Britain Becomes a Nation of Chefs

Home cooking soars in wake of coronavirus crisis - with comfort food and international dishes most popular lockdown recipes on magazine app Readly

More time at home and more time in the unexpected discovery during lockdown is a passion for food that Brits don’t often show! With almost 4 out of 10 people cooking more everyday as a result, it seems we are becoming a nation of chefs. With the need to discover new and exciting recipes to keep us from getting into a cooking rut, the study by digital magazine subscription service Readly, reveals that almost 1 in 5 of us are getting our food inspiration from magazines.

Staying mindful of what we put into our bodies, the YouGov research of over 2,000 UK adults, reveals that 84% feel it is important to be aware of what they eat. And whilst Good Taste (78%) is the number one consideration when choosing what to eat, this is hotly followed by being Healthy (75%), Locally Produced (42%), and Low in Calories (21%). 

Whilst we might not be able to travel as much as we’d like, we’re scooting round the world in culinary terms. The research has revealed that 83% of Brits are open to new food experiences from different countries, with Italian voted as our favourite food by over half of people (56%) - arguably because a tasty Mediterranean diet is comforting as well as healthy. 

Kimberly Wyatt, Celebrity Masterchef Winner and Pussycat Doll, said: “Whilst I already love to cook - like many others I’ve definitely been spending more time in the kitchen over the last few months - making family meals and getting everyone involved to keep it fun! Living a sustainable life is really important to our family, so we’ve also been using a lot of the fruit and vegetables we grow in our garden for ingredients. 

“I always want to keep cooking exciting - as mealtimes are such an important family time in our house. And whilst I have healthy family recipes that I love to cook regularly - it’s easy to get into a cooking rut with so much time being spent at home. I’m always on the lookout for new inspiration - and in recent months I’ve discovered some amazing new recipes from chefs I follow online and also from magazines.”

With Readly providing users with instant all-you-can-read access to 5,000 magazines over their phone, tablet or laptop, the service has seen a surge of interest in food topics and recipes on its platform. The readership of its food & drinks category has increased by 26% this year compared to the same period last year - becoming the second most read magazine category on the platform. 

So whilst restaurants may be slowly opening again, it’s not dampening our appetite for comfort food and international dishes that we can rustle up ourselves. With hundreds of magazine titles dedicated to food & drink on its platform, Readly has tracked the most popular recipes for the last six months by its UK users.  

The top spot on Readly’s list is taken by Lemon drizzle cake. And it seems that classic dishes but with an adventurous twist are of appeal during this period - with sausage and fennel one pan pasta followed by cheesy mustard toad-in-the-hole with broccoli - taking the next two spots. Many of the most popular recipes are family-friendly and hassle-free slow cooker and one-pot dishes, as well as international inspired Italian and Indian meals. And of course the infamous lockdown banana bread remains a popular choice. 

Top Ten Most Popular Lockdown Recipes on Readly 2020
1.    Lemon drizzle sponge pudding 
2.    Creamy sausage and fennel one-pan pasta 
3.    Easy cheesy mustard toad-in-the-hole with broccoli 
4.    Sesame, halloumi & courgette fritters with chili honey drizzle 
5.    Mozzarella stuffed-crust pizza 
6.    Slow cooker vegetable stew 
7.    Creamy salmon, leek & potato traybake 
8.    Chicken cacciatore one-pot with orzo 
9.    Peanut butter banana bread 
10.    Lamb rogan josh 

Kimberly continues: “I get a lot of great ideas from food magazines, and they have been perfect for finding new recipes over the past few months. I have already tried out a Tomato, Spinach and Ricotta Fritters recipe from Readly - and it proved a hit with the whole family!”

Kimberly Wyatt’s Top 5 Readly Recipes 2020:
1.    Tomato, spinach and ricotta fritters
2.    Moules marinières 
3.    Chana masala with white fish
4.    Crispy grilled feta with saucy butter beans
5.    Watermelon, lime, and mint sugar pavlova

Linnéa Aguero, PR and Communications Manager, Readly, said: “With so much time spent at home this year - it’s not surprising that food has become such a hot topic as we look to break away from our usual stock-list of recipes we have on repeat. 

“Magazines are hugely popular when looking for recipe inspiration - offering a wealth of choice and vision to wet our appetites. With everything from delicious comfort foods, to healthy vegan dishes and of course imaginative international dishes to take us away from it all. On Readly we have no less than a hundred magazines titles in English in this category - so there is a limitless source of inspiration as many readers also flip through both current and old issues.”

For more information visit: 


About these findings: The survey commissioned by Readly was conducted by YouGov polling 2,186 UK adults during 22-30th June 2020. The top popular recipes on Readly are tracked as the most bookmarked recipes on Readly from 1st January to 30th June 2020 by UK users.