December 7, 2023

Healthy Choice

Healthy Choice The Only Solution

27 Frozen Dinners Ranked From “No, Thank You” To “May I Have Some More, Please?”

We’d all love to say we can cook 5-star meals every day — or, let’s be real, have them cooked for us — but the convenience of the occasional frozen meal shouldn’t be totally overlooked.

So, here’s a list of frozen dinners you can find at major supermarkets, ranked from worst to best:


-These are meals from national brands that you can find at most major supermarkets. That means no Trader Joe’s frozen foods are on here, since they have their own in-store brand.

-I know some of these placements won’t be exactly surprising, but I tried to get a variety of brands so that the rankings would be as fair and unbiased as possible.

-Yes, I did try every single one of these meals myself, so these rankings are technically based on my opinion. I was as objective as possible.

27.Hungry-Man Country Fried Chicken

Hungry-Man Country Fried Chicken

The presence of a dessert made me nervous, but it was ironically the best part of this meal — the bits of apple in a sea of sauce smelled like McDonald’s apple pie. The rest was…rough. The skin of the fried chicken was slimy, and the chicken itself was rubbery and VERY salty. The mashed potatoes and green beans weren’t atrocious, but others were better. Sorry, Hungry-Man, but something has to go in last place.

BuzzFeed/Evelina Zaragoza Medina

26.Smart Ones Homestyle Beef Pot Roast

Smart Ones Homestyle Beef Pot Roast

This is a truly tiny portion, so it’s not very filling, and frankly, it’s not very good, either. The meat tasted like beef bouillon-flavored tofu, and I could cut it with a spoon. The potatoes and vegetables were fine, but I wouldn’t call them particularly good either.

BuzzFeed/Evelina Zaragoza Medina

25.Hungry-Man Salisbury Steak

Hungry-Man Salisbury Steak

The brownie this came with was actually better than the apple dessert in the other Hungry-Man meal, so that’s a plus. However, the steak tasted like a particularly soft hamburger (mushy). On the other hand, the mashed potatoes in this meal were better than the ones in the chicken meal. It wasn’t awful, but I wouldn’t buy it again.

BuzzFeed/Evelina Zaragoza Medina

24.Lean Cuisine Glazed Turkey Tenderloins

Lean Cuisine Glazed Turkey Tenderloins

I think that the objective of this meal was to imitate that perfect Thanksgiving bite — some turkey and stuffing smothered with gravy on a fork. The problem with the execution was that it’s all frozen and cooked in one tray, so the flavors and textures get all mixed together. Stuffing at its best is basically soggy bread, so the addition of steam made this stuffing way too soft. Finally, the mashed sweet potato was just too sweet, and I realize that’s like saying water is too wet, but this tasted like sugar had been added to it to make sweet potato pie.

BuzzFeed/Evelina Zaragoza Medina

23.Banquet Chicken Strips Meal

Banquet Chicken Strips Meal

The portions look somewhat normal in the picture, but let me assure you: The macaroni and corn portions were small enough that I could have scooped them up in one tablespoon each. But let’s talk about the strangest chicken I’ve ever eaten. The skin actually stayed crispy in the microwave, which I found somewhat miraculous, but the inside of the chicken strip had so much empty space in it that I had to include a picture. The taste wasn’t necessarily bad, but the texture was so, so questionable.

BuzzFeed/Evelina Zaragoza Medina

22.Smart Ones Slow Roasted Turkey Breast

Smart Ones Slow Roasted Turkey Breast

These was the strangest tasting mashed potatoes I’ve ever had, but the texture wasn’t bad, and it was improved by the gravy, which was good. The turkey wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t good either — the freezing/microwaving process left it super watery. Would not buy again.

BuzzFeed/Evelina Zaragoza Medina

21.Marie Callender’s Meat Loaf & Gravy

Marie Callender's Meat Loaf & Gravy

Let’s address the elephant in the room: The difference between the picture on the box and how the meatloaf looks in real life is comical. Other than that, the only discernible taste it had was aggressively salty along with a tofu-life texture. The mashed potatoes had decent taste but were almost too thin to eat with a fork. Finally, the corn was perfectly normal.

