Do your coworkers moan and groan as much as mine do that you bring them in baked goods every week?  Do they moan and groan equally as much the one day you FORGET to bring something?  If any of this sounds familiar to you, then you NEED to check out my recipe for this healthy and delicious maple cranberry coffee cake over at Marcus Samuelsson’s blog!


Here’s the thing.  I don’t eat frozen meals.


Not since college, at least, when I remember having a few hundred encounters with frozen broccoli in cheese sauce.

(Don’t look at me like that.  You know it’s tasty.)


Anyways, I know some of my readers, especially those with young kids or those still in school, don’t always have time to start a meal from scratch every night of the week, which is why when Buitoni asked me to review some of their frozen meals, I decided to forge ahead and do it.  (Even though I think we all know it’s definitely not usually my kinda thing.)

I tried the four cheese and spinach ravioli with tomato basil sauce as well as the shrimp and lobster ravioli with garlic butter sauce…and was pleasantly surprised!  The tomato basil sauce with the four cheese ravioli wasn’t weirdly sweet the way a lot of pre-packaged tomato sauce is.  And you could actually SEE the spinach in the ravioli.  Love that.  As for the shrimp and lobster ravioli with garlic butter sauce…the sauce was really tasty.  I almost drank it.  But restrained myself for the greater good.

While I was a bit hesitant to look at the ingredient list for fear that it would contain all sorts of ridiculous chemicals as well as the dreaded HFCS,I was happy to find that it was full of ingredients that I could pronounce.

All in all, I would say that if you’re going to be turning to a frozen meal for dinner, Buitoni is a good option.  Not only are the dishes tasty, but they are made from real ingredients – definite pluses in my book!


Buitoni has been kind enough to give two of my readers a chance to taste test these meals for themselves!  Two of you will win three coupons for complimentary frozen meals.  Buitoni just launched the release of two new dishes – the Chicken and Mushroom Risotto and Chicken Florentina with Asiago Cream Sauce and so to enter, all you have to do is leave a comment telling me what you would do to complete these meals.  Would you add a veggie?  Some bread?  An herb?

The winner will be announced next Monday!

Disclosure – Though I was given these products to review for free, I received no monetary compensation for this post. My thoughts and opinions on it are my own.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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80 Responses to Maple Cranberry Coffee Cake…and a GIVEAWAY!

  1. The coffee cake looks great!

    I will be the first to admit that I do use frozen meals in a pinch on busy nights. With the Buitoni meals I would definitely steam some veggies to go with the meals. Than I feel better serving a frozen entree.

  2. I can’t actually remember the last time I had a frozen meal but I’m glad the ones you had were actually pretty tasty! I’d cook some veggies to go with these, or perhaps I’d make a side salad. Veggies would definitely help to complete the meal! And btw, I am drooling over that maple cranberry coffee cake!!!

  3. tsteele999 says:

    I would just plop some warm red sauce on top and a little Parmesan. Some garlic bread on the side and a glass of wine and were done.

  4. ljyoung85 says:

    I would definitely add some veggies!
    ljyoung85 at

  5. sofia says:

    i would add little itsy bits of steamed broccoli and cook it into the sauce with the pasta. mmm.

  6. Astra Libris says:

    Your amazing photos made these frozen meals look SO elegant! I would use them as a quick, week night garnish to dress up a crock-pot vegetable stew!

  7. marla says:

    I agree with Astra above…you did capture those meals perfectly! The coffee cake looks heavenly 🙂

  8. Danielle says:

    Yum! That cake looks amazing! I would garnish with parsley and serve with a side of crostini and olive tapenade.

  9. daphne says:

    u r a star- to make a healthy cake!!

  10. Barbara says:

    First of all, double yum on those pecan hand pies. I love LOTS of crust. 🙂 On anything.
    I rarely eat frozen food, but you’re right, sometimes it’s the fastest thing after a busy day. There is always something in my freezer. I confess I’ve never eaten Buitoni anything. 🙁
    Going over to find the recipe for that coffeecake!

  11. Glad they ended up tasting good! I’d definitely throw in a ton of veggies or eat them with a giant salad.

  12. A spinach salad seems like the perfect compliment! YUM!

  13. Beth says:

    that coffee cake looks delicious! do you think it would work in a bundt pan?
    i share your general fear of frozen meals but these do sound like they might be worth a look-see.

  14. polwig says:

    I didn’t know buttoni made frozen meals. I guess that is why we have you 🙂 My daughter (still a sushi loving vegetarian) eats their pasta all the time. I need to check it out fast, she I always need a quick meal for her, especially pasta one (her favorite)

  15. polwig says:

    For the chicken florentina I would add a green veggie like peas, asparagus or broccoli. For the risotto maybe sprinkle some chives and fresh crusty baguette, so you can lick the bowl of course.

  16. JC says:

    I’d add some veggies!

