The 22 Best Pop Culture Cookbooks of 2023

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<p>The Spruce Eats / Amelia Manley</p>

The Spruce Eats / Amelia Manley

When a franchise is wildly popular, it can appear in many mediums: movies, TV shows, video games, books, albums, stage plays—the list goes on. Many pop culture hits even have dedicated cookbooks featuring dishes from or inspired by beloved films and series, like Sansa's lemon cakes in "Game of Thrones," Monk Gyatso’s fruit pies from "Avatar: The Last Airbender," and the scones from "Friends."

These cookbooks cover a wide range of entrees, sides, appetizers, desserts, and drinks from science-fiction classics, fantasy masterpieces, gaming titans, and comedy legends—perfect for gathering friends to make fun and familiar eats while enjoying your favorite films.

Binging with Babish: 100 Recipes Recreated from Your Favorite Movies and TV Shows

Over 10 million people follow Andrew Rea’s popular YouTube channel Binging with Babish. Rea lovingly recreates (and sometimes enhances) food from movies, TV shows, and video games. His bestselling cookbook of the same name contains 100 recipes, many of which are featured on his channel.

Witty and relatable, Rea narrates his personal connection to each recipe and the pop culture significance of the dish before launching into easy-to-follow directions. Some highlights include the Traeger Turkey Burger, inspired by Chris Traeger in “Parks and Recreation,” Sansa’s favorite lemon cakes from “Game of Thrones,” and even Homer Simpson’s Patented Space-Age Out-of-This-World Moon Waffles from “The Simpsons.” With a forward by channel guest, actor, and filmmaker Jon Favreau, this cookbook is a delight to read and cook from.

Price at time of publish: $30

Number of Recipes: 100 | Pages: 336 | Date Published: 2019

Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Official Cookbook: Recipes from the Four Nations

The world of “Avatar: the Last Airbender” is vast and captivating, as deeply three-dimensional as the characters who inhabit it. Food is featured throughout the show, often highlighting the culture of each nation. This official cookbook brings the food from the screen into your own kitchen. There are illustrations of fan-favorite characters as well as photographs of the dishes for reference.

The cookbook is divided by nation (with a special section for Uncle Iroh’s Jasmine Dragon Tea Shop) and the recipes even follow the lore of the show. For example, all of the entries in the Air Nomad section are vegetarian and most of the Fire Nation’s recipes feature a lot of spice. There many iconic foods featured in the show, such as Monk Gyatso’s Fruit Pies, Stewed Sea Prune Soup, Avatar Day Unfried Dough, Flaming Fire Flakes, Cactus Juice, and, of course, several recipes that feature cabbage.

Price at time of publish: $25

Number of Recipes: 60 | Pages: 128 | Date Published: 2021

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge: The Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook

Star Wars is a beloved franchise that spans a multitude of mediums, from film and games to entire theme parks. “Galaxy’s Edge: the Official Black Spire Outpost Cookbook” takes its inspiration from the themed eateries at Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Though the recipes aren’t necessarily accurate to what you can get at the parks, they certainly carry the spirit and are adapted for your kitchen. Written from the perspective of gourmet sci-fi chef Strono “Cookie” Tuggs, it’s a culinary tour through a galaxy far, far away.

This is a great gift for any sci-fi fan who wishes they were a Jedi, Mandolorian, Sith, or tough-as-nails bounty hunter. The 70 recipes cover a wide range of flavors, with highlights including Fried Endorian Tip-Yip (fried chicken with mashed potatoes and mixed veggies), Rings of Hudalla (bacon-wrapped onion rings), Mandalorian Uj Cake (a dense, nutty cake), and Huttese Slime Pods (spinach gnocchi). Dig in and may the fork be with you.

