Michelina’s Mama’s Chicken & Rice Bake Review

Michelina's Mama's Chicken & Rice Bake

Michelina’s makes super budget-friendly frozen meals. While these meals are priced at around $1.50 at our local grocery store (usually $1.39 or $1.59), we just got another batch of these on sale for a buck a piece (so you can expect more Michelina’s reviews in the future). These are not expensive meals, and we don’t think anyone expects them to be gourmet-quality.

That said, Michelina’s has surprised us in the past. We thought their Buffalo-Style Chicken Snackers were pretty tasty for the price, and we’ve enjoyed dabbling in their surprisingly robust mac and cheese selection. Even so, we’re a little hesitant to dive into the Michelina’s Mama’s Chicken & Rice Bake today. We’re just not confident Michelina’s has what it takes to pull off something like this, especially when there are alternatives on the market like the Stouffer’s Grandma’s Chicken & Vegetable Rice Bake.

Of course, we’d love to find out that our doubts were unfounded and that Michelina’s has really hit this one out of the park. So let’s dig in.

Cooking this is no trouble at all. Break open a corner of the box, then microwave this for two and a half minutes. Give it a stir and then put it back in for a minute and a half to two minutes longer. (If you want to read the full cooking instructions straight off the box, check out the package scan at the bottom of this review.)

As you can see in the image below, Michelina’s cuts their costs by not including an inner tray of any kind. You’ll eat this straight out of the box (that’s just the Michelina’s way). We should point out here that because of this, these won’t last quite as long in the freezer as your average frozen food from, say, Lean Cuisine — these just aren’t sealed very well.

Michelina's Mama's Chicken & Rice Bake

The bulk of this dish is a serving of cheesy rice. And you know what? It ain’t half bad. The rice is a bit bland on its own, and the cheese isn’t potent enough to mitigate that completely, but it works well enough for a budget-priced meal, in our opinion.

There are little cubes of chicken here, and they taste a little bit brothy — what we mean is that they taste more like chicken broth than actual chicken. They’re also a little rubbery, but they’re small enough that this might not actually matter all that much.

For some veggie content, you’ve got a smattering of peas and just a flake or two of carrot. The carrot really doesn’t even matter here because it’s so insignificant, but the peas actually do have a slight impact on the dish. While they taste halfway decent — if not a little bit bland — they’re also really mushy. You might not notice this if you eat your peas surrounded by rice, but if you pull out a pea and eat it on its own, you’ll definitely find the consistency to be off-putting. Unless you like putty-like peas, we suppose.

Ideally, there would be a bread-crust/stuffing-style topping here, and while Michelina’s had the best intentions for this, the topping mostly disappears into the meal when you stir it. We admire the attempt, even if it’s lacking in execution.

We typically expect a Michelina’s meal to come in below 300 calories, but that’s not always the case. With 360 calories, this one falls a bit outside that expectation. It certainly won’t bust a diet, but this does contain more calories than the average Michelina’s meal. The sodium is right about where we’d expect it to be, at 670 mg.

The Michelina’s Mama’s Chicken & Rice Bake is not perfect, but it’s better than you might expect from a meal that costs a buck. No, it doesn’t hold a candle to the Stouffer’s Grandma’s Chicken & Vegetable Rice Bake, but at this price, we never expected it to. Ultimately, we think there are far worse ways to spend your dollar.

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

Michelina's Mama's Chicken & Rice Bake
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