Cookbook review – Jamie Oliver 5 Ingredients

Selection of recipes it’s possible to make: 3/5
Ease of cooking: 5/5
Layout: 4/5
My personal score: 4/5

Post transplant quite a few people had recommended this book to me and with the TV series last year Jamie’s 5 ingredients concept was something I was definitely up for trying!

The issue I often have with cooking is the ‘hidden’ ingredients that are on the no go list – it might not be the main element but the edition of cheese, eggs etc which means although a recipe might initially appear okay it later becomes more tricky and needs editing or leaving! The bonus of this book then is that with only 5 ingredients in each recipe it’s pretty obvous from the outset if they are something I’m not going to be able to enjoy, theres even handy pictures of the 5 ingredients on the side of the page so as you flick through they are incredibly easily identifiable.

The book also has a great big image of each recipe to accompany it which I love, it means you know what you are aiming for and is a great inseration while youre cooking.

That said…there are definitely some recipes that I cant touch. A fairly large selection of meats that aren’t cooked through and a whole section on eggs…

Due to the 5 ingredients concept lots of the recipes are pretty basic – often a slight twist on the traditional. Some of the recipes seem barely to be that at all and more of an asebily of ingredients. The book relys on pots of sauces at various points which if you are making the effort to crack open a cookbook might be a bit of a disappointment (and a slight cheat on the 5 ingredients promise)

The concept also means that although in my eyes the book is great for a low effort but delicious meals (it even tells you in minutes how long they will take to cook!) its lacking in show stopping creations so in reality I’m not sure how often I would actually look to it for inspiration.

Overall I think the book would be great for someone lacking in confidence and maybe someone who wants to learn some staple dishes and try and eat a little better without having to buy hundreds of ingredients. For someone who might struggle with energy due to illness  the recipes aren’t that demanding to make so are definitely achievable!

*These recipe book reviews are intended to highlight difficulties not criticise and as always are my own personal opinion

*All methods will need to be modified with extra prep steps to wash products etc before use unless otherwise stated.

Recipe trial:

Decided to try out one of the pasta dishes from Jamie’s book. The reality is that the majority of the time when it comes to food the priority is good food without too much effort and the sausage carbonara we made certainly fit the bill.


As we were having someone round for supper and I didn’t want to be stuck in the kitchen I did some pre prep and made the meatballs ahead of time but to be honest it would have been fine to make them as the pasta cooked as other than the edition of pepper the beauty of the 5 ingredients concept is it doesn’t require the hunt or prep of multiple ingredients and is nice and low on mess created. The assembly was quick and easy and the whole thing only used two pans which was a bonus.


I increased the qualities somewhat – the pasta amount suggested seemed somewhat meagre and I also increased the amount of eggs to bind the sauce a little more.

In terms of adjustment there were only a couple of things that needed considering. A rinse of the parsley before chopping and then extra caution to ensure the egg was cooked through entirely once mixed with the pasta and sausage balls.

Overall, a quick, easy and pretty delicious weekday supper. We had it with some salad and home made garlic bread but it would be just as good in a bowl in front of the tv!

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