Food from Fiction: Recipes Inspired by Your Favorite Books Image

What do I love as much as books? Food.

So of course I’m always thrilled when these two things merge together. After all, good writing should offer a reflection of life, and what’s life without some delicious food?

We’ve put together a list of seven great literary recipes inspired by some of your favorite reads. In addition to the many other benefits of reading, you can now add a culinary education to the list.

7 Recipes Inspired by Literature

Wondering what to make for dinner tonight? Grab a book and a fork—these literary recipes will entertain your mind and your tastebuds.

1. Butterbeer from Harry Potter

butterbeer image

Photo courtesy of Doug Kline on Flickr.


Enjoy a delicious butterbeer after a long day of studying (or battling Lord Voldemort).

• 1 cup brown sugar
• 2 tbsp. water
• 6 tbsp. butter
• 1/2 tsp. alt
• 1/2 tsp. cider vinegar
• 3/4 cup heavy cream, divided
• 1/2 tsp. rum extract
• 4 bottles (12 oz. each) cream soda


1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar and water. Bring to a boil, stirring often until the mixture reads 240 F on a candy thermometer.

2. Stir in the butter, salt, vinegar and 1/4 cup heavy cream. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

3. Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the rum extract.

4. In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar mixture and the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream. Use an electric mixer to beat until just thickened, but not completely whipped, about 2–3 minutes.

5. To serve, divide the brown sugar mixture between 4 tall glasses (about 1/4 cup for each glass). Add 1/4 cup of cream soda to each glass, then stir to combine. Fill each glass nearly to the top with additional cream soda, then spoon the whipped topping over each.

Recipe from:

2. Strawberry Tarts from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

strawberry tart image

“In the next moment, her eyes fell on the White Rabbit that was serving the court as a herald and was reading the accusation that the Knave of Hearts had stolen the Queen’s tarts. In the middle of the court, a large platter of tarts was on display.”

Try these tempting strawberry tarts, inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. They’re the perfect addition to your afternoon tea party.


• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 1/3 cup powdered sugar
• 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
• 6 tbsp. salted butter, cubed
• 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
• 2 tsp. lemon zest plus 1 tbsp. fresh juice (1 lemon)
• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
• 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
• 1 tbsp. granulated sugar


1. Preheat oven to  350°F. Lightly grease 8 3 (3 1/2-inch) round, 1″-deep mini fluted pans with removable rims, and place on a large rimmed baking sheet. Process with flour, powdered sugar, and pistachios in a food processor until nuts are finely ground, about 1 minute. Add the cubed butter to processor, and pulse 6–8 times. Press about 4 1/2 tablespoons of the flour mixture on bottom and up sides of each tart pan.

2. Bake in oven until lightly browned, 15–20 minutes. Remove tart pans and cool on a wire rack about 30 minutes).

3. Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer at medium speed, until smooth. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and beat until well blended. Gently fold the whipped cream into cream cheese mixture until incorporated. Spoon about 5 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture into each tart shell. Cover tarts with plastic wrap, and chill 4–24 hours.

4. Toss together the sliced strawberries and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, and spoon on tarts just before serving.

Recipe from: Southern Living

3. Oysters Rockefeller Inspired by The Great Gatsby

oysters rockefeller image

Photo courtesy of Erik Anestad on Flickr.

Although not mentioned explicitly in the book, oysters Rockefeller would certainly make the perfect addition to a Great Gatsby-level 1920s bash (accompanied by a glass of champagne, of course, old sport).


• 3 dozen fresh oysters in the shell, washed
• 1 medium onion, finely chopped
• 1/cup butter, cubed
• 9 oz. fresh spinach, torn
• 1 cup grated Romano cheese
• 1 tbsp. lemon juice
• 1/8 tsp. black pepper
• 2 lbs. kosher salt


1. Shuck oysters, reserving bottom shell; set aside. In a large skillet, sauté onion in butter until tender. Add spinach; cook and stir until wilted. Remove from the heat; stir in the cheese, lemon juice and pepper.

2. Spread kosher salt into 2 ungreased 15”x10”x1” baking pans. Lightly press the oyster shells down into the salt. Place one oyster in each shell; top each with 2-1/2 teaspoons spinach mixture.

3. Bake, uncovered, at 450°F until oysters are plump, 6-8 minutes. Serve immediately.

Recipe from:

4. Tomato Sandwiches from Harriet the Spy

“‘Listen, Harriet, you’ve taken a tomato sandwich to school every day for five years. Don’t you get tired of them?’

Take a note from Harriet the Spy and enjoy the simple delight of a fresh tomato sandwich with bacon mayonnaise.


