Hey Banquet, Chicken Pot Pie Usually Comes With Filling

Does anyone remember Bunnicula? We think there’s a similar beast in the Banquet pot pie plant, only instead of sucking vegetables dry he’s draining the pies before they ship. That’s the only thing that can explain how the real pot pie this Consumerist reader cooked looks nothing like the bountiful pot pie harvest shown on the box. Oh wait: it could also be that Banquet is a cheap-assed company that can’t be bothered to sell decent frozen food.

I cooked up the Banquet Chicken Pot Pie per directions.

I flipped it over after cooking and put it in a bowl. I opened up the “bottom” to get at the pot pie goodness and what did I find? Practically nothing. It was almost completely hollow.

On the back of the box were the instructions for cooking.

The final step says to insert a thermometer to ensure a temp of 160 to make sure it is fully cooked. If I had actually done that the probe would have been in the hollow pocket of the pie and not been measuring anything but air.

I will stick with Marie Calendar pot pie from now on. They are actually filled with pot pie goodness.

(Thanks to couponknob!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Parapraxis says:

    The celery stalks at midnight!

  2. dieselman8 says:

    That stuff is so bad for you. Take it as a sign.

  3. AgentTuttle says:

    You were actually tricked twice. Once for the meal disguised as a dessert, and then the no filling thing. Now finish it off with a choco-taco and you’ve got one backward-ass meal.

  4. I think this is the first article I’ve ever read with a Bunnicula reference.

  5. Parapraxis says:


    don’t forget the candy cigarettes.

  6. SkokieGuy says:

    I am forced to blame the OP. “I opened up the “bottom” to get at the pot pie goodness …..”

    Pot pies (from Banquet) containing goodness is a totally unrealistic expectation.

    Seriously, the post gives no indication if the disapointed pot pie lover contacted Banquet. It is reasonable to let the company confirm that this was a manufacturing glitch and that most pies have more filling. You’ll probably end up with some coupons too.

  7. Jabberkaty says:

    Gotta make pot pie – then you get as much filling as you need. MMm… I want pot pie…

  8. mechfluff says:

    That looks like someone puked

  9. shorty63136 says:

    I can’t lie – I absolutely LOVE Banquet pot pies and have since I was a kid.

    And now that they’re microwaveable?? Nitrate-y goodness in a flash!! :)

    (as long as it’s filled with something, that is)

  10. poornotignorant says:

    The crust looks a little overcooked, and since Banquet Pot Pie has a high percentage of sauce(water), I think it may have just evaporated most of it’s volume. And if you can afford Calendar Pot Pies, why even buy Banquet?

  11. exkon says:

    Ah, the classic slippery slope.

    ONE pot pie doesn’t have filling!?! THEY ALL MUST NOT HAVE FILLING!!!

  12. Xerloq says:

    Just make your own. 5 in prep, 35 Bake. Substitute your favorite ingredients (I use fresh veggies from the garden, sometimes canned ones):
    1 2/3 cups frozen mixed vegetables
    1 cup cut-up cooked chicken/beef/turkey (I personally add two cups)
    1 can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup
    1 cup Original Bisquick® mix
    1/2 cup milk
    1 egg

    1. Heat oven to 400ºF. Mix vegetables, chicken and soup in ungreased glass pie plate, 9×1 1/4 inches.
    2. Stir together remaining ingredients with fork until blended. Pour into pie plate.
    3. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown.
    High Altitude (3500-6500 ft) Heat oven to 425ºF.

    Original here: [www.bettycrocker.com]

  13. picardia says:

    @SkokieGuy: However, pot pies containing SOMETHING is a reasonable expectation. So, still not the OP’s fault. A pot pie with no filling would appropriately be labeled “pita bread.”

  14. This is the first time in history the actual food hasn’t looked the way it is depicted on the box/in an advertisement.

  15. anime_runs_my_life says:

    Wow, I haven’t heard a Bunnicula reference in years. :) As for the pot pies, I’ve had some that have made me wonder if the people are asleep at the switch. Some are filled just partway, some have been overly filled.


