr and Lee Hanson

“I’d hardly call the Balthazar cookbook an easy cookbook, but somehow, it’s become my go-to—even despite being an amateur in the kitchen. Since I love baking way more than cooking, I can attest to the desserts in particular: the creme brulée is always a hit when I make it. (And I’ve been making it a lot.) Next up, I’m determined to try out the Koulibiac recipe, an old-fashioned dish with layered salmon wrapped in a puff pastry. (Salivating yet?) I’ll need a sous-chef to even attempt it, though.”

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-Christian Allaire, Fashion Writer

The Balthazar Cookbook