During the dark days of early lockdown Jamie Oliver brought one truly galvanising subject to our TV screens; cheap but delicious food. Having had a brief break from filming programmes, the celebrity chef came back in 2020 with Jamie: Keep Cooking and Carry On, in response to Coronavirus.
The show first aired on Monday 23 March and was initially meant to run for five 30-minute episodes each consecutive evening until the following Friday. The format proved so popular that there were 20 episodes in total by the end of the show.
The popular celebrity chef turned around a whole new concept in record time to help home cooks manage meals with just a few fresh ingredients when stockpiling and supermarket shortages were rife. In collaboration with Channel 4, the concept saw simple recipes mainly made from a handful of store cupboard things. As well as complete meals, the chef offered up handy tips, tricks, hacks and shortcuts to ensure people were being creative with the things they already had in their homes.
From using tinned produce to making the most of freezer foods, Jamie Oliver and his team worked to inspire the nation and dissuade from stockpiling, instead offering ideas for how to use existing things we all commonly have in our kitchen.
From the start viewers were quick to voice their appreciation of the chef's efforts, labelling the programme as 'fantastic' and 'priceless'. One fan, @cla1rymary on Instagram, said, 'My two boys have had a great time making some homemade pasta with smoked bacon and used your recipe for the sauce. It’s a fantastic, the kids loved it. No more shop bought pasta in this house', while '@rajanrussell' commented that, 'Times like now, this sort of thing is absolutely priceless.'
Speaking about the show before it aired, Jamie said, ‘Cooking nutritious meals for yourself and your loved ones has never been more important.’
Hinting at the quick-fire format before it had been officially revealed he continued, saying, ‘This show will be packed with easy and delicious recipes that the whole family can enjoy, plus loads of tips, tricks and hacks for simple swaps and ways you can make the recipes work with what you’ve got.
‘Let’s big up those store cupboard and freezer faves and hero recipes you can take lots of ways.'
If during lockdown you missed out on some of your favourite dinner staples due to empty supermarket shelves, you might have wanted to use the extended time at home to learn how to make the basics and improve on your cooking prowess. Throughout the programmes Jamie tutored people through how to make popular fillers like bread and pasta from scratch.
The show supposedly went from pitch to production in a matter of days, in direct response to the Coronavirus pandemic early in 2020. Zoe Collins, chief content officer at the Jamie Oliver Group expressed how proud she was of the team to create a show so quickly.
‘I’m extremely proud of our team, who has responded to this challenge to turn around a brand new series in a matter of days,’ she said at the time.
‘The show is a direct response to thousands of requests we have been receiving from people who are looking for some inspiration and assurance to help them through this difficult time – and Jamie is a trusted voice to deliver that. We intend the show to be uplifting and very, very useful.’
Keep Cooking and Carry On by Jamie Oliver recipes
Looking for Jamie Oliver recipes from Keep Cooking and Carry On? We’ve got you covered with all our favourite how-tos from the show. We’ve gathered up all the popular chef’s recipes in one easy list, ready for you to give them a go. The Keep Cooking and Carry On recipes are all simple, wholesome family food that can be made with a handful of inexpensive store cupboard ingredients. Below you will find the recipes featured in every episode, and don't forget, you can always swap items in and out depending on what you have in your kitchen – don’t be afraid to get creative.
• Harissa chicken traybake
• Singapore-style fried rice
• Potato gnocchi
• Pork meatloaf
• Chicken noodle stir-fry
• One-pan breakfast
• Allotment cottage pie
• Fantastic fish tikka curry
• Cauliflower mac and cheese
• Comforting sausage bake
• Buddy’s flapjack biscuits
• Chicken pot pie
• Giant veg rosti
• Veggie quesadillas
• Easy balsamic dressing
• Freezer-raid springtime risotto
• Eggless chocolate cake
• Cheat’s deep-pan pizza
• Beef and Ale stew
• Minestrone soup
• Corner-shop curry sauce
• Quick green pasta
• Pea pesto
• Easy tomato sauce
• Easy carbonara
• Super quick fresh pasta
• Easy homemade bread
• Sweet pea and fish pie
• Easy French dressing
• Easy yogurt dressing
Jamie: Keep Cooking and Carry On episodes
Looking to catch up on what went on during each episode of Keep Cooking and Carry On? Aren’t we all. The below synopsises help break down show-by-show what Jamie got up to during his lockdown cooking show, and will help to give you a taste of what’s to come if you’re yet to watch them. Don’t forget that we have most of the recipes too, if you’re looking to recreate some of the delicious-looking dishes. Simply click on the links above to get the full step-by-step instructions.
