• Jennine Bryant

13 Gluten Free Cookbooks You Need On Your Shelf!

Who doesn’t love a good cookbook? I’m pretty excited about this list and I’ve really enjoyed putting it together for you all. If you’ve found your way onto my gluten free food blog or this specific blogpost, I’m pretty certain you agree with me that cookbooks are rad! Unless your internet search for cat videos somehow went horribly wrong and you landed here by mistake. In which case, I’m sorry. Have a cat gif and godspeed to you.

Now, before I start this list, I have to be honest and say that these days I tend to adapt any regular recipes I find to make them gluten free; I don’t solely rely on gluten free cookbooks. However, when I first went gluten free, I was ADDICTED to collecting gluten free cookbooks of every variety to learn how to survive in my post-gluten world. I remember how confused I was when I found myself suddenly launched into a life of dietary requirements that I didn’t understand: what even WAS gluten, and how did I avoid it?! It can seem, from the perspective of one newly initiated into the gluten free club, that every single food item contains gluten. Suddenly, the foods you relied on don’t exist anymore Thankfully, these days there are so many Free From options in supermarkets and restaurants, but back in my day, I was utterly lost.

I recall one night at university, doing a shop run to Sainsbury’s with some flatmates. I saw a bar of Galaxy Cookie Crumble on the shelf and just had to buy it (because, yum!). I thought to myself - it’s chocolate! Chocolate doesn’t have any wheat in it - this is definitely safe for me to eat! So, when we got home, I went to my room and devoured the whole bar. About 5 minutes later I realised my mistake as the all too familiar yet unwelcome stabbing pains and nausea arrived. Oops. Cue another night feeling awful.

So, gluten free cookbooks quickly became my dietary Bibles. I consulted them, learned from them and leaned on them until I felt confident enough to walk for myself in this scary, gluten filled world.

These days I love the creativity of adapting a recipe to make it gluten free and vegetarian, and also the challenge of keeping the meal just as delicious. However, I still love a good cookbook: the creak of the thick, glossy pages as you turn them, the intoxicating pictures of incredible looking food, and the promise each recipe holds, of new, exciting dining experiences.

Side note:

May I also just say before we start: cookbooks make EXCELLENT gifts. So, if you know of anyone with a birthday coming up, add that to the list of present ideas. Trust me. Either they find cooking daunting, so a well chosen cookbook can gently introduce them to the wonderful world of cooking. Or, they already love cooking, in which case you are giving them another beautiful book to add to their collection and obsess over.

Now, without further ado, here is a selection of some of my favourite gluten free cookbooks to guide you through your journey of gluten free cooking and baking.

13 great gluten free cookbooks you need on your shelf!

1.) Alternative Baker by Alanna Taylor Tobin

Alanna Taylor Tobin is a classically trained pastry chef with a gluten sensitivity. Unlucky for her, but super lucky for us fellow gluten free bakers! With her professional skills, plus her knowledge of alternative flours and unrefined sweeteners, she truly does reinvent baking for those who can't digest wheat, oats, barley or rye. Using a wide variety of grains, nuts and fresh produce (14 different types of flour to be exact), Alanna has created a really exciting recipe book full of nutritious, beautiful and flavourful desserts.

This book is incredible, though it does require some patience and enough pantry space to store various types of flour and grain!

2.) Cannelle et Vanille by Aran Goyoaga

This book, for me, is a thing of abject beauty. I mean, just look at the front cover - it’s art in the form of a cookbook and I will never tire of it. Aran is both a talented gluten free cook and an incredible food photographer. She manages to make simple, rustic dishes look more attractive than a Monet painting (in my humble opinion) and she seems to live in this incredibly dreamy world that I want to live in too. I am in awe of her and in awe of this book. If you are into your cookbooks being art as well as instruction, this is the one for you.

3.) Leon Fast and Free by Leon

This woman loves her Leon, and she ain’t afraid to admit it. I remember my first introduction to Leon on the streets of London and the excitement I felt at being able to get fast food that was healthy, gluten free and delicious. I still salivate at the mere thought of the Leon fries - it’s been too long Leon, lockdown took me away from you! This cookbook is brilliant. My parents bought it for me back in 2017, and it has barely left my side since then. It is completely gluten, dairy and refined sugar free, allowing you to recreate the amazing, fresh tastes of Leon in your own kitchen. Who can ask for more than that?

4.) Great Gluten Free Vegan Eats by Allyson Kramer

If you are someone who likes a challenge and who is willing to live life on “hard mode”, I give you, the incredible gluten free AND vegan cookbook by Allyson Kramer. Allyson had just started out as a vegan blogger and chef when she was diagnosed with coeliac disease. Not to be deterred, she ploughed on, developing hundreds of amazing recipes that are both vegan and safe for the gluten free crowd! Allyson makes this dietary existence accessible through her simple yet deeply informative style of presentation. The cookbook is full of gorgeous photographs, inspirational recipes and really helpful substitution charts. While I can’t quite bring myself to go fully vegan, I’m vegetarian and I do omit a lot of dairy from my diet, so a cookbook like this can be a big help!

