Banquet Fish Stick with Mac & Cheese Review

Banquet Fish Stick with Mac & Cheese

As far as we can tell (without doing an exhaustive search of this site’s 1,800 food reviews), it’s been almost two and a half years since we reviewed a batch of frozen fish sticks. Where does the time go?

Since we recently discovered that Banquet offers their own take on this fishy finger food, and that they added mac and cheese and a dollop of chocolate pudding to it, we figured it was time to end our lengthy fish-stick dry spell. So today we’re checking out the Banquet Fish Sticks with Mac & Cheese, a frozen meal that offers three micro-courses to feast on.

Cooking this is a little bit more complicated than your average frozen food, though not by much. See, you’ll need to remove the fish sticks entirely for the first minute of the cooking process. After that, stir the macaroni and toss those fishy stickers back into the tray, then cook for another two and a half minutes. Yes, this means you’ll have a hot chocolate pudding rather than a cold one.

You can also heat this in the oven if you’d like, but that will take almost a half an hour. We just went with the microwave for this review. (If you want to read the full cooking instructions straight off the box, go for it! We’ve posted them at the bottom of this review.)

Banquet Fish Stick with Mac & Cheese

Of all three components, it’s the chocolate pudding that ends up looking the worst after a stint in the microwave. Instead of a tasty batch of sweetness, this looks like something that would swallow a horse while you sit by and helplessly scream “Don’t give up! Artax! Pleeeeeeeeease!!!” (Perhaps we’re admitting the general age group of our staff by making this specific reference.) It actually tastes pretty good though, and it’s the most flavorful part of the meal. If you can get over its “Swamp of Sadness” look, you might end up enjoying it.

The fish sticks could definitely be better. They end up so mushy that you could practically drink them with a straw. A thick straw, perhaps, but a straw nonetheless. Like the pudding, they do end up tasting decent enough, though.

The mac and cheese portion ends up just alright. We don’t have any overly exaggerated comparisons to make here. We just wanted to point out that it’s a little bit bland, and being next to the pudding, which is pretty rich, only makes that more apparent.

This whole meal contains 350 calories, which really isn’t bad. Of course, it also contains 870 mg of sodium, which is a bit worse (but still not extremely horrible unless you’re trying to cut down your sodium intake). We typically expect a frozen meal to contain somewhere in the neighborhood of 700 mg.

The Banquet Fish Sticks and Mac & Cheese isn’t bad, per se, but it’s also not great. It’s a deeply flawed meal that doesn’t get any of its components right. We wish the fish sticks were firmer and the mac and cheese had a bit more flavor. We also think that having a little cup of cold chocolate pudding on the side would be better than making us heat it up, but we’re not sure how that would realistically work in a frozen meal. You’d have to thaw the pudding, we suppose… So maybe that’s not a great idea after all.

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

Banquet Fish Stick with Mac & Cheese
Banquet Fish Stick with Mac & Cheese