    The crusts always look like that when they’re microwaved, no matter how well you follow the directions. The only way to not get a singed crust is to cook it in the oven. And face it, who wants to wait around for a pot pie to cook in 50 minutes when it can be done 10 times faster in the microwave?

  16. Sorshha says:

    @Xerloq: Mmmmmmm chicken pot pie… oh wait!

    @Parapraxis: mmmmm candy cigarettes

    i choose you CANDY CIGARETTES!

  17. @Xerloq: Ah, “just make your own” guy. Always welcome, giving helpful hints on how to take an hour to cook pot pie, when the reason the person bought the microwavable kind is likely because he/she had neither the time nor the desire to spend that much time on a meal.

  18. snoop-blog says:

    I’m not eating anything that has the word ‘pot’ in it… unless of course it is pot

  19. BeeBoo says:

    Okay, ban me for blaming the OP, but you wouldn’t catch me buying one of those things. The feds have set a pretty high limit for the number of insect parts in pot pies, they are produced with low-grade ingredients by machines with little quality control, they were recalled in 2007 for salmonella, and what did he pay for the thing? 79 cents? $1.29??

    Yeah, I guess it should have filling in it. He’s just lucky it wasn’t a mouse or lizard.

  20. mewyn dyner says:


    Yah. I can’t eat any Banquet “foods”. I’ve always had troubles digesting them, and the last time I had one, several years back, I had such bad indigestion I couldn’t eat for two days. I won’t go into any other symptoms of said Salisbury steak, but I couldn’t even stand being around myself at the time.

    But one other thing I remember from these Banquet meals is that they seemed to always contain very little actual food, so I’m not surprised that the OP’s pie had little filling. Marie or Swanson pies, though while they will kill you from calories and salt, are quite awesome.

  21. SkokieGuy says:

    @snoop-blog: But Pot Pie? I prefer brownies myself.

  22. Tmoney02 says:

    I will stick with Marie Calendar pot pie from now on. They are actually filled with pot pie goodness.

    Oh please, give me a break. Did this guy only buy one pot pie? Because if he checked another one I am sure he will find them to be acceptably filled with “pot pie goodness”. Having eaten plenty of these potpies I can definitely say that is a manufacturing glitch and could happen just as likely to his precious Marie Calendar pot pies which cost twice as much.

    He should either suck up the 50-75 cents he lost on a bad pot pie or contact banquet. I am sure they would send him a bunch of free potpie coupons.

  23. BeeBoo says:


    That looks like a good & easy recipe.

    I would suggest using frozen vegetables instead of canned. Where I live, frozen are cheaper than canned and way better.

    I don’t even buy fresh asparagus any more because the frozen stuff is so much cheaper and almost as good. And frozen artichoke hearts are ten times better than what comes in a can or jar.

    And remember those nasty canned peas in the silver can your mother bought? The frozen ones are great!

  24. audiochick says:

    Oh Bunnicula! I loved those books!

    My mother had one of these for dinner last night. I’ll have to ask her if there was a lack of filling in hers.

  25. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

    I would love to get a pot pie like that.. The crust is my favorite part!

  26. snoop-blog says:

    @SkokieGuy:Mmmmm, Brownies. Speaking of banquet and brownies, Is anyone else a sucker for a t.v. dinner with a brownie?

  27. SkokieGuy says:

    Just for fun, here’s the nutritional info (presumably for a properly filled pie) [www.elook.org]

    Interesting that one package is roughly half a serving: 1 package yields (198 grams)
    1 serving (198 grams)

    And that 1 serving is 22% of your day’s supply of saturated fat.

  28. chiggers says:

    Mmmm.. 21g of fat. (But probably not in this one). :)

  29. crashedpc says:

    @audiochick: Your mother had a Bunnicula for dinner? jk, jk

    I ate those Banquet pot pies in college when I was hurting for cash. I also got shingles in college due partially to poor health. That’s all I’m sayin.

  30. TheFlamingoKing says:

    @anime_runs_my_life: “And face it, who wants to wait around for a pot pie to cook in 50 minutes when it can be done 10 times faster in the microwave?”

    Me. Why destroy food like that? There are less than 10 things a microwave is good for, and cooking frozen foods is not one of them.

