What is the nation’s favourite homecooked meal?

What is the nation’s favourite homecooked meal?

09 December 2022

With the colder weather here to stay, there really is nothing quite like a home cooked meal to warm you up and leave you feeling especially cosy and content, as the wind and rain batter the world outside your window.

With interest in ideas for purse friendly family meals peaking, we were eager to learn more about which homecooked meals Brits were favouring the most, as well as which were the most popular in different parts of the country, and so surveyed 2,000 UK adults to find out just that.

  • Food trends
  • News

With the colder weather here to stay, there really is nothing quite like a home cooked meal to warm you up and leave you feeling especially cosy and content, as the wind and rain batter the world outside your window.

Cold weather aside, cooking at home from scratch has grown in popularity in recent months, offering UK consumers a great way to save money with the cost of living on the up. In fact, through examining search trend data, we learnt that Google searches for ‘cheap family meals’ are up significantly by 83% compared to this time last year.

With interest in ideas for purse friendly family meals peaking, we were eager to learn more about which homecooked meals Brits were favouring the most, as well as which were the most popular in different parts of the country, and so surveyed 2,000 UK adults to find out just that.

Additionally, we also quizzed them on just how frequently they were cooking at home from scratch, what their top reasons were for doing so, and how much they’re budgeting per head for their evening meal.

Read on to find out more...

Roast dinner is the UK’s favourite homecooked dish

Roast beef, yorkshire pudding and vegetables on a plate. Someone pours gravy over the top.

According to our findings, Brits love nothing more than a good old-fashioned roast dinner (15%) - we can certainly see why! Search trend data also revealed that this is a heavily searched for topic, with UK searches for ‘roast dinner’ totaling a whopping 49,500 in the past month alone, (+50% since this time last year).

Dishes such as spaghetti Bolognese (8%), pizza (8%), fish and chips (5%), and homemade curry (5%), were also amongst the homestyle food options most loved by Brits.

The UK’s top 10 favourite homecooked dishes

%

Roast dinner

15%

Spaghetti Bolognese

8%

Pizza

8%

Fish and chips

5%

Homemade curry

5%

Sausage and mash

4%

Shepherd's pie

4%

Chicken nuggets, chips and beans

3%

Chili con carne

3%

Pasta bake

3%


Recipes that received the least votes included Thai green curry (1%), hunters' chicken (0%), toad in the hole (0%), fish pie (0%), and dippy eggs and soldiers (0%).

Regionally, Bristol was found to be the roast dinner capital of the UK, with more than a fifth (22%) of respondents voting this dish as their favourite. The traditional Sunday lunch is much less popular in Scotland, however, with only 7% in Edinburgh, and 4% in Glasgow voting it their top homemade dinner choice.

In both Belfast and Edinburgh, good old sausage and mash was the overall winner (both 12%), and in Leeds, making pizza from scratch took the top spot (17%). Meanwhile, Spaghetti Bolognese was chosen as the ultimate homecooked delicacy in Glasgow (14%).
  
Surprisingly, just 1% of both Edinburgh and Glasgow residents voted Scottish delicacy, haggis, neeps, and tatties, as their favourite home cooked dish.  

 Infographic showing the UK's favourite homecooked dishes

How often do Brits cook at home?

Our research found that most UK adults are more than happy to cook from scratch. Four in five (84%) said they do so at least once a week, and one in four (24%) cook at home on most days of the week. One in ten (10%) even cook from scratch every single day.

There are many reasons why people cook their own dishes at home, but the number one reason people gave was because it helped them to eat healthier (71%). Just over half said that they simply enjoy cooking at home (53%).

And more than half of respondents (53%) say they cook up a storm in the kitchen because they get enjoyment from it.  

Homecooked meal in a Circulon saucepan

Women were found to be more motivated to cook from scratch due to the benefits of healthy eating and saving money (74% vs. 68%), whereas men are more motivated because they enjoy the pastime (56% vs. 51%), or they find it relaxing (24% vs. 16%).

But, with the cost-of-living soaring, it’s understandable that half (50%) are cooking from scratch in a bid to save cash.

 

So, just how much are Brits budgeting when cooking at home?

We learnt that Brits are budgeting an average of £8.40 per head for evening meals, totalling £33.60 on average for a family of four.

However, this figure also includes almost a fifth of people who budget less than £2 per head (23%), and almost one in ten (8%) who only budget less than £1 per head. In contrast, just 5% are willing to spend as much as £10 per head on average for an evening meal.

Regionally, Manchester residents are spending the most per head for an evening meal (£11.10), followed by London (£11.00) and Bristol (£9.10).

