We’ve been keeping on top of all the cooking questions you’ve been asking the last couple of weeks and we really want to help you with them. From the basics of baking to veg cooking tips, guidance on storecupboard staples and classic recipes, we are answering all your cooking questions in one place. We’re going to keep checking your questions and adding more each day, so bookmark the page and come back for more. Read on to become more confident in the kitchen and find the answers to the cooking queries on your mind.
The first time you bake your own loaf, it can seem daunting, but we've got all the recipes you need to learn to make homemade bread – from a step-by-step basic white loaf recipe or a batch of homemade bread rolls, to experimenting with a plaited wholemeal spelt loaf. If you don’t have any yeast, try making soda bread or these 3-ingredient spiced flatbreads, perfect for dunking in dips, tagines or curries. If you've only got a small amount of flour, try making cornbread using polenta or fluffy cloud breads with no flour at all.
Still got more bread questions? Head to our bread Q&A for all your bread baking questions answered.
If you are getting into baking, scones are a brilliant starting point. A basic scone recipe requires just butter, flour, sugar and milk for a simple dough – follow our perfect scone recipe, then top generously with cream and jam (you choose which goes first!). Once you’ve mastered the classic, try adding different flavours, from Marmite and bacon for savoury twist to sweet blueberries.
Run out of pasta and searching for an alternative? Making homemade gnocchi is simpler than you think and a perfect kitchen project for a quiet weekend. Follow our step-by-step homemade gnocchi recipe for all the top tips on making this classic Italian dish. The gnocchi itself needs just four ingredients, then add your favourite pasta sauce.
Need a sweet treat for one? Make the most of your microwave and whip up a quick cake in a mug – perfect for when you’re running low on baking ingredients or need something sweet fast. Take your pick from a molten chocolate cake, blueberry cobbler or jam doughnut cake – all made in a mug and ready in under 10 mins.
If you’ve run out of tinned chickpeas, you can use dried – these are particularly good for making a super creamy houmous. There are two methods for soaking dried chickpeas, depending how much time you have. To long-soak, tip into a bowl and cover with plenty of water, then leave overnight to absorb the water, swell and soften. If you’re short on time, tip into a saucepan, bring to a boil for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and leave to soak for 1 hour. Adding bicarbonate of soda to the water (1 tbsp per 500g chickpeas) helps soften the skins. Once soaked, use as you would use tinned.
A classic white sauce is the start to lots of family favourite recipes, from macaroni cheese to a hearty lasagne. For a basic white sauce, allow 40g each of butter and plain flour per 500ml milk. Melt the butter, then add the flour and stir for 1 min. Gradually pour in the milk, stirring well between each addition for a smooth sauce. Season and simmer for 5 mins, stirring constantly, until thickened.
Lots of people are trying out new grains right now as hearty, easy ways to feed the family and keep in the cupboard. Bulgur wheat can be used in salads just like couscous – simply boil for 10-15 mins until tender (or cover with boiling water and leave to soak for 20 mins for a more hands-off method). Then you can add your flavours, salad dressing and extra ingredients that you have on hand, and the bulgur wheat acts as a neutral, nutty base to absorb all the flavours. Serve plain alongside tagines or swap the water for stock and pack with flavour in this lamb and bulgur wheat pilaf.
Risotto might seem intimidating, but all it requires is a bit of patience and a lot of stirring. A basic risotto begins with a softened onion and risotto rice to which stock is added, a ladleful at a time. Keep stirring until the stock is fully absorbed between each addition and keep adding stock until the rice is cooked through. Adding the stock slowly and stirring constantly helps the rice cook slowly and release the starch for a creamy final dish. Follow our step-by-step recipe for a spring veg risotto, add meatballs, mushrooms, roasted tomatoes or experiment with any of your favourite veg.
Learn to cook a jacket potato and you’ll always have an easy dinner. A quick 10-12 minutes in the microwave will cook a potato through if you are in a rush. If you’ve got longer, start the potato in the microwave for 5-10 minutes, then place in the oven at 200°C for 30-35 minutes for the skin to crisp up. Top with tuna, beans or your filling of choice!
Bubble and squeak is a British classic, and a great way to prevent leftovers going to waste. Traditionally made from mashed potato and cabbage, any leftover cooked veg (especially from a Sunday roast) can be mixed into leftover mash, shaped into potato cakes and fried until crispy on the outside. Top with a poached egg for breakfast or serve with sausages at dinner.
Memorise the ratio for how to make a crumble and you’ll always be able to make a pudding for the whole family. Follow the basic ratio of 3:2:1 of flour, butter and sugar and rub together until it forms large breadcrumbs. Using brown sugar will add a rich caramel flavour, demerara will add extra crunch, or stir extra flavours into your crumble topping such as oats, chopped nuts, crushed amaretti or gingernut biscuits. Then just scatter over your chosen fruit – apple, rhubarb or plums are all great depending on what’s in season. We’ve collected our 10 best crumble recipes to get you started.
Make pancakes easily by using this easy 3:2:1: ratio – simply whisk together 300ml milk, 2 eggs and 100g plain flour for a smooth pancake batter (will make about 8 thin pancakes). Pour a thin layer into a frying pan and fry for about 1 minute until beginning to turn golden around the edges, then flip and cook until golden. Time to add toppings – will you go sweet or savoury?