Price at time of publish: $35

Number of Recipes: 70 | Pages:176  | Date Published: 2019

Friends: Official Cookbook

The recipes and pictures in this official cookbook are as fun and irreverent as the show it’s based on. “Friends” took the world by storm in the 90s and still has a strong foothold in pop culture today. There are over 70 recipes in the book, many taken directly from iconic episodes—the entries even have episode numbers and titles for reference.

From the Just for Joey Fries Board to Jam-and-a-Spoon Scones to the infamous Moist Maker, the foods cover entrees, desserts, sides, and more. Though not every recipe features a picture, they all are well-organized and easy to read. Whoever your favorite Friend is, they no doubt have a fabulous recipe to try.

Price at time of publish: $30

Number of Recipes: 70+ | Pages: 176 | Date Published: 2020

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Supernatural: The Official Cookbook: Burgers, Pies, and Other Bites from the Road

So much of “Supernatural” is a celebration of American culture, from long road trips to roadside diners to Dean’s undying love of pie. This official cookbook of the monster-hunting show highlights iconic U.S. staples while tying them to equally iconic characters and episodes. The To-Die-For Chicago Pizza saved the city from the Horseman of Death, after all. There are truly indulgent recipes, including the Elvis Burger, which is a beef burger, peanut butter, bananas, and bacon sandwiched between two glazed doughnuts—ideal for Dean fans. There are also greener options for the Sams of the world, such as the Quake Salad Shake.

Recipes feature pictures from the show as well as pictures of the food, and episode quotes immerse the reader into the spooky world of the Winchester brothers. It’s an excellent gift for any superfan of the show.

Price at time of publish: $30

Number of Recipes: 50+ | Pages: 128 | Date Published: 2019

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Disney Villains: Devilishly Delicious Cookbook

Disney villains are supreme, and they deserve more of the spotlight. This “Devilishly Delicious Cookbook” features a suite of entrees, appetizers, drinks, and desserts inspired by the sinister silver screen stars. Of course, common recipes just won’t do—the dishes in this cookbook are both eye-catching and creative.

From Maleficent’s Dragon Deviled Eggs to Ursula’s Poor Unfortunate Rolls, the cleverly titled dishes are excellent for a movie marathon with family and friends. More than 50 recipes cover a wide range of food types, too, so there’s something for every occasion. Once you make an enticing dish, you’ll be saying “bad to the bone appetit.”

Price at time of publish: $20

Number of Recipes: 50+ | Pages: 128 | Date Published: 2021

Recipes from the World of Tolkien: Inspired by the Legends

Hobbits are well-known for their hearty appetites, and this cookbook covers their many meals, organized by breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, afternoon tea, and dinner, plus a bonus section for drinks. Food plays a pivotal role in Tolkien’s immersive worlds: There are over 75 recipes in this unofficial cookbook, inspired by the great works of the masterful fantasy author.

Recipes are accompanied by beautiful artwork, though sadly it doesn’t feature photographs. All the same, the recipe titles will delight any Lord of the Rings fan. There’s Bilbo’s Eleventy-First Birthday Cake, Beorn’s Warm Baked Cheese, The Prancing Pony’s Potato and Garlic Soup, the Mulled Wine of Moria, and, of course, Lembas Bread.

Price at time of publish: $20

Number of Recipes: 75+ | Pages: 176 | Date Published: 2020

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The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook

Ever wish you could eat like an aristocratic lord or lady? Fans of “Downton Abbey” can do just that thanks to this official cookbook written by food historian Annie Gray. (The recipes within are either featured in the show or were popular in the time period.) Sections are organized by occasion: breakfast, luncheons and suppers, afternoon tea and garden parties, picnics, festivities, upstairs dinner, downstairs dinner, and downstairs supper and tea.

The historically accurate recipes are accompanied by beautiful modern photography and are adapted to fit your everyday kitchen. Each entry also includes episode quotes and informative introductions. Culinary highlights include cornish pasty, oysters au gratin, quail and watercress, beef stew with dumplings, orange layer cake, and scones. There’s also a section on hosting, so you can create a high-class spread for a watch party.

