Smart Consumer: Shopping around - Lasagne
It's gorgeous if you go to the effort of making it yourself, but how does ready-made lasagne stack up?
We examined five supermarket own-brand varieties and unfortunately none of them was particularly flavoursome.
We tested on taste, ingredients and nutritional values, while keeping our eye on price.
supervalu irish beef lasagne, 1kg
Verdict We liked this as there wasn't too much bechamel sauce, so you get more of a tomato taste. It contains 21% Irish minced beef, middling compared with meat content of the others. This has the lowest salt content at 0.3g per 100g, joint-lowest calories (135 per 100g), and the second-lowest sugar count (2.4g per 100g). A pity, then, that it contains the lowest amount of protein at 5.1g per 100g.
tesco italian lasagne, 400g
Verdict This has the second-highest beef content at 22% and is made from "British or Irish beef". There was more bechamel in this one, but it tasted alright and the pasta was nice. It contains the second-highest protein count at 7.9g per 100g, the lowest sugar content at 1.9g per 100g and is joint-lowest for calories. The salt content comes in the middle at 0.6g per 100g.
Price: €2.59 (€6.48/kg)
superquinn beef lasagne, 800g
Verdict: This was the dearest but is made from Irish beef (19pc content) and has a decent ingredient list. It has a lot of bechamel and tasted very sweet to us, which we weren't crazy about. The sugar content is second-highest at 3.1g per 100g and the protein content is second-lowest at 7g per 100g. The salt content comes in second lowest at 0.51g per 100g.
Price: €6.00 (€7.50/kg)
lidl trattoria alfredo lasagne, 1kg
Verdict This is joint-cheapest on price, along with Aldi's offering, and has the highest beef content at 24pc. However, it contains Emmental, which makes it taste really cheesy and not what we'd expect in lasagne. The calorie count is highest at 158 per 100g as is the salt content at 1g per 100g. On the plus side, this contains the most protein at 9g per 100g. No beef origin is indicated.
aldi casa barellis beef lasagne, 1kg
Verdict: Joint-cheapest, but this tasted too bland for us, although the bechamel sauce was nice. It contains the highest amount of sugar at 3.3g per 100g and the second-highest amount of salt at 0.98g per 100g. The protein and calorie counts came in the middle. No beef origin is indicated.