Everybody says they’re eating healthy but what exactly does that mean?
For nutritionists, it means eating a variety of nutritious foods and drinks and getting the right number of calories for your body. This means less processed foods and condiments and more fresh produce.
Keeping track of what you should eat, however, can be tedious. That’s why to help you stick to your diet plan, you need to have a cookbook that has healthy, balanced recipes.
It doesn’t have to be written by a nutritionist or dietitian, although that helps. Because this way, you can be sure that the recipes and meal planning are backed by science. The downside is, some of these cookbooks may have healthy recipes but they lack flavor. And that’s not enough motivation to stick to your healthy diet.
The best healthy eating cookbooks are those that make you enjoy eating without feeling that you’re on a diet. This means having recipes that are easy to do, use accessible and nutritious ingredients but are also very flavorful and delicious.
Whether you’re transitioning to a plant-based eating lifestyle or just simply cutting down on your processed food consumption, these cookbooks will make you enjoy eating and cooking healthy and nutritious food.
Here are my top ten healthy eating cookbooks on Amazon.
For more ideas, why not look at vegan or Mediterranean cookbooks? While these don't explicitly focus on healthy eating, the type of food they focus on means that most of the recipes should be nutritious.
Best Healthy Eating Cookbooks
- The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor Hardcover – Illustrated
- The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook: A Fresh Guide to Eating Well With 700 Foolproof Recipes Paperback – Illustrated
- The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook: 500 Vibrant, Kitchen-Tested Recipes for Living and Eating Well Every Day
- Techniques of Healthy Cooking Hardcover – Illustrated
- Ottolenghi Flavor: A Cookbook Hardcover – Illustrated
- Healthy One Pan Dinners: 100 Easy Recipes for Your Sheet Pan, Skillet, Multicooker and More (Healthy Cookbook) Paperback – Illustrated
- The Healthy Junior Chef Cookbook: 70+ Fresh Recipes that Taste Great Hardcover – Illustrated
- Healthy Cookbook for Two: 175 Simple, Delicious Recipes to Enjoy Cooking for Two Paperback
- The Easy 5-Ingredient Healthy Cookbook: Simple Recipes to Make Healthy Eating Delicious Paperback
- Gordon Ramsay's Healthy, Lean & Fit: Mouthwatering Recipes to Fuel You for Life Hardcover – Illustrated
1. The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor Hardcover – Illustrated
This is a collection of 150 “skinny-fied” recipes from the author of the popular Skinnytaste blog which features low-calorie and flavorful dishes. It includes her version of Fettuccini Alfredo with Chicken and Broccoli, Make-Ahead Western Omelet Muffins, and Double Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies.
Recipes are easy and quick to do, with natural ingredients that are accessible in local stores. There are photos and detailed nutritional information for each dish. They’re also color- and letter-coded so readers can easily identify if the dish is gluten free, vegetarian, freezer friendly, made in the crockpot, etc.
Readers liked the diversity of the recipes. One liked that the book offers side dish suggestions for the main course. Another said that the recipes aren’t boring.
Recommended for home cooks of all skill levels.
2. The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook: A Fresh Guide to Eating Well With 700 Foolproof Recipes Paperback – Illustrated
This is a comprehensive selection of vegetarian recipes that range from gluten-free to vegan and have been tested by the editors at America’s Test Kitchen. There are recipes here for vegetable mains, beans, soy, rice, and grains, as well as appetizers, salads, soups, and snacks.
The core sections cover the essential recipes for cooking grains, egg dishes, and preparing sauces. There's a good mix of standard vegetable dishes as well as more impressive and sophisticated ones. There are also 200 color photos of assorted dishes and 500 step-by-step photos to further illustrate vegetable prepping and cooking techniques.
Readers found the cooking tips very useful. Another liked that it includes a quick guide for locating fast recipes. Those who’ve tried the recipes found them easy to do and reliable.
