Need a gift for a food-lover on your list? Consider giving a newly minted cookbook dishing recipes from one of today’s hottest cuisines: Vegan. With interest in vegan eating at an all-time high in 2019, publishers continued to deliver lots of quality, plant-based cookbooks.

The year’s mountain of vegan cookbooks includes titles from well-known authors, such as best-selling vegan cookbook author Isa Chandra Moskowitz, who released “I Can Cook Vegan”; and “The Vegan Roadie” YouTube star Dustin Harder, with “Epic Vegan.” The Catskill Animal Sanctuary, located in Saugerties, New York, released “Compassionate Cuisine” while the Natural Gourmet Institute, a New York-based vegan culinary school (now part of the Institute of Culinary Education), came out with “The Complete Vegan Cookbook.”

All four make excellent choices if you’re buying a gift for a novice cook, a newbie vegan cook or someone in need of a plant-based title to round out a more conventional cookbook collection. If you’re buying for someone who already owns multiple vegan cookbooks, however, you’ll do better with one of the five books listed below. All are laser-focused on a specific aspect of vegan food, and all deliver crave-worthy recipes alongside helpful insights and entertaining information.

“Vegan Holiday Feasts: Inspired meat-free recipes for the festive season,” by Jackie Kearney. Ryland Peters & Small. $14.95.

Cover courtesy of Ryland Peters & Small

The savory flavors of the winter holidays spill forth from this colorful hardcover book, which was published in September. Kearney calls upon her British heritage and her travels for a collection of celebratory recipes that feel nostalgic yet a wee bit novel. Kearney’s love of travel (she wrote “My Vegan Travels” in 2016) shows in dishes such as cauliflower & kale pakoras; Som Tam rice paper rolls; Laos-style roasted pumpkin, coconut & chili soup; and Hoisin mock duck & chili-bean tofu lettuce cups. Yet it’s her British roots that shine brightest in recipes for vegan versions of classic English dishes, such as cheese and onion pie; fish pie; and chicken, leek and mushroom pie. Other centerpiece dishes include a bordelaise suet pudding, a smoky stuffed roast, a celebration Wellington and a seasonal stuffing wreath. Desserts range from bread puddings and crumbles to Limoncello ‘Nog’ trifle, vegan s’mores bars, panna cotta and chai-spiced rice pudding. The book concludes with recipes to make use of leftovers and to create pantry staples, such as gravy and mayonnaise.

“Vegan Mac & Cheese: More than 50 Delicious Plant-Based Recipes for the Ultimate Comfort Food,” by Robin Robertson. Harvard Common Press. $19.99.


Cover courtesy of Harvard Common Press

Vegan mac and cheese has inspired food festivals and supermarket box mixes, so it’s only natural the beloved plant-based dish should have its own cookbook. Prolific vegan cookbook author Robertson, who has more than 25 titles to her credit, does the subject justice in this hardbound book, which dropped in September. Robertson organizes the recipes into chapters that cover basic, global, meaty and veg-heavy mac and cheese recipes, with both stovetop and baked options. The basic section includes a homemade dry mix that mimics what you can buy in a box. “Vegan Mac & Cheese” doesn’t just provide one mac and cheese recipe and then dress it up with flavor or topping tweaks. Instead, each recipe is unique. While all rely on nutritional yeast for solid cheesy flavor, the recipes variously use cashews, pureed vegetables or roux as the basis of the cheesy sauce. Notable variations on the theme include mac and Thai; Brussels and bacon cheesy mac; Buffalo cauliflower mac; crabby mac uncheese; lobster mushroom mac uncheese; and cheesy mac mug.

“The Best Veggie Burgers on the Planet, Revised & Updated: More than 100 Plant-based Recipes for Vegan Burgers, Fries, and More,” by Joni Marie Newman. Fair Winds Press. $22.99.

Cover courtesy of Fair Winds Press

When Newman first wrote this cookbook a decade ago, Impossible Burgers and Beyond Sausage patties didn’t exist. Now they can be ordered at any Burger King or Dunkin’ Donuts. Newman, who is food editor at VegNews, said all the new people seeking out plant-based food coupled with all the techniques and ingredients she’s discovered in the last ten years persuaded her it was time to give the book a refresh. Published in August, the comprehensive, soft-cover result includes a chapter devoted to “Traditional Beef-y Burgers” that use textured vegetable protein and pay homage to the rise of bleeding plant-based hamburgers. Following chapters focus on classic veggie burgers made from beans, grains, vegetables, seitan or tofu. Newman also includes chapters on meat sandwiches, breakfast patties and fast food favorites. Recipes include everything from All-The-Fixin’s holiday burger and the Western bacon cheeseburger to crab cakes and chicken fried steak burgers. Burgers for the breakfast table include a bacon and egg burger and a log cabin burger, made with tempeh and pure maple syrup.

Cover courtesy of Page Street Publishing

“Incredible Vegan Ice Cream: Decadent, All-Natural Flavors Made with Coconut Milk,” by Deena Jalal. Page Street Publishing. $21.99.

FoMu, a beloved Boston-area chain of vegan ice cream shops, shares the sweet secrets of its artisanal success in this soft-cover cookbook released in June. One takeaway is that the FoMu crew doesn’t mess around. For instance, when FoMu makes cookies and cream ice cream, they bake their own sandwich cookies first. So the book includes a chapter with recipes for those along with chocolate chip cookies, vanilla shortbread, double chocolate brownies and other inclusions. The ice cream flavors range from basic vanilla bean, fresh strawberry and chocolate pudding to oatmeal rum raisin, brown sugar corn, horchata, black sesame, peanut butter mud pie and rockier road. As Jalal emphasizes, the key to making these plant-based ice cream recipes is to “always (and I mean ALWAYS) choose a full-fat, canned coconut milk.”

“Sweet + Salty: The Art of Vegan Chocolates, Truffles, Caramels, and More from Lagusta’s Luscious,” by Lagusta Yearwood. Da Capa Lifelong Books. $30.

Courtesy of Da Capa Lifelong Books

What happens when a vegan anarchist decides to embrace capitalism? She makes artisanal, ethically sourced, plant-based chocolates, of course, and customers can’t get enough. Lagusta’s Luscious is a vegan candy shop in New Paltz, New York, with an outpost called Confectionery! in New York City. This hardbound book, which arrived in stores in September, offers extensive advice on how to source ethically produced chocolate and sugar and then transform it into mouth-watering chocolate treats. First, Yearwood gives master recipes for ganache (coconut milk, coconut oil, water and dark chocolate) and truffles. Mixed throughout the book are recipes for chocolate cake, whipped ganache frosting, tahini meltaways, caramelized tofu, frozen drinking chocolate and caramel apples. But the real stars remain the chocolates, such as absinthe truffles, beet-coriander truffles, harissa truffles, fireball caramels and heathen toffee. Non-chocolate treats include pepper caramels, caramelized onion and chipotle caramels, local licorice, cough drops, strawberry seltzer fizz candies and peanut butter toffee bars.

Avery Yale Kamila is a food writer who lives in Portland. Contact her at

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