Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Review: Applebee's Creamy Parmesan Chicken

Marc and I rarely eat out, but we've had this Applebee's gift card hanging out for a long while now and since I had today off for Lincoln's Birthday and we don't have any plans to go out for Valentine's Day, we decided to eat lunch out.

Applebee's has their heavily touted "Under 550 Calories" menu.  After considering our choices, Marc and I both decided we wanted to try the Creamy Parmesan Chicken.  That is not promoted as one of their "Under 550" but rather part of their Weight Watchers entrees - not sure why.
The Creamy Parmesan Chicken is described as "Our juicy grilled chicken breast with creamy au gratin Parmesan sauce. Served with steamed spinach and mushroom & onion rice pilaf."  It has 12 Weight Watchers points (I've never done Weight Watchers, so that means nothing to me) but clocks in at a cool 460 calories.
 The entrees were delivered to our table.  Mine looked like this:

Marc's was the same, so they have consistent presentations.

As you can see, there is a generous sized chicken breast with some white rice, a couple of token mushrooms and a little bit of spinach.  The chicken is topped with the Parmesan sauce.

I dug in.  The chicken itself was quite flavorful although mine was slightly overcooked and dry.  Marc said that his was nice and moist.  There was almost no sauce to speak of and it was extremely thin and flavorless.
The spinach was steamed perfectly and Marc and I both found it tasty.  However, the white rice was incredibly bland.  It tasted like cardboard.  I am no cook, but pilaf apparently means cooked in a seasoned broth.  I would have assumed that since they call this a "onion pilaf" that it would be heavily onioned flavored.  No such luck.  The rice was dry and just completely devoid of any flavor whatsoever.  And the couple of token slices of mushrooms was completely disappointing.

Now I know that if you order a low calorie entree, you are not going to get a ton of sauce.  However, there is no reason the rice couldn't have been more seasoned with spices to give it some flavor without adding calories.  And since mushrooms have very few calories, I think they could have added more then a couple of tiny slices.

So, ultimately, I am sorry to say that Marc and I were both pretty disappointed in this entree.  While the chicken is a very good sized portion and generally tasted good, the lack of a flavorful sauce and the accompanied terrible rice did nothing to make us think that we would ever order this again.


  1. Thanks for the review! I had looked at that meal a couple of times, and am now glad that I didn't pick that one. Sorry it was disappointing for you both though!

  2. I ordered this today and substituted the rice pilaf for steamed broccoli. A much better dish!