I have the time to make a homemade lunch every day, I just don’t always feel like it. Some days I just want to toss something in the oven or microwave and move on with my day. The problem is that I’m a vegetarian and I’m pretty fussy about the ingredients I’ll allow in my food. Luckily more natural products are hitting the market and today I tried out the new Barilla Microwaveable Meals.
First the Barilla Microwaveable Meals appear to be vegetarian although they are not marked as such. Second, they’re incredibly handy – they are shelf-stable and cook in just 1 minute. Third, they’re tasty! Granted, not as good as my homemade sauce and freshly cooked pasta, but certainly better than many other prepared brands I’ve tried and so much faster to cook than their frozen counterparts.
Barilla Whole Grain Mezze Penne with Tomato & Basil Sauce
Barilla Microwaveable Meals Taste Test
We sampled several of the flavors tonight. La tried the Whole Grain Mezze Penne with Tomato & Basil Sauce and I tried the Mezze Penne with Tomato & Basil Sauce. Both of us appreciated the convenience, although we did have some trouble separating the lid from the packaging after it was heated. I spilled a bit of the sauce and found them a bit difficult to remove. I’d certainly have a child/tween pull back the entire cover before heating to avoid burns. I used a napkin to protect myself on my second try.
The pasta itself is slightly gummy, but the sauce is as good as any prepared sauce I’ve tasted. It has a fresh, clean taste and with a slight hint of sweetness – just like I like it! The other flavors available are: Mezze Penne with Marinara Sauce, Mezze Penne with Spicy Marinara Sauce, and Whole Grain Fusilli with Vegetable Marinara Sauce.
I love that there are no preservatives included and that the meals are about 320 calories each. The addition of a green salad would make them complete. We did each add a few teaspoons of Parmesan cheese but it would be fine without it as well. The whole grain variety is a fabulous nutritional boost to the traditional and we both agreed that this was a quick and easy meal that was wholly satisfying.
For those of you who prefer meat, you could easily add Italian sausage or eat it as a side dish to your steak or chicken.
Mezze Penne with Tomato & Basil Sauce
Find out more about the new Barilla Microwaveable Meals on the Barilla facebook page or visit their website.
Barilla Microwaveable Meals Coupon
Visit the Barilla website and download your own $1 off coupon. The suggested retail price is $3.29.
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I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Barilla and received product samples and a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.