Thursday, March 3, 2011

Good Earth Tuscan Chicken Pasta - Review

As much as I hate prepared or packaged convenience foods, I do have to keep some on hand for those days when we are just rushing around and my brain can only conceive of calling out for pizza.  Bad for my wallet and not the greatest for our bodies.  Typically, I try to find the least unhealthy things available.  We may resort to this type of thing once a month or two.

Last shopping trip to ShopRite I picked up a box of Good Earth's Tuscan Chicken with penne pasta - a General Mills product.  Sounded pretty decent.  100% whole grain pasta, zero saturated fat, natural flavors, add your own chicken (cuz prepared foods that contain "meat" totally gross me out) and less sodium than a box of mac and cheese at a mere 570mg per serving, not too bad for a packaged meal kit.
My initial thoughts upon opening the box and removing the contents were wow, there is no way this is enough for 5 servings, which is what the box claims to contain.  In preparation, I doubled up on the pasta which I always have on hand and added some chicken sausage in addition to the cut up chicken.
Taste - it was pretty good.  I did go back for seconds and the kids ate it without complaint although my daughter inquired as to what the "green stuff" was (it's parsley).

Prep - fairly easy.  Although, on nights when I need a quick fix, I'd prefer a one pot or one skillet meal.  This required a whopping two as I had to cook the pasta separate from the chicken.  Then, of course, there was a colander involved as well.

Final thoughts - if it was on sale or I had a coupon, I may purchase this again.  I liked that I could use leftover rotisserie chicken meat rather than cooking up some raw as well.  The serving size however is slightly inadequate for our family, so that 570mg of sodium is actually greater based on our actual serving size.  The ingredient list was fully pronounceable, I knew what they were and didn't mind putting said ingredients into my kids.  Overall, a good thing to keep on hand for those crazy nights where dinner plans just weren't made.  This did taste good the second day as leftovers as well.


  1. before when i thought of packaged kits i always pictured kraft dinner or chef boyardi... but this is what i needed growing up instead! and sure, it may not be the best thing in the world but i agree that when ur having a busy night, this would come in handy! <3

  2. Thanks for the input. There are times we all can use the relief a packaged meal provides. Have a great weekend. Blessings...Mary

  3. Funny! I'm on the same page as you in terms of packaged products that contain meat, the texture is so weird! I like that this is semi-homemade, and that the complicated part - the sauce is taken care of. This looks very helpful especially on busy weekdays.

  4. Dear Betty, Thank you for the birthday wishes. I agree take out is just too expensive. I have never tried this Good Earth meal Chicken Dinner. It doesn't sound bad. Usually nights that are crazy are "breakfast for dinner nights". Blessings, Catherine xo

  5. I just wanted to drop by to thank you for your kindness and helping to prop me up during a bad time. :)

    Your chicken and pasta looks pretty good. I will have to try it.

  6. Tootie - you are so very welcome. I hope things are looking up as much as they can. :)

    Thanks for reading girls. It was fun to come out of the closet with one of my quick fix dinners. Although I do often do the breakfast for dinner thing too like Catherine.

  7. Yes...we all seem to get "those days" once in awhile! I stay away as much as possible to the prepackaged meals too. I often have leftover meat in meal size packages in the freezer that I can pull out and dump in a soup or Like you I don't have to use the ones that come with the meat! Thanks for letting us know about this one! I'll wait for a coupon! :D

  8. I just made and ate this for dinner tonight, and went looking online to see what others thought of it.

    I thought it was OK, but tasted kind of "off" to me. I bought it at a discount store nearby where I live, and it was marked down to $2.69. They also had the shrimp pasta one, but I don't eat or buy shrimp, and had chicken on hand, so I got the Tuscan Chicken penne.

    I had a container of already-cooked penne in the fridge (not whole wheat) leftover from a dish I made a few days ago, so I used that and left the whole wheat penne which came with the dinner unopened.

    I think some of the "green stuff" your daughter asked about, was also spinach. I would have liked more tomato and garlic flavor in the dish, I think.

    I probably won't buy the product again unless it is on sale. It did seem like there wasn't much pasta, and in the end, the pasta-to-chicken-and-sauce ratio looked a bit off, even though I only used 3 medium-sized chicken breast tenderloins (not 1 lb of chicken as the box called for).

    I also wonder if the dish would taste better with it, than with the regular wheat pasta I used. If I do buy it again to make, I'll use the packet of whole wheat penne that I didn't use tonight in addition to the one that comes in the next box, maybe that would be better.