Best Books for Your Kitchen Shelves in 2023

12 Minute Read

When you’re thinking about your kitchen storage, and especially your kitchen shelves, there’s a good chance you’re thinking about putting books on there. In decorative terms, books always look great, but really, what is a kitchen without a great cookbook full of delicious recipes to inspire you? With that in mind, we’ve pulled together some of the best cook books for your kitchen shelves, including a few that you might not have considered putting in your kitchen before. 

As a small business, we’d love it if you supported your local independent bookstore by using them to purchase copies of the books we’re recommending here. You can, of course, check them out online, but to give you a preview of what to expect from the author (and some seriously delicious looking food photography!) we’ve included links to the Instagram accounts for the authors so you can see the sort of thing you’ll find in the books before you buy. While you’re checking them out, follow our Instagram account @bensimpsonfurniture

The Best Cookbooks in 2023!

There’s a huge number of cookbooks in existence – we could be here all day. But since we all eat differently, we’ve picked some of the most popular for different styles of cooking. Whichever types of recipe cook books you’re looking for to stock your kitchen shelf with in 2023, these books all guarantee delicious results for your plate. 

The Best Easy Recipe Cook Books...

These are the books you need when you don’t want to make too much of an effort, or you’re short on time. Whether that is because you’re taking children to after-school clubs, or because you’re home from work late, you shouldn’t have to eat microwave meals. Get one, or several of these easy cook books, and beans on toast will be consigned to when you actually fancy it, rather than because you can’t be bothered to cook. 

One: Simple One-Pan Wonders by Jamie Oliver

We’re huge fans of any type of cooking that minimises washing up, and it seems we’re not alone. Jamie Oliver has been a favourite TV chef since his series The Naked Chef hit screens in 1999, and his most recent book One: Simple One-Pan Wonders includes over 120 recipes with just a few ingredients, and that require just one pan to cook. Follow Jamie and his family on Instagram @jamieoliver

From the Oven to the Table: Simple Dishes That Look After Themselves by Diana Henry

If throwing something on a sheet pan or in a roasting tin and letting the oven do the rest of the work sounds like the best way to cook, this is the book for you. You’ll find great mains, side dishes, and desserts in this book, with no stirring, pot watching, or changing of temperatures required. This book made The Sunday Times bestseller list, so it is definitely worthy of your kitchen shelf. Prep dinner before the kids come home from school, and then pop the tray in for however long the recipe calls for, freeing your time to help with homework, reading, or to do another chore. You can see more from Diana on Instagram @dianahenryfood.

Oh Cook!: 60 Easy Recipes That Any Idiot Can Make by James May

Fans of Top Gear and The Grand Tour (and every other series James May has made with sidekicks Clarkson and Hammond) will love the Oh Cook! recipe book, which accompanies the Amazon Prime TV series of the same name. This is an ideal book for the kitchen shelf of anyone who doesn’t know how to cook, or perhaps is cooking for the first time in their lives. Teenagers, students, and lazy cooks will find this easy to follow. You’ll find easy to browse chapters such as brunch, pasta, pub grub, and roasts, as well as a ‘store cupboard saviours’ section which is great for when there’s little to nothing in the fridge. All innuendo in the book is definitely intended! 

The best plant based and vegan cook book recipes...

Sustainability is high on all our agendas, and while not everyone will be considering going completely vegan, many of us are planning on eating more plant-based foods this year, which means we need great plant-based recipes. But it doesn’t have to just be soup and salad – as these cookbooks deliciously demonstrate. 

Nistisima: The Secret To Delicious Vegan Cooking From The Mediterranean And Beyond by Georgina Hayden

Whether you’re following a vegan lifestyle, or you’re looking to eat more plant-based foods in 2023, you need Nistisima. Nistisimo is the style of cooking that is used by Orthodox faiths during fasting periods, using fruits and vegetables, pulses and grains – and although they’re vegan, they’re absolutely delicious. Author Georgina Hayden used to be on Jamie Oliver’s food team, and so you know she’s going to be good – and when you’ve got recipes such as sticky chocolate-orange pudding in there, you know your family will be impressed too. 

Deliciously Ella. The Plant-Based Cookbook by Ella Mills

The fastest selling vegan cookbook of all time, this one is for you whether you’re new to a plant-based diet, you’re trying to incorporate more veggies into your diet, or you’ve been a vegan for years. This book has more than 100 recipes, and it gets incredible reviews on Amazon. If 2023 is the year you’re going to go full vegan, then look for bundles. As we write this you can get three of Ella’s books for just over £50 – definitely worth adding to your kitchen shelf! You can follow Ella on her on Instagram @deliciouslyella

The Best Healthy Cook Books...

If you’re on a mission to sort out your waistline, lower your cholesterol, or to just get a bit healthier this year, you need the right strategy if you’re not going to fail in your second week because what you’re eating is boring. Get a couple of these books on your shelf, and you’re much more likely to succeed in the long term.

