What is the Most American Commercial Quick Meal?

I am in the office and just poured quick water and made the famous or infamous Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.

It got me thinking. What do you think is the most iconic American quick meals at home? Kraft Mac and Cheese? Rice A Roni? Chef Boyardee? Maruchan Ramen?

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Campbell’s chicken Noodle soup


Mac & Cheese is a good one, as is Cup O’ Noodles, Stouffer’s Lasagne, frozen pizza (I have no idea what’s popular) and Hungry Man Dinner - probably the Salisbury steak or turkey.


Some of these really bring back memories. Now, I don’t think I have ever had Hungry Man.

You’re not missing much.

Hot Pockets! You guys forgot Hot Pockets!



Ah, yes. I’ve never had one of those.

Or tomato and grilled cheese.


CEREAL! Corn Flakes, Wheaties, Cheerios, Rice Crispies, etc.


The kicker is one small can fed four of us!

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Tater tots!

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Especially in the single-serving box you cut open and pour milk into.


Frozen chicken pot pie!

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Someone I knew that worked in a grocery store told me once that the number one selling single item in the store was the original boxed kraft macaroni and cheese. Don’t know if that’s true or not.


Sounds plausible. My grandmother would make Kraft mac and cheese for us when she needed a break from cooking (takeout was not an available option for us). Seems enduringly popular, judging by how distraught kids would be when the Kraft boxed stuff was wiped out at my grocer during the early days of the pandemic.

And I once tried serving a non-orange brand to a little one. Was immediately admonished because the mac and cheese lacked that bright glow, LOL. Lesson learned.


That sounds gourmet now.

For college students, I bet it is either between Kraft Mac and Cheese or some really cheap instant noodle like Maruchan (I remember they were like 50 cent each)

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Which is why I don’t understand why “Walking Dead” does not feature more Kraft Mac and Cheese. It is so unrealistic.

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Have to add big brand name/whichever was the best value vanilla ice cream and Hershey’s chocolate syrup. This was the big home treat and it still remains prominent in my family.

Peter Pan/Jiff/etc on sale creamy peanut butter and Welch’s grape jelly on Wonder white bread.

Chicken of the Sea tuna, Hellman’s mayo and store brand cooked small pasta shells mixed in a bowl. The pasta was usually the leftover saved from going in soup or stew.


Never did boxed Kraft Mac & Cheese (except 1x at a friend’s house). Always had homemade. The neon yellow just turned me off.

Never did Chef Boyardee (my first boyfriend used to make a quick CB pizza after he got home from work before I got home to make dinner. I tried it once. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:) But he liked them, and he made them and cleaned up after himself, so no complaints from me.

The Maruchan noodles were too salty for me growing up.

Hot Pockets - otherwise known as “those little f*ckers that scalded the roof of your mouth when you bit in to them too early” meals. Yeah, ask me how I know.

TV Dinners - had them growing up - mostly in front of watching Wizard of Oz. (they were a special treat)

Now as an adult? A couple of things:

Gorton’s Fish Filets (but only the Extra Crunchy)
Individual chicken pot pie from Harrow’s (local to me)
Stouffer’s French Bread pepperoni pizza