Its ironic that Swanson meals are run by the “Pinnacle Food Group” as this meal is nowhere near the pinnacle of anything. The target market for this meal is most likely the same people who would buy a McRib. Fortunately for this review I have consumed a McRib, and can tell you that if you were looking for a McRib substitute in TV-Dinner form to keep looking because this meal fails to deliver.
The carrots were the only redeeming part of this meal they tasted exactly like frozen carrots. The potatoes had an added bit of butter/margarine sauce to add some flavor and it did help quite a bit. However, the mashed potatoes failed miserably on a textural level and felt like trying to consume cotton balls. I had to add water back to the potatoes to make them possible to swallow. This is a 180 from the banquet brand meals which often have very soupy potatoes.
The meat, as you can see, appeared to be wallowing in what in reality looked closer to brown gravy than barbecue sauce. The sauce is a valiant attempt compared to most meat-patty sauces. It had a slight amount of spiciness to it along with the piquant note from vinegar as well as a sweetness and smokiness that is expected in most styles of barbecue sauce despite lacking a certain amount of ruddiness. The best way I can describe the taste and texture of the “Rib-Shaped” patty is if you were to imagine what it would be like to eat the illegitimate love-child of the patty from a salisbury steak meal and a Jimmy Dean sausage and cover it with barbecue sauce. Like most “meat patties” for meals in this price-range there is no need to pull out a fork to eat this as a spoon is all you need to cut through the meat.
I would recommend this meal if you were curious about trying it, but it certainly is not a freezer essential like other, more classic meals such as salisbury steak or meatloaf. My overall rating is thus a 66%.
Total Fat: 14g
Total Carbohydrates: 43g
Time to Cook: 4 minutes for 1.1KW microwave
Suggested beverage pairings: Mexican beers, Coca-Cola, Lemonade
Price as tested: $1.33
Overall Rating: 66%