15 Popular Frozen Dinners Ranked Worst To Best

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Frozen dinners have long been the ultimate life hack when you want a quick bite to eat with very little prep time. This is excellent for people who are constantly on the go and who want to squeeze in a great meal with very little messing around in the kitchen. The best frozen dinners usually come with an entrée and one to two sides. Some even come with a dessert.

While frozen dinners are quick and convenient, they are also incredibly hit and miss in terms of flavor. Some also fall short when it comes to cost effectiveness. You need to buy frozen dinners that knock it out of the park in both of these areas, or you're going to have a disappointing experience. There are several companies on the market that sell a great range of frozen dinners in grocery store locations all over the United States, and we've taken a look at the most popular ones out there.

This list of 15 popular frozen dinners ranks your options from worst to best. We've taken taste, cost, and customer satisfaction into account, and the top options tick all of these boxes.

15. On-Cor Boneless Rib Patties

For years, there have been a variety of rib offerings from McDonald's and other fast food restaurants. The McRib craze is well-documented, but people who love it may choose to get their fix in a quicker and potentially healthier way. On-Cor offers a frozen rib dinner that delivers six different boneless rib-shaped patties out of the box. Each serving comes with 13 grams of protein.

The biggest thing holding this dinner back is the flavor. It's not terrible, but it leaves a lot to be desired from people who love succulent, flavorful ribs. These ribs are doused in barbecue sauce that largely tastes watered down and a lot like ketchup. The rib patties also have a somewhat rubbery texture with little to no give to them. That's not what you come to expect when you sink your teeth into a slab of ribs. What's more, there's no side item to go with this dinner, which further decreases its value. It's overall not a very appealing meal.

14. Hungry-Man Salisbury Steak

‌Hungry-Man is a brand that has been around since 1973. For years, the company has marketed its frozen dinners on having larger portion sizes. NFL player "Mean" Joe Greene was the initial spokesperson, and fellow player Rocky Bleier also appeared in early commercials. One option that has been around for a long time is the Hungry-Man Salisbury steak dinner.

This frozen dinner has two steak patties that are smothered in gravy and come with green beans, mashed potatoes, and a chocolate brownie. The texture and taste of this frozen dinner are off and not really appetizing as a whole. It's mostly chewy and, unfortunately, is reminiscent of the worst cafeteria foods. Many people say that cooking this in the oven rather than in the microwave can fix these texture issues. Texture aside, the meat is salty, and the blandness of the green beans and mashed potatoes doesn't do enough to offset it.

13. Banquet Chicken Strips

‌Banquet is another mainstay in the frozen dinner industry. The company launched in the 1950s, making it one of the pioneers of the frozen dinner. Since then, Banquet has offered a wide array of entrées and sides that people use for lunches and dinners. This particular option is Banquet's take on a crowd-pleasing meal – chicken strips. You get chicken strips, macaroni and cheese, and corn in this meal. The chicken strips are breaded with added rib meat. 

The main issue with this meal is that the chicken strips are dry and not very seasoned. This meal also isn't the most filling, and both the macaroni and cheese and the corn also lack flavor. It's not the most enjoyable frozen dinner, and you won't get much value for your money as a result. There are better options out there that pack more taste and give you more bang for your buck, both for chicken strips and frozen dinners in general.

12. Hungry-Man Roasted Carved White Meat Turkey

‌Hungry-Man also offers roasted carved white meat turkey as an option for diners. This meal replicates a mini Thanksgiving dinner, as it features white meat turkey, stuffing, potatoes and gravy, a vegetable medley, and cranberry sauce. It offers a diverse combination of flavors that you don't typically get in a frozen dinner. In terms of nutrition, this meal delivers 400 calories with 16 grams of protein. 

The main knock against this meal is that the turkey doesn't actually taste too much like turkey. It veers on the dry side and lacks a bit of substance. Because the dinner is a bit light on gravy, the mashed potatoes might also be a bit of a chore to get through depending on your taste preferences. It's nice to have a little taste of Thanksgiving, but it doesn't come together in the way that you would like if you have a hankering for some turkey and fixings.

