College is all about trying out new things, making new friends, and getting used to being on your own. One of the best ways for your students to do all of these things is to learn how to cook for themselves.
They can try out recipes with their roommate, share food with people on their floor, and have a good plan B in case they get tired of the dining hall.
The best part is that they don’t need much time, money, or equipment to cook in college. Here are 25 basic cookbooks that will help them feed themselves for the next four years. Keep reading.
What are the Best American CookBook Shops?
Kitchen Arts & Letters
Since 1983, when it first opened in Manhattan, about 12,000 books fit into a 750-square-foot space at Kitchen Arts & Letters.
Nach Waxman, the store’s founding partner, now focuses on out-of-print books, while Matt Sartwell.
They are in charge of an inventory “up to the ceiling” that includes much more than just recipe books. Kitchen Arts & Letters has the best and easy cookbooks for college students.
Cookbooks by the Kitchen Witch
This unusual cookbook store by a former chef in New Orleans’ French Quarter serves more than 20 years ago. They have the best and easy cookbooks for college students. It survived Hurricane Katrina and moved about a mile away from the Quarter in 2015. Now, it has about 10,000 books in it, including new, used, rare, and out-of-print cookbooks and other books about food.
Elizabeth Young worked with rare books for eight years before opening a brick-and-mortar cookbook store in Brooklyn in November. The store has a few thousand rare books, a few hundred new books, and the library and personal letters of M.F.K. Fisher. Young has books about food culture, history, and politics, as well as cookbooks. They have the best and easy cookbooks for college students.
Omnivore Books on Food
In 2008, Celia Sack opened Omnivore in a 500-square-foot space that used to be a butcher shop in San Francisco. The door and ceiling rigging from the butcher shop days are still there. Sack used to work as an expert on rare books at an auction house.
Due to this, the shop has a lot of first editions and out-of-print books, as well as rows and rows of new covers. Sack also plans free author events and book signings. They sell most of the best and easy cookbooks for college students.
Don and Samantha Lindgren opened their cookbook shop in Portland, Maine, in 2006. In 2012, they moved it to an old mill in Biddeford, a nearby town. There are more than 30,000 books, manuscripts, photos, and other items related to food.
There are more than 5,000 old menus and more than 3,000 pictures of pigs. Lindgren is working on a catalog with many books about the community cookbook. It is another store that sells the best and easy cookbooks for college students.
Read also: Top 30 Printers For College Students
Why do College Students Need CookBooks?
You want your food to turn out well.
Ok, this might seem like a no-brainer, but if you’re going to take the time to cook, you should do everything you can to make sure the food tastes great.
Your ingredients have something to say.
Notice how many cookbooks start with an introduction to the most important recipes in the book? Those pages do more than just take up room. Think of those ingredient dossiers as the chef’s way of introducing himself or herself.
Your tools do, too.
When you open your cabinets, do you ever wonder what some of the things in there are for? You can KonMari your kitchen with the help of your favorite cookbooks.
We are sure your author’s story is pretty good, too.
Doesn’t this make you happy? There are cookbook authors who talk about how they overcame illnesses and cookbook authors who own dozens of restaurants.
Is Food More Than Just Food?
Mindfulness is important in every part of life, including the kitchen. Reading your cookbooks helps you figure out how to put together a menu and how flavors work together.
You want to be more confident at restaurants
Have you ever sat down to eat and found a menu full of words you didn’t know? Paw-paw? Sauce gribiche? Mousseline? Reading cookbooks is the best way to expand your cooking vocabulary.
You should see: Top 15 Best Hookup Apps for College Students
25 Best Cookbooks for College Students
#1. The Art of Easy Food
In her book The Art of Simple Food, Alice Waters, a food expert, focuses on local, seasonal ingredients. Eating what’s in season and from nearby? These days, it’s almost a cliche. Alice Waters, a food expert, came up with the idea for her famous restaurant Chez Panisse.
Her work, The Art of Simple Food, is all about good cooking with the best local ingredients that are in season. The ingredients are all at a farmer’s market.
This book has more than 200 recipes for organic poultry and meat, simple desserts, and other dishes that don’t take a lot of time or effort. We like how simple it is, especially when we’re short on time. We think this book would be a great addition to anyone’s collection of great cooking books at home. This is one of the best cookbooks for college students.
