Weekday cookbook suggestions

I’m looking for a cookbook that works for weeknights that has recipies that are not highly complex or have heavy prep requirements. Most I’ve bought seem to deliver rather bland results. Thanks for the suggestions!

Rachel Ray likes to kick it up a notch …

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I quite like Mark Bittman’s cookbooks. They are so often really easy recipes. I expect he has newer books out (and I would very much like any additional recommendations, as he has supplanted Joy of Cooking for me). But the Bittman I’m familiar with, and rely on, is “How to Cook Everything”.

Pasta Fresca and Cucina Fresca by La Place and Kleiman fit the description nicely. Many of the pasta sauces in Pasta Fresca can be made in about the time it takes to bring water to boil and cook the pasta.

Some rib sticking cooooozeeene is this:

If you can find an old version (now out of print) of Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer through Amazon, it should fit the bill. Designed for beginner cooks, but has lots of classic dishes. Not many ingredients but using good techniques and flavorful results.

Craig Claiborne’s cookbooks are a great suggestion Nancy. Recently I’ve be thinking a lot about how so much of what I know about cooking came from that era of NYT recipes. That led me to look at the NYT food pages again and sign up for their daily cooking email newsletter which Sam Sifton curates – and while it’s not a cookbook, it’s a great ongoing collection of dishes that mostly fit the what to cook tonight mode.


I was going to post this, but Leonard got the jump on me. The Craig Claiborne suggestion is also a good one. I have his NY Times Cookbook. I also like Marcella Hazan’s books.

It looks like you can get hard cover, paperback or Kindle versions of Kitchen Primer.


these are awesome suggestions…thank you all for the help. We have a baby on the way and I see way more home cooking in my future.

And less wine in your stash. Congratulations!