It’s no secret that a plant-based diet is growing rapidly and gaining a lot of interest. If you are looking for a place to get started, these popular plant-based vegan cookbooks are ranked best by the whole food plant-based community.
Most of us have heard of Meatless Mondays and a whole-food plant-based diet, but many don’t understand exactly what it means. That’s okay. This is a brief explanation and a list of some of the top plant-based cookbooks should help get you in the kitchen preparing delicious healthy recipes in no time.
The photo does not include all of the books on the list and is only the cookbooks that I personally have on hand and not the complete list.
What does plant-based mean?
A whole-food plant-based (WFPB) diet is similar to a vegan diet in that both ways of eating avoid meat, dairy, and eggs. However, WFPB takes it to a further level of eating closer to the plant.
Eating plant-based, whole foods means fueling your body from the following food groups.
- WHOLE GRAINS – This group includes brown rice, millet, oats, barley, corn, bulgur, and all products made from whole grains including bread, cereals, pasta, and more.
- LEGUMES – This group includes beans, peas, and lentils. They are hearty, high-protein foods that are rich in calcium, iron, cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber, and even traces of omega-3 fatty acids.
- VEGETABLES – These foods are loaded with vitamins and minerals, are very low in fat, and like all plant foods, have no cholesterol at all.
- FRUIT – These are vitamin-rich and have no cholesterol. They do have natural sugar but are low on the glycemic index, except for watermelon and pineapple.
Recommended foods do NOT include meat, dairy products, eggs, added oils, or most processed foods.
Voted best plant-based cookbooks
If you are thinking about starting or expanding your plant-based kitchen, there are plenty of cookbooks from top-notch vegan and plant-based chefs that can help.
Introducing some new recipes into your weekly wheelhouse meals is a great way to learn new cooking skills and learn more about unfamiliar foods like bulgur and tofu. We have some great plant-based recipes on this website as well.
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.
This list of healthy cookbooks is for the plant-based vegan-committed and the vegan-curious and everyone in between.
#1– Be A Plant-Based Woman Warrior
Authors: Jane & Ann Esselstyn (320 pages)
This book includes more than 125 recipes made for women on the go. Full of life, captivating energy, and delicious food, this cookbook brings readers to the Esselstyn family table, where plants and joy are at the center. View on Amazon
Authors: Carleigh Bodrug (288 pages)
PlantYou is the ridiculously easy plant-based, oil-free cookbook with over 140+ healthy vegan recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, cheese sauces, salad dressings, dessert, and more! It’s a full-color guidebook that makes plant-based meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking a breeze. View on Amazon
#3- How Not to Die Cookbook
Authors: Michael Greger MD, FACLM & Gene Stone (272 pages)
From Michael Greger, M.D., FACLM, the physician behind the trusted and wildly popular website Nutritionfacts.org, and author of the New York Times bestselling book How Not to Die, comes a beautifully-designed, comprehensive cookbook complete with more than 120 recipes for delicious, life-saving, plant-based meals, snacks, and beverages that’s a perfect gift for health-conscious eaters. View on Amazon
#4- The China Study Cookbook
Author: Leanne Campbell, Ph.D. (208 pages)
With 2 million copies sold, The China Study has been hailed as one of the most important health and nutrition books ever published. It reveals that a whole foods, plant-based diet is the best way to stop the widespread growth of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. View on Amazon
#5- Straight Up Food Cookbook
Author: Cathy Fisher (251 pages)
Veteran cooking instructor Cathy Fisher guides you in preparing delicious meals made from the most health-promoting ingredients on the planet! Her recipes call for 100% plant foods and are also gluten-free and “SOS-free” (made with no added salt, oil, or sugar). View on Amazon
#6- The Vegan 8 Cookbook
Author: Brandi Doming (256 pages)
The majority of the recipes in this cookbook focus on 8 ingredients or less, not counting salt, pepper, or water. Author, Brandi Doming, loves to create health-focused recipes, using whole foods to improve fitness and muscle-building, with the occasional comfort meal thrown in there! View on Amazon
#7- PlantPure Comfort Food
Author: Kim Campbell (304 pages)
In PlantPure Comfort Food, Kim Campbell— daughter-in-law of Dr. T. Colin Campbell, the “science father” of the modern plant-based nutrition movement—offers comfort food recipes to satisfy a wide range of palates, making a healthy, plant-based lifestyle more accessible than ever. From enchiladas to pho bowls to buffalo pot pie, the possibilities for plant-based eating are endless—and delicious! View on Amazon
#8- The Engine 2 Cookbook
Author: Rip & Jane Esselstyn (288 pages)
Engine 2 started in a firehouse in Texas, and if Texas firefighters love to eat this food, readers nationwide will eat it up, too! The Engine 2 Cookbook packs the life-saving promise of the Engine 2 program into more than 130 mouth-watering, crowd-pleasing recipes. View on Amazon
#9- Plantifully Lean
Author: Kiki Nelson (272 pages)
