Lean Cuisine Features Herb Roasted Chicken Review

Lean Cuisine Features Herb Roasted Chicken

Today we’re saying hello to an old friend. Yes, we’ve reviewed the Lean Cuisine Herb Roasted Chicken before, back when it was part of their Comfort line. Since it’s been moved to the Features line, we figured this is a good time to revisit this and see how it holds up.

In our previous review, we said we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of each ingredient in this meal. The box for the new version says, “Classic taste you love,” which we assume means very little has changed about this frozen dinner. Of course, we noticed the calories and sodium have both increased slightly since the last time we tried this (more on that later), so we wonder if there were some tweaks, or if Lean Cuisine just adjusted the serving size ever-so-slightly.

So let’s dig in!

Of course, we have to cook this first. This actually has a slightly longer-than-average cook time. You’ll need to pop it into the microwave for four minutes, give it a quick stir, and then put it back in for two more. That’s six total minutes of cook time, which is certainly one of the longest cook times we’ve seen on a simple Lean Cuisine dish. And if we’re being honest, this does feel like a bit much. When we took ours out at the four-minute mark, it definitely seemed ready to be eaten. We did complete the six-minute cook time, as per the instructions, but we’re not sure all six minutes are necessary here.

Lean Cuisine Features Herb Roasted Chicken

One thing we noticed right away (well, after all that cooking was done) is that this meal keeps the chicken and vegetables separated. In the old version of the dish, they were all together in one big tray — here, the tray is sectioned out for the two main portions of the meal.

In our previous review, we mentioned that the herb sauce was great, and that it really made the meal stand out. This time, we’re less willing to make such a bold statement. We should point out that the last time we reviewed this, we thought the black pepper had a really strong presence, but this time it was a bit more muted. This sauce leans more into the garlic flavor than the pepper seasoning. Now, this isn’t bad — in fact, the sauce is quite good — we just don’t think we like it as much this time as we did last time.

The chicken is still delightfully tender, and it has a decent amount of flavor. Of course, it also soaks up a lot of sauce, so a good portion of that flavor is the sauce. That said, the chicken flavor does still come through and it’s pretty good. We wish all of Lean Cuisine’s chicken options were this high in quality.

The potatoes are certainly not as good as they were before. When the potatoes were soaked in the herb sauce (in the previous version), they ended up being really good. Here, because of the overly long cook time and the lack of sauce in the veggie side of the tray, they end up a bit dried out and chewy. You can move them over to the sauce side of the tray and swish them around a bit, but that doesn’t mitigate the fact that the consistency of these potatoes has definitely lost something in translation.

On the other hand, the broccoli here ends up fantastic. This stuff has a lovely flavor to it, even without the sauce, and it tastes relatively fresh for a frozen veggie. It also doesn’t get soggy, which can be a problem with frozen broccoli.

Now let’s talk nutrition content (see, we told you we’d get to it eventually!) The Comfort version of this dish contained 170 calories and 510 mg of sodium. This new version contains 180 calories and 580 mg of sodium. You’ll notice that both of those have increased, but not substantially. And this was always really low in calories, so the new calorie count is certainly not going to make this a dealbreaker. In fact, this still has less calories than most of the frozen dinners we’ve reviewed, and that sodium level is also on the low size for a frozen meal.

With the Lean Cuisine Herb Roasted Chicken moving to the Features line, Lean Cuisine made some choices that we’re not fond of. We don’t know why this meal is separated into portions, because the veggies cooking in the sauce was a significant part of the meal’s appeal. And we’re not sure why we tasted so much less black pepper this time around than last time, but this dish definitely loses something because of it. We suppose you could always add some, but if you eat this as it comes, the reduced black pepper might be a little disappointing.

At the end of the day, this is still a pretty decent meal. It’s not perfect, and it’s not as good as it used to be, but it’s still a pretty strong entry in Lean Cuisine’s low-calorie frozen food lineup.

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

Lean Cuisine Features Herb Roasted Chicken
Lean Cuisine Features Herb Roasted Chicken
Lean Cuisine Features Herb Roasted Chicken
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x