Recommended for vegetarian home cooks and anyone looking for a good reference cookbook for vegetables.
3. The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook: 500 Vibrant, Kitchen-Tested Recipes for Living and Eating Well Every Day
This is a user-friendly guide for making home-cooked meals that follow the Mediterranean diet lifestyle. The cookbook is structured to follow the Mediterranean diet pyramid and features a recipe selection that promotes the use of easy-to-find, natural ingredients. It includes dishes like Spiced Baked Rice with Potatoes and Fennel, Tagliatelle with Artichokes and Parmesan, Orzo with Shrimp, Feta, and Lemon, Za'atar-Rubbed Chicken, Greek-Style Braised Pork with Leeks, and Orange Polenta Cake.
Recipes are easy to follow and organized in such a way that makes prepping efficient. Most recipes take more than 40 minutes to prepare but there are some that have quicker prep times. All recipes have nutritional info and a list of troubleshooting tips. Most offer ingredient substitutions to fit a wide range of dietary preferences.
Readers liked the reliability of the recipes, this being an America’s Test Kitchen book. Another found this a useful book for the occasional healthy weeknight meal.
Recommended for home cooks looking for healthy family friendly meals.
4. Techniques of Healthy Cooking Hardcover – Illustrated
This cookbook is a guide to developing healthy recipes and menus to create healthy eating patterns. It presents nutrition concepts and includes cooking techniques. There are nearly 500 recipes in the book with more than 150 color photographs of ingredients and dishes, as well as how-to pictures.
Recipes range from soups, salads and appetizers to main dishes for every meal type. All the recipes are for servings of 10. They’re all easy to follow, with side notes on the nutritional info for each dish.
Readers found this a practical cookbook for a cooking class and a home kitchen. One liked its selection of tofu-based recipes. Another liked that the book features pictures of tools needed for each dish.
Recommended for anyone looking for a good culinary textbook/cookbook on healthy eating.
5. Ottolenghi Flavor: A Cookbook Hardcover – Illustrated
This cookbook teaches users how to choose and prep vegetables correctly so that the dish becomes packed with complex flavors. It highlights the use of homemade condiments called flavor bombs to make each dish delicious. There are 100 recipes here, including resto favorites Stuffed Eggplant in Curry and Coconut Dal, Spicy Mushroom Lasagne, and Romano Pepper Schnitzels.
Each chapter describes a cooking method and the equipment used, before giving a run-down of some of the recipes and how the technique is applied to them. The book lists 20 essential ingredients that are used all throughout the recipes to enhance and develop the complex flavors for each dish.
Most of the recipes are vegetarian but there are also vegan ones. There are some quick recipes but generally, the recipes require a multi-step approach to cooking which shouldn’t daunt experienced home cooks.
Readers found this a useful book for discovering new ingredients and flavors for vegetable dishes. Those who’ve cooked through its recipe selection found them delicious and reliable.
Recommended for Ottolenghi fans and anyone looking to expand their repertoire of vegetable recipes.
6.Healthy One Pan Dinners: 100 Easy Recipes for Your Sheet Pan, Skillet, Multicooker and More Paperback – Illustrated
This is a user-friendly cookbook for making healthy weeknight dinners. The recipes come together quickly and only require one piece of cookware. The cookbook also includes tips for storing, reheating, or reusing leftovers.
Recipes are short with concise directions. There are tags to identify whether it is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, under 30 minutes, or freezer-friendly. The ingredient lists are also simple and easy to find. Each recipe also comes with complete nutritional information. Samples of the featured dishes include Skirt Steak with Chimichurri, Ginger Shrimp with Carrots and Snap Peas, Eggplant Parmesan Stackers, and Thai Chicken Lettuce Cups.
Readers liked the one-pan format of the recipes. Another liked that the recipes were written by dietitian.
Recommended for anyone looking for an entry-level cookbook on healthy cooking.
