Here are the best convenience foods, according to 60 million consumers

Moussaka, couscous, basque chicken or fish in sauce, among the four families of prepared dishes preferred by the French, the magazine 60 million consumers rated the best for slipping into its microwave.

Even the greatest cooking enthusiasts sometimes resort to ready meals. If they get bad publicity, they seem to be an ideal option when the urge to cook is not there or there is not enough time to prepare a stew. To orient yourself among the many references on our shelves and guarantee their quality, the magazine 60 million consumers (1) wagering on finding the best prepared meals to shove into your cart.

Significantly improved compositions

Industrial meals have a bad reputation for many reasons: the sometimes dubious origin of the ingredients, the presence of numerous additives or even the size of the portions. This is why our colleagues at the National Consumer Institute have chosen to focus on the following criteria: the amount of salt, the origin of the meat, the presence of additives and the quantity of noble ingredients. At the end of this survey, one conclusion emerges: the composition of ready meals has significantly improved in recent years. It should however be noted that in 2023 the Nutri-Score is changing and becoming more demanding. An initiative undertaken with the aim of being more in line with nutritional recommendations.

The best moussaka

An emblematic dish of the Mediterranean, moussaka is made up of aubergines sautéed in olive oil, a tomato sauce topped with lamb or minced meat, all wrapped up in a creamy béchamel sauce. As delicious as it is, moussaka is a nutritionally unappetizing dish due to its high salt content and low protein and fiber content. One brand still manages to prevail: judged “acceptable”, the first place on the podium goes to the Greek-style moussaka Marque Repère by E.Leclerc, sold at 4.17 euros for 850 g.

Famous brand E.Leclerc’s Greek-style moussaka contains a reasonable amount of fiber. Screenshot / Mark Mark E.Leclerc.

The best couscous

As for the couscous, the quantity of meat contained in the many references is correct, even sometimes generous. On the other hand, the excess of salt is the great weak point of these interpretations of the oriental dish. This is also the case for the dish that won first place in the standings, oriental couscous, cooked vegetables and minced chicken from the Weight Watchers brand, sold at a price of 3.96 euros per 300 g. That said, the few additives and generous portions earn it points, taking it to the top of the podium with a score of 14/20.

Weight Watchers Oriental Couscous scores 14/20. Screenshot / Weight Watchers

The best fish in sauce

They are undoubtedly the most interesting ready meals of this study. In addition to being generous in the amount of animal protein, fish in sauce is low in fat. Their Achilles heel? The absence of mention relating to the origin of the product and its fishing technique. It is the frozen giant, Picard, who takes first place. Low in fat, it’s the cod, virgin sauce and its rice duo that takes the top step of the podium with a score of 15/2O. Sold at the price of 5.75 euros for 350 g, it is accompanied by black and white Camargue rice and small vegetables.

The cod, with virgin sauce from the Picard brand, is served with black and white rice from the Camargue and small vegetables. Screen / Picard

The best Basque chicken

Good news for Basque chicken: most of the references are classified in Nutri-Score B and the origin of their meat is largely French. Flaws however: While this Southwestern-smelling recipe consists of a piperade of peppers, peppers, and tomatoes, the greens are actually present in small quantities. The brand of the Comme J’aime slimming program still manages to stand out, obtaining a score of 14.5/20, while Picard wins the silver medal with his fillet of chicken basquaise and Camargue rice, sold for 5.99 euros for 350 g and rated 14.5/20. Now all you have to do is make room in the freezer!

In second place was the Basque-style chicken fillet and Camargue rice from the Picard brand. Screen / Picard

(1) The full survey is available in 60 Million Consumers magazine, currently in kiosk .

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