We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.
While it's tough to beat a scratch-made meal, sometimes you need a quick supper solution that is ready in a matter of minutes and requires literally no prep. Enter: frozen dinners. A trip down the grocery store frozen aisle reveals a wide array of filling options that can be prepared quickly in your microwave or oven. Best of all, there is something for everyone. Whether you're feeding a family of four or simply need a solo meal, there is brand for you. If you crave something global or an American comfort food classic, you'll be covered. There are even meals that are targeted towards those on various diets, from keto and vegan, to low calorie and gluten free.
Considering there is so much variety, it should come as no surprise that some brands are worth seeking out while other should remain on ice. That's why we're here to help make sure your meal isn't a disappoint. Read below to find out which frozen dinner brands stand out among the rest.
The calorie conscious may be tempted to gravitate towards Smart Ones, but don't let the numbers fool you. Most of the meals from this Kraft Heinz brand total less than 300 calories which is remarkably low for an entire meal. According to Medical News Today the average female needs about 2000 calories per day, and the average male needs about 2,500.
The line is rather extensive with frozen pastas, enchiladas, pot roasts, pizzas, and breakfast varieties. But Smart Ones falls short with its relatively small servings, though that may actually be a good thing. These meals tend to be lackluster — with such a large restriction of calories comes a limit to the amount of flavor these meals can provide, and it's no surprise that the brand fails to deliver in the taste department. As these healthy snack ideas prove, low calorie doesn't need to equate to dismal dining.
Hungry-Man frozen dinners are geared towards those looking for a particularly hearty meal. The brand focuses on large portions of fairly pedestrian products such as country fried steak, meatloaf, and fried chicken. Because they are larger meals that include side dishes, these may be the perfect solution to what you want when you choose a frozen meal. They are quick, easy, and filling. You can even opt for bowls that offer double the protein portion.
But bigger isn't necessarily better. According to Walmart reviews of the fried chicken, there are some mixed feelings about this meal. Some note that this meal is tasty, but not very healthy, while others say that this meal isn't tasty at all and has too much breading and salt. One particular reviewer complained that the texture was a bit off. While Hungry-Man gets high marks for price and portion size, it disappoints in the quality department.
Evol Foods is a brand that takes pride in its ingredient sourcing which includes the use of antibiotic free meat and cage free eggs. it also avoids adding any artificial colors and flavors, according to its website. The brand offer a line of single serve meals including, breakfasts, burritos, pizzas, pastas, and bowls of varying cuisines, such as Italian, Mexican, Chinese, and Japanese. For those with various dietary concerns, they have product lines that are gluten-free and vegetarian as well.
While we appreciate that the brand offers some unique meals that are acceptable for various dietary preferences, we don't always love the taste. According to reviews on the Evol website of the Portobello Goat Cheese Ravioli, many reviewers love this dish. However, a few people note that the sauce is rather liquidy and the raviolis themselves are chewy and undercooked when prepared according to the cooking instructions on the package. Due to these inconsistencies, we've placed Evol near the bottom of our ranking.
Tyson is one of those brands that is synonymous with chicken. It carries chicken tenders, chicken fried steak, wings, bacon, pork, popcorn chicken, nuggets, chicken burgers, and more. But, chicken is the brand's primary focus. While not necessarily a complete meal, we can all agree that these options sure get the job started. Does anyone remember dino nuggets from childhood? According to Walmart reviews, Tyson's dinosaur-shaped nuggets are beloved by children and adults alike.
However, Tyson, unfortunately, has been linked to many different product recalls, most recently due to a listeria outbreak, according to the The New York Times. Back in 2019, Tyson was associated with a chicken product recall that had to do with rubber contaminated chicken (via The Washington Post). This isn't the best news when you consider how much chicken Tyson produces for the country. For this reason, we've placed Tyson near the bottom of our list.
Did anyone else grow up with parents who were mega fans of Healthy Choice? We always had these in our freezers growing up. Healthy Choice now carries a variety of frozen dinners, including Simply Steamers, Cafe Steamers, Power Bowls, Max Bowls, and Zero Bowls, all targeting different health preferences.
