These 10 Israel Cookbooks Will Open The Doors of a New World For You πŸ•Œ

As featured in FoodNetwork, GoodHouskeeping, PBS, and Cosmopolitan- Bakeaholicmama is the leading cookbook authority.
Updated on:

Israel Cookbooks

Spread the love

Hi, I am Chef Zara. In this post, I will guide you through the Israel Cookbooks.

I love discovering new food and cooking with friends and family. One of the most common questions that I often get is for cookbook recommendations. I have created this guide for friends, family, and new friends alike. I hope that you enjoy our site.

Israel Cuisine

Although you have likely eaten some Middle Eastern food recently, Israeli food is one of the most underrated cuisines in the world! It is a culture steeped in history, conflict, beauty, art, faith, diversity, tradition, and the food of Israel is no different. There are so many delicious staples this country lends to the world β€” their world-famous spreads that can now be found in just about any store β€” hummus, baba ghanoush, and tahini, just to name a few. They are also famous for their chopped salads and grain-based tabbouleh. Couscous and bulgur are both popularized in Israeli recipes, but lesser-known dishes like shakshuka and mssabbha are also popular among locals. This cuisine focuses on vegetarian fares such as its famous lentil soup and falafel, but they are also well known for their grilled fish and poultry dishes.

Israeli food is influenced by its diverse culture. Elements flow from Arab and Jewish backgrounds, including Challah, jackrun, and even gefilte fish! Overall, Israeli food focuses on two things flavor and tradition! With big, bold, colorful ingredients like garlic, olive oil, avocados, orange, prickly pear, cherries, figs, and olives being at the center of this Middle Eastern cuisine, it is no wonder why Israeli food is enjoyed all over the world.

Here are the 10 Israel Cookbooks Celebrating Authentic and Modern Israeli Food πŸ‘‡

1. Jerusalem

Why We Love It ❀️

This Israeli-themed sequel to Plenty, the bestselling cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi, is an homage to the author’s roots and heritage. With his co-author and friend, Sami Tamimi, Ottolenghi explores the city where he was born and raised. He covers diverse areas of Jerusalem and dives deep into the ancient cultures of Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities, respectively.

Review πŸ“–

This cookbook is a little bit like being on this trip with them β€” you will see, taste, and smell the flavors of Jerusalem’s famous street food, dine with them at five-star restaurants, and sit with them in their childhood kitchens.

This masterful collection of over 120 recipes covers everything from appetizers to inventive vegetable sides, spreads, and main courses, including fish, meat, vegetarian, and more. Of course, it would not be an Ottolenghi cookbook without a dessert section. This book is backed by thousands of reviews and is full of vibrancy, color, stories, and a taste of these two men’s genius. This book is a perfect gift!

2. Shuk: From Market to Table, The Heart of Israeli Home Cooking 

Why We Love It ❀️

Israel is famous for its street food and signature dishes. These recipes started in someone’s home kitchen, utilizing the ingredients at their fingertips, in their gardens, and growing wild in their great country. Shuk is where all these recipes come together in one brilliant cookbook!

This book includes recipes and took home the Library Journal Best Book of the Year Award, and it is easy to see why β€” every corner of every page is jam-packed with color, deliciousness, cooking tips, and fun facts about the Israeli kitchen.

Review πŸ“–

This book emphasizes vegetarian staples such as chopped salads, tabbouleh, Matzo Balls grains, shakshuka, couscous, roasted cauliflower, and chocolate Babka, as well as recipes for condiments like pickles, compotes, and more. Through stunning photography, this book feels more like looking through a family album than a cookbook, but once you turn the page and see the genius-crafted recipes, you will want to get straight to the kitchen. This cookbook is of great value; with over 140 recipes, Shuk is one of the most thorough and celebrated books about Israeli dishes and culture!

About the Author ✍️

From authors Einat Admony (of Balaboosta) and food writer Janna Gur, this book is a masterful spread of these two food writers, well, spreads! Includes recipes for hummus, soup, tahini, and other famous Middle Eastern dips find their homes here, as well as salads, vegetables, vegetable sides, meats, fish, and chocolate Babka.

3. Israel Eats

 Why We Love It ❀️

What do you get when a world-famous food photographer writes a cookbook? You get Israel Eats, a book that is almost too pretty to read!! Steven Rothfield has spent decades learning the ins and outs of photography, landing on food photography, and being featured in high-profile magazines like French Comfort Food and Le French Oven. 

