While some may look forward to autumn for pumpkin-spice lattes and crunchy leaves, for others, it means the birth of a whole new class of cookbooks. Here, we’ve rounded up six fall releases that will help you level up your cooking skills and knowledge, both indoors and out.
Dinner in One: Exceptional & Easy One-Pan Meals: A Cookbook by Melissa Clark
New York Times staff reporter Melissa Clark has written over three dozen cookbooks—now, she adds her latest, Dinner in One, to the roster. The idea is simple: meals that can be made in just one pot or pan, with the book’s nine chapters organized by cooking vessel: sheet pans, skillets, one-pot pastas, Dutch ovens, casseroles, soup pots, Instant Pots, cakes that require just one bowl, and dishes that require no pots at all. “The recipes here are guides, meant to be followed but only up to a point,” Clark writes. Feel free, then, to bake her Cardamom Sour Cream Pound Cake on the grill, if you’re feeling adventurous. According to Clark, risk-taking is part of the point.
Diasporican: A Puerto Rican Cookbook by Illyanna Maisonet
This debut cookbook from Puerto Rican food columnist Illyanna Maisonet is a collection of 90 recipes, recited memoir-style from Maisonet’s own deeply personal perspective. Plenty are outdoor-friendly, including dishes like grilled oysters and a stunning, spice-forward Pavochon, or roast turkey, seasoned with cumin, granulated garlic, dried oregano, and more. Vibrant photography offers a bird’s eye view into Maisonet’s culinary world, where color, ingredients, and sense of place anchor dining heritage. “The cookbook you are holding is a forceful love letter to a culinary tradition,” Maisonet writes in her introduction. It’s a culinary point-of-view—Puerto Rican food seen through an American experience—that’s worth revisiting, again and again, both indoors and out.
True North Cabin Cookbook: Recipes & Stories from a North Woods Table by Stephanie Hansen
True North Island, near Ely, Minnesota, is the backdrop for this intimate cookbook, which is organized by the seasons enjoyed at food writer and blogger Stephanie Hansen’s family cabin. Many of the recipes have an outdoor bent, including barbecue ribs, apple skillet cake with salted caramel sauce, and grilled lamb burgers. Other recipes, like beef Bourguignon, sourdough bread, and blueberry galette, can easily be prepared on an outdoor heat source like a gas or pellet grill, or indoors as a warming meal post-adventure. It’s one of the most flexible and timeless cookbooks of the cool weather season.
Evolutions in Bread: Artisan Pan Breads and Dutch-Oven Loaves at Home by Ken Forkish
James Beard Award Winner Ken Forkish, author of Flour Water Salt Yeast, revisits one of the most popular pandemic hobbies in his sequel cookbook, Evolutions in Bread. And while his first cookbook could lean on the complicated side, this one is made for those with less bread-making experience (although those with some foundational knowledge will also be well-served). These loaves can be produced in everyday pans and Dutch ovens, and are also less temperamental than some other loaves. For those who found their interest piqued while sourdough pandemic baking, this book will help reawaken that fire.
Masa: Techniques, Recipes, and Reflections on a Timeless Staple by Jorge Gaviria
The definitive guide to making high-quality masa from scratch has finally arrived from Masienda founder Jorge Gavira. The perfect taco, Gavira argues in his love letter to masa, begins with the perfect tortilla, and the perfect tortilla begins with excellent masa, the transformative dough that provides the base for tortillas—and so much else in Mexican cooking. Providing historical context as well as plenty of replicable techniques, Masa is the kind of book that will offer encyclopedic knowledge long into the future.
Boards and Spreads: Shareable, Simple Arrangements for Every Meal by Yasmin Fahr
Casual dining reigns in Yasmin Fahr’s newest cookbook, where food is organized into seven categories (Boards for Breakfast; Breads on Boards; Snacking Boards + Salad + Veggie Platters; Dinnertime Boards; Take It Outside; Accents + Add-Ons; and Dips, Spreads + More Fun Things). Fahr refines her idea as a “low-effort, high-reward cooking approach” that “is built for flexibility.” The robust flavors are compelling (see: charred salad duo, the kebab dinner, and the feta flatbread), and the boards can be transported wherever you like, including the breakfast, lunch, or dinner patio of your choice.