Whether you’re a hungry man, hungry woman, hungry child, or any person who’s just plain hungry for something that’s affordable and easy to make, there’s only one brand whose name is so on point it’s impossible to miss: Hungry-Man. The frozen dinners first hit shelves in 1973, and the goal was to give customers "larger, heartier portion sizes specifically targeted toward the hungry male consumer." Commercials for Hungry-Man products featured professional football players like "Mean" Joe Greene and Rocky Bleier touting just how protein-packed every box of the microwavable food was. It was a product aimed at men who had an insatiable appetite for hearty cuisine, and it worked.
Hungry-Man has a variety of dinners to pick from, and most of them come with a main protein, two sides, and a dessert. They’re supposed to replicate a complete dinner, so once you’re finished, you’re more than satisfied. But, be aware that just because the pictures on all of the boxes look beyond delicious doesn’t necessarily mean they actually are. There’s a huge selection to choose from, which means they can’t all be winners. You don’t have to be a man to enjoy these, but you should be a wary consumer so you don’t purchase something you regret. These are all the Hungry-Man varieties, ranked worst to first.
23. Beer Battered Chicken
When you hear the three words "beer battered chicken," it’s not unusual for your appetite to get quite excited. A beer batter helps maintain a light crisp on the outside while ensuring the inside doesn’t overcook, since the alcohol in the batter dissolves easier than if it were just water (via Scientific American). It leaves whatever you coat it in with a delicate golden outer crunch. Or, at least it should. That’s one of the biggest issues with the Beer Battered Chicken dinner.
Here’s the thing about fried food: It only tastes like it’s supposed to when it’s pulled out of the deep fryer and then served to you minutes afterwards. If you’re microwaving something that’s already been fried, there’s zero crunch. All you get is a soggy outer brown coating that’s the exact opposite of what you want in anything that’s supposed to feel crispy. The mashed potatoes that come with it are usually cold in the middle, and the dessert brownie tastes like chocolate that’s lost most of its flavor.
22. Spicy Boneless Fried Chicken Patties
Many of us might remember those fond days of elementary school lunches, when chicken patties were served. Chicken patty day was always a good one. It’s nearly impossible to screw up a breaded piece of chicken on a bun. Hungry-Man helps us kick that grade school lunchtime nostalgia into gear with their Spicy Boneless Fried Chicken Patties dinner. Two seasoned white-meat chicken patties are served alongside corn, mashed potatoes, and brownie. Unfortunately, this isn’t the kind of nostalgia you want.
The patties themselves are pretty dry and bland, and the texture is a little funky after they emerge from the microwave. You want the patties to feel crispy, but the outer breading is just soft and slightly rubbery. And there really is no spiciness in sight, so anyone hoping for a little kick won’t be left satisfied. If you do end up trying this, maybe you can find some solace in the corn. That’s really the only worthwhile part of this whole dinner.
21. Classic Fried Chicken Strips
A hot crispy basket of fried chicken strips can be found on tons of menus everywhere. They’re a common appetizer and usually always on any kids menu, and for good reason. They’re simple, delicious, and they pair well with almost any condiment. Now, when you look at the picture of Hungry-Man’s Fried Chicken Strips, you see an exact replication of the strips you receive at restaurants. This, however, is a classic bait-and-switch technique you don’t need to fall victim to.
Microwaving something that’s supposed to have the texture of something that’s fried always yields an unfortunate result. The skin is never crispy. It’s mushy, and it slips off the meat like wet paper. The chicken itself has virtually no flavor, so you’d have to give it a condiment bath for any satisfaction. The mashed potatoes and mixed veggies that come with it are also bland. This is one Hungry-Man that’ll leave you a very unhungry person.
20. Roasted Carved White Meat Turkey
In an effort to replicate all the delicious flavors people experience during Thanksgiving dinner, Hungry-Man came out with a Roasted Carved White Meat Turkey meal. The frozen tray has thick slices of white-meat turkey covered in brown gravy, mashed potatoes, seasoned stuffing, mixed veggies, and a cup of apple cranberry compte for dessert. Sounds great in theory. However, look somewhere else if you want to give yourself a real Thanksgiving meal.
The white-meat turkey is completely bland, even with the addition of the gravy. The gravy tastes like it’s loaded with sodium (which it likely is), which makes for an overly salty protein that’s a complete turnoff. The seasoned stuffing doesn’t heat up evenly at all, and the pieces that do end up hot are gummy in texture; you don’t want stuffing to feel like chewing gum in your mouth. The best part of this meal is the dessert, but that’s not a reason to waste your money on this incredibly disappointing product.
