I don’t eat gluten free products normally but I know that many of you do so when a representative of Caesars contacted me about reviewing some of their frozen, gluten free pasta products I agreed. The box hit my house the weekend I was in Birmingham for the conference (that I still haven’t told you about) and was put in the freezer. Things were busy when I got back and then I was in bed for 10 days with that kidney infection so I am just now getting this done.
If I was following a gluten free diet I think the thing I would miss the most is pasta. I know that when I was doing low carb it wasn’t chips or cookies or bread I missed so much as it was pasta.
One of the things that gives pasta its texture is gluten – without it you generally get mushy and gummy. I am thrilled to be able to say that Caesars frozen pasta products were neither gummy nor mushy after cooking. The meals are certified organic and the animal products are sourced from farms that use humane, hormone free methods, which definitely makes me happy.
Here’s a run-down on the products I tried and I promise you it is my honest opinion – but you’ll probably be able to figure that out. Remember that the pasta gets a thumbs up in every dish but don’t expect your food to look anything like the box covers.
This is made with ground chicken and lots of vegetables. The veggies are cut large enough that you know what you are eating. The ground chicken is nicely seasoned and tastes a bit like Italian sausage. There is a little spice to it that is really nice. The sauce is a bit too bland for me. It is sweet and tastes almost like straight tomato paste. I think that they could have doe better here. Of all of the dishes this was the most unattractive coming out of the microwave.
This sauce had a lot of flavor. There was a definite bell pepper freshness about it. The texture of the sauce was much better than the lasagna but it was too sweet. The beef was ground very finely and was extremely dry. This was my least favorite dish.
Beef Ravioli and Cheese Ravioli
Ravioli is my hands down favorite of this product line. The sauce was perfect because it was mine! The beef was the same as the cannelloni – too finely ground and too dry. I would have liked to see a bit more filling in the cheese ravioli. The pasta was a little thicker than normal pasta but still good – and it didn’t open up or fall apart in the water like so many frozen pastas do. Taste it before you drain it. I didn’t feel it was cooked enough at the suggested cooking time so I let it simmer another minute or so.
All in all the quality is good for commercial products. I’d say it was comparable to Smart One’s frozen dinners in quality and flavor. The ingredients are high quality and don’t contain wheat or gluten. From what I remember (someone threw the empty packages out before I had a chance to write this) the pasta is made with rice flour and cornstarch – but don’t quote me on that, k?
You can find all of their gluten-free products on the Caesar’s Pasta website.
Disclaimer – You know the drill. These products we sent to me free of charge by the company. No money changed hands. The opinions on this post are mine and mine alone.