Here’s what we thought.
These days a trip to Walmart feels like a visit to a Ree Drummond shrine. The Pioneer Woman has infiltrated the kitchen, toy, bedding, home decor, and refrigerated food aisles—next thing you know, the greeters are going to be wearing floral tops and red wigs.
We went on a quest to try everything in the Pioneer Woman prepared food line and…we couldn’t. There are technically 10 products in the line (four entrées, three side dishes, and three breakfast bowls), but our local Walmart only carries the four entrées: Smothered Chicken, Country Fried Steak, Fried Chicken, and Bacon Meatloaf. So that’s what we got.*
Then we ranked them, because that’s what we do here.
Each dish could be prepared in the microwave or the oven, but we used a microwave because we’re working women and we ain’t got all day for this.
Here were the results:
1. Bacon Meatloaf ($5.98)
This was by far everyone’s favorite among the four main dishes. Bacon bits were generously scattered throughout the loaf, which was topped with a sweet tomato sauce. Most of us thought the sauce was probably glorified ketchup (a notion that was confirmed by the ingredients listed on the back of the box), but I tasted a distinct barbecue flavor. It was a tad tough for meatloaf, but for a dish that started in a pouch, it was pretty impressive.
WATCH: How to Make Turkey, Bacon, and Cheddar Meatloaf
2. Country Fried Steak ($6.98)
I’ll admit, I was skeptical about this one. Country fried steak is one of my favorite foods and I assumed the microwave would kill every last bit of crunch in the breading. I’m pleased to say that I was kind of wrong. It certainly could have had a better texture, but again, this is meat that started in a pouch. We enjoyed the seasoning, particularly the black pepper. Also, the included gravy was a nice touch.
3. Fried Chicken ($6.98)
What we have here is your standard microwaved fried chicken. It’s not great, but it’s not terrible. The chicken was incredibly salty which, while not shocking, was a bit of an assault on the senses. The included gravy was, again, pleasant and very much appreciated. One tester called this dish “alrightish” and I’m inclined to agree.
4. Smothered Chicken ($5.98)
This was weird. Most of us didn’t hate it, but we were all a little confused and put off by the perfumey, chemical flavor of the chicken. I compared it to accidentally inhaling Bath and Body Works body spray through your mouth. The included sherry sauce wasn’t awful, though, so there’s that.
*Disclaimer: We were extremely hungry and completely forgot to take photos of each entree after it was cooked. The photos we included are from the internet. None of the dishes were ugly, exactly, but they definitely didn’t look like the styled pictures you see here.