Are Marie Callender pot pies healthy?

Marie Callender’s pot pies are a popular frozen food item, known for their hearty fillings and flaky crust. But are these convenient meals actually good for you? Here are some quick answers to key questions about Marie Callender’s pot pies:

– Are they high in calories? Yes, Marie Callender’s pot pies can be high in calories, with some varieties containing 500 calories or more per serving.

– Do they contain a lot of fat? Yes, the fillings and crust are high in saturated fat and cholesterol.

– Are they nutritious? They do contain some protein from meat and vegetables, but they are lacking in fiber and other nutrients.

– Are they processed foods? Yes, they are highly processed and contain preservatives.

So in summary, while tasty and convenient, Marie Callender’s pot pies are high in calories, fat, and sodium, and low in nutritional value. They would not be considered a healthy everyday meal choice. Moderation is key.

Calorie and Macronutrient Content

Marie Callender’s pot pies can pack a lot of calories and fat into a single serving. Here’s a look at the calorie and macronutrient content for some popular Marie Callender’s pot pie varieties:

Chicken Pot Pie

– 1 pie (283g) = 500 calories
– 36g fat (18g saturated fat)
– 33g protein
– 36g carbohydrates
– 770mg sodium

Beef Pot Pie

– 1 pie (283g) = 320 calories
– 18g fat (9g saturated fat)
– 12g protein
– 34g carbohydrates
– 740mg sodium

Turkey Pot Pie

– 1 pie (283g) = 400 calories
– 22g fat (12g saturated fat)
– 16g protein
– 38g carbohydrates
– 780mg sodium

As you can see, a single pot pie can contain around 500 calories, over half of which come from fat. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 13g of saturated fat per day, but one pie can pack up to 18g.

Nutritional Pros and Cons

There are some nutritional benefits to Marie Callender’s pot pies, but also many cons:


– Contain some protein from meat and vegetables
– Provide vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and iron
– Convenient, quick meal
– Tasty comfort food


– High in calories and fat, especially saturated fat
– High in sodium
– Low in fiber
– Lack nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin E
– Highly processed and contain artificial ingredients

While they provide some nutrition from meat and veggies, the cons seem to outweigh the pros when it comes to Marie Callender’s pot pies. There are far healthier meals that could provide similar protein and nutrients without all the fat, sodium, and artificial ingredients.

Healthiest Options

If you do indulge in a Marie Callender’s pot pie, there are a few varieties that are slightly better options:

1. Chicken Pot Pie

The chicken pot pie contains the least amount of fat and calories. Go for a smaller single size pie.

2. Turkey Pot Pie

The turkey option is next best with fewer calories than the beef pot pie.

3. Vegetarian Pot Pie

With 380 calories, 22g fat, and 9g protein, this meatless option cuts down on some of the saturated fat.

In general, the chicken and turkey varieties are healthier than the beef. And opting for a smaller single serving is better than a large deep dish pie.

Ingredients and Preparation

Marie Callender’s pot pies contain a long list of processed, artificial ingredients used to create the filling and crust:

Filling Ingredients

– Cooked chicken/turkey/beef
– Water, potatoes, carrots, peas, corn, celery, modified food starch, chicken fat or vegetable oil
– Salt, flavorings, autolyzed yeast extract, monosodium glutamate, caramel color
– Thickening agents like guar gum and carrageenan
– Artificial flavors and colors

Crust Ingredients

– Enriched wheat flour
– Water, soybean oil, salt, sugar
– Leavening agents like sodium acid pyrophosphate and sodium bicarbonate
– Preservatives like sorbic acid and calcium propionate

The fillings start with cooked meat and vegetables, but also contain many additives and preservatives. The crust is made from refined flour and vegetable oils. Overall, heavily processed.

How Do They Compare to Homemade?

Homemade pot pies made from scratch are going to be much healthier than the frozen, pre-made Marie Callender’s version. Here’s how they compare:

Nutrition Fact Marie Callender’s Pot Pie Homemade Chicken Pot Pie
Calories 500 416
Total Fat 36g 26g
Sodium 770mg 476mg
Saturated Fat 18g 8g
Carbohydrates 36g 30g
Protein 33g 27g

As you can see from the table, a homemade chicken pot pie is lower in calories, fat, and sodium compared to Marie Callender’s. You control the ingredients, avoiding artificial additives and using healthier fats.

Are There Any Health Benefits?

Despite their high fat and sodium content, Marie Callender’s pot pies do provide some health benefits:

– Source of protein – the fillings contain protein from chicken, turkey, beef or vegetables which helps maintain and repair muscles.

– Vitamins and minerals – ingredients like carrots, peas, and potatoes provide vitamins A, C, B vitamins, iron, potassium, and folate.

– Comfort food – they can provide a pick-me-up on a cold day and bring back nostalgic feelings of homecooked meals.

– Convenience – as a frozen meal, they provide a quick dinner option that only requires heating up.

However, these limited benefits typically don’t outweigh the negatives of these high-fat, high-sodium processed meals. There are many other foods that could provide the same benefits without all the unhealthy cons.

Low-Calorie Cooking Tips

To lighten up Marie Callender’s pot pies, you can:

– Choose a smaller sized pie instead of a large deep dish to reduce calories.

– Scoop out and discard excess filling before heating to cut down on portion size.

– Increase veggies and chicken and use less of the sauce/gravy.

– Replace some or all of the crust with a whole wheat phyllo dough to add more fiber.

– Load up on a side salad with low-calorie dressing to help fill you up.

– Cut the pie in half and only eat one portion, saving the other for later.

– Swap in lower-fat milk or broth for some of the cream-based sauces.

– Boost the nutrition with added side dishes like roasted broccoli or a whole grain roll.

While pot pies will always be high in calories by nature, these tweaks can help reduce the calorie density so they aren’t quite as heavy.

Healthy Homemade Swaps

For a healthier homemade version, swap in:

– Whole wheat or cauliflower crust instead of refined flour crust

– Expeller-pressed canola oil instead of vegetable oil

– Skim or low-fat milk instead of heavy cream

– Chicken breast instead of thighs with skin

– Veggie broth instead of cream-based sauces

– Lots of vegetables like carrots, celery, onion, peas

– Herbs and spices instead of salt for flavor

– Whole grain flour thickening agents like wheat flour instead of starches

Choosing healthier fats, more vegetables, fresh herbs, and whole food ingredients can transform pot pies into a more nutritious meal.

Are They Suitable for Freezers?

Marie Callender’s pot pies are designed specifically for the freezer section and reheating at home. The crust and fillings hold up well to freezing and thawing.

Some tips for freezing pot pies:

– Allow pot pies to thaw slightly before reheating for best texture.

– Reheat fully until piping hot, at least 165°F internal temperature.

– Do not refreeze pies after thawing.

– Use foil or an airtight container for storing in freezer.

– For best quality, eat within 4-6 months.

With their sturdy crust and thick fillings, pot pies fare better than some other frozen meals. Their freezer-to-oven convenience is part of their appeal.


Marie Callender’s pot pies are certainly convenient, but their high fat, sodium, and calorie content make them more of an occasional indulgence food. Choosing smaller portions and loading up on veggies can help reduce the calorie density. But homemade versions made with healthier ingredients are superior nutritionally. If you do opt for store-bought pot pies, consume them in moderation as more of a treat than an everyday dinner option.

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