Neurodivergent-Friendly Cookbooks and Sites

This post has two parts, but both are about resources to help neurodivergent people in the kitchen. One is a very exciting new cookbook coming out, and the other is a list of other beneficial cookbooks.

As a refresher – neurodivergent refers to a series of disabilities that comprise differences in brain structure. Neurodivergent people think and process differently from others. Some types of neurodivergence include autism, ADHD, OCD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, bipolar disorder, intellectual disabilities, and Tourette’s syndrome – among others. (I often use “neurodivergent” or the slang “neurospicy” to describe myself, since “I am autistic and have OCD” is a bit of a mouthful.) Neurodivergence is not always a disability – but it usually is, and like other disabilities, affects cooking.

A Book for Neurodivergent Folks by a Neurodivergent Author!

Cover of Color Taste Texture: Recipes for Picky Eaters, Those with Food Aversion, and Anyone Who's Ever Cringed at Food by Matthew Broberg-Moffitt. Has images of cinnamon rolls, chicken tenders, and kids at a party eating.
Broberg-Moffit’s book (Photo from Penguin Random House)

Good news: there is finally a cookbook coming out by a neurodivergent person, for neurodivergent people! Matthew Broberg-Moffitt is an autistic author who has written Color, Taste, Texture– a cookbook designed for neurodivergent and other cooks with food or texture aversions. These sensitivities are more than a dislike, and few cookbooks for adults effectively address this aspect. The recipes are varied, and meet various common aversions and sensory sensitivities. The book comes out in August; I urge you to pre-order it.

We neurodivergent folks often cook differently, as I have discussed in the past on this site. We experience the senses differently – and aversions and sensitivities often have a greater impact on us. In addition, we often cook with this sensory experience as front-and-center as taste, health, or craving. Yet few books and blogs address this reality – so Broberg-Moffitt’s book is very exciting. It will also be good to see both the way the recipes are presented, and what recipes are in the book. I am looking forward to seeing the book, and I expect to learn myself from this work.

Other Neurodivergent-Friendly Cookbooks

books file on book shelves
Photo by Gül Işık on

In addition, I wanted to highlight some additional cookbooks that I find to be particularly friendly for neurodivergent folks. Though they are not necessarily designed specifically for someone who is neurodivergent, they do offer things that are helpful – such as substitutions, clear directions, and recipes that do not depend on doing a certain thing a certain way. Note that you will need to read carefully to figure out what things you need for recipes.

Many of the recipes in these books are personal favorites. I hope you enjoy.


Ruby Tandoh’s Cook As You Are is one of the most neurodivergent-friendly cookbooks out there. She includes very detailed, clear directions and offers options if you have trouble with chopping, or standing, or a host of other things. She actively consulted neurodivergent people while creating the book. Her chili-stewed greens with black eyed peas are now a regular thing for me.

Leanne Brown’s Good Enough is a really good book on imperfect, do what you can cooking with some great ideas and suggestions – including a really great “assembly” bit that guides you through making food out of whatever you find around. I love the “TL;DR” summaries of recipes – but I recommend only using those if you have prior cooking experience.

Gwyn Novak’s How to Cook for Beginners is an excellent book for those of you just starting out in the kitchen. Even though I’ve been cooking almost my whole life, I myself found the book to have some good recipes.

Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything: The Basicshas lots of really wonderful, direct illustrations and directions and some good recipes as well. This book is a good resource, especially if you eat a lot of vegetables.

Tanorria Askew’s Staples+5 is an excellent cookbook filled with simple recipes, and has one of the best pantry-stocking lists I have seen.

Megan and Jill Carle’s College Cooking: Feed Yourself and Your Friends is a very neurodivergent-friendly guide for beginner cooks.


Woks of Life is a lovely site run by a Chinese-American family that has many delicious recipes, and teaches you the basic “building blocks” of traditional Chinese cooking. If you want detailed instructions on how to prepare a new ingredient, this site is a good place to check.

Just One Cookbook, by Namiko Chen, is an excellent and simple resource for all things Japanese cooking. The directions are straightforward, and she provides excellent advice on techniques – especially for basic things. I use this site all the time.

Jessica in the Kitchen, by Jessica Hylton,is an excellent vegan food blog with excellently explained recipes. This blog has some really wonderful recipes.

My Forking Life is an excellent blog with many quick recipes, including those that use air fryers and pressure cookers. Tanya, the author, also includes many of the Jamaican recipes she grew up with.

Laura Mauldin, a professor at the University of Connecticut, has a great website called Disability at Homethat catalogues all sorts of things disabled folks, including neurodivergent people, do to make life more accessible at home. Many of the kitchen things may help you – they have helped me!

Neurodivergent Cooking Crew is an excellent, very helpful Facebook group for neurodivergent cooks from all backgrounds.

Autistic readers, I encourage you to join Autism Meals, a food group on Facebook for autistic folks. NOTE: You do need to be autistic to join.


Nadiya Hussain’s Time to Eat has lots of simple, straightforward recipes – many of which use prepared food products such as pre-peeled garlic or packaged cooked beets. The accompanying book is great too.

It’s a bit dated, but Alton Brown’s Good Eats is a really fun show where you can learn about the science of food. My sister and I watched it a lot as kids.

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