Price at time of publish: $35

Number of Recipes: 100+ | Pages: 272 | Date Published: 2019

Golden Girls Cookbook: More than 90 Delectable Recipes from Blanche, Rose, Dorothy, and Sophia

Airing first in 1985 and running all the way to 1992, the show “Golden Girls” was a major, major hit. Even today, people resonate with the stories of Dorothy, Rose, Sophia, and Blanche. Since food plays such an important role in the show, it comes as no surprise that there’s a cookbook available. It’s peppered with episode pictures, witty comments from the girls, and lovely photography.

Interestingly, the cookbook isn’t organized by meal type, but has a chapter for each of the Golden Girls instead. For example, you’ll find Southern staples including honey-bourbon glazed carrots in Blanche’s chapter. Naturally, there are a few cheesecake recipes included.

Price at time of publish: $26

Number of Recipes: 90+ | Pages: 192 | Date Published: 2020

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The Bob's Burgers Burger Book: Real Recipes for Joke Burgers

It’s only natural that a smash-hit show like “Bob’s Burgers” would have a companion cookbook. What sets this cookbook apart from other pop culture-inspired recipe collections is that it’s written by the show creator and writers, with recipes invented by a superfan who created the popular blog: The Bob’s Burger Experiment. Each mouthwatering recipe features a ridiculous punny title, just like in the show. There’s the I Know Why the Cajun Burger Sings Burger, Don’t You Four Cheddar ‘Bout Me Burger, Free to Brie You and Me Burger, and Rest in Peas Burger.

There are also original illustrations of the entire Belcher family throughout the brightly-colored book. The 75 recipes that were featured in the show even have the episode and season number, so you can cook up a burger and watch while you enjoy.

Price at time of publish: $20

Number of Recipes: 75 | Pages: 128 | Date Published: 2021

The Nightmare Before Dinner: Recipes to Die For: The Beetle House Cookbook

“The Nightmare Before Dinner: Recipes to Die For” is the official cookbook of the Beetle House, a restaurant that delights in all things Tim Burton, Halloween, and horror. Haunting and playfully over the top, both the restaurant and cookbook are ideal for fans of the macabre. Some of the ghoulish goodies include Silence of the Lamb Chops, Hallowpeño Honey Cheddar Cornbread, Love It Pot Pie, the Beetle’s Juice, and Bloodbath Cobbler.

Each and every recipe comes with vegan substitutions, making it more accessible for horror fans with dietary restrictions. The thematic photographs inspire a spooky mood, perfect for setting the stage to a dinner and movie night. It’s showtime!

Price at time of publish: $25

Number of Recipes: 60+ | Pages: 164 | Date Published: 2018

The Scooby-Doo! Cookbook: Kid-Friendly Recipes for the Whole Gang

Scooby-Doo is known for his mystery solving, hijinks, and love of food, and this colorful cookbook is ideal for young fans of the Mystery Incorporated gang. It has over 25 recipes that cover desserts, entrees, snacks, and drinks. Everything is clean and easy to read, making it a great choice for tiny cooks to learn beginner kitchen skills.

Many of the recipe names are inspired by eerie villains or the gang’s favorite flavors. From Donut Demons and Mystery Map Pizzas to Villain Mask burgers and cartoonishly tall sandwiches, there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy. Recipes also feature helpful tips and substitution suggestions to make everything convenient and adaptable. Zoinks!

Price at time of publish: $24

Number of Recipes: 25+ | Pages: 64 | Date Published: 2020

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The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pizza Cookbook

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been delighting fans with their action-packed fights and surfer lingo since 1987. They’ve undergone many redesigns over the years, but one thing that remains constant in every version is the turtles’ love for pizza. This colorful comic-book inspired cookbook is great for TMNT and pizza lovers young and old. If you want to go above and beyond, there’s a gift set version of the cookbook that includes an apron and comes in a stylized pizza box.