UK City 

Avg. spend per head on evening meal (GBP) 

Manchester 

£11.10 

London 

£11.00 

Bristol 

£9.10 

Newcastle 

£8.80 

Birmingham

£7.80 

Liverpool 

£7.80 

Glasgow 

£7.20 

Leeds 

£6.70 

Southampton

£6.60 

Nottingham 

£6.20 

Belfast 

£5.90 

Cardiff 

£5.40 

Edinburgh 

£5.00 

Sheffield 

£5.00 

Norwich 

£5.00 


Those in Norwich, Sheffield and Edinburgh have the lowest budget per head for an evening meal at £5.00, 41% lower than the national average.

Of the age groups, 25–34-year-olds budget the most per head for an evening meal on average (£13.80), followed by 35–44-year-olds (£10.30) and 18–24-year-olds (£9.50).

This is significantly more than thriftier 45–52-year-olds (£5.60), 65+ year olds (£4.10) and 55–64-year-olds (£3.70), who all budgeted the least.

 

How adventurous are Brits with their home cooking?

Brits are lacking in creativity when it comes to their home cooking, according to our poll, with almost two thirds (74%) preferring to play it safe in the kitchen when cooking from scratch.

One in seven even told us that they would not be willing to try something new (14%), and one in four (23%) admitted they do not feel confident enough in their culinary skills to try a new recipe or dish for themselves.

Chicken with herbs being cooked in a Circulon frying pan

More than a third (37%) said that whilst they will sometimes try new recipes, they stick to their favourite dishes for the majority of the time. 

Less than 10% of UK foodies said they love trying new recipes and cook a wide range of cuisines at home. And just one in four (24%) regularly trial new recipes and incorporate them into their regular home cooking.  

 

How can you save money on your favourite homecooked dishes?

Person dropping pennies into a har

For those eager to branch out and get braver with the dishes they’re cooking from scratch at home, one of the best places to start is by investing in some quality cookware which is durable and easy to clean. Kitchen gadgets, cookware and utensils really can make cooking an absolute joy, even for those who feel less brave with their cooking skills.

We have also compared how much it costs to make the nation’s top three favourite homecooked dishes from scratch, using data from eight of the UK’s leading supermarkets, to help you budget for your next weekly shop.

 

Roast dinner

A basic roast dinner with all the trimmings will set UK adults back just £9.82 on average to feed a family of four. This equates to just £2.45 per head. 

We found that the cheapest UK supermarkets for roast dinner ingredients is Tesco (£7.51), followed by ASDA (£8.10) and Aldi (£8.26).

If you want to make further savings on your next roast dinner, why not opt for a cheaper cut of meat such as chicken legs or thighs instead of a whole chicken, or a pork shoulder rather than a pork loin. Both option offer plenty of flavour but you are often much cheaper than your more traditional roast options.

Alternatively, you could opt could even try to leave out the chicken completely and try a vegetarian roast dinner recipe for a change instead.

Roast Dinner Ingredients 

Asda 

Aldi 

M&S 

Morrisons 

Sainsbury's

Waitrose 

Tesco 

Iceland 

Roast Potatoes 

£0.80 

£0.95

£1.10 

£0.99 

£1.05 

£1.15 

£0.71

£1.00 

Gravy Granules 

£0.32 

£0.95

£1.95 

£0.56 

£0.75 

£0.99 

£0.32

£0.85 

Carrots 

£0.49 

£0.24

£0.45 

£0.35 

£0.40 

£0.95 

£0.45

£1.00 

Yorkshire Puddings 

£0.50 

£0.50

£1.55 

£0.49 

£0.48 

£1.30 

£0.50

£1.00 

Whole Chicken 

£4.00 

£3.59


£6.00

£4.25 

£4.50 

£4.88 

£3.47

£5.50 

Onion 

£0.65 

£0.55

£1.10 

£0.65 

£0.65 

£0.15 

£0.55

£1.00 

Garlic 

£0.65 

£0.79

£0.60 

£0.75 

£0.20 

£0.70 

£0.79

£1.00 

Broccoli  

£0.69 

£0.69

£0.75 

£0.69 

£1.20 

£0.78 

£0.72

£1.00 

Total

£8.10

£8.20

£13.50

£8.73 

£9.23 

£10.90 

£7.51

£12.35 

Average cost across all supermarkets

£9.82 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spaghetti Bolognese

A plate of Spaghetti bolognaise

This staple of Italian cuisine is popular all over the world, so ingredients are easy to find. On average, making Spaghetti Bolognese, will cost you £9.68 for a family of four.

For those looking to pick up all of the ingredients on our list, then the cheapest supermarket to get these ingredients is Aldi (£6.67), followed by Asda (£6.93) and Sainsbury’s (£7.31).

Spag Bol recipes are generally a budget-friendly dinner option as they use cupboard staples and Bolognese sauce is easy to freeze, allowing for meal prep portions which can be heated up later in the week.

