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Fruits and veggies are supposed to be good for us (adulting lesson No. 1), but peering into the produce drawer can feel so uninspiring. You can only make so many salads and fruit trays.

Don’t feel defeated — sometimes you just need a little inspiration (especially inspo that comes with pretty pictures). That’s why we rounded up some fab plant-based cookbooks to motivate you to get creative with your harvest.

These options will hit the spot if you’re vegetarian, vegan, or just trying to incorporate more greenery into your diet.

  • Nutrition. The recipes in these books have all the makings of a balanced meal that’ll help you level up from that Flinstone vitamin.
  • Flavor. Plant-based does not mean boring. Our selections offer tasty creations to satisfy all your cravings.
  • Execution. Whether you can whip up cashew cheese in your sleep or you’re just getting acquainted with a chef’s knife, we selected a variety of books with recipes for every level of home cook.

Nowadays, there are more terms than ever to describe eating plants. Since the term “plant-based” can include a wide variety of plant-focused diets, here’s how we’re labeling these books for extra clarity:

  • Vegan. Recipes do not contain any animal products.
  • Vegetarian. Recipes do not contain meat or seafood, but may contain eggs, dairy, or animal products.
  • Plant-based. Some recipes may include meat, seafood, or animal products.

Price key

$ = under $15
$$ = $15–$25
$$$ = over $25

If you’re the type who eats on the run or forgets to eat entirely (coffee doesn’t count as lunch, sorry), this cookbook can help you get organized.

Authors Stephanie Tornatore and Adam Bannon have taken the best of their wildly popular plant-focused YouTube channel and crammed it into this delightful book.

All their recipes are designed to be made ahead, and you’ll find lots of helpful meal prepping tricks alongside tips for going fully plant-based (if that’s your desire). Goodbye stale donut, hello homemade feast!

Price: $

Recipe type: Vegan

Buy this cookbook.

Equal parts art gallery and cookbook, Love and Lemons Every Day is packed with photos so tasty, you’ll want to eat the page. With 100 recipes at your fingertips, you’ll have no trouble finding a meal to satisfy your cravings.

We’re also fond of Jeanine Donofrio’s helpful cooking tips, which cover everything from preventing waste to picking the perfect bunch of carrots.

Price: $$

Recipe type: Vegetarian

Buy this cookbook.

If you love soul food, get ready for this indulgent vegan twist on family recipes. Sweet Potato Soul covers all the southern classics like Jalapeno Hush Puppies, Sweet Potato Pecan Cinnamon Rolls, and Jackfruit Jambalaya.

It proves that veggies can do the heavy lifting required of a flavorful country dish. Bonus: The recipes keep it simple while incorporating all the herbs and spices essential to soul cooking, so you can have your grits and eat ’em, too.

Price: $$

Recipe type: Vegan

Buy this cookbook.

With a degree in Animal Sciences from the University of Nebraska, Gabriel Miller understands what it’s like to enter the wild world of plant-based eating after years as a devout meat-eater.

Miller’s recipes don’t contain obscure ingredients (adios, Nooch), come with helpful shopping lists, and feature complete nutritional breakdowns so you know exactly what you’re getting with each dish.

Price: $$

Recipe type: Vegan

Buy this cookbook.

Annie Markowitz uses her PhD in nutrition to show us that baking without dairy and sugar doesn’t have to be depressing — in fact, it can be pretty sweet.

Her desserts rely on whole foods to deliver the creamy, fluffy, sugary flavors we’ve come to love in a good treat. Since preservatives don’t make an appearance in these recipes, you’ll also appreciate her thoughtful instructions for keeping leftovers fresh. (That is, if there’s any left!)

Price: $

Recipe type: Vegan

Buy this cookbook.

Part of the New York Times bestselling cookbook fleet, Forks Over Knives: Flavor! contains a colorful variety of globally-inspired recipes from Chef Darshana Thacker. All recipes are oil-free, vegan, and use only natural sweeteners.

This book caught our eye thanks to its global culinary inspo — much needed in the era of COVID-19 when we’re missing travel more than ever. Many of the recipes are vegan twists on international favorites such as tacos, pizza, and french toast.

Pro tip: This book is best suited for intermediate cooks, so if you’ve never julienned a vegetable, get ready to learn some new skills.

Price: $$

Recipe type: Vegan

Buy this cookbook.

If you’re unfamiliar with America’s Test Kitchen (the authors of this veggie-focused book), they’re pretty much the epitome of where art and science meet in the kitchen.

ATK uses a team of test cooks and tasting experts to find the best way to make every recipe, making this cookbook essential reading for home chefs. In Vegetables Illustrated, they offer hundreds of innovative ways to cook just about every vegetable.

Chapters are organized by veg and include storing and cooking techniques for each one. You’ll even learn pro tips for selecting produce at the grocery or farmer’s market. (Did you know an artichoke should squeak when you squeeze it?)

Price: $$$

Recipe type: Plant-based.

Buy this cookbook.

This book is the passion project of Dr. Steven Gundry, a heart surgeon and leading expert on lectin-free living. (Take note: You’re going to be hearing about lectins a lot in 2020).

Lectin is a type of plant-based protein found in foods like grains, beans, and vegetables. It’s gained a reputation as an “anti-nutrient” that has been linked to obesity, inflammation, and disease.

While much more research needs to be done before we’re ready to hop on the lectin-free train, this book does include a ton of tasty plant-focused dishes curated by an expert in the field.

Come for the easy, gut-friendly recipes, stay for the detailed explanation of how each food impacts your body. Yeah science!

Price: $$

Recipe type: Plant-based.

Buy this cookbook.

Angela Liddon’s plant-based cookbook won’t hit shelves until October 2020, but early reviews are glowing (har har).

You can expect family-friendly recipes that don’t take hours to make and can satisfy even the pickiest palates. Plus, a clever index organizes recipes (think gluten and nut-free, one pot, etc.) for super-easy browsing.

If the sound of Dreamy Peanut Butter Crunch Veggie Noodle Bowls doesn’t make you salivate, perhaps Spiced Maple Cream Torte with Warm Apple Pie Compote will wake up your tongue.

Price: $$$

Recipe type: Vegetarian.

Pre-order this cookbook.

Chef Bryant Terry knows his plants, with five vegan cookbooks under his belt. Vegetable Kingdom is a fusion of popular pantry staples and Afro-Asian flavor.

You’ll get an intro to the basics of vegan cooking, but some of these recipes are on the more complex side. Our favorite part? Terry includes a culinary playlist for each recipe, so you can sashay while you saute.

Price: $$

Recipe type: Vegan.

Buy this cookbook.

There’s sometimes a stigma that vegan cooking can be expensive, which is why Toni Okamoto created this guide to make plant-based food work for your allowance. You won’t need to make a trip to any specialty stores to prep these meals.

Plus, none of the recipes take longer than half an hour to prepare. Frugal and fast? Sign us up!

Price: $$$

Recipe type: Vegan.

Buy this cookbook.