“ Brand: Tesco / Type: Chicken „
In summer I normally manage to eat really healthy at work, only fruit and soup for lunch and some summer berries as a snack but once in a while the Boots or Tesco meal-deal looks just too tempting.
This time I tried the Tesco meal-deal with the Chargrilled Chicken Pasta, Walkers Crisps and orange juice.
The pasta comes in a small 300g plastic cup with a small fork which is handy if you want to eat it in your office. You can either reheat the pasta or eat it as it is; I definitely prefer the hot version but then again I tried the pasta straight from the fridge which was just a tick too cold.
To reheat it just remove the lid and put in the microwave; cook for 1 or 2 minutes depending on your microwave. You can also put the pasta in an oven dish and heat in the oven for 5 to 10min.
But now to the actual taste of Tesco's Chargrilled Chicken Pasta. It's a surprisingly good and tasty dish with pasta that is cooked to perfection, spicy chicken bits and pieces of pepper and sweetcorn. All the ingredients are mixed in a tomato and herb sauce which is lightly spicy; there's not too much sauce so it's convenient to eat and less chance that the sauce will stain your shirt (something that always happens to meet when I'm about to meet an important customer).
The chicken bits taste really good with a light BBQ flavour. The sauce tastes more of herbs than of tomatoes.
If you are concerned where the meat comes from the packing reassures you that the meat that was used was sourced from farms that meet the Tesco welfare standards.
The pasta contains no artificial flavours or colours and is with 450 kcal unfortunately not the best for you when you are on a diet; it also contains a surprising 17.4g of fat which 25% of your GDA.
I can definitely recommend the pasta as it tastes really good and is a cheap option for a nice lunch but should only be eaten once in a while as it contains lots of fat.
If you just buy the pasta a 300g cup will cost you 1.40pound, if you buy it in the meal-deal it will cost you 2pound including crisps and a drink.
I was browsing the aisles of Tesco today and my sister was getting my lunch so I decided to try and find something different for a change and I spotted this and just popped it in to her basket so that she could buy it for me. The price was £1.40 for 300g and it contains 450 calories and 17.4g of fat so this is all I ate for my lunch because I was aware that this was 1/4 of my daily allowance of fat & calories.
The pot is plastic with a sticky paper label which contains the ingredients, nutritional information, price, date etc and it gives you a description of 'Chargrilled chicken, peppers and sweetcorn in a tomato & herb dressed pasta' and the label has a peel back tab which reveals the plastic fork which must be unfolded back in to shape and then there is a plastic tab that is used to hold the fork together. Although the fork is a little small it's very convenient as I never have a fork to hand at lunchtimes as I'm usually buying something like this because I am away from home and therefore want something convenient.
The pasta itself was swirls and they were just over an inch each. The entire tub was full and there was lots of red peppers, a few green peppers and sweetcorn, the peppers had a uniform square shape to them and were fairly small in size but I was overwhelmed by just how many there were in the pot. There was only 3 very small pieces of chicken in my pasta pot and I was disappointed with this as although I wouldn't expect masses for this price I would definitely want more than this as it was not even enough to get one decent single mouthful.
I was satisfied with the amount of pasta provided but I would want more chicken (at least double the three measly amounts I got) and far less peppers (I don't want to eat two whole peppers for my lunch thank you very much!) the pasta was cooked well and just as firm as I like it, the sauce was a little spicy but did taste very nice, the peppers were well cooked it's just a shame that there were too many of them & unfortunately I can't comment on the chicken much as I just did not get enough of a mouthful to really get any flavour from it.
Once I picked around some of the peppers I did see a few pieces of sweetcorn but they were very minimal and to be honest I was very pleased as I'm not really a lover of sweetcorn!
I would recommend this as a convenient lunch when you are on the go but I am only rating it 3/5 because I was disappointed with the lack of chicken and the overwhelming amount of peppers (red especially).
There are some nights where I can't be bothered to cook, and on these nights I actively seek out something ready made that is going to be tasty, healthy and filling. I like the ready made pasta salads from Tescos and I am currently working my way through these in order to identify the best one.
I had previously purchased the sausage and tomato variety and I was very disappointed, so I thought I would try the chargrilled chicken variety. After all chicken is healthy and filling.
The chargrilled chicken pasta pot is a Tesco own brand and had a net weight of 300g. It cost £1.50 so which I thought was quite good value for money.
Just like the sausage variety the type of pasta used is spatziola (the curly variety that ends up intertwining) therefore it is possible to get a large volume of food in such a small container.
