Lean Cuisine Features Chicken Parmesan Review

Lean Cuisine Features Chicken Parmesan

Lean Cuisine seems to be constantly rearranging their food lineup, tweaking old recipes and re-branding old products. This means we end up re-reviewing Lean Cuisine items quite frequently.

Today is one of those days. We’re checking out the Lean Cuisine Chicken Parmesan, which we’ve tried before, but it’s since been moved from the Comfort line to the Features line. We thought this was pretty alright the last time we tried it, so we’re curious to see if anything has changed since then.

One thing we don’t remember is how long this took to cook before. Unfortunately, we reviewed this before we got into the habit of scanning the cooking instructions on the box, so we can’t go back and check. But the six-and-a-half-minute cook time does seem a bit lengthy. (If you want to read the full cooking instructions straight off the box, check out the package scans at the bottom of this review — yes, we scan that part of the box now!)

Lean Cuisine Features Chicken Parmesan

We should point out that the last time we reviewed this particular frozen meal was April of 2017. A lot of time has passed, and so our memory of the previous version of this dish is pretty blurry. We certainly don’t have perfect recall. But when we compare this meal against our old photos, it does look like the serving size might have increased slightly.

The last time we tried this, we thought the sauce was pretty tasty. This time around, however, it has a sugary smell to it that we don’t recall it having before. And that carries over into the flavor portfolio too, meaning this sauce tastes oddly sugary. And it’s a processed-sugar flavor rather than a natural-sugar flavor, which makes it even odder.

The breading on the chicken here is actually kind of slimy, which is weird, and the chicken itself feels really thin and rubbery. The combination of these things makes this feel like a slimy piece of textured rubber, and that’s really not appealing.

That sog factor carries over to the pasta a bit, but not nearly as bad as the breading. The noodles definitely have a reheated quality to them. Now, we know these are reheated, but some frozen meals feature pasta that doesn’t feel like you’re on the third day of a batch of spaghetti that you toss back into the microwave every day at lunchtime.

This meal now contains 350 calories (up from the 310 of the previous version) and 690 mg of sodium. Neither of those numbers is horrible for a frozen food, but both are maybe slightly higher than we’d prefer for a Lean Cuisine meal — especially one that doesn’t taste very good.

The Lean Cuisine Chicken Parmesan seems to have taken a drastic turn for the worse. The flavor is not as good as it used to be, and the texture of everything here is pretty off-putting. It’s hard to say if this meal has changed or if our standards have changed, but we’re guessing the reality is a combination of the two. The result is a meal that really disappointed us.

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

Lean Cuisine Features Chicken Parmesan
Lean Cuisine Features Chicken Parmesan
Lean Cuisine Features Chicken Parmesan