The Most Exciting Cookbooks to Look Out for This Spring

Explore the regional foods of Mexico, burgeoning Italian wine landscape, and diverse cuisines of the Bronx.

spring cookbook releases covers
Image by Maggie Rossetti for Thrillist
Image by Maggie Rossetti for Thrillist

Spring is the perfect time to rekindle one’s love for cooking—the farmers’ markets make their return, picnics and barbecues come to full swing, and the sun doesn’t set before you’ve even had a chance to think about dinner. Luckily, there are a number of can’t-miss cookbook releases on the horizon, ready to give your shelf and stovetop that well-needed refresh.

Many of these titles are practically designed for easing back into gatherings. Sunday Best by Adrienne Cheatham comes fully stocked with a Sunday supper repertoire, while Kevin Bludso’s Bludso’s BBQ will motivate you to invite a few friends over and fire up the grill once again.

Others are there to offer up some global inspiration. Learn how to make Cheeseburger Kimbap with Eric Kim, Mujaddarra with Reem Assil, and Mole Coloradito with Rick Martínez. In Kwame Onwuachi’s My America alone, you’ll encounter recipes spanning from Nigeria to the Caribbean—all of which have shaped the fabric of American cuisine.

Here are all the cookbooks we can’t wait to get our hands on this spring:

Korean American by Eric Kim

Release date: March 29
In his debut cookbook, New York Times food writer Eric Kim—a Korean American cook who grew up in Atlanta—shares the recipes that shaped his two worlds. You’ll find an interesting blend of traditional Korean and southern American food, like Gochugaru Shrimp and Grits or Crispy Lemon-Pepper Bulgogi with Quick-Pickled Shallots. These are all presented alongside insightful essays about first-generation Thanksgivings and the life-changing act of returning home as an adult. But perhaps most important is Kim’s love for his mother, Jean, which is felt throughout every page.

Sunday Best by Adrienne Cheatham

Release date: March 29
Adrienne Cheatham’s Sunday Best is as much about treating your loved ones with special care as it is about going the extra mile for yourself. Sharing the same name as her pop-up dinner party series, the book is inspired by the special set of clothes that many in the Black community reserve for church. There are sections devoted to “Sunday Besting” your meals—everything from mastering sauces to making the most of leftovers. Cheatham’s expertise, which comes from a combination of cooking with her Southern family and working in the country’s most prestigious restaurants, is reflected in this practical approach to home entertaining.

Salad Freak by Jess Damuck

Release date: March 29
This release comes from Martha Stewart’s personal salad chef and self-proclaimed “Bob Ross of salads,” Jess Damuck. It features over 100 recipes for salads that master the balance of tart, sweet, and salty crunch, like her Tea-Smoked Chicken and Bitter Greens or Caesar Salad Pizza. It’s a bright, refreshing manual to prepare you for warmer weather, whether you’re curious about experimenting with salad for breakfast or are looking to create the perfect starter for your next dinner party.

Drink Lightly by Natasha David

Release date: April 5
Neither a cocktail nor a mocktail guide, Natasha David’s Drink Lightly is a playful balance of the in-between. From low-alcohol, aperitif style concoctions to non-alcoholic pick-me-ups, the drink recipes in this book reflect the mastermind behind New York City’s beloved Nitecap bar. But just because these drinks go down easy doesn’t mean they lack the precision of craft cocktails. The genre-pushing drinks evoke David’s whimsical aesthetic, ranging from savory and herbal to floral and aromatic.

Bludo’s BBQ by Kevin Bludso

Release date: April 12
When Kevin Bludso opened Bludso’s BBQ in 2008, it was a humble walk-up stand in the heart of Compton. Now, his empire extends to multiple locations in California, Texas, and even Australia. This guide is a lesson in barbecuing 101, covering everything from cleaning your pit to choosing the right sauces. The recipes go beyond your standard BBQ fare, including flavor-packed dishes like Spicy Curried Oxtails and Grilled Mojo Shrimp. But Bludso’s book is really about family and community—a love letter to the often misunderstood city of Compton.

Release date: April 12
Ali Slagle is a recipe developer and food stylist who regularly contributes “low-investment, high reward recipes” to The New York Times and The Washington Post. With Slagle’s cookbook, you no longer have to cater your meal prep to the recipe at hand. Instead, her index is organized by main ingredients that you’re likely to already have—eggs, beans, chicken, etc.—and includes quick tricks for riffable cooking methods, like roasting just about anything in a sheet pan. All of Slagle’s recipes take 45 minutes or less and make use of ten ingredients max.

Arabiyya by Reem Assil

Release date: April 19
Legendary food writer Ruth Reichl said of Arabiyya, “This is what a cookbook should be: passion, politics, and personality are woven through the fabulous recipes.” Assil, who has established herself at the intersection of food, Arab culture, and social justice, uses the word “Arabiyya,” which translates to “Arab woman,” in order to claim her identity in a country that did not always welcome her. Featuring recipes that represent her Palestinian and Syrian roots, she explores the ways in which Arab food is centered around community and hospitality. Don’t miss the section specializing in bread from the Arab bakery.

To The Last Bite by Alexis deBoschnek

Release date: April 19
With To The Last Bite, you’ll never buy a single-recipe ingredient again. Alexis deBoschnek will teach you how to make recipes like Spatchcock Paprika Chicken with Carrots, from which you can save the bones for a stock, with braised leeks, white wine, and thyme. Vegetables are used in their entirety, if not right away, then saved for later through a process of pickling or drying. Inspired by deBoschnek’s childhood in the Catskill Mountains, this guide celebrates all the bounty has to offer, down to the very last stem.

Vino by Joe Campanale

Release date: April 26
Modern Italian winemakers are doing away with popular international styles, instead focusing on what’s around them—whether that be making use of long-forgotten, indigenous grapes or adopting sustainable approaches best suited for their local climates. In this new guide, acclaimed Italian wine expert and restaurateur Joe Campanale takes us through Italy’s 20 regions to uncover the most exciting wine developments in each area.

Mi Cocina by Rick Martínez

Release date: May 3
In Mi Cocina, Rick Martínez focuses on Mexico’s regionality. The former Bon Appetit food editor and host of YouTube series “Pruébalo” on Babish Culinary Universe travels to each of the seven regions in the country he now calls home, featuring over 100 unique dishes, like Oaxaca’s Mole Coloradito (made with pasilla chiles, dried fruits, nuts, seeds, plantain, and bittersweet chocolate) or coastal Baja’s Tacos de Capeados (cornmeal-battered fried fish tacos with papaya and tomatillo). While the recipes are very much rooted in their sense of place, Martínez always keeps substitutions in mind to make things easier for the home cook.

My America by Kwame Onwuachi

Release date: May 3
Kwame Onwuachi, the James Beard Foundation’s Rising Star Chef of the Year, has received widespread acclaim for his memoir Notes from a Young Chef, which shares the remarkable story of his culinary coming-of-age and is being adapted for film starring LaKeith Stanfield. And now, with his cookbook debut, My America, he delves further into the diasporic food traditions of his ancestry. You’ll discover recipes inspired by the Bronx, where he grew up, the South, which informed his mother’s cooking, and Nigeria, where he visited as a kid—think everything from Puerto Rican Red Bean Sofrito to Trinidadian Channa (Chickpea) Curry.

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Jessica Sulima is a staff writer on the Food & Drink team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram