5 easy family dinners for £25: Week 18

Struggling for midweek meal inspiration? We've got you – from a hearty casserole to keep you warm to a tasty pizza to enjoy with a good movie, enjoy five days of great dinners with our wallet-friendly plan, all for less than £25*. We’ve put together a shopping list for you, shown at the bottom of the page. Don’t forget to screenshot it before you head in store.

  1. Monday: Courgette, ricotta and chilli spaghetti

    400g Hearty Food Co. spaghetti
    1 garlic clove, crushed
    250g pot ricotta
    1 large courgette, grated
    250g Nightingale Farms cherry tomatoes, quartered
    ½ lemon, zested
    2 tsp crushed chillies, plus extra to serve

    1. Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling water for 9 mins. Drain, reserving a few tbsp of the cooking water, and return to the pan.

    2. Meanwhile, mix together the garlic and ricotta in a small bowl with a good grinding of black pepper. Stir through the cooked spaghetti, adding a little of the reserved cooking water if needed so that the ricotta just coats the pasta.

    3. Add the courgette, tomatoes, lemon zest and crushed chillies. Mix gently to combine, then divide between serving dishes, sprinkled with extra crushed chillies, if you like.

  2. Tuesday: Cajun beef and veg rice bowl

    1 tbsp vegetable oil
    1 Nightingale Farms celery stick, finely chopped
    3 large carrots, sliced into rounds
    2 peppers, sliced
    4 spring onions, sliced, white and green parts separated
    500g Boswell Farms beef mince
    2 tsp Cajun seasoning
    1 tsp tomato purée
    300g Grower's Harvest long-grain rice

    1. Heat the oil in a large, shallow casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the celery, carrots, peppers and white parts of the spring onions. Cook for 10 mins until the veg is starting to soften.

    2. Meanwhile, cook the rice to pack instructions.

    3. Add the mince to the casserole, season generously and cook for 10 mins until the mince is browned and beginning to go crispy.

    4. Add the Cajun seasoning and tomato purée; stir to coat the mince. Stir in the rice along with 4 tbsp of water. Scatter over the remaining spring onion before serving.

  3. Wednesday: Spicy lentil stew

    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 large carrot, scrubbed and diced
    2 Nightingale Farms celery sticks, trimmed and diced
    250g Redmere Farms baby potatoes, peeled and diced
    pinch crushed chillies
    1 garlic clove, crushed
    3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
    250g lentilles vertes, rinsed
    1 reduced-salt vegetable stock cube, made up to 500ml
    4 tbsp Creamfields low-fat natural yogurt, to serve
    1 tbsp chopped parsley, to serve

    1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the carrot, celery and potatoes, and cook, stirring, for around 15 mins or until golden. Add the chilli and garlic and cook for a further 1 min.

    2. Stir in the tomatoes and lentils. Add the vegetable stock and 500ml hot water and bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 25-30 mins until the lentils are just tender.

    3. Transfer a large ladleful of the lentils to a large jug or bowl and use a hand blender to blitz until smooth. Pour back into the pan and season to taste. Ladle into bowls, top with a dollop of yogurt and scatter with the parsley.

  4. Thursday: Turkey polpette

    500g turkey thigh mince
    1 tsp fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
    2 slices H W Nevill's white bread, blitzed into 4 tbsp breadcrumbs
    30g pack basil, most roughly chopped, a few leaves left whole

    2 tbsp olive oil
    1 onion, finely chopped
    1 large carrot, diced
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    500g carton Grower's Harvest tomato passata
    300g Hearty Food Co. spaghetti

    1. In a large bowl, mix the mince with the fennel seeds, breadcrumbs and 2 tbsp chopped basil; season. Shape into 24 small balls, then transfer to a plate. Cover and chill until needed.

    2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large lidded saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion and carrot and cook for 8-10 mins until softened. Add the garlic, cook for 1 min, then add the passata and 150ml water. Stir in a pinch of sugar; season. Bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat, cover and cook for 15 mins.

    3. Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the polpette in batches for 3-5 mins, turning occasionally, until browned all over. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti to pack instructions.

    4. Add the polpette to the sauce and simmer, uncovered, for 5 mins or until cooked through. Stir in the remaining chopped basil. Drain the pasta, divide between 4 plates and top with the polpette and sauce. Season with black pepper and scatter with the reserved basil leaves, torn if large, to serve.

  5. Friday: Griddled chicken, broad bean and rocket pizza

    2 x 145g packs pizza base mix
    1 lemon, zested and juiced
    300g pack chicken breast fillets, thinly sliced
    2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
    150g broad beans, defrosted if frozen
    250g pot ricotta
    2 tbsp pesto
    20g rocket leaves, to serve

    1. Preheat the oven to gas 7, 220°C, fan 200°C. Make the pizza bases to pack instructions. Roll out to 2 large, rough circles and slide onto lightly greased baking sheets. Turn up the edges a little to form a crust. Set aside in a warm place.

    2. Heat a griddle or frying pan until hot. Pour the lemon juice over the chicken, then brush with half the oil. Griddle for 2 mins each side or until cooked through. Remove from the heat and transfer to a plate.

    3. Boil the beans for 2 mins, then drain, rinse under cold water and drain again.

    4. Spread the ricotta over the pizza bases, leaving a 2cm border. Lay the chicken and beans on top and drizzle the pesto over. Bake for 15-20 mins until the base is golden. Top with the lemon zest, the rocket leaves and black pepper to serve.

  6. Shopping list

    2 Tesco lemons
    30g pack Tesco fresh flat-leaf parsley
    30g pack Tesco fresh basil
    1 Tesco garlic bulb
    1 Tesco brown onion
    5 Tesco carrots
    1kg pack Redmere Farms baby potatoes
    250g pack Nightingale Farms cherry tomatoes
    6-pack Tesco salad tomatoes
    60g pack Tesco wild rocket
    450g pack Nightingale Farms celery
    100g bunch Tesco spring onions
    1 large Tesco courgette
    1 Tesco orange pepper
    1 Tesco red pepper
    500g pack Boswell Farms 20% fat beef mince
    500g pack Tesco 7% fat turkey thigh mince
    300g pack Tesco British chicken breast fillets
    2 x 250g pots Tesco ricotta cheese
    500g pot Creamfields low-fat natural yogurt
    800g loaf H W Nevill's white bread
    2 x 145g packs Tesco pizza base mix
    200g tube Tesco tomato purée
    500g carton Grower's Harvest tomato passata
    190g jar Tesco classic green pesto
    2 x 500g packs Hearty Food Co. spaghetti
    1kg pack Grower's Harvest long-grain rice
    500g pack Tesco lentilles vertes
    28g jar Tesco crushed chillies
    36g jar Tesco fennel seeds
    45g jar Tesco Cajun seasoning
    650g pack Tesco frozen baby broad beans

    +From your storecupboard:
    olive oil, reduced-salt vegetable stock cube, sugar, vegetable oil

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