Marie Callender's Vs Gordon Ramsay Chicken Pot Pie: Which One Is Better?

Pot pies have been around for a shockingly long time. The history of the dish has its roots in the Roman Empire. Of course, the pot pie as we know it has evolved a lot since then. Over the years, pot pies have been made with various kinds of meats and fillings. By the 1950s, chicken pot pies had become a favorite for American families as an easy freezer meal to keep on hand.

One longstanding beloved pie brand is the ever-famous Marie Callender's. But while there is a lot to be said for tradition and reputation, companies have not let the pot pie market go stale either. Enter famed chef Gordon Ramsay. In 2023, Ramsay released his first-ever line of frozen foods, and with it his take on the chicken pot pie. While Marie Callender's exudes down-home goodness, Ramsay brings an air of elegance and sophistication. We pitted these two famous names against each other to find out once and for all who makes the better chicken pot pie.

The basis for a chicken pot pie is simple: chicken and vegetables in a creamy sauce covered in crust to form a pie. Each of our competitors approaches this idea differently, creating two distinct products. Which is better? We will judge.

What is Marie Callender's pot pie?

Marie Callender's has been in the frozen pot pie game for a long time. Unsurprisingly, the company does find its roots in the real Marie Callender. Marie Callender started as an entrepreneurial woman baking pies from her home kitchen in the 1940s. What began as a small-time business turned into a store, which turned into a chain of restaurants, which turned into the frozen products we know today sold in grocery stores across the country.

Among the long line of products is, of course, the famous chicken pot pie. Marie Callender's makes a vast selection of pot pies. Even focusing on just the chicken ones, Marie Callender's has a cauliflower crust variety, ones made with different fillings paired with chicken, a plant-based "Chick'n" pot pie, and chicken pot pies in various sizes. Varieties such as Chicken Corn Chowder Pot Pie and Creamy Parmesan Chicken Pot Pie are enticing. To provide the fairest judgment for this article, though, we are pitting the single-serving classic chicken pot pie from Marie Callender's against Gordon Ramsay's offering.

What is Gordon Ramsay's pot pie?

Gordon Ramsay's pot pie is a relative newcomer to the stage. Ramsay has made quite a name for himself as an impossible-to-please chef, hosting shows such as "Kitchen Nightmares," "Hell's Kitchen," and "MasterChef." After explaining his hatred for frozen foods to Bon Appétit back in 2009, Ramsay seems to have backtracked or at least taken a new stance on the subject, and in 2023, he released his own line of frozen meals under the name By Chef Ramsay. If Marie Callender's exudes home-style American, Ramsay's line pays homage to his British upbringing.

It makes sense then that a chicken pot pie would be included in the lineup, as pot pies also have a long history in Britain. Ramsay's approach to the dish is markedly different from Marie Callender's in many ways. It almost feels like this becomes a battle not only of quality but of geography. Ramsay describes his pot pie as a" classic comfort dish" on the box. Hopefully, it lives up to that expectation.

Gordon Ramsay's pot pie is slightly easier to prepare

Both pot pies come with two options for cooking, one for the microwave and one for the oven. For the microwave, Marie Callender's instructs you to use the box as a base. This requires a little finagling of the carton. Gordon Ramsay, on the other hand, instructs you to slightly vent the plastic film that covers the pot pie. Both require microwaving for between five and six minutes. Gordon Ramsay's is marginally easier to microwave.

However, you really do get a better crust from making the pot pies in the oven. Marie Callender's instructions specify this should be a conventional oven, not a toaster oven, which Ramsay makes no mention of. Marie Callender's has to be cooked at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 50 minutes, whereas Ramsay's is cooked for 40 to 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Marie Callender's takes just a little longer and requires one additional step. Because the crust overhangs the container, the box instructs you to wrap the edges in aluminum foil to prevent burning. This is an added hassle that Ramsay's product does not require.

