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5 easy family dinners for £25 – Beef and lentil cottage pie, squash and sage pasta, curried chickpea burgers…

From a twist on a classic cottage pie, to a shortcut chicken biryani, enjoy five delicious midweek meals, all for less than £25*. We've done the hard work for you and prepared a shopping list, shown at the bottom of the page – you can either shop online, choose Click+Collect or screenshot the list before you head in-store.

  1. Monday: Curried chickpea burgers

    Monday: Curried chickpea burgers

    650g floury potatoes, scrubbed and cut into wedges
    3 tbsp vegetable oil
    400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
    1 onion, finely chopped
    1 lemon, zested, ½ juiced
    10g fresh coriander, finely chopped
    1 tbsp medium curry powder
    5 soft white rolls, 1 torn into chunks, rest split open
    2 tbsp plain flour
    1 carrot, peeled and shaved into ribbons with a veg peeler
    4 tbsp mango chutney
    ½ butterhead lettuce, washed, leaves separated and torn if large

    1. Preheat the oven to gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C. Tip the potato wedges onto a baking tray and drizzle with 1½ tbsp oil; season. Toss to coat, then space out on the tray. Roast for 30-35 mins, turning halfway, until crisp on the outside and fluffy in the middle.

    2. Meanwhile, pat the chickpeas dry with kitchen paper and tip into a food processor with the onion, lemon zest, half the coriander, the curry powder and torn bread. Season well, then pulse to a chunky paste that holds together when pressed. Shape into 4 patties. Dust the patties with the flour to coat.

    3. Heat 1½ tbsp oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the patties for 2-3 mins each side until golden and crisp.

    4. Put the carrot in a bowl and toss with the lemon juice, remaining coriander and a pinch of salt. Add 1 tbsp mango chutney and a few lettuce leaves to each split roll. Top with a patty, some carrot, then the bun tops. Serve with the potato wedges and leftover carrot salad.

  2. Tuesday: Beef and lentil cottage pie

    Tuesday: Beef and lentil cottage pie

    1 tbsp olive oil
    500g pack Meat & Veg beef mince
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    2 onions, finely chopped
    1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
    1 tbsp plain flour
    1 reduced-salt beef stock cube, made up to 250ml
    390g tin green lentils
    850g floury potatoes, peeled and chopped
    ½ red cabbage, finely sliced
    1 lemon, juiced
    3 tbsp 50% less fat crème fraîche
    250g fresh greens, washed and sliced, tough stalks removed

    1. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole dish or deep frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the mince for 6-8 mins until golden. Add the garlic, onions and carrot, and fry for 6-8 mins until lightly caramelised. Sprinkle over the flour and season with black pepper. Add the stock and lentils along with their liquid, then simmer, stirring regularly, for 10-15 mins until the sauce has thickened. If using a frying pan, tip into an ovenproof dish.

    2. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes for 10-15 mins until very tender. Drain well and leave to steam-dry for 2 mins.

    3. While the mince and potatoes are cooking, put the cabbage in a bowl, add the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Toss well and massage with clean hands to wilt the cabbage and coat everything in the lemon juice. Set aside to pickle until ready to serve.

    4. Heat the grill to high. Add the crème fraîche and some black pepper to the potatoes and mash until smooth. Spoon over the mince mixture, using a fork to smooth. Transfer to the grill for 6-8 mins until golden, bubbling and crispy on top.

    5 Meanwhile, boil the greens for 3-4 mins until tender. Drain well. Serve the pie with the pickled red cabbage and the greens alongside.

  3. Wednesday: Squash, sage and mozzarella pasta

    Wednesday: Squash, sage and mozzarella pasta

    1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes (around 500g prepped weight)
    2 garlic cloves
    20g pack fresh sage, leaves picked, stems reserved
    300g spaghetti
    1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to serve (optional
    210g ball mozzarella, drained

    1. Put the squash cubes in a lidded pan and cover with water. Add the garlic, sage stems and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer over a medium- high heat, then cover and boil for 15 mins until the squash is tender. Drain well, discarding the sage stems. Or, cover with water in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover, then microwave on high for 8-10 mins* until the squash is very tender.

    2. When the squash is almost done, cook the spaghetti to pack instructions. Drain, reserving 100ml pasta water.

    3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, then add the sage leaves for 1-2 mins until crisp. Drain on kitchen paper.

    4. Blend the squash with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth, adding a little pasta water to loosen the sauce if needed.

