11 Cookbook Gifts You Must Get For Your Favorite Home Chef

Published On: October 24th, 2019Categories: GiftsTags: , , , , , , 9.3 min read
cookbook gifts chef in kitchen

Do you have a chef in your life? Or a loved one who just loves to cook? Why not look for cookbook gifts for your next holiday? (or for yourself!)

I grew up in a house with shelves upon shelves of cookbooks. My mother has never met a cookbook she didn’t want to add to the collection. I love to thumb through them when I’m at her house. For people who enjoy cooking – or even thinking about cooking – there’s nothing better than finding a great new recipe.

Since finding gifts is something I love to do, I decided to get creative and compile a complete list of cookbook gifts for you and your loved ones. Enjoy!

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1.  Southern Living Annual Recipes

Southern Living publishes some of the best recipes around. And all of their cookbooks are divine. I swear by my Southern Living Ultimate Cookbook. It’s now 20+ years old, but the recipes are easy – and timeless.

Honestly, I’ve never made a recipe from Southern Living that has turned out badly. I love how easy they are to follow!

If you’re looking for cookbook gifts for your favorite chef, the annual Southern Living cookbook curates all their best recipes from the year into one volume. It’s top-notch.

2. Junior League Cookbooks

You know from previous posts that I love the Junior League and all of the amazing work it does in cities throughout the country. Junior League cookbooks were a staple in my house growing up. Any time we visited a new city, we would get the Junior League cookbook from that city. Because we knew the recipes were going to be reliably delicious!

Unfortunately, a lot of cities’ Leagues have discontinued their cookbooks. But there are still many cookbooks still being published and Amazon has a great selection of them.

Charleston, DenverAtlanta, Phoenix, Raleigh, Houston, and Savannah are a few of my favorites!

3. Instant Pot Cookbooks

If you don’t yet have an Instant Pot, don’t get me started. This kitchen appliance will seriously change your life. And in addition to its standard black pot, it now comes in fun colors like red and teal.

So if you’re looking for a gift for your favorite chef, start by getting them the Instant Pot. THEN get them some Instant Pot cookbook gifts to go with it!

Look for an Instant Pot beginners cookbook like this to get started.  And here is one that has 500 easy and quick recipes (although, a full disclaimer that pretty much all Instant Pot recipes are easy and quick!).

Then if you want to get fancy, you can look for Instant Pot cuisine specific cookbooks – such as Indian, French, or Italian.

4. Celebrity Cookbooks

It seems like every A-list (and D-list, for that matter) celebrity has their own cookbook these days. So how do you know which ones are reliable for good recipes? Here are a few fun books – I can’t vouch for all the recipes, but I can guarantee they’ll be entertaining!

Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook, Cravings, has consistently gotten rave reviews. So much so that she recently published a sequel. (And on a side note, if you aren’t following her on twitter, you’re seriously missing out. She is one of the most real and relatable celebrities out there. I seriously want to have her over to drink wine and binge-watch Bravo. Chrissy, call me!)

How much more “celebrity” does a celebrity cookbook get than Snoop Dogg’s? I love that he has a cookbook. And I love that it’s called, “From Crook To Cook.”


I’ve not bought it, or tried to make anything in it, but think it’s a great gift just because it’s Snoop. Which I’m guessing is why most people buy it!

There are also all kinds of cookbooks that play off the “flavor” of your favorite TV shows. I don’t mean your favorite Food Network or baking shows, like Pioneer Woman, Ina Garten (who’s got several books), or Chopped.  Because those are out there, for sure.

I mean shows like Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey, Breaking Bad (the tongue in cheek parody, “Baking Bad”)The Good Place (for fans of the show, the cookbook is titled, “Forking Good”), Friends, Mad Men, Blue Bloods, Supernatural – you name it, there’s a cookbook.

There’s even an Outlander cookbook (and let’s be honest here – the only reason to buy a cookbook featuring 18th-century Scottish recipes is if there’s a chance Jaime Fraser might show up and help you cook. Amiright, ladies?).

5. Seasonal Cookbooks

If you’re buying for Christmas, there are a ton of cookbooks out there that have amazing holiday recipes.

Of course, you should not be surprised by now that I’m going to mention the Southern Living Home For The Holidays cookbook. It’s filled with loads of delicious holiday recipes.

I’ve never tried to cook for the Jewish holidays, but I’ve taken part in a number of them. Jewish holiday food is simply amazing. So check out a Jewish holiday cookbook like this one if you’re yearning for some borscht or challah.

