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Beef Lasagne – Tried and Tasted

Most people love the meaty Italian dish, lasagne. The delicious layers of pasta, cheese and meaty sauce provide a wholesome, filling and flavoursome meal.  With calorie and fat content in mind, the Tried and Tasted Team were set the challenge to find supermarket versions which would stand the taste bud test but still fit in with your daily calorie quotas.

Table 1: Beef Lasagne Compared
Product Name Waitrose, Low Saturated Fat M & S, COU Tesco, Light Choices
  Waitrose, Low Saturated Fat M & S, COU Tesco, Light Choices
Ranking 1 2 3
Appearance Looked homemade and wholesome. Tastes better than it looks. Lots of sloppy sauce on top.
Smell Lovely. Rich tomato & beef aroma with a good mix of herbs. Cheesey Odourless
Taste Rich with a great balance of flavours and unlike some you could definitely taste the different components – yummy! Good flavours coming through, including the creamy sauce, meaty goodness and hearty filling pasta. Too herby and lacking in meat and tomato flavours; also rather stingy on the pasta.
Texture/ Consistency Decent sized chunks of meat, plus veg and pasta was just right. Creamy sauce and most amount of meat and pasta of the bunch. Pasta was good, but the tomato sauce too runny and meat gritty in size.
Conclusion Our favourite turns out to be middle of the road on calories and fat, but full of flavour and texture that stood out from the rest. Highest in calories, but lowest in fat, making M&S an appealing alternative to our winner. All our tasters gave this a vote. A larger serving size than the others, but smaller on taste. Not outstanding - some enjoyed this dish more than others.
Serving Size 400g 400g 430g
Calories (kcal) per serving 388 435 426
Fat (g) per serving 10.4 8.8 11.2
Table 2: Beef Lasagne Compared
Product Name Weight Watchers Asda, GFY
  Weight Watchers Asda, GFY
Ranking 4 5
Appearance Looks to be all béchamel sauce with herbs on top. Like milky jelly, very lumpy and anaemic looking.
Smell Smells like lasagne! Strong oregano too. Bland
Taste Tastes of béchamel and herbs but not a lot else. Bland, boring, dull, tasteless... I think you get what our tasters thought.
Texture/ Consistency Watery Way to much of the yucky sauce and not a lot else.
Conclusion Low in calories and low on flavour I'm afraid, although we did discover an after taste (but it wasn't great) Way too much unappetising sauce; it didn't taste better than it looked either
Serving Size 400g 400g
Calories (kcal) per serving 340 344
Fat (g) per serving 9.2 9.6

Conclusion

The team conceded that trying to find the perfect lasagne in ready meal format would not be simple but it does seem that low calorie, low fat lasagne presents a particular challenge. The dishes we tasted showed a real mixture of results, good and bad. Waitrose did not win on calories but we are talking lasagne here; this dish was tasty, filling and almost homemade. Marks & Spencer provided a dish nearly as tasty. Asda’s GFY and Weight Watchers may have been better value for the calories but not really worth the taste.

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