Best vegan cookbooks for tasty plant-based meals, from Leon to Bosh!

·9-min read
 (Best Vegan Cookbooks)
(Best Vegan Cookbooks)

It’s safe to say veganism is having its moment in the sun. Whether it’s for environmental or health reasons, more and more people are shifting their eating habits towards a plant-based diet. Just look at the chain restaurants offering vegan food, like Greggs’s infamous vegan sausage roll, KFC’s finger lickin’ meat-free burger and McDonald’s new McPlant burger.

Contrary to the beliefs of some naysayers, a vegan diet doesn’t mean having to sacrifice flavour or break the bank. There are plenty of tasty and budget-friendly options - and in terms of cookbooks, there has never been a better time to make the plant-based leap.

Whether you’re new to veganism or a plant-based veteran wanting to add a few more strings to your culinary bow, everyone can benefit from injecting some fresh new ideas into the kitchen.

Looking to convert a flexitarian friend to full-on plant-based fiend, why not give them one of the beginner vegan cookbooks to get them started? Or perhaps you’re on the hunt for vegan substitutes for your favourite meat-based dishes? Well look no further.

We’ve compiled a list of the best of the (extremely) exhaustive list of vegan cookbooks out there. From old to new, cheap to a bit less cheap, and across all difficulty levels and cuisines, we’ve got all your vegan needs covered.

Our selection spans a wide range of flavours from Asian to African-inspired dishes, big show pieces and plenty of sweet treats.

Fast Vegan by LEON

The LEON vegan cookbook has become somewhat of a cult classic for the plant-based community. Fans of the healthy fast food chain will know that its food is consistently delicious, and this book is no different. It really is the holy grail of vegan cooking.

Focusing on great-tasting food that just happens to be vegan, and inspired by their global menu, this cookbook has 200 recipes including breakfasts and brunches to party food and desserts.

Divided into three chapters: The Main Event, On the Side, and Sweet, it contains classics like plantain curry, a delicious moussaka and a mouth-watering banoffee pie. Inspiration for meals is taken from across the globe in true Leon style with Mexican tacos, Vietnamese pancakes and American burgers.

Top tip: the butternut squash and sage risotto is to die for.

Buy now £16.99, Amazon

Vegan one pound meals by Miguel Barclay

One of the biggest misconceptions about switching to a plant-based diet is that it means having to spend loads of money on obscure ingredients from specialist shops. But the latest in Miguel Barclay’s bestselling One Pound Meals series is all about easy plant-based meals that cost £1 or less per head to make using supermarket ingredients that you’re already familiar with.

From classic vegan favourites like sweet potato katsu curry to more innovative dishes like sticky aubergine bao, this is definitely one for the new vegans on the block, or plant-based regulars wanting some quick and easy dishes.

All the recipes are for a single serving so you can simply multiply the ingredients to suit you, which is handy (and rare) for getting solo dinner portion sizes just right.

Buy now £10.99, Amazon

Afro Vegan by Zoe Alakija

If you know anything about Nigerian cuisine, the idea of vegan Nigerian food might seem like a bit of a contradiction. It’s a region that traditionally focuses on meat, eggs and dairy, but Zoe Alakija’s new book is here to put a plant-based twist on these traditional dishes.

Now based in London, Alakija fuses the flavours of her childhood in Ibadan, southwest Nigeria, with vegan principles to create more than 50 eclectic recipes that will bring new colours to your life.

Littered with beautiful photos from Ibadan and gorgeous shots of the food, Afro Vegan is definitely one of the most Instagram-friendly books we’ve come across.

The recipes are also totally accessible if you’re new to Nigerian cuisine, and can easily be made with ingredients that are readily available in the average UK supermarket. That being said, if you’re lucky enough to have an Afro-Caribbean shop nearby, it’s definitely worth tracking down ingredients traditionally used in Nigerian cuisine.

Buy now £20.00, Hoxton Mini Press

Great British Vegan - Aimee Ryan

If being plant-based for a while has left you craving British comfort foods, then Aimee Ryan’s new book is the one for you.

This one of a kind cookbook provides an exhaustive range of more than 80 recipes of all the great British classics, from a full English to bubble and squeak and BLTs, to (To)fish and chips and Sunday roasts without forgetting sweet treats like sticky toffee pudding and Victoria sponge cake. There’s even a chapter on how to make a vegan Christmas feast.

It’s both innovative and warmingly comforting, with simple and easy to follow instructions, and there’s an ingredient guide to introduce you to some easy vegan swaps.

Buy now £20.00, Waterstones

One: Pot, Pan, Planet by Anna Jones

It’s a very rare occurrence for a cookbook to come along and completely change the culinary landscape in a Delia or Nigella-esque fashion. Anna Jones is the latest chef to join the cookery hall of fame with her fourth cookbook One Pot, Pan, Planet.

It contains over 200 recipes which can all be made in one tray, pot or pan, with delicious favourites like lemon, tomato and cardamom dahl or quick dishes like tahini broccoli on toast will keep you coming back again and again.

