Sunday 25 March 2018

3 simple family dinner recipes that won’t break the bank

What are the products that matter most to you when doing your weekly shopping? January is all about getting the family back into a good routine and enjoying delicious homemade dinners together.

Tesco’s 800 range has identified the shopping staples that matter most to households across Ireland and is guaranteeing all-important value on a combination of Tesco brand and popular Irish household branded products that you won’t pay more for.

Here are 3 simple and really delicious family winter dinner recipe ideas that won’t break the bank as you make savings all the way this January:


Italian Meatballs and Spaghetti

This delicious Italian tomato meatball recipe uses fresh ingredients and is a brilliant mid-week dinner for all the family. Irish families buy more beef mince than any other meat. It’s one of the 800 products that matter most to shoppers and you won’t pay more for it when you shop at Tesco. This Italian Meatballs and Spaghetti recipe serves 4, takes only 15 minutes preparation time and 45 minutes to cook.


550g Tesco Irish minced beef

200g spaghetti

50g parmesan cheese, grated

2-3 garlic cloves

2 tbsp olive oil

1 egg yolk

handful breadcrumbs

1 tbsp finely chopped parsley

handful of rocket leaves, to serve

grated parmesan, to serve

For the Sauce:

1 x 680g tomato passata

50ml dry white wine (optional)

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tbsp finely chopped onion

6 tbsp olive oil


Begin by making the tomato sauce.

Start by heating olive oil in a medium saucepan over a medium-to-low heat.

Add the onion and garlic and fry for a few minutes until softened but not coloured. 

Stir in the passata and white wine (optional) and set aside.

Mix the minced beef, parmesan cheese, garlic, egg yolk, breadcrumbs, parsley and seasoning together, and form into 8 meatballs.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium-to-low heat.

Add the meatballs and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes or until browned all over.

Heat the sauce and stir in the meatballs.

Cover and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.

While the meatballs cook, bring  a large pan of water to the boil, add a good pinch of salt followed by the spaghetti.

Bring back to a good boil, stirring from time to time, and cook until tender, using the packet instructions as a guide.

Drain well.

Serve the spaghetti with the meatballs and sauce, sprinkled with the rocket leaves and parmesan cheese.


Chicken and Tomato Spiced Curry

This Chicken and Tomato Spiced Curry will be sure to result in empty plates around the family dinner table. It’s a great way to use left over chicken also. It uses plenty of ingredients from the Tesco 800 that you will not pay more for elsewhere. The aromatic spices and rich tomato flavour of the Madras curry makes it the perfect autumn and winter warmer. It only takes 10 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to cook and serves 4 people.


3 tbsp vegetable oil

Ground black peppercorns

A pinch of sea salt

400g canned chopped tomatoes

1tbsp tomato paste

300g vegetables of your choice (red peppers, carrots etc.)

450g cooked chicken, cut into bite sized pieces

1tsp red wine vinegar

1tbsp Madras curry paste

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped

Sprigs of coriander herbs


Heat the oil in a large frying pan, reduce the heat and add the onion and garlic. Cook over a medium heat until golden.

Add the curry paste and cook for 1 minute to cook in the spices.

Add the tomato purée, chopped tomatoes, vinegar and 200ml of water to the frying pan. Bring to the boil and simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes.

Add your chosen vegetables and cook for about 5 minutes until they are tender. Stir in the chicken pieces and season with salt and pepper according to taste.

Simmer gently for a few minutes or until the chicken is piping hot. Cut into a thick chunk of chicken to check that it is cooked through with no pink showing.

Serve with boiled rice with some mango chutney on the side.


Broccoli Pesto Penne

Pesto and Broccoli are a delicious combination and always a family favourite. This Broccoli Pesto Penne is very easy to make and uses plenty of ingredients guaranteeing value from the Tesco 800. The pesto just involves blitzing broccoli, herbs and hazelnuts for a silky smooth sauce that will transform any pasta dish. It only takes 5 minutes to prepare so it’s perfect for a busy working week and hungry families. It can be cooked in 15 minutes and this recipe serves 4.


150g wholewheat penne or free-from penne pasta

200g broccoli florets

1 x 30g pack basil

1/2 x 30g pack flat-leaf parsley

20g roasted chopped hazelnuts

3 tsp olive oil

30g vegetarian hard cheese or Parmesan, finely grated, plus extra to serve

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 large red chilli, sliced into thin rounds


In a pan of boiling water, cook the pasta following the pack instructions.

In another pan of boiling water, blanch the broccoli for 3 minutes, drain and refresh under cold water.

In a food processor, whizz the broccoli with the basil, parsley, nuts and 1 tsp oil, until finely chopped.

Add the cheese and 4-5 tbsp of the pasta cooking water to loosen the pesto, then pulse.

Season to taste.

When the pasta is ready, drain and return to the pan.

Add the broccoli pesto and mix through the pasta to coat.

Heat the remaining oil in a pan, add the garlic and chilli and stir-fry for 1 minute over a high heat, until softened and browning slightly.

Divide the pasta between 2 serving bowls, and spoon over the garlic and chilli sizzle.

Serve with a few cheese shavings, if you like.

It’s easy to shop from the Tesco 800 for the products that matter most to you. Just go online to and as you do your online shopping, the ingredients that form part of the Tesco 800 are clearly marked. 

You will also see the Tesco 800 product range clearly marked with a red bubble in-store. The 800 includes both Tesco brand and household favourite brands.

Sponsored by: TESCO

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