Marie Callender’s Duos: Chicken Alfredo & Chicken Parmigiana Review

Marie Callender's Duo: Chicken Alfredo and Chicken Parmigiana

We love it when traditional frozen food brands decide to mix things up a bit and get a little bit creative with their offerings. Yes, part of this is because we eat so much frozen food at Freezer Meal Frenzy that it’s nice to get a little bit of variety, but also, we find it interesting to see what these brands come up with.

Take, for instance, the Marie Callender’s new Duos line. The premise here is to skip the side dishes entirely and serve up two entrées in a single meal. We do like where this is going, but are the Duos meals as good in reality as they are in concept? Well, today we’re going to find out. Today, you see, we’re digging into the Marie Callender’s Chicken Alfredo & Chicken Parmigiana.

Now, keep in mind that this is two entrées, so the meal as a whole comes with a pretty long cook time. You’ll need to stick this in the microwave for four minutes, give it a stir, then stick it back in for another three to four and a half minutes. Yes, that’s up to eight and a half minutes of cook time. This is not a quickie. (To read the full cooking instructions off the back of the box, check out the package scans at the bottom of this review.)

Marie Callender's Duo: Chicken Alfredo and Chicken Parmigiana

Now, if you read customer reviews on the Marie Callender’s website, you’re going to find a lot of people who are disappointed that only the alfredo side of this dish has any pasta in it. The parmigiana side is just a slab of breaded chicken with some marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. Admittedly, we’re fine with this. There’s a ton of food here, so we really don’t expect more in terms of quantity.

That doesn’t mean, however, that we’re satisfied with the quality of this meal, because this has a lot of flaws. For example, the chicken parmigiana side is unbelievably soggy. In fact, you could almost drink this chicken with a straw — you have to bite deep into the center of the chicken before you find anything that’s not mush.

Somehow, the chicken on the opposite side of the meal avoids this fate, but that doesn’t mean it’s good. No, this chicken tastes like it was dried out and reheated multiple times. There’s this weird flavor to this, like it spent too much time in the freezer. Note that we reviewed this within days of buying it, so the problem isn’t on our end.

In fact, Marie Callender’s seems to be somewhat aware of this problem, because they try to hide it with a spritz of lemon flavor. No, it doesn’t work as intended; it just compounds the “weirdness” of the flavor here.

Plus, the alfredo sauce is super runny and flavorless. At least the noodles, for the most part, turn out okay.

We need to point out — again — that this is two full entrées. Don’t expect a lightweight, diet-friendly meal. This double dose of dinner comes with 600 calories and 1,860 mg of sodium. Both of those numbers are about double what we’d like to see in a frozen meal, but say it with us folks: “This is two entrées.”

The Marie Callender’s Duos: Chicken Alfredo & Chicken Parmigiana seems like a good idea on paper, but the execution leaves a lot to be desired. The chicken is not great on either side of the dish, and the alfredo sauce is watery and bland. We think this dish has potential, but Marie Callender’s really needs a top-to-bottom redo to make it all work. So many of the ingredients are too low in quality, so they add up to an underwhelming meal that doesn’t taste good enough to be worth all those extra calories.

We do admit that this is pretty filling, though. If you can get through the whole thing, we doubt you’ll be going back to the fridge to see if you can find more food. Of course, that assumes you don’t just take a couple bites and toss the rest into the trashcan.

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

Marie Callender's Duo: Chicken Alfredo and Chicken Parmigiana
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