According to the reviews of the Lemon Pepper Fish frozen meal on the Healthy Choice website, the dish has its fans, but there are some detractors. One reviewer mentions that the fish gets mushy when cooked and this was unappealing. While it is difficult to add flavor to frozen meals, especially ones aimed as health conscious, there are a few reviews that found this meal to be devoid of taste. For us, we don't think these stand out among the many new brands offering innovative products. Perhaps it's time for Healthy Choice to consider a refresh of its products.
The Whole Foods store brand, 365 Organic, carries many products. Pretty much any item you would find in a grocery store, you can count on Whole Foods to create a 365 Organic version of it. This includes frozen dinners as well as many types of pizza and ravioli dinners.
Per the Amazon reviews of the Four Cheese Ravioli frozen entree, many people complain that this meal is very bland and mediocre in taste. While there are pretty creative ideas in the reviews about how many people utilize these frozen raviolis, including in a lasagna bake, there are many harsh reviews about how these are not the most tasty. We think that while 365 Organic has its hands full trying to mimic a variety of products in a grocery store, maybe they just let this one slip. We wouldn't recommend these frozen dinners, unless you absolutely needed to eat them. Otherwise, you deserve better and can absolutely find tastier options.
Lean Cuisine is one of the most familiar frozen dinner brands out there. It produces a huge selection of frozen food products including pasta, bowls, pizza, and sandwiches. These meals are categorized on its website as low calorie (less than 400 per package), very low calorie (less than 300 calories), gluten-free, meatless, high protein, carb conscious. In other words, the target eaters are those that want a healthier frozen food product. If you are hungry for a decadent comfort food frozen entrée, these won't be for you. However, if you are looking for frozen meals that will help you stick to your calorie goals, Lean Cuisine is the best out there.
According to Walmart reviews for the 5 Cheese Ravioli, while there are a few complaints about a watery sauce, lack of cheese, and recent recipe changes, most people seem to really enjoy these products. While these meals might not wow your taste buds, they're fine if you want to avoid overindulging.
Frontera is known for its gourmet Mexican food, which covers a variety of products, including salsa, tortilla chips, cooking sauces, guacamole, grilling marinades, as well as frozen bowls and skillets. In terms of its frozen dinners, you can choose among vegetarian and meat-packed taco and fajita bowls.
According to Amazon reviews of the Frontera chicken fajita bowl, some people seem to love the nutrition facts and healthy ingredients in this bowl, while others seem to dislike the taste. Apparently, this bowl can turn out very watery once cooked. One reviewer even mentioned that the bowl was inedible. Yikes! While we love a health focused product that is aimed at flavor, we don't think these are the best options out there. Set your sights a little higher, because we know you can find a guaranteed slam dunk frozen dinner option on this list. Keep reading to see our top picks.
Caulipower is a brand that carries many gluten-free frozen dinner products, including pizza, chicken tenders, and pasta. True to its name, cauliflower is used instead of wheat as breading or crust in an effort to create gluten-free products.
Per reviews on Walmart of the Caulipower pizza crust, some people note that these are rather tasteless and the texture is too crumbly to stay together during cooking. Others complain that the crusts contain many more carbohydrates than they would expect in a gluten-free product. However, most people love these crusts. We think that if you are expecting a normal pizza crust, you may be setting yourself up for failure — these are made of cauliflower at the end of the day. If you have no restrictions on your pie consumption, there are plenty of other brands that offer a tastier product. But if you are on a gluten-free diet, we recommend giving these a shot on your next pizza night.
Restaurant chain Marie Callender's also offers a line of frozen dinners. Within it frozen product line, you'll find plenty of options, including many with family-sized portions. Some of these products include lasagna, mac and cheese, chicken pot pies, pub pies, pasta bowls, pot roast, and Asian inspired rice bowls.
One of the products that appears to be the most well-loved is the chicken pot pie. Per the reviews on Walmart, there is a lot of love for Marie Callender's signature dish. Many people note that this is the ultimate comfort food and one of their favorite meals. Though it's exactly a healthy food option, one reviewer mentions that this meal is worth the extra calories. Considering this chicken pot pie is cooked from frozen, it's impressive that reviewers even mention that the crust has a nice texture. We love Marie Callender's for the most epic comfort meals.
