Marie Callender’s Chicken & Bacon Shepherd’s Pie Review

Marie Callender's Chicken & Bacon Shepherd's Pie

If you’ve never heard of it, shepherd’s pie is a bit like a pot pie, only with mashed potatoes where the pie crust should be. Traditionally, these are filled with meat, but there are vegetarian versions (and we’ve tried some of them). The shepherd’s pie we’re reviewing today does have meat in it, though — today’s frozen food review is for the Marie Callender’s Chicken & Bacon Shepherd’s Pie.

The packaging includes both microwave and oven instructions, but no matter how you cook this, it’s going to take a while. If you’re working in an office with a limited number of microwaves in the breakroom, you’re probably not going to want to bring this in for lunch. You’ll spend a good chunk of your lunch break cooking this, and the people in line behind you will be pretty grumpy about having to wait so long.

But we cooked this in the Freezer Meal Frenzy office, which means we didn’t have lines of people to contend with or a limited amount of time for a lunch break. We decided to cook our shepherd’s pie in the oven, which takes a full hour. It’s a long time to wait, but we’re patient people and we had some extra time to burn. (If you want to see the full cooking instructions, check out our package scans at the bottom of this review.)

While this was cooking, the delicious scent of bacon filled the room. By the time we finally got this out of the oven, our mouths were watering and we couldn’t wait to dig in.

Marie Callender's Chicken & Bacon Shepherd's Pie

However, wait you must. As you can see in the image above, this actually comes out a bit runny. It’s also too hot to eat until you let it cool for several minutes. It does thicken up a little bit as it cools, but this is actually a far runnier meal than the art on the package might suggest.

The white meat chicken comes in decent-sized chunks, but it’s unfortunately not that great. It doesn’t have a lot of flavor, and pieces of it can be a bit dry. There’s plenty of cheese sauce to dip it in, but even that doesn’t cover up the fact that this is pretty low-grade meat. The portion size is generous, though.

Then there’s the broccoli. These broccoli pieces are large, but they’re mostly stems, which is the part of the broccoli we only put up with because the tops are so good — it’s not the best part of the plant, by any means. The stuff here is a little soggy, and it doesn’t taste very fresh.

Even though this smelled strongly of bacon while it was cooking, we hardly found any of it when we actually ate the meal. In fact, we actually think the scent might have been the cheese and not the actual bacon, as the cheese has a fake smoky taste to it, sort of like Easy Cheese.

The mashed potato content here is made from rehydrated potato flakes. That means the consistency feels fake and runny, and even the addition of cream and butter couldn’t really save these potatoes from tasting like a school lunch.

The calorie count here is a little high, at 380, but it’s the sodium level that’s the real problem. This meal contains 1,310 mg, which is about double the average for a frozen food — and the average frozen meal is already very high in sodium. Plain and simple, 1,310 mg is a lot of sodium.

The Marie Callender’s Chicken & Bacon Shepherd’s Pie tastes alright, but it’s certainly not a quality meal. Every single ingredient here has some sort of flaw, yet somehow the overall flavor profile isn’t awful. It’s just not worth getting excited about.

To learn more about the nutrition content, ingredients, or cooking instructions for this Marie Callender’s shepherd’s pie, check out our package scans below.

Marie Callender's Chicken & Bacon Shepherd's Pie
Marie Callender's Chicken & Bacon Shepherd's Pie
Marie Callender's Chicken & Bacon Shepherd's Pie