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Decent instant or ready meals


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After a situation where in just two days not only did I almost burn down my building but also managed to seriously cut myself I have accepted that I am not well enough to do any cooking, so I'm on the lookout for recommendations for any decent ready meals that can be chucked in the oven or microwave and require minimum prep - pots, pans, chopping and cutting are not permitted anymore.


This is not a situation I want to be in but is my reality - I have lowered my expectations but even then some of the shit I tried from Asda literally tastes like cardboard. I'm not someone with a particularly advanced palette tbh and am normally easily pleased when it comes to food (I'll eat almost anything that didn't once have a face) but there have to be better options than Just Essentials Macaroni Cheese.


The only major supermarket not in my delivery range is Morrisons and I'm a vegetarian but don't want to limit the thread so feel free to mention anything regardless as it might prompt some discussion and help anybody else reading. Even little gadgets that might help, for example I have a vague memory of some wee egg cooking device on Dragon's Den? That sounds like the kind of handy thing that would be difficult to injure yourself with!


Recommend away.

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Most ready meals are on a sliding scale of grimness. Those Bol one pot things turn up in the clearance section of our Tesco quite often and they're not bad. Pizza and a tub of salad?


As a veggie myself, I can go weeks at a time having houmous, pittas and chopped veg for lunch. Carrots and broccoli are available pre-chopped so you could sling all that together without much prep.

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I like the Wicked Kitchen range at Tesco. The frozen Ready Meals tend to better than the chilled ones for some reason.  The whole range is Vegan.


https://www.tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/search?query=wicked kitchen


For chopping vegetables maybe a gadget like this -




I've got one very similar and use it all the time. Its really quick, plus easy to use and wash up. 


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I had this the other day. It was solid. They're expensive, but Charlie Bigham's make really good ready meals. Honestly as good as some restaurants I've been to.



Major supermarkets like Tesco and ASDA do pre-diced, frozen mirepoix (celery, carrot and onion) these days. Good as a base for a stew.




Also they do frozen chopped garlic and ginger which are also super useful:



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You can put these directly on a frying pan from frozen. Eat with some mango chutney/sweet chilli sauce/curry whatever:




Again you can eat these with curry, hummus, tzatziki etc. Cut them up into squares and put them in the freezer. Cook from frozen directly in the toaster:




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There's always Homepride pasta bake. Put pasta in baking tray (I use more than they say), pour on sauce and the correct amount of water. Cook. Halfway add pre-grated cheese. Cook until cheese is melted. Eat. You could also make your own very easily. Plum tomatoes, some tomato puree, few big tablespoons of mascarpone and enough water/stock to cover the pasta. Bake for 40 mins or so, top with grated cheese half way through.



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If you are able to get stuff from an Asian supermarket then frozen gyozas are a good thing to have around. This is borderline sacrilegious but I like putting them in soup before heating them in the microwave. 


On the extreme end of the gadget scale, have you looked at any thing like the Kenwood Kcook? The one that looks like a little Thermomix specifically. It came and went a few years ago but there's a reasonable amount of them on eBay. 

For steaming eggs it's a total overkill but in theory at least it'll let you cook other stuff like a risotto without having to rely on ready meals. 

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I'm trying to go Vegan (with cheese being my favourite food), but as a pizza recommendation I'd go with Sainsbury's Plant Pioneer frozen one - "No Chorizo and roasted peppers" or something similar. It's nicer than the more expensive fresh vegan one they do, and about half the price too. Hand on heart I wouldn't say any of the bits are particularly good, but I genuinely enjoy the thing as a whole. I've tried a few other Vegan ones, and a couple are OK, but I just prefer this. I've managed to not buy my favourite cheesy-bastard takeaway pizza on special offer because this was an option, which is faintly miraculous.

I haven't eaten many ready meals for a long time (too expensive - I'm skint), but I would echo @Orion's suggestion of Tesco's Wicked Kitchen range. I only buy it when it's reduced, so have only tried a few things, but everything has been much nicer than I remember regular veggie ready meals being. And I haven't even tried the frozen stuff (because it's never reduced). I get the impression vegan ready meals (and food in general) is often nicer then vegetarian stuff, because they've had to try harder.


Edit: One other suggestion: Sainsbury's fresh Dhal soup alongside a decent bit of naan bread (treating the soup as a curry, basically). It's a very nice hearty soup, and just needs a little padding to become worthy of main meal status, IMO.

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