Bertolli Weeknight meal Challenge

I’m the first to admit that I’m horrible when it comes to meal planning. The thought of sitting down and organizing several days of meals at one time isn’t exactly my idea of fun. I’ve probably taken for granted the fact that I live about two minutes from the grocery store and can just run and grab something whenever I feel like it. It can also be bit of a problem, though, too. There are some days when I don’t have much in the pantry and I just don’t feel like battling the crowd at the supermarket and that usually ends up being the day when both of my boys (both teenagers – and yes it’s true, they do want to eat constantly) are starving. No, like really starving. From nearly the moment they arrive home from school to the time I get dinner on the table they are asking for something to eat. Then there are the days, the rare ones, when I have a meeting at almost exactly dinnertime. It’s a bit too early to feed them dinner before I leave, but then when I get back home, they are ravenous so I have to come up with something quickly, or things can get pretty ugly. My priority is to prepare something in a short amount of time, but also something that’s healthy as well. I refuse to pass through a drive-up window with the excuse I don’t have the time to cook a decent dinner. When I was recently introduced to Bertolli’s Frozen Meal Soups I was curious. I prefer not to buy canned soup and I don’t always feel like doing all of the chopping and dicing it requires to put together a homemade soup. I was issued a challenge – to create a weeknight dinner for my family with one of the Bertolli Frozen Meal Soups in one hour or less. So I actually had to make a plan. Yes, an actual plan for dinner more than minutes before actually putting it all together. Earlier this week I had that meeting I mentioned, the one that’s smack dab in the middle of the ideal dinner time in our house. I knew when I returned I’d need to get started immediately while fending off the starving teenagers a little bit longer, but I also knew that one hour was plenty of time since I decided on some wonderful whole grain rolls and homemade caesar salad to go with the soup meal. When I realized that the meal soups all contain meat and well, I don’t eat meat, I was a little disappointed, but I was still happy to see what my husband and boys would think of it. We chose the Tomato Florentine and Tortellini with Chicken. The preparation is unbelievably simple, just pour the package contents into a pot, add a cup of water and bring it to a boil, then simmer for a few minutes. The smell was amazing and it was the first thing my husband noticed from the next room as I was getting the table set and tossing the salad. Good smells coming from the kitchen are all fine and delightful, but when it comes down to it, taste is what’s most important.

I called everyone to the table and not that I’m one to brag, but I had everything prepared, the table set, and dinner served in only about 40 minutes, way less than the hour that I was challenged to. I should start by saying that Paul is pretty open to anything that I prepare, Nick is mostly open to anything, and Cody almost always complains when I make soup for dinner.

Paul and Nick dipped their utensils in first…..

I’m not 100% sure why Nick chose a fork initially, but he finished the rest with a spoon. After a couple of bites he looked at me with his nose all crinkled and said, umm I have to tell you something. Expecting him to complain that it didn’t taste good, I asked him what the matter was, and he responded to say that the soup was excellent, then chuckled as if he had fooled me somehow with that crinkled nose. He then gobbled it up and asked for another helping…..and maybe even a third. Paul was really pleased and said the flavors were wonderful and fresh and that if he didn’t know the difference he would think it was homemade. I’d say that’s a pretty terrific review. Cody usually just gives me a simple yes when I ask if he likes a meal because his actions always speak louder than his words. He empties his bowl faster than everyone else, asking for more, more, more. He also did something that I’ve never seen him do before when eating soup……he dunked his dinner roll into it.

I know that might not seem like a big deal, but for Cody it definitely is because he’s a pretty routine kind of a guy. My best guess is that the soup tasted so darn awesome that he had to figure out another way to enjoy the flavor. Needless to say, this was definitely a successful challenge. My family felt full and satisfied and I was pleased to put something on the table quickly while keeping it healthy and tasting pretty close to homemade. If you’d like to learn more about Bertolli you can visit their website, like their page on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.

I think I will definitely purchase more of these in the future so that Paul and the boys can try all of the delicious sounding flavors, including Chicken Minestrone, Roasted Chicken & Rotini Pasta, and Tuscan-Style Beef with Vegetables. You should totally try them too, but remember….they are in the frozen food aisle!

Disclosure:  I was compensated by Bertolli to participate in the Weeknight Meal Special Challenge, but as always the opinions are my own.




  1. I am now craving tomato soup. And tortellini. Must add this to my shopping list.
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    • I can say that it smelled amazing! I’m sure it would have been equally as delicious without the chicken, but I loved watching my family devour it.

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