On Monday, I asked what your essential cookbooks are and readers jumped in with their favorites here on the blog and on MNN”s Facebook page. Many of these cookbooks I’ve never heard of before, but I’m thankful for the suggestions. Next time I hit one of my beloved library book sales, I’ll have to have this list with me to see if I can grab a few of these gems. Thanks for all the great suggestions.


Bartzturkeymom likes the Mennonite collection “More with Less Cookbook” by Doris Janzen Longacre.

Sarah likes Rose Elliot's “Complete Vegetarian Cookbook” because it’s “straightforward, easily adaptable recipes that bring a smile to everyone's face.”

Amelia loves her slow cooker and the “Fix It and Forget It Cookbook” by Phyllis Pellman Good.

Cynthia still uses the 1970’s “Wings of Life” by Julie Jordan — her first vegetarian cookbook — all the time.

Audrey was given “The Gourmet Cookbook” edited by Ruth Reichl and considers it her bible in the kitchen.

Bobbi uses “The Moosewood Cookbook” to get ideas on how to make other things she eats healthier.

Mary Pat has two essential cookbooks, “Laurel’s Kitchen” by Laurel Robinson and “Jane Brody’s Good Food Book.”

Brian, Robyn, Jill and Shawna can’t do without the “Eat Clean Diet Cookbook” by Tosca Reno.

Bonnie’s 1976 copy of “Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook” is the one she always refers to.

Simone loves cooking with her pressure cooker so “Bob Warden’s Slow Food Fast” is the cookbook she turns to.

Heather says the best reference book she has for cooking and baking is “Betty Crocker’s Cookbook” and for breads she always turns to “The Great Scandinavian Baking Book” by Beatrice A. Ojakangas.

Anastasia’s amazing cookbook is “The Four Ingredients Cookbook” by Emily Cale and Linda Coffee.

Brenda had her essential cookbook “Chipits” from the 1950’s stolen and hasn’t been able to find another copy.

Valerie can’t live without the classic “Joy of Cooking” by Irma S. Rombauer.

Shawn uses the encyclopedic “The Food Lover’s Companion” by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst to experiment with food.

Shawna finds “150 Healthiest Foods on Earth” by Jonny Bowden to be a great cooking companion.

Dorothy agrees with me that the most essential cookbook is Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything.”

Delaney thinks that if 1903’s “The Settlement Cook Book: The Way to a Man’s Heart” by Mrs. Simon Kander and Mrs. Henry Schoenfeld was good enough for her grandmother who was a professional cook, then it’s good enough for her.

Bg uses her grandmother’s cookbook, which I assume is a collection of recipes her grandmother gathered.

Vanessa, also uses a collection of recipes, but ones that she has collected herself and found her family likes. 

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Essential cookbooks: Readers choices
MNN readers point us to more than 20 cookbooks that they can’t live without.