Admit it — sometimes, you enjoy having a good frozen meal. Maybe it’s the flavor, or maybe it’s the speed. But most likely, it’s probably the fact that having a meal ready in just a few minutes is so easy. No preparation. No mess to clean up later. No worries.
But the problem with most of them is that they’re not always the healthiest options. Many are made with ingredients that lack nutritional value, leaving you hungry even after you’ve finished the entire dish. The good thing is, some companies have taken the initiative to make wholesome and tasty meals more readily available in the frozen foods section. If you’re pressed for time or just don’t feel like cooking or ordering in, go for one of these frozen meals that are actually good for you.
1. Amy’s Light & Lean Pasta & Veggies
For pasta lovers, Amy’s Light & Lean Pasta & Veggies is one of the better frozen pasta dishes out there. It’s made with organic ingredients, and the rotini pasta is made of semolina flour. Livestrong.com says this grain offers B-complex vitamins like folate and thiamin. They allow your body to turn the food you eat into useable energy, support proper brain and nerve function, and help produce red blood cells. Semolina also contains selenium, a mineral that the body uses as an antioxidant when combined with other important vitamins and minerals.
As for the rest of the meal, it contains organic broccoli and asparagus, and the sauce is made with actual tomatoes. It’s only 220 calories and has 5 grams of fat, 33 grams of carbs, and 10 grams of protein. Not bad for a frozen pasta meal.
2. Beetnik Chicken Cacciatore
Beetnik’s Chicken Cacciatore is another example of a healthy frozen pasta dish. It’s made with humanely-raised, grass-fed chicken and organic ingredients. This includes tomato sauce, bell peppers, onions, and olives. It also gets a flavor boost from basil, oregano, garlic, and crushed red pepper. There’s also good news for gluten-free eaters: This pasta contains no wheat or other ingredients with gluten. One container offers 3.5 grams of fat, 37 grams of carbs, and 19 grams of protein, all for only 260 calories.
3. Evol Fire Grilled Steak
Evol is all about making real food with the best ingredients. Their Fire Grilled Steak bowl, which contains organic black beans, rice, bell peppers, roasted corn, and some cheddar cheese, is a great example. The grilled beef comes from animals that are raised without antibiotics or hormones. The vegetables, grains, and oils used are all non-GMO, and the dish contains no artificial ingredients. For 400 calories, you get a balanced meal containing 18 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbs, 8 grams of fiber, and 20 grams of protein. This meal is also gluten-free.
4. Kashi Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl
Kashi’s Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl is a healthy, vegan-friendly option for a quick meal. It’s made with wholesome grains like red quinoa and brown rice. The dish also contains black beans, and every bowl offers a ¾-cup serving of vegetables. This includes a combination of kale, roasted sweet potatoes, red onions, and poblano peppers. It’s also cooked with parsley, cilantro, garlic, and paprika for a real flavor punch. One entrée is only 270 calories with 6 grams of fat, 31 grams of whole grains, 12 grams of fiber, and 9 grams of protein.
5. Luvo Chicken & Harissa Chickpeas
Luvo’s Chicken & Harissa Chickpeas offers a balanced meal containing 10 grams of fat, 27 grams of carbs, 5 grams of fiber, and 16 grams of protein that totals only 270 calories per serving. It’s made with a satisfying combination of white meat chicken (raised without antibiotics), brown jasmine rice, and chickpeas. This frozen dinner is also brimming with broccoli, butternut squash, mango, and kale. And for those with food intolerances or specific preferences, this one has no nuts or gluten.
6. Saffron Road Beef Bulgogi
Saffron Road’s Beef Bulgogi is their take on the Korean classic, and it’s made with fire-grilled sirloin from cattle raised without added hormones. The main ingredient is a vegetable sauté, which includes bok choy, mushrooms, onions, sprouts, and bell peppers, followed by short-grain brown rice. The bulgogi sauce itself is made with reduced-sodium tamari, which happens to be a gluten-free version of soy sauce. One serving is only 330 calories and has 12 grams of fat, 41 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber, and 18 grams of protein. Authentic? No. Tasty and healthy? Yes.
7. Tastefully Plated Grilled Chicken Breast
Tastefully Plated’s Grilled Chicken Breast is a protein-packed paleo option that’s free of grains, gluten, and dairy. The best part is it contains very few ingredients. The dish includes chicken breast, plantains, and green beans, plus a chimichurri sauce made with parsley, onions, red wine vinegar, thyme, and cilantro. Talk about a flavorful feast. It’s only 390 calories with 14 grams of fat, 38 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fiber, and 28 grams of protein. This meal will fuel you with energy and give you the balance you need with minimal, whole ingredients. Consider it a step up from a classic TV dinner.