He hired a few guides to take him through Israel, visiting restaurants, cafes, farms, growers, winemakers, and street stalls, all while snapping photos the entire time.

Many of these photos have made their way into this collection, from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; this book has a recipe for every beautiful stop along his nine-month journey. A few of his friends also contribute their recipes and stories to the book, so when reading it, it will entice all your senses, and you will certainly be tempted to head to Jerusalem to try some of them out for yourself or make them in your kitchen.

4. Tel Aviv: Food. People. Stories

Why We Love It ❀️

This book centers around Tel Aviv, and if you’re wondering how someone could make such a thorough and complete cookbook based on just one city, then you haven’t been to Tel Aviv! Tel Aviv is a bustling, modern metropolis. It is a city known for its food and busy streets full of various vendors selling everything from perfumes to shawls to homemade gifts.

Alongside these shops are restaurants and street stalls selling everything from rich, decadent stews to fresh salads, fried dough, and sweets. A true haven for the urban foodie, Tel Aviv is a must-see stop on any Mediterranean adventure.

Review πŸ“–

This book is a great place to learn about cuisine and culture. This book includes more than just recipes (although they are plentiful!) β€” It also profiles several locals, restaurateurs, business owners, and community figures. It tells their stories (most of which revolve around food!) and has gorgeous photos to accompany each part of the journey.

This book has a little bit of everything and should not be missed if you are serious about Israeli cuisine, just like you should not miss Tel Aviv if you head to the region! 

5. Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavours From my Israeli Kitchen

 Why We Love It ❀️

In Hebrew (derived from the original Arabic), Sababa means “everything is awesome.” American food writer and ex-pat Adeena Sussman illustrates Sababa in this fun, witty, colorful, sunny collection.

Review πŸ“–

This book is filled with those recipes! 125 ways to make your Israeli meal delicious! With everything from date syrup to harissa or freekeh and tahini tarts, this collection is a true testament to everything that the Israeli kitchen can be if given the right amount of love and time. Sababa makes us all want to eat more, eat better and join hands with those around us who also love to eat. 

About the Author ✍️

Every morning, Adeena meanders through the marketplace, finding inspiration for another day in her kitchen. She takes us along the journey and speaks about all the best finds, including figs, cherries, cheeses, olives, and more. She takes us through her favorite shops and heads home to create yet another incredible and inspiring meal.

In Tel Aviv, where she lives, she celebrates her newfound culture in distinctly Israeli, a true celebration of the ingredients they have on hand that makes this style of cuisine world-famous and magical.

6. Israeli Soul: Easy, Essential, Delicious

 Why We Love It ❀️

Written by the same authors (Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook) that brought us Zahav, this book goes straight to the source. Zahav was an homage to Israeli chef Solomonov’s time behind the stoves at his famous Israeli restaurants. In contrast, Israeli Soul is a collection of recipes from the people of Israel, broken down into easy-to-follow, easy-to-share recipes that are healthy, simple, and, most of all, delicious! Many of these recipes have been passed down for generations, finding their way into the young people of Israel, and now translated into this book which has put modern Israeli cooking on the map.

Review πŸ“–

This Israeli cookbook combines all these recipes from Michael Solomonov and Steven cook to simplify them to make them approachable to anyone, no matter where they live or their budget. More than the others on this list, this book is excellent for students and novice cooks β€” it even says so in the title. Easy, essential, and yes! Delicious! 

7. Cook In Israel: Vegetarian and Salad Recipes

Why We Love It ❀️

What can we say about this book that hasn’t already been said? After receiving glowing reviews from The American Bible and the Gourmand World Cookbook Award in 2013, this book, with its 39 original recipes, covers everything you need to create the perfect Middle Eastern meal for you and your guests.

Review πŸ“–

It focuses on fresh, easy-to-find ingredients and provides classic recipes for popular dishes, including baba ghanoush, shakshuka, stuffed peppers, tabbouleh, and more, all while following the principles of a vegetarian diet.

Although meat and fish are popular staples of Israeli dishes, many locals and natives have adopted a vegetarian and/or kosher diet; this book is full to the brim of these recipes, which are already quite easy to find when adding more Middle Eastern food to your repertoire. There is also a beautiful photo to accompany every recipe, step-by-step instructions, and foolproof tips to make your cooking experience easier and more fun. 

