Now that I have lived out of the dorms for a while now where food was easily accessible at the dining commons, I am finding myself looking to various outlets to find recipes. One way that I have been able to do this is by flipping through a cookbook! 

There is a lot that can be learned when you pick up a book and read it. Cooking may seem intimidating, but with the help of Julia Child, Irma Rombauer and many other chefs who wrote cookbooks, anything is possible.

Here is a list of a variety of cookbooks that college students can use to build a collection for their kitchen. 

Overall Cookbooks 

Food, Health, and Happiness: 115 On-Point Recipes for Great Meals and a Better Life by Oprah Winfrey 

If you've always wanted to be like Oprah, you can at least cook just like her. Hosting a daytime TV show and owning her own network just wasn't cutting it, so Winfrey also came out with her own cookbook. She shares her favorite recipes that also include personal stories about how she found joy in food.

Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F*ck by Thug Kitchen

We all know that we need to eat healthier and follow our doctor's recommendations, but sometimes things are easier said than done. Thug Kitchen proves this wrong, though, and actually relates to many of us who want to live the healthier lifestyle but can’t resist the temptations of greasy pizza and junk food. This cookbook has bomb-ass recipes so you can step up your cooking game and health, too. You will live the thug life you've always wanted in your thug kitchen.

How to Cook Everything: The Basics: All You Need to Make Great Food by Mark Bittman

This cookbook is basically the best way to learn cooking techniques without actually attending culinary school. Bittman includes very detailed instructions and photographs to help you master fundamental techniques.

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook: Recipes and Wisdom from an Obsessive Home Cook by Deb Perelman

The story of how this author came to be in the cooking world may relate to you. From her blog, Deb Perelman has compiled 100 recipes for this cookbook to use in your very own kitchen! Perelman's forte is comfort food, but she steps up the game a bit with her recipes.  She continues to go viral through her #fire Instagram feed and recently started a Food Network series. 

The Pleasures of Cooking for One by Judith Jones 

It’s hard cooking meals for one because that usually ends in being stuck with way too many leftovers to eat in a few days. Judith Jones wrote a cookbook that's perfect for college students and recent graduates alike because it teaches you how to be creative with your dishes and leftovers. This cookbook actually makes cooking for one more fun than it used to be.

Specific Genre

The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison 

The cool thing about this cookbook is that it isn’t just designed for vegans and vegetarians, but also for those who want to cook vegetables more creatively. Hence, it is the vegetarian cookbook for everyone.

Momofuku by David Chang

Now you don’t have to order Chinese take-out to satisfy your Asian craving. You can cook Chinese food like this award-winning chef, whose cookbook includes a recipe for his famous pork buns.

The Southern Slow Cooker: Big-Flavor, Low-Fuss Recipes for Comfort Food Classics by Kendra Bailey Morris

Bring Southern hospitality into your home! All you need is your kitchen and a Crock-Pot to replicate these soul-satisfying dishes. All of the recipes in this cookbook are full of comfort foods and all the ingredients are "from scratch" a.k.a. no mystery ingredients or cans of soups needed. 

Meat: Everything You Need to Know by Pat LaFrieda and Carolynn Carreño 

Here's one for our beloved meat lovers. Meat can be tricky to cook because it's hard to know how long to cook it without drying it out while making sure it's fully cooked at the same time. Now we can learn from a third-generation butcher, who also owns a meat packing business and dishes out all of the information about meat.

The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook: Sweet Treats for the Geek in All of Us by Rosanna Pansino

Rosanna Pansino bridges the gap between geek culture and baking. She demonstrates quirky and fun ways to bake desserts in a nerdy way, like her signature Geode Candy Cupcakes and Robot Brownie Pops . Let your geeky side shine through in your baking!

Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails by Eric Prum 

Make cocktail drinks in your kitchen, but the hipster way. Shake has put a new perspective on making drinks using a mason jar (fancy huh?)

#SpoonTip: Find your favorite chef and consider committing yourself to their craft by buying their cookbook.

Special Diet

The Whole30: The 30-Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom by Melissa Hartwig 

Many people have hopped onto the Whole30 diet program. There are many success stories of people who have positively transformed their lifestyle and moved them towards a healthier diet, and this book will help you stick to it with creative dishes.

The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor by Gina Homolka

Just because you are trying to watch your weight or lose weight doesn’t mean you have to cut corners with your meals. Continuing off of her blog, Gina Homolka provides 150 slimmed down recipes to make meals you want to eat while still losing weight without feeling like you are skimping out on flavor.

#SpoonTip: Blogs and Pinterest are another great outlet to find more recipes coming from home cooks.


Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol 1 by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck 

Embrace your inner Julia Child or Julie Powell to master the art of French cooking. You can learn to de-bone a duck like the true bad-ass Julia Child, or stick to a goal like the dedicated Julie Powell. Child and Powell are true #goals when it comes to embracing the French culture and cuisine.

Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Baker, and Ethan Becker

A classic cookbook that is important to have in every American's home. It is an essential all-purpose, timeless cookbook that continues to stand out among all other cookbooks and brings joy to every generation. 

#SpoonTip: Start collecting and saving your family recipes to continue your family tradition! 

Knowledge is key and these cookbooks provide a way to increase your knowledge about cooking techniques and various cuisines. Maybe one day you could even be the next Julia Child or Deb Perelman.