The Best Simple Cookbooks for Quick and Easy Weeknight Meals

These guides will help you get flavorful dishes on the table in minutes.

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Here's the thing about dinner: It just keeps coming at you. Night after night, whether you want to cook or not, the moment arrives when you (and possibly several others in your household) are ready to eat. It's especially difficult when you have only 20 minutes to make a delicious meal. And, of course, you want to incorporate healthy ingredients.

Preparing tasty, balanced meals can be fulfilling and even fun (there's a reason Joy of Cooking is one of the world's most published cookbooks), but kitchen burnout is real. If you're falling into a cooking funk, ordering some simple cookbooks can help. Whether you're craving new cuisines or plant-based sides, or just want to make something completely different, one of these everyday cookbooks might be what you need to reclaim the joy.

The Defined Dish: Healthy and Wholesome Weeknight Meals

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Looking to make something nutritious, satisfying, and simple? Consider The Defined Dish. Alex Snodgrass' collection of recipes is broken into categories that make choosing a dish simple.

Whether you're craving a Mediterranean dish, a satisfying salad, or merely something that's "better than takeout," this book has you covered. Her Chorizo con Papas Taquitos are easy to make and are perfect for leftovers. The Hibachi-Style Chicken with Magic Mustard Sauce is insanely flavorful—it really tastes better than anything you could get at a restaurant.

Eat What You Want


Gaby Dalkin's third cookbook, Eat What You Want is chock full of innovative ideas. Best known for her fresh, California-inspired recipes, Dalkin stocked this one with delectable and innovative dishes like Street Food Pad Thai, Mole Nachos, and Pink Cacio e Pepe.

Eat What You Want also includes countless recipes for dressings, sauces, and marinades, which are perfect for jazzing up any basic dish. And don't forget to peruse Gaby's drool-worthy desserts and fun, tasty cocktails. (You can't make her mouth-watering carnitas without a Paloma in hand.)

Simple Beautiful Food


Amanda Frederickson can usually be found "fridge-foraging" on her Instagram every Wednesday, and her new cookbook, Simple Beautiful Food, showcases recipes that are exactly that: uncomplicated, fresh, and satiating.

If you're looking to go beyond grilled cheese, indulge in a Baked Croque Madame. Get your greens and grain fix with her Kale, Farro, and Halloumi Salad with Tahini Vinaigrette, or spice up your side dishes by cooking her Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Sriracha and Lime.

Milk Street Tuesday Nights

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Christopher Kimball has the ability to create heavenly, full-flavored recipes that can be prepared in just 45 minutes. From classic dishes like Pasta alla Norma and Cuban Picadillo to more adventurous fare like Tibetan Curried Noodles with Beef and Cabbage and Beef Suya, Milk Street Tuesday Nights aims to conquer every craving. And with over 200 recipes to choose from, you'll always be inspired to cook up something different and exciting.

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