You should read: Top 15 Best Calculators for College Students
#2. Baking: From My Home to Yours
Dorie Greenspan is popular as a “culinary guru.” She has written nine cookbooks, including Baking with Julia. The book that went along with Julia Child’s PBS show. Greenspan’s first book that isn’t co-written with another baking expert is Baking: From My Home to Yours. In it, she shares 230 of her homey recipes in a way that is both skilled and friendly. This is one of the best baking books in the world because it has clear instructions.
The other great thing about it is that she gives different ways to make many of the recipes. This lets a home cook master one recipe and then build a repertoire from that. The book has recipes for everything from breakfast sweets like allspice crumb muffins to savory foods.
There are foods like cheddar scones, thumbprint cookies, coconut cake, and even unusual treats like gingered lime and mango meringue pie. This is one of the top cookbooks for college students.
Check out!: 32 Best Paying Part-Time Jobs for College Students
#3. Fire and Ice: Cooking in the Nordic Style
Fire and Ice: Classic Nordic Cooking by Darra Goldstein belongs both in the kitchen and on your coffee table. This cookbook got nominations for a James Beard Award. It combines Goldstein’s stories about Nordic history and food traditions. This cookbook also has beautiful photos of the region’s landscapes, food, and recipes.
From seafood favorites like Swedish classic shrimp toast to braised pheasant and blueberry soup, each recipe shows how simple and creative Nordic food culture is. This is one of the top cookbooks for college students.
Check out!: Top 20 Interesting Games for College Students
#4. American Cookery by James Beard
People have called James Beard “the father of American cuisine,” so this is a full cookbook by him. The illustrated, encyclopedic book came out in 1972 and has more than 1,500 of Beard’s favorite recipes. Even though he wrote more than 20 cookbooks, his best work is American Cookery. The book has been popular for a long time. It doesn’t just have great recipes, but also goes into the history of American food. This is one of the best and easy cookbooks for college students.
Beard takes the time to talk about the history of dishes like “Mrs. Harland’s Fricassée of Lamb Tongues”. The book also has answers to a lot of questions about cooking. You would find how to choose the best ingredients and how to make a real cheeseburger. The original text and color illustrations are in the 2010 edition.
Buy on Amazon
#5. The Joy of Cooking
The joy of Cooking is more than just a collection of recipes. It is mostly one of the best books on American cooking. It is a piece of American history that shows how different parts of the country have different ways of eating. It was one of the first books about home cooking by a home cook, so it was a big hit right away.
The book’s large number of recipes and clear instructions are what make it one of the most popular cookbooks. Many of the old recipes have updates for modern tastes. There are even a few new ones for things like enchiladas and sushi.
Recipes like brined roast turkey, beef fondue, and chocolate cake with seven-minute frosting keep the homey taste. This is one of the best cookbooks for college students.
Check out!: 15 Best Notebooks for College Students to Get
#6. The Great Desserts Book by Maida Heatter
Heather has spent her whole life baking. She has written nine books about desserts and is in the James Beard Foundation Hall of Fame. The Book of Great Desserts, which is her most well-known book, has recipes for all kinds of American desserts. From tortes and pies to fried cookies, crêpes, icebox cakes, brownies, bars, and soufflés.
Heather talks to the reader like an old friend and uses stories to explain why she thinks certain things are good. Her Queen Mother cake is a flourless chocolate cake with almonds. She says would be her choice if she could only have one dessert in the world. This is one of the best and easy cookbooks for college students.
Have you seen: 15 Best HP Laptops for College Students
#7. Tasting Paris: 100 Recipes to Eat Like a Local
This cookbook was the first to bring French cooking into American homes. It did so in 1961 with such style and detail that it is still considered the best guide of its kind today. As the movie “Julie & Julia” showed, the book’s 524 recipes are so well written. The beginner cook can learn how to do everything from poaching an egg to bone a duck. You can do all this by following its instructions.
The most useful parts are the tips on where to find or how to replace French ingredients. To get the exact tastes and textures of the country that is popular as the birthplace of Western cuisine. There are sections for soups, sauces, eggs, luncheon, fish, poultry, meat, vegetables, cold buffet, and desserts.
Recipes range from quiches to aspics, cassoulet to Julia Child’s famous beef bourguignon. This is one of the best and easy cookbooks for college students.