Marie Callender's is more widely available

Gordon Ramsay's frozen meals are a Walmart exclusive — they can't be bought anywhere else. The pies are distributed by Golden West Food Group, who also make a number of other celebrity chef food lines, such as those by Andrew Zimmern. While Walmart does have a wide distribution and is one of the biggest food retailers in the country, the pies' exclusive staus means that you have to have a Walmart in your area to find them.

Marie Callender's, on the other hand, is almost impossible to avoid. The pot pies are sold at local grocery stores and large chains like Kroger, BJ's, Target, Sam's Club, and, yes, Walmart, just to name a few. Marie Callender's has been a staple for such a long time that it makes sense that the company would have infiltrated a broad-ranging market. A single-chain exclusive product simply can not compete in terms of availability.

Ramsay's name comes with a price tag

Gordon Ramsay makes food for the elite at his restaurants, so it isn't totally surprising that his chicken pot pie is more expensive than Marie Callender's, but it is a bit disappointing. All of the meals in Gordon Ramsay's line were $5.94 at our local Walmart. The pie itself came out to 9.5 ounces.

Marie Callender's prices vary a little bit based on where you're shopping, so, for simplicity, we purchased ours at Walmart, as it carries both brands. The difference in price is shocking. A 10-ounce Marie Callender's chicken pot pie costs just $2.98 from Walmart. To make matters even worse, the larger 15-ounce Marie Callender's chicken pot pie is still just $3.48. This is 50% more pot pie for just $1.50 extra.

The prices of Ramsay's meals are consistent across the board and consistent with other lines from the same distributor, which is likely how the prices were set. But it is a hard bite to swallow to have Ramsay's pot pie cost nearly twice as much as Marie Callender's.

Sizing up the nutrition

When it comes to food, size absolutely does matter. That's why we were so surprised to see how small Ramsay's pot pie was. When you look at the initial size, the width of his pie is deceiving. It looks big, but when you consider that Marie Callender's is twice as tall and filled to the brim, you understand that Ramsay's skimps a bit. This is reflected in the nutrition facts.

For starters, Ramsay's whole pot pie has just 460 calories. Considering a 2000-calorie-a-day standard, as used by the FDA, that is less than one-quarter of your daily caloric needs. Marie Callender's, on the other hand, has 610 calories, and that is for the smallest size. Callender's also offers 25% of the daily recommended iron to Ramsay's 10%. Where Ramsey has Callender beat, though, is protein. Ramsay's pot pie has 19 grams, while Callender's has 17. It is not a big difference, but it is notable, given the size disparity.

On the flip side, though, Marie Callender's does clock in at 36 grams of fat, much more than Ramsay's 20 grams. That extra creamy gravy seems to make a difference there.

Interestingly, Ramsay's pot pie has substantially more sodium, at 1470 milligrams, than Callender's 950. The FDA recommends limiting sodium to 2300 milligrams a day, so one Gordon Ramsay pot pie will be over half the daily recommended intake.

Flakey vs crumbly

One of the first differences you will notice as soon as you open the pies is the difference in the crust. Ramsay's crust is just laid in a sheet on top of the filling. Where is the pie? We are not entirely sure. At least it is cooked in a bowl, giving it a round shape.

On the other hand, Marie Callender's offers a true pie experience. There is a bottom crust and a top crust that envelops the filling. While we did keep our pie in the container it was cooked in, it can slide out of the base and form its own container, as is shown in the image on the box.

Additionally, the type of dough used for the pie is completely different. Marie Callender's uses a more traditional pie crust that mixes water, flour, salt, soybean oil, whey, and caramel color. It is perfectly golden yellow and holds together in a single unit. It is notably crustier than Ramsay's. That is because Ramsay uses a puff pastry crust made of flour, water, butter, water, and salt instead. Puff pastry is made by laminating rather than mixing or cutting in the ingredients. While the ingredients are fairly similar, the result is different. Ramsay's crust is brittle and flakey, while Marie Callender's is sturdy and a bit crumbly.

