Looking for an easy meal that I could throw into the oven on a busy day, I decided to try Marie Callender’s Southwestern Style Chipotle Chicken Bake. The box says it is a “New!” Marie Callender’s dish, and it looked delicious. The meal comes in its own heavy duty baking tray that allows you to cook it in either the microwave or the oven. I chose the oven method as I feel the meals cook more evenly when prepared that way.
The box states this meal contains white meat chicken with rice, black beans, and vegetables in a chipotle sauce topped with pepperjack cheese. My family loves southwestern dishes and we love pepperjack cheese, so this sounded like a winner.
If cooked in the microwave, you simply cut a slit in the clear film cover and microwave it on high for 6 minutes. Then remove the film and microwave an additional 3 1/2-5 minutes. The dish should sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Cooking Marie Callender’s Southwestern Style Chipotle Chicken Bake in a conventional oven is very easy. Cut a slit in the film cover, place dish on a cookie sheet, and bake at 375 degrees for an hour. When using a conventional oven the meal should sit for five minutes before serving, and it is indeed very hot.
How Healthy Is Marie Callender’s Southwestern Style Chipotle Chicken Bake?
A serving size is one cup, and it contains 280 calories, which is pretty healthy if you are counting calories. However, if you are on a low fat diet, one cup also contains 11 grams of fat, which I consider to be pretty hefty for such a small portion. There are also 6 grams of saturated fat, but I am glad to see there are zero grams of those unhealthy trans fats.
There are 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 730 milligrams of sodium, 310 milligrams of potassium, 33 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugars, and 13 grams of protein. The sodium count seems high to me, so if you are on a low sodium diet this is a number you should always look at. With 33 grams of carbs, this does not seem like a good meal for those on the Atkins, South Beach, or other low carb diets.
However, 13 grams of protein is a lot of protein for only one cup of food. A serving also provides the body with 20% vitamin A, 6% vitamin C, 10% calcium, 4% iron, 20% phosphorus, and 15% manganese.
Taste and Overall Thoughts on Marie Callender’s Southwestern Style Chipotle Chicken Bake
While cooking this meal smelled awesome. We couldn’t wait to give it a try, and we were very hungry after waiting for an hour for it to bake. When my daughter took her portion her first comment was that there didn’t seem to be very much chicken in the meal. I immediately agreed with her. In fact, the dish seemed to be made mostly from rice. How disappointing! The picture on the box shows the rice topped with what I consider to be generous amounts of chicken chunks, but my daughter was correct, there was not very much chicken in the container.
The first ingredient is cooked rice, followed by water and chicken breast. There were also red bell peppers, tomatoes and corn mixed in. To our liking, the dish was very moist and flavorful, but a bit on the spicy side for my tastes. My daughter didn’t think it was spicy. The peppers were done to perfection and the corn was tasty, but the black beans were still hard and bland. Although the meal contained pepperjack cheese, there was no real noticeable cheese on the dish at all.
Overall, I was quite disappointed in Marie Callender’s Southwestern Style Chipotle Chicken Bake. It was not an inexpensive purchase, and I have been very happy with other frozen meals and desserts made by Marie Callender. This is definitely not a meal I would purchase again.