You can’t make an omelette without cracking a few eggs! Whether for a weekend breakfast or quick lunch, an omelette is a great way to use up odds and ends from the fridge. Whisk together 2 eggs per person with a touch of seasoning – you could also add chopped herbs or a touch of spice for extra flavour. Melt butter in a pan and tip in the eggs, leave to cook for 1-2 minutes until starting to set. Add any fillings (e.g. grated cheese or ham), flip and cook for 30 seconds until fully set. For dinner, try this veg-filled ratatouille omelette or make this fluffy berry omelette for a brunch treat.
Spend an afternoon baking a batch of cookies. Not sure where to start? These egg-free cookies with banana and oats require just 3 ingredients. Basic cookie recipes start by creaming butter and sugar, adding eggs, then stirring in flour to form a dough. Then it’s time to get creative with flavours! Try chocolate cookies, oat and raisin or recreate biscuit tin favourites from custard creams to jammy dodgers with our top biscuit recipes.
Pearl barley is a grain with a neutral, nutty taste and a distinctive chewy texture. It is most commonly added to soups and stews, where it adds texture and absorbs all the flavours from the liquid. It can also be used as an alternative to risotto rice. Rinse the grains before cooking, then add straight to liquid – a broth, stew, or just plain water if using for a salad – and simmer for about 30 minutes until tender. Take your pick of our best pearl barley recipes, from hearty tagines to colourful salads.
If you’re missing the chips from the fish and chip shop or fast food favourite, try making them at home. Homemade chips are easy with this perfect chips recipe, use sweet potatoes for homemade sweet potato wedges or skinny fries. Don’t have any potatoes? Use veg for parsnip shoestring fries or baked aubergine chips, or make cheesy melting halloumi fries.
Need some comfort food right now? Cook a Camembert whole for a melting, gooey cheese treat – perfect for dunking toast, crudité or boiled potatoes. For an easy Camembert fondue, stud a Camembert with herbs, drizzle with oil and bake for 15-20 mins until fully melted. For even more indulgence, bake a Camembert pie or hollow out a loaf for a Camembert-filled sourdough that cooks in 25 mins.
Want to learn to cook a brunch classic at home? Here’s 5 top tips for making the perfect poached egg.
1. Make sure your eggs are fresh, as this will help them hold their shape as they cook (egg white gets thinner as the egg gets older).
2. If you’re a novice, crack your egg into a small bowl or mug first to make it easy to quickly tip into the water.
3. Add a touch of vinegar to the pan – this helps the egg white firm faster, giving you the perfect golden runny yolk.
4. Stir the water to create a whirlpool before adding the egg – this will help the white wrap more neatly around the yolk.
5. Keep the water at a gentle simmer – if it is a strong rolling boil, the egg will get knocked around too much,
Once you’ve got the perfect egg, use to top toast, waffles or even add to a bowl of soup.
Make pizzas at home with the kids for a fun weekend activity that is far cheaper than going out for a meal would be. For the pizza dough, mix 500g strong bread flour with 7g fast action yeast, 1 tsp sugar, 2 tbsp olive oil and ½ tsp salt. Pour in 325ml warm water, mix to form a dough, knead for 10 mins, then leave covered in a warm place for 1 hour until doubled in size. Knock out the air, divide into 4 and roll out, then add your favourite toppings and bake for 10 mins at gas 7, 220°C, 200°C (preheat a baking tray for a super crispy base) until the crust is golden. No flour? Make a cauliflower pizza base instead – a great way to pack in extra veg!
Cook a frittata to use up spare eggs and make the most of odds and ends of veg you might have in the fridge. Frittatas can be made with however many eggs you have left – just whisk together well, add a splash of milk to loosen, then stir through your chosen flavours. Try chopped ham, leftover cooked veg or any of these simple frittata recipes. A spoonful of pesto or chopped herbs is a quick way to flavour the eggs. Bake until just set and golden round the edges, then enjoy warm for dinner or cold in lunches the next day.
If you’ve never made a cake before, start with a classic Victoria sponge recipe. The secret ratio for making a Victoria sponge is to use the same weight of eggs, flour, sugar and butter. Weigh your eggs, then match the remaining ingredients to this. Mastered this? Try baking a rich chocolate cake, classic lemon drizzle or retro upside-down cake.
If they aren’t the usual cut you’d buy, we’ve got plenty of chicken drumstick recipes to keep you inspired. Chicken drumsticks are a wallet-friendly, versatile cut of chicken to try – use in place of chicken thighs in traybakes, coat in a sticky barbecue marinade or even make homemade fried chicken.
Got too many rapidly ripening bananas? Banana bread is a hugely popular bake right now so get baking with your your stash of fruit – we’ve got all the banana cake recipes you’ll need. Try a vegan banana bread without eggs or butter, experiment by making mini banana cakes or adding avocado, or bake a gluten-free banana bread if you have special dietary requirements.
A sweet treat that doesn’t need flour or eggs? Make fudge at home with our step-by-step fudge recipe that uses just four ingredients. A square of this rich, crumbly classic is the perfect TV snack to make when you have time in the kitchen. Mastered the classic? Make salted caramel fudge, shape it into bars or try our chocolatey vegan fudge recipe.
Make cauliflower cheese with your next Sunday roast for an extra comforting side. Follow our step-by-step classic cauliflower cheese recipe simply uses briefly boiled cauliflower florets, tossed in a rich cheese sauce made from butter, flour, milk and cheese then baked until golden and bubbling. Go even more indulgent by adding truffle oil or add extra veg with this kale-cauliflower cheese.
Learn how to cook roast potatoes and your Sunday roasts will be instantly improved. Here’s our top tips for perfect roasties every time:
1. Choose Maris Piper potatoes if you can – they’re floury enough to give a fluffy middle, but still crisp up nicely.
2. Parboil until just cooked, then shake well in the colander once drained. This fluffs up the outsides for perfect crispy edges.
