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10 cookbooks to get you through your quarantine

Whether you need comfort, have too many leftovers or don't know what to do with your pantry ingredients, these books have you covered.

David Klein Editorial Assistant / Chowhound
David is a food and culture writer based in Los Angeles by way of New York City. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chowhound, CBS Local, Mashable and Gawker.
David Klein
3 min read

The coronavirus quarantine might be forcing you to adjust your kitchen routines in ways that might be especially challenging if home cooking is not something you typically have done in the past. Luckily, we've assembled a list of the best cookbooks for you to consider during this time. They'll help you tackle some of the various obstacles you may be facing, whether it's cooking on a tight budget, needing to master meal prep, making the most of what's in your pantry, or preventing food from spoiling or going to waste.

Consider these valuable culinary resources to help you through these trying times.

Moving your diet away from meat was a worthwhile consideration even before a global pandemic led you to wonder whether the cost of steak was really worth it. And DIY cooking projects are more popular than ever these days (boredom and isolation will do that to ya). Why not combine the two trends and life-hack your way into a fully stocked plant-based kitchen? From vegan mayo and "fish" sauce to cookie batter and ice cream, you'll soon have all the animal-free essentials (and more) you need -- and crave -- at your fingertips.

While the simple-to-follow recipes in the Perfect Pantry cookbook are definite keepers, the real value may lie in Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian's advice for a home cook's "must haves." Get these essentials while you can and you'll have a multitude of meal options in the future.

Though it's getting harder and harder to procure everything on your grocery list, don't let that discourage you from preparing delicious home cooked meals. Jamie Oliver's cookbook of five-ingredient recipes (think Creamy Mustard Chicken and Pork Sausage Burgers) will help you make the most of limited stock, including dishes that can be made exclusively with resources that are already in your kitchen.

These days, one man's trash can be that same man's cooking treasure. Don't throw out that banana peel! That rock-hard broccoli stem has a purpose, too! Pumpkin guts taste way better than they sound! Stretch your groceries to the nth degree with this helpful cookbook.

It can feel almost impossible to feed a family on a budget without resorting to cooking boiled hot dogs and instant ramen. Don't fret. Good and Cheap is a cookbook that will guide you on the path to healthy, tasty and affordable home cooking with crowd-pleasers such as Spicy Pulled Pork and Zucchini Chocolate Muffins.

Now and Again will help transform your leftovers into brand new eating experiences. (To put it in David Bowie terms, you can summon the Thin White Duke and Ziggy Stardust from a single meal.) Not only will you spare yourself time and effort down the road, you'll never feel like you're having the same meal twice with this cookbook.

This cookbook is an absolute must-have for the green thumb family that's blessed with a bountiful garden or fruit trees, but also for those of you buying your produce in bulk. With Marisa McClellan's expertise you can prevent your bounty from going to waste with her helpful and creative ideas on preserving food for future months.

If cooking on a daily basis is driving you bananas, consider consolidating your efforts into a single day with this cookbook. Try your hand at these easy (and, as a bonus, gluten-free) big batch recipes and give yourself a well-deserved break from multi-ingredient, time-consuming meal prep for a week, even more.

It's tempting to stress eat right now, but you can still keep up with your keto diet and not feel deprived of your comfort food favorites with the help of this cookbook from celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito. Follow his recommendations and you'll come out of a self-isolation lockdown without packing on the "quarantine 15."

The latest cookbook from Chowhound favorite and James Beard award winner Joe Yonan takes legumes (a quarantine essential) on a trip around the world with 125 bean-based exciting recipes. Whether its chickpeas, lentils, kidneys, or pintos, Yonan knows how to transform your recent pantry additions into mouthwatering culinary creations whether it's a simple yet flavorful white bean dip or a delightfully complex Nigerian bean stew which elevates black-eyed peas to new heights.