Now that it’s just the two of us, my husband and I rarely eat those fancy dinners that I used to make. Some evenings it’s cereal or waffles for dinner, but when my local Fred Meyer store had a shopping cart of boxed dinner meals on sale, it was time to give them a try.
When my husband cooks dinner, he usually makes Hamburger Helper, so we are familiar with the packaged meals where everything is included except for the meat. That’s exactly what Campbell’s Supper Bakes are. The version I fixed last night was their Cheesy Chicken.
Campbell’s Supper Bakes comes in a large 1 pound 2 ounce box, with a picture of the meal on the front of the box. This meal is Cheesy Chicken with Pasta and contains (1) Campbell’s cheesy baking sauce, (2) Pasta noodles, (3) A bag of Seasoning, and (4) Crumb Topping.
The box says that the meal only takes 5 minutes of prep time, and that really appealed to me! You only need to add your own chicken, the rest is in the box.
The box has both skillet and oven directions, and I chose the oven method. First you mix the seasoning, 2 cups of hot water, and pasta in a 13″ x 9″ size pan (I used a glass cake pan). Then place 1 1/2 pounds of uncooked skinless chicken breast (4-6 pieces) on top of the pasta, cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.
Take it out of the oven after it has finished the first baking, and stir the pasta around the edge of the dish and sprinkle with the crumb topping. Then return the dish to the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Serve pasta before you serve the meal.
Skillet directions are similar, and the entire process takes 25 minutes.
The box makes seven servings, and each serving contains 250 calories, 5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, zero trans fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 780 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrate, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 2 grams of sugar, 24 grams of protein, 4% USDA of Vitamin A, 6% calcium, and 8% iron.
Taste and Recommendation
The picture on the front of the box shows four chicken breasts, and if I made this meal using the recommended 4-6 pieces of chicken, there is no way this would feed seven people (not the people I know!). I used chicken thighs, removing all skin and visible fat, and placed five thighs on top of the noodles.
Initially, there didn’t seem to be enough liquid in the meal to evenly cook the pasta, when I took it out of the oven after the first 20 minutes, the tops of some of the noodles were dry and undercooked. When stirring to get the noodles along the edge of the dish, I made sure to get the noodles that were under cooked completely covered with the sauce.
We live at sea level, and I found that my chicken thighs needed about 10 more minutes of cooking time to make them done enough for me, just be sure you test the chicken for doneness before serving to your family.
Both my husband and I love chicken and noodles, and he told me numerous times that this was a good dinner. The cheese sauce really didn’t have much of a cheesy flavor though, and the next time I make this dinner I will add a little bit of sour cream and some thyme to the sauce, as it had a little bit of a bland taste in my opinion.
Overall, I can’t complain about this meal, it was really quite tasty, we just spiced it up with some black pepper. Campbell’s Supper Bakes normally retail for $3.77, but the boxes I purchased were marked down to $1.88. I already had the chicken on hand, so it made a very inexpensive dinner. I like the high amount of protein each serving offers, but could do with a little less sodium. I would most likely purchase Campbell’s Supper Bakes again if they were on sale or if I had a manufacturers coupon for them.