Monday, November 23, 2009

The Recipe Rut

A recent study in the UK has found that the average household has a rotation of just nine dinners that are prepared on a regular basis in each household, and that the nine most popular dishes are...
  1. Spaghetti Bolognese
  2. Roast Dinner
  3. Shepherd's Pie
  4. Pasta Dish (hmmm isn't Spaghetti pasta?)
  5. Meat and two vegetables
  6. Pizza (home made or frozen I wonder)
  7. Casserole/Stew
  8. Sausages and chips/mash
  9. Curry/Indian
It's not surprising that people lean on just a few recipes given the time and attention crunch in today's households. I wonder how long this list would be here in the States, what the key regional differences are, and how easy it would be to add or replace a dish on the list?


  1. #5, most of my meals consist of this template.
    Meat, (rice or potatoes), two or three veggies.

    I get bored, but my family doesn't seem to, even with the wheat, egg and dairy allergies and differing veggie dislikes, which limit the combinations.

    Spaghetti (rice noodles)
    Roast (but that fits in with meat, starch, and veggies in my mind), as does stew or soup.

    And Casserole and stir fry, these would seem to be the same template.

    I only get a few different meats (about 5 beef cuts, salmon, trout, tilapia, chicken thighs, lamb, mussels, shrimp) on a regular basis.

    I will be interested to see how others organize their menus. I always have a mix of canned veggies around along with fresh veggies. I feel I am cheating, if due to bad planning I run out of fresh veggies and have to have two canned veggies.

  2. 9 meals seems like a lot. If we are cooking then our list is salmon, spaghetti, chicken (stir fry, bake or grilled). You can add Tia to the mix if you include take-out. Controlling our cholesterol limits the ingredients, we should find to time to vary the recipies.

  3. We have actually challenged our family to add two new recipes to the meal plan each week. We sit down on Sunday and plan out the week and grocery list. The whole family has tabbed recipes they would like to try in about eight cookbooks we have and I select from that. It helps add some variety to things and offers some new choices to add back in as regulars to our meals.

  4. #'s 8 & 9 are for the UK.
    Here in the USA #8 should be burgers and fries, and #9 Chinese take-out.
    What's missing is a fish dish, be it boring tuna and what about salmon,chilean seabass, tilapia,sushi,shellfish,McD's filet-o-fish,Flipper mahi-mahi or what the guys caught swimming upstream?