    5. Pour the sauce over the drained spaghetti, adding a little more pasta water to loosen if needed; season. Divide between 4 bowls, tear the mozzarella ball into bite-sized pieces and scatter over the pasta with the crispy sage leaves. Add black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil to serve, if you like.

    *Timings correct for a 1,000W microwave

  4. Thursday: Cheat's coronation chicken biryani

    Thursday: Cheat's coronation chicken biryani

    4 tsp olive oil
    3 onions, finely sliced
    1kg chicken thighs
    1-2 tbsp medium curry powder, to taste
    10g fresh coriander, stalks finely chopped
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    15g ginger, finely grated
    2 x 250g pouches wholegrain rice
    3 tbsp mango chutney, plus extra to serve (optional)
    150g fresh greens, washed and finely sliced, tough stalks removed
    150ml 50% less fat crème fraîche

    1. Heat 2 tsp oil in a frying pan over a medium-low heat. Fry the onions with a pinch of salt for 15-20 mins, stirring, until caramelised. Add a splash of water if they’re catching.

    2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tsp oil in a shallow, flameproof casserole dish or deep, lidded frying pan over a medium-high heat. Fry the chicken thighs, skin-side down, for 12-15 mins until golden and crispy, then flip and fry for 10-12 mins until cooked through and the juices run clear when a knife is inserted in the centre of the largest thigh. Transfer to a plate.

    3. Add half the onions to the chicken pan and reduce the heat to medium. Stir in the curry powder, coriander stalks, garlic and ginger, then fry for 1 min or until fragrant.

    4. Stir the rice into the onions, breaking it up with a spatula. Pour over 300ml water and mix well, picking up any bits that have stuck to the bottom. Stir in the mango chutney and fresh greens, then nestle the chicken into the rice, skin-side up. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for 10-15 mins until the liquid has evaporated and the rice is piping hot. Spoon over the crème fraîche, reserved onions and coriander leaves; serve with a dollop of mango chutney, if you like.

  5. Friday: Sardine fishcakes

    Friday: Sardine fishcakes

    650g floury potatoes, peeled and chopped
    250g pack cherry tomatoes, quartered
    ½ small onion, finely chopped
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 lemon, zested and juiced
    2 x 120g tins sardines in brine, drained
    10g fresh coriander, chopped
    2 tbsp plain flour
    4 tbsp vegetable oil
    ½ butterhead lettuce, washed, leaves separated

    1. Boil the potatoes in a large pan of water over a high heat for 10-15 mins until very tender when pierced. Drain well and tip back into the pan. Leave to steam-dry and cool for 2 mins.

    2. Meanwhile, tip the tomatoes and onion into a bowl. Add ½ tbsp oil and half the lemon juice; season, toss well and set aside. Whisk the remaining lemon juice and olive oil in another bowl; set aside.

    3. Mash the potatoes until smooth, then fold in the sardines, lemon zest and half the coriander; season. Divide the mixture into 8, then shape into fishcakes using damp hands.

    4. Put the flour on a plate. Press the fishcakes into the flour on both sides to coat, dusting off any excess flour.

    5. Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil in a nonstick frying pan over a medium-high heat for 1 min until gently shimmering. Fry half the fishcakes for 2-3 mins until golden and crisp, then flip and cook for another 1-2 mins until golden. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper, then repeat with the remaining oil and fishcakes

    6. Toss the lettuce into the bowl with the dressing to coat. Stir the reserved coriander into the tomato salad, then serve alongside the fishcakes with the lettuce.

  6. Shopping list

    4-pack Suntrail Farms lemons
    20g pack fresh sage
    30g pack fresh coriander
    1 large garlic bulb
    15g fresh ginger
    250g pack Nightgale Farms cherry tomatoes
    1 butterhead lettuce
    1 small butternut squash
    1kg pack Redmere Farms red onions
    2.5kg pack Maris Piper potatoes
    1 red cabbage
    2 carrots
    500g pack fresh greens
    210g pack Creamfields mozzarella
    300ml pot 50% less fat crème fraîche
    500g Meat & Veg beef mince
    900-1.2kg pack Woodside Farms chicken thighs
    500g Hearty Food Co. spaghetti
    80g pot medium curry powder
    400g tin chickpeas
    390g tin green lentils
    2 x 120g tins sardines in brine
    2 x 250g Grower's Harvest microwave wholegrain rice
    230g jar mango chutney
    6-pack soft white rolls

    +From your storecupboard:

    olive oil, plain flour, reduced-salt beef stock cube, vegetable oil

    *Based on a family of four. Total cost based on online prices at time of publishing; subject to change.