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While the ketogenic diet has a reputation for being a nonstop bacon and cheese party (🤤), it’s a complex style of eating that can be a little intimidating.
That’s where these books and cookbooks come in. Whether you’re a total keto newb, are trying to shake up your meal rotation, are interested in weight loss, want to keep pesky keto side effects at bay, or are looking for keto-approved vegan options, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s dive in!
Meet the books: Our top picks
- Best overall: The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners by Amy Ramos
- Best for beginners: Keto Diet Cookbook for Beginners by Elizabeth Cunningham
- Best for weight loss: Simply Keto by Suzanne Ryan
- Best keto jump start: The Keto Reset Diet by Mark Sisson
- Best for meal prep: Keto Meal Prep by FlavCity by Bobby and Dessi Parrish
- Best Instant Pot keto cookbook: Keto Instant Pot by Maria Emmerich
- Best keto cookbook for people who don’t really like cooking: The Easy 5-Ingredient Ketogenic Diet Cookbook by Jen Fisch
- Best family-friendly keto cookbook: The Keto Kids Cookbook by Sam Dillard
- Best cookbook for keeping keto constipation at bay: The Keto High Fiber Diet by Dr. Thomas Kurscheid
- Best keto cookbook for budget cooking: The DIRTY, LAZY, DIRT CHEAP Keto Dirt Cheap Cookbook by Stephanie and William Laska
- Best keto bread cookbook: Keto Bread by Faith Gorsky and Lara Clevenger
- Best plant-based keto cookbook: Ketotarian by Dr. Will Cole
- Best full-on vegan keto cookbook: The Vegan Ketogenic Diet Cookbook by Nicole Derseweh and Whitney Lauritsen
- Best keto dessert cookbook: The Ultimate Guide to Keto Baking by Carolyn Ketchum
- Best keto cookbook for special occasions: Keto Celebrations by Mary Alexander
Is the science sound? Are the recipes delicious? Are the directions easy to follow? Does the book ultimately deliver on what it claims on the cover? And if every single recipe doesn’t already meet your definition of truly keto (it happens in more cookbooks than you might expect), are they easy to adjust?
Those are the things that make for a top-notch keto book and cookbook — so that’s what we picked.
- $ = under $10
- $$ = $10-$20
- $$$ = over $20
Hailed by many as the keto bible, this is a one-stop read for everything you could ever want to know about how to follow a keto diet and stick with it. It’s got 75 simple recipes (Chicken-avocado lettuce wraps! Peanut butter cup smoothies! Pesto zucchini noodles!) and a 14-day meal plan to get you on track.
With some 16,000 glowing reviews on Amazon and more than 250,000 copies sold, it’s no wonder this book has been the No. 1 go-to for a few years running.
Best for beginners
Freshly updated for 2020, this keto-newbie cookbook is all about serving up fast, effortless recipes with maximum flavor. It includes meat and seafood mains, vegetarian meals, smoothies, breakfasts, snacks, and more.
FYI: Quantity is the name of the game here (more meal ideas for you!), so you won’t find any artful design or mouthwatering photos.
Best for weight loss
Author and keto blogger Suzanne Ryan dropped 100 pounds in a year by eating keto, so she knows a thing or two about going carb-free to reach your goal weight.
In addition to more than 100 mouthwatering recipes — like Creamy Pesto Chicken; Broccoli, Bacon, and Cheese Egg Muffins; and even Keto Brownies — and a 30-day meal plan, Ryan shares her weight loss journey and advice for transforming your relationship with food.
Best keto jump start
Want to go all in ASAP? This 21-day science-backed plan is designed to reprogram your metabolism to burn fat for fuel and start losing weight fast.
You can use the 100 delicious recipes — like Sausage, Kale, and Goat Cheese Frittatas; Veggie Sushi with Cauliflower Rice; and Turnip Hash Browns — while working your way through the reset program, but you’ll no doubt keep coming back to them long afterward.
Best for meal prep
FlavCity’s super popular YouTube channel is packed with videos for easy keto recipes that are big on flavor.
