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I Tried 5 Frozen Chicken Patties & The Winner Was Thick & Juicy

The freezer aisle is full of easy, ready-to-heat chicken patties, but which brand tastes the best?
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Keeping a bag of chicken patties in the freezer is a great idea for quick last-minute meals. Often made with lean white meat chicken, patties offer a good balance of protein and carbohydrates. They're also wonderfully crispy, golden, and satisfying to kids and adults.

Of course, if you head to the store to pick up some patties, you'll find many options that all seem to be quite similar. To cut through the marketing claims and photos on the packaging, I set out to find the best-tasting, best-looking, and best-for-you chicken patties.

Chicken patties taste test
Lizzy Briskin for Eat This, Not That!

I picked up five packages of the easiest-to-find and most popular chicken patties and prepared them in the oven according to the package instructions. I then tasted each cooked patty on its own and reviewed each product for looks, texture, and flavor. If you're looking for the best chicken patty at the grocery store, here's what you need to know.

Perdue Chicken Breast Patties

Perdue chicken patties
Lizzy Briskin for Eat This, Not That!
PER SERVING (1 patty): 220 cal, 14 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 440 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 9 g protein

Perdue Chicken Breast Patties are uniformly oblong and lightly golden, but sadly had the thinnest layer of breading that easily flaked off, and the taste and texture of the white meat patty left something to be desired.

The look: Every patty in the bag from Perdue was basically identical. They're thinner than most of the patties I sampled and have a very uniform lightly golden breading. However, after cooking the patties in the oven, the breading became greasy, stuck to the baking sheet, and easily peeled away from the meat underneath, leaving a patchy-looking patty.

The taste: The thin patty was dry and tough. The meat was actually difficult to cut through with a knife, and the look of the breading pulling away from the tight little chicken puck underneath was rather unappetizing.

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Banquet Chicken Breast Patties

Banquet chicken patties
Lizzy Briskin for Eat This, Not That!
PER SERVING (1 patty): 150 cal, 8 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 330 mg sodium, 10 g carbs (<1 g fiber, <1 g sugar), 10 g protein

The Banquet chicken patty packaging makes the claim that the product is made with "100% natural white meat chicken," but the third ingredient listed (after chicken breast and water) is isolated soy protein. Still, these patties offer an extra gram of protein and almost half as much fat as Perdue's chicken patties with fewer calories.

The look: Like Purdue's product, Banquet's chicken patties are very uniform oblong discs with a golden brown layer of breading. The breading is slightly darker than Perdue's and the patties are thicker with a smaller diameter. They're plumper and become shiny with grease when cooked in the oven according to the package instructions.

The taste: These patties are juicier than Perdue's, but they're not bursting with flavor or seasoning. The breading did take on a nice toasted-looking color in the oven, but I didn't think the layer of breading added much in the way of taste.

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Tyson Chicken Patties

Tyson chicken patties
Lizzy Briskin for Eat This, Not That!
PER SERVING (1 patty): 200 cal, 13 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 400 mg sodium, 10 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 9 g protein

Tyson also makes the marketing claim of "100% natural ingredients" on its chicken patty packaging, and the ingredient list is significantly shorter than Banquet's. These patties are made with mostly chicken and flour, with a bit of brown sugar, cornstarch, and dried seasonings.

The look: These patties are identically round. They're thicker than Perdue's, though not as thick as Banquet's. The breading takes on a nice amount of browning in the oven, and the patties released less grease than Perdue's and Banquet's. Slicing into a cooked Tyson patty reveals very uniform, processed chicken breast meat.

The taste: Tyson's chicken patties are well seasoned with garlic and a touch of paprika. The breading adheres well to the chicken and becomes nice and crisp after baking. The chicken is moist but not oily.

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Just Bare Lightly Breaded Spicy Chicken Breast Fillets

Just Bare chicken fillet
Lizzy Briskin for Eat This, Not That!
PER SERVING (1 fillet): 210 cal, 8 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 980 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 22 g protein

These fillets look different than perfectly round patties, but otherwise, they're similarly made from white meat chicken and a flour-based coating. They have the most protein of the patties I sampled, but they're also made with more sugar.

The look: Unlike the uniform patties, these chicken breast fillets had the natural ridges, nooks, and crannies of natural chicken breasts. Despite being called "lightly breaded," I found the coating on these fillets to be thicker than the other patties I tested.

The taste: I loved the spice on these chicken fillets. The thicker breading is full of flavor and you get heat in every bite. The less uniform shape of the chicken fillets also means that there are extra-crispy edges and corners that are quite tasty. The meat stays super moist and juicy and has natural striations of meat, rather than the totally uniform rubberiness that can happen with ultra-processed chicken.

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Applegate Naturals Chicken Patties

Applegate chicken patties
Lizzy Briskin for Eat This, Not That!
PER SERVING (1 patty): 160 cal, 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 320 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (0 g fiber, <1 g sugar), 12 g protein

These patties from Applegate Naturals were the thickest, juiciest, and best tasting ones that I tried. They also have a better protein-to-calorie ratio than any of the chicken patties I sampled and come in a smaller box that takes up less freezer space, if that's important to you (though there is additional packaging from the non-resealable plastic bag inside the box).

The look: These patties are smaller, but much thicker than the competition. They puff up nicely in the oven and have an almost fluffy texture. The breading is not too thin or too clumpy. It's appropriate for the amount of chicken, though it didn't get as brown as others when I cooked it.

The taste: Applegate Natural's patties were full of flavor and delightfully moist. The breading is light and crisp and has a garlicky flavor. You don't even need ketchup to enjoy these perfectly juicy patties.

Lizzy Briskin
Lizzy is a trained chef, food writer, and recipe developer for print and digital outlets including Insider, Real Simple, and the Chicago Tribune. Read more about Lizzy