    Hell, I won’t even microwave a Hot Pocket…

  31. EdnaLegume says:

    marie calender *sp?* ones are soooooooo gooooooooood. I’ve even taken the time to bake them in the oven and get that deliciously crispy pie crust. Marie is so good to me.

    Banquet anything is really nothing more than glorified cardboard food like substances coated in shiny greasy goo.

    YUM OH. not. Banquet = soylent green?

  32. chiggers says:

    @SkokieGuy: Interesting – looks a lot different than the specs on Banquet’s site (page 3).

  33. Milo.Stone says:

    I remember the Aussie Pies that my mom used to get for me at Costco. They had a different, flakier crust than normal pot pies. Delicious!

  34. scientisttz says:

    “I will stick with Marie Calendar pot pie from now on. They are actually filled with pot pie goodness.”

    Banquet and Marie Calendar are both owned by ConAgra.

    So they’ve got your money either way.

  35. madfrog says:

    I see your Pot Pie and raise you a pack of Candy Cigarettes!

  36. PunditGuy says:

    @Xerloq: Skip the sodium nightmare that is canned soup and, if you have any cooking skills whatsoever, substitute a light brown roux + good chicken stock/broth. Add some thyme and rosemary, and a reasonable amount of salt and pepper if needed. Extra points with the ladies for adding diced shallots (to the roux, just before the stock) and goat cheese (just before pouring).

  37. triplehelix1919 says:

    I’m usually pretty cheap, but I never get Banquets. Marie Callendar and Healthy Choice may be slightly more expensive, but the taste and value is much better.

    Banquet keeps it cheap by cutting costs on quality control it seems.

  38. SkokieGuy says:

    @chiggers: Wow, very different. This should be the direct link (for a chicken pot pie, like pictured in the above post)


  39. The_IT_Crone says:

    I’ve had that happen several times now. It’s one of the two reasons why I don’t eat them anymore. The other reason being that I read the nutrition label.


  40. mbz32190 says:

    Banquet stuff costs like a dollar…I mean they sell their stuff in my local Dollar Tree even. What do you expect? It could just be an error too. Why not call Banquet instead of complaining on here?

  41. Adisharr says:

    At the rate at which these pies leave the factory it’s amazing that they manage to get ANYTHING inside the box.

    This whole article is a waste of time.

  42. Adisharr says:

    BTW whomever feels the need to call and complain to Banquet must not value your time.

  43. gmoney says:

    @SkokieGuy: I don’t follow – isn’t one package two servings, not 1/2 per the link?

  44. rrapynot says:

    Trader Joes sell a Chicken Pot Pie for about $3.00. They are the closest thing to home made that you can buy. They used to make a turkey and mushroom one but stopped selling it because of a “national turkey shortage”.

  45. spazztastic says:

    I thought I was the only person who knew Bunnicula…wow…happy-fun-smile on my face.

  46. carbonmade says:

    @Parapraxis: My favorite was Howliday Inn!

    When I was little, pot pies were the extent of my fathers cooking when my mother was away.

  47. SkokieGuy says:

    @gmoney: My first link was an idependent site that lets you click on different sizes (100 gram serving size or 198 full package serving size.) I assume they do this to let you compare equal sizes of products that may be packaged differently.

    When you select the entire pie and look at nutritional data, the saturated fat content jumps to 44% of your day’s requirements, and 39% of your day’s sodium.

  48. Zenne says:

    Holy crap! Now I want to get a few of those. I like the general taste of chicken pot pie, but I hate a lot of filling.

  49. xnihilx says:

    “But I don’t want to BE a PIE!”

  50. snoop-blog says:

    Banquet pot pies: the most falsely advertised product on the market….

    It contains no pot, nor does it taste like pie.


  51. sir_pantsalot says:

    @The Count of Monte Fisto: Geez, that is why you hire a personal chef!

    -Wallet is too fat guy

  52. glennski says:

    Marie Callanders pot pies are about a 1000 calaries and 60 grams of fat a piece.


  53. Orv says:

    @glennski: If you’re buying pot pies, you’re probably a starving college student, so getting the most calorie density for your money is a good thing. ;)

  54. Nick1693 says:

    Thats not pot pie. Its Banquet’s newest selection “Not pie”

  55. SkokieGuy says:

    @snoop-blog: Shall we join forces and do an EECB demanding that their product live up to its advertising and both contain pot AND taste like pie? Cherry? Apple? Peach?