19. Country Fried Chicken
Fried chicken is a staple of southern cuisine. When done right, it tastes incredible. There are few foods more satisfying than a juicy chunk of chicken encrusted with a beautiful golden brown shell of seasoned batter. It’s the kind of food that warms the soul. However, if you indulge in Hungry-Man’s Country Fried Chicken dinner, you’ll find your soul feeling anything but warm. In fact, your inside will likely feel nothing but frustration.
The meal comes with two breaded white-meat chicken patties slathered in homestyle gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, and cup of glazed apples for a post-meal treat. To say the patties are fried is an insult to anything that’s been properly fried before. The breading is mushy and the meat inside is pretty flavorless. The homestyle gravy on top is creamy, but it’s so salty you feel like your blood pressure is rising with each bite. The green beans are the only things that heat up evenly, which makes this meal a hard pass.
18. Mexican Fiesta
If you’re looking for a cuisine chock-full of meat that’s always rich and hearty, look no further than Mexican food. You can never go wrong with a taco, burrito, enchilada, or any other of the other awesome vessels used to get great grub onto your palate. Hungry-Man jumped aboard the Mexican food train and created a Mexican Fiesta meal. One look at the picture on the box and you’d think the dinner would whisk you away to South America. But… nope.
The dinner consists of two beef enchiladas smothered in cheese and chili sauce, rice, refired beans, and a coconut-flavored Mexican pudding called cocada. Now, to give credit to Hungry-Man, the enchiladas are stuffed with beef, which is a good thing. However, the center of them never heats all the way through, and the beef is cold while everything else is piping hot. The chili sauce doesn’t offer the kick of heat any spice enthusiast would want, and the refired beans are completely bland. The coconut dessert is uniquely tasty, but it’s not enough to warrant paying money for this Mexican mess.
17. Chipotle Chicken Double Meat Bowl
When you’re about to stuff your face with a meal that has the word "chipotle" in it, you expect a little kick of heat to wake those taste buds up a bit. So naturally, you’d expect a hefty kick of spice when you take your first bite into Hungry-Man’s Chipotle Chicken Double Meat Bowl. Well, that expectation is completely squashed seconds after the chicken hits your tongue.
The bowl comes with two grilled chicken patties covered in chipotle queso sauce, and the patties rest on top of a pile of rice, onions, and tomatoes. The chicken, thankfully, is grilled as opposed to fried, so the microwave doesn’t screw up the texture. However, the chipotle queso sauce isn’t quite like what you’d want a cheese sauce to be. It’s runny and thin, and it doesn’t have any heat in it whatsoever. Add a flavorless pile of rice and veggies underneath, and you’ll have a frozen dinner that’s passable, at best.
16. Boneless Fried Chicken Double Meat Bowl
If you’re not one of those people who loves gnawing all the little morsels of meat off of a bone, you likely opt for boneless cuts of meat every time. It’s a nice alternative for getting the same great taste without those pesky bones getting in the way of every bite. Hungry-Man serves up a Boneless Fried Chicken dinner aimed at anyone avoiding a bone-filled meal, but even though the meal is bone-free, it’s also relatively flavor-free, and that’s a huge problem.
The meal is simple: two boneless white-meat chicken patties served over a heap of creamy white cheddar macaroni and cheese. The chicken skin is far from crispy, which is a letdown, and the patties aren’t thick and juicy like you’d hope for. The macaroni and cheese, however, isn’t terrible, so if you take a piece of chicken and a scoop of macaroni in one bite, you can mask the blandness of the chicken. Then again, when it comes to food, you shouldn’t have to mask anything.
15. Southern Fried Popcorn Chicken
Food is just a little more fun to eat when you pop little morsels of it into your mouth like popcorn. Well, that’s exactly what makes popcorn chicken so awesome. These little deep-fried nuggets of white-meat chicken go down easily, and you can dunk them in whatever condiment your heart desires to kick the flavor into high gear. Unfortunately, the Southern Fried Popcorn Chicken meal from Hungry-Man just doesn’t capture the goodness that popcorn chicken should.
