Stouffer’s Bowl-Fulls: Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Review

Stouffer's Bowl Fulls: Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

When it comes to mid-range frozen meals, Stouffer’s products seem to be a cut above competitors like Lean Cuisine and Smart Ones. While these frozen foods aren’t gourmet meals, by any means, the brand does have some really great items in its lineup. We’re especially fond of their family-sized meals.

So when we found out Stouffer’s had put out a line of “Bowl-Fulls,” we wanted to know more about these meals. Today, we’re checking out our first Bowl-Full, the Stouffer’s Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta. We wanted to know if this was Stouffer’s attempt at matching the high-quality and delicious flavor of a Devour meal (this certainly has the calorie count of a Devour frozen food!)

Before we dig into this, we should point out that, like other Stouffer’s frozen meals, this has a longer-than-average cook time. In the microwave, this will take six minutes, which isn’t terribly long, but it’s a bit longer than average for a frozen meal of this size (we’d usually expect between four and five minutes total).

Our earlier assessment that this is an attempt at competing with Devour seems pretty apt. This dish is loaded up with flavor and calories. It also comes out of the microwave looking pockmarked and greasy, like the Devour Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese.

Stouffer's Bowl Fulls: Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta

But looks don’t matter if the meal tastes good. After all, that odd-looking Devour macaroni dish we mentioned is one of our favorite frozen meals of all time. And this Stouffer’s pasta bowl tastes really good!

First off, it has a creamy, smokey sauce that tastes incredible. The smokiness tastes a little bit fake, but we don’t really mind because the overall flavor is really good. Plus, it has just a slight hint of a bite to it, which we enjoy. We wouldn’t call this spicy, by any means, but it has a little something that will leave your mouth feeling slightly tingly.

This sauce is gooped over a bowl of shell pasta. We find the shells to be the perfect shape here, as they scoop up sauce to make sure every bite is absolutely loaded with creamy goodness.

The meat portion is where we start having some problems. It’s not terrible, by any means, but it’s just not as good as the rest of the dish. The chicken portion is generous, but the white meat offering is a bit dry and rubbery. The bacon portion is not quite as generous — these are little bacon grounds rather than substantial pieces — and they have a hard, gravelly consistency. The flavor of both meats is just alright.

This is a meal that clearly does not care about your diet. At 610 calories (230 from fat) and 1,240 mg of sodium, this is no lightweight meal. In fact, these numbers are almost double what we’d expect from a frozen meal. However, we do have to commend Stouffer’s here for not pretending this bowl is designed to feed multiple people, because it’s absolutely not.

The Stouffer’s Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Bowl-Full is not going to dethrone our favorite Devour meals as the lords of the freezer aisle, but it is a pretty tasty meal regardless. There is definitely room for improvement, as better-quality meat would really kick this up a notch. Still, this is a surprisingly great-tasting frozen meal that will leave you feeling full and satisfied.

To learn more about the nutrition content, ingredients, or cooking instructions for this frozen pasta bowl, check out our package scans below.

Stouffer's Bowl Fulls: Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
Stouffer's Bowl Fulls: Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
Stouffer's Bowl Fulls: Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
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