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11 Cookbooks Inspired by Popular Novels

Get a taste of what your favorite characters savored in these books!

Get a taste of what your favorite characters savored in these books!

Food and fiction have always shared a strong bond. From Jane Austen to George R. R. Martin, authors have used their characters’ dining culture to illustrate their emotions, thoughts, and overall personality. But bookworms know that sometimes reading about these treats isn’t enough. Some descriptions are just so inviting that one can’t help but wonder: “Hmm, how would that taste like?” Well, if you want to get a taste of what your favorite characters savored during their adventures, these 11 cookbooks based on novels will not disappoint.

cookbooks-based-on-novels

1. Necronomicon

The Necronomnomnom: Recipes and Rites from the Lore of H.P. Lovecraft is a culinary tribute to the cosmic horror genre. The literary cookbook is inspired by the “Necronomicon,” a.k.a. the “Book of the Dead” that’s often mentioned in Lovecraft’s novellas. In true horror fashion, the recipes are written in the form of spooky tales, but are also “translated” in modern-day English (in case you don’t speak Lovecraftian). Don’t fret, though! Nothing many-toothed or tentacled will pop out your oven as the recipes are 100% edible. PS: The cookbook doesn’t contain photos of the finished products. However, each recipe comes with a set of eerie illustrations that make even Bundt cakes look menacing.

Get this book if you:

  • Want to spook up your everyday fare
  • Adore clever puns
  • Aren’t squeamish about the name of your food

Must-try bites/sips:

  • Foul-lafel
  • Yogsicles
  • The Gin and Miscatonic
cookbooks-based-on-novels

2. Confederacy of Dunces

A Confederacy of Dunces Cookbook: Recipes from Ignatius J. Reilly's New Orleans is a culinary tribute to the novel’s main character and his surrounding food culture. The cookbook is inspired by the multiple food references throughout the story, many of which portray aspects of New Orleans’ cuisine circa 1960. Before jumping in the kitchen, author Cynthia LeJeune Nobles interviewed regulars at the real-life places that are mentioned in the novel - which means her recipes are as authentic as it gets. Despite their past-era charm, most of them keep things simple and are downright delicious.

Get this book if you:

  • Want to dip your toes into the New Orleans cuisine
  • Are intrigued by the idea of making “wine cakes”

Must-try bites/sips:

  • Bayou Jambalaya
  • Banana Foster Sundae
  • Dr. Talc’s Bloody Mary
cookbooks-based-on-novels

3. The Little House

The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Classic Stories is a culinary tribute to pioneer fare. The literary cookbook is inspired by the dishes described in the novels, from the family’s early days in Wisconsin to their farming life in South Dakota. Most recipes call for bare-bones ingredients and are accompanied by excerpts from the books, which give a glimpse into the dish’s history. The pages are also adorned with illustrations and colorful photos of the treats for an instant eye feast. And yes, the recipes are adapted for the modern kitchen. After all, frontier cooks didn’t have stoves with adjustable temp knobs. Despite that, their homesteading flair looms large.

Get this book if you want to:

  • Dine like a settler in the 1800s
  • Learn more about pioneer food

Must-try bites/sips:

  • Roasted Wild Turkey
  • Homemade Sausages
  • Pumpkin Pie
cookbooks-based-on-novels

4. Little Women

The Little Women Cookbook: Tempting Recipes from the March Sisters is a culinary tribute to the novel’s feisty characters and their ever-increasing zest for
cooking and fine dining. The cookbook is inspired by the sisters’ favorite bites and the delicacies they are treated to as they grow older. To capture the dishes’ original mid-1800s flair, author Wini Moranville researched multiple period cookbooks, including the one mentioned by Meg in the book (The Young Housekeeper’s Friend). And no, that doesn’t mean her recipes are out of reach. On the contrary, they are adapted to modern cooks, from the ingredients used to the appliances required. So, no Gen-Z fan is left behind!

Get this book if you want to:

  • Eat like a member of the March household
  • Explore New England’s cuisine during the Civil War

Must-try bites/sips:

  • Garden Pot Pie
  • Jo’s Gingerbread
  • Amy’s Frothy French Drinking Chocolate
cookbooks-based-on-novels

5. Anne of Green Gables

The Anne of Green Gables Cookbook: Charming Recipes from Anne and Her Friends in Avonlea is a culinary tribute to the colorful characters featured in Lucy Maud Montgomery’s classic book series. The cookbook is inspired by the bites and drinks enjoyed by the folks in Avonlea, a.k.a. the heroine’s hometown. Divided into four chapters, the book features recipes from Anne’s various walks of life, from her first years at the farm to the time she started working as a teacher. Author Kate Macdonald, who’s also Montgomery’s granddaughter, is a certified nutritionist. That means her recipes have a knack for the healthy and are mostly plant-based. With the right swaps, you can even turn some of them vegan.

Get this book if you:

  • Are a fan of the red-haired orphan
  • Have always wanted to get a sip of Raspberry Cordial

Must-try bites/sips:

  • Miss Stacy’s Baked Macaroni
  • Creamy Butterscotch Pudding
  • Old-Fashioned Lemonade
cookbooks-based-on-novels

6. The Hobbit

An Unexpected Cookbook: The Unofficial Book of Hobbit Cookery is a culinary tribute to Tolkien’s epicurean streak. The cookbook is inspired by the “traditional” Hobbit meals that Tolkien himself invented and penned about in his novel. Bridging the culinary gap between Middle Earth and our Earth, the recipes mirror Shire’s gastronomy, but make sure most ingredients are accessible to modern-day foodies. That’s why many dishes contain veggies, fruits, and simple cuts of meat such as chicken, lamb, and beef. Author Chris-Rachael Oseland also shares her tips on how to make each dish vegan, Paleo, or gluten-free, depending on your dietary wants and needs.

