Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson’s quarantine cooking tips are exactly what we need right now

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Stuck with a just a handful of cupboard ingredients this weekend? Nigella Lawson just gave some helpful tips on quarantine cooking. 

We know that Nigella Lawson is the queen of indulgent, full-flavour cooking. So in these times of tinned foods, reduced access to ingredients and zero eggs in the shops – Lawson’s recipes perhaps aren’t the first we would turn to for quarantine cooking ideas. But the cook and writer has shared some seriously relatable tips and recipes that you’ll want to take note of.

Speaking on the BBC’s The Coronavirus Podcast, Lawson revealed her go-to food during these uncertain times, and gave recipe ideas for listeners’ store cupboard dilemmas. 

Speaking to BBC reporter Emily Maitlis, Lawson revealed her top store cupboard essentials.

“If I didn’t have anchovies, I would really feel that I couldn’t bring flavour to a lot of things. I know it’s a divisive subject, the anchovy, but I do need anchovies. And I think also condiments: there’s that Chinese crispy oil – crispy chilli oil – and if you put that in anything, that I need. But mostly, the things I need aren’t so much the store cupboard things, but lemons, garlic, salt…”

The cook then went on to say something very relatable right now, adding: “I mostly feel at the moment that I just want to eat carbs. You know, a baked potato for lunch and some rice for dinner does me at the moment. That’s all I can do, and bread. So it’s not a balanced diet but I’m hoping I’ll find my way back to proper food.”

Nigella Lawson shared her tips for quarantine cooking.

She also gave recipe tips on how to recreate piri piri chicken, while fast food chains are closed. 

“Just marinade chicken with chillies and garlic and some oil,” she instructed. “I’d always put some lemon in, but I’m not sure whether they would. In fact it’s actually really wonderful if you mix in some fresh orange juice and lemon. 

“And then roast them – you don’t want to be doing the proper grilling, it’s never going to taste like that. And then you have your chillies and make a sauce. I think you need the dried chillies, the crushed chillies to make a really good sauce, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t fry up some fresh chillies and add a bit of dried chilli to that.

“And you have a really cooked, done mess. Mmm, delicious.”

Lawson then solved some store cupboard dilemmas, which might be useful to you. Here are a couple to take note of.

Nigella Lawson’s store cupboard dilemmas

Ingredients: one aubergine, one red pepper, half a green pepper, lots of fresh tomatoes, one big chorizo, some green olives, canned tomatoes, chickpeas.

Solution: Make ratatouille by frying the chorizo, and leaving the orange paprika and garlic fat behind. Cook the aubergine, red pepper and fresh tomatoes for quite a time in the oil so that they soak up the flavours and merge into one another. Stir chickpeas through, if you want, and add the chorizo back into the pan.

Ingredients: What’s left of a four-day-old cabbage, a block of smoked tofu, a bunch of shallots and a bag of new potatoes.

Solution: Firstly, Lawson says to ditch the tofu because cabbage and potatoes “go so well together”.  Chop the shallots and fry them. Shred the cabbage and fry it quickly in oil, then add a tiny bit of stock or water and keep the lid on.  Mix them together and add whatever spices you can find – cumin, caraway or fennel seeds. Steam the potatoes, cut them up and toss them in at the end. Cheese and butter are bonus ingredients you can add.

Listen to The Coronavirus Podcast with Nigella Lawson

Feeling inspired? You can listen to the full episode here, or take a look at more recipes on Stylist.

Images: Stylist

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…