Marie Callender’s Grilled Chicken Pesto Cavatelli Bowl Review

Marie Callender's Grilled Chicken Pesto Cavatelli Bowl

Marie Callender’s seems to be rapidly expanding their single-serve bowls line. While the results haven’t been extraordinary, it’s still nice to see them fleshing out what might be the most interesting subsection of their frozen offerings.

So today we’re hoping for the best with the Marie Callender’s Grilled Chicken Pesto Cavatelli Bowl. It seems like a good idea on paper, but can this frozen meal live up to its lofty premise in practice? Let’s find out!

First off, cooking this meal is a breeze. Simply pop it into the microwave, give it a quick stir, and pop it back in. The whole process should take four or five minutes. (If you want to read the full cooking instructions straight off the box, check out the package scans at the bottom of this review.)

Marie Callender's Grilled Chicken Pesto Cavatelli Bowl

Right away, we found the pesto flavor to be overwhelming. There’s a creamy sauce here, but it tastes and smells strongly of pesto. Pesto fanatics will probably enjoy this, but those of us who prefer it as a more subtle “support flavor” will find this to be just a tad bit much.

Marie Callender’s has actually surprised us in the past with some really great chicken. The chicken here, however, is pretty mediocre. It’s too gristly, and while it has a decent bit of flavor to it, it’s not enough to push through that pesto flavor so it gets lost in the mix, flavor-wise.

The noodles are tightly rolled shells, which we found to be pretty interesting. They’re rolled so tightly that they almost have the texture of a gnocchi rather than a proper shell. This is the best part of the meal by a long shot. Biting into these oddly shaped pasta bits is surprisingly satisfying.

There are some cherry tomatoes in the mix as well, but they certainly don’t end up as red and delicious-looking as they do on the box image. No, these are a pale orange color, and they taste just a little bit rotten. These are maybe the worst cherry tomatoes we’ve had in a frozen meal.

This meal contains 370 calories and 880 mg of sodium. Both those numbers are a bit high for a frozen meal, so eat with caution. Of course, we don’t necessarily think this meal is worth all that sodium, so it might be better to just avoid it altogether.

The Marie Callender’s Grilled Chicken Pesto Cavatelli Bowl is another failed attempt by the folks at Marie Callender’s. While the pasta itself is excellent, and the chicken is only so-so, there’s just too much pesto flavor and some really bad cherry tomatoes. Overall, we think you can probably skip this meal. If you insist on picking up something from the Marie Callender’s line, we’d recommend the New Orleans Style Chicken Alfredo Bowl over this one, but if all you want is some chicken and some shell pasta, there are better options available, such as the Stouffer’s Cheesy Chicken Bacon Ranch.

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

Marie Callender's Grilled Chicken Pesto Cavatelli Bowl
Marie Callender's Grilled Chicken Pesto Cavatelli Bowl