  56. snoop-blog says:

    @Orv: I prefer the term “sacrificing college student”, but whatever…

    @SkokieGuy: comedic gold!

  57. MercuryPDX says:

    @glennski: This is what happens when you use actual food ingredients and not cardboard like Banquet does. Even the Swanson pot pies are thee flights of steps up from Banquet.

  58. Comms says:


    Seriously. You can spend one saturday afternoon making a few dozen that’ll last you for weeks.

  59. @snoop-blog: That is the first use of a blink tag I’ve seen in, like, 8 years. I didn’t even know it still existed.

  60. SkokieGuy says:

    Merely following your lead!

    Get baked AND solve the munchies issue simultaneously. Clearly a pot pie is a multi-functional food.

    But I fear we are potentially off topic. On topic: Banquet sucks!

  61. Anonymous says:

    its common knowledge. I’ve gotten more than a few without fillings.

  62. thelushie says:

    @crashedpc: Shingles is caused by the chicken pox virus. Here is what can trigger it:

    “Under certain circumstances, such as emotional stress, immune deficiency (from AIDS or chemotherapy), or with cancer, the virus reactivates causing shingles. In most cases, however, a cause for the reactivation of the virus is never found.” from [www.medicinenet.com]

    Unless the lack of food was causing emotional stress, what you are eating doesn’t have anything to do with shingles. I have also had it. My outbreak was caused by stress.

    As for the pot pie, call Banquet. I don’t eat them because I don’t like them. I also don’t judge what others eat as it really isn’t any of my business. I am not the food police.

  63. snoop-blog says:

    @Chris Walters: It took me forever to incorporate it into comedy, but I’m happy with the results!

  64. legwork says:

    Man, those are nasty. And Marie Calendar pies? Ten years ago they were great. Now they’re like Banquet pies used to be. Funky chicken, variable vegetables, slimy soup. Not so great. Used to have them as an emergency staple but I haven’t bought the Costco box in ages.

  65. synergy says:

    It’s been 5 years since I ate a Banquet pot pie, but I used to eat one at least once a week. I never encountered this problem. They weren’t bad (other than the caloric and salt content!) Maybe it was a one-time fluke?

  66. theblackdog says:

    @crashedpc: Your mother had a Bunnicula for dinner? jk, jk

    You owe me a new monitor for that remark. *wipes off tea*

  67. Parapraxis says:


    “help… howls… now?”

  68. TechnoDestructo says:

    All this, AND they’ve increased the price by 20-50% in the last year.

  69. springboks says:

    you’re asking for high standards from a machine made (not even mexican made) pot pie, made from processed/ GM food to contain filling.
    So you want your $2.48 worth, e-mail banquet and they’ll hopefully mail you some coupons. It’s probably a defective unit from the production line.

  70. Marshfield says:

    I compared the nutritional info between cheap Banquet and expensive Marie Callendars pies. They are virtually identical, and cost per calorie on the MC is much higher. If you want more filling buy more pies, it’s still cheaper.

  71. audiochick says:

    @crashedpc: Good point! I never actually read the Banquet ingredients label…

  72. incognit000 says:

    I eat a number of Banquet meals per month because they are a dollar each at my local Pick-N-Save.

    I repeat, they are a dollar each.

    Banquet makes the lowest of the low-end foods. You really need to keep your expectations low, especially since they started cutting corners to keep up with inflation without shrinking their portion sizes down so small that you can’t find them.

    Banquet has one goal and one goal only: to ensure what they are selling you can, in fact, be digested without killing you. Beyond that, expect nothing.

  73. The_IT_Crone says:

    @thelushie: My shingles was caused by stress, too. While my diet was also very poor at the time (college… ugh…), all that would have done is possibly CONTRIBUTE to my stress.

  74. HeartBurnKid, creepy morbid freak says:

    @legwork: Yeah, MC’s pies have really gone down hill. I get the feeling that they might use the same filling as the Banquet ones these days (though the crust is still nicer).