The website uses the word "zesty" to describe these golden brown nuggets. However, there really isn’t anything zesty about them. In order to achieve a zesty sensation, you’d have to dunk them into some kind of sauce. By themselves, they’re dull nuggets of regret. The sweet corn that’s included is the tastiest aspect of the whole dinner, which is a shame; a side dish should never outshine the main show. After trying this popcorn chicken, you’ll want to pop something else into your mouth immediately after.
14. Spicy Classic Fried Chicken
If you’re the kind of person who loves a little heat in your meals, then you usually always stray towards anything that has the word "spicy" in its name. Hungry-Man, not wanting to have those heat-seeking customers feeling left out, created a Spicy Classic Fried Chicken meal in hopes of reeling in those who love spice. However, this is one spicy chicken that will likely leave your appetite yelling, "Cluck off!"
First of all, the texture of the chicken is extremely unappealing, considering it’s supposed to be fried but you warm it up in the microwave. This takes all the crisp out of the skin immediately. The spice that should supposedly have this dark-meat chicken leaving your tongue a little singed is barely evident. Is it spicier than the regular fried chicken Hungry-Man offers? Yes. However, it’s not enough to leave anyone craving that swift punch in the mouth anywhere near satisfied.
13. Country Fried Steak
Steak is delicious. Fried things are also delicious. So, when you combine the two for a deep-fried steak, the result should be absolutely splendid. Well, Hungry-Man offers a Country Fried Steak meal, which looks absolutely awesome on the front of the box. You get a country-fried beef steak fritter smothered in gravy, with mashed potatoes and corn for sides and a glazed apple dessert. In theory, this combination should taste amazing. However, the end result is something you should probably stay away from, especially if you’re a steak enthusiast.
Now, anyone who loves steak would never choose a microwave to heat one up. The steak comes already cooked, obviously, but the fact that you’re using a microwave and not a skillet or grill means the texture of the steak is rubbery and tough, far from the juicy delicate cuts you can achieve by other cooking methods. The gravy that’s on top also turns out quite gummy once it’s heated. Investing money into this meal is one big mis-steak.
12. Mesquite Flavored Chicken Fried Chicken
The use of mesquite wood in cooking lends a uniquely strong flavor profile to food. When used correctly, mesquite woods gives meat a pleasantly smoky aroma and taste. It can be a very enjoyable layer of flavor in barbecued foods that enhances a dry rub or sauce. Hungry-Man has a Mesquite Flavored Chicken Fried Chicken dinner with pieces of dark-meat chicken cooked over mesquite wood, mashed potatoes, green beans, and a brownie. This meal, however, just doesn’t capture the flavor of mesquite wood like you’d hope.
The chicken does have a very faint smoky taste to it, but nothing that really sets it far apart from Hungry-Man’s other chicken meals. There’s a sweet glaze on the chicken that, when paired with the faint smokiness, actually works decently together. Unfortunately, the texture of the chicken skin is far from fried-like, which is a bummer. This isn’t one of the worst meals you can purchase, but if you are looking for that smoky mesquite flavor, best to look elsewhere.
11. Honey Bourbon Chicken
Putting the words "honey" and "bourbon" together always makes for an intriguing idea. The sweetness of honey mixed with the sharp bite of bourbon really does enhance a piece of meat. Well, Hungry-Man knows this combination is a tantalizing one, and they have a Honey Bourbon Chicken dinner available to customers. Four pieces of white-meat chicken strips are served with honey bourbon dunking sauce, mashed potatoes, and corn. Not surprisingly, it’s the honey bourbon sauce that swoops in to save the day here.
The chicken itself is rather bland, but it’s the sweet and tangy sauce that makes them enjoyable. The sauce is thick and hearty, and the balance between sweet and tangy is actually pretty on point. That’s a nice surprise, considering so many of the Hungry-Man chicken meals are somewhat disappointing. Pair the dunkable chicken strips with mashed potatoes and corn, and you have a Hungry-Man chicken dish worth exploring.
10. Golden Battered Chicken with Cheese Fries
It’s always nice to have sides with a meal so you can get some balanced nutrition in your life. But there are times when you just want a feast full of things are aren’t green, leafy, or healthy. Well, leave it to Hungry-Man to deliver on that craving. The Golden Battered Chicken with Cheese Fries meal doesn’t have a vegetable in sight. It’s just plain old unhealthy goodness. And sometimes, we just need a little bit of that in our lives.
