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The Best Stay-cation Cookbooks for 2021

Eat your way around the world with these travel-inspired cookbooks with recipes you can make at home.
Sandie at SideChef
Director of Content Management, which is code for looking at delicious food all day and solving cooking problems so you don't have to.
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Sandie at SideChef
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Remember the amazing kefta you had that one time in Morocco and have been thinking about often ever since? Or perhaps you can’t forget the spicy coconut flavor of gizzada you enjoyed in Jamaica… Tasting local flavors and dishes from a particular culture or region is an amazing way to immerse yourself in the destination. If you love the taste of global flavors but your passport is not getting as much mileage as you’d like this year, we have a great solution for you.

Check out this list of our favorite cookbooks from our very own SideChef Culinary Partners! Say goodbye to travel restrictions and take your taste buds on a trip with their amazing easy-to-follow recipes. From the spicy Caribbean to modern Korean, these cookbooks are sure to satisfy your appetite for travel.

Everyday Korean by Korean Fusion

If you haven’t heard of Miss Seung Hee Lee yet, let us tell you a little bit about her. A Ph.D. in Human Nutrition and working epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta (impressed yet?), Seung Hee Lee co-authored (with Kim Sunée) Everyday Korean, a cookbook packed with easy-to-follow instructions for excellent Korean dishes.

one of many marvelous recipes from Everyday Korean Cookbook

You will love this cookbook if you’re not too familiar with Korean food, as it does a great job explaining ingredients and techniques, giving you some insight into cultural tidbits. You will love it just as much if you are familiar with Korean cuisine, as it will provide you with some tweaks and variations to keep things interesting. Kimchi-Bacon Mac and cheese? Yes, Please!

Also, check out @koreanfusion, her funny, personal, and mouth-watering Instagram account that has effortlessly gathered thousands of followers for a reason.

Seung Hee Lee of Everyday Korean and @KoreanFusion

What experience would you like your readers to gain from your cookbook??

Debunk the myth that Korean food is complicated! The book is all about understanding the flavors of Korea through Korean ferments - and not just in Korean-style dishes, but in fusion cooking aspects, like chilaquiles and Mac and Cheese! Everyday Korean contains some very serious recipes but most of them are super simple and easy.

What’s your favorite recipe in Everyday Korean?

Gochujang Mayo Roasted Salmon. It’s three ingredients, 10 minutes, and comes out perfect every single time. Fan-favorite!

Everyday Korean: Fresh, Modern Recipes for Home Cooks

The Vibrant Caribbean Pot — 100 Traditional And Fusion Recipes, Vol 2

Meet Chris De La Rosa, author, entrepreneur, and Caribbean culinary guru who has changed our perception of Caribbean cooking.

It is hard to call 100 Traditional and Fusion Recipes, Vol2 just a cookbook. It is so much more than that! It is a beautiful, enlightening chronicle of historic and cultural significance.

If you are from the Caribbean you know that most people outside the Caribbean are deprived of the knowledge of hundreds of years of cooking traditions. Caribbean food is not as well documented as many other global cuisines and is mostly passed onto the next generations using the “dash of this and a little of that” method.

The “encyclopedia” of Caribbean culture and cuisine

Chris’s dedication and love for Caribbean cuisine started with a humble recipe portal and has grown into the international hub for all things Caribbean food. And now we get to enjoy his beautiful cookbook, with photos that make you want to lick the pages and clear cooking instructions entwined with personal anecdotes and heartfelt words.

What experience would you like your readers to gain from your cookbook?

The goal when I wrote this cookbook was to preserve our (Caribbean) culinary heritage for future generations. I wanted to provide the recipes in a simplified manner and share a little of our strong culinary culture with an audience who may be new to the delights of the region. I wanted the reader to feel as if they were in my kitchen cooking alongside me. So they didn't feel intimidated by ingredients and techniques which may be new to them. Additionally, it wasn't just about the 'food' experience, but a cultural journey across the Caribbean via food.

Chris De La Rosa of The Vibrant Caribbean Pot cookbook

Chris’s dedication and love for Caribbean cuisine started with a humble recipe portal and has grown into the international hub for all things Caribbean food. And now we get to enjoy his beautiful cookbook, with photos that make you want to lick the pages and clear cooking instructions entwined with personal anecdotes and heartfelt words.

What experience would you like your readers to gain from your cookbook?