    Claim Jumper still makes a killer chicken pot pie. And I mean that in more ways than one — I can’t lay hands on nutrition info right now, but they’re huge, and have a very thick sauce.

  75. Tankueray says:

    I won’t eat any other microwave food, but a Banquet pot pie is tasty. I keep about 5 in my freezer for when I don’t want to cook. Never had an empty one. Had 3 of the recalled ones and never got sick.

  76. mythago says:

    If you’re eating a Banquet Pot Pie, you’re probably on the kind of budget where you buy the “hm, what’s on sale this week?” brand, so why point fingers? Fussing over various pot-pie brands is silly. If you’re going to be a quality vs. convenience snob then MAKE IT FROM SCRATCH. Otherwise, it’s a mass-produced pot pie, so geez.

    OP should definitely write a polite letter, most companies will send you an apology and coupony goodness. I once complained (nicely) about stale granola and got sent an entire crate of the company’s granola products as an apology.

  77. Tmoney02 says:

    @snoop-blog: Please don’t ever use the blink tag again. Pretty please.

  78. HootieMac says:

    @edicius: One can only hope it isn’t the last. LOVED those books as a kid and smiled when I read the reference here.

    I ate pot pies a lot growing up and loved them. Am tempted every once in a while now, but always put them back after looking at the nutritional info. Looks like there’s another reason to keep avoiding them.

  79. crashedpc says:

    @thelushie: You’re right, it was a rather stressful time. Eating multiple pot pies mostly hurt my waistline.

  80. crashedpc says:

    @theblackdog: At least you didn’t splatter your monitor with chunks of coagulated chicken fat and dough from a pot pie.

  81. describe_one says:

    Honestly, for $0.81, can you really expect better? My 2 y/o daughter likes those things, but I hope she grows out of the phase soon.

    Try a Stouffers; they are even better than the Marie Callender ones IMHO.

  82. timsgm1418 says:

    @crashedpc: shingles are from a herpes virus, you can’t get it from food……

  83. pschroeter says:

    Banquet must have screwed up. We buy these things all the time, they usually sell for around a buck, and are pretty tasty. They probably send my sodium level through the stratosphere, though.

    Shopping rule #1: Nothing looks like the picture on the box.

  84. snoop-blog says:

    @timsgm1418: How embarrasing that must be…

  85. milk says:

    Big deal, shit happens. I got a couple of empty Hot Pockets once, and they sent me a ton a coupons for it.

  86. amed01 says:

    @HeartBurnKid, creepy morbid freak: Amen Brutha! Claim Jumper pot pies are chock-full of meaty goodness!! Not to mention the kick-arse “crisping” box they come in.

  87. BiZarRroBALlmeR says:

    What a great concept, buy the shell and fill it with whatever you want. Hello shepherd pot pie.

  88. Jabronimus says:

    BUNNICULA!!! YES!!!!

  89. Mr_Mantastic says:

    What’s wrong with that? Would you rather have plastic?

  90. junkmail says:

    Just another completely useless “Bunnicula ROCKS!@” post. ;) I read that entire series probably thirty times as a child. While I could care less about Banquet Pot Pies, you’ve inspired me to make a quick run to Amazon to find them for my own kids. Thanks! :)

  91. tenners says:

    this is amazing. i haven’t laughed this much in a while.

  92. Elvisisdead says:

    @snoop-blog: Son of a buck. How did that blink tag get into comments? Gawker police need to figure out how to disemvowel that on the hop. Last thing anyone needs is the masses blinking everything.

  93. snoop-blog says:

    @Elvisisdead: Man Didn’t anyone read the last psa about how I think it was Lifehacker posted how to do all of those? I’m pretty sure plenty of people know how to do the blink tag, and we are all here still surviving, considering that was the very first time I put one in a post and the world is still here, I think we’ll be ok. It’s not like me or anyone else is overdosing on it…

  94. geckospots says:

    @PunditGuy: That sounds like the recipe from here: [www.cookingforengineers.com]