Get this book if you:

  • Have always drooled over the dishes featured in the novel
  • Want to see first-hand what elevenses are all about

Must-try bites/sips:

  • Sunday Roast Chicken
  • Apple Hand Pies
  • Strawberries and Cream Bread
cookbooks-based-on-novels

7. Game of Thrones

A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook is a culinary tribute to the fictional lands of Westeros, Essos, and beyond. The cookbook is inspired by the novels’ numerous food scenes, which have always been elaborate. Influenced by the fantasy realm, the recipes have a medieval flair to them. But that doesn’t mean you have to stock up on pigeon meat and dragon eggs. The authors share alternatives for the more “exotic” ingredients and suggest alternate cooking methods fit for the millennial kitchen. If you’re feeling adventurous, though, you can always go medieval (literally)! The cookbook is also a joy to flip through as each recipe comes with a striking photo of the dish and an excerpt from the book for a nostalgia kick.

Get this book if you want to:

  • See how people ate during the Middle Ages (sort of)
  • Throw a themed party

Must-try bites/sips:

  • Beef and Bacon Pie
  • (Sansa’s) Lemon Cakes
  • Iced Milk with Honey
cookbooks-based-on-novels

8. Hunger Games

The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook is a culinary tribute to the social (and financial) diversity that abounds in the trilogy’s dystopian universe. The cookbook is inspired by the assorted dishes described in the series, from Capitol’s lavish treats to the roadkill-type stews of District 12. Considering the novel’s theme (which screams apocalypse!), many recipes “flirt” with the use of bizarre ingredients and flavors. So, don’t expect to run into your usual bowl-fillers here. FYI, I mean that in the best of ways! Each recipe also comes with a short blurb that connects the dish to a character, location, or situation from the books and sometimes relays bits of wisdom.

Get this book if you want to:

  • Cook a meal worthy of the Capitol
  • Live a “Day in the Life” of Katniss Everdeen, Haymitch Abernathy, and the rest

Must-try bites/sips:

  • Greasy Sae’s Spicy Vegetarian Chili
  • Chilled Raspberry and Cherry Soup
  • Hot Chocolate
cookbooks-based-on-novels

9. A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol: A Book-to-Table Classic is a culinary tribute to Charles Dickens’ appreciation of good food. The cookbook is inspired by the dishes that the author wrote about in his novella, which have shaped the way we celebrate Christmas today. The compilation is divided into five chapters (or “staves,” as Dickens called them). Each chapter includes recipes for a different part of the Christmas table, from hors d’oeuvres to entrees. Celebrity chefs Martha Stewart, Ina Garten, and more developed these recipes. So, you know you’re in for a treat! The cookbook also features the unabridged text of Scrooge’s tale and photos of food “ornaments” that relate to iconic moments in the story.

Get this book if you want to:

  • Build the perfect holiday menu
  • Enjoy Christmas a la Cratchit

Must-try bites/sips:

  • Smokey Candied Carrots
  • Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast
  • Fruitcake Cookies
cookbooks-based-on-novels

10. The Southern Vampire Mysteries

True Blood: Eats, Drinks, and Bites from Bon Temps is a culinary tribute to the Southern cuisine that’s present both in the novels and the TV show. The cookbook is mostly inspired by the dishes featured in the show. However, the OG muse behind these grubs was, is, and will always be Charlaine Harris’ fictional bites. Depictive of Louisiana’s soul cooking, the recipes are the epitome of comfort food and will make you wanna roll up your sleeves in the kitchen. The cookbook also features a chapter with “Drinks to Die For,” including some of Fangtasia’s finest sips. So, if you’re ready to dive fangs-first into Bon Temps’ cuisine, Sookie Stackhouse (and her squad) will be your hosts for the evening.

Get this book if you:

  • Love Southern food
  • Wouldn’t mind adding more spice in your meals
  • Want to improve your mixology skills

Must-try bites/sips:

  • Brujo Burger
  • Last Rites Pecan Pie
  • Blood Royale (Cocktail)
cookbooks-based-on-novels

11. Outlander

Outlander Kitchen: The Official Outlander Companion Cookbook is a culinary tribute to the critical role that food plays in Diana Gabaldon’s historical novel. The literary cookbook is inspired by the bites that heroine Claire Beauchamp comes across throughout her time-travelling journey. With more than 100 recipes in tow, the book has something for every palate, whether sweet or savory. But, don’t let the dishes fool you! Despite their intricate looks, they are quite easy to make (even for a novice cook). Plus, most of them come with full-color photos and passages from the books for a nostalgic throwback.

Get this book if you want to:

  • Enjoy a feast fit for a Fraser
  • Treat fellow fans to the flavors of the Scottish Highlands and beyond

Must-try bites/sips:

  • Slow-Cooked Chicken Fricassee
  • Ginger-Nut Biscuits
  • Frank’s Sherry Tipple

© 2021 Kyriaki Chatzi

Comments

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on January 10, 2021:

What fun to have cookbooks related to those novels. We have so many cookbooks in our home, but if I wanted more, Little Women and Little House would be the ones I would be most interested in viewing.

Liza from USA on January 09, 2021:

Omg, I love your article, Kyriaki.

Yesterday, I was talking to my sister about how I'm still keeping one of my favorite books when I was a kid, Little Woman. However, my favorite on the list is The Hobbit. I am fascinated with how the Hobbits are very fastidious about their meals (They eat six meals a day). Thanks for sharing the links as well. It makes it easier for me to find these books.

Ivana Divac from Serbia on January 09, 2021:

I really enjoyed reading this article! Very innovative, well-written, and informative. Thank you for sharing!