In Plantifully Lean, Kiki shares more than 125 wide-ranging, simple recipes and the four-week meal plan that were key to her success. Covering every meal plus snacks, this book was written to help anyone find health and well-being, whether they aim to lose weight, stave off diabetes, lower cholesterol, or address elevated blood pressure. View on Amazon
#10- Happy Herbivore
Author: Lindsey Nixon (240 pages)
With over 175 recipes, this book will save you money by using “everyday” inexpensive ingredients, save you time with easy, no-fuss recipes and improve your health with each nutritional bite. Lindsay S. Nixon creates recipes that show eating a low-fat vegan diet is not only healthy but delicious, too. View on Amazon
#11- Forks Over Knives Cookbook
Author: Del Sroufe (368 pages)
This groundbreaking New York Times bestseller will transform your health—with 300 whole-food, plant-based recipes to help you lose weight, prevent disease, and thrive. View on Amazon
#12- Dreena’s Kind Kitchen
Author: Dreena Burton (288 pages)
Dreena Burton has been creating plant-based, whole-food recipes for more than 20 years. Home cooks know they can trust her recipes to turn out great—and to be delicious! Now, she has created this one-stop resource with over 100 recipes for making kinder, more compassionate food choices, for other beings, for the planet, and for yourself. View on Amazon
Author: Chef AJ & Glen Merzer (196 pages)
Chef AJ shares her own inspiring journey to wellness where she learned about the healing power of whole plant foods. The authors clearly define the differences between processed vs whole plant foods, explain why fiber- over calorie-dense is better, and offer numerous suggestions on how to replace the flavors of salt, oil, and sugar (SOS). More than 135 new and improved recipes are completely SOS and gluten-free. View on Amazon
#14- Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook
Author: Anne Crile Esselstyn & Jane Esselstyn (288 pages)
Mother-daughter team Ann and Jane Esselstyn have decades of experience developing delicious, healthful recipes for both their family and Dr. Esselstyn’s many grateful patients. Now, they combine their expertise to offer you a cookbook with more than 125 easy and mouthwatering recipes, brimming with nourishment for your heart and your overall health. View on Amazon
#15- PlantPure Nation Cookbook
Author: Kim Campbell (320 pages)
Author Kim Campbell is a culinary contributor, recipe developer, and cooking instructor at Campbell Wellness. In PlantPure Nation Cookbook, she shares more than 150 extensively tested, 100% plant-based recipes that she has created and cultivated over 25 years of vegan cooking. View on Amazon
#16- Plant-Based Diet for Beginners
Author: Gabriel Miller (168 pages)
Eating a diet rich with whole-food, plant-based ingredients is one of the best decisions you can make to support your overall health—and now it’s easier than ever! This beginner-friendly cookbook is packed with expert guidance and 75 nutritious recipes that make it enjoyable to eat a plant-based diet. View on Amazon
#17- Well Your World
Author: Rebeca Goc & Dillon Holmes
Simplify your healthy plant-based diet with over 45 delicious, easy recipes free of added salt, oil, and sugar (SOS-free). This is our first book and a collection of recipes from our live cooking show and YouTube channel that we think you’ll absolutely love! View Book Details
#18- The Mediterranean Plate
Author: Debbie Adler (189 pages)
Level up your plant-based plate with new groundbreaking recipes from award-winning cookbook author Debbie Adler. You will send your tastebuds soaring to new heights with vibrant Mediterranean flavors, while simultaneously boosting your health and well-being with an abundance of varietal vegetables, gluten-free whole grains, life-enhancing legumes, and nourishing nuts and seeds. View on Amazon
#19- Plant-Based Cooking Made Easy
Authors: Jill & Jeffrey Dalton (272 pages)
From the creators of the popular YouTube channel The Whole Food Plant Based Cooking Show comes this timely and comprehensive cookbook! Plant Based Cooking Made Easy features over 100 life-saving, whole food plant-based recipes that are gluten-free, refined sugar & oil-free, low in sodium, and full of scrumptious flavors. View on Amazon
#20- The Plant-Based Cookbook
Author: Ashley Madden (280pages)
Ashley Madden is a pharmacist turned plant-based chef, certified holistic nutritional consultant, and devoted health foodie. A diagnosis of multiple sclerosis changed her whole life and approach to food, eventually shaping a new food philosophy and inspiring this book. Her cookbook will no doubt transform your kitchen, bringing new plant-based, whole food ideas to the table and offering easy yet healthy recipe solutions for everything from celebratory meals to rushed weeknight dinners. View on Amazon
More plant-based resources
- Plant-Based, Oil-Free Recipes by Category
- Plant-Based Diet Beginners Guide
- 10 Super Easy Plant-Based Recipes in 15 Minutes!
- How to Start a Plant-Based Diet
- Plant-Based Diet Grocery List
For those of you new to the whole food plant-based lifestyle, we’ve created a FREE 7-Day Plant-Based Menu Planner to help you get started!
About Terri Edwards
Hi guys! I am the blogger behind EatPlant-Based and a licensed Food for Life instructor with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. I am passionate about sharing healthy recipes and tips to empower others to get healthy. I’m so glad you’re here! Read More…