Every year, we slave over hot stoves to create spectacular festive feasts to fill the family. But what recipes are we most likely to cook up in December?
We analysed 3.7 million searches made on Google over the period of December 2019 to discover the recipes that we’re most likely to search for over the festive period in 2020.
So without further ado, let’s explore what we’ll be cooking up over the next couple of weeks!
The UK’s most Googled Christmas recipes
It may come as little surprise to find that the UK’s most Googled Christmas food is turkey! A traditional Christmas feast, turkey can be a delight, but it can also be very dry if not cooked well, and Google’s own data shows how we Brits turn to the internet for help in getting it right.
But it’s not just turkey itself; being keen preservers of food and avoiders of waste, we’re looking for different ways to use our turkey – plus lots more recipes besides. The table below shows the 20 most searched for terms including ‘how to cook’, ‘how to make’ or ‘how to prepare’:
|how to cook a turkey||165,000|
|how to cook a turkey crown||110,000|
|how to cook a boneless turkey crown||14,800|
|how to cook the perfect turkey||8,100|
|how to prepare a turkey||6,600|
|how to prepare sprouts||6,600|
|how to prepare brussel sprouts||5,400|
|how to cook a turkey in the oven to be moist||4,400|
|how to cook christmas ham||4,400|
|how to cook a ham in the oven||1,600|
|how to make turkey soup||1,300|
|how do you cook a turkey||1,300|
|how to make turkey stock||1,000|
|how to roast a turkey in the oven||720|
|how to cook a smoked ham||720|
|how to cook a turkey breast in the oven||720|
|how to cook a honey baked ham||320|
|how to cook a boneless turkey breast||320|
|how to cook fresh brussel sprouts||140|
December’s most Googled meat recipes
The recipes we search for the most in December aren’t necessarily confined only to the Christmas period. But with many of us choosing to forego the traditional turkey in favour of other options, recipes for the best beef and chicken are high up there when we totalled up the number of searches for each meat, as shown in the table below.
The table below shows the meat we struggle with most is turkey – perhaps unsurprising given its popularity at Christmas but lack therein through the rest of the year. Next in our most searched for meat recipes was chicken, a popular alternative bird for the festive table.
Seafood is also a popular search around Christmas. Lobster in particular is anticipated to be very popular in 2020 as Covid regulations mean we’re less likely to gather in large groups to eat, and a smaller dish like lobster is more appropriate for those eating in smaller groups.
|MEAT||Number of Searches|
Most searched for vegetable recipes
When it comes to vegetables, the one we struggle most with by far is the humble potato. Breaking this down further, roast potatoes were searched for 48,000 times, compared to mashed potato at 14,300.
Brussel sprouts may not be a favourite at the dinner table but it seems we’re still willing to give them a place, with more than 36,000 searches expected this month for brussel sprout recipes.
|VEGETABLES||Number of Searches|
Most searched for extras
Yorkshire pudding is the most searched for dinner accompaniment in our analysis, with more than 40,000 people searching for advice to get the perfect pud.
It was stuffing, however, that put in the biggest uplift when we compare November to December, with a 720% increase in searches, while gravy, which so often comes from a packet through the rest of the year, sees a 200% increase in searches at Christmas – time to put that packet stuffing away in favour of proper, homemade fare?
Our previous research into gravy has shown that the best gravy is made with soft water, as hard water leaves a foggy layer on the top, which means that the best gravy in the UK this Christmas is likely to be found in the north, where water is naturally softer, or in homes where an investment has been made in a water softener.
|EXTRAS||Number of Searches|
Most searched for Christmas deserts
Ah desert – the best part of most meals! The most Googled desert in December is the mince pie, with more than 23,000 of us searching for mince pie making tips ready to treat Santa Claus himself.
|DESERT||Number of Searches|
Vegan Christmas options
Veganism has grown in popularity in recent years and so too have searches for vegan Christmas options. Here, we see the most searched for vegan options:
|VEGAN||Number of Searches|
|vegan christmas dinner||40,500|
|vegan christmas pudding||9,900|
|vegan mince pies||18,100|
|vegan roast dinner||5,400|
Is there a regional divide?
Not to cause undue competition but… we were interested to find out if there is a regional divide in the number of searches for common Christmas dinner items.
So we went back into nearly 4 million searches across the UK and split them down into the main UK cities to see how we all compare… here are the results. The table shows the percentage of searches per query in each region to show the likelihood of people in each region seeking help with each food:
|Search Query||South England||Midlands England||North England||Scotland||Wales|
|how to cook beef||2.43%||4.15%||4.69%||1.04%||5.16%|
|how to cook brussel sprouts||8.60%||4.63%||4.05%||12.17%||4.52%|
|how to cook chicken||1.89%||2.41%||3.02%||2.67%||3.87%|
|how to cook ham||3.99%||2.32%||3.18%||5.34%||3.23%|
|how to cook lobster||2.85%||1.54%||1.11%||1.78%||1.94%|
|how to cook turkey||39.09%||40.44%||39.08%||42.73%||36.77%|
|how to make christmas cake||1.05%||1.06%||1.35%||1.04%||2.58%|
|how to make christmas pudding||0.99%||0.97%||0.56%||1.19%||1.94%|
|how to make gingerbread||4.95%||4.34%||3.73%||3.26%||3.23%|
|how to make gravy||8.48%||5.41%||6.27%||5.93%||10.32%|
|how to make mince pies||5.61%||8.40%||5.88%||2.67%||5.16%|
|how to make red cabbage||1.38%||1.45%||0.95%||1.04%||2.58%|
|how to make roast potatoes||8.66%||9.85%||10.56%||13.65%||8.39%|
|how to make yorkshire puddings||10.04%||13.03%||15.57%||5.49%||10.32%|
The regions that are best and worst at cooking…
By calculating the regions most and least likely to search for each recipe, we can safely assume we’re also looking at the regions that are best and worst at cooking each thing. The regions least likely to search for each recipe are assumed to be the best at cooking them, which the regions most likely to search for them are assumed to be the worst at cooking them!
Let the regional competition begin… do you agree?
|Recipe||Best at Cooking||Worst at Cooking|
|Brussel Sprouts||North England||Scotland|
|Lobster||North England||South England|
|Christmas Pudding||North England||Wales|
|Red Cabbage||North England||Wales|
|Yorkshire Puddings||Scotland||North England|
What is the most popular vegan option this Christmas?
As a final analysis of our data, we went back to see where in the country is most likely to be sitting down to a vegan feast this festive period.
The table below shows the percentage of searches in each region for each vegan option:
|Recipe||South England||Midlands England||North England||Scotland||Wales|
|vegan christmas dinner||29.44%||25.40%||24.84%||34.09%||24.32%|
|vegan christmas pudding||5.77%||5.44%||6.05%||5.30%||5.41%|
|vegan mince pies||16.53%||13.15%||13.56%||9.34%||16.22%|
|vegan roast dinner||4.81%||3.85%||3.92%||3.03%||5.41%|
Taking this information as we did before, we can assume the places best and worst at vegan Christmas recipes are:
|Recipe||Best at Cooking||Worst at Cooking|
|vegan christmas dinner||North England||Scotland|
|vegan christmas pudding||Scotland||North England|
|vegan mince pies||Scotland||South England|
|vegan roast||North England||Wales|
|vegan roast dinner||Scotland||Wales|
In terms of pure numbers, the region that searches for vegan options more than any other was the South of England at 21,840 searches in December 2019.
So, what will you be eating for Christmas 2020? Whatever you choose, we wish you a merry Christmas and a wonderful 2021.