It truly doesn’t get any easier than a frozen dinner. Lots of people have a stack of them waiting in their freezer, just in case a weeknight rolls around where they just can’t make themselves turn on the oven. But often, convenience can come at a cost — many frozen dinners are lacking in nutrition and can leave you feeling unsatisfied or regretful.
So we took into account a few key considerations to narrow down 15 of the healthiest frozen dinners you can find in the freezer aisle. No longer are we stuck with a three-compartment tray of mystery meat, potatoes, and a vegetable. Ethnic foods, organic dinners, vegetarian, and even gluten-free entrées are just some of the options available now. Keep an eye out for meals with whole grains and at least one serving of vegetables, as well as fiber and protein.
We looked at the nutrition provided by each meal — a dinner with enough protein and fat to keep you satisfied without going overboard was ideal.
Then, we looked at the ingredients and additives used in each. Some frozen meals had paragraphs of chemical contents listed on the back — we nixed those. Instead, we prioritized meals with real food ingredients that wouldn’t taste like mush. You can find organic frozen dinners without preservatives, entrées with no artificial ingredients, and meals that actually have vegetables with nutrients (and some snap) left in them.
Finally, we looked at the sodium content, since some can come doctored up with excessive amounts to supplement flavor.
Are Smart Ones really that smart? Is Lean Cuisine lean enough? Is Healthy Choice actually a healthy choice? We trolled the aisles of the frozen food section to find out which meals are worth sticking a fork in, and ranked the healthiest.