For some, a family cookbook may mean heirloom recipes that have been passed down for generations in the family. These recipes are valuable, not only because they’re reliable and delicious but also because they’ve been used to mark memorable milestones in the family history.
But not everyone is lucky to have one’s own family cookbook. For the rest of us, a family cookbook is usually a convenient reference book of everyday recipes and easy meal plans designed to take the stress out of cooking for a family.
For working parents, this type of cookbook is a life saver because it contains recipes that are easy to do especially on a busy week. Some cookbooks have recipes that are categorized according to prepping times so that one easily pick the quickest recipe for cooking.
For those with children who have picky tastes, a family cookbook will give them a variety of options for making flavorful dishes (if you want them to get involved too, you might look for a kids cookbook). Whether it’s comfort food or something healthy, one can always on a family cookbook for a recipe.
For those looking for a great recipe for entertaining, some family cookbooks will also have the best recipes. The ones who are written by food personalities who love hosting usually have elevated recipes that you can rely on for intimate dinners or parties.
In this list, I’ve rounded up the best family cookbooks that are reliable and feature an interesting selection of delicious dishes. These books show that it’s easy to serve great food quickly and simply while never compromising on flavor.
Here are my top 10 best family cookbooks on Amazon.
Best Family Cookbooks
- The New Family Cookbook Hardcover
- One Pan, Whole Family: More than 70 Complete Weeknight Meals Paperback – Illustrated
- Dinner in an Instant: 75 Modern Recipes for Your Pressure Cooker, Multicooker, and Instant Pot® : A Cookbook Hardcover
- Barefoot Contessa Family Style: Easy Ideas and Recipes That Make Everyone Feel Like Family Hardcover
- The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adrià, 10th Anniversary Edition Hardcover
- The Weeknight Dinner Cookbook: Simple Family-Friendly Recipes for Everyday Home Cooking Paperback
- The Vegetarian Family Cookbook: 100 Simple Kid-Friendly Recipes to Enjoy Together Paperback
- Clean Paleo Family Cookbook: 100 Delicious Squeaky Clean Paleo and Keto Recipes Paperback – Illustrated
- Giada's Family Dinners: A Cookbook Hardcover – Illustrated
- The Taste of Home Cookbook, 4th Edition: 1,380 Busy Family Recipes for Weeknights, Holidays and Everyday Between, Hardcover
1. The New Family Cookbook Hardcover
This is an updated and redesigned edition that now has 1,100 new recipes to add to the original 200 classic recipes. It also includes cooking techniques and product ratings, which are standard features for an America’s Test Kitchen cookbook.
The selection has a wide range of recipes, from appetizers and soups to mains and desserts. It also has 1,100 full-color how-to photos and 300 recipe photos for easy guidance and reference.
Recipes come with easy-to-read directions and tips on how to modify them for specific dietary needs. Prepping and cooking times are also stated.
Readers liked this book because it’s full of useful information. One liked its buying guide for essential kitchen equipment. Another said that this book takes out the guesswork out from cooking. Those who tried the recipes found them delicious.
Recommended for home cooks of all skill levels and anyone looking for a family-friendly reference cookbook.
2. One Pan, Whole Family: More than 70 Complete Weeknight Meals Paperback – Illustrated
This is a convenient cookbook to have because it features recipes that can be cooked on a single pot or pan. There’s less cleaning up to do for the busy home cook.
Recipes are easy to follow and require only 45 minutes of prepping and cooking. They range from vegetables and chicken to beef, pork, and seafood dishes. Each weeknight meal also comes with suggestions for beverage pairings for both adults and children.
Samples of the recipes include Chicken Sliders with Chipotle Slaw, Tortilla Soup with Chicken and Sausage, Stovetop Lasagna with Spinach, and Asian-Style Fish Tacos with Wilted Cabbage Slaw.
Readers liked the diversity of the recipes. Another liked it because it uses ingredients that are easy to obtain in local markets. Those who tried the recipes found them fool-proof and delicious.