3. Add a few tablespoons of flour to the potatoes after draining – this will help absorb any extra moisture for extra crunch once roasted.
4. Spread the potatoes on evenly on a tray so they are not touching – this will ensure the potatoes go fully golden and crunchy all the way round rather than steam whilst cooking.
Craving your favourite fast food? Make burgers at home, where you can add as many extra toppings as you like! Divide a pack of 500g beef mince into 4 and shape into patties for a classic thick burger, or into 6 for thinner patties that you can stack. Mix in dried herbs, garlic or grated onion for an extra boost of flavour before frying and don’t forget to season with salt and pepper. We’ve gathered our favourite burger recipes here for inspiration, or try veggie burgers instead if you’ve got tins of beans to use.
If you are searching how to cook couscous, we've got all the recipes you need. Couscous just needs a quick soak until it becomes tender, ready for salads or as a simple side to tagines. To cook couscous, place it in a small heatproof bowl and just cover with boiling water. At this stage you can also add extra flavours such as vegetable stock powder, lemon zest, seasoning and olive oil. Cover and leave to absorb for 5-10 minutes until the couscous has absorbed the liquid, fluffed up and is tender. Use a fork to fluff up the couscous and add remaining flavours – check our top couscous recipes for inspiration.
Looking for a quick and easy 3-ingredient bake? Shortbread is the answer. A basic shortbread recipe needs just butter, flour and sugar – try this one with added orange zest, or swap in your favourite flavours. Once you’ve got the basics, take it up a notch – add icing, make it millionaire’s shortbread or go savoury with crumbly Manchego shortbread.
Searching for salmon inspiration? There are plenty of ways to cook salmon fillets. This versatile, delicate can be quickly pan-fried for 5-8 minutes until just cooked through (start skin-side down, then turn halfway through cooking), poached in water, stock or creamy sauce for 10 mins or roasted in the oven for 20 mins until caramelised. Take your pick from our top 10 easy salmon recipes. Made too much? Check out our leftover salmon recipes.
Have perfectly fluffy (not soggy) basmati rice every time with the simple absorption method for how to cook rice. Measure your rice then add double the volume of water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer on a low heat for 10 mins until the rice has absorbed the liquid and is tender. Serve with curries or make the star of the show in these varied rice recipes. Leftover rice doesn’t need to be wasted – make homemade fried rice by reheating until crispy and piping hot and adding your favourite veg or top with an egg.
Dried spaghetti cooks in 8-10 mins to be al dente – always check your pack instructions as brands can vary. Fresh spaghetti will cook much faster – test a strand after 2 mins. Season the water generously with salt and use a large saucepan with plenty of water, kept at a rolling boil, to keep the pasta moving and help it stop sticking. Not sure what to do with spaghetti? Make a veggie pesto, add some veg, or recreate Italian classics with homemade carbonara or pasta puttanesca.
Cook sweet potatoes just like you would white potatoes – mash them, roast them, layer them into a dauphinoise or load them up as jacket potatoes. With a sweet, nutty flavour, sweet potatoes count as one of your 5-a-day and make a good change from standard Maris Pipers. From a delicate tart to crunchy fritters or a hearty curry, we’ve got all the sweet potato recipes you need.
Searching what to do with leeks? Use them instead of white or spring onions in the base of soups and risottos – they are all part of the allium (onion) family and will soften, caramelise and add flavour to the beginning of your dinner. Alternatively, make them the star of the show with this collection of leek recipes, from simple pastas and pies to crispy fritters or whole grilled leeks.
If you’re wanting to mix up your veg rotation, pick up a packet of pak choi. Pak choi is part of the cabbage family with crisp leaves and a crunchy stem, and is commonly found in Chinese cooking. Try using instead of spinach or kale as a side, or adding it to your next veggie stir fry. It does not take long to cook pak choi – slice and add it to stir-fries, steam for 5 mins until softened or simmer for 2-3 mins. Serve alongside noodles, add to grain bowls or char on the barbecue – we’ve got all the pak choi recipes you need to make the most of this versatile veg.
Swede is an underrated root veg that can be used in exactly the same way as turnips, potatoes or parsnips. To cook swede, you can cut into chunks and roast it for 40 mins until tender, mash it, add it to curries or traybakes – you can even use it in brownies!
If you’re looking to make pastry, filo and puff pastry are complicated and are best to buy (shop-bought puff pastry made with oil is vegan too, check the ingredients when you pick up a pack). For something a little easier, a simple shortcrust pastry is a great starting point for homemade bakes – from quiches to treacle tarts. Follow our step-by-step recipe on how to make shortcrust pastry, then use as the base for a savoury or sweet tart (you can replace 2 tbsp flour with 2 tbsp icing sugar if making a sweet tart).
Peak season for British broad beans is in the summer (June to September) but you can buy frozen all year round. Not sure how to cook broad beans? Ideally, beans should be double podded – simmer the beans for 2 mins, drain and allow to cool, then use your nail to break the skin and release the bright green bean within. This step is not completely necessary if you don’t mind the slightly leathery skin, but it gives extra creamy results and is necessary if you want to mash or blitz the beans. Use broad beans instead of peas or take a look at our best broad bean recipes for inspiration.