Stouffer's is a household name, with frozen options that include lasagna, pizza, bowls, and other entrees. We grew up eating the brand's mac and cheese on busy school nights. The popular dish is available in many sizes from single serving to a large portion suited for a family. We also love that the brand created spinoffs of the classic mac and cheese through different flavor variations, including Taco Mac and Cheese, Cajun Mac and Cheese, Southwest Mac and Cheese, and even Cacciatore Mac and Cheese.
According to reviews on the Walmart website of their classic single serving mac and cheese , many people still love this product despite the fact that there are some complaints alleging that Stouffer's recently changing the recipe resulting in the cheese sauce being too soupy and watery. That said, most people seem to love this taste of nostalgia and the Stouffer's brand in general.
Michelina's carries the largest variety of frozen dinners we've ever seen. You can practically find any frozen dinner of your dreams in their product line. Meals include macaroni and cheese, many types of pasta, beef and broccoli, pizza snack rolls, Swedish meatballs, popcorn chicken, and so many more. We love this devotion to innovative products. And as far as taste, we think these meals really stack up well against the rest of the pack. Another plus, there are options like the Fettucine Alfredo with Chicken & Broccoli that are packed with protein (in this case, an impressive 13 grams).
Because of the large variety of products and the incredible price point offered by Michelina's, we think these are really great options for frozen entrees. The reviews on the Walmart website seem to reinforce our view. The combination of variety, quality and price point makes this brand a winner.
Feel Good Foods creates frozen breakfasts, dinners, and snacks that are all completely certified gluten free. For those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, you may need to follow a gluten-free diet, according to Healthline. Luckily, Feel Good Foods offer plenty of products that fit the bill including cheese pizza, margarita pizza, mushroom pizza, calzones, huevo ranchero pockets, potato egg and cheese pockets, snack bites, mac and cheese bites, empanadas, and egg rolls.
Per Amazon reviews of its vegetable potstickers, there are some mixed feelings about this product. There are some people who note that these potstickers lack flavor and texture, while others mention that this is just a result of how they are prepared. We recommend going the pan fried route to ensure they are crispy and full of flavor. Overall there is a lot of love for these potstickers, with 4.5 out of 5 stars based on over 4,000 reviews, and the other frozen meal options from Feel Good Foods are equally impressive.
Primal Kitchen is a brand devoted to the Whole 30 or paleo diet. It products are always free from dairy, gluten, added sugars, canola oil, soybean oils, and preservatives. The extensive line of products. dressings, marinades, condiments, pasta sauce, pizza sauce, gravy, whey protein, and collagen peptides. We're particularly fond of Primal Kitchen's frozen dinners include Chicken Alfredo Bowl, Chicken Panang Curry Bowl, Chicken Pesto Bowl, Beef & Mushroom Bowl, No-Soy Chicken Teriyaki Skillet, Steak Fajitas Skillet, and Chicken Fried Riced Cauliflower Skillet, per the brand's website.
Per the Amazon reviews of their Chicken Pesto Bowl, some people find that these are too small of a portion size and overpriced. One reviewer even notes that the bowl looks nothing like the picture on the packaging. Some reviewers suggest cooking it in the oven instead of the microwave for a better texture. However, most reviews contain lots of love for this product and the fact that the brand is devoted to healthy food products.
If you're a fan of Kashi's frozen waffles and cereals, we suggest giving the brand's frozen meals a try. While the product line is relatively small, we really enjoy the offerings. Currently, you can choose from a Creamy Cashew Noodle Bowl, a Mayan Harvest Bake, a Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl, and a Chimichurri Quinoa Bowl, per its website.
Per Nutritious Eats, these bowls are packed with whole grains and fiber. Whole grains are a great ingredient to seek out because, according to Healthline, consuming them is associated with a lower risk of developing heart disease, lower risk of having a stroke, lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, lower risk of developing cancer, and an increased digestion. Can you believe all those benefits can come from just whole grains? We love that these bowls are healthy, but do not sacrifice flavor. This is a definitely a brand we highly recommend!
