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8 Top Healthy Frozen Meals, According To Experts – Forbes

5 minutes, 20 seconds Read

There are many healthy frozen meal options in the freezer section of the grocery store. Here are some of the most nutritious—and delicious—frozen meals, recommended by dietitians.

Trader Joe’s Chicken Burrito Bowl

“This delicious Mexican bowl is [packed] with 22 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber to leave you feeling full and satisfied and 51 grams of carbohydrates for an energy boost,” says Katie Schimmelpfenning, an Oregon-based registered dietitian nutritionist, sports nutrition expert and owner of Eat Swim Win. Pacheco adds that this burrito bowl, a favorite among several dietitians, “tastes delicious too!”

One serving of Trader Joe’s Chicken Burrito Bowl contains:

  • Calories: 370 calories
  • Protein: 22 grams
  • Total fat: 10 grams
  • Saturated fat: 4.5 grams
  • Sodium: 630 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates: 51 grams
  • Fiber: 9 grams
  • Added sugars: 0 grams

Healthy Choice Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry

The Healthy Choice Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry is a good option that’s fairly low in calories, says Andrews. It’s high in protein and contains veggies like broccoli, carrots, edamame, onions and red bell peppers. To make it a meal, Andrews suggests pairing it with an additional vegetable, dinner roll or side of fruit.

For people seeking larger portions than traditional frozen meals, Pacheco recommends Healthy Choice MAX Bowls, which combine protein, multigrains and vegetables for a balanced frozen option. It provides a good amount of protein and fiber to keep you feeling full, she says.

One serving of Healthy Choice Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry contains:

  • Calories: 200 calories
  • Protein: 23 grams
  • Total fat: 5 grams
  • Saturated fat: 1 gram
  • Sodium: 580 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates: 16 grams
  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Added sugars: 6 grams

Lean Cuisine Lemon Garlic Shrimp Stir-Fry Balance Bowl

The Lean Cuisine brand of frozen meals is a favorite of Melissa Mitri, a Connecticut-based registered dietitian nutritionist, nutrition writer and weight loss expert. The brand offers Lean Cuisine Balance Bowls and Protein Kicks to suit different diets and preferences. “I love these meals because they are rich in fiber and protein, two nutrients that fill you up while remaining relatively low in calories,” says Mitri.

The Lean Cuisine Lemon Garlic Shrimp Stir-Fry Balance Bowl checks boxes for lean protein, fiber-rich carbohydrates and vegetables, making it a nutritious frozen meal option, says Syn. “Additionally, these meals feature the ADA Better Choice for Life seal, meaning they meet the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Better Choices for Life nutrition criteria for calories, sodium, saturated fat, fiber, protein, added sugar and more,” she adds.

One serving of Lean Cuisine Lemon Garlic Shrimp Stir Fry contains:

  • Calories: 210 calories
  • Protein: 13 grams
  • Total fat: 2.5 grams
  • Saturated fat: 1.5 grams
  • Sodium: 560 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates: 34 grams
  • Fiber: 4 grams
  • Added sugars: 0 grams

Red’s Organic Chicken, Cilantro and Lime Burrito

“These heat-and-eat breakfast burritos are perfectly portioned, offering 12 grams of protein for 270 calories,” says Syn. “They are balanced with good-for-you ingredients including lean protein such as chicken and black beans, whole grain brown rice and vegetables including sweet corn, roasted bell peppers and red onion.”

One Red’s Organic Chicken, Cilantro and Lime Burrito contains:

  • Calories: 270 calories
  • Protein: 12 grams
  • Total fat: 10 grams
  • Saturated fat: 3 grams
  • Sodium: 520 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates: 35 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Added sugars: 1 gram

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Planet Based Foods Original Taquitos with Cheese

“These plant-based taquitos taste like the real deal but are made with sustainable, superfood hemp as the star ingredient instead of red meat,” says Syn. “Hemp is a complete plant protein that’s rich in omega-3 fats, fiber, B vitamins, magnesium and iron, making these naturally lower in saturated fat and higher in fiber than traditional frozen taquitos.”

One serving of Planet Based Foods Original Taquitos with Cheese contains:

  • Calories: 220 calories
  • Protein: 5 grams
  • Total fat: 11 grams
  • Saturated fat: 3 grams
  • Sodium: 380 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates: 26 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Added sugars: 0 grams

Amy’s Mexican Casserole Bowl, Light In Sodium

Chun enjoys the frozen meals from Amy’s Kitchen, which offers a variety of nutritious plant-based bowls. “My favorite is the low-sodium Mexican casserole bowl because it packs a punch in flavor, fiber and protein,” she says. “I usually add a side of brown rice or chicken to make this a more filling meal.”

One Amy’s low-sodium Mexican Casserole Bowl contains:

  • Calories: 370 calories
  • Protein: 12 grams
  • Fat: 16 grams
  • Saturated fat: 5 grams
  • Sodium: 370 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates: 45 grams
  • Fiber: 6 grams
  • Added sugars: 0 grams

Smartmade Mediterranean-Style Chicken Bowl

“This frozen meal is packed with 20 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber,” says Schimmelpfenning. “It’s easy to heat and filled with whole grains, color and a delicious sprinkle of feta cheese.”

One serving of Smartmade Mediterranean-Style Chicken Bowl contains:

  • Calories: 250 calories
  • Protein: 20 grams
  • Total fat: 8 grams
  • Saturated fat: 3.5 grams
  • Sodium: 620 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates: 26 grams
  • Fiber: 5 grams
  • Sugars: 4 grams

Milton’s Craft Bakers Cauliflower Crust Pizza

“For a better-for-you frozen pizza option ready in 15 minutes, opt for one made with a cauliflower crust over refined flour for added fiber, vitamins and minerals,” recommends Syn. “Cauliflower is the first ingredient in these [Milton’s Craft] pizzas, meaning it’s the ingredient present in the largest amount by weight.”

One serving of Milton’s Craft Bakers Cauliflower Crust Margherita Four Cheese Pizza contains:

  • Calories: 360 calories
  • Protein: 20 grams
  • Total fat: 15 grams
  • Saturated fat: 9 grams
  • Sodium: 870 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates: 33 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Added sugars: 1 gram

Whether it’s a frozen single-serve meal or a combination of frozen prepared whole food ingredients like frozen fish, veggies and brown rice, frozen meals can provide a healthy, quick meal when there’s no time to prep and cook. Aim for healthy frozen meals that include vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, are low in sodium and high in fiber, per dietitians’ recommendations. If your favorite frozen meal doesn’t have enough fiber, you can pair it with a side of vegetables or whole grain bread.

Frozen meals “can be an easy choice for dinner after a long day at work or for lunch during a busy work week,” notes Chun. “While frozen meals can be healthy, I always encourage people to try and cook their own meals from scratch whenever possible, since this allows for the most control [over] ingredients and nutrients.”

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