12 novels with recipes


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I love to eat! For me, food is comfort, and it is perhaps a blessing and a tragedy that I seem to plan everything in my daily routine around meals. When I go on vacation, I wake up thinking about the plan for the day, and when and where we are going to stop to eat. If my traveling companions start making plans that seem to forget the fact that we have to eat, I get very confused. You can’t go on a city trip from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. without planning to stop for a good meal in the meantime!

Sometimes I forget that I’m hungry if I’m focused on a task, but you can be sure that before I even started the task, I was worrying about breakfast, morning snack, lunch, dessert, afternoon snack, lunch, dessert and supper.

So it’s no surprise that one of the reasons I get excited about vacations is because of all the (new) foods I can eat without having to cook – and without feeling guilty about eating out. for an entire week, since I usually count meals in my holiday budget. When people ask, “How rich would you like to be?” my answer is invariably the same: rich enough that I can eat out or order just about any meal. That’s why I wake up at work every day.

Now that you understand my love for food, you understand why I get so excited when I see recipes in books where I don’t expect to find them.

Even though I’m not a home cook and don’t particularly enjoy cooking, I still think that adding a recipe (or a couple) to a book is a way for the author to give us a bit of himself- even, to present us with a gift. “Hey,” they say, “I loved this recipe, and I think it would be nice if you had it too.”

So I went looking for novels with recipes in them, and that’s what I found. In them, you will come across great stories… and good recipes.

Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

A fun and entertaining murder mystery, Arsenic and Adobo begins with Lila Macapagal returning to her small hometown after a breakup.

Lila tries to help save her aunt’s failing restaurant, but things take a strange turn when the town’s food critic – and a villain at that – drops dead during a meal at the family restaurant.

Now Lila must find a way to prove that no one in her family was involved in the murder, while finding out what she really wants in life.

cover of Queerly Beloved by Susie Dumond

Queerly Beloved by Susie Dumond

Amy is a semi-closed baker who gets fired from her job at a Christian bakery.

Inspired by romantic comedies, she decides to take the plunge and turn her occasional bridesmaid gig into a business. But her people-pleasing personality and desire to be herself doesn’t always make life easy for Amy and those around her.

This is a great book for anyone looking for a found family story, written by our very own Book Rioter, Susie Dumond.

Cover of Magic, Lies and Deadly Pies by Mischa Pops

Magic, Lies and Deadly Pies by Misha Popp

Now this is a book I can save for the blurb alone: ​​”Daisy Ellery’s pies have a secret ingredient: the magical ability to avenge women done wrong by men.” I mean, I’m sold.

As the book develops, we discover that the first time Daisy killed a man was accidental. But she quickly made a vocation of it.

If you’re looking for a fun book with a witty main character and a loyal dog as your companion, you’ll want to read this. Mostly because, for better or for worse, things are starting to take a turn.

Come for the recipes, stay for the sweet, sweet revenge.

Cover of the book Like Water for Chocolate - A novel in monthly installments with recipes, romances and home remedies by Laura Esquivel

Like water for chocolate by Laura Esquivel

It’s a classic, which has gone so far as to be made into a movie, and there’s a reason for that: Esquivel’s prose is beautiful, and the story creates a mysterious and charming atmosphere.

It is the story of the La Garza family, and of Tita, the youngest daughter of the family, condemned by tradition not to marry and to take care of her mother until her death.

But when Tita falls in love with Pedro, they will have to find a way for each other.

With The Fire On High book cover

With the Fire Lit by Elizabeth Acevedo

Emoni Santiago tries to juggle what life throws at her, doing her best to stay afloat.

It is in the kitchen, among the pots and the food she cooks, that she finds the most comfort.

She knows that her financial and personal situation should not allow her to dream of a new culinary arts class at her school, or her class’s trip to Spain, but although Emoni may struggle with a lot, her love and his gift for cooking is not one of them.

Under The Tuscan Sun book cover

Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes

I watched this movie many, many years ago, not realizing that it was also a book.

It’s another story about beginnings and finding yourself, with the main work of restoration at the center of the book being more than an external job – but also becoming an internal job of repair for the main character.

This book offers the reader a great insight into the life, traditions and cuisine of Tuscany.

Although I haven’t read all of his books, apparently all of them contain recipes.

Sorrow's Bakery cover

The Heartbreak Bakery by AR Capetta

Baking can be a way to manage life, and it certainly is for this book’s main character, Syd.

But after Syd, a baker at a bakery and a queer community called Proud Muffin, experiences a breakup, everyone who eats Syd’s brownies… ends up going their separate ways.

Trouble really arises when even Proud Muffin owners Vic and Alec also part ways, putting the bakery — and Syd’s own pastry shop — on the line.

Cover of pig bread with butter and honey by Francesca Ekwuyasi

Butter and Honey Pig Loaf by Francesca Ekwuyasi

Butter Honey Pig Bread is the story of three Nigerian women: a mother and her twin daughters.

They grew apart after one of the twins suffered childhood trauma, and the other eventually found respite from his loneliness through food and cooking.

After more than a decade apart, they all return to their home in Lagos, Nigeria, to try to heal the wounds of the past together.

Cover of Fried Green Tomatoes at Whistle Stop Cafe

Fried Green Tomatoes at Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg

It’s another book that’s been made into a movie, with strong female friendships at the center of the plot.

With middle-aged protagonists and a strong connection between the present and the past, it contains flashbacks to the 1930s when two women ran a small place in Whistle Stop, Alabama.

Cover of Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake by Alexis Hall

Rosaline Palmer takes the cake by Alexis Hall

Rosaline dropped out of college to raise her daughter, and with big dreams set aside and a small paycheck, she can see economic disaster approaching at a frantic pace.

She lands a spot on one of the nation’s most beloved baking shows, and she’s determined to follow the rules, win, and give her daughter a better chance at life.

But as the romance begins to brew between the cakes, Rosaline has some tough decisions to make — and she has to keep her eyes on the ball… I mean, the baking.

bubble tea death cover

Death By Bubble Tea by Jennifer J. Chow

There seems to be a clear connection between the cozy murder mysteries and food, and in Death By Bubble Tea we see that happen again.

Yale and Céline are cousins ​​who haven’t seen each other for 20 years. When Celine travels from Hong Kong to visit, Yale’s father encourages them to set up a food stall at the local night market.

The stand is actually a success until one of their customers shows up dead. Now the cousins ​​are prime suspects, and they must work together if they are to clear their names and stay free.

Heartburn book cover

Heartburn by Nora Ephron

Rachel, our main character, writes cookbooks. She is also seven months pregnant when she discovers that her husband is in love with another woman.

Between wanting her husband back and wanting him dead, Rachel serves up some of her favorite recipes for the reader.

A novel delight.


Can’t get enough? Enjoy this roundup of YA novels with recipes, too.


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