Iceland's 1p ready meals tested - and three were "absolute standouts"

Families are struggling through the cost of living crisis but prices are expected to increase rather than decrease in the coming months – so we’re all looking for ways to cut costs.

Many supermarkets are offering deals, bargains and price cuts and Iceland is the latest to do so. The budget chain has launched a deal for their online customers selling a selection of frozen ready meals for just a penny each. The range includes several classic dishes including lasagne, chicken curry and bangers and mash.

The offer is part of Iceland’s “Big Cooker Switch Off Challenge,” which aims to get families using more energy-efficient and cheaper-to-run appliances such as ready meals. There are 14 meals available in the deal, which sees customers having to spend £25 or more online and enter the code READY1P to claim the discount by November 4.

Without the savings the meals cost £1 each. And The Mirror’s Courtney Pochin tried eleven of the fourteen meals to see if they’re worth adding to your basket.

She found three standout dishes and said that others were perfectly fine for the price – though she also said that the food didn’t look particularly appetising. Here are Courtney’s verdicts.

Cheesy Beans and Sausages

Cheesy beans and sausages

Though the dish would have benefitted from being cooked in the oven to crisp up the potatoes, this hearty meal that could be eaten for breakfast or dinner was considered a success, with Courtney saying: “I’d definitely eat this meal again.”

Verdict: 5/5

Chicken Hotpot

Chicken Hotpot

Initially said to be lacking flavour and seeming a bit bland, our tester was hit with an unpleasant taste after a few mouthfuls. Chewy chicken that resembled tofu and potatoes that would have benefitted from being crisped up in an oven meant this dish got a thumbs down.

Verdict: 2/5

Minced Beef Hotpot

Minced beef hotpot

The worst of the dishes tried as it became very watery when cooking. The tester also thought that it looked a little too much like cat food when served up.

Verdict: 1/5

Vegetable Lasagne

Vegetable lasagne

Filled with peppers, tomato sauce, layers of pasta and a spinach sauce before being topped off with bechamel and Emmental cheese, the veggie lasagne was “perfectly respectable”. It could have benefitted from a few more vegetables, but overall, not bad.

Verdict: 4/5

Sweet and Sour Chicken and Rice

Sweet and sour chicken and rice

Not a bad option if you’re craving a Chinese takeaway but can’t afford to splash out, this will save you a fair amount. The chicken is a little chewy, but there’s a good amount of veg, rice and sauce.

Verdict: 3.5/5

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese

Not the best looking dish, Iceland’s spag bol lacked a hearty amount of mince and had a very thin sauce. However, in terms of taste it was similar to other supermarket Bolognese ready meals – a sprinkling of pepper and some cheese would improve it further.

Verdict: 3/5

Chicken Stew and Dumplings

Chicken stew and dumplings

A bland and watery stew with a sweet gravy, the chicken stew wasn’t off to a good start. A small amount of chicken on the plate and carrots as the only veg also didn’t help.

However, the two dumplings were the meal’s saving grace as they were a generous size. Overall though, there are better options.

Verdict: 2/5

Bangers & Mash

Bangers and mash

A gravy darker in colour than that in the stew but similarly bland. Though the sausages were considered “okay”, the dish was spoiled by the mashed potato, which had an “odd” taste.

Verdict: 1/5

Chicken Curry & Rice

Chicken curry and rice

Not the best curry by any stretch as it didn’t pack much flavour, and the curry sauce was like a runnier version of what you’d et in a chip shop. No frills, just chicken and rice – fine for £1 and more than fine for 1p.

Verdict: 2.5/5

Macaroni Cheese

Macaroni cheese

Good pasta and a good cheese sauce. What’s not to like?

Verdict: 4/5



Much more filling than the veggie lasagne and with a lot more cheese on top too. Better than expected!

Verdict: 3.5/5

Have you tried any of Iceland’s £1/1p ready meals? Let us know!

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