11. Lean Cuisine Spaghetti with Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs is a meal that is classic and timeless. The meatballs offer succulent, tender flavor and spice, combined with the contrast of fresh tomato sauce and the filling nature of the pasta. Lean Cuisine is a company that strives to deliver meals that are both delicious and low in calories. The company has been around since the 1980s and it enjoyed a boom in the 1990s during the weight loss craze. Its take on spaghetti and meatballs contains 270 calories and 15 grams of protein.

While the company markets itself on lean meals, this one is a little too lean and is not very filling. Not only is it light on the ability to satisfy your hunger, but it's also lacking in flavor. Overall, Lean Cuisine spaghetti and meatballs feel like they are missing something. The tomato sauce is nothing to write home about and the meal is a little bland, particularly for people who love old fashioned spaghetti and meatballs.

10. Banquet Backyard BBQ Boneless Patties

People often think about frozen dinners for solo meals, but many are large enough to feed the whole family. Banquet's Backyard BBQ Boneless Patties — a family-sized offering — is one of the most popular that you will see in grocery stores all over the country. In the box, you get a slab of boneless pork riblets, corn, and mashed potatoes.

As far as nutritional value, each serving is 170 calories with 8 grams of protein. It comes with six servings in the pack, which is enough to spread around most families. This frozen dinner is decent, though it veers a little on the salty side. The corn and mashed potatoes included are a nice touch, but, sadly, they are fairly bland. All in all, this meal isn't bad, and the meat actually packs a good bit of flavor. It's definitely an upgrade over most other rib frozen dinners on the market.

9. Evol Portabella and Goat Cheese Ravioli

Evol prides itself on offering unique food items made with authentic ingredients. This is a frozen food brand that people turn to when they're interested in fresh and healthier meals. The company has a portabella and goat cheese ravioli among its many different options, but how does it stand up against the other frozen meals on this list?

There's plenty to offer in terms of nutritional value here. It's a vegetarian meal that provides 13 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. It features ravioli packed with goat cheese, portabella mushrooms, and romano. Outside of the ravioli you will enjoy red bell peppers, spinach, crimini mushrooms, and basil. These meals also happen to be 100% carbon neutral, which is good news for your sustainability efforts. The ravioli is a bit chewy and could be more flavorful, but the vegetables are surprisingly tasty. All in all, it's a healthy and unique option that you'll appreciate if you're trying to be good to yourself and the environment.

8. Healthy Choice Power Bowls Cauliflower Curry

If you eat vegan or simply want to mix up your regular diet with some plant-based, healthy choices, this is an excellent option for you to sink your teeth into. The Healthy Choice Power Bowls Cauliflower Curry is a meal that is both sensible and healthy. This bowl thrives in the fact that you are getting real ingredients for your money. This meal features ingredients like lentils, leafy green vegetables, cauliflower, and ancient grains. They are blended Indian style with a curry sauce.

Each Bowl packs plenty of healthy power and energy. You will get 14 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber. It might not satisfy your taste for authentic curry if you like eating it at Indian restaurants, but it's an excellent lunch option to turn to if you're hungry and want to eat real food. The bowl is full of texture, but could still use more taste to set it apart.

7. Totino's Hamburger Party Pizza

Totino's has long been a fixture in the frozen food game. It's a company with a reputation for pizza products that sticks to what it knows. It offers frozen pizzas and pizza products of all types and the Hamburger Party Pizza is a unique twist. 

This is a meal that combines the best of two different meals. It takes the innovation that Totino's is known for and gives you a half hamburger, half pizza, all with a crisp crust. The result is pretty flavorful, as the hamburger meat blends well with the pizza sauce. When the crust crisps, it provides plenty of texture. Keep in mind that these hamburger pizzas need to be cooked in the oven, and make sure that you allow yourself plenty of time to cook it thoroughly for full enjoyment. The hamburger could use a bit more flavor, but the meaty texture strikes a nice balance with the pizza ingredients. 

6. Smart Ones Three Cheese Ziti Marinara

The Smart Ones brand is among the elite when it comes to quality frozen dinners. It's a company that has been able to strike a good balance between healthy ingredients and plenty of flavor. The three-cheese ziti marinara provides a delicious amalgamation of sauce and cheese. In terms of health, you will get 300 calories out of this meal, along with 12 grams of protein, 8 grams of fat, and 3 grams of fiber. 

