May 26, 2010 in Features

Buitoni frozen meals earn compliments

By Correspondent

Dinner is getting easier and easier.

No one will think “freezer meal” when you bust out the Buitoni shrimp and lobster ravioli with garlic butter sauce, or grilled chicken and spinach cannelloni. With a salad kit and a bottle of wine even the most miserable noncook could win props for one of these meals.

The pasta and sauce are included in each of the Buitoni meals for two. They can be found in the freezer section of many local supermarkets.

The meals come together in five to 15 minutes using the stove top and microwave. There are conventional-oven cooking instructions for some of the dishes as well.

Food panel tasters found things to praise and pan about each of the four varieties we tried. When the scores were tallied the Grilled Chicken and Spinach Cannelloni and Four Cheese and Spinach Ravioli received four stars for flavor and three-and-a-half stars for value.

The Shrimp and Lobster Ravioli and Chicken and Mushroom Ravioli each received a three-star rating for taste and value.

Marilyn Moore wasn’t impressed with all of the dishes, but she really liked the four cheese and spinach ravioli.

“Put in a fancy dish and guests will compliment. Don’t forget the white tablecloth,” she said.

She also ate every bite of the grilled chicken and spinach cannelloni.

Jenny Whittaker complimented the chicken and mushroom ravioli.

“Generous round raviolis with flavorful mushroom sauce and large pieces of mushrooms,” she said.

But Whittaker thought the garlic butter sauce on the shrimp and lobster ravioli was uninspired.

Skip Hubbard agreed. “Bland and unimaginative is how I would describe these,” he said.

Buitoni Chicken and Mushroom Ravioli

Price: $8.99 per 26-ounce package

Nutrition per serving (half package): 530 calories, 20 grams fat (11 grams saturated), 29 grams protein, 68 grams carbohydrate, 110 milligrams cholesterol, 5 grams dietary fiber, 1,140 milligrams sodium.

Taste: • • •

Value: • • •

Comments: “Chicken is a little tough, but the ravioli and sauce are fine.” – Andy Hoye

“Good. Pasta holds up well and nice flavor.” – Larry Inman

Buitoni Shrimp and Lobster Ravioli

Price: $8.99

Nutrition per serving (half package): 500 calories, 16 grams fat (9 grams saturated), 21 grams protein, 68 grams carbohydrate, 125 milligrams cholesterol, no dietary fiber, 1,170 milligrams sodium.

Taste: • • •

Value: • • •

Comments: “Pasta is a little chewy, but the flavor is good.” – Larry Inman

“Unusually good, but the pasta was a bit chewy.” – Andy Hoye

Buitoni Grilled Chicken and Spinach Cannelloni

Price: $8.99

Nutrition per serving (half package): 560 calories, 26 grams fat (15 grams saturated), 35 grams protein, 46 grams carbohydrate, 145 milligrams cholesterol, 3 grams dietary fiber, 1,070 milligrams sodium.

Taste: • • • •

Value: • • •

Comments: “Great stuffing. I like these, too.” – Larry Inman

“Stuffed cannelloni done well. Cream sauce was not too much, but just enough. Herbed cheese stuffing was not too shabby either.” – Skip Hubbard

“This is very nice – very light pasta casing – spinach and filling are just right.” – Andy Hoye

Buitoni Four Cheese and Spinach Ravioli

Price: $8.99

Nutrition per serving (half package): 550 calories, 21 grams fat (12 grams saturated), 24 grams protein, 65 grams carbohydrate, 100 milligrams cholesterol, 7 grams dietary fiber, 1,270 milligrams sodium.

Taste: • • • •

Value: • • •

Comments: “Not quite as good as the three others, only because it has that “canned” tomato taste, but still good.” – Larry Inman

“Chunky red sauce with spinachy cheese. Pretty tasty.” – Skip Hubbard

“Smooth, rich with a nice sauce, too.” – Andy Hoye

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