Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals

Jamies's 15 Minute Meals

Jamie Oliver Style

I like Jamie Oliver. I like his approach to cooking on television and the way he does keep things simple. And I have loved his campaigns on school dinners. So this idea of doing fast, nutritious meals certainly seems to fit with his ethos. His Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals: A Revolutionary Approach to Cooking Good Food Fast has already been a runaway success and a much loved cookbook.

Book For Busy People

This book is intended for very busy people who are looking for tasty, easy, every day meals. These are meals that can be prepared without fuss and will be enjoyable and feed a hungry, time poor family. The introduction explains that a lot of effort has gone into ensuring that the recipes work and are as quick to prepare as they say. They even have a calorie count so you can choose according to your dietary needs.

I like the introduction and some suggestions for store cupboard basics – many things that you can throw into a meal to spice it up or make it more interesting and to suit your mood.

A bit Longer Than 15 Minutes

I think it is reasonably well known that these meals take 15 minutes to cook only after you have got all the ingredients out and measured the amounts and everything is ready. And even then only if you can work as fast as Jamie. So because all that does have to be done, these are probably more like 30 minute meals from start to finish

But Jamie is up front about ingredients ready, thing. Every recipe begins with ‘Ingredients Out’

Great Recipes

I love the tasty, recipes – but for a quick and easy cookbook, the ingredients lists of some of the recipes are too long for me. When flicking through a book looking for something to cook, a long list is immediately off putting to me. There are lots of herbs and spices – and spices are great – but you can get good tasty food without so many!Some of the recipes are just too complicated.

As a cookbook with lots of interesting ideas and yummy recipes it is great! But I do wish chefs would simplify things a bit and really create an easy and simple cookbook for everyday, busy people!!

There are some fabulous recipes here and some of them are simpler than others. I love the Sausage Gnocchi for example and the Herby Chicken Pasta. These are simple and tasty quick to prepare recipes

Short Cuts And Time

For me some of the short cuts are made in the wrong place. For example Glazed Pork Fillet recipe is made with homemade bbq sauce, put the rice is precooked. I would buy the sauce, and cook the rice from scratch. I suspect that this because brown rice takes longer than 15 minutes to cook. I also would buy a jar of pesto sauce, rather than make my own if I was in a hurry for the Pesto Spaghetti with steamed Fish.

I am sure some people will love this book and there are loads of ideas you can get from this without necessarily cooking the whole meal. It is written in a fun way and if you like the challenge of cooking a really good meal in 15 minutes, then clearly this may be the cookbook for you! It will appeal to people who love to cook with varied and ingredients and who love Jamie Oliver but it won’t help someone just trying to get into cooking

There are a few a few reviews about people attempting to do a recipe in the time with often very amusing results, such as this one from The Telegraph. Also as one or two of the people who reviewed this book have pointed out, cooking is not a race or a pressure but should be enjoyable and relaxed.


My view? Some of the recipes are too complicated to do in the time available and the list of ingredients too long and fussy to be a fast and easy cookbook. This is trying to produce meals in 15 minutes that are beyond the simple fayre required for midweek supper and may be more appropriate to a weekend informal meal with friends and not everyday family meals. Perhaps some people really do cook like this every day but I found the Busy Mum’s Cookbook much more in keeping with this idea.

I would have preferred there to be more guidance on what recipes are best for each season too. It is good that it has a summary of calories, fat and sugar for each recipe at the back of the book, for anyone watching their consumption.

There are several reviews on Amazon – and most of them are good because people love the recipes but generally do not expect to do them in 15 minutes as they cannot do things as quickly as Jamie! so they are not without some constructive criticism

If you want to prepare some impressive suppers for your family every night with flourish and taste this could be the book for you, but if you are just looking for some simple ideas for quick suppers you may be disappointed

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  1. Steve says

    Oops! … correction …. I meant anchovies NOT lychees! … and he’s just done it again, this time with cabbage. It seems his basic seasoning ingredients are, salt, pepper and anchovies! LOL!

    One other point …
    I think he uses garlic in a dangerous way; he lobs in whole un-crushed cloves. A crushed clove of garlic yields many times more flavour than an un-crushed clove, so when he throws in all these cloves, his recipe may, or may not, be saturated in the flavour of garlic, depending upon how “damaged” they get in the cooking. Don’t understand this at all?

  2. Steve says

    Argh! …… I cannot stand “Jamie’s 15-minute Meals”

    Why? …
    1. Gross over-use of two words …….. “beautiful” and “gorgeous”
    2. 15 minutes cooking time. maybe? but AT VERY LEAST another hour preparation/clear-up time.
    3. Horrendously expensive recipes …. just start to count up how much these offerings cost after they have so many expensive bits ‘n bobs added.
    4. Lobbing lychees into so many offerings.
    5. That demented “…. think again!” at the start.

    It’s all just an attempt to breath fresh life into a saturated genre ……
    Like so much TV cookery, who ever goes on to make the stuff? …. it’s just a spectator sport:-)

    Thank you Penny for giving me a forum to express my frustration and distaste :-)

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