Saffron Road specializes in food products with flavors inspired by cuisines from all around the world. In addition to frozen dinners, per its website, crunchy chickpeas, simmer sauces, ready-to-eat meals, and artisan wraps are offered.
According to the Amazon reviews of the Palak Paneer, which is one of our favorite dishes ever, a lot of people adore this product. While there are a select few that complain that the spinach sauce is watery, a lot of reviewers rave about the spice, flavor, and price of this meal, which is prepared with chunks of paneer cheese. We happen to love these frozen dinners too. These are so tasty and so unique, we have to place them near the top of our list. Whether you're craving Indian, Mexican, Thai, or other global flavors, Saffron Road won't disappoint. If you see these when at the grocery store, be sure to stock up.
Dr. Praeger's is devoted to healthy plant-based food products. The wide variety of items offered by the brand, includes breakfast bowls, plant protein burgers, veggie burgers, spinach cakes, kale puffs, hash browns, kids meals, and seafood. We are big fans of Dr. Praeger's spinach cakes, plant protein burgers, and chocolate littles, which are essentially healthy chocolate black bean brownies created for children (but certainly suitable for adults).
According to the Amazon reviews of the Super Greens Veggie Burger, many people love this product. Fans note that it is a quick and easy way to include a veggie burger in a meal. Some reviewers complain about the mushy texture, while others are upset about the recent addition of pea protein to the ingredients. In general, we love Dr. Praeger's products. They are healthy and taste delicious, even according to children. This is why they are near the top of our list.
Call us crazy, but Trader Joe's is well-deserving of its massive following. The grocery chain nail its unique specialty products every time. From the Everything But the Bagel Seasoning and the Cauliflower Gnocchi to the Pumpkin Butter and the Bamba Peanut Butter Snacks, we love them all. We'll admit that we are diehard fans — and can you blame us?
Trader Joe's carries many frozen products, including several varieties of complete frozen dinners. Our personal favorites include the black bean and corn enchiladas, the veggie fried rice, and the riced cauliflower stir fry. It seems every time we go shopping, we discover a new favorite in the frozen aisle. No matter what we try, we're always pleased.
According to Buzzfeed, the most popular frozen Trader Joe's products are the Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe, the Mandarin Orange Chicken, and Burrata Prosciutto Arugula Flatbread. We'll second that view. All three of those products are amazing.
Amy's is a brand that is devoted to health-focused food products including vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, corn-free, soy-free, dairy-free, and nut-free options. This appeals to not only individuals avoiding foods due to allergies, but to those that want to eat healthier as well. We love that Amy's offers products for many different dietary preferences, providing a solution for people that otherwise struggle to eat convenience foods.
Amy's frozen product line includes burritos, bowls, mac and cheese, pizza, ravioli, and veggie burgers, according to its website. While these products are a bit pricier than others, we would expect to see this when you consider the attention to ingredient details. According to Amazon's reviews for Amy's Gluten Free Rice and Beans burrito, there is a lot of love for these products. These products are not only for people with dietary concerns or preferences, many other people enjoy Amy's products as well.
You may have come across Rao's products in the pasta and sauce aisle, but you absolutely need to check out the brand's packaged meals in your grocer's freezer section. What started as a restaurant is now a supermarket staple with frozen dinner options that include Meatballs and Sauce, Chicken Parmesan, Rigatoni Bolognese, Chicken Alfredo, Four Cheese Pasta Bake, and Penne Alla Vodka.
Per the company's website, many reviewers of the Penne Alla Vodka frozen dinner, offer plenty of love for the pasta, and Rao's other products also get favorable reviews, as they have the clean ingredients you would expect from the brand's high quality sauces. While the single-serving portions may be on the smaller size (the brand offers large format meals, as well) there's no denying that these Italian classics excel even in frozen frozen form. Rao's frozen dinners make for an excellent (and quick) meal on a busy night. This is why they are at the top of our list.