Check out!: 20 Cheap Vacations For College Students
#8. A Modern Way to Eat- Anna Jonnes
Over 200 everyday vegetarian recipes that taste good (that will make you feel amazing). A Modern Way to Eat, by Anna Jones, is exactly that. Jones, who used to be Jamie Oliver’s student, talks in a grounded, non-elitist way about the current trend toward socially and health-conscious eating.
Her belief that “eating should be fun” reflects in the more than 200 vegetarian recipes in the book. Each recipe focuses on fresh, flavorful dishes that are light but filling. They are mostly made with local ingredients but don’t cost a lot and look like they belong on Pinterest.
A Modern Way to Eat shows that making vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free meals can be just as fun as eating them. This is one of the top cookbooks for college students.
#9. The Professional Chef
This book, which is now in its ninth edition, is popular as a textbook for chefs in the United States. The Professional Chef has its author as the most prestigious cooking school in the country. It focuses on both the science and art of cooking. The book has almost 900 recipes that explain everything from putting the ingredients together to serving the food.
There is also information about the restaurant business. This teaches them how to stay safe in the kitchen, what to eat, how much to serve, and how to run a restaurant. Ingredients and tools are also defined. This is one of the top cookbooks for college students.
The current edition has more than 800 photos that show how to make dishes and how they look when you finish cooking them. The book on French cooking techniques, but has recipes and foods from the Americas, Asia, and all of Europe. Such as empanadas, deviled eggs, cioppino, samosas, and goulash.
Have you seen: 25 Free Summer Online Classes for College Students
#10. Scott Conant. by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
We wanted to include a more recent book by a talented chef who has been making waves in the food world from coast to coast. Many of the books on this list are classics that have changed the world. Scott Conant has written a beautiful poem about his simple but elegant Italian food. This is one of the best cookbooks for college students.
The Scarpetta Cookbook has 125 easy-to-make recipes. He has famous Stromboli bread, classic Scarpetta spaghetti with tomato sauce, and Sicilian spiced duck. He also has cooking techniques that amateur cooks can use in the comfort of their kitchens.
#11. The Easy College Cookbook
Students in college don’t have time to fuss over their food. “No-fuss recipes for making tasty, cheap meals in your dorm room,” is how the Easy College Cookbook is. The cookbook has more than just recipes. It also has advice on how to cook in a dorm room.
This book has something for everyone, from ways to change your diet to recipes that are easy on your wallet. It is one of the top cookbooks for college students.
#12. The No Time to Cook! Book
Sometimes it’s a good idea to ignore what the book is about. This cookbook isn’t just “for guys.” Any college student can use some of these 75 cheap and tasty recipes in their dorm. Besides recipes, topics include Cooking 101, an introduction to economics and budgeting, and the basics of cooking tools.
This cookbook has recipes for staples like steak fajitas and s’mores as well as more advanced dishes. There are also vegan options. It is one of the top cookbooks for college students.
Check out!: 100 Informative Speech Topics for College Students
#13. The Easy College Cookbook for Guys
This cookbook is a healthy, quick, and easy college cookbook that has budget-friendly that has easy recipes. The tagline for this cookbook is “You don’t have to eat fast food for four years!” The Healthy, Quick & Easy College Cookbook has more than 100 easy and tasty recipes for students on a budget. It is one of the best cookbooks for college students.
It also has tips for planning meals. Basic ingredients and helpful tips and hacks for meal prep make this cookbook a great way for college students to save money and improve their cooking skills. There are also healthy food options for mom to feel good about, too. This is a useful cookbook that students might keep even after they finish college.
#14. The College Cookbook: 100+ Recipes That Are Fast, Fresh, Easy, and Cheap
Some college students know how to cook when they leave home. Even if a student is more experienced in the kitchen, they can still find inexpensive recipes in this book. The picture on the front of this cookbook looks like a magazine cover. It lets you know that the recipes inside are more for a college-bound cook with some cooking experience.
If your student knows how to cook, this cookbook has more than 100 recipes. It has a full-color photo that will help them make their dorm room known as a little gourmet. This is one of the best cookbooks for college students.
Check out!: 15 Best Housing Programs For College Students
#15. Quick & Easy Instant Noodle Cookbook: Recipes for Instant Noodles You Can Make in Minutes
Ramen and college students are like peanut butter and jelly. It’s not as easy as you might think to find a ramen cookbook that isn’t the trendy kind with hard-boiled eggs and fancy ingredients. This is one of the best cookbooks for college students.