  17. Big Dude says:

    The first three blogs on my read list had cranberry something – must be the season. I’ve never tried Buitoni frozen dishes, but I like their fresh pasta, so assume they would aslo be good. it’s pasta night here tonight.

  18. I think these would be great with a side salad or some roasted asparagus and green beans. Something to add a little veggie crunch! 🙂

  19. Anonymous says:

    I would add some salad!

    jennyarzola (at) yahoo (dot) com

  20. those ravioli look pretty fantastic 🙂

  21. Since my work schedule is so insane at certain times of the year, I always have one or two of these in the freezer for nights that I’m too exhausted to cook. The shrimp and lobster ravioli is my favorite, but I’ll be honest and say i don’t love the sauce… I usually toss that and make my own shallot and butter sauce or (if I’m seriously tired) open a jar of my favorite marinara.

  22. Lyndsey says:

    You sure make it look good. That’s the key of buying frozen meals, you have to read the list of ingredients and if you can recognize everything it’s good to go! 🙂

    I think I would grate a little asiago or parmesan cheese on top and serve with a nice salad of baby greens.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I would add some fresh herbs on top.

    faultybrakes (at) gmail (dot) com

  24. Wow, almost wanted to drink the sauce? I’m impressed.
    I’m not normally a frozen meal-girl either but they work great in a pinch (although I usually go for a pizza you still to bake or some dumplings to stir-fry… or ravioli but without the sauce). I’d definitely bulk up the meal with more veggies. That’s always a must 🙂

  25. LESantay says:

    I always add some type of veggie, wether a salad on the side or some wilted spinach in the dish. Something to green it up.

  26. Wow, those photos of frozen food is amazing! I would add a small side salad and a piece of bread because you know how much I love bread!

  27. Kari says:

    My husband like frozen meals but I usually pass. I’d keep an open mind though and maybe add a small salad and a glass of wine.

  28. Jenna says:

    Maybe the starts will align and one day you’ll be MY coworker so that i can moan and groan and eat all the treats that you bring.
    And as for an accompaniment to the frozen dinners, I’d do some fresh green beans. No cooking, and they’re addictively crunchy and naturally sweet!

  29. I very rarely eat frozen meals too but I have a couple of Trader Joe’s meals in stock for emergencies 🙂

  30. Mari says:

    you know what I find comforting? that I can take a blog hiatus but come back to know that your page still makes me drool =)

  31. I’m not much for frozen meals either, but I can use all the help I can get right now. Ha Ha. The cranberry cake looks beautiful. Perfect for the holidays!

  32. Shannon says:

    haha, yes, my coworkers are totally spoiled 😉

  33. Amber says:

    I would serve a salad and some crusty bread alongside one of these meals!

  34. Kristen says:

    Yes, for any busy mom, frozen food is something we cannot do without. My kids look at it as a treat…almost as good as eating out.

    I would definitely add a few side veggies.

  35. Pam says:

    First of all the cranberry coffee cake looks amazing.

    I can’t believe those were both frozen meals – they look and sound delicious!

  36. 26.2nana says:

    I used buitoni crab stuffed ravioli ~ we were pressed for time add a salad and that is all you need, tender, crab filled pillows of tasty goodness. We will need to try the others. Oh and a glass of wine.

  37. Michele says:

    The coffee cake looks delicious! Thank you for sharing. And thanks so much for the lovely comments on my blog. 🙂 If I had the Buitoni pasta meals, I would definitely add some garlic bread and a ceasar salad.

  38. Mo 'Betta says:

    I would add a salad. Sometimes frozen meals are the lesser of two evils!

  39. AubreyLaine says:

    I’d add veggies
    littlegray88 at yahoo dot com

  40. Mary says:

    Your coffee cake looks really delicious and the color is perfect for this time of year. I think a slad and garlic bread would be perfect with the pasta. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  41. Claudia says:

    With pasta I most always add a small salad of one type or another – whatever I have on hand.

    Your coffee cake would be perfect for breakfast tomorrow. Fly over with it why don’t you.

  42. Debbie says:

    The cake looks delicious! On a rare occasion I will try a frozen dinner. These do look pretty good however. They do sound like they are worth trying!!! These would be great with salad!

  43. SassyAgapi says:

    The pictures of the Buitoni are definitely making me hungry! I would like to try it.

  44. Christine says:

    So nice to find a coffee cake recipe without a ton of sugar! Just have to find some spelt flour.
    Currently I’ve been reduced to salads and frozen pizzas for one so your review is much appreciated. I usually avoid frozen dinners because the salt content is through the roof. Would love to win and try Buitoni’s. I’d definitely pair the shrimp and lobster with some nice green broccoli. Glad to hear the red sauce version isn’t the sweet kind! A simple salad of mache and other greens with a balsamic dressing would be my choice accompaniment. Again, thanks for the review!

  45. Pierce says:

    Very nice presentation Joanne! The chicken and mushroom risotto would have a side of freshly baked onion and sage bread to be sure.
    A dark chocolate to finish the meal off, yum.

