14 Healthy Frozen Meals for the Easiest Weeknight Dinners
When packing lunches or rushing to get dinner together, sometimes you just need a quick fix. Instead of settling on greasy takeout, go for one of these healthy frozen meals.
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Everyone needs a break from cooking once in awhile—whether you’re burnt out from baking homemade sourdough during the lockdown, need some quick lunches to take to work or are just too busy to cook dinner on weeknights. It’s nice to have some no-fuss dinners on hand, and these healthy frozen meals are sure to do the trick.
Taste of Home’s food editor Peggy Woodward, RDN, says “I’m a proponent of frozen meals and sides and here’s why: If you’ve got a good option in your freezer, it might not be as healthy as making a meal from scratch, but it’s better than heading through the drive-through (or munching on a bag of potato chips for dinner when nothing sounds good and you don’t feel like cooking).”
It is important to keep in mind that not all frozen meals are created equal. When scoping out the frozen meal section, carefully examine the nutrition information. Peggy suggests a few things to look for:
- Ingredients: Can you pronounce all of them? The more whole foods the better. Look for whole grains, veggies and lean protein.
- Calories: Don’t be fooled into buying the meal with the fewest calories. For complete dinners, look for a total of 400-600 calories. If yours is less than that, round it out with what’s missing–maybe an extra veggie, whole grain or fruit on the side.
- Protein: If it’s a full meal or main dish, find options with at least 11 grams of protein per serving to keep you feeling full longer.
- Sodium: One of the biggest offenders in frozen meals and sides is sodium. Compare brands to find those with the lowest sodium.
- Fiber: For a sure sign that your meal or side is packed with the good stuff (veggies, whole grains and/or legumes) look for 4 grams or more of fiber per serving.
Purple Carrot Elote Bowl
For a satisfying grain bowl, this elote bowl is a must—and a great choice for vegans! It is rich in protein (12 grams per serving) from its chickpeas and quinoa. It has eight grams of fiber and 450 calories. However, if you are a big meat-eater, feel free to top your plate with grilled chicken.
Healthy Choice Beef Chimichurri
This steak dinner is covered in chimichurri (an Argentinean sauce made with red wine vinegar, fresh parsley and red pepper flakes) and sits on a bed of mixed vegetables. Add a cup of rice to make this meal a bit more calorically dense (it has 220 calories), but otherwise, this meal makes a well-rounded, flavorful dinner.
Green Giant Veggie Spirals Zucchini
Want a low-calorie pasta alternative? Be sure to scoop up Zucchini Veggie Spirals in the frozen vegetable aisle. These zucchini spirals let you be the boss, as they come with no sauce or seasoning. With only two carbs per serving, just add your favorite pasta sauce and protein.
Real Good Lemon Chicken Bowl
For a quick dinner, go for this grilled chicken bowl flavored with creamy piccata sauce and lemon pepper seasoning. With 14 grams of carbs, it’ll fill you up with lean vegetables and chicken. The pasta is made from the hearts of palm, a protein source (the meal has a whopping 29 grams of protein!) that resembles an artichoke in flavor. Moreover, it makes a great gluten-free option.
Alexia Cauliflower Risotto
Parmesan cheese and sea salt are a match made in heaven. This frozen cauliflower risotto will make you forget about regular grain rice. Pair it with grilled steak for an upgrade. Each serving clocks in at only 5 carbs and zero grams of trans fat.
Sweet Earth Natural Foods General Tso’s Tofu
Craving takeout food? Thanks to General Tso’s Tofu, your dinner can be healthy and delicious. In this healthy frozen meal, you’ll find a zesty sweet-and-sour sauce covering crisp, high-protein tofu (10 grams), plus steamed broccoli and brown rice for fiber. (Learn more about the health benefits of tofu.)
Gardein Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n
Gardein Mandarin’s Orange Crispy Chick’n is perfectly crispy and slathered in a tangy glaze—you won’t be able to tell that it’s vegan! These comforting nuggets have 17 grams of protein and zero grams of trans fat per serving. Use them in a lettuce wrap, enjoy them stir-fried or on a bed of brown rice with a healthy side dish.
Amy’s Pesto Tortellini Bowls
Amy’s prides itself on serving up frozen meals with quality organic ingredients. That’s exactly what you’ll get with Amy’s Pesto Tortellini Bowls. The pasta is made from organic wheat flour stuffed with rich, whole-milk ricotta cheese. What’s more, the dish is GMO-free and nut-free.
Evol Butternut Squash and Sage Ravioli
Evol Butternut Squash and Sage Ravioli is topped with roasted tomatoes, kale, sage and roasted garlic sauce. What’s more, it’s made with all-natural ingredients. Yum! It has only seven grams of total fat and with 12 grams of protein, it makes a great vegetarian option. By the way, you can buy these healthy frozen meals in bulk and keep your freezer organized, so that you are prepared with healthy options for every situation.
Gardein Classic Meatless Meatballs
These heart-healthy meatballs contain 17 grams of protein per serving and are low in cholesterol. You’ll hardly believe they’re meatless as they’re rolled with Italian herbs and taste just like the real deal when paired with the best pasta sauce.
Ayo Frozen Waakye Beans & Rice
Flavored with West African red sauce, you’ll find these rice and beans to be anything but boring! With 12 grams of fiber, 15 grams of protein and only seven grams of total fat, these healthy frozen meals will fuel you for the day. Top with some savory beef suya for a little more spice!
Primal Kitchen Chicken Teriyaki Stir-Fry
Out of all of these healthy frozen meals, this Whole30 approved chicken skillet might be our favorite. With its flavorful teriyaki sauce, you won’t be missing out on the comfort of takeout! This low-carb, low-fat meal has 20 grams of protein and 250 calories. Add some cauliflower rice or brown rice to make it a little more filling.
Amy’s Bean and Cheese Frozen Burrito
This gluten-free burrito is great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Burritos all day, anyone? Amy’s Bean and Cheese Frozen Burrito is organic, made-from-scratch and super-easy to prepare. Since each of Amy’s burritos are high in fiber and protein, they’ll keep you satisfied all day.