How to be a master in the kitchen with New World's range of Master Chef-inspired Simply Dinner meal kits

The Superbowl for New Zealand foodies has finally made its way back to our screens: the hotly anticipated new season of MasterChef New Zealand. Each year a new season of the show coincides with a spike in online searches on "how to julienne a carrot" to "what is polenta" and "where to find a pressure cooker".

If previous forays into new cooking territory have left you with burnt pans and broken hearts, never fear. This year, New World supermarkets have partnered with the famed TV cooking competition and launched a new range of master chef-inspired meal kits, which aim to help Kiwi cooks take their dinner to the next level, without the fuss.

Perfect for a family dinner or entertaining friends, the lineup of dishes in the Master Chef-inspired Simply Dinner meal kits, launching in stores from May 30 until August 13, includes Lemony Chicken Piccata, Creamy Tuscan Chicken, Rich Pork Puttanesca and Thyme Mushroom Risotto. (Yes, this might be the time you actually attempt that risotto you've been talking about trying for months.) 

As you can tell by the names, the mouth-watering new range offers a slightly elevated option, expanding on New World's already popular Simply Dinner Kit range which has been winning over customers for the last few years.

New World Head of Marketing and Customer Experience Pippa Prain says the new offering was a result of the success they've seen in their existing Simply Dinner Kit range: a dramatic rise in sales of 26 percent in the last year alone. 

"Meal kits have been a growing trend over the last few years. We're all wanting to cook from scratch more often, but it can be hard to come up with recipe ideas, and even harder to find the time," she told Newshub. 

"This line of master chef-inspired recipes offers quality recipes that are still easy to cook at home and have that little something extra to help you be a master chef in your own kitchen."

Master Chef-inspired Simply Dinner Kits.
Master Chef-inspired Simply Dinner Kits. Photo credit: Supplied

The full range of Master Chef-inspired Simply Dinner meal kits could sound "a bit fancy" in Prain's words, but she adds that cooks will be pleasantly surprised at how easy and affordable they are.

Each Master Chef-inspired Simply Dinner kit serves four, can be made in around 40 minutes or less, and most crucially, costs only $30 (that's just $7.50 per serve!). And don't worry: there will be no scouring the shelves for ingredients completely foreign to you. All the fresh ingredients come in the one bag, so you'll have everything you need. 

"It's all about taking the difficulty out of dinner and giving our customers more confidence in the kitchen," she says.

With all the basics taken care of you can focus on elevating it with your own MasterChef New Zealand contestant-worthy flourish. Each recipe comes with a show-inspired tip to elevate the meal and get high scores from the impressed panel of judges in your household — like your flatmate, partner, or the kids. 

Meal kits are not a new phenomenon, of course. There are plenty on the NZ market, mostly weekly options that have the buyer locked into a weekly subscription. But Prain explains that the New World kits offer a flexibility that other companies do not. You can grab one or two  during your weekly shop, and easily slot them into that week's dinner rotation. 

If you've ever ordered a box of five meal kits only to have various last minute plan changes result in several bags of rotting spring onion in the fridge, you'll know flexibility is key.

Pippa Prain.
Pippa Prain. Photo credit: Supplied

It's this flexibility — and waste reduction — Prain says she believes has contributed to the popularity of New World's Simply Dinner kits.

So whether you've been inspired to impress friends coming over for dinner or just want to jazz up the family's dinner lineup a bit, perhaps try one of the new Master Chef-inspired Simply Dinner meal kits from New World. 

One fun idea? The challenge is in the bag! When grabbing a Simply Dinner Kit at New World, pick at random. Then when you get home it's like you're holding your own MasterChef New Zealand mystery box challenge! Just, you know, one with the recipe attached to the front.

This article was created for New World.