Lean Cuisine Reviews

January 23, 2018   20 Comments

Lean Cuisine reviews are harder to come by than you think. Who wants to sit around tasting “diet” food?

Lean Cuisine Reviews

It may be “diet” food but I see it in every shopping cart in the store. The latest packaging with its black chalkboard is quite compelling. You might not even notice the word “lean” with all the other words like “organic” and “natural” on the box.

I bought three of them to check out because I am always hopeful that these meals are healthy and tasty. I have reviewed Smart Ones and Amy’s Frozen Meals in an attempt to find the perfect frozen option.

I think frozen meals could be a great source for healthy eaters on the go who don’t have time to cook. Certainly, I make delicious food, pack it in my freezer, and reheat when ready and it works! You think a big company like Nestle could do the same thing?

The first thing I look at is the ingredient list. This is a photo of the Lean Cuisine Chicken Tikka Marsala box:

I like this list. I don’t see anything objectionable and there are no artificial flavors or colors.

This list on the other hand from the Lean Cuisine Tortilla Crusted Fish (fish?) is very difficult to read:

I am getting old but SHEESH. I can’t begin to discern what is in this box. It cracks me up that Nestle chose to call this “fish”. Have they not figured out that people like to know which kind of fish they are eating? Here it is listed as Alaska Pollock – which is not sustainable. Argh!

Back to my review, which I will begin with Lean Cuisine Chicken Tikka Marsala.

This is quite tasty! I was surprised that I liked it. The flavors are strong and the meal really was a form of Indian food.

310 calories, 4 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 51 g carbohydrates, 7 g sugar, 18 g protein, 2 g fiber, 720 mg sodium, 8 Freestyle Smart Pts

Obviously, there is too much sodium (as is true with all the options). Also, I am wondering about that 7 grams of sugar. How much of that is added sugar or is it due to the carrots and peas? This is the kind of question that will be answered soon with the FDA’s new “added sugar” labeling. I am looking forward to it.

I wish for brown rice and MORE VEGGIES.

This is the Lean Cuisine Tortilla Crusted Fish:

I want to like this because it had a nice pepper kick but the fish turned out gummy in my microwave.

300 calories, 9 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 41 g carbohydrates, 6 g sugar, 14 g protein, 2 g fiber, 490 mg sodium, 8 Freestyle SmartPts

I also had the same problems as the Chicken Tikka Masala (too much sodium and added sugar) and would like to see brown rice and MORE VEGGIES.

Finally, just for fun, I added this Lean Cuisine Vermont White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese:

The box advises you to pair this with a salad to create a complete meal and I couldn’t agree more.

250 calories, 6 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 35 g carbohydrates, 5 g sugar, 14 g protein, 0 g fiber, 690 mg sodium, 8 Freestyle SmartPts

The saturated fat is very low for a dish like this. I found this a bit bland but the consistency of the pasta was pretty good and the cheese tasted like cheese. You could do far worse.

The good thing about this macaroni and cheese is that it is a perfect portion size to stop yourself from going overboard.

My conclusion is that if you have a choice between Lean Cuisine and McDonald’s (they cost about the same) go ahead with the Lean Cuisine. Obviously, if you have the time, make your own food and freeze it.

Have you tried Lean Cuisines? Which are your favorites?

Other posts you might like:

Smart Ones Meals offer Smart Made: A Real Food Option

Smart Ones Meals offer Smart Made: A Real Food Option

Smart Ones meals are the supposed smarter option in the frozen meals section. The smartness is because they are a lower calorie (and perhaps healthier) option....

Amy’s Frozen Meals Reviews

Amy’s Frozen Meals Reviews

It has been a long time since I last took a look at Amy’s frozen meals.....

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I pair the mac/cheese with a pouch of tuna and broccoli - its a great meal!

I enjoy the Vermont White Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese. The portion is just right & I like the cheese - orange cheese doesn’t work for me

I can't stand food like that. I have learned my lesson

and do not buy it. I portion my left overs in containers

mark and freeze. Saves money and tastes a lot better.

Easy mac, boil milk and water add mac and when done

add cheese. Easy and tastes great.

Frozen veggies is a good stand by. Especially


My absolute favorite is the butter nut squash ravioli and asparagus! I do not eat a ton on frozen “diet” meals, but if I had to choose one that would be my go to from Lean Cuisine.

I have tried MANY of these meals and I'm always left disappointed. The portions are too small but they always have high point values (in my opinion for the amount of food you get). I will stick to prepping and freezing.

I have tried a variety of brands and thought some where not to bad the sodium is just outrageous. Now I freeze rice and beans in portions and add whatever. Healthier and cheaper.

Check out LUVO frozen meals; it's has balance, flavor and there's a dietitian involved in the creation of these. I encourage people to cap their meals at 500mg and these (often times) fit that criteria.

I do like some of the Market Place meals by Lean Cuisine. I am not a fan of frozen meals by any means, but recently have discovered Healthy Choice Power these are pretty impressive in my opinion. Good ingredients, lots of veggies, protein and whole grains. No artificial preservatives. Very hearty and filling. Check them out :)

The favorite in my house (by my husband) are Evols. Super Targets have the best variety and their ingredients seem like they have the most REAL food of any frozen foods I've bought (high sodium as expected). and you can collect points and earn Evol gear!

Have you tried Devour? They are not quite as healthy as Lean Cuisine, but they taste a million times better. They still have the sodium issue, but have lots of protein. I get the Buffalo Mac and Cheese. It's really good! They are available at Target and most regular grocery stores.

I used to be a huge Lean Cuisine fan, especially to have something to grab and go for lunches. But they changed a couple of their recipes and didn't really like the new ones as much. (Maybe they were changing their recipes to make them healthier?!)

In any case, I don't buy them any more when it's so easy now to make quick and easy bowls with whatever I have in my own fridge. I guess I just had to learn how to do that.

If I am going to do a frozen meal, nothing can keep me away from the Chicken Tikka Masala at Trader Joe's!

I actually quite like Lean Cuisine. I have them for lunch quite often, and it keeps me on track because I'm not tempted to go back for second or third helpings.. I believe they taste much better than Smart Ones, which are quite tasteless and unsatisfying.

Try the butternut squash ravioli, it’s my favorite of all theirs.

I find them too salty for my taste. Convenient but still contains questionable ingredients. Oat fiber, three starches and powdered spices, not real food. I’d rather make my own, freeze portions and control my ingredients

I have eaten Lean Cuisine Mac and Cheese forever. I pair it with tuna and hard boiled eggs for an “emergency” dinner, especially in the warmer months.

I tried the pot roast recently and it was awful.

I felt like I could taste it for days.

In my teaching days, I bought these often . . . too tired after a day of teaching to cook. I also bought bags of mixed vegetables and would peel up a corner of the wrapping to push in some extra veggies.

I use Lean Cuisine as a fall back on, I have a bad back and when I am not feeling well enough to stand and cook I pop in a Lean Cuisine. I like the Orange Chicken, Meat Loaf and several others. I do a little doctoring, sometime adding hot sauce or butter depending on my mood. Another good on is Fit Kitchen, I'm not sure who makes it.

I think these meals are tasty. I do wish there was a bit more food in them, especially the vegetables. My favorites are from the Comfort line: Chicken Pecan and Roasted Turkey Breast.

The Ranchero Beef w sweet potato and the Mac/Cheese are my favs!

I did like Lean Cuisine, though not all the dishes listed above are available in my area, but I grabbed two recently and not only did they taste terrible but they smelled bad. Then I noticed that NEW in large letters was printed on the box. Not an improvement by any means.

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