The meal is simple: battered strips of chicken patties join forces with a pile of crinkle-cut fries, all resting in a rich, golden cheese sauce. The cheese sauce is really the ringleader in the dinner. The cheese is rich with just the right amount of salt to give it a nice bite. Both the chicken and the fries pair well with the flavor, so every aspect of the dish works. Now, you might feel a little guilty after putting this down, though; it’s a lot of fried stuff mixed with melted cheese. But if you make sure your next meal includes a salad, then you’ll be okay. Maybe.
9. Angus Meatloaf and Grits Double Meat Bowl
One of the more unique meals that Hungry-Man offers is the Angus Meatloaf and Grits Double Meat Bowl. You don’t usually see grits in microwavable meals, and you really never see them also paired with slices of meatloaf. But Hungry-Man plays by its own rules, and they decided to marry the two together. Two slices of angus meatloaf rest on top of red peppers and onion-filled cheddar grits, and the whole bowl is drizzled with bourbon gravy. That’s a lot of interesting flavors all happening in one place, and for the most part, it works.
The slices of meatloaf are tender, and that works well with the delicate texture of the cheddar grits. The cheddar flavor really comes through in the grits, and the red peppers and onions are a nice addition, too. The only downside is the bourbon gravy. While it is tasty and gives the whole bowl a nice tangy bite, the texture can get a little gummy after it comes out of the microwave. Overall, however, there are some nice things happening here.
8. Boneless Pork with BBQ Sauce Double Meat Bowl
Many of the Hungry-Man dinners have variations of chicken or beef, which, if you’re looking to indulge in a pork dinner, is disappointing, However, Hungry-Man does have a couple options that cater to those seeking pork, with one of them being the Boneless Pork with BBQ Sauce Double Meat Bowl. You get two riblet-shaped pork patties resting on top of macaroni and cheese, with a Kansas City-style barbecue sauce on top.
It’s natural to approach any Hungry-Man dinner with some skepticism, but this one actually plays out pretty nicely. The riblet shaped patties and the barbecue sauce are actually really tasty together. The meat is tender and cuts easily, and the sauce has a really nice tang that doesn’t overpower the pork. The macaroni and cheese underneath the pork is rich and tasty, and the cheese flavor is a nice accompaniment to the richness of the pork patties. The only downside is that sometimes, it doesn’t heat up evenly, and the macaroni and cheese in the center of bowl ends up tasting cold.
7. Chicken Bacon Ranch Double Meat Bowl
The combination of chicken, bacon, and ranch has really become more prevalent over the last few years. You see it on sandwiches and pizza all the time. So, why wouldn’t Hungry-Man jump on the CBR wagon and create a meal of their own using all three awesome flavors? Their Chicken Bacon Ranch Double Meat Bowl has two grilled chicken patties that are served over ranch-infused mashed potatoes with bacon bits and cheddar cheese. Needless to say, Hungry-Man does a pretty darn good job with this one.
One of the most welcome additions is the grilled chicken. The grilled chicken heats up so much better than the fried chicken because there isn’t any breading, so it’s a solid choice of protein. The mashed potato have a nice hint of ranch that isn’t overpowering, and the bacon and cheddar cheese only add to the already-pleasant flavors. This is a winning concoction of ingredients, so definitely put this one on your to-purchase list.
6. Smokin’ Backyard Barbecue
When it comes to rich and hearty cuisine, few things check off all the boxes that barbecue does. Barbecue is chock-full of hearty slabs of meat smothered in rich sauces. And, as Hungry-Man prides itself on serving up meals meant to satisfy the hungriest of customers, it’s no surprise they have a Smokin’ Backyard Barbecue dinner. Now, while actually attending a backyard barbecue and getting some fresh cuts of meat off of a grill would taste way more authentic, this meal actually holds up.
Hungry-Man gives you a grilled glazed chicken patty, a rib-shaped pork patty smothered in smoky chipotle barbecue sauce, mashed potatoes, sweet corn, and a brownie. The mix of chicken and pork is nice, because you get two different flavor profiles with your protein fix. The glaze on the chicken is sweet, which is a great complement to the smoky chipotle sauce on the pork riblet. The meat is also quite tender, which is exactly what you want in anything barbecued. Overall, this is a good option for someone who wants some barbecue, but doesn’t have the means to make it themselves.
