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5 easy family dinners for £25: Week 1

Our quick and easy budget recipes mean you can feed your family 5 delicious dinners for less than £25*. We've done the hard work for you and have gathered together a selection of simple meals perfect for busy weeknights. There's a handy shopping list at the bottom of the page, too, with all you'll need.

  1. Monday: Kale, anchovy and lemon pasta

    Monday: Kale, anchovy and lemon pasta

    3 tbsp olive oil
    6 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
    4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    1 lemon, zested and ½ juiced
    180g curly kale
    300g fusilli
    4 tbsp double cream or crème fraîche

    1. In a large frying pan, gently heat the olive oil with the anchovies and garlic. To avoid burning the garlic, cook it over a very low heat and push it all to the side of the pan.

    2. After about 5 mins, add the lemon zest and kale. Give it all a stir and cover with a lid. Cook for another 10 mins.

    3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a pan of salted boiling water, following the packet instructions. Stir the crème fraîche (or cream) through the kale, add a little lemon juice and turn off the heat.

    4. Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the kale. Stir and serve with a little grating of Parmesan, if you like.

  2. Tuesday: Courgette, pea and lemon pilaf

    Tuesday: Courgette, pea and lemon pilaf

    1 tbsp olive oil
    2 large Redmere Farms courgettes, diced
    1 large onion, finely chopped
    3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    300g Grower's Harvest long-grain rice
    1 lemon, zested and juiced
    1 vegetable stock cube, made up to 600ml
    150g Grower's Harvest frozen garden peas
    ¼ x 190g jar spinach and ricotta pesto (or green pesto)
    10g fresh mint, leaves only, finely chopped
    100g Redmere Farms spinach

    1. Heat the oil in a large, deep, lidded frying pan over a medium heat. Add the courgette and fry for 3-4 mins until just tender and starting to brown, then transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon. Return the pan to a low heat, add the onion, cover and cook gently for 6 mins. Stir in the garlic and cook, uncovered, for 2 mins. Add the rice and lemon zest and stir to coat.

    2. Pour in the stock, stir once and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer over a low heat for 10 mins. Add the peas and reserved courgette, then cook, covered, for 5 mins more, or until the rice is completely tender and the stock has been absorbed.

    3. Use a fork to stir through the pesto, lemon juice and most of the mint; season well. Cover and set aside for 5 mins to let the rice u up. Stir in the spinach and scatter with the remaining mint to serve.

  3. Wednesday: Mexican-style mackerel and rice

    Wednesday: Mexican-style mackerel and rice

    1 large sweet potato, scrubbed and cut into chunks
    1 red pepper, cut into chunks
    1½ tbsp olive oil
    2 x 250g pouches wholegrain spicy Mexican-style microwave rice
    125g tin mackerel in tomato sauce
    400g tin black beans, drained
    1 lime, zested and juiced
    15g fresh coriander, roughly chopped (optional)

    1. Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C.

    2. Put the sweet potato and pepper in a roasting tin, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and season. Roast for 30 mins until the veg is tender and golden around the edges.

    3. After 20 mins, heat the remaining oil in a large, deep frying pan over a medium heat. Add the rice and fry for 4-5 mins until steaming and broken up. Flake in the mackerel and fry for 3-4 mins more until piping hot.

    4. Stir through the beans and half the roasted veg; fry for 1-2 mins to warm through, then remove from the heat. Squeeze over the lime juice and top with the remaining roasted veg, the lime zest and coriander, if using.

  4. Thursday: Baked mushrooms with quick garlic bread

    Thursday: Baked mushrooms with quick garlic bread

    500g jar no-added-sugar chunky veg sauce
    8 large flat mushrooms, stalks finely chopped
    2½ tbsp olive oil
    1 large onion, finely chopped
    10g thyme sprigs, leaves picked
    3 garlic cloves, 2 finely diced, 1 whole
    ½ ciabatta loaf
    75g mature Cheddar, grated
    90g bag rocket and babyleaf salad

    1. Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C.

    2. In a large baking dish, mix the sauce with 100ml water. Add the mushrooms, gill-side up, and bake for 15 mins. Set aside. Preheat the grill to medium-high.

    3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tsp oil in a pan over a medium-high heat. Add the mushroom stalks, onion and thyme; cook for 10 mins until soft. Add the diced garlic for 2 mins.

    4. Cut 4 thick slices of ciabatta; set aside. In a food processor, blitz the remaining ciabatta into crumbs, then mix with the grated cheese and some black pepper.

    5. Divide the onion mixture between each mushroom. Top with the breadcrumbs.

    6. Brush both sides of the ciabatta slices with 1½ tbsp oil; put on a baking tray. Grill the bread and mushrooms for 3-5 mins, turning the bread halfway, until the tops are golden and the bread is toasted. Rub the toast with the whole garlic clove.

    7. Toss the salad with the remaining 1 tsp oil. Divide the sauce between plates and top with 2 mushrooms. Serve with a slice of garlic bread and the salad alongside.

  5. Friday: Loaded baked sweet potato skins

    Friday: Loaded baked sweet potato skins

    4 sweet potatoes (about 200g each), scrubbed
    1 x 395g taco mixed beans in spicy tomato sauce
    4 spring onions, finely chopped
    75g Manchego, grated
    1 x 242g pot crunchy salad

    1. Preheat the oven to gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C.

    2. Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork and put on a plate. Microwave on full power for 8 mins, then halve and set aside to cool for 5 mins.

    3. Halve the potatoes and scoop out the flesh from the skins, setting the skins aside. Cut the flesh into cubes and put in a bowl. Stir in the mixed beans and sauce and half the spring onions.

    4. Put the skins in a roasting tin. Divide the bean and potato mix between them, then top with the remaining spring onions and the Manchego. Bake in the hot oven for 10 mins until the skins are crisp and the cheese is melted. Serve with the salad.

  6. Shopping list

    2 Tesco lemons
    1 Tesco lime
    30g pack Tesco fresh thyme
    30g pack Tesco fresh coriander
    30g pack Tesco fresh mint
    1 Tesco garlic bulb
    1kg pack Redmere Farms sweet potatoes
    2 Tesco onions
    242g pot Tesco crunchy salad
    90g bag Tesco rocket and babyleaf salad
    100g bunch Tesco spring onions
    250g pack Redmere Farms spinach
    180g pack Tesco curly kale
    2 x 250g pack Tesco large flat mushrooms
    1 Tesco red pepper
    250g pack Redmere Farms courgettes
    100g Tesco Finest Manchego
    150g pack Tesco grated mature Cheddar
    150ml pot Tesco double cream
    1 Tesco ciabatta loaf
    395g tin Tesco taco mixed beans in spicy tomato sauce
    2 x 250g pouches Tesco wholegrain spicy Mexican-style microwave rice
    400g tin Tesco black beans
    125g tin Tesco mackerel in tomato sauce
    50g tin Tesco 6 anchovy fillets
    500g jar Tesco no-added-sugar chunky veg sauce
    190g jar Tesco spinach and ricotta pesto
    500g Tesco fusilli
    1kg pack Grower's Harvest long-grain rice
    900g pack Grower's Harvest frozen garden peas

    +From your storecupboard:
    olive oil, vegetable stock cube

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