Michelina’s Lean Gourmet Creamy Rigatoni with Broccoli & Chicken Review

Michelina's Lean Gourmet Creamy Rigatoni with Broccoli & Chicken

Michelina’s has a pretty huge line of frozen food, but we’re up to the challenge of reviewing every single one. Since they only cost about $1.50 per meal — and we often get them on sale for a buck a piece — we can review as many of these as we need to without breaking the bank. On top of that, these have a tendency to be better than their price point would make you think. No, they’re not gourmet food, but they’re often quite decent for a buck.

Today, we’re checking out yet another meal from this massive line, the Michelina’s Lean Gourmet Creamy Rigatoni with Broccoli & Chicken. On the Michelina’s website, this product has a rating of 4.5 stars (out of 5), so it seems like people enjoy it. Let’s find out what the Freezer Meal Frenzy staff thinks!

First, of course, we must cook it. Cooking this frozen meal is simple enough: Simply pop it into the microwave for two minutes, give it a quick stir, then pop it back in for another 60 to 90 seconds. Bam! You’re done! (If you want to read the full cooking instructions straight off the back of the box, check out the package scan at the bottom of this review.)

Michelina's Lean Gourmet Creamy Rigatoni with Broccoli & Chicken

We mention this every time we review a Michelina’s product, but one of the ways the company keeps their overhead low is by packing these without an inner tray. If you buy, say, a Lean Cuisine meal, you can expect the food to come in a plastic tray. With Michelina’s, the cardboard box doubles as the tray.

So let’s talk about the sauce for a moment. We very recently had a Michelina’s meal with a really lovely, creamy sauce, so we’re not sure what went wrong here. Even though this has the word “Creamy” in the title, it’s anything but. There’s a thin, watery substance that pretty heavily relies on garlic and parmesan as a crutch. Without these components, this wouldn’t have a lot of flavor; with them, this just has a very strong taste of garlic and parmesan. But even with all these issues, we still found ourselves kind of liking it despite the flaws. It’s hard to argue with a garlicy, parmesan-y pasta sauce, no matter how cheap it is.

Now, in that meal we mentioned earlier (the one with the creamy sauce), our big complaint was that the chicken felt overly processed and fake. This complaint extends to this meal as well. This stuff is crumbly and plasticy, and the flavor tastes more like a fake meat that was infused with chicken broth than a real chicken.

There’s some broccoli, but its flavor is kind of muted, and the consistency is a little weird. It’s soggy in some places and crunchy in others. A perfect broccoli in a meal like this would have a soft crunch to it — this one is just soggy with hard pieces in the middle. It’s not good at all.

One thing that’s pretty consistent across the Michelina’s brand is their low calorie counts. This one joins the party, with just 270 calories (and 610 mg of sodium). At the very least, this one won’t crush your carefully planned diet dreams.

The Michelina’s Lean Gourmet Creamy Rigatoni with Broccoli & Chicken doesn’t really deserve its 4.5-star rating. It’s far from perfect, though at the end of the day, there’s still something kind of appealing about it. There are some pretty serious flaws here, but we found ourselves liking the meal despite those. Yes, the garlic and parmesan are really just here to hide the mediocrity of the meal, but we still like the taste of garlicy parmesan pasta. We just can’t help it; we’re only human, after all.

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

Michelina's Lean Gourmet Creamy Rigatoni with Broccoli & Chicken
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