Who in college has fresh eggs in their dorm, let alone a way to boil them perfectly? In this cookbook, you can find Asian spices, or get fresh proteins. This easy-to-use cookbook takes simple ramen and the flavor packet to the next level. It has easy-to-find and inexpensive add-ins. With these 100 recipes, you can make cheap ramen a little fancier and cook it faster so you can get through college.
Read also: Transtutors Scholarship for College Students
#16. The Unofficial ALDI Cookbook: Delicious Recipes Made with Customer Favorites from the Award-Winning Grocery Store
For busy, hungry college students, finding ingredients that are easy to get and cheap may be more important than finding the right recipes. Both of these needs are mostly met by The Unofficial ALDI Cookbook. There are a lot of ALDI stores near colleges, and for $20 can buy a lot of food.
This new cookbook has easy-to-follow recipes, shopping tips, and even some history of ALDI. The reviews and high ratings on Amazon show that this is a cookbook for college and beyond. Recipes for college students show them how to make meals for any time of day.
You get baked French toast with berries, chicken parmigiana, shrimp scampi, and everything bagel dip. It has 75 recipes and full-color pictures to help you make them. This is one of the top cookbooks for college students.
#17. Quick and Easy Recipes for Hungry People
How a simple dorm microwave can change your life. Popcorn. Frozen meals. Heated some leftovers. With this cookbook, college students can also make “real” food. Soups, sides, main dishes, and desserts can all whip up in the microwave, and even in a mug.
Like a lot of college-focused cookbooks, this one says it’s simple and easy. But some of the recipes may take a little more time or have more ingredients than you have in your dorm. This is one of the top cookbooks for college students.
#18. The Instant Pot College Cookbook: 75 Easy and Quick Meals that Taste Like Home
Even though toasters aren’t allowed in dorms, most colleges do let you bring an Instant Pot. This cookbook is a great thing to send to college students along with an Instant Pot. The cookbook has 75 easy recipes for things like breakfast and mac-and-cheese, which is always a favorite.
This cookbook goes beyond recipes to explain how an Instant Pot/pressure cooker works. You would also find how to make the most of what an Instant Pot can do, and how to make meals on a budget in a dorm room. It is one of the best cookbooks for college students.
Read also: Study in Nevada: 15 Opportunities for College Students
#19. The All-American Rotisserie Chicken Dinner: Quick and Easy Recipes to Dress Up Your Store-Bought Bird
It can be hard to cook and store proteins in a dorm room. Rotisserie chicken is an easy ingredient that you can find at most grocery store delis and warehouse stores. Students can eat the chicken as is or in simple sandwiches. It is one of the top cookbooks for college students.
The All-American Rotisserie Chicken Dinner Cookbook has recipes for things like buffalo chicken dip, quick and easy chicken enchiladas, chicken and green bean casserole, tamale pie, chicken fried rice, barbecue chicken pizza, chicken and quinoa veggie bowl, chimichangas, and easy sides—all made with a rotisserie chicken as the protein base.
#20. The One-Pan College Cookbook: 80 Easy Recipes for Fast, Good Food
College students don’t have much room for anything, even pots, and pans. This cookbook is all about easy, healthy one-pot meals that are great for dorms. It also has tips on how to use a knife and how to season food.
These 80 one-pot meals don’t have to be one-hit wonders. College students can take them to their first apartments where they have more than one pan. This is one of the best and easy cookbooks for college students.
Have you seen: 20 Best Educational Podcasts for College Students
#21. The College Vegan Cookbook: 145 Cheap, Healthy, and Tasty Recipes from Plants
It can be hard to find vegan food on or near a college campus. The College Vegan Cookbook is a great way for students to eat vegan on a budget and in a dorm room. This is especially when all they can find is salad or vegetables.
This book has 145 easy-to-make vegan recipes for college life, like blueberry oat muffins, ramen noodle bowls, barbecue cauliflower wraps, and microwave brownie mug cakes. All of the recipes are cheap and can be easily made with items found in a college dorm. This is one of the best cookbooks for college students.
#22. The 5 Ingredient College Cookbook.
