Michelina’s Lean Gourmet Five Cheese Lasagna Review

Michelina's Lean Gourmet Five Cheese Lasagna

If you’re looking for low-calorie frozen meals for the lowest possible price, then it’s really hard to do better than the Michelina’s brand. These meals often contain less than 300 calories, and we usually get them on sale for a dollar per meal. On top of that, they have some impressively tasty items in their lineup, considering that low price.

Today we’re diving even deeper into this line, as we’re checking out the Michelina’s Lean Gourmet Five Cheese Lasagna. The box promises a lovely layered pasta with just 280 calories. So let’s dig in to see if this is a meal worth buying.

First, of course, we must cook it. It’s simple enough, but since this is a lasagna, it will take a little bit of extra time. Pop it into the microwave for three and a half minutes, stir the sauce a bit, then pop it back in for two to two and a half more minutes. That’s a total cook time of five and a half to six minutes, which really isn’t that bad compared to some of the other frozen lasagna dishes out there. This does take longer than most of the other Michelina’s foods that we’ve tried, though.

If you want to read the full cooking instructions straight off the box, you can scroll down to the bottom of this review and check out the package scans.

Michelina's Lean Gourmet Five Cheese Lasagna

Now, one thing we should point out here is that Michelina’s keeps their costs low by using the cardboard box as a tray instead of providing a plastic one. So these meals can feel a bit cheaper than their counterparts at, say, Lean Cuisine or Stouffer’s. Of course, the prices are also a lot lower, so the “cheap” feel is to be expected.

When we first pulled this out of the microwave, we were actually kind of disappointed by how flat it was. While we weren’t expecting something that was stacked several inches high, we also weren’t expecting something that looked like it got run over by a steamroller. In fact, we’d go so far as to say this is so flat that it made us giggle. It kind of seems like a cartoonishly exaggerated version of a super-flat lasagna.

The pasta is densely packed, meaning there really isn’t a lot of room for the five cheeses boasted by this meal’s title. This pasta is also kind of spongy, which is a really weird thing to say about a pasta but it’s true. We think this is a result of cramming some cheese between layers of pasta, and then smooshing them down as flat as possible.

There’s also no meat here, so hardcore carnivores might be disappointed.

But the sauce kind of saves the whole thing and makes it all work better than it seems like it should. It’s a super, super sweet red sauce that overtakes every bite and makes the flaws seem a lot more forgivable. It’s not a high-quality sauce, but it’s packed with that guilty-pleasure sort of flavor. To make this work, this sauce had to perform a very specific task, and it does so admirably. While it doesn’t transform this into a must-try meal for lasagna enthusiasts, it does elevate it from flawed and mediocre to halfway decent.

As we mentioned earlier, this meal only contains 280 calories. There are two downsides to this, however. First, this also comes with 1,040 mg of sodium, which is a lot for such a small meal. And second, this is pretty tiny. It’s not made for hungry folks who really want to feast — this is more for budget-cutters who are looking for a fast, quick meal without a lot of calories.

The Michelina’s Lean Gourmet Five Cheese Lasagna manages to work around its flaws to present something that’s kind of good but certainly not great. This is a pretty mediocre batch of lasagna that’s saved by a sauce that just somehow works. It’s not even an amazing sauce; it just happens to be the very thing that this meal needed.

That said, there are worse ways you could spend a dollar, but you should definitely not go into this expecting gourmet food, despite the word Gourmet appearing in the title.

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

Michelina's Lean Gourmet Five Cheese Lasagna
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