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Fall Cookbooks: Big Names, Quick and Easy Recipes

Our picks for low-stress meal prep, tasty treats and downsizing dinner

spinner image six new cookbooks are shown on a butcher block kitchen background
America's Test Kitchen; Flatiron Books; Little, Brown; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Alamy Stock Photo

There are dozens of wonderful new cookbooks out this fall. Some offer elegant, mouth-watering recipes from food-world legends such as Thomas Keller, founder of the famed French Laundry in Napa Valley, whose The French Laundry, Per Se was released this month. Others are more accessible — including the six described below. Each includes a wide variety of mostly easy (but often inventive) recipes that will appeal to both kitchen newbies and practiced cooks.

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Cooking for One

America's Test Kitchen

It can be hard to find a cookbook that caters to people who cook and eat alone, but the pros at America's Test Kitchen — known for testing and retesting their recipes to perfection — have come out with an excellent one. It includes lots of easy and easily adaptable small-batch recipes, such as Fastest-Ever Carbonara and Clean Out Your Fridge Soup (there's even a recipe for making just two gooey chocolate chip cookies). They often suggest good substitutions in case you're missing an ingredient, and offer a leftover storage guide to prevent food waste. Some of their super-simple dishes — pan-seared shrimp or cheddar omelets, for instance — can be jazzed up using recipes for sauces and spice mixes, also included in this essential cookbook. ($29.99)

Jacques Pepin Quick & Simple

Jacques Pépin

Even a James Beard Award-winning celebrity chef can appreciate the beauty of a delicious low-stress dish — and Pépin's latest (he has eight others) offers plenty of them. The French-born culinary legend, now 84, offers 250 recipes that include comfort-food like Mashed Potatoes With Garlic and Rigatoni With Red Pepper Sauce that you can whip up in minutes, as well as impressive-sounding but relatively easy dishes, such as Poached Cod With Black Butter and Capers. But more experienced cooks are also likely to find recipes in this attractive book that challenge and appeal (Chicken Niçoise in Puff Pastry, anyone?). ($35)

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East: 120 Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Beijing

Meera Sodha

The Guardian's vegan food columnist and the author of cookbooks Fresh India and Made in India, Sodha offers a flavorful celebration of cuisine from India, Southeast Asia, Japan and everywhere in between. She doesn't bill these recipes as “easy,” but many are just that — such as the four-ingredient Overnight Soy Eggs. You'll also find boredom-busting salads, like Charred Romaine Lettuce with mint raita, and extraordinary desserts (Salted Miso Brownies, for one). Noodles, rice, eggplant, eggs, tofu, chickpeas and potatoes beef up entrees such as Black Rice Congee with mushrooms and Thai Green Curry with eggplant. It's a beautifully presented collection that's full of surprises. ($35)

Easy Everyday Mediterranean Diet Cookbook: 125 Delicious Recipes From the Healthiest Lifestyle on the Planet

Deanna Segrave-Daly and Serena Ball

Sticking with a Mediterranean diet — lots of veggies, omega-3-rich fish and whole grains, prepared with olive oil and fresh spices and herbs — is associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease, improved brain health and a whole list of other health benefits. The good news: These foods are delicious, especially when prepared with flair, as they are in this new cookbook. Recipes range from wonderfully simple (Spicy Linguine With Garlic and Oil) to slightly complex (Pork, Apple, and Butternut Squash Stew With Sage), but all include easy-to-follow directions. And many would be fantastic dishes to whip up if you're hosting a gathering — from Greek Zucchini Pita Nachos to Impossibly Good Lemon Bars. ($22.99)

The Full Plate: Flavor-Filled, Easy Recipes for Families with No Time and a Lot to Do

Ayesha Curry

Ayesha Curry has become an increasingly well-known TV personality, host of food shows and creator of a new lifestyle mag, Sweet JulyThe Full Plate, a follow-up to her 2016 hit The Seasoned Life, is already a best seller, but for good reason beyond her celebrity: It includes some fun, creative recipes. Among them are tasty treats like spicy Sweet Chili Chickpeas and Brie & Prosciutto Shortbread (her focus isn't on low-calorie foods, you'll note), as well as Hoisin-Glazed Sea Bass, Chinese Five-Spice Fried Chicken, and 17 different cocktails. Accompanied by enticing photos, they're all dishes that she promises you can pull together in less than an hour. ($30)

7 Ways: Easy Ideas for Every Day of the Week

Jamie Oliver

This new cookbook from the famous British chef focuses on 18 “hero ingredients,” such as chicken, steak, salmon, broccoli, eggs and cauliflower, and offers seven different ways to make quick-and-tasty meals from each. Want to work more broccoli into your diet? Include it in a beef stir-fry, a salad with bacon and tomatoes, or a cheese soup. A few dishes are more complicated than they look: Jerk Spiced Chicken in a Bun should take you just 15 minutes from start to finish, he says, including seasoning and panfrying the chicken, plus creating creamy slaw on the side — but those of us who aren't, say, Jamie Oliver may need a bit more time. If you can't wait to try his recipes before the cookbook's out on Nov. 10, you can find them now on Oliver's website. ($35)

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