Recommended for casual home cooks and busy moms.
3. Dinner in an Instant: 75 Modern Recipes for Your Pressure Cooker, Multicooker, and Instant Pot® : A Cookbook Hardcover
This cookbook collects recipes that can be cooked with an electric multi-functional pressure cooker.
The selection is sophisticated with interesting flavors. Think gourmet dishes in a pressure cooker. Samples include Spanish Garlicky Squid and Chorizo, Duck Confit, Braised Roman-Style Lamb with Herbs and Peas, Thai Coconut Clams, Lamb Tangine with Apricots and Olives, and Wild Mushroom, Pancetta and Pea Risotto.
Recipes require substantial prepping and come with cooking instructions for pressure and slow cookers. Some of them will require ingredients that will be hard to source locally but it also lists some easy substitutions to help the home cook. The dishes can also be easily modified for paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan diets.
Recommended for experienced home cooks and those looking for sophisticated weeknight recipes for an electric pressure cooker.
4. Barefoot Contessa Family Style: Easy Ideas and Recipes That Make Everyone Feel Like Family Hardcover
This is a selection of Ina Garten’s favorite recipes for everyday cooking and casual entertaining. Most of the recipes here are updated versions of familiar favorites. Samples include East Hampton Clam Chowder, Parmesan Roasted Asparagus, Linguine with Shrimp Scampi, Lobster Cobb Salad, Tequila Lime Chicken, and Saffron Risotto with Butternut Squash.
Recipes are straightforward with some vivid food photographs. They make great use of everyday ingredients and are easy to prep. The book’s last chapter includes a series of meal plans to give home cooks some inspiration on how to use its recipe selection.
Those who have tried the recipes found them fool-proof and delicious. One liked that the recipes were not pretentious. Another said that she found them family-friendly.
Recommended for beginners and experienced cooks and anyone looking for easy weeknight comfort food recipes.
5. The Family Meal: Home Cooking with Ferran Adrià, 10th Anniversary Edition Hardcover
This cookbook features a month’s worth of three-course menus that Ferran Adrià developed to feed his staff at his iconic El Bulli restaurant. There are 100 recipes here that are easy to prepare and are great for family dining.
Samples of the recipes include Roast Chicken with Potato Straws, Sea Bass Baked in Salt, Mexican-style Slow-Cooked Pork, White Chocolate Cake, and Baked Apples with Whipped Cream.
The recipes are mainly Spanish or Spanish-inspired. They’re easy to follow and include step-by-step full-color photographs. There are also conversions for preparing a meal for 2, 6, 20, or 75 people. All the recipes have been kitchen-tested with ingredients that are easily available all over the world.
Recommended for beginner cooks or Ferran Adrià fans or any family who wants to be inspired by Spanish-influenced set menus.
6. The Weeknight Dinner Cookbook: Simple Family-Friendly Recipes for Everyday Home Cooking Paperback
This cookbook presents a range of recipes for mains and side dishes that are ideal for weeknight dinners. They are grouped by cooking time; there are recipes for 15–25-minute meals, 30–45-minute meals and ones that require 5–10-minute prepping time.
Dishes are made from scratch and require the use of a slow cooker or an oven. There are side notes and suggestions for modifying the recipes. Most of the recipes are gluten-free; in the case of the few that are not, there are gluten-free substitutions.
Samples of the selection include traditional favorites like Sweet Chipotle Chicken Bites, Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf, Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork, Creamy Balsamic Skillet Chicken, and Red Chile Beef Enchiladas.
Readers found this a very convenient book for busy households. One liked that the recipes aren’t fussy. Another liked that the cookbook makes weeknight dinners creative but also manageable.
Recommended for all home cooks looking for quick and delicious family dinner recipes.