The pasta was clearly in a tomato based sauce, and there was an abundance of a herb (I suspected it would be basil) and it looked moist and quite appetizing
This pasta pot contains minimal ingredients and is made up of:
1) Cooked pasta
2) Tomato and herb dressing
3) Chargrilled chicken (10%)
4) Peppers (red and green)
The tomato and herb dressing is basically a passata with vegetable oil, mustard, garlic powder and onion powder in it, amongst the usual tomato puree, salt, sugar and the like.
There chargrilled chicken is cut up in to small pieces and there was quite a lot of chicken in the pot, which surprised me somewhat. It is usually a real mission to find the meat in these pots since this is the ingredient that is usually scrimped on. This was not the case in this instance.
There was an abundance of red pepper. In my opinion there was far too much pepper and it did taint the pot somewhat. Although there was green pepper in the pot the chunks of this were few and far between.
Whilst the ingredients stated that there was sweetcorn in the pot I found about three grain, much to my disappointment as I really likr sweetcorn.
Once the pot was opened there was a distinct aroma of red pepper and basil. The pepper was over powering and the result of too much pepper in the pot, in my opinion.
The large amount of red pepper not only made the smell overpowering but it also tainted the taste of the dish.
Other ingredients include garlic, onion and mustard that are quite strong flavours. The red pepper should have complimented these but instead it overpowered them, resulting in a dish that tasted purely of pepper, which was disappointing. There is the potential for a really nice and flavoursome dish here, providing the ratios of ingredients are changed, but the manufacturers are not capturing this.
Whilst there was quite a lot of chicken in the pot this, like everything else, tasted of red pepper. You could not taste the chargrilled flavouring at all. It could have been any meat or meat substitute in this dish and I would not have been able to distinguish it.
When it was possible to avoid having red pepper on the fork there was a faint taste of basil, which was nice, but in order to achieve this subtle taste there was a lot of basil in the dish, far too much for my liking. The basil had mixed with the oil and there were clumps of green bogey like things in the pot. It didn't look very appetising at all.
The information below is for the whole 300g pot. Who is going to eat 100g of the pot for a main meal after all?
1) Calories 450
2) Sugar 2.7g
3) Fat 17.4g
4) Saturate 2.3g
5) Salt 1.5g
6) Carbohydrate 54.4g
Compared to the sausage and tomato variety this version is more healthy which is not that much of a surprise since the sausage variety contained frankfurters and these are notoriously bad for you. There are fewer calories (540 in the sausage variety), less carbohydrate (82g in the sausage variety). The other stuff are around the same levels.
It was the amount of fat that surprised me. It is very high and turns what would be a healthy meal in to an unhealthy one. The fat is the result of all the oil in the tomato and herb dressing, which is the same dressing that keeps this pasta pot really moist and probably extends the shelf life of the pot. We all know that keeping pasta in a refrigerator will dry it out in a matter of hours and render it un-edible.
The amount of salt in this pot is also a bit concerning. I can see no need for it, but it is in there for some reason. Perhaps this is to preserve it and extend the shelf life?
This pasta pot contains an allergy advice in that it contains wheat, gluten and mustard, so if you have any issues with these then it is not for you.
A further warning states that whilst the recipe contains no nuts the manufacturers cannot confirm that there will not be nuts in the pasta pot. This is because it is produced in a nut free area but nuts are used elsewhere in the factory! This statement is ludicrous and seems to be a bit over the top to me. I can only guess that Tesco has had legal issues over nuts before.
Since the dish contains meat there is a further warning stating that every care has been taken to remove bones but there may still be some in the dish.
The amount of warnings is ridiculous and Tesco are protecting themselves from every eventuality. I can only assume that this is a result of the compensation culture we have in the UK and the increase of the 'where there's blame, there's a claim' attitude.
****Would I recommend it?****
If you like the taste of red pepper then you would like this. I would not recommend it, although it is much better than the sausage variety I bought prior to this.
There is the potential for a really nice dish, but the manufacturers need to sort out the quantities of the ingredients. There is far too much red pepper. In my opinion, this is the root problem since the smell and taste is just too over powering and ruins everything else.
There is too much basil, whilst the taste is not too overpowering (how can it compete against the red pepper?) it looks disgusting since it had congealed in to clumps throughout the dish and the consistency of these were not pleasing on the palette.
There is too much oil. I appreciate that some oil is needed to keep the dish moist, and extend the shelf life, but when you can feel it dribbling down your chin that's when you know there is too much and it needs to be reduced.
In my opinion there is not enough sweetcorn. A meagre 3 grains is just not enough, there needs to be a lot more.
The amount of chicken is fine, I would even go as far to say that it is very generous, but it does lack the chargrilled taste. It lacks any taste for that matter. Perahps if the amount of chicken was reduced and the taste increased it would be better.