BuzzFeed/Evelina Zaragoza Medina

20.Banquet Spaghetti & Meatballs

Banquet Spaghetti & Meatballs

This spaghetti didn’t have anything particularly wrong with it — the meatballs were actually pretty good! — but it was astoundingly little quantity, and the sauce had no taste whatsoever. I could see herbs in the sauce, but I don’t think they were doing anything.

BuzzFeed/Evelina Zaragoza Medina

19.Marie Callender’s Fried Chicken Mac & Cheese Bowl

Marie Callender's Fried Chicken Mac & Cheese Bowl

This would be ranked much worse if not for the macaroni, which was great. The chicken, on the other hand, was terrible — rubbery, tough, too salty, and with squishy skin. I’m glad it was easy to remove so that I could enjoy the mac & cheese.

BuzzFeed/Evelina Zaragoza Medina

18.Smart Ones Fettuccine Alfredo

Smart Ones Fettuccine Alfredo

This had no questionable textures, and unlike most frozen pasta, the noodles weren’t overly soft. Unfortunately, it had no taste. Truly, a glass of milk has more flavor. I’d rather eat something bland over something bad, so this is a perfectly safe option — just a boring one.

BuzzFeed/Evelina Zaragoza Medina

17.Banquet Mega Meals Backyard BBQ Combo

Banquet Mega Meals Backyard BBQ Combo

I was pretty apprehensive about this, I cannot lie. But it turned out to be pretty good! It’s definitely one of the better meals containing large pieces of meat. The “ribs” are actually just pork and chicken patties, so if the shape is unsettling to you — as it was to me — just imagine them as a sort of barbecue sausage. Even though the chicken is clearly not an actual chicken breast, it tastes and feels like one when you bite into it. Along with the mashed potatoes and BBQ sauce (both fine), this was a surprisingly decent entrée.

BuzzFeed/Evelina Zaragoza Medina

16.Smart Ones Chicken Parmesan

Smart Ones Chicken Parmesan

Another surprise! After the other Smart Ones meals I tried, I was not expecting much from this. But the chicken seems to be the same one from the Banquet BBQ meal, so it wasn’t bad. The sauce was also pretty good. The downside was that it’s a really small portion.

BuzzFeed/Evelina Zaragoza Medina

15.Stouffer’s Classic Meatloaf

Stouffer's Classic Meatloaf

This meal had by far the best mashed potatoes of the ones I tried and was pretty close to the real thing. This meatloaf is also better than the other one I had because it has a blend of flavors besides simply salt. Most importantly, it has ketchup, that ever-crucial meatloaf ingredient.

BuzzFeed/Evelina Zaragoza Medina

14.Marie Callender’s Cheesy Chicken & Rice Bowl

Marie Callender's Cheesy Chicken & Rice Bowl

Everything other than the chicken in this meal was good! It tasted like a broccoli cheddar soup with rice in it. The chicken was watery and chewy, but the pieces were pretty small, so it didn’t ruin the whole meal. If you’re picky about your chicken, this might not be for you, but overall, it’s okay.

BuzzFeed/Evelina Zaragoza Medina

13.Healthy Choice Café Steamers Beef Teriyaki

Healthy Choice Café Steamers Beef Teriyaki

The beef in this meal is surprisingly good, and the mix of rice and vegetables is great. The only thing I wasn’t crazy about was the teriyaki sauce, which is too sour for my taste.

BuzzFeed/Evelina Zaragoza Medina

12.Healthy Choice Simply Steamers Unwrapped Burrito Bowl

Healthy Choice Simply Steamers Unwrapped Burrito Bowl

Another win for Healthy Choice! This was a relatively simple meal, but the beans, corn, and other vegetables gave it a nice mix of textures. The sauce was spicy but not too spicy, which was a nice change of flavor profile compared to the other meals.

BuzzFeed/Evelina Zaragoza Medina

11.Healthy Choice Café Steamers General Tso’s Spicy Chicken

Healthy Choice Café Steamers General Tso's Spicy Chicken

This rice bowl is the perfect mix of spicy, sweet, sour, and savory. It’s got a great mix of veggies mixed into the rice, and the chicken tastes like regular chicken (even if it looks a little questionable). Very yummy.

