Cooking is one of the most important life skills to learn, and while the majority of us won’t exactly be Le Cordon Bleu chefs, learning how to cook tasty, reliable meals is certainly possible — including for teens. While they might need a little supervision, depending on their age and their ability levels, young teens can start learning how to prepare simple lunches, dinners, or snacks, while older teens can start building up a repertoire of recipes from cookbooks for teens that they can rely on when they leave home.
Whether your teenager has never made anything more complex than toast or they’re already a fairly decent cook, there are plenty of cookbooks for teens out there that will teach them the basics or help them step up their chef game. With books for inexperienced cooks, recipe books that focus on vegan and vegetarian cooking, introductions to different cuisines from around the world, and beginner-friendly guides to baking and desserts, these books will help your teens learn their way around the kitchen and become a great young chef.
A fantastic book for beginner teen cooks, Cooking Up a Storm teaches young chefs all the basics. This book contains great ideas for easy but tasty lunches and quick dinners for busy evenings, but also has some more complex recipes to broaden out their repertoires and give them a good grounding in many different aspects of cooking.
Teens Cook: How to Cook What You Want to Eat by Megan Carle
The authors of this cookbook are young adults themselves, making this an easy-to-read and accessible book for teen cooks. In addition to featuring delicious recipes for all times of day, Teens Cook gives an overview of culinary language, the chemistry of cooking, and how to adapt recipes to accommodate dietary restrictions — all essential skills that will set teens up for life.
Vegan Family Cookbook by Omari McQueen
Omari McQueen is the star of the BBC show What’s Cooking, Omari?, and this vegan cookbook features some of his favourite recipes. These recipes are great for young teens and kids to try, and are a good source of vegan-friendly treats and meals, including fried mac n’ cheese, marshmallow cookies, and barbecue jerk mushroom steak.
Vegetarian Nosh for Students by Joy May
Older teens who want to learn some reliable veggie recipes can find plenty to inspire them in this book; there are many easy-to-cook, reliable meals that ensure young vegetarians eat a balanced and nutritious diet on a budget. The book also contains information on planning meals and breaking down approximate costs, making it a useful tool to help your teen learn how to manage a budget as well as find their way around the kitchen.
Chinese Takeaway in 5 by Kwoklyn Wan
If your teen loves Chinese food and wants to learn to make their own, Kwoklyn Wan’s book is the perfect introduction to this style of cooking. Wan shows how to make classic takeaway food using just five ingredients, making this a simple but indispensable introductory book for teen chefs.
The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen Kids
A comprehensive guide to learning and developing cooking skills, The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs is an essential read for any teen who wants to learn to cook. Full of clear instructions, with recipes for a variety of ages and ability levels, this book will give young cooks a good grounding and a set of recipes for every kind of meal.
Cook As You Are by Ruby Tandoh
Written by Great British Baking Show finalist Ruby Tandoh, Cook As You Are is designed for cooks who have limited time or resources, with one-pot or no-chop recipes that make it the perfect choice for teens who aren’t too confident in the kitchen. There’s also an easy-read version available online, with picture-based instructions, that might be helpful for readers with dyslexia or who find visual aids easier to follow.
The Unofficial TikTok Cookbook by Valentina Mussi
The perfect read for TikTok-loving teens, this book shows you how to make the recipes that have been going viral on that platform. The Unofficial TikTok Cookbook contains recipes for everything from whipped coffee to panda pancakes, and teens can learn how to make beautiful treats to post on their accounts (and, if you’re lucky, to share).
Cook Korean: A Comic Book with Recipes by Robin Ha
While the graphic novel style will particularly appeal to visual learners, Cook Korean is a fantastic introduction to Korean cooking for all kinds of budding chefs. Ha teaches the reader how to make 60 different recipes, with clear and beautiful illustrations that will give your teen a solid grounding in Korean cooking.
The Super Easy Teen Cookbook by Christine Hitchcock
For complete beginners and teens who need a little extra support, The Super Easy Teen Cookbook is a great resource; the recipes have clear, easy steps that even the most cautious of cooks will be able to follow. Hitchcock also explains common cooking terms and suggests ways to start adapting recipes, teaching your teen essential skills that will take them further in the kitchen.
Ramen Cookbook for Beginners by Chyou Chang
With 150 simple recipes, this book is a fantastic choice for a teen cook who loves ramen. Chang shows that making good ramen doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive, and that anyone can make their favourite ramen recipes at home. With plenty of options, including vegan and vegetarian dishes, Ramen Cookbook for Beginners is the perfect way to teach your teen this style of cooking.
The Geeky Chef Cookbook by Cassandra Reeder
Teens who love their fandoms will adore The Geeky Chef Cookbook. Reeder has created and adapted recipes from a huge variety of stories and franchises, from Doctor Who and Star Trek to World of Warcraft and The Legend of Zelda. While parents may want to supervise — some of the recipes contain alcohol — this book is a fun way for families to bond over their favourite fandoms.
The Super-Easy Teen Baking Cookbook by Marlynn Jayme Schotland
Learning how to cook a range of meals is a useful skill, but being able to bake cakes, cookies, and other sweet treats means that you’ll never be short of comfort food (or gift ideas). If your teen has never baked before, The Super-Easy Teen Baking Cookbook will teach them everything they need to know; they’ll be filling your kitchen with cookies and brownies in no time.
Teens Cook Dessert Recipe Cookbook by Megan Carle
Nothing rounds off a good meal like a great dessert, and with the Teens Cook Dessert Recipe Book, young chefs will learn how to make sweet treats with minimal fuss. Supporting new cooks every step of the way, Teens Cook Dessert Recipe Cookbook is a great way to introduce teens to one of the most fun (and delicious) parts of cooking.
Cheeky Treats: Brilliant Bakes and Cakes by Liam Charles
Charles’s book is the perfect choice for a teen who wants to step up their baking game and make something a little fancier — whether it’s the Caramel Peanut Millionaire’s Shortbread or the completely decadent Football Cake. Cheeky Treats doesn’t skimp on sweetness or flavour, and teens will love baking these delicious morsels.
The grounding given by these cookbooks for teens can help turn your teenager into a budding chef — or a self-sufficient cook who will be able to make themself a variety of delicious meals as an adult.
If your younger kids want to help their older siblings in the kitchen, or start cooking by themselves, try our list of 12 of the Best Kids’ Cookbooks. If you’re an inexperienced cook yourself, or want a reminder of the basics, have a look at 6 Cookbooks to Turn Beginner Cooks Into Kitchen Wizards.