Smart Ones Santa Fe Rice & Beans Review

Smart Ones Santa Fe Rice & Beans

Many of Smart Ones’ low-calorie frozen meals give you complex flavor combinations, like the Cheesy Scramble with Hash Browns or the Tuna Noodle Casserole. The Santa Fe Rice & Beans, however, is a simple dish — it’s just rice and beans with a few toppings thrown on for flavor. We wanted to give this one a try to see if its simplicity would be a positive or a negative here.

Now, one thing is clear before you even open the box: this is a very low-calorie frozen food. At only 260 calories (and a mere 60 from fat), this is one diet-friendly meal. And if you’re a Weight Watchers aficionado, the SmartPoints value is printed right on the side of the box. This meal is worth 8 SmartPoints.

We were actually pleasantly surprised at how much Santa Fe sauce there is in this meal, since that sauce is mostly sour cream. As a low-calorie meal, we really expected just a little tablespoon full, yet this whole mix is covered with the stuff. And that’s a good thing, because the sour cream really adds a lot to this simple meal. It tastes halfway decent, though it’s a little runnier than we’d like, which we suspect is a byproduct of using light sour cream instead of the real fatty stuff.

Smart Ones Santa Fe Rice & Beans

The rice is seasoned more like a Spanish rice than just a typical white or brown rice, so it has that slightly spicy tomato flavor to it. Of course, this flavor is far weaker than what you’d expect from a true Spanish rice. Honestly, this is a little bland.

The beans are a combo of black beans and red beans. The black beans lack flavor and are too dry. The red beans, however, are quite good. They have a flavor reminiscent of a good pinto bean. In fact, we think this meal would have probably been better off leaving out the black beans entirely and replacing them with the red ones.

There are a few veggies to give this dish a little variety. There’s corn and red bell peppers, which we expected, but we were surprised to learn there’s also some zucchini in the mix. Don’t expect a whole lot of zucchini, as we only found a few tiny pieces of it in our meal.

The Smart Ones Santa Fe Rice & Beans is a mostly forgettable dish. While there’s a healthy serving of sauce on top, that’s not enough to really make the rest of this dish exciting. In the beginning of this review, we pondered whether the simplicity of this dish is a positive or a negative, and we’re going to have to go with negative. There’s just not enough flavor here — this is bland even by low-calorie standards.

If you want to learn more about the nutrition content or ingredients in this low-calorie frozen food, check out our package scans below.

Smart Ones Santa Fe Rice & Beans

Smart Ones Santa Fe Rice & Beans


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