    It’s my favourite recipe, and while it takes some time to put together (if you are short on time I suggest buying one of those rotisserie chickens from the grocery store), it has never been anything but tasty, tasty goodness when it’s done. Even the biscuits are really easy to do and take marginally longer to make from scratch than they do from a mix. Plus it freezes really well so you can keep some in single serve containers for later.

    blah blah blah I really like my chicken pot pie. :)

  95. katbron says:

    ConAgra Foods, Inc. in Omaha, Neb., the nation’s No. 2 food company and second-largest purveyor of frozen foods, is growing its Banquet and Marie Callender’s brands with the same guiding principle: give Americans something they can depend on. For Banquet, the trust it has built up over the years remains its most prized asset. from food and industry. So you see – Marie Callendar is the “upper-end” of the pot pie universe and Banquet is the low-end – both owned by the same company. A little something for everyone.

  96. HClay says:


    It’s better (and probably cheaper) to make batches of your own and freeze them, anyway. My mom would make up a dozen or so at a time using leftover turkey from any one of the turkey-compatible holidays (In Canada, at least, that would be Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter). The filling was something she learned from working at our local supermarket (although you could always get fancier with it): condensed cream of mushroom soup, worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, frozen peas/corn/carrots, and leftover bird. Plus her homemade pastry.

    Got me through a lot of homework-heavy college days quite nicely.

  97. dragonprism says:

    Marie Callendar’s isn’t much better. I found 3 shards of bone in a box of their chicken pot pies, one of which I nearly choked on.

  98. SnakesSolids says:

    Ha! You are the man.

    Oh, and those Banquet pies are utter trash. They sell them 3/$1.00(!!)at the local Price-Rite. If you want a processed, but delicious pot-pie, I have two words for you: Willow. Tree.

  99. SJActress says:

    Marie Calendar pot pie has 550 calories in ONE CUP!


  100. sarabadara says:

    I once worked at the ConAgra Reddi Whip factory. Awesome.

  101. snoop-blog says:

    @sarabadara: Yeah I bet I know why you liked it so much?…..n2o?

  102. I just had one of these and although the filling was less than I remember it being, it was not as bad as pictured here.
    They still taste good so I recommend nuking two at a time.

  103. TashaLuv says:

    The Pie was Empty because U OVER Cooked IT,Not because there Cheap,might try following the Dir. on Box..I have also Over Cooked one before & Same thing happened to mine,so Now I keep closer look on it..

  104. HogwartsAlum says:


    Thanks for the recipe!

    I love the Banquet ones too, really. The ones at Aldi aren’t bad either.

    This looks like a manufacturing oops. I bet there was an air bubble in the automatic thing that bloops the filling into the crusts. It probably didn’t bloop it in this one and no one caught it.

  105. lestat730 says:

    Reminds me of the time I bought a thin crust frozen pizza at Stop-n-Shop (It said CHICAGO on it and came in a black box.) After opening it, I found more then half of the pizza was empty and devoid of cheese, sauce, and topping. On top of that, there was very little cheese on the other half and only 2 pepperoni’s.

  106. Justifan says:

    those pot pies are hardly worth eating in the first place. they are cheap yes, but not even worth heating.
    the mary callenders pot pies are nice, but they cost a bit more and well…are pretty loaded with fat and all that good stuff!!

  107. Meathamper says:

    Are you sure that was even a registered company?

  108. Brunette Bookworm says:

    @TashaLuv: I don’t think that would make the filling just completely disappear.

    And no matter what they cost, they should be filled to you know, the level of the pie. It’s not the OP’s fault for buying Banquet or not making a homemade pot pie. Maybe they were at work and heating this up for lunch. It’s not like you can spend an hour cooking at work, most places only have a microwave to heat food up. Contact Banquet and complain.

  109. TheRealAbsurdist says:

    @snoop-blog: “Banquet pot pies: the most falsely advertised product on the market….

    It contains no pot, nor does it taste like pie.”

    OK, someone had to…

    I looked up Banquet (ConAgra Foods) and went to their customer service contact form and sent them that very same information.

    I received an email back saying that they took customer input very seriously and would be sending me coupons for free product within the next week. I wonder if the poor overworked customer service drone even got a laugh out of it…

  110. Charging Mooses says:

    i have gotten a can of catfood with nothing but water in it! strange…