The Best Cookbooks for Fighting Food Waste

the best cookbooks for beginners

Most of the time, people hate dealing with leftovers. Popping last night’s dinner in the microwave just rarely results in the most appetizing or enjoyable meal. That said, there are plenty of ways to reframe your leftovers and create a delicious new meal that could become a new family favorite—and great ways to use scraps you might otherwise throw away. These cookbooks will help you in your quest to eat well, and fight food waste.

“Secrets of Great Second Meals” by Sarah Dickerman, $18.53 on Amazon

Secrets of Great Second Meals (leftover recipe ideas cookbook)


Put those leftovers to delicious use with these ideas from Chef Sarah Dickerman. She loves making second meals using new spices and ingredients that result in a delicious new dish that’s not even close to your typical day-old dish.Buy Now

“Cooking With Scraps” by Lindsay-Jean Hard, $13.49 on Amazon

Cooking with Scraps cookbook


Look past leftovers and into your scraps! This book prioritizes peels, cores, rinds, and stems throughout 85 recipes. Hard demonstrates fun tips, like the fact that water from canned beans (aka aquafaba) can act just like whites for the perfect vegan mayonnaise.Buy Now

“Scraps, Peels, and Stems” by Jill Lightner, $16.11 on Amazon

Scraps, Peels, and Stems cookbook


If you’re hoping to prioritize the reduction of food waste in your own life, this book offers a comprehensive guide on how to make it happen. Lightner also includes composting and recycling tips that are easy to implement.Buy Now

“Cooking Scrappy” by Joel Gamoran, $19.49 on Amazon

Cooking Scrappy cookbook


Joel Gamoran, host of “Scraps” on A&E and Chef of Sur La Table, shows his readers how they can make the most of every ingredient and tool in their kitchen. He uses apple cores in a beautiful roasted duck dish, and leftover pickle juice in pickle-brined pork chops. You’ll understand how to creatively whip up your new favorite meals after reading his recipes and tips.Buy Now

“Waste Not” by the James Beard Foundation, $28.46 on Amazon

Waste Not cookbook from James Beard Foundation


The James Beard Foundation found that the average American household wastes $1,500 in food each year. To put a stop to this, the foundation put together a comprehensive guide on eliminating food waste by using ingredients that are often thrown in the trash.Buy Now

“Waste-Free Kitchen Handbook” by Dana Gunders, $11.75 on Amazon

Waste Free Kitchen Handbook


This cookbook is full of helpful checklists, shopping guides, and recipes that will help your household avoid food waste while cooking delicious meals. The tips and tricks require only minimal adjustments to habit, and they will result in huge changes around your house.Buy Now

“Eat It Up!” by Sherri Brooks Vinton, $17.91 on Amazon

Eat It Up cookbook to reduce food waste


Vinton pulls together 150 recipes that will help you use all of the food in your kitchen. She even shows her readers how to utilize that last scoop of jam in the jar!Buy Now

“Scraps, Wilt & Weeds” by Mads Refslunds, $19.24 on Amazon

Scraps, Wilt & Weeds cookbook


Refslund pulls together 100 recipes that use vegetables, fruits, and animal proteins (including the parts you’d usually throw away) in delicious meals that your entire family will enjoy. Recipes include fast favorites like pork ribs glazed with overripe pear sauce and crispy salmon skin puffs with horseradish-buttermilk dip.Buy Now

“My Zero-Waste Kitchen” by Kate Turner, $6.99 on Amazon

My Zero-Waste Kitchen (how to use scraps)


Turner aims to teach people how they can grow their own vegetables and herbs using the scraps from their kitchens. She is also a big fan of compost, and gives simple guidelines that will make it easy.Buy Now

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