Although not fully vegan, all the dishes come with suggested amendments to make them vegetarian or completely plant-based - with three chapters dedicated to wasting less food and eating sustainably.

Buy now £18.99, Amazon

Vegan Japaneasy by Tim Anderson

You can still munch on gyoza and slurp down miso but feel completely guilt free with Tim Anderson’s plant-based versions of classic Japanese dishes.

This book feels less like a cookbook than a chat with a friend about your favourite recipes. Littered with jokes throughout (count how many different ways Anderson comes up with to say “not difficult”), this book is all about flavour flavour flavour.

As Anderson points out in the intro, a lot of Japanese cuisine is inherently vegan, and there is plenty of choice in his book. Our favourites include; the mushroom gyoza, vegetable tempura, onigiri and agedashi tofu, not to mention the indulgent cocktails and desserts. This book is a great choice if you’re a vegan Japanese food fiend or just wanting to try out a new flavour palette.

Buy now £23.48, Amazon

Speedy BOSH by BOSH

Bestselling authors Henry and Ian (aka BOSH) are widely seen as royalty amongst British vegans, and their first cookbook has rightly gone down in history in the vegan hall of fame. But if you’re looking for a speedier version for some quick midweek meals then they’ve got you covered.

With over 100 plant-based recipes, you’ll find everything from weeknight dinners and fast breakfasts, to Sunday meal prep for the week ahead. Family-favourites such as toad-in-the-hole, aubergine & lentil meatball pasta and smoky chilli can be on the table in under 30 minutes - all with ingredients you can find in your local supermarket.

This book contains so many comforting, hearty recipes for fragrant curries and warming stews which are just right for this time of year: think jackfruit rendang, mushroom keema and spicy Dan Dan noodles.

Buy now £12.00, Amazon

Jackfruit and Blue Ginger by Sasha Gill

When Sasha Gill turned vegan, she didn’t want to miss out on the vibrant flavours of her favourite Asian dishes, so she got to work ‘veganising’ them. Originally from Singapore, her innovative creations have come to life in her first book Jackfruit and Blue Ginger.

Through constant experimenting, she started to create dishes just as delicious and satisfying as her street-stall favourites and family dinners - using only plants in place of meat and fish.

Ranging from jackfruit biryani and cauliflower samosas to tofu pad thai and butter chicken made from seitan and plant milk, this is an incredibly comprehensive Asian vegan book.

Buy now £11.30, Amazon

Broke Vegan: Speedy by Saskia Sidey

Want to save money, save the planet and save time? Well Broke Vegan: Speedy is here to help you do just that. Using simple ingredients rather than ultra-processed meat and dairy substitutes, Saksia Sidey’s book contains over 100 budget plant-based recipes which can all be made in half an hour or less. There’s even a “Ready in 15” section for when you’re really pushed for time.

Most of the recipes use only a handful of ingredients. So think less tofu, tempeh, seitan and more chickpeas, mushrooms and lentils. Perfect for the purse, the planet and simple to follow.

There are warming dinners like lentil ragu and speedy and spicy noodle soup, delicious lunches like coronation chickpea sandwiches and vegetable fritters, as well as indulgent sweet treats like raspberry and chocolate cookies.

Buy now £11.04, WH Smith

Plants Only Kitchen by Gaz Oakley

As a gym buff with a typical bodybuilder’s diet, Gaz Oakley began to feel guilty about the amount of meat he was eating, so he made the decision to go plant-based, and aren’t we glad he did.

His award-winning vegan cookbook is perfect if you’re looking for meals that tick your boxes. High-protein dishes? Sorted! Recipes that take less than 15 minutes to make? Yep! Gluten-free lunches, meal-prep picks and one-dish dinners? You got it. If you’re worried about getting enough protein on a vegan diet, this has got you covered.

Buy now £14.99, Amazon

Vegan: The Cookbook by Jean-Christian Jury

Vegan:The Cookbook is quite simply a bible of vegan delights. Including 500 vegan recipes hailing from all across the world, it doesn’t get more comprehensive than this.

French-born LA-based chef Jean-Christian Jury gets to work showcasing the culinary diversity of vegan cuisine, highlighting regional fruits and vegetables, traditional cooking techniques, and universally loved flavours. Think jerk chilli from the Caribbean, beet borani from Azerbaijan as well as eggplant and red bell pepper dip from Croatia. This is definitely one for those more au fait with vegan cooking, looking to step up their repertoire.

There are sweet and savoury starters, soups, salads, mains, and desserts for all to enjoy, accompanied by straightforward instructions and gorgeous colour photography.

Buy now £35.00, Phaidon

Verdict

At 300 full sized pages, LEON Fast Vegan has recipes for every moment of the day, whether you want your meal to be a labour of love or a speedy snack ready in 20 minutes. For vegan newbies and veterans alike, this should be a staple on your shelf.

Read more: Best juice cleanses to try in 2022

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting