Cookbook recommendations for weeknight cooking?

I'm looking to spice up my weeknight cooking rotation by cooking my way through a new cookbook! I don't have any dietary restrictions, but since I live in a small town in Western PA, I don't regularly have access to a very diverse selection of produce (I'm willing to order other specially items if I'd be using them often enough). I'd love to hear your recommendations!

ariel a
  • Posted by: ariel a
  • January 31, 2016


gt9 February 12, 2016
I highly recommend the Jaques Pepin series, Fast Food My Way, and More Fast Food My Way. There are cookbooks as well as free videos on line of the shows. he uses the grocery store as your prep kitchen. I have cooked a number of things from those shows wish good success and rave reviews from the family. Check out Jaques Pepin.
LeBec F. February 11, 2016
I couldn't find this thread but lindsay jean did, so here is my thought, which i had posted elsewhere:
BavarianCook February 5, 2016
One of my all-time favorites is "Colorado Cache", a Junior League of Denver cookbook. Everything I have made out of this cookbook turns out beautifully and ingredients have been easy to find.
zerosummer February 4, 2016
You've gotten some excellent recommendations already. I also like Melissa Clark's COOK THIS NOW for weeknights--lots of great flavors and not too many hard-to-find ingredients. If you like Mexican food, you might also try Rick Bayless's MEXICAN EVERY DAY, which is full of relatively quick and healthy recipes. You could check it out of the library first to see if most of the ingredients are things you can find easily. (As a fellow western Pennsylvanian, I highly recommend making a fun weekend trip to the Strip District in Pittsburgh to pick up harder-to-find ingredients and grab a good dinner!)
Lindsay-Jean H. February 3, 2016
And just in case you missed it on the homepage today, here's one to add to your shelf in October!
MargaretB February 2, 2016
My favorite is Indian Vegetarian Cooking from an American Kitchen by Vasantha Prasad. She makes great use of pantry items and, like the title suggests, calls only for ingredients I've been able to easily find all over America. It's a bare-bones book, but has become my go-to for weeknight meals.
keg72 February 1, 2016
I love all of the Barefoot Contessa books. One of them is make ahead stuff and another is called How Easy Is That -- those are tailor-made for week nights. But, she has loads of other recipes in her books that are easy and quick to whip up. A favorite of ours is Weeknight Bolognese.
Susan W. February 1, 2016
Ditto on How To Cook Everything. I have it on my Kindle. I love that I can be at the grocery store, see something intriguing and pull up his recipes using that ingredient.
HalfPint February 1, 2016
Nigel Slater's Fast Food. It's a good little book for pantry cooking with a section for vegetables that aren't very exotic (he's English after all). The recipes are very straight forward and often times a couple of sentences. Recipes that I've tried so far have been rather good and quick.

BTW, go to your local library and check out the cookbooks before you commit to buying. Cookery is 641 in the Dewey decimal system.
sexyLAMBCHOPx February 1, 2016
Hi - I highly recommend "Everyday Food: Fresh Flavor Fast: 250 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Any Time of Day" and Everyday Food: Great Food Fast by Martha Stewart Living Magazine. Why? It offers whole food ingredients by season & utilizes basic pantry staples. Quick real food that can be made after a long hard day OR if you're just burnt or uninspired by cooking. Also amazing for introducing kids, young adults & adults to beginner meal preparation..
luvcookbooks February 1, 2016
I am home sick and looking through the Union Square Cafe Cookbook, an old favorite. The appetizer section has rice and pasta as well as vegetable dishes that I would consider weeknight dinner. Interesting ideas, some trad recipes. Everything I have tried has worked. Please try the hot garlic potato chip recipe. It is SO good for a special occasion. Maybe Super Bowl Sunday.
miss J. February 1, 2016
I've enjoyed many of the easy recipes in Grace Young's "Sir Fry to the Sky's Edge". Very flavorful & tasty. A few ingredients might be more difficult to find. But, you can prep most everything the night before.
Nancy January 31, 2016
Highly recommend Mark Bittman, How to Cook Everything (either original or 10th anniversary edition). Doubt you'll be able to cover everything as he often has about 20 variations on and/or ways to use a single recipe. But they're reliable recipes, covering basic American and many international dishes, using ingredients mostly available in standard grocery stores.
luvcookbooks January 31, 2016
One of my favorite everyday cookbooks is The Supper Book by Marion Cunningham. There is a companion Breakfast book that I also love. She does unusual but simple dishes a lot of them old fashioned. When I was first married her book was one of the first I used as I became a new wife/new mother cook every night person. Many are vegetarian or vegetarian friendly. Crab cakes and fish tacos are two of the entree dishes. Available on Amazon and a beautifully designed book.
I cooked through about a dozen of the recipes in Honey and Co for this year's community piglet. They are Israeli/Middle Eastern recipes and a lot of them can be made on weeknights. A few exotics but you will use them throughout the book. A lovely eggplant sabich recipe would be a good weeknight main dish from Honey and Co.
If you like Vietnamese food I recommend NancyMcDermotts Quick and Easy Vietnamese. I had felt intimidated about cooking the food I loved in Vietnamese restaurants. She showed me how to make pho and summer rolls, two of my faves.
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