Cooking is a challenge. Perhaps not a challenge on the same level as say, deciding on a career path, or risking life and limb to save a puppy who’s fallen down a well, but a challenge nonetheless. For those evenings when working the oven seems more difficult than climbing Mt. Everest, and one glance at a recipe induces feelings of rage and resentment for anyone who owns a spice rack, here are the top 10 best frozen dinners ranked from worse to best.
10. Hungry-Man ‘Roasted Carved White Meat Turkey’
Hungry-Man ‘Roasted Carved White Meat Turkey’ is packed with white meat turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, gravy, seasoned stuffing, and mixed vegetables. That’s basically all the food groups..isn’t it? Check the food pyramid! Somewhere in the middle, probably above bologna, but below pacific wild caught salmon, should be a picture of a Hungry-Man dinner. It’s been a staple for decades now, ever since the invention of the microwave. It’s one of life’s small pleasures to be able to come home after a long hard day at the office, or a short easy day at the beach, and not worry about cooking. Hungry-Man is as delicious and filling as it is easy to prepare. Not only is this dinner packed with foods universally loved, but it has the added bonus of festive nostalgia. Who doesn’t want to experience thanksgiving dinner seven nights a week for a lifetime? All of us probably, but think of it this way, it’s all the joy and deliciousness of thanksgiving or Christmas without having to endure hours of forced conversation with distant relatives. It even comes with an apple cranberry dessert! That sweet delight alone is worth the trip to the local grocery store. Hungry-Man dinners promise to satisfy! And if ever ‘Roasted Carved White Meat Turkey’ gets repetitive, Hungry-Man has oodles of different dinner options for you to try!
9. Stouffer’s ‘Lasagna with Meat and Sauce’
Stouffer’s ‘Lasagna with Meat and Sauce’ includes traditional lasagna noodles layered with an herb seasoned tomato and meat sauce and three kinds of natural cheese. Lasagna is one of those dishes that satisfies all the hunger demons living deep within all of us. The ones that beckon from the depths, screaming out to be satisfied by not one, not two, but three kinds of natural cheese. Don’t bother fighting with them, that only makes it worse. They will not rest until they have been fed three kinds of cheese. The folks over at Stouffer’s have made it their business to lull these terrors to sleep with a recipe that delivers every time. They have got it down to a science. Although the name ‘Lasagna with Meat and Sauce’ may not be the most romantic description of a dish ever written, and sort of feels like it was created by a robot built in the 80’s, the dish itself is rich, creamy, and delicious. Not only does it contain 100% pure beef, but just thinking about three kinds of natural cheese makes the mouth water, and the hips sway to imaginary italian music. Stouffer’s ‘Lasagna with Meat and Sauce’ also comes in a ‘Party Size’ portion, so call over six friends and turn the next meal into a giant lasagna party!
8. Stouffer’s Mac and Cheese
Stouffer’s mac and cheese is freshly made pasta in real cheddar cheese sauce. It doesn’t beat around the bush, it doesn’t care to boast, or impress, or distract with fancy ingredients and high falootin, hoity-toity descriptions, it’s mac and cheese, and it’s a trip to yumtown. Stouffer’s ‘Mac and Cheese’ is the dish everyone falls in love with as a kid. Being a kid is really about three things; playing outside with friends, getting scolded by parents, and eating mac and cheese. Whoever invented mac and cheese should have a statue made in their honor and displayed in the center of every major city on the planet. Perhaps that’s a little overboard, but who cares, this food is sooooooooo good. It’s a classic dish, and it is literally good for any occasion. It’s great on a Tuesday evening spent alone watching reruns of ‘The Simpsons’, it’s great as a side dish at a family barbecue, it’s great for traveling, it’s even great for breakfast! Hey! The French do it! They eat cheese for breakfast, and the French know a thing or two about how to live life to the fullest. Stouffer’s mac and cheese also comes in a family size, but that’s really just a suggestion. It can be consumed by one average sized human in about three to seven minutes, depending on your hunger and sadness level.
