There’s an old cliche that says if you’re looking for love, forget about the singles bars. The real action is in the frozen foods aisle of your supermarket, where men and women unencumbered by domestic attachment (and, presumably, cooking skills) gather to hunt down the evening’s meals.
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While we’re not sure the freezer section can quite hold a candle to Tinder, we do know one thing: finding foods you can love—and that will love you back—truly is possible, if you know what to look for. And microwave meals aren’t as nutritionally destitute as you might think—in fact, they can lead to quick weight loss: found that when you opt for a frozen meal from the grocery store, you’ll consume an average of 253 fewer calories and 2.6 fewer grams of saturated fat per day than if you stopped at a fast-food joint.
Whether you’re serious about nutrition or just cruising the frozen food scene looking for Mr. Hot Pockets, we’ve got the lowdown on the best options in your supermarket. The researchers of Eat This, Not That! put on their mittens and reached deep into the freezer section to find the 46 best-frozen meals.
You want to start every morning with a healthy dose of protein (think 10 grams and up) and a belly-filling boost of fiber (try for 5 grams and up). The dishes we chose here meet at least one of those criteria.1
Kashi Blueberry Waffles
2 WAFFLES: 130 calories, 5 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 310 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (7 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 3 g protein
Blueberries figure prominently in these first-rate waffles, explaining the huge hit of fiber. You’ll also get nearly half a day’s worth of whole grains—without the artificial colors you’ll find in Eggos.2
Kashi 7 Grain Waffles
2 WAFFLES: 140 calories, 5 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 310 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (7 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 3 g protein
Kashi does waffles right: These are the most fiber-packed waffles in the freezer.3
Healthy Choice Pesto & Egg White Scramble
PER BOWL: 190 calories, 6 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 430 mg sodium, 21 g carbs (5 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 12 g protein
This hearty breakfast power bowl meets both our fiber and protein criteria, deeming this pick one of our best a.m. meals to wake up to.4
Amy’s Black Beans & Tomatoes Breakfast Burrito
1 BURRITO: 270 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 540 mg sodium, 38 g carbs (6 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 12 g protein
Black beans are one of the healthiest foods on the planet—and this burrito is packed with ’em.5
Dr. Praeger’s Hearty Breakfast Bowl
270 calories, 12 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 450 mg sodium, 28 g carbs (1 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 12 g protein
Made with cage-free eggs for a healthy protein punch and hidden veggies for added vitamins, this breakfast is both delicious and nutritious.
If you find one with more than 10 grams of protein per serving, and 500-800 mg of sodium, then who needs Dominoes for their cheat meals?
Amy’s Cheese Pizza
½ PIZZA: 290 calories, 12 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 590 mg sodium, 33 g carbs (2 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 12 g protein
Made with organic, unbleached wheat flour, as well as other wholesome ingredients, this pick serves up 2 grams of fiber and 12 grams of muscle-building protein.
Newman’s Own White Thin & Crispy Pizza
⅓ PIE: 350 calories, 18 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 690 mg sodium, 33 g carbs (0 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 15 g protein
Newman’s Own combines spinach and cheese for a truly delicious slice sans too much sodium (that’s if you stick to the serving size).8
Sweet Earth Truffle Lovers Pizza
½ PIZZA: 280 calories, 12 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 360 mg sodium, 32 g carbs (5 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 12 g protein
Truffle lovers rejoice for this umami-packed pie that also sneaks in a respectable 5 grams of fiber and 12 grams of protein.9
Peas of Mind Cheese Pizza
⅓ PIE: 240 calories, 5 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 510 mg sodium, 36 g carbs (2 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 11 g protein
They snuck broccoli and carrots into the crust. Clever devils! And still curious about how these compare to takeout? Don’t miss our special report every menu item at Domino’s—ranked!
FROZEN PASTA ENTREES
KidFresh Wagon Wheels Mac ‘N Cheese
1 PACKAGE: 270 calories, 9 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 360 mg sodium, 35 g carbs (2 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 12 g protein
Diffuse the comfort food’s flab-producing potential by opting for this light rendition. It omits artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives you’ll find in other frozen mac and cheese meals.
Lean Cuisine Four Cheese Cannelloni
1 PACKAGE: 230 calories, 6 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 690 mg sodium, 33 g carbs (3 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 11 g protein
Swap out the white sauce for red sauce and you’ll save a few hundred calories per serving every time. For more easy tips and tricks, don’t miss these 50 ways to lose 10 pounds—fast!
FROZEN FISH ENTREES
To shrink your belly, go small with shrimp. Just skip the cocktail sauce—and avoid tilapia.12
Cape Gourmet Cooked Shrimp
3 OZ: 50 calories, 0.5 g fat, 330 mg sodium, 10 g protein
Unadulterated shrimp are among the cleanest sources of protein on the planet.13
SeaPak Salmon Burgers
1 BURGER: 110 calories, 5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 340 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 16 g protein
Toss this on the grill, then sandwich it between a toasted bun with arugula, grilled onions, and Greek yogurt spiked with olive oil, garlic, and fresh dill. Pair it with one of these fat-burning soups, and you have a full, healthy meal.14
Fish People Meyer Lemon & Herb Panko Wild Alaskan Salmon Kit
1 FILLET WITH 1/2 TOPPINGS: 240 calories, 3.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 260 mg sodium, 9 g carbs (0 g fiber, <1 g sugar), 27 g protein
Craft a better dinner with Fish People’s salmon kit. It comes with wild-caught salmon and a crunchy crust made of Parmesan, Meyer lemon, and a splash of butter. One serving is jam-packed with protein and low in sodium. Be sure to pair it with a side salad for some fiber.