7. The Healthy Junior Chef Cookbook: 70+ Fresh Recipes that Taste Great Hardcover – Illustrated
This cookbook presents a wide range of kid-friendly recipes for breakfast, soups, salads, main courses, snacks, and desserts. Samples of the recipes include Healthyish Banana Bread, Fruit-and-Nut Granola Bars, Inside-Out Veggie Sushi Rolls, and Chicken-Pineapple Kebabs.
Recipes feature step-by-step instructions, color illustrations, and photos. There are also tips and tricks that a young chef will find useful during prepping and cooking.
Recommended for young adult chefs and parents looking for kid-friendly recipes for quality bonding.
8. Healthy Cookbook for Two: 175 Simple, Delicious Recipes to Enjoy Cooking for Two Paperback
This cookbook features recipes that are high in fiber, low in sodium, and have a reasonable amount of calories in them. It also includes a meal planning guide to help one shop and plan out their meals. Samples of the recipes include Curried Chicken Couscous, Sweet Potato Pancakes, Pasta Primavera, Turkey Meatloaf, Turkey Bolognese, and Classic Minestrone.
Recipes are quick and easy to do. Each one has nutritional information and is labeled properly as gluten-free, dairy-free, or one-pot for easy reference. There are also suggestions for side dishes to accompany the main dishes.
Readers liked how the book completely explains how to make a meal plan step by step. One found its handy shopping tricks useful for making the most of a grocery budget. Another liked the convenience of having the portions perfect for two.
Recommended for empty nesters, couples and beginner home cooks.
9. The Easy 5-Ingredient Healthy Cookbook: Simple Recipes to Make Healthy Eating Delicious Paperback
This cookbook presents 150 recipes that use only a handful of ingredients while providing lots of flavor and nutrition. The selection ranges from classic favorites to healthier variations of familiar staples.
Recipes are simple and doable. They include nutrition information and come with labels for any diet preferences, like gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo-friendly, and vegan. There are also tips for shopping, meal planning, as well as guidelines for clean eating.
One reader found this a good book for people who currently eat the ‘Standard American Diet' and don't cook much for themselves but are looking for more healthier options. Another liked the versatility of the recipes.
Recommended for casual home cooks.
10. Gordon Ramsay's Healthy, Lean & Fit: Mouthwatering Recipes to Fuel You for Life Hardcover – Illustrated
In this cookbook, Ramsay shares 108 of his go-to recipes for cooking and eating healthy. The recipes highlight each of their health benefits and are categorized according to the type of meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner, sides, and snacks). Ramsay also provides his insights and techniques for healthier cooking.
The cookbook also includes charts about healthy eating by age and sex, and there are caloric counts on each recipe and substitution. Featured recipes include Cheesecake in a Jam Jar, Velveted Pork Loin and Ginger Sushi Rice, Pickled Vegetables, and Carrot Cake Macaroons.
Readers liked that the book features lower calorie recipes but won’t make anyone feel like on is on a diet. Another liked that the recipes are broken down to consider the best timing of meals for a fitness or training regimen.
Recommended for anyone looking for healthy recipes for workout or post-workout .
THE COMPLETE MEDITERRANEAN COOKBOOK: 500 VIBRANT, KITCHEN-TESTED RECIPES FOR LIVING AND EATING WELL EVERY DAY by America's Test Kitchen (Editors)
When it comes to eating healthy, nothing beats the Mediterranean diet. It’s not actually a diet but an eating pattern that is effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and overall mortality.
So if you’re looking for the ideal healthy eating cookbook to have, this is my top pick. It covers the basics of the diet and what your pantry essentials will be. It’s also user-friendly because the book is structured according to the Mediterranean food pyramid so that one can easily choose the recipes according to the meal plan.
Recipes are plentiful and varied, with detailed preparation instructions. They also include the number of servings and nutritional information per dish. And because it’s an America’s Test Kitchen cookbook, the recipes have been kitchen-tested and are foolproof.