7. Lean Cuisine ‘Vermont White Cheddar Mac and Cheese’
Lean Cuisine ‘Vermont White Cheddar Mac and Cheese’ is filled with Cavatappi pasta and a rich Vermont white cheddar cheese sauce. Creamy, cheesy, deliciousness. If ever regular cheddar cheese gets a little same old, same old, then spice it up, or spice it down, and try white cheddar cheese. So be free from traditional mac and cheese dinners, free from the orange cheese that has become the norm, and try this tasty dish from Lean Cuisine. The box boasts ‘Now with more cheese’, which begs the question, what took so long to get more cheese in this thing? Shouldn’t there always have been more cheese? And if every box says that every time..does that mean that every single box of Lean Cuisine ‘Vermont White Cheddar Mac and Cheese’ has more cheese than the box that preceded it? If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Will there one day be so much cheese in these things that it disrupts the space time continuum? Will Christopher Nolan make a confusing movie about it? Maybe just eat the cheese – the Lean Cuisine ‘Vermont White Cheddar Mac and Cheese’
That’s right, Pogo. For the uninitiated, a Pogo is a hot dog on a stick that’s covered in a delicious batter. They come in packs ranging from four to one hundred and twenty, and can be eaten by the dozen with ease. In the sea of frozen dinners, each with a laundry list of spices and exotic ingredients, with accompanying side dishes, a drizzle of this, a reduction of that, the Pogo stands alone. It doesn’t need extra flavourings, or accompaniments of any kind. Sure, some might squirt a little mustard or ketchup on them every once in a while, but Pogos are satisfying all by themselves. They’re the minimalists in the world of frozen dinners. Have one for a snack, have thirteen for a big dinner when hunger really peaks. They’re great while watching the game, a movie, or studying for a math quiz. The legend behind Pogo, is that they were invented by an English pub owner named Leopold Kerr in 1962 to lure his patrons into drinking more. Thank goodness for Leopold Kerr, for providing the world with a doughy hotdog. Of all the foods that come on sticks, this food is at the top of the heap. And that’s saying something.
5. Amy’s Cheese Enchilada
Amy’s Cheese Enchilada consists of two corn tortillas, filled with olives, peppers, a blend of cheese and covered in Enchilada sauce. These things are gooey. Gooey in the best possible way. These are for when your not concerned about making a mess, spilling cheese everywhere and dirtying table cloths. When the sole concern is all about satisfaction – Amy’s Cheese Enchilada delivers. Who is this mysterious Amy anyway? Why doesn’t she have a last name? How does she create such delicious foods inspired by cultures all over the world? It is unknown. All that is known, is that these Enchilada’s are not eaten, they are devoured. There is no other way when it comes to Enchiladas. They are for the ravenous, the famished, the ones who care not for potential heart burn or observing manners while eating. They are for those who love mexican food, but need it in under two minutes. Sure, there’s probably a mexican restaurant around the corner, and it would be a new experience, something to share with friends, a conversation starter at the office. But never mind that, the lust for mexican food is real, and the cure is Amy’s Cheese Enchilada.
4. Red Baron Classic Crust Pepperoni Pizza
Red Baron Classic Crust Pepperoni Pizza is high up on the list for good reason. It’s a delicious take on probably the greatest food ever invented. It’s cheesy, the sauce tastes like it was made in the finest italian kitchen, and the pepperoni is made with pork, chicken, and beef. The Red Baron himself is displayed proudly on the box with his red scarf flapping in the breeze. He flies all over the world and single handedly delivers the pizzas to grocery stores. Upon arrival, he says nothing, just hands over the goods, cries a single tear made of tomato sauce, then it’s back in his plane and off to the next lucky shopkeep. Take one look at the Baron’s chin, and know that he will not rest until his Pizza’s are tasted by the masses. Look into those deep blue eyes. He could have had it all. He’s handsome, strong and a licensed pilot. But no, he gave it all up, the fortune and fame, because his passion lay elsewhere. It lay in frozen pizzas. All he asked in return is that his image be prominently displayed on each and every box. Some might say that’s egotistical. Don’t judge! When you make a frozen pizza as delicious as this, if you want your face right there on the box, you got it.