Rich, creamy potato dauphinoise is the ultimate indulgent side dish. Learn how to cook it with our step-by step recipe for whenever you need comfort food. Thinly sliced potatoes and softened onion are layered with milk and cream infused with garlic and herbs, then topped with cheese and baked until tender, golden and bubbling. We also have a sweet potato dauphinoise recipe for something a little different.
There are two main types of cheesecake – chilled cheesecake or baked cheesecake. Chilled cheesecakes are the easiest method, as the filling just requires mixing and leaving to set in the fridge (sometimes with gelatine added to help the set). For super creamy results try this chocolate and caramel cheesecake for Easter or a floral Turkish delight cheesecake. Baked cheesecakes have eggs added to the filling and are baked in the oven until firm with just a slight wobble. Take a look at our best cheesecake recipes to pick your favourite.
As the first sunny days start to appear, lots of you are getting out the barbecue for the first time. Need a veggie option? Cook halloumi until golden and charred – simply slice thickly and lay on lightly oiled barbecue for 1-2 mins each side until char marks appear. Use barbecued halloumi to top a healthy salad, skewer on lamb kebabs (if not veggie), or grate into halloumi, carrot and courgette burgers.
No summer barbecue is complete without a coleslaw on the side. Make coleslaw at home and adapt to include your favourite veggies and dressing. If you don’t like mayo, use yogurt or soured cream for the dressing and experiment with veg – try coleslaw with horseradish and fennel for extra heat, or sneak in some blue cheese for extra indulgence.
Flatbreads are great for serving with curries, using as wraps or for scooping up dips. This 3-ingredient flatbread recipe uses just flour, water and oil, then you can sprinkle with spices for extra flavour. If you’ve fired up the barbecue, add this quick coriander flatbread recipe or if you’ve got a little extra time, use baking powder for lift in fluffy flatbreads to serve with smoky baba ganoush or your favourite dip.
Are you one of the many rediscovering your barbecue favourites as the weather gets warmer? Cook corn on the cob for a sweet and smoky summer classic. Simply barbecue corn cobs whole and brush with melting Parmesan and basil butter or try Jamie Oliver’s supercharged corn on the cob recipe. For something different, turn your barbecued corn into this smoky sweetcorn relish.
When you can’t take the kids out for dinner, make chicken nuggets at home – sure to be a crowd-pleaser! Our classic chicken nuggets recipe makes an easy and healthy dinner for the weekend, using crushed cornflakes and eggs (you could use milk if you don’t have eggs) to create a crispy coating for the nuggets. Don’t have cornflakes? Try crunchy quinoa-coated nuggets instead!
Craving other fast food classics? Read our Q&A on how to make all your favourite fast foods at home, from kebabs to pizzas.
If you want to know how to make spaghetti Bolognese at home, follow Jamie Oliver’s ultimate basic Bolognese recipe with all the key components to this family classic: tender mince, plenty of hidden veg and a rich tomato sauce, cooked down slowly. You can leave out the lentils, add whatever veg or herbs you have and scale the quantities up and down as you need – Bolognese sauce freezes brilliantly. You can even make a Bolognese in the slow cooker if you have one. You don’t have to serve your Bolognese sauce with spaghetti – try having it on a jacket potato or even spooning small amounts onto homemade pizza instead of tomato sauce and topping with mozzarella.
If you are trying to get more fish into your diet at home, try learning how to cook haddock. The simplest way to cook haddock is to quickly pan-fry haddock fillets: add to a hot, oiled pan and fry for 4-5 mins per side until a crust has formed and the fish is flaking and just cooked through. Our collection of haddock recipes has all the inspiration you need, from homemade fish and chips to comforting pies, stews and a kedgeree recipe with a twist.
Can’t find haddock in the shops but have got some cod? These white fish both have a neutral flavour and firm, flaky texture so are easily interchangeable. The mild flavour makes cod great for pairing with stronger ingredients – try these easy Thai fish parcels, quick fish tacos or a Spanish-inspired traybake. Looking for classic cod recipes? Make homemade fishcakes or fish fingers for the kids.
Craving an Italian classic and still got some pasta in the cupboard? Treat yourself and make a carbonara for dinner. The crucial ingredients to a classic carbonara are much debated – traditionally made with just eggs and Parmesan, some people now add cream for even more richness or use ham or bacon instead of the usual pancetta. We’ve added extra veg to our carbonara recipes, so choose from ham and pea carbonara, tomato carbonara or a bacon and broccoli twist.
If you are missing your restaurant favourites, why not make a katsu curry at home? Katsu curry is a classic Japanese dish, usually served with breaded chicken or pork. The rich curry sauce is sweet, rich and lightly spicy with softened veg, ginger, garlic and curry powder – follow our chicken katsu curry recipe to try it out or make a vegan katsu curry if you don’t eat meat.
How to cook noodles will depend on the type of noodles you’ve got. Fresh egg noodles take 1-2 mins to cook and can be added straight to broths or stir-fries and cooked until fully heated through. Dried egg or wholewheat noodles need to be simmered until softened for 4-5 mins, whilst rice noodles are super fine and can be left to soak for just 2 mins in boiling water until soft. Cook noodles directly in the final broth or soup so they can absorb maximum flavour – but if you are planning to save some for leftovers, cook the noodles separately as otherwise they will continue to soak up the sauce in the fridge. Take your pick of our 10 easy noodle recipes to get started.
If you are searching for something to bake without eggs, why not make flapjacks? These versatile bakes make the most of storecupboard ingredients with a common base of golden syrup, oats and butter – showing that you can bake without flour! Bake a batch for an elevenses snack or afternoon pick-me-up. Add a swirl with peanut butter or chocolate for a true sweet treat, or add any dried fruit, nuts or seeds that you have in the cupboard. Take a look at our favourite flapjack recipes to get you started.