Filling differences

The fillings are entirely distinct. Marie Callender's filling consists of a thin sauce with chunks of white meat chicken. This is paired with carrots, peas, and celery, as well as small amounts of onion.

Ramsay, on the other hand, fills his pie with white meat from the chicken breast, a thicker sauce, and carrots, mushrooms, potatoes, peas, celery, and onions.

While many of the components overlap, Ramsay offers more kinds of vegetables mixed into his pot pie. We also noticed that the vegetables in Ramsay's pie were cut much smaller. Where the carrots and celery in Marie Callendar's were sliced in discernable chunks, Ramsay's were small. The carrots in Ramsay's appear to have been cut into small cubes, whereas Marie Callender's looked like circles cut from baby carrots. This gave Ramsay's pot pie a more upscale feel, while it Callender's had a more homemade vibe. This makes sense, given the reputation of each of the companies.


The two dishes' biggest textural difference come from the crusts. Gordon Ramsay uses a puff pastry crust made by laminating, which is rolling out the dough and folding in layers of fat before rolling again. This creates a uniquely flakey crust that couldn't hold a pie together if it tried. Given the use of the puff pastry, we understand why Ramsay opted not to put crust around the whole pie. As the pie cooked, the layers of lamination became more pronounced. Each bite was crisp and was almost like biting through a chip with a distinct crunch.

Marie Callender's, on the other hand, was a bit chewier, especially the bottom crust, as it was always touching the sauce. The top crust noticeably held its form better but also had a softer crunch and a sandier texture. This was not unpleasant, but it did feel almost pedestrian next to the flakey pastry of Ramsay's.

Because the vegetables were cut so much smaller in Ramsay's, they functionally melted in your mouth, whereas the Marie Callender's vegetables retained a bit more texture, particularly the celery and the carrots.

Finally, there is the sauce. Marie Callender's was far more abundant and thinner. Callender's still had a gravy consistency, but Ramsay's didn't really. The filling was moist, but there did not appear to be much actual sauce.


It is hard to beat a laminated dough. Ramsay's crust was perfectly crisp and flakey. It was amazing how well the crust held up to the freeze-thaw process. We imagine it would not have fared as well in the microwave. The flavor of the crust was also delightfully buttery. While we questioned the choice of puff pastry initially, it really delivered.

Marie Callender's crust, on the other hand, was serviceable if uninspired. The use of soybean oil instead of butter meant it was more crumbly than flakey and lacked the warm flavor of butter.

Ramsay's filling had a more well-rounded flavor than Callender's, likely due to more vegetables, but it was a smidge over-salted and lacked enough gravy to make a big impact. Marie Callender's, on the other hand, had a noticeable gravy, which was lightly herbed and noticeably smooth. It did, however, come off a bit too mild. Somewhere in between the two would offer the ideal salt level.

Which is better?

Naming a superior pot pie was a tough call. Each manufacturer approached the dish in its own distinct way. Comparing the two was hard but not impossible. Marie Callender's is a portal back in time. It has been a tried and true freezer staple and is almost synonymous with how we think of pot pie. IIn contrast, throwing caution to the wind, Ramsay changed up the crust entirely and put his mark on the dish.

Both have merit, but Marie Callender's comes out on top at the end of the day. Marie Callender's chicken pot pie delivered the whole package: a top and bottom crust, a smooth gravy, and tender meat, all at an affordable price.

While Ramsay's crust objectively tasted better, one component can not carry the whole dish. Ramsay's dish was shallow. Each bite almost had more crust than filling. The filling, while flavorful, was thick, and the meat was tougher than Callender's. It just didn't have that comfort food indulgence. Callender's, on the other hand, was generous with the filling. Each bite included a little filling and a little crust. No bites were left out. Plus you can buy two of them for the price of one of Ramsay's.

Ramsay's pot pie is easily our favorite of his frozen dinners. But even Chef Ramsay can't beat the comforting, homey taste of good old Marie Callender's.