The from-scratch recipes cover a wide range of flavors, including recipes for breakfast pizzas, party pizzas, and even dessert pizzas. The turtles make illustrated appearances throughout and offer fun facts and substitution tips along the way. Each recipe is well-organized and easy to follow, making it a great option for younger chefs. Some radical highlights include the Sewer Surfer (Hawaiian pizza), Pizza Potstickers, Four Cheese for Four Bros, and even a macaroni and cheese pizza. Cowabunga!

Price at time of publish: $25

Number of Recipes: 65 | Pages: 128 | Date Published: 2017

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Heroes' Feast (Dungeons & Dragons): The Official D&D Cookbook

Most D&D adventuring parties spend a lot of time in taverns, and now you can bring the cuisine of the game into real life. “Heroes’ Feast” is an official D&D cookbook filled with canonical lore and delicious recipes. Chapters are split up by race and go into the history of food and flavors within their cultures. There are entries for Elven Bread, Orc Bacon, Dwarven Mulled Wine, and Drow Mushroom Steaks among many others.

There are both themed photographs and original illustrations throughout the book, each more enticing than the last. It’s a great gift for your tireless DM or generous session host. You could even make a Potion of Restoration or Goodberry Blend and drink them when you heal your character. “Heroes’ Feast” is as immersive as it is delicious.

Price at time of publish: $35

Number of Recipes: 80 | Pages: 240 | Date Published: 2020

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The Necronomnomnom: Recipes and Rites from the Lore of H. P. Lovecraft

HP Lovecraft created some of the most enduring and striking horror creatures the world has ever known. Movies, TV shows, board games, books, and video games have been inspired by his macabre works, and now there are cookbooks, too. The hilariously titled “Necronomnomnom” (after Lovecraft’s grimoire “The Necronomicon”) features 50 recipes. Each entry comes with awe-inspiring illustrations that will send shivers down your spine.

Fans of Lovecraftian lore can enjoy dishes such as the Foul-Lafel, Sacrificial Lamb, Shogghoulash, and a twist on pigs in a blanket called Cultists in Robes. The entire book is written in character, as though the recipes are spells or rituals to commune with the Old Ones.

Price at time of publish: $30

Number of Recipes: 50 | Pages: 208 | Date Published: 2019

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The Elder Scrolls: The Official Cookbook

Even the most battle-hardened heroes need to eat. This cookbook based on the wildly popular “Elder Scrolls” video game franchise is a must-have for any fan. The recipes journey across all of Tamriel, with staple dishes from Morrowind, Skyrim, Elsewyr, and more. Each recipe is accompanied by stunning photography.

In addition to prep times, serving sizes, and pairing notes, the recipes also come with a level indicator to show how easy or difficult it is to make. Some require special ingredients or equipment that may be a bit pricey (such as a fermenting jug for the Black-Briar Mead or deer meat for the Orsimer Venison), but there are also plenty of everyday recipes, including Saltrice Porridge, Argonian Swamp Shrimp Boil, or the exemplary Sweet Roll. With this gorgeous cookbook, you can create a feast fit for the halls of Sovngarde.

Price at time of publish: $35

Number of Recipes: 60+ | Pages: 192 | Date Published: 2019

World of Warcraft: The Official Cookbook

For nearly two decades, “World of Warcraft” has taken players into the expansive realm of Azeroth, and now it’s the most popular MMORPG game on the planet, with around 2.5 million active players. There are over 100 recipes included in this formidable cookbook, including Horde favorites and Alliance staples. Each recipe has a level difficulty meter and comes with both original illustrations and photography of the food. As a bonus, there are also pairing suggestions for each entry so you can create a feast fit for a mighty warrior.

There are dedicated chapters for breads, soups and stews, spices, sides, mains, desserts, and drinks, with additional sections discussing dietary substitutions and nutritional information. There are hearty entrees, including the Dragonbreath Chili and Graccu’s Homemade Meat Pies, as well as lighter fare, such as Honey-Spiced Lichen and Kaldorei Pine Nut Bread. The drinks are also lore-accurate and look like tasty potions. If you end up loving this cookbook be sure to check out the sequel: “New Flavors of Azeroth.”