The goal when I wrote this cookbook was to preserve our (Caribbean) culinary heritage for future generations. I wanted to provide the recipes in a simplified manner and share a little of our strong culinary culture with an audience who may be new to the delights of the region. I wanted the reader to feel as if they were in my kitchen cooking alongside me. So they didn't feel intimidated by ingredients and techniques which may be new to them. Additionally, it wasn't just about the 'food' experience, but a cultural journey across the Caribbean via food.

What’s your favorite recipe in The Vibrant Caribbean Pot?

Tough call to make (so much to choose from). But at the end of the day, it would have to be the Curry-Stew Chicken Wings (page 41). Tender, juicy, and drenched in a rich gravy flavored with spices of a good curry, an assortment of herbs fresh from my garden, and with that fiery undertone of ginger and scotch bonnet pepper.

As a kid on the islands when Mom cooked chicken, it meant using a whole bird.. meaning only 2 wings, and all four children (my brother and sisters) all LOVE wings. Back then on the islands, you could only purchase a whole bird and not individual amounts of just chicken wings. So while the curry-stewed chicken was a norm, only after I came to Canada and had the opportunity to purchase chicken wings (JUST CHICKEN WINGS) by the Kilo.... that there is pure euphoria!

The Vibrant Caribbean Pot — 100 Traditional And Fusion Recipes, Vol 2

Milk and Cardamom Cookbook by Milk and Cardamom

If you like to watch the intense cooking race that is MasterChef, you must remember Hetal Vasavada. And while she may have not won the season, she is absolutely winning in the world of cooking. Her shrewd and appetizing Instagram account @milkandcardamom with over 80K followers and her blog are always on our “Check out” list. And now we can enjoy Hetal’s amazing recipes flipping through the colorful pages of the cookbook by the same name - “Milk and Cardamom”.

Drawing inspiration from her Indian-American upbringing, Hetal Vasavada infuses every culinary creation with flavors of her heritage. She shares a versatile selection of classic Indian desserts and creative interpretations. You will learn superb combinations like citrus and sesame, fennel and almond, chocolate and ginger, and many more. From traditional Indian rice puddings to Mango Lassi French Macaroons, this cookbook will make the exotic flavors approachable and guide you to create desserts worth celebrating.

an example of superb dessert fusions Hetal will help you master

What experience would you like your readers to gain from your cookbook?

“I hope you go through my book and learn about Indian desserts, their history, and the stories attached to them. I want them to learn new techniques in creating desserts (toasting flours, using the viscosity of syrup as an indicator of doneness rather than temperature, etc) as well as open their minds to new flavors and textures.”

Hetal Vasavada of Milk & Cardamom

What’s your favorite recipe in the Milk and Cardamom Cookbook?

I could make my gulab jamun cake until the end of time! It's everything I want in a comforting dessert, warm, sweet, fragrant, and just so cozy! It's a cardamom pound cake soaked in a rose, cardamom, saffron, and cinnamon syrup, inspired by my favorite Indian dessert, gulab jamun!

Signed Copy of Milk and Cardamom Cookbook

The Healthy Wok Chinese Cookbook by Wok and Skillet

When you think of your favorite takeout chances are you are thinking it’s something off the Chinese takeout menu. The flawless fusion of sweet spice and tangy heat is beloved by many American families.

15 years ago, when Charmaine Ferrara moved from Malaysia to America, she was struck by the difference between the traditional Chinese food she was used to and their not-so-healthy American adaptations. Recalling how her mother and grandmother made her favorite dishes, she recreated the delicious Chinese recipes the way they were intended - fresh, flavorful, and light.

enjoy the comprehensive know-how guides to master some of your favorite Chinese dishes

Charmaine Ferrara will teach you how to create healthier versions of your Chinese restaurant favorites using lower sodium and sugar, heart-healthy oils, lean cuts of meat, and fresh produce. And you will only need one piece of kitchen equipment - the ever-versatile wok. You will have a comprehensive wok walk-through, master the cooking techniques and add 88 delicious meals to your cooking collection.

What experience would you like your readers to gain from your cookbook?

I hope to inspire my readers to cook with their wok more often. The Healthy Wok Chinese Cookbook contains healthier versions of Chinese restaurant favorites so I hope they'll find some familiar recipes to help them get started on their wok-cooking journey.

Char Ferrera of The Healthy Wok Chinese Cookbook

What’s your favorite recipe in The Healthy Wok Chinese Cookbook?

