Microwave meals have a time and place for me. They are good on-the-go, when I am in a rush or don’t have time to pack lunches. They are quick and easy in a time crunch. But unfortunately by nature, microwave meals usually equate to a loss in taste, flavor and healthy options. In my mind, they have never been the healthiest choice for a meal. Although, I do have them once in awhile, I usually steer clear because of all of the filler ingredients… so much added salt and ingredients that I’ve never heard of, and probably can’t even pronounce.
When I was asked to taste test Barilla’s new microwave meals, I had to think long and hard about it. Like I said, I’m not a big microwave meal fan, but I do have them every so often. I wanted to be fair and subjective, before I just said, "No thanks". So I did some research online before accepting the product for review. From my research, I was pleasantly surprised with the simplicity of the all-natural ingredients and the fact there were NO preservatives.
I got a few flavors to test out, including:
- Mezze Penne with Spicy Marinara Sauce
- Mezze Penne with Tomato & Basil Sauce
- Mezze Penne with Traditional Marinara Sauce
- Whole Grain Fusilli with Vegetable Marinara Sauce
- Whole Grain Mezze Penne with Tomato & Basil Sauce
- Each Italian variety had only 2 main ingredients: pasta and sauce. Of course there are ingredients to make up the pasta – like wheat, salt, olive oil and the sauce – like tomato, onion and garlic. But all the ingredients listed for the pasta and the sauce were ingredients I would use when cooking for myself!
- No meal was the same, all had a different sauce – so you won’t get bored of the flavors. My favorite of the meals were the Mezze Penne with spicy marinara sauce and whole grain fusilli with vegetable marinara sauce. The vegetable sauce had zucchini, carrots, red and yellow bell peppers and eggplant! It tasted healthy and substantial with all the chunks of veggies! Which reminds me, if you wanted to add some veggies to the meal, you could very easily! Just mix them in to the pasta!
- Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with the offerings of the Barilla Microwave Meal solutions. They were satisfying, quick, and surprisingly healthy. They have 100% natural ingredients, two whole grain options, less than 320 calories, and no preservatives! Of course, the most important part, they tasted delicious – like homemade pasta, not cardboard.
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Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Barilla and received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.