As the weather starts to get warmer, we start to look for refreshing recipes to cool us down – homemade lemonade is just what you need. Make a big jug of classic homemade lemonade using just three ingredients and sip your way through a sunny afternoon. Next up, try our pink lemonade recipe made with blitzed raspberries (you can use fresh or frozen) for a pretty spin on the classic. After all, when life gives you lemons…
If you are looking for something simple to make with the kids, rice crispy cakes are the place to start. Make our easy chocolate rice crispy cakes recipe with just butter, marshmallows, rice krispies and chocolate on top – a quick bake with no eggs or flour needed. More of a cornflakes family? Make crunchy chocolate cornflake cakes instead.
If you don’t have rice or you’re just looking for a healthier alternative, make cauliflower rice instead. Blitz up a raw cauliflower in the food processor (or grate on a box grater) until it forms a small crumb, then use instead of rice for a gluten-free alternative and easy way to add extra veg to your meals. You can eat cauliflower rice raw in a healthy salad, grill along with cauliflower leaves for a no-waste dinner or stir-fry for veggie egg-fried cauliflower rice.
Take advantage of extra time in the mornings to make yourself a healthy breakfast – make porridge for a hearty way to start the day that will keep you full until lunchtime. Porridge is easy to adapt to what you have and like – the porridge base can be made with water, milk, non-dairy milks and even a splash of cream if you’re feeling indulgent. You can even replace some of the basic oats with quinoa or flaxseed. Then top with fruit, jam, nuts or seeds. We’ve got plenty of recipes to get you started: choose from blueberry and coconut, spiced plum and almond or a slow-cooker tropical fruit variation.
Swap your classic British cup of tea for an iced tea to keep cool as the temperature rises. Iced tea is simply made by leaving tea to steep with a touch of sugar in hot water, then chilling and serving cold over ice. Follow our classic iced tea recipe with a touch of lemon, then experiment with flavours and different teas – try a fruity peach, mint and vanilla chai iced tea or a honeysuckle peach iced tea for something a little sweeter.
Have a cocktail hour at home and master some classic cocktail recipes, starting with a margarita. A margarita is made with tequila, Cointreau (an orange liqueur), lime juice and plenty of ice for a refreshing 3-ingredient cocktail. Follow our classic margarita recipe, then later in summer try an icy watermelon margarita for a fruity alcoholic slushie.
Scrambled eggs are a versatile staple recipe that work for breakfast, lunch or dinner. A very basic scrambled eggs recipe can be made by simply whisking together beaten eggs (use 2-3 per person) and adding to a saucepan or frying pan with a knob of butter and pinch of salt over a medium heat. Stir constantly until they reach your desired level of cooked – soft, creamy eggs will only take 30 seconds-1 minute, but you can keep cooking for firmer eggs if you like. Add extra flavours with chopped herbs (chives work well), spices or stir in veg such as wilted spinach. For a classic brunch, follow our smoked salmon and scrambled eggs recipe or serve spiced scrambled eggs on warm flatbreads for a filling lunch.
If you're missing going out for brunch, treat yourself to homemade waffles this weekend. Waffle mixture is made much like pancakes with flour, milk and eggs, but the egg whites are whisked separately until fluffy to make light, airy waffles. Yoghurt is added to the batter to keep the waffles tender. Follow our classic waffle recipe then choose your favourite colourful toppings, from syrup and bacon to poached fruit or yoghurt and toasted nuts. Don't have a waffle maker? No problem! Make griddle pan waffles or cook the mixture in a frying pan or even a deep toasted sandwich maker instead!
Cod, salmon and tuna are popular fish to cook at home but why not try something different and cook plaice for dinner. Plaice is a delicately flavoured white fish with a firm texture similar to seabass or cod that can be swapped for cod and haddock in most recipes. Roasting is a great hassle-free way to cook plaice: try this plaice traybake with fennel and tomatoes or bake under a crispy lemon, garlic and parsley crust.
Butterfly cakes are a fun first bake to make with kids. A twist on classic fairy cakes, butterfly cakes are made by cutting off the top of a cupcake and filling the gap with jam or buttercream (or both!), then cutting the cake trimming in half and sticking it in the icing to look like butterfly wings. You can use any cupcake recipe to make butterfly cakes or try our chocolatey Jaffa butterfly cake recipe using halved Jaffa cakes for butterfly wings.
Make honeycomb at home to recreate your favourite chocolate bar and indulge a sweet tooth. Honeycomb is made from golden syrup, sugar and bicarbonate of soda. The key ingredient is the bicarbonate of soda, which adds all the bubbles to your mixture – make sure you use a large saucepan to leave space when it aerates! Our best honeycomb recipe is used to top a seriously impressive layer cake, but you can make the honeycomb on its own and snap into shards for a snacking treat.
Continue experimenting with different fish in the kitchen – next up, hake. Hake is another neutral white fish with thick, firm flesh and a slightly more subtle taste than cod. The easiest way to cook hake is to pan-fry fillets for 2 mins per side, like seabass or salmon. Try dusting the fish in seasoned flour (add chopped herbs or lemon zest here too) before frying for extra flavour, such as in this hake and mushroom risotto. You can also gently poach cod in stock or broth to absorb all the flavours – serve a Sicilian-style hake broth with crusty bread to soak up the sauce. The subtle flavour of hake makes it great for pairing with stronger spices, so try it in this spiced fish and fennel tagine for a Mediterranean-inspired dinner.