  46. Those dishes had my mouth watering! Richard

  47. Rachana says:

    The cake looks so delicious. Thank you for sharing.

  48. teresa says:

    great review, i’m going to keep my eye out. i had the same reaction at work whether i brought treats or not. then i started bring healthy snacks and things really got bad, ha!

  49. Raina says:

    I will definitely check out your coffee cake. It looks yummy!

    I would probably not add anything to the frozen meals but just make them as is for my son when he gets home from school. He is 17 and eats pretty much every five

  50. Valerie says:

    Num! I’d add some toasty garlic bread and a side of fresh green beans (from the freezer!) to complete the meal.

  51. Erica says:

    I love frozen ravioli…..We have them once a week…My day off 🙂

  52. Monet says:

    I don’t eat frozen meals either…but I’m always willing to try! I would add broccoli, my go-to veggie. Thank you for sharing both the giveaway and your BEAUTIFUL coffee cake. Too good!

  53. Claudia says:

    When I leave town, I’ll leave my harried-college-daughter some Buitoni meals – or at least their tortellini that can be plopped in soup and eaten with parm and butter. But we’d really like the cranberry coffee cake….

  54. Gloria says:

    Look absolutely amazing Joanne:))

  55. Gloria says:

    Love the cake Joanne!!

  56. Nicole says:

    Well, they do look good! I do eat frozen ravioli at times, always good to have on hand.
    I love spelt flour. That has a permanent place in my freezer, especially after living in Italy where it’s so widely available.

  57. Carolyn Jung says:

    I remember keeping a stash of Lean Cuisine in my freezer at all times when I was in my early 20s. ‘Course, they never satisfied and they never filled me up, and I think why in the world did I ever eat them??!? Nowadays, though, you can get some decent frozen food. Like Trader Joe’s always tempts me with its frozen Asian dumplings and pizzas.

  58. Elizabeth says:

    Maple and cranberry is a match made in heaven

  59. Reeni says:

    Your coffee cake looks positively scrumptious! Perfect flavors for this time of year! I’d definitely add in some veggies.

  60. Hotly Spiced says:

    I don’t eat frozen meals either. But I have a sister living in NYC and she said to me that food is so much cheaper in NY compared with Sydney that they barely buy food – mostly just eat out!

  61. You and Monet are twins with your posts! Love the cranberries in here! Lovely twist!

  62. Kim says:

    Definitely checking out that maple cranberry cake…looks amazing.

    We don’t eat frozen entrees often, but I do keep them on hand for times when I’m not home and my husband is in charge of dinner. Frozen ravioli pretty much tops the list because it’s easy enough for him to do and everyone likes it. Sometimes he adds veggies, or bread on the side, but we almost always add cheese.

  63. Anonymous says:

    would certainly add some veggies.

    oh and the coffeecake looks wonderful.

    jacquieastemborski AT comcast DOT net

  64. Christy says:

    Neither have I; I don’t recall ever having anything frozen…unless it was served by a restaurant, but usually I take one bite, and I pushed it away because I could taste that it was frozen and just microwaved before serving, ughs!
    Your maple cranberry coffee cake looks LOVELY!!:D

  65. Miriam says:

    Yea, pre-made ravioli is the best fast meal ever invented. :), [email protected]Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  66. Ben says:

    On my way to check out your delicious coffee cake 🙂

  67. That Girl says:

    I don’t know about broccoli and cheddar, but I have a soft spot for TJ’s frozen gnocchi. This looks like a pretty good alternative.

  68. Nicole says:

    dude – broccoli and cheese is a great option for dinner! Yup – i am a bit older than you and still do it when the hubby isn’t around! You can check my freezer!

  69. Anne says:

    It’s nice to have a backup plan sometimes!

    I always try to throw in extra veggies into the dish, like bell peppers or spinach. I’d add a salad and some roasted garlic toast to round out the meal.

  70. sally says:

    I try not to eat too many frozen foods too, but I do like ravioli of all kinds.

  71. Sarah says:

    i’d add a salad on the side.

  72. Candace says:

    I’m not a fan of frozen dinners; however, that pasta looks delicious. It’s good to know that you can pronounce the ingredients in them too. I will have to look for it since I’m too busy to cook these days. I’m off to check out that gorgeous coffee cake. I love anything maple and cranberry.

  73. You can always dress up a frozen meal. Fresh veggies and parsley always help. It’s never a lost cause!

  74. Yum Yum Yum….this looks so good!

  75. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, It is nice to know that there is something out there that tastes good in a pinch. Blessings, Catherine xo

  76. Wehaf says:

    I’d serve the risotto with a crisp white wine and some blanched asparagus in a lemon butter sauce.

    urchiken at gmail dot com

  77. With the bowls and the garnish it almost looks like homemade. 😉

  78. Deborah says:

    My poor husband has been living on frozen meals while living in a hotel. I’m sure these would be a welcome change from the pot pies! 🙂

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