• 4 bacon slices (about 3 oz.), finely chopped
• 1/2 cup mayonnaise
• 2 tsp. chopped fresh chives
• 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
• 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
• 15 very thin white bread slices, crusts removed
• 1 large (8 oz.) red beefsteak heirloom tomato, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
• 1/4 tsp. black pepper
• 1 large (8 oz.) yellow heirloom tomato, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices


1. Place chopped bacon in a small nonstick skillet over medium; cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

2. Stir together bacon, mayonnaise, chives, zest, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt in a small bowl. Spread mayonnaise mixture on 10 bread slices. Layer 5 of the mayonnaise-coated bread slices with red tomato slices; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Top with remaining 5 mayonnaise-coated bread slices, coated side up; layer with yellow tomato slices, and sprinkle with remaining 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Top with remaining 5 bread slices.

3. Cut each sandwich into 4 pieces and serve immediately.

Recipe from: Southern Living

5. Burger and Eggs from The Rum Diary

burger with egg image

Photo courtesy of Samarth Singhai on Pexels.


“It was hamburger with eggs. When I came to San Juan Al’s menu consisted of beer, rum, and hamburgers. It was a pretty volatile breakfast, and several times I was drunk by the time I got to work. One day I asked him to get some eggs and coffee. At first he refused, but when I asked him again he said he would. Now, for breakfast, you could have an egg on your burger, and coffee instead of rum.”

Make breakfast more interesting with this recipe inspired from The Rum Diary(Your choice of rum or coffee, of course.)

• 1/3 lb. ground chuck
• 1-2 slices cheddar cheese
• 1/2 avocado, sliced
• 1 egg
• 1 sesame seed bun
• 11/2 tbsp butter
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• salt and pepper

For the sauce:

• 1/2 cup mayo
• 1 tbsp relish
• 1 tbsp white vinegar
• 1 tsp yellow mustard
• 1/2 tsp paprika
• 1/2 tsp garlic powder
• 1/2 tsp onion powder
• 1/2 tsp salt


1. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Refrigerate until ready to use.

2. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat and melt in 1/2 a tablespoon of butter. Place the buns in, cut side down, until golden brown. This will only take about a minute.

3. Using your hands, form the ground beef into a ball and then gently flatten it into a patty that is about a 1/4” thick. Try to make it slightly larger than your bun, as the patty will shrink slightly when it cooks. The exact thickness doesn’t matter, but if you go any thicker or thinner, adjust your cooking time accordingly. Generously season one side with salt and pepper.

4. Melt the rest of the butter into the skillet and place the burger in seasoned side down (to one side so there is room for the egg). Season the other side with salt and pepper.

5. After you flip your burger, place on the cheese so it can start to melt. While your burger is cooking, drizzle some olive oil onto the other side of the pan and fry the egg until the whites are firm but the yolk is still runny.

6. To build your burger, spread a layer of sauce on the bottom bun and then top with sliced avocado. Place the patty on with fried egg on top. Finally, put the top bun on, roll up your sleeves, and dig in.

Recipe from:

6. Clam Chowder from Moby-Dick

clam chowder image

Photo courtesy of Foodista on Flickr.

“However, a warm savory steam from the kitchen served to belie the apparently cheerless prospect before us. But when that smoking chowder came in, the mystery was delightfully explained. Oh, sweet friends! hearken to me. It was made of small juicy clams, scarcely bigger than hazel nuts, mixed with pounded ship biscuit, and salted pork cut up into little flakes; the whole enriched with butter, and plentifully seasoned with pepper and salt.”

Next time you’re stuck inside on a rainy day, grab your favorite book and cozy up with a warm bowl of delicious clam chowder, inspired by Moby-Dick.


• 4 center-cut bacon strips
• 2 celery ribs, chopped
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 3 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
• 1 cup water
• 1 bottle (8 ounces) clam juice
• 3 teaspoons reduced-sodium chicken bouillon granules
• 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
• 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 cups fat-free half-and-half, divided
• 2 cans (6-1/2 ounces each) chopped clams, undrained


1. In a Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove and place on paper towels to drain; set aside. Sauté celery and onion in the drippings until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the potatoes, water, clam juice, bouillon, pepper and thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

2. In a small bowl, combine flour and 1 cup half-and-half until smooth. Gradually stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.

3. Stir in clams and remaining half-and-half; heat through (do not boil). Crumble the cooked bacon; sprinkle over each serving.

Recipe from:

7. Cocktail Recipe: Jack Rose from The Sun Also Rises

jack rose image

Photo courtesy of Adrian Scottow on Flickr.

“Brett did not turn up, so about quarter to six I went down to the bar and had a Jack Rose with Jack the barman. Brett had not been in the bar either, and so I looked for her upstairs on my way out, and took a taxi to the Café Select.”

If you’re over 21, enjoy this bonus cocktail recipe, enjoyed by Jake Barnes in The Sun Also Rises.


• 50ml cider brandy, such as calvados or Somerset Cider Brandy
• 25ml lemon juice
• 25ml grenadine
• Ice


1. Shake all the ingredients together with ice.
2. Strain into a martini glass.

Recipe from: Delicious Magazine

Food in Literature

Books can transport you to new worlds and different times, but they can also take your tastebuds on a journey.

You don’t need your own show on the Travel Channel to discover new flavors. Simply look to your favorite books for inspiration, and start cooking!

What’s your favorite food scene in literature? Share it with us in the comments below!

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