Have I mentioned lately that my September and October are a little insane? Between birthdays (the boys and 3 of their 4 Godparents), the start of school, soccer season, various school activities, Back to School night, a professional conference for me, a few out of town trips, a few races, and just regular life, I generally spend September and October trying to keep my head above water. (And because all of the above isn’t enough, this year we added a leopard gecko and Martial Arts to our lives. Yes, I am insane.)
So, when I was offered the chance to try the new Barilla Microwaveable Meals, I jumped at it. On a good night, I barely manage to remember to start the pasta on time. On a busy night, well, a tortilla with some cheese was becoming a staple.
I was sent 5 flavors to try.
- Mezze Penne with Tomato & Basil Sauce
- Mezze Penne with Traditional Marinara Sauce
- Mezze Penne with Spicy Marinara Sauce
- Whole Grain Fusilli with Vegetable Marinara Sauce
- Whole Grain Mezze Penne with Tomato & Basil Sauce
I was pretty excited that I could read all of the ingredients and there were no preservatives. Each package is a serving, with 320 calories and between 9 and 11 grams of protein. So, ok, they sounded good, but how did they taste?
I put them to a serious test: I fed them to two picky boys (Beer Geek pretty much eats whatever I feed him.)
Success! My boys won’t eat tomato sauce, so I used split two packages between the four of us. I loved the Spicy Marinara sauce over my stuffed chicken breast and the boys loved the Mezze Penne with cheese on it.
Unfortunately, the whole grain versions did not go over well. This really surprised me as most of the time I cook whole wheat noodles. Jones complained that the noodles were too chewy and Shoo just didn’t really like the taste. I thought they were fine and I like the Vegetable Marinara sauce. Beer Geek was quite happy with his combined with grilled sausages.
What I liked:
- How quick they can be prepared
- The flavor of the sauces
- That my boys liked the regular noodles
- That they are shelf stable
What I didn’t like:
- That the boys were not fond of the whole grain
- Microwaving in plastic (I NEVER do this.)
- The mess I made when I didn’t follow the directions exactly
Would I buy them? Yes. Not for all the time consumption, but I do keep a few “ready to go” meals in the freezer and the pantry for those times when a busy night sneaks up on me. I’m just bummed that my favorite sauce came with a pasta my boys didn’t like. Hmm, maybe they should come out with “Mix and Match”…
Disclaimer: FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own.
9 thoughts on “Barilla Microwaveable Meals Review”
Those seem like great quick and easy meals! Fall is such a busy time of year! I want to look into picking up a few of those for Josh and I have to have when we need on the go meals.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!
It is nice to have a few of those quick and easy “standby” meals on hand; but, it does seem that they come with some compromises in taste or quality. I do have to say, though, that all these kinds of meals sure are a LOT better than when I was kid. Meals like these were AWFUL back then!
I never use plastic so that was one of my ‘dislikes’ too. Other than that I thought they were all really good!
Finding quick, easy to make meals is the holy grail for busy Mums. And if everyone likes them it’s a bonus. You might have to brainwash those boys of yours into thinking that they like the wholemeal noodles and you’ll have a winner.
Great post…. anything that can make a night easier is a win. Love pasta… I’m a runner, what else would you expect.
I’ve really been meaning to check these babies out!!! Its hard to find quick easy meals that everyone in the family can enjoy!
Agreed. I would buy them for the emergency scenarios too. They really were good.
Great review! I totally agree – They are good for last- minute situations. Who hasn’t come home and realized that there is nothing for dinner! And they were good too!