Price at time of publish: $35

Number of Recipes: 100+ | Pages: 216 | Date Published: 2016

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Feeding Hannibal: A Connoisseur's Cookbook

Hannibal Lecter is one of the most famous fictional villains of all time; his spine-chilling crimes span books, movies, and TV shows. This particular cookbook, “Feeding Hannibal,” is the official companion to the NBC show and features recipes created by the show’s food stylist, Janice Poon. Filled to the brim with behind-the-scenes stories, dramatic full-page photography, and helpful tips, it’s a must-have for any Fannibal.

The recipes are fit for Hannibal’s refined palate and can delight yours, as well. Each entry features the episode number it was featured in and brainstorm sketches from Poon herself. Some highlights include Arm Ham Wing, Heart Tartare Tarts, Pinhead Pork Belly, and Prosciutto Roses on Watermelon. Though Hannibal may claim that nothing at his dinner parties is vegetarian, the cookbook does in fact include vegetarian and vegan-friendly recipes, including the Vegetarian Pumpkin Lasagna al Dentures. Invite your friends to a dinner party, so long as they aren’t rude, that is.

Price at time of publish: $30

Number of Recipes: 135+ | Pages: 240 | Date Published: 2016

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Jurassic World: The Official Cookbook

“Jurassic World: The Official Cookbook” is designed to look and feel like a theme park souvenir. Not only are there dino-themed recipes, but the book also includes fun facts about dinosaurs, stylized photographs, and information about the titular park. Organized by meal type—including Eats for Herbivores, Carnivore Country, and the Jr. Paleontologist Menu—the cookbook features a wide variety of flavors and foods.

Many of the dishes don’t just share names with dinosaurs, they even look the part. For example, the Armored Artichoke Plates look like the spine of a stegosaurus. The T. Rex Kingdom Turkey Leg is hearty enough to satisfy the king of dinosaurs. The Splash Zone drink even looks like the toothy maw of a mosasaur, ready to devour a great white shark. “Jurassic Park” fans are sure to have fun with this cookbook.

Price at time of publish: $25

Number of Recipes: 50+ | Pages: 146 | Date Published: 2022

Dark Side of the Spoon: The Rock Cookbook

Ever listen to music while you cook? This illustrated cookbook combines rock and roll with familiar foods, all inspired by the icons of the industry. There’s Fleetwood Mac and Cheese, Smashing Pumpkin Pie, the Rolling Scones, Metallikatsu Curry, and Ramenstein. Each entry is accompanied by a truly eye-catching piece of artwork by a different up-and-coming artist.

It’s a smaller cookbook, to be sure, only featuring 30 recipes, but the flavor and punny names are well worth it. Every recipe has a difficulty rating designed to look like a volume knob, a time estimate labeled BPM, and a subtitle that nods towards famous songs. It’s a great gift for any rockstar chef. Just expect some drum solos featuring wooden spoons and pots while cooking.

Price at time of publish: $15

Number of Recipes: 30 | Pages: 96 | Date Published: 2017

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The Goldbergs Cookbook

Comedy and cuisine go hand-in-hand with this cookbook inspired by “The Goldbergs.” The matriarch of the quirky family is always cooking up a storm, and many of the recipes in this book are featured on the show. It’s a cookbook designed for the hungriest of fans, with a heavy emphasis on cheeses and meats, and only a handful of veggie-centric dishes. Beverly Goldberg herself pops up occasionally, offering a snarky comment alongside cooking instructions.

Episode numbers and titles accompany the recipes. For example, the Heavyweight Champion Lasagna is in season four, episode eight, “The Greatest Musical Ever Written.” There’s also the Hearty Seven-Meat Meatloaf (season three, episode seven), and Bev’s Perfect Momelette (season one, episode six). There are a few original creations just for the cookbook, including the Creamy Supreme Tater Tot Casserole.