In their low carb cookbook, you’ll find 125 more recipes — like Golden-Spiced Turkey Kefta and Funky Roasted Veggies and Pork Chops Al Pastor with Coconut Veggie Rice — along with prep-in-advance tips to help you churn out a week’s worth of healthy meals in just one night.
Best Instant Pot cookbook
This book has more than 160 tasty set-it-and-forget-it recipes, all developed by a nutrition and fitness expert specializing in keto diets.
You’ll find mouthwatering versions of the usual IP-style chilis, stews, and slow-cooked meats like Curry Beef Stew and Asian Pulled Pork. But that’s just the start. Ever tried making keto-friendly pumpkin coffee cake or a lemon ricotta torte in your Instant Pot?
Best for people who don’t really like cooking
If long ingredient lists and involved recipes aren’t your thing, get this book. It’s got 125 ultrasimple recipes, and many of them come together in one pot in 30 minutes or less. Best of all, there’s no sacrificing on flavor. Seriously — doesn’t Baked Garlic and Paprika Chicken Legs with Green Beans sound delicious to you?
Best family-friendly cookbook
Low carb diets aren’t typically recommended for kids, but if you need some crowd-pleasers that don’t require you to make one meal for yourself and another for your brood, you’ll def want to have this book on hand.
It’s full of kid-friendly, easy-to-make dishes like Pepperoni Pizza, Chicken Zoodle Soup, and Cheesy Chicken Sliders, along with desserts like Confetti Vanilla Birthday Cake.
Best for keeping keto constipation at bay
Fact: Poop problems can sometimes be a thing on the keto diet, which tends to be pretty low in roughage. This book uses ingredients like avocado, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage to deliver more than 60 keto-friendly recipes that pack plenty of fiber — without the starchy carbs.
Best for budget cooking
All that meat, poultry, and seafood can def drive up your grocery budget. But it’s possible to eat keto without breaking the bank, and these 100 recipes, each under $10 to make, fit the bill. Chicken Alfredo pizza with cauliflower crust, almond flour biscuits and gravy, or peanut butter pie, anyone?
Best for bakers
Let’s be honest: Most of the keto-friendly bread and baked good recipes out there are totally underwhelming. This book proves it doesn’t have to be that way.
You’ll find low carb recipes for everything from caramel monkey bread to pizza crust to blueberry muffins made with keto baking staples like almond flour, flaxseed, and erythritol — and the results taste legit amazing.
Best plant-based keto cookbook
Here’s a keto-friendly book that puts nonstarchy veggies at the center of the plate instead of the usual hunk of meat — while still making room for foods like eggs, fish, and shellfish.
Think of it as a vegan-keto hybrid that delivers the benefits of a low carb diet while also serving up plenty of fiber and antioxidants to nourish your microbiome and keep oxidative stress at bay.
Best vegan keto cookbook
Can you actually achieve ketosis on a purely plant-based diet? This book says yes, and it’s got 75 tasty recipes to prove it. You’ll make the most of nuts, seeds, and low glycemic index fruits and veggies with delicious recipes like Rosemary Keto Bread, Fiesta Salad, Coconut Macaroons, Coconut Veggie Curry, and more.
Best dessert cookbook
Keto chocolate cake? Maple-glazed doughnuts? Chocolate chip skillet cookies? Key lime pie bars? It’s all possible with this book, penned by a low carb baking vet and founder of the gluten-free blog All Day I Dream About Food. Even if you’ve been making low carb desserts for years, chances are you’ll learn some new tricks.
Best for special occasions
Reach for this when you wanna pull out all the stops for a big meal without kissing ketosis goodbye.
With 100 holiday-worthy recipes like Toast-Less Blueberry French Toast, Pizza Pull-Apart Bread, Slow Cooker Brisket, and Apple Pie Bites, your spread will def say Big Day — while showing the naysayers that yes, keto-friendly celebration meals can taste delicious.
Editorial note: Grant Tinsley, PhD, did not participate in the selection of these books.