More than 100 cheap recipes with about five ingredients each. They are for college students who are hungry but don’t have a lot of money. Favorites like French toast, enchiladas, and Greek pita sandwiches. There are thai chicken ramen is among the tasty recipes in this book. This is one of the best and easy cookbooks for college students.
This cookbook has more than just recipes; it also has information about how to cook. Even though it doesn’t have pictures and the five-ingredient rule doesn’t always work. This cookbook is still a great choice for people who want to start cooking in the dorm.
Read also: 20 Best Educational Podcasts for College Students
#23. The Everything College Cookbook, 300 Easy and Cheap Recipes for New Cooks
It may seem like college students have to learn everything at once, from how to do their laundry to how to get to class, but this Everything College cookbook has all the recipes they need. This cookbook focuses on words like simple, beginner, and cheap. It is one of the top cookbooks for college students.
There are paleo, vegan, and healthy options, as well as all the college staples. Everything is mostly made in a dorm room with limited supplies and appliances. Um, a book with 300 recipes? College students want deals like that when they shop and eat.
#24. Everything Gluten-Free College Cook The Everything Gluten-Free College Cookbook
This cookbook is a simple gluten-free cookbook that can be a great way to find gluten-free options. Some reviews say that there are no pictures to help with cooking. This is something to think about if your students learn better by seeing things. The cookbook has good gluten-free recipes.
Some people have kept it on their bookshelf long after they graduated from college. Recipes include banana chocolate chip scones, cinnamon raisin french toast, the cheesiest macaroni and cheese, curried chicken salad, Mexican quesadillas, chewy granola bars, microwave shrimp scampi, ginger-orange chicken breast, molten lava dark chocolate cake, and soft gingersnap cookies.
This gluten-free cookbook has 300 recipes and fills a need in college cooking. It is one of the best cookbooks for college students.
Check out!: 15 Best Dating Apps For College Students
#25. Feed Yourself Right- Lendon Smith, M.D.
Even though they didn’t sign up for “Cooking 101,” Spoon University’s “How to Feed Yourself” will give them a crash course. We love this book because it doesn’t try to be fancy and is full of useful information. They can find where to find pizza dough in the grocery store and how to bake without cookie cutters.
Plus, the recipes are amazing and different. Think about chicken and pesto pasta and breakfast tacos. This is one of the top cookbooks for college students.
Check also: Top 21 Scholarships for College Students in California
FAQs on Best Cookbooks for College Students
Yes. Costco for the past 12 years has published and given out cookbooks to members.
That’s fine, but if you haven’t used a real cookbook in years, you don’t need one anymore. If you like the way they look and have room to store them, keep them. If not, accept the way you cook now and get rid of them.
First editions and limited editions of cookbooks can be worth more than later printings. As you might expect, cookbooks signed by famous people can also be worth more than copies that are not signed.
We love giving and getting new cookbooks, especially around the holidays because they are such great, personal gifts. This year, we’ve cooked our way through a lot of new cookbooks, and we’ve marked recipes in many more to try in 2022.
If your cookbooks are in good shape but not very valuable, you might want to give them away. You could try your local library, a thrift store, a prison, or even a high school, but make sure to call first to find out what they’re looking for. If you don’t, they might end up in the trash.
Fried egg on a grilled cheese sandwich.
Whole roasted fish.
Read also: 15 Best Online Jobs for College Students
Great recipes are easy to find these days. We all have our favorite websites and blogs where we find the easiest lunches for the week or the most impressive dishes for dinner parties.
But using a real cookbook is something that no one can replace. The time-honored tradition of cooking includes turning pages, studying recipes, and looking at pictures.
Check out!: 40 Stocking Stuffers For College Students
- forbes.com– Best and easy cookbooks for college students
- candidcover.net– Best and easy cookbooks for college students
- hgtv.com– Best cookbooks for college students and young adults
- usatoday.com– Cookbooks for college students
- Top 15 Best Investments For College Students
- Top 30 Printers For College Students
- Top 15 Best Hookup Apps for College Students
- Top 15 Best Calculators for College Students
- 32 Best Paying Part-Time Jobs for College Students
- Top 20 Interesting Games for College Students
- 15 Best Notebooks for College Students to Get
- 15 Best HP Laptops for College Students
- 20 Cheap Vacations For College Students
- 25 Free Summer Online Classes for College Students