BuzzFeed/Evelina Zaragoza Medina

10.Stouffer’s Fish Filet

Stouffer's Fish Filet

Macaroni and fish filet is not the most obvious combination in my mind, but these individual components were pretty great. The fish was surprisingly good and normal tasting; the breading even held up well in the microwave! Stouffer’s mac & cheese is always good, and this was no exception.

BuzzFeed/Evelina Zaragoza Medina

9.Lean Cuisine Salisbury Steak with Macaroni & Cheese

Lean Cuisine Salisbury Steak with Macaroni & Cheese

The macaroni in this meal wasn’t as good as the Stouffer’s mac, but the overall meal was a little better. The “steak” is really more of a meatloaf, but the gravy and mushrooms are an excellent dressing.

BuzzFeed/Evelina Zaragoza Medina

8.Stouffer’s Meat Lovers Lasagna

Stouffer's Meat Lovers Lasagna

Going into this ranking, I expected the Stouffer’s lasagna to take the top spot. It’s iconic, it’s legendary, it’s the moment! But it’s also very salty, and all of the components (noodles, sauce, cheeses) mushed together in the microwave. It’s still great, though, and the pepperoni and sausage bits are delicious.

BuzzFeed/Evelina Zaragoza Medina

7.Atkins Chicken Margherita

Atkins Chicken Margherita

First of all, sorry for not getting a picture of the box, but you can see what it looks like here.

This chicken was good! The sauce and basil were very nice, and the chicken had by far the best texture of the ones I tried. The only negative is that it’s literally just the chicken, so you’ll need to pair it with something to make a full meal.

BuzzFeed/Evelina Zaragoza Medina

6.Lean Cuisine Fettuccine Alfredo

Lean Cuisine Fettuccine Alfredo

Sometimes, simplicity is best. This fettuccine has a very flavorful, if a little watery, Alfredo sauce. Maybe it’s not the most exciting or complicated meal, but I have nothing bad to say about it.

BuzzFeed/Evelina Zaragoza Medina

5.Amy’s Pesto Tortellini

Amy's Pesto Tortellini

Apologies again for the lack of a post-microwave pic. I was so excited to eat this I forgot to take one.

In another win for simplicity, Amy’s pesto tortellini bowl takes fifth place. I have nothing bad to say about this one, either. Pesto is a bit less basic than Alfredo sauce, which why it’s higher than the fettuccine.

BuzzFeed/Evelina Zaragoza Medina

4.Lean Cuisine Butternut Squash Ravioli

Lean Cuisine Butternut Squash Ravioli

This ravioli was pretty excellent. The sauce was creamy and sage-y, the vegetables were crispy, and the ravioli filling tasted like butternut squash soup. One note: The box recommends that you eat this with a side salad, so that should tell you it’s a little on the small side.

BuzzFeed/Evelina Zaragoza Medina

3.Atkins Meat Lasagna

Atkins Meat Lasagna

I would encourage you to overlook how terrible this lasagna looks in the tray because it tastes excellent. The sauce, meat, and cheese stand out on their own AND taste great all together. The sauce doesn’t just taste vaguely of tomatoes and salt, but is clearly well seasoned with herbs as well. Don’t judge a book by its cover!

BuzzFeed/Evelina Zaragoza Medina

2.Stouffer’s Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Stouffer's Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

This spaghetti is pretty damn close to the real thing. If not for the fact that the pasta is shorter than your typical spaghetti, you’d have a hard time telling the difference. I can give no higher praise.

BuzzFeed/Evelina Zaragoza Medina

1.Amy’s Cheese Enchilada

Amy's Cheese Enchilada

The winner! Internet, this was so yummy. The beans and corn were perfectly seasoned, and the enchilada was cheesy deliciousness. The tortilla was a bit soggy, but what enchilada isn’t? The only thing that could improve this is if there were two enchiladas.

BuzzFeed/Evelina Zaragoza Medina