Fakeaway: Healthy Home-cooked Takeaway Meals by Chris Bavin 

Times are tight for most of us at the moment, and we’re looking to save money – and in the new year, most of us are thinking about our waistlines too. But Friday night takeaways are a treat that none of us really want to give up! Enter the Fakeaway. This book is full of recipes that helps you to create different types of takeaways (but healthier, and cheaper) at home. If you’ve got special dietary requirements, you’ll find inclusive recipes, and simple swaps to make recipes even better if you’re vegan, gluten free, or have other needs. Follow Chris on Instagram @chris.bavin.

Pinch of Nom: Enjoy by Kate Allinson and Kay Allinson

If getting in shape and improving your health is on your agenda in 2023, but you’re dreading it because low fat and slimming foods are boring and tasteless, then Pinch of Nom: Enjoy is the book you need. Authors Kate and Kay Allinson began sharing their healthy, yet delicious recipes for dieters on their blog during their own weight loss journeys, and this book is full of divine treats such as chipotle chicken taquitos, Chilean style steak and fries, and creamy strawberry French toast. We’re drooling over the pictures, so we can only imagine how good these recipes are going to taste. 

Feel Good Food by Joe Wicks

Joe Wicks taught PE to the entire nation during COVID lockdowns, and it makes sense that a fitness guru would branch out into healthy cooking! Feel Good Food is a great choice for families that remember those PE lessons, and for anyone who is looking to eat healthily as well as they are working on their fitness. If you’re curating your Instagram feed, add Joe @thebodycoach for advice, more recipes, and workout suggestions.  

The Best Cook Books for Baking Recipes...

Who doesn’t love some delicious freshly baked goods? Whether you prefer a cookie, a cake, or a chocolate-coated confection, baking is a matter of science, and so you need a great recipe. These books have the basics for simple biscuits, right through to the most complicated, time consuming cakes and bakes that are totally worth the effort. 

Jane’s Patisserie Celebrate!: Bake Every Day Special by Jane Dunn

Perhaps you’re not on any kind of diet mission this year, or perhaps you and your family have a massive sweet tooth and like to bake treats on rainy Sundays. Whatever the case, bakers need Celebrate on their kitchen shelves. Packed with sumptuous recipes such as chocolate ganache drip cake, birthday cake cookies, and even margarita cupcakes, you’re going to love this book. Don’t just take our word for it – this book hit number one on the Sunday Times Bestseller list when it came out this year. If you’ve read some of our other posts, then you might have noticed we mentioned author Jane Dunn before, on our post about kitchen influencers to follow – and you can follow Jane on Instagram @janespatisserie

The Great British Bake Off: Favourite Flavours

Many foodies, and those of us with a sweet tooth adore the Great British Bake Off, and if you’ve followed along this year then you’re almost certainly going to want to get your hands on the official GBBO book for 2022. Whatever type of delicious dessert you prefer, this book has all the flavours and recipes from the series, and then some. We’re adding it to our carts right now! 

Other Handy Books for Your Kitchen Shelf...

The kitchen isn’t just a place for cooking – for many of us, it is the centre of our homes. With that in mind, here’s a few other books you might want to consider for your kitchen shelf. 

Mixed In Minutes: 50 Quick And Easy Cocktails To Make At Home by Dan Whiteside

If you’re a fan of a happy hour cocktail – whether it is a Christmas cocktail, or a fresh fruity summer spritz – then this book should be on your kitchen shelf. Not only does it contain inspiration for when you’re celebrating an occasion with family and friends, but there’s also grown-up hot chocolate and Irish coffee recipes, as well as tips for reducing alcohol content when you’re mixing. Author Dan Whiteside has been in the drinks industry for over twenty years, and has developed cocktail menus for all types of restaurants and chains – these are seriously good drinks. 

A Dictionary

We know, we know – you can do everything with your phone these days, even if you don’t have a smart assistant like an Alexa. But if you have children, and you’re sitting around the kitchen table doing homework and a question like “what is onomatopoeia?” then grabbing the dictionary is a good way to help you both. Or perhaps you’re partial to a game of Scrabble over a glass of wine in the evening? Either way, a dictionary can be a really handy thing to have to hand. Whether you’re using an old one that you’ve had in the family for years, or you buy a new one, it is a great book to have on your kitchen shelf.  

An Atlas

Similar to our suggestion of a dictionary, if you’ve got inquisitive children in your home then you might want an atlas on hand for those questions like “where is Timbuktu?” and all those other places that randomly capture the imagination. Google Maps is amazing, but having a book means that you don’t have to use tech to answer their question when they’re not supposed to be on there. And whether you have children around or not, an atlas is a great place to start daydreaming about your next holiday – or perhaps that epic round-the-world adventure too. 

Our Final Thoughts

While we can make all the recommendations for great books for your kitchen shelf, the ones that are right for your kitchen shelf depend on your lifestyle and dietary needs. When you’ve chosen your cook books, make sure you decorate your kitchen shelf so that it looks great – and don’t forget, you don’t have to stand your books up in the traditional fashion! Laying them flat, and stacking a few in a pile means you can play with proportions, and put ornaments on top of them too, without compromising your ability to pull one out when you’re making your shopping list. Been inspired? Tag us in your Instagram posts @bensimpsonfurniture.

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