Best-Rated Frozen Meals

See Our Ratings Methodology.

Best-Rated Frozen Meals 2023

Most Satisfied Customers | On The Menu

Aussies ranked On The Menu best in Canstar Blue’s frozen meals review, scoring the range five stars across the board. This includes for taste, value for money, packaging convenience, variety and range, and overall satisfaction.

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How we rate frozen meals

Sometimes cooking dinner is the last thing you want to do after you’ve come home from a long day’s work. And while the allure of takeaway food is ever-present, the cost – as well as the guilt – associated with greasy fast food can quickly make dinner time a bigger decision than expected. Thankfully, hungry Aussies can turn to the frozen food aisle of the supermarket to fill their cravings ─ whether it means feeding a small army or microwaving a quick comfort meal for one. To help you avoid a recipe for disaster, we’ve compared the top frozen meal brands on the shelf.

Canstar Blue surveyed 464 Australians for their feedback on the frozen meal brand(s) they’ve purchased and consumed in the last six months.

  • The outcomes reported in these ratings are measured via accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics.

Respondents rate their satisfaction with their frozen meal brand(s) from zero to ten, where zero is extremely dissatisfied and ten is extremely satisfied. Brand satisfaction was rated by respondents on the following criteria:

  • Overall satisfaction: measures consumer satisfaction with a frozen meal brand as an individual score NOT a combined total of all criteria.
  • Taste: the frozen meal tasted fresh/authentic and included all expected ingredients (i.e. a roast dinner included potatoes, meat, vegetables, and gravy as depicted).
  • Value for money: the frozen meal was reasonably priced given the quality and quantity.
  • Packaging convenience: the frozen meal packaging was easy to open and made it convenient to cook (i.e. you didn’t need to transfer the meal to another dish, or use multiple bowls, etc.).
  • Variety & range: the frozen meal brand offered several meals in different sizes and catered to different dietary needs (i.e. gluten-free, vegetarian, halal, etc.).

The winning brand is the one that receives the highest Overall satisfaction rating once all the scores from the Overall satisfaction criteria are combined and averaged.

  • Overall satisfaction is asked as a specific question and represents an individual measure, not a combined total of all criteria.
  • When we cannot determine a clear winner from the criteria for the Overall satisfaction rating, we will then look at the other criteria measured in the rating.
    • The brand with the highest number of five-star ratings within the supporting criteria will become the five-star recipient in overall satisfaction, and thus win the award. If a clear leader still cannot be determined from the supporting criteria, joint winners will be declared.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included, so not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The brands rated in this survey are listed below in order of best overall satisfaction.

  1. On The Menu
  2. McCain
  3. ALDI
  4. Coles
  5. Woolworths

On The Menu was the only brand to receive five stars, taking out top scores across the board for taste, value for money, packaging convenience, variety and range, and overall satisfaction.
McCain and ALDI achieved four stars for overall satisfaction, and Coles and Woolworths rounded up the ratings with three stars for overall satisfaction.

Find more detailed information on our ratings methodology.

Top Frozen Meal Brand – On The Menu

On The Menu’s frozen meal range is loaded with everything from its snack size dishes (260g), such as beef lasagne and cheese macaroni, chunkier 400g plates of tuna mornay, and beef and bacon pasta. On The Menu also offers the Pub Favourites range, which includes hearty classics like chicken parmigiana, buttermilk fried chicken, roast beef, slow-cooked lamb, and beer-battered fish and chips.

On The Menu meals usually cost anywhere between $3 and $9, although most meals tend to be on the cheaper side. If you’re looking to stick to a diet, On The Menu also has the nutritional information of all its products via its website, making it easy to plan what’s for dinner.

  • On The Menu served up a win with five-star reviews for taste, value for money, packaging convenience, variety and range, and overall satisfaction.

Are frozen meals actually healthy?

Frozen meals can be a healthier and more convenient alternative to some fast food. But health authorities suggest picking meals with less than 1,500 kilojoules (kJ) and 45g of carbohydrates per serve. It’s also better to opt for pre-packaged convenience meals without saturated fats or added sugar or salt. The same goes for frozen veggies, too!

Our latest survey found about one in three consumers (33%) shop for healthier or lighter frozen meal options, although a handful said they find the portions too small and end up eating more than one serve (13%).

What are the best frozen meals to buy?

If you’re looking to use frozen meals for the convenience, just like the majority of respondents, (71%), On The Menu was the clear winner, impressing Aussie tastebuds in every category. McCain, ALDI and Coles received mostly fours in every category, suggesting they could also deliver on the goods, but Woolworths achieved three stars all around, proving the least favourite of the bunch.

With plenty of options available for your next grocery shop, figuring out which brand to scan through the checkout will ultimately come down to your personal preferences, including what you’re craving and how much you’re willing to spend on the convenience of a frozen meal. There’s also the additional consideration of dietary requirements, such as whether you need to eat dishes that are gluten-free or vegan-friendly.

While they may be convenient, subbing frozen meals for cooking can end up costing you in the long run, so it’s important to shop around to ensure you’re getting the best deal – and maybe cook at home when you can!

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Meet our consumer experts

Megan Birot: Home & Lifestyle Editor

Megan Birot Canstar Blue Home & Lifestyle Editor

Megan is Canstar Blue’s Home & Lifestyle Editor, leading the team that focuses on consumer products and services, ranging from supermarkets and groceries to home and personal appliances and retail stores. She interprets Canstar Blue’s bespoke research on the thousands of brands that we compare, rate and review, to help shoppers make better purchasing decisions.

Meet the Editorial Team

Samantha Howse: Consumer Research Specialist

Sam Howse Research Specialist

Samantha Howse is Canstar Blue’s Consumer Research Specialist, coordinating the consumer research program behind our customer satisfaction awards across Canstar and Canstar Blue in Australia and New Zealand. Sam has earned a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from Griffith University and, with seven years in market research and 2 years in marketing, she is experienced in survey design, implementation and analysis, coupled with an understanding of marketing principles and best practice.

Meet the Research Team

Past ratings

Here are the past winners from Canstar Blue’s frozen meal ratings:

  • 2022: Coles
  • 2021: McCain Man Size
  • 2020: Super Nature
  • 2019: ALDI International Cuisine

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