2018 was a big year in the cookbook world. We saw a strong mixture of releases from both celebrity chefs and food personalities, as well as debuts from brilliant writers. We asked around to see which cookbooks our staff loved most and think you might like them too. 

December 11, 2018
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.


Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering by Joanna Gaines and Marah Stets, $17.99


"I'm 100-percent certain this will be the most basic answer you get, but I'm super impressed with Magnolia Table. It might not have the most exciting recipes, but I reach for it at least a few times a week." - Corey Williams, writer, MyRecipes


Just a French Guy Cooking by Alexis Gabriel Ainouz and Jamie Oliver, $13.51


"I love this French guy's youtube channel and he recently released his debut book which has these super helpful kitchen hacks and every recipe is well detailed, illustrated, and so much fun to read. Very unique." - Vimal Raj, software developer, Cooking Light Diet


Instant Loss Cookbook: Cook Your Way to a Healthy Weight with 125 Recipes for Your Instant Pot®, Pressure Cooker, and More by Brittany Williams, $13.38


"Even though I don't have a pressure cooker I found I could still make a lot of the recipes and they provide healthy alternatives to popular dishes like orange chicken, so you still feel like you're getting to eat everything you would if you were not watching your weight while getting a low-calorie version." - Talia Avakian, digital reporter, Travel + Leisure


Cook Like a Pro: Recipes and Tips for Home Cooks by Ina Garten, $20.99


"You already knew this was coming, but Cook Like a Pro by Ina Garten." - Jamie Milan, associate editor, CookingLight.com


Carla Hall's Soul Food by Carla Hall and Genevieve Ko, $13.74

For anyone who could use a lesson on soul food. 
$23.99, HarperCollins


"Carla Hall’s Soul Food also deserves a shout-out, I think, for having really makeable meals that are simple, and delicious." - Chris Michel, editor, CookingLight.com


Cravings: Hungry For More by Chrissy Tiegen and Adeena Sussman, $18.69


"I was also actually genuinely impressed by Cravings: Hungry for More. It's simple food I'd actually make." - Jamie Milan, associate editor, CookingLight.com


Bottom of the Pot: Persian Recipes and Stories by Nav Deravian, $22.36


"I like to believe that only old Iranian ladies are masters of Persian cooking. Bottom of the Pot proved me wrong. Naz Deravian balances a captivatingly narrated familial history with one of the world's richest—and most complicated—cuisines, and naming her debut after the best part of Persian rice secured Bottom of the Pot a dear spot in my heart." - Sarra Sedghi, assistant editor, MyRecipes

Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.: Quick-Fix Recipes for Hangry Athletes by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky, $16.50


"Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.: Quick-Fix Recipes for Hangry Athletes. I love that the recipes are simple (but still add something fresh in the kitchen), as well as the fact that they are healthy but aren't about dieting (focus is on fueling your body for fitness/life). Options for gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, etc." - Caroline Shannon-Karasik, writer, Women's Health


Cooking South of the Clouds: Recipes and Stories from China’s Yunnan Province by Georgia Freedman, $15.85


"It’s rare in these days of fusion-everything to find an entirely new kind of cuisine, but that’s what Georgia Freedman’s Cooking South of the Clouds does. The recipes are all from one province in China — Yunnan. And they’re amazing—hearty, delicious, and still easy to make. Add to that some really top-notch photos, and it’s easily my favorite cookbook this year." - Chris Michel, editor, CookingLight.com


Power Plates: 100 Nutritionally Balanced, One-Dish Vegan Meals by Gena Hamshaw, $16.99


"Gena Hamshaw has great recipes for vegan staples as well as simple, healthy dishes that are really satisfying. The recipes are also great for people who are new to plant-based eating, as they aren't too funky or intimidating." - Lauren Wicks, editorial fellow, CookingLight.com