5.) The Gluten-Free Cookbook for Families by Pamela Ellgen

If you've found some of my other entries thus far a little daunting, I hope this one comes across as slightly more accessible. The recipes in this cookbook use easy to come by every day ingredients, they are budget friendly, the majority of them can be made in half an hour or so, and Pamela has very thoughtfully included substitutions to account for several of the other major food allergies - making her recipes SUPER allergy friendly. Thanks Pamela! This book makes living with a gluten intolerance easily manageable, great if you need to crack on with life and feed the family - just like Pamela herself.

6.) Small Plates and Sweet Treats: My Family's Journey to Gluten-Free Cooking by Aran Goyoaga

Okay, you might have noticed that I snuck another recipe book by Aran Goyoga into this list. I just really like her and her incredible books! Small Plates and Sweet Treats is truly a treat for both the eyes and the stomach. When professional pastry chef, Aran, found out that herself and both her children were gluten intolerant, she turned her mind and her skills to developing wholesome and delicious gluten free recipes. Once more, the photography is both divine and mouthwatering. Just a warning, much like Alanna Taylor Tobin, Aran loves her alternative flour varieties. So, prepare to make space in your pantry for 10 types of flour, but know that you’ll use them all and love what you can create with them.

7.) Gluten Free for Good by Samantha Seneviratne

This cookbook is amazing for those who are new to the gluten free diet. It thoroughly covers the basics to ease you in to what can seem an impossible new way of life, and contains simple, wholesome recipes for all kinds of different occasions. Samantha shows us that it’s perfectly possible to continue to enjoy all the foods you did before, creating meals from scratch with easy to follow, well explained instructions.

8.) River Cottage Gluten Free by Naomi Devlin

This super cute cookbook provides the reader with great tools to navigate the sometimes confusing and problematic path of the gluten free diet. Naomi Devlin was once dubbed “the Nigella of gluten free” and this cookbook certainly lives up to that! The shortcrust pastry and bread recipes are amazing, as are the rest of the delicious meals waiting for you on the pages of this charming book!

9.) Phil Vickery’s Essential Gluten Free by Phil vickery

If I remember correctly, the first gluten free cookbook I owned was written by Michelin starred chef Phil Vickery. It was one of his earlier releases: “Seriously good! Gluten free cooking!” and it was a present from a dear friend. I recall being flabbergasted that there was a whole cookbook that catered to my specific dietary needs. I also recall looking through the recipes feeling totally overwhelmed by how professional they seemed. Admittedly, I was a teenager at the time, so anything beyond boiling some pasta seemed advanced. Anyway, point being, Phil Vickery has produced a set of wonderful, reliable and exciting gluten free cookbooks, I’m a long time fan because I just know I can always trust his food to taste delicious. This book is one of his more recent prints, released in association with Coeliac UK, and it is just as brilliant as his first.

10.) Gluten Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff hertzberg and Zoe Francois

Now, anyone who has been living the gluten free diet for all of 5 minutes knows how rubbish the majority of the gluten free bread is that can be found on the supermarket shelves. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good gluten free Warburtons tiger loaf as much as the next girl, things are definitely beginning to look up for us lot in the Free From bread department, but it's still pretty limited. One of the things I really missed though, was the joy of eating freshly baked bread. There’s really nothing quite like it, is there? I thought it was something I would have to forever wave goodbye to once I became gluten free. Enter this magical cookbook. These guys know their bread, and what’s more, they share all their wisdom and their hard earned secrets with us. Win! So, if you want to dig in to guaranteeably delicious, fresh bread, buy this book. You won’t regret it!

11.) True Roots by Kristin Cavallari

Initially, I wasn’t sold on the idea of a cookbook produced by a reality tv star (I know, I know, look at me being judgemental). However, after reading many a happy five star review I just had to check out True Roots by Kristin Cavallari. It turns out, celebrities can also be serious about their food, and after suitably scolding myself for judging a book by its author, I indulged in the wondrously flavourful, healthy food within. If you class yourself as a bit of a health junkie, this is the cookbook for you. Kristin uses no gluten, dairy or refined sugar in her cooking and chooses to eat clean and organic. The only potential downside in my opinion, is that there are too few food photos, and a few too many of Kristin herself. Oh well, I suppose that’s the price you pay for a celebrity cookbook.

12.) Against All Grain by Danielle Walker

Against all grain is extra safe for us gluten free lot by being entirely grain free. It is, in fact, a paleo recipe book which means it is free from dairy as well. Danielle makes the transition to grain free life seem effortless, with a recipe book that contains a wide range of culinary delights to suit every meal and occasion. Danielle herself has an inspiring backstory: she learned to manage an auto immune disease through her diet, and then went on to use her knowledge to help others who have struggled as she did. Her recipes are delightfully family friendly and innovative, all contained in a delightfully elegant cookbook.

13.) Nosh Gluten free by Joy May

Last, but by no means least, I want to share with you the Nosh Gluten Free cookbook. Filled with easy to make meals using lots of simple, readily available ingredients, this is a cookbook that is truly accessible for everyone. If you like simplicity or you aren’t terribly comfortable with cooking, then this cookbook is made for you. Everything tastes great and can be thrown together using the simple, well explained instructions. It’s basically foolproof! The best thing is that it will allow you instant freedom in the kitchen, soon you’ll be wondering why you ever felt daunted by the gluten free dietary switch in the first place!

That's all folks...

So, that’s it! That’s my list of 13 great gluten free cookbooks that I think you should add to your shelves. I hope it’s been both informative and enjoyable. Happy cooking!