The Best Healthy Cookbooks For Beginners

We all know that nutritious, home-prepared meals are better than fast food or snacks. However, a lot of us don’t know how to prepare even basic lunches and dinners.

Over one-quarter of Americans (28%) claim they “don’t know how to cook.” The good news is that there are many healthy cookbooks for beginners out there, all promising to make cooking easy.

Here are five of the most popular titles:

1. The Easy 5-Ingredient Healthy Cookbook: Simple Recipes to Make Healthy Eating Delicious by Toby Amidor

The Easy 5-Ingredient Healthy Cookbook

Registered dietitian Toby Amidor created this cookbook with busy people in mind. All recipes require no more than five ingredients, and most can be cooked in a single pot.

There are 150 recipes in total, plus advice to help you plan meals. They can all be cooked in 30 minutes or less, so it’s perfect if you are on a tight schedule.

This book has been praised by several medical professionals, and is a trustworthy source of dietary guidance. However, reviewers have noted that the book could benefit from more photos, and that it contains a few typos.

2. The Shredded Chef: 125 Recipes for Building Muscle, Getting Lean, and Staying Healthy by Michael Matthews and Andrea Lynn

The Shredded Chef

Bodybuilder and trainer Michael Matthews has created a cookbook designed to help readers drop fat and gain muscle. Most of the recipes are quick and simple to make, and are high in protein.

However, if you are a vegetarian or vegan, you may want to look elsewhere, as most recipes contain animal products. Some reviewers have also noted that many recipes seem very basic. Depending on your skill level, this may or may not be a disadvantage.

3. Healthy Cookbook for Two: 175 Simple, Delicious Recipes to Enjoy Cooking for Two by Rockridge Press

Healthy Cookbook for Two

If you have a small family, you probably find that you have to re-calculate recipe quantities that yield large quantities. This cookbook is ideal for couples who want to adopt a healthier diet.

It contains 175 easy recipes, plus guidelines on how you can shop for nutritious foods on a budget.

Some reviewers have noted that the stated preparation times are not always accurate. If you are short on time, you might prefer a book specially written for people with hectic lifestyles.

4. Bobby Flay Fit: 200 Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle by Bobby Flay, Stephanie Banyas, and Sally Jackson

Bobby Flay Fit

Bobby Flay’s approach to cooking is simple – he uses low-calorie flavors in combination with wholefoods and lean proteins. The book contains recipes for every meal, plus desserts. As a chef, Flay understands that food is a source of pleasure as well as nourishment.

He believes that all foods, even those considered conventionally unhealthy, can be enjoyed in moderation. Note that he does not specify preparation times. Therefore, if you need to prepare quick meals, it may not be the best title for you.

5. Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals by Jamie Oliver

Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals

Jamie Oliver demonstrates that if you learn a few simple techniques, you can quickly assemble a tasty dish. This book contains instructions for dinners, lunches, side dishes, and desserts.

However, with a total of 50 recipes, it does not offer as much variety as other titles on this list. The book contains beautiful photos, but is printed in gray text that some readers find difficult to see.

How to get started in the kitchen

If you’re completely new to cooking, start by preparing dinner one or two nights a week. You can gradually increase the proportion of home-cooked food in your diet. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’ll realize how much better a meal tastes when you’ve made it yourself.


Carmen is an entrepreneur and content marketer. In a former life, as a corporate business executive, she relied on yoga, reflexology and other alternative practices to fight stress, anxiety and find balance. She’s on a mission to build healthy habits for a balanced, healthy life, connecting body, mind and spirit.