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Looking for a great family cookbook with easy weeknight dinner recipes? These are some of our favorites.

Oh, the dreaded weeknight dinner. What should be an enjoyable experience with the family often devolves into a major stressfest. You’ve toiled away for hours at work, not to mention all that traffic, and now the last thing you want to worry about is having the time and energy to prepare a meal for your loved ones (especially if you’re also helping school-age kids with homework). It’s understandable that you may be inclined to throw in the towel (or dish cloth, if you will) and take advantage of alternative means to get food on the table.

Related Reading: 11 Fast & Easy Weeknight Meals | The Best Cookbooks Coming Out This Fall

But instead of wasting money on takeout or sacrificing quality by shoving a meal in the trusty old microwave, know that you have plenty of incredible quick and affordable home-cooked options that are sure to make you and the family happy. Just let these indispensable cookbooks below be your guide.

“Weeknights with Giada” by Giada Delaurentiis, $7.82 from Amazon


Giada is one of the few chefs who’s earned first-name only recognition and this “New York Times” bestseller which is packed with recipes that are as delicious as they are simple to make perfectly illustrates why she is so beloved. The Food Network star offers a variety of fast and flavorful options sure to satisfy the whole family. No surprise, you’ll find plenty of Italian standouts such as pizza and sweet corn and basil lasagna, but other international options abound from jalapeño and cherry tomato gazpacho to Asian quinoa with salmon.Buy Now

“Quick Cooking” by Mary Berry, $29.99 from Amazon


The queen of British baking has returned to the telly and this cookbook spinoff highlights her latest obsession—meals that are high on tastiness and low on stress. Featuring over 120 different recipes which tackle appetizers, entrees, and, of course, desserts (upside-down rhubarb pudding, anyone?), “Quick Cooking” provides easy-to-follow blueprints to memorable weeknight dinners that can be prepared in less than 30 minutes.Buy Now

“Ottolenghi Simple” by Yotam Ottolenghi, $25.04 from Amazon


The latest from noted author and chef Yotam Ottolenghi certainly lives up to its name. While Ottolenghi’s 130 Middle Eastern-inspired options run the gamut from lamb and feta meatballs to fig and thyme clafoutis, each and every dish has three valuable elements in common: They can be prepared in 30 minutes or less, in one pot, and with ingredients that are likely already in your pantry. It’s no wonder the book was a recent James Beard Award finalist.Buy Now

“Dinner in an Instant” by Melissa Clark, $16.81 from Amazon


Normally pressure isn’t something you want to incorporate into your weeknight food prep but there is one key exception. Using an Instant Pot (or other similar pressure cookers) will help reduce precious cooking and cleaning time without sacrificing the quality of your family meal. “Dinner in an Instant” will help you make the most of these life-changing gadgets with 75 eclectic recipes courtesy of celebrated “New York Times” food columnist Melissa Clark. If you’ve got an hour or two to spare, the book includes recipes for set-it-and-forget flavor-bombs such as garlicky Cuban pork and coconut curry chicken. But if it’s a late work night, don’t despair. There are plenty of options that can be prepared in under 30 minutes.Buy Now

Related Reading: 10 Things You Have to Try in Your Instant Pot | 15 Quick & Easy Instant Pot Meals

“Every Day is Saturday” by Sarah Copeland, $19.79 from Amazon


Wife, mother, and award-winning author Sarah Copeland came to the realization that Saturday didn’t have to be the only stress-free cooking day of the week. Featuring over 100 recipes paired with stunning photographs, Copeland’s latest cookbook will help you keep the fam satisfied will simple, healthy eats every day for every meal whether it’s drinks, snacks (how about lemon and honey tahini toast in only five minutes?), or a no-hassle taco spread.Buy Now

“Feeding a Family” by Sarah Waldman, $18.99 from Amazon


Whether you have a hungry baby or a hangry teenager, “Feeding a Family” has you covered with 100 recipes and 40 full meal ideas for weeknight feasting. The emphasis here is on healthy food that is fun, flavorful, and seasonal from make-ahead summer skewers to one-pot slurpee noodle bowls ideal for those cold winter months.Buy Now

“Milk Street: Tuesday Nights” by Christopher Kimball, $25.11 from Amazon

Milk Street cookbook Chris Kimball


If your family is keen on global eats, let “Milk Street” be your culinary passport. Forget those boring weeknight stalwarts. While Chef Christoper Kimball doesn’t shy away from the familiar favorites, there’s always a twist: Meatballs are of the Vietnamese variety while chocolate pudding is given a nutty kick with the addition of tahini. With a number of options in the 30 minutes or less category, you’re sure to get plenty of mileage out of this James Beard award winner.Buy Now

“Keeping It Simple: Easy Weeknight One-Pot Recipes” by Yasmin Fahr,  $19.19 from Amazon


Ah, the dreaded post-meal clean-up. So many dishes, so little time. But “Keeping It Simple” lives up to its billing with irresistible one-pot wonders such as Miso-Ghee Roasted Chicken, “Adult” Instant Ramen, and Quickie Coconut Mussels.Buy Now

“Half Baked Harvest Super Simple: More Than 125 Recipes for Instant, Overnight, Meal-Prepped, and Easy Comfort Foods”  by Tieghan Gerard, $20.99 from Amazon


Comfort food made easy is always welcome but particularly now more than ever. This cookbook spin-off of Tieghan Gerard’s popular blog Half Baked Harvest offers a treasure trove of make-ahead and in-a-jiffy preparations including Spinach and Three-Cheese Stuffed Shells and Chocolate Peanut Butter Blondie Browine Bars. And yes, the food, which is captured in the book via Gerard’s stunning photography, tastes as incredible as it looks.Buy Now

“Sheet Pan Chicken: 50 Simple and Satisfying Ways to Cook Dinner” by Cathy Erway, $17.09 from Amazon


James Beard award winner Cathy Erway’s latest features 50 ways to cook your chicken (and savory sides) all on a single sheet pan. The recipes span the globe but the book truly takes flight with its selection of Asian poultry dishes like Sichuan-inspired Bang Bang Crispy Chicken and a brothless version of the homey Korean stew dak dori tang.Buy Now

“7 Ways: Easy Ideas for Every Day of the Week” by Jamie Oliver, $31.50 from Amazon


Superstar chef Jamie Oliver’s forthcoming cookbook can’t come soon enough. We’re talking more than 120 recipes, each made with eight familiar ingredients or less, geared towards all seven days of the week. This one’s perfectly suited for your pandemic cooking needs.Buy Now

“Weeknight Baking: Recipes to Fit Your Schedule by Michelle Lopez, $19.20 from Amazon


If you want some sweet relief when it comes to your weeknight baking regimen, Michelle Lopez has you covered. The Hummingbird High blogger offers indispensable tips and tricks for crafting sumptuous treats from Modern Red Velvet Cake to Creme Fraiche Scones with ease, no matter how packed your schedule.Buy Now

Even More Ideas

15 Easy Dinners You Can Make with Basic Pantry Staples

Header image courtesy of Amazon.

David is a food and culture writer based in Los Angeles by way of New York City. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, CBS Local, Mashable, and Gawker.
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