3. Marie Callendars 14oz Salisbury Steak
This dish delivers the classic taste of Salisbury steak, and comes with traditional brown gravy, oven-roasted potatoes, and vegetables in a creamy cheese sauce. 14 ounces of beef is enough to satisfy even the most hard-working lumberjack. It’s a generous, whopping portion that can last more than a day if need be. When a delicious home cooked meal is what’s desired, without the actual cooking, dig into this traditional comfort food. Marie Callendars has been whipping up tasty dishes for ages now, and this meal is considered a classic for a reason. It holds up with age and stands the test of time. It’s not a passing fad, like mint jelly, or fidget spinners. It’s meat, potatoes, and vegetables in a creamy cheese sauce. Put it down with a glass of milk, or just gobble it up without anything to quench the thirst. Heck, drink the gravy! This meal really does taste homemade, so if ever there’s a need to cook for guests, but not enough time to do it, just pop 4 of these little delights into the microwave, put them on plates, discard the evidence, pretend everything is normal, and the dinner guests will have no idea until it’s way too late.
2. California Pizza Kitchen’s ‘Slow cooked Pulled Pork Pizza’
California Pizza Kitchen makes unbelievably delicious pizza in many different varieties, and few are more scrumptious than the slow cooked pulled pork pizza. It’s tender pulled pork, poblano peppers, mozzarella and feta cheeses and a spicy black bean sauce on a crispy thin crust. It also says that it’s a limited edition, so there are probably only about seven left on the entire planet. These things are worth more than gold at this point. Finding one is probably like finding the golden ticket in the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie. Getting one of these pizzas might inspire feelings of greed, paranoia, suspicion of others, but don’t hoard it too long! Pizza’s were meant to be enjoyed, and maybe one day California Pizza Kitchen will wise up and make this style of pizza an unlimited edition. But until that time, chow down on this tasty pulled pork pizza while you can. It’s from California! Where the sun is warm, the beach is sandy, and the ocean wet. The sunshine can practically be tasted when biting into these pies! And that’s a promise that can be taken straight to the bank and deposited into the promise account, then withdrawn one day when said promise is needed. Don’t get lost in the metaphor, just enjoy the tasty pizza by these good hearted folks from the sunshine state..no wait, that’s Florida, Florida has absolutely nothing to do with these pizza’s. California is apparently ‘The land of Milk and Honey’…so..yeah not a great reference when talking about pizza. But don’t let that stop you from giving the slow cooked pulled pork pizza a try.
1. Swanson’s Fried Chicken Dinner
Fried chicken is tasty as the day is long, and Swanson’s definitely knows this fact. They produce a mouthwatering fried chicken recipe that includes a plump, boneless chicken breast with mashed potatoes, corn, and…wait for it, a rich chocolate brownie. They didn’t have to do that! The chicken, taters, and corn was plenty! But they did it anyways, because Swanson’s cares about satisfying their customers. So grab some hot sauce, some ketchup, some mayo (no judgement), slather it all over that chicken and dig in. It’s gonna be a crispy, juicy, taste experience that rivals any fried chicken restaurant that serves chicken in big paper buckets. Swanson’s even boasts that this dish is ‘The best-selling single serve frozen meal in Canada’. Hey, 37 million Canadians couldn’t be wrong, eh? Just as the last morsel of crispy chicken has been eaten, the last dollop of mashed tates scooped up, and the last corn kernel dropped on the floor, behold…the brownie. Almost forgot about it didn’t you? It’s still there, waiting to be eaten, a rich, chocolatey moist brownie that could clean up at any local elementary school bake sale. Those brownies are magnificent. The brownies were the deciding factor in giving Swanson’s Fried Chicken Dinner the top prize for best frozen dinners. Maybe these other frozen dinner folk will take a page from old Swanson’s book and start including a little something to satisfy the sweet tooth with their meals. Until then, go for Swanson’s Fried Chicken Dinner, beloved by every single human being that lives, has lived or will live in the proud nation of Canada.