The three cheeses included in this meal are Monterey Jack, parmesan cheese, and skim mozzarella. On the surface, you might not expect much out of this frozen option, but the tomato sauce is surprisingly flavorful. You can make this cheesy meal in just three minutes in your microwave. It's an Italian-style treat that has gotten plenty of good reviews. It's not like the ziti that you will get from your favorite neighborhood joint, but it's an excellent frozen dinner that delivers good value for the money.

5. Smart Ones Chicken Fettuccine

‌We're going back-to-back with our sixth and fifth entries, as the Smart Ones brand offers a delicious chicken fettuccine dish that you can easily heat up in your microwave. When you take the time to purchase this frozen meal, you will get to appreciate healthy outcomes with low calories and quality ingredients. The ingredients include broccoli, chicken breast, and fettuccine pasta in a creamy alfredo sauce. This is a crowd-pleasing meal that might even prompt you to make your own breadsticks or garlic bread to go with it.

Depending on your taste preference, however, you might find this one slightly on the bland side. It's nothing that a little bit of parmesan or red pepper can't fix if you feel so inclined. The texture of the chicken mixed with the creamy sauce and pasta is a winning combination overall, making this one of the best frozen dinners for your money.

4. El Monterey Chicken Enchiladas

We're reaching the cream of the crop with frozen dinners now, thanks to the El Monterey brand and its attention to detail. This is a company with 60 years of history offering authentic Mexican frozen dinners to the public. The company mixes quality ingredients with rich flavors to create meals that are worlds apart from the typical assembly line-style process of making frozen dinners. 

With the frozen chicken enchiladas, you're in for a succulent dinner experience. In this meal, you get two chicken enchiladas, along with both cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, sauce, and Spanish rice. You get hearty portions in each serving and don't have to worry about the inclusion of any artificial flavors. This is a meal that is best cooked in the oven if you're hoping to get that melty, cheesy goodness.

3. Trader Joe's Chicken Tikka Masala

‌Trader Joe's is a grocery store that goes above and beyond to provide excellent food items made with healthy ingredients. If you're in the mood for Indian food, this is an item that will tickle your taste buds. The chicken tikka masala combines chicken chunks with curry sauce, along with basmati rice. It uses real ingredients and flavorful herbs like cumin. This meal is excellent for people who enjoy this Indian favorite and can offer an entry into Indian food for people who are new to it. 

Another big plus is that this frozen meal only takes about five minutes in the microwave. When it's done, you will appreciate both the flavor and the freshness, and the authenticity will hold up thanks to the cumin, curry, and other ingredients. For each tray, you're getting 360 calories and 21 grams of protein. 

2. Devour Buffalo Style Mac and Cheese

‌Sometimes you have a hankering for some high-quality comfort foods. You'll get that in spades with the Devour buffalo style chicken mac and cheese. This one is on par with appetizers or entrées that you'll get at many restaurants. It provides plenty of flavor and texture, making it a palatable and pleasing experience for your tastebuds. 

Inside the box, you'll get chicken breast with buffalo sauce, pasta shells with cheddar cheese sauce, and blue cheese. This meal option combines the crispiness of the chicken with the cheesy, creamy gooeyness of the macaroni. It hits the spot in terms of comfort and provides lots of flavor. This dish takes about six minutes of prep time and is a nice meal that you can enjoy at any time of the day. It has more calories than many of the frozen meals on this list at 640, but it packs 28 grams of protein.

1. Sukhi's Chicken Tikka Masala Naanwich

Sukhi's chicken tikka masala naanwich is one of the best frozen dinners on the market today. It takes two delicious Indian favorites — chicken tikka masala and naan bread — and combines them in a sandwich of sorts. The combination makes it easier to eat the meal quickly without sacrificing anything in terms of flavor. You'll get the spice that you're looking for thanks to the flavorful ingredients and the zesty sauce.

The naan bread is fluffy and filling, and it's a nice setting for the chicken. You'll also appreciate that this frozen meal packs plenty of health value. It's not made with any preservatives, hormones, or antibiotics. When you opt for this meal, you're also getting 15 grams of protein. Whether you're adding it to a bigger lunch or having it alone as a quick bite to eat, this frozen meal is one of the best that you will find.

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