FROZEN CHICKEN ENTREES
High in protein and always lean, chicken is our go-to in the frozen aisle—just be careful of what it’s sauced in, especially if you see sugar in the ingredients. That’s how the calorie count gets jacked up.15
Evol Bowls Teriyaki Chicken
1 BOWL: 260 calories, 2.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 600 mg sodium, 45 g carbs (4 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 14 g protein
Evol’s teriyaki bowl is made with brown rice, free-range chicken, and enough produce to meet 70 percent of your day’s vitamin A needs.16
Ethnic Gourmet Chicken Tikka Masala
1 PACKAGE: 260 calories, 6 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 680 mg sodium, 32 g carbs (3 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 19 g protein
The sauce is created with fat-free yogurt for low-calorie creaminess and an extra dose of the muscle-building macro.17
Wildscape Chimichurri Chicken
1 MEAL: 430 calories, 16 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 670 mg sodium, 56 g carbs (6 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 24 g protein
The vitamin-packed ingredient list includes farro, red skin potatoes, chicken thighs, and extra virgin olive oil for a truly delicious and clean meal that will keep you satiated well past dinnertime.
Good Food Made Simple Organic Cilantro Lime Chicken Entree
1 BURRITO: 260 calories, 5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 290 mg sodium, 42 g carbs (4 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 11 g protein
Instead of the standard white rice, this meal rests on a blend of black beans and brown rice.19
Beetnik Lemon Chicken With Cauliflower Rice
PER MEAL: 150 calories, 2.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 160 mg sodium, 13 g carbs (3 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 20 g protein
Beetnik’s blend of cauliflower rice, tender chicken, and lemony mushroom sauce makes this pick low-carb and high-protein.
FROZEN SIDES, SNACKS AND APPS
Because so many frozen sides are baked, instead of fried, you can find some healthy choices. And to see how your favorite McFry pans out, don’t miss our special report on every fast-food French fry—ranked!20
Cascadian Farms Fire Roasted Sweet Potatoes
¾ CUP PREPARED: 100 calories, 0 g fat, 35 mg sodium, 22 g carbs (3 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 2 g protein
Cascadian Farms uses just one ingredient in this bagged app: organic sweet potatoes. Pair one of our best frozen meals with this sweet side for a balanced meal.21
Applegate Organics Organic Chicken Strips
3 STRIPS: 160 calories, 6 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 360 mg sodium, 13 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 11 g protein
The relatively light breading makes Applegate’s strips less fatty than the competition’s.
ICE CREAM AND FROZEN TREATS
Find ones with few ingredients and under 20 grams of sugar and you’re golden!22
Breyers Black Raspberry Chocolate
1/2 CUP: 140 calories, 4 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 30 mg sodium, 25 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 18 g sugar, 1 g protein
The secret to low-calorie ice cream is simple: Lead off with something lighter than cream. This one uses regular milk first and creams last. Use a bit to make one of these smoothies for weight loss!23
Turkey Hill Light Recipe Moose Tracks
1/2 CUP: 140 calories, 6 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 65 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (1 g fiber, 15 g sugar), 3 g protein
Swirled ice cream flecked with chocolate peanut butter cups—you won’t find a more decadent dessert with fewer calories, or a better chance to indulge and lose belly fat at the same time.24
Edy’s Slow Churned Mint Chocolate Chip
½ CUP: 110 calories, 3 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 40 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (0 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 2 g protein
Edy’s Slow Churned line leans more heavily on milk than cream, which keeps the calories in check.25
So Delicious Chocolate Velvet
½ CUP: 130 calories, 3.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (2 g fiber, 14 g sugar), 2 g protein
So Delicious cuts the fat without needing to make up for it with an extra hit of sugar. Thanks to organic soymilk, you’ll get plant-based protein and fiber in each bite. Pair it with some sliced bananas.
Edy’s Rich & Creamy Grand Coffee
½ CUP: 140 calories, 7 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 35 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (0 g fiber, 14 g sugar), 2 g protein
Careful—it’s made with real coffee, so it’s not the best choice right before bed.27
Breyers Natural Vanilla
½ CUP: 130 calories, 7 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 35 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (0 g fiber, 14 g sugar), 2 g protein
Breyers Natural has earned our allegiance for both its low-calorie concoctions and the simplicity of its ingredient statements.28
Halo Top Red Velvet
1/2 CUP: 90 calories, 3 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 115 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (3 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 5 g protein
The secret behind the stellar Nutritionals: it’s made with milk and cream and sweetened with erythritol, a sugar alcohol that likely won’t cause digestive issues. Get spooning!29
Diana’s Bananas Banana Babies Dark Chocolate
1 PIECE: 130 calories, 6 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 15 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (1 g fiber, 14 g sugar), 2 g protein
Banana, chocolate, and peanut oil. You don’t find a frozen treat with a simpler recipe.
So Delicious Fudge Bars
1 BAR: 60 calories, 4 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 40 mg sodium, 9 g carbs (5 g fiber, <1 g sugar), <1 g protein
Low in sugar and overall calories, this is a good treat to keep in mind even if you’re not lactose intolerant. Unlike dairy desserts, this treat’s saturated fat content comes from brain-boosting, plant-based MCTs.31
Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Chocolate Fudge Bar
1 BAR: 80 calories, 0 g fat, 55 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (0 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 6 g protein
A classy upgrade to the standard Fudgsicle, this frozen treat delivers 6 grams of belly-filling protein. Kinda like our favorite chia puddings.