Keep Cooking and Carry On by Jamie Oliver: Episode One
During the first programme viewers were treated to a whole range of quick recipes in just half an hour. A versatile veggie chilli kicked things off which can be made in bulk and frozen. Jamie then showed viewers how to make speedy fresh pasta that doesn't require a machine, as well as a simple tomato sauce and a step-by-step carbonara. A pea pesto finished things off for a healthy way to get veg into little ones while also ensuring they polish off what's on their plates.
Keep Cooking and Carry On by Jamie Oliver: Episode Three
In the third episode of Keep Cooking and Carry On, Jamie has a handy hack for anyone running low on fresh produce. His freezer-raid risotto utilises pre-chopped veggies to top up your five-a-day without you having to hit the shops, which results in a popular family meal. Other recipes include a veg-packed tomato sauce which can be used for pastas, pizzas, soups, curry bases and more as well as an eggless chocolate cake that only needs six ingredients.
Keep Cooking and Carry On by Jamie Oliver: Episode Four
Towards the end of the first week, in episode three, Jamie kicked things off with a weekend family favourite: pizza. The chef shows how to make a cheat’s version of a deep pan crust by knocking up a from-scratch pizza dough base and then cooking it in a frying pan with lots of lovely toppings for a crisp bottom and soft top. Taking things to a slightly more grown up level, Jamie then showed viewers how to make a rich beef and oxtail stew, perfect for serving with mash for a comforting Saturday night feast.
Keep Cooking and Carry On by Jamie Oliver: Episode Five
Originally set to be the final show of Jamie: Keep Cooking and Carry (which he apparently filmed in just three hours), episode five rounds things off nicely with a couple of all-time classics. The popular celebrity chef whips up a warming chicken curry as well as a rich minestrone soup, both of which can be made in bulk and frozen for homemade ready meals to defrost on any night of the week.
Keep Cooking and Carry On by Jamie Oliver: Episode Six
After abandoning the film-crew and having to film with his family from home, Jamie shares how you can whip up a super-quick green sauce for pasta, and heads into his archives to find a simple five-ingredient chicken pie and a vegetable rösti you can create with whatever vegetables you have in your fridge or freezer.
Keep Cooking and Carry On by Jamie Oliver: Episode Seven
Episode seven was a positive feast with cheesy quesadillas that can be adapted to suit the ingredients you have to hand. In another throwback, budget-friendly meatloaf and a simple stir fry recipe that can help make the most of leftovers were featured.
Keep Cooking and Carry On by Jamie Oliver: Episode Eight
This week was all about the savoury stuff with Jamie showing how to throw together a hearty one-pan breakfast to feed the whole family with minimal fuss (and crucially, little washing up), while for dinner time there’s a comforting cottage pie and a rich fish curry.
Keep Cooking and Carry On by Jamie Oliver: Episode Nine
In true Jamie style, episode nine was all about those simple tips and tricks that help take your cooking from standard to special. There was a seriously indulgent cauliflower mac and cheese as well as a sausage bake and flapjack biscuits for a sneaky sweet treat (the perfect accompaniment for a cuppa!).
Keep Cooking and Carry On by Jamie Oliver: Episode Ten
Speed and adaptability in episode ten was the focus, where recipes included a Singapore-style fried rice that could easily be tweaked for various diets or ingredient swaps, while egg-free gnocchi offered the perfect weeknight meal idea and a chicken harissa tray bake brought a bit of heat.