Next time you’re having a barbecue, add a bowl of homemade tzatziki to the table. Tzatziki is a cooling Greek yoghurt dip with chopped dill (or mint) and cucumber: follow our classic tzatziki recipe to make your own. Serve your homemade tzatziki alongside a barbecue feast, top with beetroot for a dip the whole family can tuck into, load it into pittas or wraps, spoon alongside spicy curries or serve with crispy falafels.
Recreate that summer holiday feeling at home and make an Aperol spritz cocktail. An Aperol spritz is an sweet-bitter, fizzy Italian cocktail combining prosecco (you could use cava, champagne or any sparkling wine) with soda and Aperol, an aperitif that is an infusion of bittersweet orange, herbs and roots and gives the drink its vibrant orange colour. The simple ratio of 3,2,1 – three parts prosecco, two parts Aperol and one part soda – means you can easily scale this up or down. Follow our classic Aperol recipe to start practicing with a drink for one!
Picked up a fennel in the supermarket and not sure what to do with it? Fennel is crisp and crunchy with an aniseed flavour (that can be quite love-hate!) when raw – try it in an elegant grape and pistachio salad – but the flavour mellows as it cooks. To prepare fennel, trim the green fronds from the top and peel off the tough outer layer, then simply thinly slice or cut into quarters. Try adding grilled fennel wedges to healthy pasta dishes or roast until caramelised. Read our seven ways to cook fennel for more inspiration.
Bruschetta is a simple Italian dish of toasted or grilled bread, rubbed with garlic and olive oil then finished with extra toppings, typically tomatoes. Make bruschetta for a taste of Italy at home and get experimental with toppings – it’s a great way to use up leftovers! Juicy tomatoes soak into the bread, but you can add layer up this open sandwich with anything – slices of ham, crushed peas, griddled veg, mushrooms. Try our salmon and smoked avocado bruschetta recipe for a non-traditional bruschetta that makes a great brunch or make an elegant lavender honey and goat’s cheese bruschetta for a sundowner snack.
Fulfil that burger craving even when you don’t have any meat in the house. Whether you are a life-long vegetarian or just trying out Meat-Free Monday, make veggie burgers for a dinner the whole family will love. We’ve got all the homemade veggie burgers you need, from spiced chickpea burgers topped with houmous to cheesy halloumi burgers. Use your storecupboard to make homemade bean burgers using kidney beans or butter beans for a creamy patty that you can layer up with extra veg, herbs and spices.
When you make a Sunday roast this weekend, why not make Yorkshire puddings to go along with it. The best bit of any pub Sunday roast, you can recreate Yorkshire puddings at home for towering, crispy puds made using just 4 ingredients: flour, eggs, milk, and salt. Follow our step-by-step Yorkshire puddings recipe to see how to whisk together a simple Yorkshire pudding batter and get all the tips to cook them perfectly (hot oil is the key to the perfect rise!). Don’t eat dairy? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered – use our vegan Yorkshire puddings recipe instead.
Missing grabbing a takeaway coffee on your way to work? Recreate that feeling at home and start your day with a homemade iced coffee. Be your own barista even if you’ve only got instant coffee in the house – brew with sugar, milk and a splash of cream in our classic iced coffee recipe then serve over ice for a refreshing caffeine hit.
A Sunday roast isn’t complete without a generous pour of gravy. If you are new to making Sunday roasts at home, homemade gravy does not need to be intimidating. Gravy is made from the roasting juices of your roast meat, mixed with a spoonful of flour to thicken and then slowly adding stock to make a sauce. Follow our step-by-step recipe to how to make gravy for any roast or try adding an extra boost of flavour with an easy onion gravy or rich porcini gravy. If you’re vegetarian, make a veggie gravy with this thyme and mushroom gravy recipe.
Hash browns are the ultimate extra addition to a Full English fry-up. If you’re treating yourself to an indulgent breakfast this week, add homemade hash browns to your menu. You need just four ingredients to make hash browns – perfectly crisp and golden on the outside and fluffy within. Our hash browns recipe can even be made ahead of time for extra ease in the morning.
If you’ve done plenty of baking lately and fancy a new kitchen challenge, why not learn how to make strawberry jam? This old-fashioned skill is simpler than you think: all you need is fruit, jam sugar and a lemon and you’ll have four jars of sweet jam in no time. Follow our step-by-step strawberry jam recipe to get started. Use your jam in a retro jam roly-poly, to sandwich a Victoria sponge cake, spread in Bakewell tarts or simply spoon onto toast for a breakfast you can be extra proud of. Mastered strawberry? Make raspberry jam or raw blueberry jam next.
Parsnips are an underrated root veg that are a great addition to your next Sunday roast or midweek meal veg rotation. Parsnips have a mild, nutty and sweet flavour, a thin skin (you can choose whether to peel or not) and creamy texture. A coating of Parmesan is a classic way to cook roast parsnips or try something different with miso and honey baked parsnips or a smoky paprika twist.
When you need a classic comfort food dessert, why not try a homemade apple pie. With homemade buttery pastry and a soft spiced apple filling, apple pie is sure to be a favourite with the family – will you have it with cream, ice cream or custard? Our classic apple pie recipe has all the tips you need (no soggy bottom!) to bring a perfect pie to the table.
Create that summer holiday feeling at home and make a strawberry daiquiri for a sundown treat. A daiquiri is a classic cocktail made with rum, citrus juice (usually lime) and sugar. Different fruits can then be added for new twists – make our frozen strawberry daiquiri recipe for a refreshing Friday night cocktail or boost the citrus flavour and make a marmalade daiquiri with an added splash of Cointreau (an orange liqueur).
