Every can of Chef Boyardee I could get my hands on… Ranked

Chef Boyardee

It may be the most popular canned pasta product in the world. It’s Chef Boyardee. The company started in Milton, Pennsylvania, in 1928. That’s almost a hundred years. Rumor has it that some cans produced in 1928 may still be edible. Of course, I’m kidding, but would you believe me if I said it were true?

Chef Boyardee is something I was raised on as a kid. Then it was something I was raised on in college when I was a broken student. And it was something I was continued to be raised on as a young adult, living on my own and not knowing how to cook. Nowadays, it’s something I’m raised on when I’m too lazy to cook for my family.

One day, I thought to myself, “Why not rank every single flavor of Chef Boyardee?” It would be great for science and information people need. So I stopped by two grocery stores, Dillons and Walmart, to acquire every single flavor I could find.

The taste test consisted of 11 cans that were available in Wichita, KS at the time of this publication. I ranked all 11 cans by my taste buds… because… well, that’s all I had to go by. Is there anything more scientific than that?

So, here goes nothing.

Chef Boyardee Flavors Ranked from Worst to First

11. Chicken Alfredo

This one was easily the worst of them all. To the point where I could barely stomach this one. The chicken was the size of those bacon bits people put in their salad, and the flavor was something nearly indescribable. I’d compare it to eating watered-down hair gel. The texture was really off and yikes. Let’s move on.

10. Mac & Cheese

The big comparison will easily be against Easy Mac. Chef Boyardee’s version didn’t even stand a chance. The smell alone was bad enough. Imagine using a rag and rubbing it against aluminum for hours, and then smelling it. That’s what this was like. While the dish was extremely cheesy, it was an extremely bland take on mac and cheese.

9. Cheese Ravioli in Tomato Sauce

Finally, on to the flavors that Chef Boyardee is better known for. The tomato sauce to cheese ravioli ratio was off, making this one of the driest tasting pasta cans. If you love cheese, though, this could be the can for you, as each ravioli was full of it. Just make sure to have a cup of water ready as you will be parched.

8. Overstuffed Beef Ravioli

In terms of portion size, it felt like the Overstuffed Beef Ravioli gave you the least bang for your buck. I wish I could go back and compare the ingredients, but the sauce seemed a little different in this can. Overall, this one was ranked this high due to how few pieces of ravioli there were, and I’m not even sure the raviolis were that stuffed to begin with.

7. Mini Spaghetti Rings and Meatballs

If you aren’t a fan of the Overstuffed Chef Boyardee series, perhaps you’ll enjoy the mini version. My least favorite of the miniseries was the spaghetti rings & meatballs? Why, well, the big comparison will be to Spaghettios and Chef Boyardee’s take didn’t stand a chance. If I’m going spaghetti rings and meatballs, Spaghettios will always take the win.

6. Mini ABC’s and 123’s

The mini ABC’s and 123’s finished slightly ahead of the spaghetti rings and meatballs. They were neck and neck on flavor and portion size. The reason they finished a notch above was because of the letters. It was “fun” to look at the letters to break up the monotony of looking at rings during my lunch. Seriously, I was pulling at hairs to differentiate the two.

5. Beef Ravioli

Not overstuffed, not mini, just regular sized ravioli. Honestly, this felt very similar to overstuffed, except with more ravioli in the can. This was when the cans started to get better in terms of sauce and portion sizes. That or I started to lose my sense of taste. I don’t know, but I do remember beef ravioli being better than the previous six cans.

4. Lasagna

You can definitely taste the herbs and spices in the lasagna. It probably had the biggest taste difference when it came to the sauce compared to the other cans placed in the top five. The biggest drawback to the lasagna was the lack of meat, sporadically placed in this can. Not much to be found here.

3. Beefaroni

This is a classic in our household, so that is a big reason why it ranked high. When it comes to texture, beefaroni was one of the best with its tube-shaped noodles. It’s a nice, firm, easy eat. I also enjoyed the sauce, and there was plenty of it in this can. We always keep at least one can of this in our house.

2. Mini Ravioli

With all the ravioli options provided by Chef Boyardee, the mini ravioli was the kind of them. I couldn’t tell you the total weight of raviolis offered in the overstuffed versus regular versus mini, but it felt like the mini offered the most bang for your buck. It was delightful to get a spoonful of sauce and ravioli in each bite. It was the perfect amount of beef versus sauce versus ravioli. I love this one.

1. Spaghetti and Meatballs

I could eat this one all the time. The spaghetti and meatballs came with a thick, hearty sauce and decent sized chunks of meatballs. While the calorie count is higher than other Chef Boyardee cans, it was worth it. This flavor is like a can of Pringles chips, once you pop, you can’t stop. After finishing all eleven cans, there was no doubt in my mind that spaghetti and meatballs would take the crown.

And that ends our ranking of every Chef Boyardee flavor I could get my hands on. There were some flavors I could not find, like mini spaghetti & meatballs which, I think, would have been great, spaghetti, pasta in butter sauce, mini pasta and shells and cheesy burger macaroni. So the eleven you see is all that was available in Wichita, KS.

Now to go talk to my doctor…

Happy Dining,
Eddy


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