My Four Favorite Cookbooks for Easy Dinners

With a newborn at home, cooking and entertaining has become a bit trickier, but nonetheless, with the constant flutter of family visiting, friends stopping by, and work commitments, I still like to pull together a simple dinner that’s delicious as it is easy.

To do this, I refer these four cookbooks for easy instruction and ideas.

Weeknights with Giada | Giada De Laurentiis

By far my favorite. Not only are her recipes easy, but I’ve yet to taste something I didn’t adore. This cookbook offers up a good selection of soups, pasta dishes, pizzas, and meat/fish entrees. Most options take under 30-40 minutes and are perfect for a comfortable dinner with family, or for entertaining guests during a dinner party or event.

One of my favorites recipes is the Orzo with Smoky Tomato Vinaigrette. Simple to produce, it makes a sizable bowl and can be enjoyed warm or chilled the next day. If you’re hosting dinner for six, adding grilled chicken to the mix offers some great protein. Pair it with a crisp white wine, like Pinot Grigio, and a light side salad for a perfect summertime meal.

Another favorite is the Carmelized Onion, Sausage, & Basil Pizza. My husband asks for this dish once a month and it’s easy to assemble. I swap in smoked turkey sausage and sprinkle it with cayenne pepper for a little kick instead of using hot sausage.

Recipes to Try

Orzo with Smoky Tomato Vinaigrette

Carmelized Onion, Sausage, & Basil Pizza

Spiced Pork Chops with Sweet & Sour Sauce

dinner tonight: done! | Real Simple

These recipes really are simple, but oh so delicious, too. Along with appetizers, soups, salads, pasta, vegetarian entrees, and desserts, recipes are divided into different categories of meat (poultry, beef & lamb, pork) and seafood.

The book boasts 189 recipes, and while I haven’t made all of them, our family has enjoyed quite a few all to rave reviews.

Recipes to Try

Broccoli Rabe & Beef Flat Bread

Hoison-Glazed Shrimp Skewers with Cucumber Salad

home at 7, dinner at 8 | Sophie Wright

This book not only offers quick, easy recipes, but they range from simple ideas like pulling together Pantry Pasta to more elaborate offerings perfect for dinner parties, such as White Crab and Green Apple Cocktail with Avocado and Lime Puree.

Along with cheap and chic dinner recipes, this cookbook also hosts a collection of Posh Nosh recipes, desserts, and drink recipes.

Recipes to Try

Creamy Macaroni & Cheese

Chile & Ginger Mojito

Zucchini, Basil, and Chile Linguine with Creme Fraiche

Happy Cooking | Giada De Laurentiis

Again, Giada De Laurentiis is my go-to for quick and delicious, and this cookbook offers a lot of great recipes for appetizers, sides, and small plates, along with a variety of soups, stews, salads, dinners, and desserts.

If I’m looking to change up a side dish or try something new as an appetizer, I often reach for this cookbook. I once made The Only Bean Dip You’ll Ever Need for Book Club and for a friends dinner party, and both times it won rave reviews.

This cookbook also details a collection of holiday themed recipes, like Fourth of July Pizza and Turkey Breast Porchetta.

Recipes to Try

The Only Bean Dip You’ll Ever Need

Spicy Sesame Green Beans & Kale

What is your favorite, easy go-to dish for dinner? Let us know in the comments below!


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