Marie Callender's is trying to give new life to its traditional meals.
CHICAGO — Marie Callender's, a brand of Conagra Brands Inc., is introducing new Delights dinners, a different take on comfort food from the established brand.

Available in six varieties, the new meals are prepared with lean proteins, more contemporary and colorful vegetables and sauces, and contain no artificial preservatives, flavors or colors.

"New Delights dinners deliver a flavorful twist on comfort food favorites, featuring smart ingredient swaps like lean turkey for beef to meet evolving consumer preferences," said Casey Richards, Marie Callender's brand director.

Sean Connolly, president and CEO of Conagra Brands, discussed this transition for the company at the Barclays Global Consumer Staples Conference in Boston on Sept. 5.  

“What we do here is smart swaps, so we’ll take a turkey meatball instead of a beef meatball,” he said. “We take sweet potato fries instead of mashed potato and gravy. Still very comforting, but it gives access to those consumers with particular constraints.”

The new items available at grocery stores nationwide include:

  • Roasted Turkey & Sweet Potato Stuffing: Lean turkey breast tenderloin and sweet potato and cranberry stuffing paired with a chardonnay wine sauce.
  • Baked Turkey Meatballs in a Crushed Tomato Basil Sauce: Meatballs made with lean turkey and pasta in a crushed tomato and basil sauce.
  • Baked Turkey Meatloaf with Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce: A combination of seasoned leafy greens, roasted potatoes, and a baked turkey meatloaf smothered in roasted red pepper tomato sauce.
  • Baked Country Chicken with Roasted Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes and leafy greens with baked white meat chicken. Topped with white wine caramelized onion sauce.
  • Panko Herb Crusted Chicken with a Multi-grain Medley: The dish is a combination of panko and herb breaded chicken and vegetables with rice and Quinoa.
  • Balsamic Glazed Chicken with Harvest Vegetables: Brussels sprouts and baked white meat chicken in a balsamic glaze.