Michelina’s Swedish Meatballs Review

Michelina's Swedish Meatballs

Michelina’s makes budget-friendly frozen meals. We say this just about every time we review one of their products, but we typically see these meals priced at $1.39 or $1.59, and we generally pick up a good selection of them whenever we see them on sale for a buck a piece. So yes, the Michelina’s Swedish Meatballs, which we’re reviewing today, cost us a single dollar.

We’re curious to see how this stacks up against other Michelina’s products. While we were surprised to find out they make a really good mac and cheese, some of their other dishes have left us feeling sad and disappointed. Does Michelina’s have what it takes to make a tasty one-dollar batch of Swedish meatballs? The reviews on the Michelina’s website are extremely positive, so let’s find out how this one actually tastes.

But first, we must give this some heat. It’s easy enough to cook this: Simply peel back the corner of the lid, stick the tray in the microwave for about three and a half minutes. Give it a quick stir, then cook it for another 60 to 90 seconds. It should be all done. (If you want to read the full cooking instructions straight off the box, check out the package scan at the bottom of this review.)

One thing Michelina’s does to keep their prices so low is going super cheap on packaging. Instead of an inner tray of any kind, the outer box serves as a tray. This does cause a couple problems. First, it means these don’t last as long in the microwave as a lot of other frozen meals. Second, the print from the box can stick to your plate, so you’ll want to place a napkin or paper towel underneath the meal while you cook it. But then again, that’s the tradeoff for getting these at such a low price point.

Michelina's Swedish Meatballs

As is the case with any batch of Swedish meatballs, this isn’t a complex dish. You’ve got some flat, fettuccine-style pasta, some meatballs, and a sauce. Let’s tackle them in that order.

The pasta is a little soggy, and it ends up tasting starchier than we’d like. Yes, that’s kind of a contradictory combo, but that’s what you’ve got here. These noodles are a little thicker than we expected, and they’re certainly not offensive, but we would have loved a slightly firmer noodle with a little less of that starchy flavor.

The meatballs, of course, are the main event. We only found four in our entire dish, but they’re actually really good. While we were expecting these to be kind of meatloaf-tasting (as is the case with a lot of frozen Swedish meatballs), these actually have an intense smokiness to them that makes them really stand out. It’s a shame the portion size is so meagre, because this is by far the best part of the meal.

The sauce is okay, but not great. The flavor is a bit too subtle, especially since the noodles and meatballs both have a stronger-than-average potency to them. But whenever some of the sauce flavor manages to come up to the surface, it ends up tasting a bit too much like sour cream (which is a component of the sauce).

While Michelina’s meals tend to be super low in calories, this one is a little bit higher on that scale. At 350 calories, this meal certainly won’t bust a diet, but it’s higher than the sub-300 level that we find with a lot of their other meals. The sodium is a bit high, at 900 mg.

The Michelina’s Swedish Meatballs dish takes some fantastic meatballs and adds some mediocre noodles and a sauce that just doesn’t hold up. For a dollar, it’s hard to complain, because this is still a decent-tasting meal, but we think these meatballs really deserve better. If you’re craving Swedish meatballs and are on a limited budget, this does hit the spot, and we suppose that’s what really matters.

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

Michelina's Swedish Meatballs