Chinese Chicken Salad Cups! I love this tasty salad with apple cider vinaigrette in the crunchy baked wonton cups. It's got my favorite combination of crispy, crunchy, sweet, and savory.

The Healthy Wok Chinese Cookbook: Fresh Recipes to Sizzle, Steam, and Stir-Fry Restaurant Favorites at Home

Casablanca by My Morrocan Food

Meet the marvel chef from London, raised by Moroccan parents in Brussels with three degrees in politics and a passion for food. There is only one person in the world who fits this description and that is Nargisse Benkabbou.

Now executive chef at Marrakech restaurant, L’mida, she is passionate about Moroccan food and loves sharing her cultural heritage and putting her own twist on traditional dishes. Nargisse wants to inspire and bring “a breath of fresh air” to Moroccan cuisine, making her heritage a global favorite. She develops new recipes, provides cooking classes, and hosts supper clubs to make her dream come true.

Her gorgeous cookbook “Casablanca: My Moroccan Food” has definitely made Moroccan recipes more accessible and easy. In addition to clearly written recipes, beautiful photography, and useful tips, Nargisse shares lovely insights into her family life and Moroccan food culture. This cookbook is an amazing collection of authentic recipes from the heart of a Moroccan family passionate about food!

What experience would you like your readers to gain from your cookbook?

I wish for the readers of Casablanca to simply fall in love with Moroccan cuisine! I also wish for them to no longer look at Moroccan cuisine as something very complex and difficult to make at home.

What experience would you like your readers to gain from your cookbook?

I wish for the readers of Casablanca to simply fall in love with Moroccan cuisine! I also wish for them to no longer look at Moroccan cuisine as something very complex and difficult to make at home.

Nargisse Benkabbou of Casablanca: My Moroccan Food

What’s your favorite recipe in Casablanca?

Chicken Mchermel, it's a chicken tagine made with chermoula. It's one of my favorite tagines; it's comforting and nutritious! The final result is a thick and aromatic sauce of caramelized onions and chicken pieces. It's really to die for!

Casablanca

Mooncakes and Milk Bread by Eat Cho Food

A recipe developer, food stylist, blogger, photographer, and author, Kristina Cho is the most enthusiastic Chinese baked goods spokesperson you will ever meet. She claims that growing up in her family’s Chinese Restaurant in Cleveland, she was spoiled with the best egg rolls and char siu.

Kristina’s upbringing and heritage made cooking and sharing culture through food a huge part of her life. She is obsessed with crunchy food and interesting texture combos. She has dedicated her professional career to making, teaching, writing about, and photographing her unique interpretations of Chinese food—everything from noodle soups to dumplings and, of course, baked goods.

fresh, uncomplicated interpretations of classic recipes for the modern baker

Kristina’s cookbook “Mooncakes and Milk Bread: Sweet and Savory Recipes Inspired by Chinese Bakeries” will take you on a delicious journey through traditional Chinese bakery recipes, a journey from Hong Kong to Cleveland, to San Fransisco, and beyond. The beloved cakes and not-too-sweet flavorful cakes and breads you can create at home with the help of Kristina’s wonderful easy-to-follow recipes.

What experience would you like your readers to gain from your cookbook?

For readers who grew up going to Chinese bakeries and cafes, I want them to first feel nostalgia for the food that made their childhood special. Then I hope they feel proud about being able to recreate these recipes at home and share them with their favorite people. For readers who might be new to the world of Chinese baking, I hope that this cookbook broadens their baking knowledge and introduces them to new techniques and flavors.

Kristina Cho of Mooncakes and Milk Bread: Sweet and Savory Recipes Inspired by Chinese Bakeries

What’s your favorite recipe in Eat Cho Food?

Out of any recipe in the cookbook, I probably tested my My Goong Goong's Almond Cookies the most and I'm still not tired of eating them. They are some of the best cookies I've ever had, but it is also an incredibly sentimental recipe for me and beloved by my whole family. I'll no doubt continue baking them for the rest of my life and tell everyone who will listen what a great chef my Goong Goong was.

Mooncakes and Milk Bread: Sweet and Savory Recipes Inspired by Chinese Bakeries

We guarantee these cookbooks will bring you joy and new delicious experiences. But if you want a little taste while you’re waiting for it to be delivered, you can experience the flavors of the world by cooking some more recipes from our featured SideChef Culinary Partners!

Shop Now
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Est. Total:
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