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I love to cook. Give me a few hours, a clean kitchen and the sound tracks to Wicked, Dear Evan Hansen and Kinky Boots and I can whip you up a meal that will make you cry and slap your mama. But on an ordinary Thursday night, who really has time for that? Not me. I'm all about making dinner time easy and fast…without compromising nutrition and great taste. Enter Michael Angelo's Meals and my delicious new recipe for Instant Pot Minestrone. You'll have a delish, warm, hearty dinner on your table in no time…and this one is easy to make when you're on the run, trying to supervise homework, answer end-of-the-day emails and do all the other things boss moms do.
Michael Angelo's calzones are THE BEST. They taste like something you'd order from an Italian Restaurant. Michael Angelo's has a whole line of frozen meals includes everything from single serve to family size, and in addition to these awesome calzones that come in several flavors, they also have meal starters. This is a frozen brand I really feel good about serving…they're the real deal with ingredients I can actually pronounce.
Plus, the calzones smell amazing when they're in the oven…and yes, they can be microwaved if you're in a pinch but they are a lot better baked and they only take about 25 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
Michael Angelo's Calzone's come in four yummy flavors: Four Cheese Marinara, Sausage & Cheese, Meatball Marinara & Mozzarella, and Italian Supreme. Our favorite is the Four Cheese Marinara. My kids love plain cheese pizza and this is a fun new way to enjoy the same flavors.
If you're looking for authentic Italian taste combined with getting dinner on the table fast, these calzones (and the other meals Michael Angelo's offers, such as Family Size Cheesy Pizza Pasta, Baked Ziti with Meatballs, Spicy Shrimp Scampi and more) are your friend. I do enjoy whipping up a pot of homemade spaghetti sauce or a lasagna now and then but the reality is, I usually just don't have time to do that. I stock up up these delicious meals and work them into my meal plan with a fresh salad or a cup of easy soup, like my super-easy Instant Pot Minestrone below.
These meals really taste homemade, and have no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners, which is important to me. Even though I rely on convenience food to get my weeknight dinners on the table, I don't want to compromise nutrition, or taste. With Michael Angelo's meals, I don't have to compromise anything.
Michael Angelo's meals are available in the freezer section at Walmart. The calzones were in the pizza section at my local Walmart but the other meals were placed near the frozen entrees. If you're looking for something single-serve, Michael Angelo's also makes single-serve meals, such as Lasagna with Meat Sauce, Eggplant Parmigiana, Chicken Parmigiana, and Vegetable Lasagna. One thing I really love about Michael Angelo's meals is that they have a good selection of vegetarian items. We pair the Four Cheese Marinara Calzones with my easy, Instant Pot Minestrone Recipe for a fun “Meatless Monday” meal. And no, I'm not a vegetarian but one of my sons and I don't like to eat a lot of meat so this combo is a great dinner option for us.
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Check out my easy Instant Pot Minestrone recipe below – it is the perfect pairing for any of these delicious Michael Angelo's meals. It looks like a LOT of ingredients when you look at the list but this is pretty much it:
Most of this stuff is pantry stock and I PROMISE this is easy and fast…except for the chopping. Walmart sells pre-chopped veggies and I buy those when I can to save time. Preheat the oven for your Michael Angelo's Calzones and then start the Instant Pot Minestrone and they'll both be ready at about the same time. The cook time for the soup is seven minutes but the pot takes about 10 minutes to pressurize.
Check out the recipe card below and make my easy Instant Pot Minestrone:
Easy Instant Pot Minestrone
This easy Instant Pot Minestrone is perfect for dinner on a chilly evening and it's a snap to put together.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup thinly slice carrots Usually 1 large carrot or 2 oz baby carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped celery Usually 1 stalk
- 1/2 cup chopped zuchinni Usually 1 medium
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion can substitute white or yellow onion
- 1 1/2 tbps minced garlic can sub 3 cloves of fresh
- 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
- 2 14 oz cans vegetable broth
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 15 oz can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 2 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tsp white pepper can sub regular black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 cup small shell pasta (we use mini shells or mini elbows)
Push the Saute button on the Instant Pot. Add the olive oil, carrots, celery, zucchini, onion, garlic, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes until to soften your veggies
The more finely chopped your veggies are, the more tender they will be in the finished soup. This is a quick cook soup, so if you have larger veggie pieces, they'll be al dente.
Turn off saute
Add the remaining ingredients into the Instant Pot, stir and close the lid. Set the timer to "Manual" for seven minutes. My Instant Pot has a "Soup" setting that would probably work as well but I do most everything on Manual and Saute.
It takes my Instant Pot about 10 minutes to build pressure, so factor that into your cook time. Once it's done, quick release and remove the lid.
Stir and serve...you can add Parmesan cheese, croutons or herbs to the top if you like.
One note about this soup: Two cans of broth don't make it very soupy…you could probably get away with using three. We usually add an extra can of broth to the leftovers the next day since the pasta and beans absorb some of the liquid. This makes about eight medium servings and about six heartier soup bowls.
Paired with the Michael Angelo's Meals Calzone, this is a perfect, warm and filling dinner. Everyone in my family eats this without complaining, so you know I'm calling this one a win!