The 4 Best And 4 Worst Items To Order From Boston Market

Boston Market half chicken meal
Boston Market half chicken meal - Boston Market/Facebook

At one point, Boston Market was a popular chain that diners could rely on for classic American comfort food. Primarily known for its rotisserie chicken, the chain also sells sides like mashed potatoes and gravy, macaroni and cheese, and cornbread. There were Boston Markets around the areas where I grew up and went to college, so it's been around for most of my life and I've had some enjoyable meals there. But as time has passed, I've noticed that its food quality has seemed to slide. Certain dishes are now consistently disappointing -- though others remain reliably decent.

It's no secret that the company has struggled to stay afloat. While it's been open for business since 1985, several locations have recently been shuttered due to legal issues and other disputes. Boston Market's Denver headquarters was even seized by authorities in 2023. Considering this, it's fair to say that Boston Market's future is uncertain at best. In the most optimistic of scenarios, the company will rebrand and make a comeback. But as it stands, there's no doubt that Boston Market's menu is a mixed bag. If you want to try and sneak one last visit in while the company is still open for business -- and you're wondering what's worth eating -- I've got you covered.

Read more: The Ultimate Ranking Of American Fast Food Restaurants

Best: Mac & Cheese

Boston Market Mac & Cheese
Boston Market Mac & Cheese - Boston Market/Facebook

Keep in mind that this list is limited to Boston Market's menu. In other words, we aren't handing the crown for best overall Mac & Cheese in the biz to Boston Market here — we're merely saying that out of everything on the menu, the mac and cheese is one of the better items. One of the things that I've always appreciated about Boston Market's mac and cheese is the choice of rotini pasta for the noodles. The ridged spiral of its shape allows cheese sauce to cling to and soak into the noodles better than traditional elbow macaroni.

The cheese sauce itself is also creamy and buttery without being overly salty. That said, I've often found myself thinking that the mac and cheese could use a little more sauce and a little more tanginess. There is enough sauce to barely cover the noodles, but sometimes the mac and cheese still ends up tasting a little underwhelming. Perhaps some extra shredded cheese would help give it the lift it needs. At the end of the day though, Boston Market's mac and cheese is still a good side option.

Worst: Meatloaf

Boston Market meatloaf
Boston Market meatloaf - Boston Market/Facebook

To be fair, meatloaf is probably a hard dish to consistently do well on a large scale -- like the one required of Boston Market. Typically made with a mix of ground meat, seasonings, milk, and breadcrumbs, the nature of its ingredients makes it apt to be mushy. But, at its best -- when it's fresh out of the oven -- meatloaf has slightly crispy edges and the center is tender without being overly mushy. Ideally, there's a sticky glaze on the outside that caramelizes onto the surface and adds some depth of flavor. Unfortunately, the meatloaf at Boston Market delivers none of these things.

The texture of Boston Market's meatloaf is pretty dense and spongy. It also has an overly processed flavor, as if it is frozen and reheated. Aside from what tastes like black pepper, the gravy that it comes with lacks seasoning and is quite boring. Between its undesirable texture and lackluster flavor, the meatloaf here isn't worth it.

Best: Cornbread

Boston Market cornbread
Boston Market cornbread - Boston Market/Instagram

Outside of restaurants that tend to specialize in Southern cuisine, cornbread isn't exactly all that common or easy to find when dining out -- which is a little strange, if you think about it. Cornbread usually has a place at the table for everything from casual backyard barbecues to Thanksgiving dinners, and yet it somehow remains missing from most restaurant chains. Boston Market seems to have smartly recognized this issue long ago and decided to offer cornbread on its menu.

Boston Market's cornbread comes in the form of mini loaves. The company's cornbread portion sizes are generous, especially compared to the measly cornbread squares that other restaurants offer. The flavor of Boston Market's cornbread smoothly rides the line between sweet and savory. The cornbread also pairs nicely with Boston Market's other menu items, like its rotisserie chicken. All things considered, any trip to the restaurant isn't complete without an order of the Boston Market cornbread.

Worst: Chicken Pot Pie

Boston Market chicken pot pie
Boston Market chicken pot pie - Boston Market/Facebook

On the surface, it would seem like chicken pot pie would be a slam dunk for Boston Market. After all, the restaurant specializes in rotisserie chicken, so it should stand to reason that it could easily pull off a tasty chicken pot pie. And yet, inexplicably, Boston Market drops the ball on its chicken pot pie.