And if you have special dietary requirements, there are lots of options. From vegan to paleo and keto, there are holiday cookbooks that can accommodate everyone.

I’m also a big fan of Good Housekeeping cookbooks in general. And their holiday cookbook has some fantastic recipes.

It’s also no surprise that Disney makes a fun-for-the-whole-family Christmas cookbook. 

6. Hors D’oeuvres Cookbooks

The problem I always have with hors d’oeuvres cookbooks is that they’re often complicated and involved. And require ingredients that I’ll never use again. Not so with the aptly-named Tiny Food Party!

The Easy Appetizer Cookbook, out this fall, is another one that’s chock-full of easy to assemble small bites.

Here’s a great one if you want to learn how to put together great cheese (and other) boards – which are an easy, but always-loved, way to serve appetizers.

And of course, Martha Stewart has one, as well.


Cookbook Gifts

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7. Dessert Cookbooks

Honestly, if you’re going to talk about cookbook gifts, you can’t forget to look at dessert cookbooks – my personal favorite category of cookbook.

Martha Stewart has a new Cookie Perfection cookbook that looks fantastic.

In its cookbook, the famous Magnolia Bakery cookbook will let you recreate their delicious cupcakes. And Bravetart: Iconic American Desserts won the James Beard Foundation Award for baking and dessert cookbooks.

If you’re on keto like we are, yes, there are plenty of dessert cookbooks for you, too!

8. Cookbooks For Men

This is an interesting area.  I hate to categorize books by gender stereotypes, but I do think there are cookbook gifts that speak more to the men in our lives.

In my own experience, I know a lot of men who cook, but most of them are experts at grilling and not much else.

My husband Craig has a few go-to recipes that he’s comfortable with and knows by heart (and that I love), but if I ask him to make something outside that repertoire, he turns into a deer in headlights.

A few years ago I handed him a recipe for chicken enchiladas and asked him to make it while I baked a cake. You would have thought I’d asked him to solve a Rubik’s cube in 15 seconds. He ultimately made the dish (and did a good job with it!), but it took a lot out of him.

The Men’s Health book, A Man, A Pan, A Plan has a catchy title and some easy recipes geared towards men who perhaps haven’t honed their kitchen skills just yet. (they also have A Man, A Can, A Plan with even easier recipes)

Fit Men Cook and the https://amzn.to/2LP1V9NGuy’s Guide To Eating Well are great healthy-eating cookbook gifts for men that their women will enjoy, too.

9.  Cookbooks For Kids

There are a lot of cookbook gifts that have recipes in them that kids love – but how about cookbooks that will help you teach your kids to fend for themselves in the kitchen?

You’ll want to look for cookbooks that will interest them. Lots of colors, pictures, and easy to read instructions that you can go over together. The Kid Chef Junior Bakes is a great one. I love Williams Sonoma cookbooks in general, so I was excited to see that they’ve got one geared towards teaching kids to cook.

And The Kid Chef Every Day has some fun recipes, too.

Disney, of course, publishes cookbooks for kids. From the Disney Eats cookbook to the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge cookbook to one especially for the aspiring Disney princess, they’ve got you covered.


10. Tried And True Cookbooks

You can never go wrong with a cookbook “classic.” The Joy of Cooking is the definitive cookbook and there’s a brand new version out this fall. Its teachable lessons are timeless and will help both newer and established chefs find their way around the kitchen.

Julia Childs is another one. Anything by Julia Childs, frankly. But her most famous tome is the two-volume set, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It’s a classic and should be on every home chef’s shelf.

And of course, Martha Stewart. She has published a ton of cookbooks and I think every last one of them is a pleasure to flip through.

11. The Non-Cookbook Cookbook

Did you ever wonder about the juice that oozes from the inside of a steak after you cook your steak on one side and then flip it and cook on the other? Or why fried chicken skin gets crips? Or what happens inside a potato to transform it when it’s mashed?

Lopez-Alt explains it all. I got this as a gift last year and have found it to be really interesting!

Get Cooking!

I hope this list has given you some fun ideas for cookbook gifts for the cook in your life – or for yourself if you’re on the hunt for a good cookbook!

Do you have any cookbooks that you love? Comment below and let me know!



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  1. Mlissa October 24, 2019 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    From the mom who never met a cookbook she didn’t like, try compiling your own cookbook with recipes from friends and relatives. Use a three ring binder with dividers for each type of dish. Makes a nice bridal shower gift!

    • cgnormand October 24, 2019 at 1:57 pm - Reply

      Yes, just like the one I received from my mom at my bridal shower!! 😆😆 Love it!

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