If you want to make more savings, try switching to frozen meat or leave it out completely by trying a meatless mince alternative for a protein-rich, healthy substitute.

Spag Bol. Ingredients

Asda

Aldi

M&S

Morrisons

Sainsbury's

Waitrose

Tesco

Iceland

Spaghetti

£0.28

£0.28

£0.95

£0.89

£0.56

£0.95

£0.23

£1.35

Mince Meat

£1.99

£1.75

£4.00

£1.79

£1.79

£2.00

£1.79

£3.55

Canned Tomatoes x 2

£0.56

£0.56

£1.10

£0.78

£0.56

£1.20

£0.56

£0.90

Garlic

£0.65

£0.55

£1.10

£0.65

£0.65

£0.15

£0.55

£1.00

Onion

£0.65

£0.79

£0.60

£0.75

£0.20

£0.70

£0.79

£1.00

Mixed Herbs

£0.35

£0.49

£1.40

£0.99

£0.95

£1.30

£1.05

£1.85

Fresh Carrots

£0.25

£0.24

£0.45

£0.35

£0.40

£0.70

£0.45

£1.00

Parmesan

£1.60

£1.49

£2.45

£1.70

£1.45

£2.15

£2.10

£2.50

Stock Cubes

£0.60

£0.52

£2.15

£0.89

£0.75

£1.35

£0.75

£1.65

Total

£6.93

£6.67

£14.20

£8.79

£7.31

£10.50

£8.27

£14.80

Average cost across all

£9.68

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Cooked Pizza

Another comfort food, pizza is one of Britain’s favourites when it comes to eating out or takeaways. However, many also enjoy making their own pizza from scratch at home – don't worry, you don’t need a fancy pizza oven to do so.

If you would like to have a go at making your own margherita pizza, including fresh dough and pizza sauce, the ingredients listed below are all you should need to create your own pizza at home. When comparing supermarket prices, Aldi is your cheapest option (£3.88), followed by Asda (£4.59) and Sainsbury’s (£4.65).

Homemade margherita pizza

Anything can be a pizza topping if you’re creative enough, so why not use up those leftovers, and instead of tossing them in the bin sprinkle some on your home-cooked pizza. For extra savings, you could opt for wonky veg at the supermarket which is often lower in price but just as yummy as other veg available. We even have an excellent veggie pizza recipe here for you to try.

Why not make up a bigger batch of pizza dough than you need, any leftovers can be easily frozen and stored for a much easier process the next time you fancy cooking up your favourite fake-away. Alternatively, if you’re cooking for a small number of people, why not make your pizza a little bit bigger and slice up some additional portions for lunch the next day?

Pizza Margherita Ingredients

Asda

Aldi

M&S

Morrisons

Sainsbury's

Waitrose

Tesco

Iceland

Mozzarella Ball

£0.85

£0.55

£1.00

£0.99

£0.55

£0.95

£0.55

£0.90

Strong Bread Flour

£1.05

£0.58

£2.00

£2.39

£1.00

£1.50

£2.40

£1.25

Yeast

£0.40

£0.69

£1.00

£0.55

£0.90

£1.10

£1.05

£0.50

Passata

£0.50

£0.42

£1.25

£0.49

£0.35

£0.90

£0.42

£1.25

Fresh Basil

£0.55

£0.52

£0.85

£0.99

£0.60

£0.80

£0.52

£1.85

Garlic

£0.65

£0.55

£1.10

£0.65

£0.65

£0.15

£0.55

£1.00

Cherry Tomatoes

£0.59

£0.57

£1.45

£0.89

£0.60

£1.50

£0.57

£1.00

Total

£4.59

£3.88

£8.65

£6.95

£4.65

£6.90

£6.06

£7.75

Average cost across all

£6.18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Conclusion

As a brand, we were very interested to learn more about the nation’s approach to cooking from scratch, as well as their top motivations for doings so.

It really is wonderful to see that so many people are giving cooking from scratch a go, albeit often doing so whilst sticking for the most part to the dishes they feel most comfortable and confident with.

We’re huge advocates for experimenting in the kitchen and would encourage people to be brave with their cooking, baking, and roasting, and to step outside their comfort zone as far as budget allows – you never know, you may even find a new favourite dish!

Whether you are an experienced home cook or you would simply like to try something new, Circulon won’t let you down. Find your next favourite dish with us and shop for a wide range of quality cookware here.

 

Sources and Methodology:

Circulon used a combination of data from Trolley.com and the supermarkets own websites, we compared the lowest price item available for each product that would be suitable for feeding a family of 4. Data correct as of 8.11.2022. Please note, we have not included household basic items such as olive oil or seasoning within our lists.

Substitutes:   

  • Spaghetti – M&S had no stock cubes, used stock instead  
  • Pizza – Iceland Used white plain flour as no strong white and dry oregano used as no fresh basil