5. Smothered Salisbury Steak Double Meat Bowl
Salisbury steak sometimes gets a bad reputation as being a kind of mystery meat that contains who the heck knows what. However, if you’ve ever had a really good Salisbury steak, you know it doesn’t deserve the hate. Salisbury steaks can taste really great if they’re cooked properly and served with a rich gravy to enhance the meat’s flavor. Well, this is where Hungry-Man comes in swinging for the win. The Smothered Salisbury Steak Double Meat Bowl is definitely worth the plunge if you’re craving the flavor of meat and gravy.
The bowl comes with two Salisbury steak patties resting on mashed potatoes, and the whole thing is smothered with a rich onion-and-mushroom gravy. The steaks themselves are super tender, and the meat has a nicely seasoned flavor even without the gravy. But, when you marry the gravy and steak, things go up a level. The flavors of the onions and mushrooms really come though, and they’re a great addition to the already-seasoned steak. The mashed potatoes are a nice creamy texture alongside the meat, which means you’re left with one satisfying meal.
4. Home-Style Meatloaf
When it comes to meatloaf, the only kind you ever want is the one your mother made when you were a kid growing up. Everyone always has their own special way of seasoning that log of meat perfectly, and none of them are wrong. Hungry-Man tries to whisk us back to our childhood dinner table with the Home-Style Meatloaf dinner, which comes with two patties of meat covered in brown gravy, mashed potatoes, mixed veggies, and a brownie — and they kinda hit nail on the head.
The meatloaf is super tender and seasoned really well, so every bite is thoroughly enjoyable. The gravy on top isn’t too salty, which is a nice change from some of the other Hungry-Man dishes that contain gravy. The mashed potatoes pair great with the meatloaf, and it does remind you of that great childhood meal years ago. This is one Hungry-Man meal that does its job of satisfying you all the way to the end.
3. Grilled Beef Patty
There aren’t many items of food simpler than a plain old beef patty. That’s it. Just a hockey puck-shaped disc of beef. And something so simple is sometimes better than another item that goes way too heavy with all kinds of unique flavor profiles and intricate ingredients. That’s why you can’t get less complicated than Hungry-Man’s Grilled Beef Patty frozen meal. But the simplicity in this meal is what makes it a winner.
The meal comes with two grilled beef patties covered in a savory beer gravy, mashed potatoes, and mixed veggies. It’s the gravy that really brings all of these ingredients together and makes this a worthwhile investment. The gravy has a tangy bite to it that enhances the seasoned meat really well, and there’s enough of it to cover the mashed potatoes and veggies as well. If you’re looking for something worth your appetite’s time that isn’t full of risky ingredients, this is the play.
2. Boneless Pork Rib Shaped Patties
Okay, let’s be honest: Those slabs of pork riblet patties do tend to shout, "This isn’t real meat!" a little too loudly sometimes. However, the truth is they are pretty darn delicious. Hungry-Man’s Boneless Pork Rib Shaped Patties meal comes with two juicy pork patties covered in a glaze of tangy barbecue sauce, mashed potatoes, mixed veggies, and brownie to sweeten everything up after you’re done with the main course. These barbecue pork patties hit all the right notes on your tongue.
The patties are super tender, which makes for a lovely mouthfeel. They’re not rubbery like some meat tends to get after it comes out of the microwave. The barbecue sauce is both sweet and tangy, so it cuts though the richness of meat very nicely. The fact that you get two patties is also nice because after you finish with the first one, you’re super stoked there’s a whole second one to get through. This is one surprisingly delicious dinner.
1. Boneless Fried Chicken and Ham
When you want two different proteins in a frozen meal instead of just one, look no further than Hungry-Man’s Boneless Fried Chicken and Ham option. You get to dabble in everyone’s favorite clucking animal while also getting a serving of everyone’s favorite oinking animal at the same time. This is one of Hungry-Man’s best combinations: If you’re on the prowl for something quick and easy at the supermarket, do yourself a favor and snag yourself one of these boxes if they’re available.
The fried chicken that comes in it is just an all-white meat chicken patty, but the patty is thick and juicy in the middle. Pairing this breaded patty with a slice of salty ham works really well, as the ham isn’t too salty to be a turn-off. The mashed potatoes that come with the meal are infused with ranch flavoring, which makes for a delicious side dish to pair with both kinds of meat. But what puts this dish into the fantastic category is the honey bourbon sauce drizzled on everything. This elevates the flavors of every individual item, and it leaves you wanting so much more after you’re finished. This is Hungry-Man at its best.