8 Best Environmental Cookbooks to Add to Your Bookshelf

Food and Agriculture
Couple reading food recipe
Hinterhaus Productions / DigitalVision / Getty Images

Whether you’re not much of a home cook or you’ve been cheffing it up for years, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut on what to make. Not only that, but human diets today collectively take a huge toll on our environment. The pesticides and water used to grow food, the emissions required to transport it from fields across the world to your local grocery store … it all adds up to one major foodprint.

If you’re hoping to go beyond Meatless Mondays into a more climate-friendly diet, consider adding these environmental cookbooks to your repertoire.

Zero-Waste Chef by Anne-Marie Bonneau

If you aren’t already following the Zero-Waste Chef on Instagram, you really should be. Anne-Marie Bonneau, an author, blogger, and speaker, inspires thousands of people every day to cut back on their own waste, particularly food waste, in innovative and flavorful ways. Now, Bonneau has her own cookbook, also titled Zero-Waste Chef, that teaches readers free or low-cost ways to reduce food waste and use often-discarded bits of food in new ways.

Follow along as Bonneau teaches you how to minimize waste, starting with grocery shopping. Learn how to ferment, make homemade soda, turn scraps into amazing meals and snacks, and even whip up zero-waste desserts.

Zero-Waste Chef is available for $25.

Unbelievably Vegan by Charity Morgan

With more than 100 vegan recipes to choose from, chef Charity Morgan’s Unbelievably Vegan is a must-have for any kitchen. Morgan has cooked for professional athletes and celebrities and knows a thing or two about making food that fuels the human body.

As a professional chef with over 15 years of experience, Morgan’s recipes are full of flavor without any meat, dairy, or other animal products. Take, for instance, the chickpea omelet, the buffalo “chick’n” tacos, or the completely loaded-up fries (including a mouthwatering poutine with whiskey-caramelized onions).

While you wait to receive your cookbook in the mail, try out some of Chef Morgan’s recipes from her website.

Unbelievably Vegan retails for $29.99 wherever books are sold.

#EatMeatless by Jane Goodall Institute

Famous primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall’s foundation, the Jane Goodall Institute, has released a cookbook perfect for home cooks who want to minimize their carbon footprint. The book, #EATMEATLESS, includes more than 75 recipes that are completely plant-based and focus on flavor, nutrition, and seasonal ingredients.

The book starts with information about factory farming and the resources it takes to get food, meat especially, to the table and how eating local, seasonal, and plant-based foods as much as possible can help save the planet.

There’s no shortage of tasty recipes, like banana pancakes with seasonal fruit syrup for breakfast, tofu-kimchi soup or new potato and radish salad for lunch, creamy cashew pasta primavera for dinner, and tahini chocolate chunk cookies for dessert.

#EATMEATLESS retails for $35 wherever books are sold.

The Noma Guide to Fermentation by David Zilber and René Redzepi

Noma, as in one of the top restaurants in the entire world? Yep, that’s the one. Chef René Redzepi, co-founder of Noma, and chef and food scientist David Zilber, head of fermentation at Noma, collaborated on The Noma Guide to Fermentation, and it’s a must-have if reducing food waste is important to you (and it should be!). Dining at home can be a three Michelin-star experience thanks to this handy book.

The cookbook takes readers through simple fermentation tips and recipes, so you can learn about making kombucha, koji, fermented plums, and much more to elevate your everyday meals.

The Noma Guide to Fermentation retails for $40.


Brought to you by Kip Andersen, Keegan Kuhn, the creators of Cowspiracy, and screenwriter Laura Hooper Beck, this guidebook is designed to help you learn the importance of plant-based eating and follows up on some of the information portrayed in the documentary. The chapters review different environmental issues alongside sustainable recipes that are suitable for beginner home cooks. 

The PLANeT BASED DIET cookbook is available through Cowspiracy for $19.95.

The Big Green Cookbook by Jackie Newgent

What we eat can make an impact on our environment, and registered dietitian Jackie Newgent shows how to make the most meaningful choices in the kitchen with The Big Green Cookbook. There’s a whopping 200 recipes in this cookbook, and they are all aimed at helping readers follow an “ecotarian” diet.

Whip up navel orange mojitos, dark chocolate and raspberry truffles, and garlicky spinach flatbread pizzettes, just to name a few, plus learn ways to reduce energy use in the kitchen. Newgent also offers advice on buying local, organic foods, purchasing seasonal ingredients, using up leftovers, and more.

The cookbook itself is even printed with post-consumer waste paper and soy ink. The Big Green Cookbook retails for $24.95.

One: Pot, Pan, Planet by Anna Jones

Washing dishes less is better for the environment — we don’t make the rules, but this is one we’re happy to abide by. Cooking dinner is a hassle for many people, especially when complex recipes require you to bust out half the pots and pans in your cabinets. Food writer Anna Jones wants to minimize the mess and save the planet, one meal at a time, with her cookbook, One: Pot, Pan, Planet.

Each of the 200 recipes included in this cookbook is designed to reduce energy during cooking and water during cleanup. There’s much to love, too, like the sweet potato, ginger, and coconut stew, or the golden rösti with ancho chili chutney.

One: Pot, Pan, Planet retails for $35 via Bookshop.org, Barnes and Noble, or Amazon.

Eating for Pleasure, People, & Planet by Tom Hunt

Chef and activist Tom Hunt’s Eating for Pleasure, People, & Planet balances eating healthful food that also tastes amazing and puts the environment first. Hunt follows the motto of ‘Root to Fruit’ eating, or eating for pleasure, eating whole foots, and eating the best food you can.

The book teaches readers how to shop for the best available low-carbon produce while supporting regenerative farming practices, plus tips for reducing food waste. Learn how to make impressive dishes like corn cakes with pulled oyster mushrooms, macaroni and tapioca cheese, and summer vegetable ceviche.

Eating for Pleasure, People, & Planet retails for $35.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter