“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Ready Meal „
I am a big fan of microwave meals because I live alone, work long hours and absolutely detest cooking. I have tried several different types of microwaveable lasagne but Tesco Finest really is the finest I've had. This lasagne is available to buy as a meal for one or two people. A meal-for-one portion is 400g and will cost you about £2.80. This is quite expensive when compared to other microwaveable lasagne out there, but I believe it is totally worth the extra just for the increased quality and flavour.
Cooking the lasagne is easy: just remove the cardboard sleeve, pierce the film a few times then blast for about 5 minutes (depending on your microwave strength). You can also cook it in the oven if you don't mind waiting a little longer for your dinner (25 mins or so). Leave the lasagne to sit for a minute, then serve. Yum!
The first thing that hits you when you open the heated packet is the smell. The meat sauce smells of red wine when you first open the packet which makes it smell really expensive and authentic. The cheese is subtle and not plastic-y. There are no mushrooms in this lasagne which is a massive plus point for someone like me.
I have never cooked one of these in an oven so I don't know how well it holds up, but cooking it in a microwave produces lasagne as nice as I've ever eaten in a restaurant. The size of the portion is good for one person too - not too big and not too small. I always have mine with chips though to add a bit of variety and to bulk it out a bit.
Calorie-wise this lasagne will set you back 545 for the 400g portion, with 28.6% fat. Okay, it's not great but it's pretty typical of pasta dishes.
Tesco Finest Beef Lasagne 400g
02/01/09 Cost is £2.49
Calories per 400g serving 545
Fat per 400g serving 28.6%
Product contains Milk, Wheat, Gluten, Egg, Mustard & Celery
Product does no contain nuts
Ingredients - Milk, British Beef (26%), Tomato (26%), Free Range Egg Pasta (11%), Tomato Purée, Red Wine (4%), Carrot, Onion, Vegetable Oil, Mature Cheddar Cheese, Celery, Sbrinz Cheese, Wheat Flour, Beef Stock, Sugar, Garlic Purée, Salt, Black Pepper, Thyme, Mustard Powder, Bay Leaf Powder, White Pepper.
Free Range Egg Pasta contains: Durum Wheat Semolina, Water, Egg, Wheat Flour
Beef Stock contains: Concentrated Beef Bouillon, Cornflour, Salt, Onion Concentrate, Tomato Purée, Sugar
Okay so the product is more expensive than other Tesco pre made lasagne. But is the extra cost worth it. In my opinion YES
They use British beef, and free range products.
You will find this product in the pre made section of the fridge, but it can be frozen.
In the microwave it taste 7mins to cook. You piece the lid, place it in the microwave and wait for it to ping.
You can also oven cook the product but this takes longer.
I live alone and although I much prefer the taste of fresh lasagne, it is not cost effective for me to make it from scratch. So I buy this . It is a rich beef sauce with tomatoes and red wine, layered with free range fresh egg pasta and topped with a creamy cheese sauce
Mmmm my favourite Italian food.
The price is good. Sometimes I wait until it is on offer in Tesco, then freeze one of them.
Now the important part, TASTE.
Love love love this lasagne. It was defiantly filling and so so rich. The cheese sauce was very creamy and the pasta cooked to perfection (in my opinion). I loved that is was not greasy. It is low in calories and fat.
A meal for one I would usually serve this with fresh salad
Or fresh veg
As some of you will already know I am currently a full time carer to my mother who has Vascular Dementia. As my father finally lost his battle with Alzheimers disease last year mom gets very lonely and I spend the majority of my time keeping her company.
I prepare lunch for both of us as moms memory is so bad these days that she probably wouldnt be able to prepare a meal for herself any more.
Some days I feel like cooking and other days I feel idle or maybe have been busy out in the garden or such like and just need to be able to prepare a quick meal and this is where the Tesco Finest range comes in.
The food in this particular range is sold chilled but can easily be frozen so it is a good idea to stock up when Tescos have one of their regular money off promotions. The beef lasagne is normally £2.98 per 350g pack, but the current offer is buy two meals and get £1 off. This makes it great value and providing it is up to the usual standard of Tescos Finest products were on to another winner here!
The lasagne is packed in a plastic container (to be recycled of course) with a plastic film over the top (to be recycled again) and then covered with an outer cardboard sleeve (also recycleable!) It has already scored highly with me as I try to recycle as much as I possibly can.
The cardboard wrapper has the Tesco Finest logo on the top left and the main colours are grey and black apart from the colour picture of the lasagne which stands out against the plainer background making the whole thing look classy and inviting.
One of the main things that attracted me to this product and others in the same range is the promise that it contains no artificial preservatives, flavours or colours.
The other information on the front of the sleeve consists of the description of the product as follows:
A traditional rich Bolognese sauce layered with free range egg pasta
Slowly baked for richer flavour
Topped with a smooth creamy cheese sauce
As with other Tesco foods there is also information about the calorie, sugar, salt, fat and saturates content in grams per pack and as a percentage of an average adult daily allowance.
On the reverse of the sleeve is all the usual information about how to cook the meal either by conventional oven or using the microwave remember to allow a bit extra cooking time if you have frozen the item though! It does tell you to defrost the item thoroughly for 12 hours before cooking but it also gives instructions on how to cook the meal form frozen so thats a bit odd! I have cooked mine straight from the freezer with no ill effects.
There is also a list of ingredients (as it says on the front of the pack nothing artificial), nutrition, allergy advice and the Tesco promise of satisfaction or a full refund.
As I said earlier this product was found in the chiller section at Tescos but it suitable for home freezing which is what I did.
Before I purchased the lasagne I slid the cardboard sleeve partly off so that I could see the size of the portion inside. How many times have you bought something in a generous sized pack only to find that the product inside is considerably smaller than the outer packaging? This was not the case here the portion was easily big enough for a single adult meal.
So all this information is great the packaging is all recycleable, there are no artificial ingredients in the lasagne and the portion size looks just right BUT how does it taste?
I decided to cook ours in the conventional oven as there were two of us eating. That way the meals are ready together rather than cooking one after the other in the microwave. That would make it like school with first and second sittings!
To prepare it for conventional cooking I just had to remove the cardboard sleeve and then remove the plastic film across the top. This was easier said than done as it is very well stuck around the edges, but I got there in the end.
It would have taken 25 minutes in the oven on 190 degrees had it not been frozen but, as I said earlier, I had frozen ours so it took 30 35 minutes to cook. Obviously you need to check that it is hot all the way through before serving. Incidentally it would take a maximum of 6.5 minutes in the microwave so it would be great for someone living alone and in a hurry!
By the time it was cooked the smell coming from the kitchen was lovely.
To serve the lasagne I just put each of the containers on a separate plate rather than trying to get the product out of the tray as I am sure that I would have made a right mess of it!
Of course the other advantage of cooking and serving in this way is the lack of washing up great stuff!
The lasagne looked excellent. The pasta, sauce and filling were all the right colours there was nothing bright or artificial about it. In fact it looked good enough to be served in any Italian restaurant!
The taste was no disappointment either! The sauce was creamy and just cheesy enough without being overpowering. The pasta was all well cooked so there were no hard inedible pieces and the Bolognese was delicious! The other thing that we noticed about this lasagne was that it wasnt at all greasy. Often with dishes made from mince the result can be quite greasy and not very palatable as a result but this was spot on!!
There was enough to make a filling meal for one, which isnt always the case when you buy ready meals!
All in all I would recommend this product without hesitation! Lets face it even at the full price of £2.98 per portion it is still excellent value for the standard of the product you couldnt make it yourself for that much!
As I said earlier we had one or two different meals in this range so I shall have to do some more reviews to let you all know how they were!