Feb 8, 2013

Frozen Friday - Lean Cuisine - Salad Additions - Southwest-Style Chicken

Lean Cuisine's Salad Additions is offered as a solution to help you prepare a single-serve salad as long as you bring the lettuce. The Southwest-Style Chicken Salad Additions comes with chipotle ranch dressing, grilled white chicken meat, black beans, sweet corn, roasted red peppers, poblano peppers, and crispy tortilla strips.

The retail price on a 7 1/8-ounce box is $3.99.

For frozen food, Salad Additions take a little bit of prep beyond the usual stick-in-the-microwave-and-press-start. The salad dressing, chicken and veggies, and crispy strips each come in a separate bag. The only one you cook is a small pouch of chicken and veggies.

You have to thaw the salad dressing which can take a tiny bit of pre-planning if you want to eat soon after cooking the chicken and veggies. Otherwise the rest of your salad will have to wait while the salad dressing thaws. The directions say to just place the packet in a cup of warm water, but if you want to hurry it up, you can massage the packet a bit and break up the frozen chunks.

The crispy strips are the simplest: you just open the packet and dump the contents on your salad.

Of course, you still have to prep lettuce yourself unless you buy it already chopped up.

Once the chicken and veggies are cooked, you'll find that you have maybe 6 small strips of chicken. The chicken was fairly standard for frozen stuff; it lacked a lot of the chicken texture, but it's moist, tender, and flavorful enough. Like most frozen food, the grill marks are just for show.

I'm a bit iffy about adding hot chicken onto a cold salad because everything just ends up lukewarm and the lettuce can wilt.

The veggies were also pretty standard and a little overcooked. The beans add a nice flavor, as does the corn, but the peppers got a little lost, especially the poblano which usually has a distinct taste.

The dressing was tangy, creamy, and just a little spicy. I used it sparingly so that it didn't overwhelm the salad. I probably used less than half the packet.

The crispy strips were okay and added a nice crunch.

Overall, Lean Cuisine's Southwest Chicken Salad Addition was decent, but I probably wouldn't get it again. Still, I see it being an option if you want a convenient (although not very economical) way of preparing a single-serve salad without any leftovers (besides the lettuce). I can easily see someone having these in the freezer and then finding they don't have lettuce for it though. As with most frozen food, you give up freshness for convenience, but it's more noticeable with a salad.

Nutritional Info - Lean Cuisine Salad Additions - Southwest-Style Chicken (202g)
Calories - 260 (from Fat - 80)
Fat - 9g (Saturated Fat - 1.5g)
Sodium - 590mg
Carbs - 26g (Sugar - 5g)
Protein - 18g


  1. Super soggy salad and they don't tell you how much or what type of lettuce works best with the taste. Major fail.

  2. Way too optimistic review. Maybe 2 oz of chicken. The low calorie salad dressing tastes like it. Only enough stuff for a side salad.

  3. OMG, so minimal!! not enough chicken for the price and dressing is blah!!!

  4. I tried this SW Style Chicken dish today and was very disappointed.... The chicken mixture is so skimpy, I was stunned. I also didn't realize there was prep time in addition to the microwaving involved. When you figure the cost of the lettuce package you need to buy along with the cost of this salad addition, it's not worth it. The dish is very spicy, so buyer beware. This addition is really a minus!


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