If you’ve been following my blog for a while you know I am big on cooking from scratch. I try to avoid as much packaged foods as possible, but even I run out of time some days and need a quick fix meal. Being a stay-at-home mom to 3 young kids has me pulled in every direction. Now that we have started school and activities things are even busier. Plus my lil guy is in the pre-walking stage so any extra time I once had is now spent chasing him around the house and keeping him out of trouble. Getting dinner on the table has gotten a lot more challenging!
When I was asked to try Barilla’s new microwavable meals I was hesitant. I promote homemade foods so how does this fit into to my philosophy? Then I thought about my current schedule. I am only human and I can’t always cook dinner how I’d like to. Sometimes the family just needs to be fed in a hurry so I looked up the nutritional info on these meals and immediately knew they would work.
(Yes that top photo is their whole grain fusilli with vegetable marinara and it was ready in 1 minute. As the pasta heated I chopped up some veggies and dinner was done).
They have 5 varieties including two whole grain versions.
Upon receiving the package I microwaved one for the kids and I to sample (and it really only takes 60 seconds because the pasta is already cooked). How do they taste? Great! I started with the basic penne with traditional marinara and we all gobbled it up within minutes. I was shocked at how fresh the pasta tasted.
The sauce comes in a separate container so after heating you just pour it over the pasta yourself. I love that you can control of how much you want to add.
I was also very impressed with the ingredients list. I could pronounce everything! They aren’t full of a bunch of preservatives like some frozen meals. They are shelf stable for 12 months due to the revolutionary packaging, but I liked that they weren’t good for years like some processed foods.
More on nutrition, each 9 ounce meal contains 1 serving of pasta and provides the follow benefits:
- 320 calories or less
- No added preservatives
- Between 9 and 11 grams of protein
- Provide an excellent source of fiber
- Provide an excellent source of vitamin A
- Offer a good source of iron in the whole grain varieties
Sometimes you simply don’t have 15 minutes to boil pasta so these can be very handy in a hurry. Add some leftover chicken and veggies and you’ve got a balanced meal! These microwave meals aren available in stores now and cost around $3.29 per package. I would buy these over frozen meals personally due to the lack of preservatives and simple ingredient list.
I literally could not get their forks out of the shot long enough to snap the photo
Barilla Meal Varieties:
- 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 really liked all the varieties! In terms of convenience foods, I would definitely purchase these to have on hand when I don’t even have time to boil pasta!
Question: Do you buy frozen meals or convenience dinners? If so what are your favorites?
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this Campaign. All opinions are my own