The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family CookbookAmerica’s Test Kitchen is known for their recipes. More specifically, they’re known for how comprehensively they test and retest recipes to find the perfect balance of ingredients and cooking methods to turn out some of the best recipes you can find. In their newest book. The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook, the test kitchen set their sights on making some of their favorite recipes – and your favorite recipes – lighter and healthier. They tried to do this while keeping the recipes flavorful and the finished products as close as possible to their “regular” counterparts – and they did it for hundreds of recipes in this 500+ page book.

The cookbook covers everything from kitchen staples made lighter to main dishes, giving you recipes for Homemade Ranch Dressing and and Oven Fried Chicken. It is also full of baked goods and seemingly indulgent desserts, like a made over New York Style Cheesecake with a third of the fat of the classic recipe! The recipes are detailed and easy to follow along with, and the step-by-step photos that accompany many of them help out a lot! The best part of the book, as with any publication from America’s Test Kitchen, is that they walk you through the development of the recipe, letting you know why they chose the ingredients and cooking methods they did and why they work. True, you might want to make a substitution here and there – maybe adding orange zest to that cheesecake instead of lemon – but you know that it is going to turn out as advertised.

This book is hard cover and spiral bound, so it will lay flat on the kitchen counter while you cook from it and it should hold up to at least a few ingredient spills, as well. There are an incredible amount of notes about ingredients, including recommendations on specific brands to that the Test Kitchen likes to use and definitions of ingredients that you might not be intimately familiar with already. There are also lots of asides about cooking and baking equipment, both in the form of recommendations on what tools you should stock in your kitchen and in the form of reviews that let you know which nonstick pan is better than the others. This is the kind of book that you’ll get a lot of use out of because it has something for every meal and every occasion, and there is an incredible amount to learn from the book (especially, I think, from how the recipes were tested) for even experienced cooks.

I tested the Lighter Everyday Cinnamon Rolls from this cookbook – and stay tuned for the recipe for the lightened New York Style Cheesecake!


  1. I just watched an episode of America’s Test Kitchen and tried their Crunchy Potato wedges and can’t wait to try more. WOuld love the book.

  2. I love America’s test kitchen! So many great recipes to choose from, but one of my favorites is the french style stuffed chicken breasts from Cook’s Illustrated.

  3. You can always count on ATK’s for delicious, no-fail recipes. One of my favorites is their “Restaurant Style Hummus.”

  4. Chicken Bouillabaisse is my most recent Cooks Illustrated recipe.

  5. My favorite recipe is for their Old Fashioned Chocolate Layer cake. OMG nom nom nom!!

    And now I want this for breakfast.

  6. My newest favorite is the French Chicken In A Pot. Made this last week and while it was the ugliest roasted chicken I ever made, husband declared it the best tasting and LOVED the jus that came as a bonus with this EASY recipe.

  7. Pasta e Fagioli from Season 5: Simple Soups!

  8. Watching “America’s Test Kitchen” reminds me of Home Economics class in high school, along with a couple of the bigger, more commercial-size kitchens I worked in during my high school years. Each time they make a recipe, it’s a whole new “insite” on how to make something so “basic” become more of a “masterpiece.” Some of the cooks even like to get into “character” for the subject that they are focusing on.

    My friends recently got a copy of the TV Show Cookbook from Seasons 2001-2011 (yes, it includes this years season of episodes/recipes). What I really like is the “Behind the Scenes” articles that they include every so often, giving the reader a better idea of how the show works. The recipes in the book are very easy to figure out with the step-by-step instructions. What’s even more interesting is when they include FULL recipes for the variations of a similar recipe (ie. Chicken & RIce). As much as I begged my friends to loan me the book for a…”few days,” I know it would be better if I end up having a copy of my own. ;)

  9. Lentil Soup!!!
    My mother use to cook this and I could not stand it! I would try to eat with friends whenever I knew she was preparing this soup.
    When my husband of 29 years had dental surgery last year I ask him what he would like to eat and his answer was: lentil soup! I could not believe this and he changed his mind because I told him my lovestory with lentil soup again – but Cooks Illustrated came to the rescue and I actually love this soup now and my husband was happy!

  10. My husband and I have tried the Monkey bread recipe (Being faithful TV show watcher from the begging,don’t tell our age!) out of 27 recipes tested none compare.I have been a scratched cook for 45 years and THIS IS THE ONE! Gooey,buttery,melted cinnamon and perfect dough laying in your mouth.YUMMY Never fail recipes from you guys.Have all cook books,magazines.Thanks guys.

  11. Ever since I started to chart the food intake from ATK recipes, I found out it was loaded of calories and cholesterols. I found out 1 cup of the Beef Stew from the 2011 Best recipe, it was loaded with approximately 680 cal. Cholesterol was approximately 100ish mg. Oh my goodness.

    I was wondering if this ATK Healthy recipes would be as tasty but lighter.

  12. I love Cooks Illustrated chocolate chip cookie!! They are amazing and I haven’t found another chocolate chip cookie I love as much since!!!

  13. hard to pick just one recipe! one of my favorites is their penne alla vodka. would love to win the book :)

  14. My family loves their pancakes. They have so many great recipes!

  15. Probably my favorite recipe from the Cooks Illustrated folks is their Light Lemon Bundt Cake – I add 3 T poppyseeds so it’s a Lemon Poppyseed Cake when I’m done with it, but it’s been a huge hit every time I’ve made it and doesn’t taste “light” at all!

  16. I love ATK, I have used recipes off their website when need a no fail recipe. I love the lighter cheesecake and the crispy chicken fingers. My daughter will not regular chicken nuggets (yea), but she loves these. The perfect chocolate cake that I saw on the show, made my baking perfect! Love it all,but especially the product reviews.

  17. The blueberry pie with the vodka pie crust. It has never failed me and folks tell me it is the perfect blueberry pie. Would love the book. Thanks.

  18. My favorite has to be their parmesan-crusted chicken. It is so good! In fact, I think I’ll be making it for dinner tonight. :D

  19. Thank you, America’s Test Kitchen, for working with these family favorites so they become healthy family favorites instead!

  20. the brownies and cheesy potatoes

  21. We had the All-American Chili (ATK Healthy book) at my mother’s house. She had some in her freezer and defrosted it for us, adding little fresh ground turkey meatballs. It was wonderful! She did the low sodium version and used her own chicken broth (also in the ATK book). I have the recipe now and will make this healthy version soon.

  22. I love ATK! I am a cake-girl…their chocolate cake recipe is my signature desert!

  23. Their chili is so good – it’s my go-to recipe. :)

  24. My favorite so far is the German Chocolate Cake.

  25. I have to vote for the Popovers. So light and lovely – it is a great side to a steak dinner.

  26. Monkey bread….yum

  27. all time favorite recipe would be the all american meatloaf. everyone just loves it.

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