Jamie Oliver’s top 5 tips for adding flavour and cutting food waste – in one go

Eat well AND reduce waste with these easy strategies from Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver teams up with Hotpoint to tackle food waste
(Image credit: Hotpoint)

One of the reasons we love Jamie Oliver is because of his mission to ensure the whole family can eat healthily, as well as enjoyably. Jamie’s family dishes deliver the essential nutrients we all need and they taste great. 

Jamie encourages cooking from scratch to create meals that are packed with flavour as well as wholesome – but he knows cost is key, too. That means carefully chosen ingredients, and avoiding food waste.

So, for tips on maximising flavour, and minimising waste, it’s Jamie we turn to. Use these ideas from our favourite chef to boost the taste of all your meals, and make ingredients go further. Don’t miss our food hub either for recipes and inspiration for every meal of the day.

  • Special thanks to Tesco for sharing these tips with us

1. Boost flavour (without extra salt or fat)

Steamed plaice

(Image credit: Tesco)

Let’s face it, both salt and fat can and do make food taste better, but they’re definitely not the only way to do it, nor the healthy option. As an alternative, Jamie advises using spices and a squeeze of lemon to flavour food. These swaps will also mean you use up jars of spices rather than leaving them languishing in the cupboard until they lose their flavour, and you can get through all the juice from a lemon.

2. Enjoy fresh herbs – without waste

herb garden herb planter

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

Herbs make recipes tastier, but if a dish calls for a certain amount, then the rest becomes waste, right? It doesn’t have to be this way if you follow Jamie’s lead. He recommends blitzing them, then freezing them in ice cube trays. These ‘flavour bombs’ can then be used to bring a hit of flavour to other dishes.

And, of course, you can always plant a herb garden so that you always have herbs to hand – even if they're just in a pot on the windowsill. 

Want a secret herb growing tip from us? Replant those little pots of herbs you get from the supermarket in bigger pots (not massive but at least 10cm wide), spreading the plant out to give it more space. The result? You'll get healthier, bushy plants that last and last (and last – our basil is months old now). 

3. Let your freezer help you out

Spiced carrot bhajis

(Image credit: Tesco)

Herbs aren’t the only thing you should be freezing to attain your goal of swerving waste and adding flavour. Jamie suggests freezing stock in ice cube trays, too, ready to add what you’re cooking. If you've got leftover Sunday roast gravy or you've boiled up a load of roast bones after your weekend dinner, you've got a ready made stock to freeze. Got too much? We divide ours into mini food bags because they take more stock than ice cube trays, but little Tupperware boxes will work, too.

And if you have chillies or ginger that are about to turn, you can freeze these instead of lobbing them in the bin, Jamie advises. How to use them? Defrost and grate over curries, salads, and grilled meat or fish, he says.

4. Put veg and fruit at the centre of your diet – even leftovers

how to make vegetable soup: veg in a pan

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jamie says vegetables and fruit should be at the heart of your diet if it’s to be healthy. The other big plus point of fresh produce? It’ll make your meals a whole lot more flavourful. 

The leftovers don’t have to go in the bin, though. You can freeze fruit before it spoils to use another day, and excess veg can be frozen, too, ready to go into another dish. You won’t miss out on nutrients and flavour by freezing them either.

And if you’re running out of space in the freezer? Jamie suggests using freezer bags laid flat then stacked to get more in. 

5. Go for better-tasting breadcrumbs

Supercharged corn

(Image credit: Tesco)

Don’t put stale wholemeal bread in the bin. Instead process it into breadcrumbs and freeze. You can use them to make your own fish fingers (so much tastier – try Jamie's fish finger sandwich), to add another dimension to a pasta dish, or try Jamie’s supercharged corn on the cob recipe. Combined with yoghurt and parmesan, they give this side dish plenty of extra flavour.