The issue isn't with the chicken itself, which is perfectly fine — and presumably made from the company's rotisserie chickens or a similar product. The chicken is moist and meets all expectations. The issue is with the interior sauce that holds the filling together. Ideally, this sauce is made with a creamy gravy that's simply seasoned with salt and pepper. While the texture of Boston Market's chicken pot pie sauce is fine, the problem is that it's practically flavorless and pretty much just tastes like plain cream. If the gravy were properly seasoned, Boston Market's chicken pot pie would probably be one of the best things on the menu. But the bland gravy ends up ruining the whole experience.

Best: Rotisserie Nuggets

Boston Market rotisserie nuggets
Boston Market rotisserie nuggets - Boston Market/Instagram

Chicken nuggets are a staple in American fast food and other quick-service restaurants. Their popularity makes perfect sense: how can you not love bite-sized pieces of chicken dunked in different dipping sauces? The only drawback is that, for people who like to eat a little healthier, chicken nuggets don't usually work, since they're breaded and deep-fried. As a result, these customers usually have to resort to grilled chicken salads or sandwiches. Finding bite-sized chunks of grilled chicken is harder than it should be. This is another hole in the market that Boston Market recognized and seized upon.

The company's Rotisserie Nuggets are simplistic, and may not be mind-blowing, but it's still nice to have a healthy option.  The rotisserie nuggets are made with 100% white meat and were introduced to the menu in 2022. A Rotisserie Nugget meal typically comes with eight pieces. The nuggets are cooked in the same oven as the rotisserie chickens. The main thing to look out for here is that the chicken isn't overcooked. Because these are made with chicken breasts, there's not much fat, so they can be prone to drying out. But when they're fresh and tender, Boston Market's Rotisserie Nuggets are one of the more enjoyable items on the menu.

Worst: Broccoli

Boston Market broccoli
Boston Market broccoli - Boston Market/Twitter

Boston Market's instinct to include broccoli on its menu was certainly a good one, since broccoli and chicken make a good match. The problem isn't with the concept, but rather with the execution. The restaurant serves its broccoli steamed and tossed with salt and pepper. While there's no doubt that steaming vegetables is a healthy way to cook them, it can also lead to mushiness that makes them unappetizing. Timing is everything in cooking, but especially when it comes to steaming. If broccoli isn't steamed enough, it will be tough to chew. And if it's steamed too much, it will be squishy. In the case of Boston Market's steamed broccoli side, these texture issues exist.

Another problem with Boston Market's broccoli is that because the only seasonings added to the broccoli are salt and pepper, the flavor is a bit boring. Tossing the broccoli in some parmesan garlic butter before it's served would be a surefire way to improve this dish. But as is, Boston Market's broccoli tastes more like something we could make at home for a fraction of the price.

Best: Triple Chocolate Chip Cookie

Boston Market chocolate chip cookies
Boston Market chocolate chip cookies - Boston Market/Facebook

Boston Market probably isn't the first place that comes to mind when you get a sweet tooth. And that's totally understandable, considering that the chain specializes in savory dishes. At the same time, we have to acknowledge the fact that Boston Market's Triple Chocolate Chip Cookie is surprisingly good.

The company bakes its Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies fresh at its stores every morning. Because Boston Market makes these cookies on a daily basis, the cookies have a fresh flavor that makes them a tempting dessert. Another thing to admire here is the size of the chocolate chunks. Instead of being concentrated into little chocolate chips, the chocolate is broken up into square chunks. These chunks pack a bigger punch of chocolate compared to typical chocolate chips, which makes these cookies taste more decadent and sweet. If you like wrapping up your meals with a little treat, you could certainly do a lot worse than these cookies from Boston Market.

Worst: Cilantro Lime Rice

Cilantro lime rice Boston Market
Cilantro lime rice Boston Market - Boston Market/Facebook

Chicken with rice is another pairing that makes perfect sense. And with Boston Market's Cilantro Lime Rice, the trouble with this item isn't the concept itself. Instead, the issue lies with the rice, which is dreadfully bland. Despite the fact that this rice advertises cilantro and lime, neither of those ingredients is present enough in the dish.

I'm not sure what goes wrong with this Boston Market side, but this dish tastes like plain white rice. There would be nothing wrong with this side if it was advertised that way, but it's not. You eat this expecting some zing from the citrus and a refreshing herbaceous flavor from the cilantro. Yet these flavors are missing and the void of their absence can't be ignored. Perhaps this is one of those dishes that are inconsistent due to poor training of the employees preparing it, or maybe the recipe needs some tweaking. Regardless, the result is regrettable and forgettable.

How We Determined The Best And Worst Items At Boston Market

Boston Market ribs and sides
Boston Market ribs and sides - Boston Market/Facebook

The menu items in this article were selected based on my personal dining experiences at Boston Market. In general, the items selected as the worst on the menu had unpleasant textures or lacked seasoning, while the best items on the menu were those that consistently offered the most flavor.

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