Make mashed potatoes to serve with dinner next time you’re having sausages, toad-in-the hole or to top a shepherds pie. Follow our classic mashed potatoes recipe (adding extra butter or milk will make it even more creamy) using just three ingredients. The top tips are to boil your potatoes until tender but not completely waterlogged and remember to season potatoes generously. You can use a potato masher or ricer, but don’t blitz in a food processor or the potatoes will go stretchy and gluey.
If you don’t have potatoes, you can make mash from plenty of other root veg: try adding chipotle to mashed sweet potatoes for extra smoky spice, replace half the potatoes with celeriac mash or make a bright carrot and swede mash with lemon and thyme.
Rice pudding is a nostalgic recipe that reminds lots of us of family, childhood or school days. Bring it back and cook rice pudding today for a creamy, comforting dessert that makes the most of a few storecupboard ingredients. We’ve got plenty of rice pudding recipes to get you started – follow our step-by-step rice pudding recipe for a classic version using just 5 ingredients, then add toppings of your choice. For extra flavour, try this fragrant rosewater rice pudding recipe with pomegranate, cardamom and pistachio or give this classic British pud a tropical twist with this coconut rice pudding topped with juicy pineapple and mango.
Haddock is a fish with a mild, neutral flavour, but using smoked haddock instead gives this a boost. It’s smoky, slightly sweet flavour and (often bright colour if using dyed smoked haddock) is fairly strong and can go a long way in recipes, making it a wallet-friendly fish option. If you’re not sure how to cook smoked haddock, try adding it just where you would use regular haddock or cod for an extra punch of flavour, such as in fishcakes or fish pie where the smoky flavour balances out the rich creamy sauce. For more smoked haddock recipes, try Jamie Oliver’s comforting smoked haddock chowder or make a simple smoked haddock rarebit for a quick dinner or indulgent brunch.
Is it cocktail hour in your house? Shake up a mojito for a 5pm drink this weekend. A classic mojito comes from Cuba is made with rum, sugar, lime juice and soda water. But why stop there? Make a mojito with any of our fruity twists on the traditional mojito recipe – make a jug of bright blueberry or tangy marmalade mojitos or if there’s just two of you, try our passion fruit mojito recipe for a fragrant tropical spin.
Kick off the weekend with a decadent brunch and make French toast – a great way to use up any bread that is just beginning to go stale. French toast (or eggy bread in the UK!) is made by soaking slices of bread in a cheat’s custard of eggs and milk, then frying until crisp and top with fruit, jams and a dollop of yoghurt. For a baked version, use brioche in this fruity blackberry French toast and top with lemon curd swirled yoghurt. No bread? Make crumpet French toast for two instead!
Homemade potato salad is the way to take your barbecue to the next level. This can be as simple as tossing boiled new potatoes with mayo, crème fraiche, lemon juice and generous seasoning. Then you can get creative – use crème fraiche instead of mayo for the dressing, stir in some mustard, chopped herbs, grilled veg, crispy bacon or even crumbled cheese. We’ve gathered our top 10 potato salad recipes so you can make one this weekend!
Getting bored of sausages and burgers on your weekly barbecue? Cook ribs on the BBQ this weekend instead for a new grilling challenge. Our sticky BBQ ribs recipe adds flavour to the ribs at three key stages in a dry spice rub, aromatic liquid to bake and then sticky sauce for glazing for super tender results packed with flavour. Cooking the meat in the oven first means the ribs will be super tender, whilst finishing on the barbecue gets a smoky charred finish.
If you’re searching for a weekend kitchen project, why not try homemade scotch eggs? This picnic classic is even better made at home, when you can get golden runny yolks. Scotch eggs are classically made by wrapping sausage meat round a boiled egg, breadcrumbing and baking or deep frying until golden. You can add extra flavours to the sausage meat if you want to make Scotch eggs: try our maple bacon Scotch eggs recipe for a decadent twist, stick to the classic or add spicy chorizo. If you don’t want meat, follow our veggie Scotch eggs recipe made with spiced potatoes or try a smoked haddock option.
If you’re looking for quick, no-fuss lunches whilst you are at home, why not make pasta salad to last you a few days in the fridge. Pasta salads can be made with any shape you have in the cupboard and are a super simple way to use up small amounts of veg or leftovers you might have in the fridge. Make them veggie with roasted veg, torn lettuce, herbs and crumbled cheese, or add shredded chicken or crispy bacon for meaty pasta salads. Add a quick dressing of olive oil and vinegar, mayo or tomato sauce. We’ve gathered 10 easy pasta salad recipes to inspire you, from Mediterranean prawn and orzo to a chicken and tomato pasta salad kids will love.
If you only have plain flour and can't find any self-raising, you can make homemade self-raising flour by adding 2 tsp baking powder for every 150g plain flour. Recipes with smaller quantities of flour are best for this to avoid building up a strong baking powder taste. Try it out in muffins, cakes or cupcakes.
If you fancy pancakes for breakfast but don’t have any eggs, don’t worry – there are alternatives! Make vegan pancakes using coconut milk and coconut oil, no butter or eggs needed: our vegan coconut pancakes recipe is served with sticky caramelised bananas. Alternatively, make banana pancakes with sweet bananas binding the pancake mixture instead of eggs. Our fluffy banana pancakes recipe is also vegan and makes light, fluffy American-style pancakes that are perfect for stacking and drizzling with maple syrup.