Price at time of publish: $20

Number of Recipes: 70 | Pages: 160 | Date Published: 2020

The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook: Sweet Treats for the Geek in All of Us

Starting out as a baking hobbyist, Rosanna Pansino has since taken the world by storm. Not only does she have a wildly popular YouTube channel, but she’s also written several cookbooks, has a line of bakeware, and has appeared on multiple baking shows, even hosting a few. “The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook” is a New York Times bestseller and features original tasty creations, all of which have a fun and nerdy theme.

Though the cookbook doesn’t feature any specific pop culture franchises, unlike her YouTube series, the recipes can easily be adapted and decorated however you’d like. For example, you could put your favorite book titles on the adorable Textbook S’mores. The angular 20-Sided Dice Cookies are perfect for your group’s next D&D session. There’s an abundance of creative recipes, each clearly presented and easy to follow. Even though some of the decorations are more difficult than others, don’t worry: Pansino included templates for your convenience.

Price at time of publish: $30

256 | Date Published: 2015

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What to Look for in a Pop Culture Cookbook

Organized Layout

A messy cookbook is more of a headache than a help. When searching for one, be sure to preview the recipe layout before buying. Is there enough space between all of the elements? Are the direction steps numbered? Is it clean and not too busy? Browse through the pages and make sure everything is easy to read.

Well-Written Directions

A cookbook should detail each step of cooking a dish and do so with clarity. If you find yourself rereading a passage multiple times, it’s probably not written very well. Before purchasing a cookbook, read through a few recipes and see if it all makes sense to you.

Recipe Variety

Many cookbooks cover entrees, appetizers, sides, desserts, and drinks within their pages. That said, variety is more than just meal type. It could mean flavors from around the world, different difficulty levels, or recipes that fit certain diets. It’s important for a cookbook to cover a wide range of things so it’s approachable, engaging, and inclusive.


All cookbooks include recipes, but great cookbooks have a number of additional features. Photographs of food are popular, as are measurement conversion charts or substitution tips. With pop culture cookbooks, the extras are even more fun. Many cookbooks will contain behind-the-scenes anecdotes, fun lore facts, original illustrations, or commentary from actors and creators. These special touches can really elevate a cookbook.


How many recipes are in a cookbook?

There is no set rule for how many recipes a cookbook needs. Some might have more than 300 while others have fewer than 30. Most, however, seem to contain around 100 or so.

How do you store cookbooks?

Since cookbooks are meant for the kitchen, you may wonder how to store them properly. Cookbooks can be safely stored in cupboards, in a dedicated storage bin, on a small hanging bookshelf in the pantry, or simply tucked away on an empty corner on the counter. Whatever you choose, try to keep them dry and clean (though a few spots of sauce can add character to it).

What’s the difference between an official and unofficial cookbook?

When browsing pop culture cookbooks, you may come across the terms official or unofficial. An official cookbook means it’s published as a piece of franchise merchandise by the rights holder. For example, the “Heroes’ Feast: Dungeons & Dragons” is made by Wizards of the Coast, D&D’s publishing company.

An unofficial cookbook, on the other hand, isn’t directly connected to the franchise. The recipes in them may be inspired by pop culture, but they may not be able to include copyrighted materials such as photographs or certain names.

Neither is necessarily better than the other, though officially licensed cookbooks tend to contain fun copyrighted materials, behind-the-scenes stories, and accurate lore, and they can be considered collector’s items.

Why Trust the Spruce Eats?

Allison Wignall is a fanatic when it comes to pop culture. She speaks fluently in movie quotes, spends her weekends making D&D characters for fun, and regularly organizes video game tournaments with her friends. She combined her love of food and media in this pop culture roundup. Her work has been featured in publications including Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, and Southern Living. 

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