7. The Vegetarian Family Cookbook: 100 Simple Kid-Friendly Recipes to Enjoy Together Paperback
The vegetarian recipes in this cookbook have been family tested and the cookbook includes recipes that kids can easily do so that they can pick up basic kitchen skills.
The selection is a mix of healthy and “traditional” vegetarian food and covers a variety of food types, from sweet and savory breakfasts, mains, and desserts. Samples include Morning Glory Muffins, Rainbow Buddha Bowl, and Easy Cheesy Lasagna.
Recipes come with labels for 30-minute, 5-ingredient, one-pot, and vegan for easy reference. Each comes with nutritional information. There’s also a primer for cooking grains properly.
Readers found the recipes accessible and diverse enough for picky eaters. One found it a useful reference for quick vegetarian recipes that are flavorful.
Recommended for anyone looking for healthy vegetarian recipes.
8. Clean Paleo Family Cookbook: 100 Delicious Squeaky Clean Paleo and Keto Recipes to Please Everyone at the Table Paperback – Illustrated
This is a collection of family-friendly paleo recipes that even children will like. It takes into account that people will have varying paleo diets so the recipes are conveniently labeled as traditional paleo, squeaky clean paleo, and/or keto paleo.
Recipes are grouped into sauces and appetizers, breakfasts, salads, sides, mains, electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot) and slow cooker recipes, kid-approved recipes, sweet treats, and drinks. About half of them have colored photos.
The selection is easy to follow and use ingredients that are obtainable in local stores. There are tips and variations included at the end of each recipe, along with the number of servings. There are US standard and metric measurements. Nutritional info, however, is not included.
Recommended for anyone looking for family paleo recipes.
9. Giada's Family Dinners: A Cookbook Hardcover – Illustrated
This cookbook features a selection of Italian-American dishes that are great for weeknight family dinners. Samples of the recipes include Giada’s Chicken Vesuvio and Veal Stew with Cipollini Onions as well as traditional favorites like Easter Pie, Turkey and Ciabatta Stuffing with Chestnuts and Pancetta, and Panettone Bread Pudding with Amaretto Sauce.
Most of the recipes are easy to prep and a lot of them can be done partly in advance. Directions are easy to follow and the food photos are beautiful. Servings are slightly bigger because these recipes are geared for entertaining.
Those who’ve tried the recipes found them delicious. One liked its section on sauces. Another loved this book for its recipes on Italian sides.
Recommended for fans of De Laurentiis and anyone looking for Italian-American recipes suited for weeknight family entertaining.
10. The Taste of Home Cookbook, 4th Edition: 1,380 Busy Family Recipes for Weeknights, Holidays and Everyday Between, Hardcover
This is a comprehensive selection of family recipes compiled by the editors of A Taste of Home magazine. It includes 1,200 color photos, kitchen tips and storage guidelines to help anyone make a satisfying and quick meal for a family.
The recipes have been kitchen-tested and are conveniently tagged with icons for 5-ingredient recipes, slow cooker recipes, fast fix recipes, and freezer recipes for easy reference. There are detailed chapters on spices, as well as essential cooking techniques.
Readers found this a user-friendly book because it is designed as a loose leaf. One can take an individual recipe page out for easy reference during cooking. Another liked that it has separate chapters for crockpot and casserole recipes.
Recommended for readers of A Taste of Home and anyone looking for extensive selection of easy family recipes.
THE NEW FAMILY COOKBOOK by America's Test Kitchen (Editor)
Any cookbook edited by America’s Test Kitchen will always turn out to be reliable. That’s because recipes are rigorously kitchen tested so they are fool-proof and a home cook with any skill level can easily find success in replicating them.
It’s also the most user-friendly option. It has an inclusive index, a shopping guide, an emergency substitution list, and conversion tables. There are also a lot of how-to photos to illustrate techniques and methods.
The ton of information makes this a heavy book , but if you’re looking for a great foundation cookbook to build your cooking skills and expand your repertoire of family recipes, you can overlook its weight in favor of its usefulness.