Marie Callender’s Italiano Lasagna with Ricotta Cheese (Meal to Share) Review

Marie Callender's Italiano Lasagna with Ricotta Cheese (Meal to Share)

Admittedly, we’re a bit hesitant to jump into another Marie Callender’s frozen meal after our most recent experience with the brand. See, we tried their North Carolina Style Chicken & Grits Bowl, and it’s one of the worst frozen meals we’ve tried here at Freezer Meal Frenzy — and this is coming from a team that has reviewed more than 1,400 frozen food items. Just thinking about those gravelly pieces of cheese triggers our nausia.

However, Marie Callender’s isn’t always bad. In fact, their Sweet & Sour Chicken is one of the best sweet and sours we’ve tried. Plus, we’re suckers for a good plate of lasagna. So, with a little bit of hesitation, we’re checking out the Marie Callender’s Italiano Lasagna with Ricotta Cheese.

This is part of the “Meal to Share” line, which means it’s larger than a single-serve meal. It also has a longer cook time. If you go with the oven, like we did, you’re looking at more than an hour of cook time. Even in the microwave, this will take you at least 14 minutes. Clearly, this is not meant for people in a hurry. (If you want to see the detailed cooking instructions, check out the package scans at the bottom of this review.)

Marie Callender's Italiano Lasagna with Ricotta Cheese (Meal to Share)

The sauce here is halfway decent. It has a ton of sweetness to it, but there’s also some acidity to the flavor. There’s also a subtle burnt aftertaste that’s a little bit off-putting. Thankfully, it’s not a huge part of the flavor profile, but it is there, and it does diminish the overall flavor a bit.

There are little balls of sausage inside, and they are fantastic. In fact, this is some of the tastiest sausage we’ve had in a lasagna in a long time. It’s a bit more like the sausage you’d find tipping a pizza rather than the ground beef you’d typically find in a lasagna, but we actually really like that. Plus, the sausage portion is quite generous.

The cheese portion is so-so. All of the ricotta seemed to migrate over to one side of the dish, so one half had almost none, while the other half was just bursting with it. Unfortunately, the flavor is a little bland. We’re not sure what went wrong here, because typically lasagna fillings are loaded with cheesy, creamy flavor, but this stuff just feels a little dry and uninspired. A better cheese blend would have really made this stuff shine.

Marie Callender's Italiano Lasagna with Ricotta Cheese (Meal to Share)

According to the box, about 1/4 of this dish is considered a serving, and the image above shows what that portion size looks like. We think that’s a little small, and it’s feasible to eat half a tray in a sitting (we think that maybe cutting it into quarters and then eating a piece and a half is probably about perfect). If you stick with the recommended serving, you’ll be consuming 300 calories and 940 mg of sodium. If you double that, however, it becomes 600 calories and 1,880 mg of sodium. Dieters should probably stay away from this, and those looking to reduce their sodium intake should avoid this meal at all costs.

The Marie Callender’s Italiano Lasagna with Ricotta Cheese makes for a competent dish of lasagna, but it’s certainly not perfect. The sausage is great, but with a slightly better sauce and a more flavorful cheese filling, this could really be a standout frozen dinner. As is, it’s pretty decent. It’s better than a lot of the alternatives, but it’s still not the best lasagna option in the frozen food aisle.

To learn more about the nutrition content, ingredients, or cooking instructions for this frozen lasagna, check out our package scans below.

Marie Callender's Italiano Lasagna with Ricotta Cheese (Meal to Share)
Marie Callender's Italiano Lasagna with Ricotta Cheese (Meal to Share)
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