Cookbooks for Beginners: As Recommended by Registered Dietitians

This week I will be presenting at the Nevada Dietetic Association Annual Conference on “Culinary Bootcamp for Dietitians: Solutions for the Top 10 Cooking Mysteries & Disasters”.

I compiled this list of quick and easy cookbooks for beginners as recommended by my fellow registered dietitian friends.


Download “Cookbooks for Beginners” as a printable PDF.


Cookbooks for Beginners:

As Recommended by Registered Dietitians

Compiled by Michelle Dudash, RD,


1. Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

The cookbook that I have used for many, many years and still continue to use.  It is straightforward, nicely categorized, has some photos and provides basic recipes.

I worked at Better Homes & Gardens many years ago and I know just how much thought goes into the wording of each recipe and how many times each recipe is tested.  You can count on the recipes.

2. Clean Eating for Busy Families: Get Meals on the Table in Minutes with Simple and Satisfying Whole-Foods Recipes You and Your Kids Will Love, by Michelle Dudash, RD

Fair Winds Press, On pre-sale now. Release date: December, 2012

3. Get Cooking, by Mollie Katzen

4. Healthy Meals for Hurried Families, by Jan Tilley, MS RD LD A
 compilation of my favorite family-friendly easy recipes, perfect for
 beginner cooks! Has sold over 2500 copies so far and has just been out
since last October!

5. Healthy Cooking for Two (or Just You), by Frances Price, RD

It’s an older book, but I believe still available through
Amazon. Many people I’ve referred to this book have liked how do-able
the recipes are (as well as practical for those not in large families).
It’s healthy, but the portions are ridiculously miniscule either, which is nice.

6. How to Cook Everything: The Basics, by Mark Bittman

Its a terrific book for the aspiring cook.

7. How to Cook Without a Book, by Pam Anderson

8. Lickety-Split Meals for Health Conscious People on the Go, by Zonya Foco, RD

ZHI Publishing, For sample
recipes, visit

9. Quick and Healthy, by Brenda Ponichtera, RD

Now in it’s 3rd edition. I have the first two and use them often.

Includes sample menus and grocery lists. I like to find simple recipes for fish, including vegetables and grains (baked in foil, etc.). I also enjoy recipes with planned makeovers, using a base recipe, then use in a different dish (like roast chicken, fajitas, soup, casseroles, etc.). Published by: ScaleDown.

10. Radically Simple, by Rozanne Gold, Rodale Books

It has very easy, but flavor-packed recipes for everything–breakfast, appetizers, soups, salads, entrees, vegetables, and desserts.

11. Salad Secrets, by Judy Doherty, PC II, Food and Health Communications, Inc.

iphone/iPad <>

12. The Way to Cook, by Julia Child

Directions and photos are very clear and all of the recipes are excellent.

13. The Joy of Cooking

A wonderful reference for so many methods and a go-to when you need just about any basic recipe or method/technique. I also recommend any of Alice Waters’ books because the recipes are usually very simple.

14. Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, by Deborah Madison

A wonderful book with lots of reference and any plant based recipe you could ever need as a beginning cook.

15. Simply Vegan, by Debra Wasserman (From The Vegetarian Resource Group)


You Might Also Like:

My Run-In with Anthony Bourdain

My Cookbook: Clean Eating for Busy Families on Pre-Sale Now!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe from Weight Watchers One Pot Cookbook

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