8. Shaya: An Odyssey of Food, My Journey Back to Israel

 Why We Love It ❀️

This book opens up with a heartfelt story of Alon Shaya, the awarding winning, celebrated chef of New Orleans, who has the desire to find his way back home to his Middle Eastern roots through a journey of cooking and eating Israeli dishes.

Review πŸ“–

This book is part cookbook, part memoir, and covers the story of his rise being an American immigrant, his food culture, and his journey back to his roots. It tells the tale of how this young chef got into cooking in the first place, his love of simple ingredients, his hard work ethic, and his hunger for success.

About the Author ✍️

After opening several restaurants, the chef shares his fondness for Israeli cuisine and his desperate attempt to return to the young boy he knew. You will find all his lessons in this thorough, thoughtful collection, as well as stunning recipes that will transform you right into the heart of Israel and the heart of this chef finding his way back home cooks, one recipe at a time. 

9. Divine Food: Israeli and Palestinian Food Culture and Recipes

 Why We Love It ❀️

Delve into the dynamic partnership between Israel and Palestine through the thing that binds us all to food! Divine food is a stunning collection of recipes from local markets, family traditions, stories of the Israeli people, and the authentic foods of both regions.

Review πŸ“–

This book provides a wide array of recipes and mouth-watering photography to highlight and break down several classic dishes. It is a regional portrait of an area of the world that many people will never have the chance to visit, but we all have a chance to enjoy the food of this beautiful, complex culture. This book covers it all and is a must-have for anyone who loves Mediterranean flavors and food with big, bold flavors. 

10. The Book of New Israeli Food

 Why We Love It ❀️

This book is the complete, everything-you-need-to-know collection of classic Israeli recipes with a modern Janna Gur spin. This book uses genius food photography to highlight stunning ingredients, as well as illustrations by Eilon Paz and the food writing of Janna Gur to create one of the most vibrant and compelling Israeli cookbooks of our time.

Review πŸ“–

This book promises to be one of the most thorough collections of Israeli recipes you will ever find. It is an absolute must for anyone serious about learning more about Israeli culture and bringing some of that to their tables at home. 

About the Author ✍️

Gur explains the complexities of Israeli kitchen and culture β€” the diversity, the history, and at the time, the divisive nature of the cities and villages within. She then dives head first to deconstruct many of the most famous dishes from the region: Beetroot and Pomegranate Salad, Fish Falafel, Harissa, Shawarma, Roasted Chicken, and Drumsticks in Carob Syrup. This book also includes many Jewish classics, including Challah, chopped liver, Halva cake, and some holiday classics that you cannot find anywhere else.

Final thought

Many of these Israeli cookbooks lend their neighbors ingredients, techniques, and language. Israeli cuisine and Israeli chefs are influenced by Arabic, Jewish, Balkan, Turkish, and French cuisines, so it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what makes this cuisine so vital and beloved by so many worldwide. After looking through these Israeli cookbooks, you will see that the Israeli people are passionate. Unlike some cultures that never budge on their food traditions, Israel is a melting pot of cultures, languages, and beliefs, which is just one of the reasons why an Israeli restaurant or those tiny eateries are so dynamic and delicious. With spice blends from every corner of Europe and Eastern Europe, fruits from the Mediterranean, sunny flavors from Africa, and methods from The Middle East, Israeli cuisine is a journey for all your senses. Any of these books will satisfy your food craving, all while encouraging healthy cooking techniques and tempting your sweet tooth! 

Spread the love

Recommended Middle Eastern Cookbook Reviews

Thanks for spending your time with us. I hope that you found this post informative and enjoyable. If you would like to see more cookbook reviews, please sign up for the Bakeaholicmama Newsletter.

Photo of author


Chef Zara is the founder and chief editor for Bakeaholic. She loves bringing smiles to people with the delicious visuals, smells, and tastes of food. Chef Zara's passion for baking started at a very young age, and she has never looked back since. She enjoys experimenting with different flavors and combinations, and takes great pride in creating unique recipes that will tantalize your taste buds. When she’s not whipping up something delectable in the kitchen, Chef Zara can be found exploring new culinary delights around the world. Chef Zara holds a Associate of Arts and Sciences from Kendall College and is a sought after private chef. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Leave a Comment

Free Freezer Meals Cookbook- Prepare 10 Healthy Meals in just 30 minutes