Keep Cooking and Carry On by Jamie Oliver: Episode Eleven
Big and little kids were catered for in episode eleven of Keep Cooking and Carry on, with Jamie showing fans how to make jumbo fish fingers, sweet potato wedges and a tasty chopped salad that would encourage eve the fussiest of eaters to munch down their veg.
Keep Cooking and Carry On by Jamie Oliver: Episode Twelve
The show wasn’t all about healthy eating though, over halfway through the series Jamie made a couple of delicious treats to help keep spirits up. A seriously indulgent chocolate cake was whipped up in episode twelve – ideal for all those lockdown birthdays – along with Korean-style chicken wings (and a spinach pasta Rotolo, because, you know, balance).
Keep Cooking and Carry On by Jamie Oliver: Episode Thirteen
This week it was the turn of the almighty burger to make an appearance, and Jamie’s version is a delicious cheese-topped one that is sure to appeal to the whole family. Sneaky spinach pancakes disguised veg in a fun format while a one pan fish dish answered all kinds of quick fix dinner prayers.
Keep Cooking and Carry On by Jamie Oliver: Episode Fourteen
We’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like fajitas, so this week’s chicken version was sure to be a popular choice. Alongside the chicken fajitas, chef Jamie showed viewers how to put together a one pan sausage bake with a surprising apple twist and playful homemade pasta shapes that would encourage any budding chef to give the recipe a go.
Keep Cooking and Carry On by Jamie Oliver: Episode Fifteen
In episode 15 Jamie gives good old bread and butter pudding an update with a hot cross bun twist, while his pan-seared lamb would make the perfect Sunday roast solution. Speedy, easy fishcakes complete the chef’s three recipes in this episode, which are packed with Asian flavours.
Keep Cooking and Carry On by Jamie Oliver: Episode Sixteen
Leftover lamb from episode fifteen is given a new lease of life in a biryani which is tray-baked so that no fancy equipment is needed. There’s also a rustic aubergine lasagne and comforting ‘hungover’ noodles which may or may not help sore heads after a few too many gins the night before. No judgement here.
Keep Cooking and Carry On by Jamie Oliver: Episode Seventeen
Jamie couldn’t exactly make a food programme focused on cheap eats without tackling everyone’s favourite budget meal: pizza. This is pizza, but not as you know it. There’s a puff pastry base and a ratatouille-style topping which combine for a flaky, satisfyingly crisp bottom with sweet and sour flavours. Quick lamb kofta flatbreads and a unique tomato risotto complete episode seventeen’s recipes.
Keep Cooking and Carry On by Jamie Oliver: Episode Eighteen
Spicy pork belly is given the piri piri treatment in this episode of Keep Cooking and Carry On, while cod is livened up by the addition of smoky pancetta. To make sure we’re all getting a good hit of greens there’s also a Caesar salad which is made with tasty roast chicken for full on flavour.
Keep Cooking and Carry On by Jamie Oliver: Episode Nineteen
What’s better than a curry and a naan? A curry stuffed inside a naan of course. In this episode Jamie takes a spicy roasted veg curry and tucks it neatly inside the pillowy bread for a really playful twist on everyone’s Friday night feast. Crispy garlicky chicken and pork tacos are also on offer for the meat eaters.
Keep Cooking and Carry On by Jamie Oliver: Episode Twenty
The final episode of Keep Cooking and Carry On went out with a bang, showing wannabe chefs how to make the ultimate roast beef sandwich by Jamie’s best friend Jimmy Doherty. Jamie also shared recipes for a crowd-pleasing pork stir-fry and soft steamed dumplings with zingy Asian flavours.
When is Jamie: Keep Cooking and Carry On on?
Jamie: Keep Cooking and Carry On was first aired on Monday 23 March 2020 and ran for the following four weeks, with an episode every weeknight evening. Now, you can watch re-runs of the show on Chanel Four on Demand.
Want to know more about your favourite celebrity chefs? We've got everything you need to know about Gordon Ramsay here.