Michelina’s Grande Rigatoni Alfredo with Chicken & Broccoli Review

Michelina's Grande Rigatoni Alfredo with Chicken & Broccoli

Here at Freezer Meal Frenzy, we’re big fans of the Michelina’s brand of frozen food. While these definitely aren’t the highest-quality meals you’ll find in the freezer aisle, they are among the cheapest; we often get ours on sale for around $1.25.

However, the brand is experimenting with some larger-size meals. The Michelina’s Grande line contains meals that won’t be bargain-priced at a buck and some change, but are designed to be more satisfying to those with medium-sized appetites. And it’s not like the Grande meals are overpriced; we got ours for $2.29, and it wasn’t even discounted.

So today we’re going to dig into the Michelina’s Grande Rigatoni Alfredo with Chicken & Broccoli to see how it compares with the regular-size meals. We did previously review the Lean Gourmet Creamy Rigatoni with Broccoli & Chicken, which seems to be fairly close to this one, though obviously the Grande meal is larger.

Cooking this is simple, though it’s going to take longer than a regular-sized Michelina’s meal. You’ll need to crack open a corner of the package, then pop this in the microwave for four minutes. Give it a quick stir, then pop it back in for two and a half to three additional minutes. (If you want to read the full cooking instructions straight off the box, check out the package scan at the bottom of this review.)

Michelina's Grande Rigatoni Alfredo with Chicken & Broccoli

We should also point out that, just like other Michelina’s meals, this one skimps on any inner packaging, with the cardboard box also serving as a tray. This is designed to keep the price lower, but it also has the downside of providing less protection for your meal. Michelina’s meals will go bad in the freezer faster than, say, a Stouffer’s or Lean Cuisine meal would, so keep that in mind.

The sauce has a creaminess that we find really appealing, though admittedly we think “buttery” is probably a better description than “creamy.” There are strong buttery undertones to the flavor, is what we’re getting at. We dig it, but more of it evaporates in the cooking process than we would have liked. When we took our meal out of the microwave to stir it at the four-minute mark, it seemed like there was a pretty decent amount of sauce, but after we gave it another two and a half minutes of nuke time, it seemed like there was substantially less of it.

The chicken comes in strips, and it’s fake-tasting and rubbery. Let’s be honest, we didn’t really expect gourmet-quality meat here, but even so, this stuff is a bit of a disappointment. It tastes more like tofu that’s been flavored with chicken soup broth than like actual chicken.

The broccoli is just okay. It’s not terrible, but it does end up a little soggier than we’d have liked. Thankfully, the vast majority of this meal is pasta and sauce, so the chicken and broccoli aren’t enough to bring down the overall quality that much.

This meal contains 460 calories and 1,120 mg of sodium. Both of those numbers are a bit high for a Michelina’s meal, but that’s to be expected with an increase in size. At the same time, this isn’t a massive amount of food or anything — the meal takes up maybe half of the space in the box, so it looks more substantial than it actually is. So even though the packaging is designed to make you think this is a hearty, super-filling meal, we’d say it’s pretty average as far as frozen meal size goes.

The Michelina’s Grande Rigatoni Alfredo with Chicken & Broccoli won’t win any taste tests, but when you consider the price of $2.29, it’s not a bad deal at all. This tastes good enough, and is filling enough, for the price, but more expensive meals (like the Stouffer’s Fettuccini Alfredo) are going to blow it out of the water.

If you want to learn more about the nutrition content, ingredients, or cooking instructions for this Michelina’s frozen meal, check out our package scan below.

Michelina's Grande Rigatoni Alfredo with Chicken & Broccoli
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