For more ingredient swaps, check out our easy ingredient substitutions Q&A for how to replace everything from pasta to flour.
Not sure what to make for a healthy breakfast at home? Try blitzing together a healthy smoothie – you can add any fruit or veg you have (freeze it first for an extra-chilled smoothie) and blitz in a blender with juice, water, coconut water, yogurt or milk. Try adding a touch of vanilla or honey if you like it sweeter, a handful of mint for freshness or turn into a smoothie bowl and scatter with extra fruit, nuts or seeds. If you need inspiration, try one of our healthy smoothie recipes.
Tinned lentils are an easy shortcut, but don’t be put off if you have only got a packet of dried lentils. Soaking dried lentils in cold water for a few hours or overnight will reduce their cooking time, but if your recipe has a long cooking time you can skip this step and cook dried lentils directly in the dish. Brown lentils and green lentils keep their shape once cooked (good for stews and casseroles) whilst red lentils cook down into a rich purée, good for soups. Try adding green lentils to a Bolognese to bulk out the meat or cook red lentils in a spiced dhal.
If you want to learn a new kitchen skill and you don’t have a sweet tooth for baking, homemade pickles might be more your thing. Follow our step-by-step recipe to learn how to make sauerkraut at home – this tangy pickled cabbage requires just four ingredients and shows that home fermenting is easier than you might think.
Beef brisket is a cut of meat from the lower chest of beef. There are different ways to cook brisket, but low and slow methods are best in order to make the meat meltingly tender – this slow cooked brisket recipe cooks in a rich chilli tomato broth for four hours for the best results and makes brilliant leftovers too. If you don’t want to cook the joint whole, dedicate a rainy afternoon to making this beef bourguignon pie for true comfort food. You can also cook brisket on the BBQ – try our BBQ beef brisket recipe with homemade barbecue sauce.
Bored of baking but still got a sweet tooth? Try a different kitchen skill this week and make homemade marshmallows. Light, fluffy (and needing no flour!) marshmallows are a fun recipe to try at home and you can add much more flavour than plain shop bought ones. Make this pretty raspberry and rose marshmallows recipe and use in homemade s’mores, melt into hot chocolate or simply have as an afternoon treat.
Whether for an afternoon snack with crisps and crudité, dolloping on nachos or spooning into tacos, homemade guacamole is always a winner. Follow our homemade guacamole recipe and customise as you like it by adding extra lime, diced red onion or sliced chilli if you like it hot. Read our seven clever ways with guacamole to make the most of your dip and prevent any rapidly ripening avocados going to waste.
When you run out of pasta or rice, cook quinoa for a healthy alternative way to bulk out your meals. Quinoa is technically a seed, but cooked like a grain, with a nutty flavour and firm texture. It is most commonly cooked by simmering for 15-20 mins until tender – you can do this in stock instead of water for extra flavour. Use in salads where you would use couscous, try it as a crunchy coating for homemade chicken nuggets or use it in stuffed peppers instead of rice. We’ve got 10 delicious quinoa recipes to get you started.
No pasta? No problem! Cook courgetti instead. Courgetti is simply made by spiralizing or finely cutting courgette into thin strips. If you are cutting it by hand, peel the courgette into wide strips and then slice these into ribbons. You can use half spaghetti-half courgetti in your recipes to make your pasta supplies go further, or cook all courgetti for a light healthy meal. Cook courgetti by simply pan-frying in a splash of oil until the courgette softens (don’t boil or overcook courgetti as it will go soggy) – try this simple pesto and Parma ham courgetti recipe.
Make the most of a few tins of chickpeas and make falafel at home. A traditional Middle Eastern dish, falafel are made from blitzed chickpeas and fried for a satisfying crunch. Serve with houmous or a mild tomato salsa for an afternoon snack or add salad and load into pittas for lunch. Follow our step-by-step falafel recipe to learn how.
If you are not confident with cooking fish or seafood, prawns are an easy place to start. Prawns go pink once they are cooked through and only take a few minutes – the key is not to overcook them as they will go tough and rubbery. There are plenty of ways to cook prawns: simmer them in soups or broths (try this fragrant prawn tom yum recipe), barbecue prawns for 3 mins for summery tacos, pan-fry for quick salads, stir into fish pies or even coat in a beer batter for homemade scampi.
Craving that fast food classic of a breakfast muffin, filled with egg and a sausage patty? Look no further – our big breakfast muffins recipe is here for when you’ve had a few drinks the night before and need a soothing homemade breakfast. With a juicy sausage patty, crispy bacon, perfectly fried egg and chilli sauce-swirled mayo all in a toasted English muffin, you’ll never need the takeaway again.
Next time you run out of ketchup, try making homemade instead. Simmer sweet cherry tomatoes with shallots and a few spices in our homemade tomato ketchup recipe and store in the fridge for up to 6 weeks, ready for every garden barbecue. Try mixing your homemade ketchup into these four easy sauces perfect for spooning on burgers or fries, from Thai sweet chilli to a fresh tomato salsa.
Learn how to cook a roast chicken and you will never be without a Sunday roast again. This is a true classic kitchen recipe to master. A basic roast chicken recipe can be simply rubbed with butter to keep the chicken breast tender, seasoned well and with a lemon in the cavity for flavour before roasting until golden and cooked through. Once you’re ready to add more flavour, there’s plenty of options – we’ve got 10 delicious roast chicken recipes for some inspiration, with everything from a spicy Hawaiian-inspired marinade to spicy marinades and a Bombay pot-roast.
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