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.
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: A 2014 study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 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 less 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 food entrees. And to blast even more fat, don’t miss these essential 40 Ways to Lose 4 Inches of Body Fat!
FROZEN BREAKFAST ENTREES
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.
Jimmy Dean Delights Turkey Sausage Breakfast Bowl
As we said, an ideal breakfast includes a substantial load of protein, and this bowl has that nailed. Protein accounts for 40 percent of the calories, which increases your odds of making it to lunch without snacking. Blast even more fat by mixing and matching these essential 29 Best-Ever Proteins for Weight Loss!
Kashi Blueberry Waffles
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.
Weight Watchers Smart Ones Smart Beginnings Canadian Style Turkey Bacon English Muffin Sandwich
This is a lean protein machine. Thank the bacon, one of the leanest meats at the breakfast table. And speaking of breakfast muffins, see where one American McClassic lands on our essential new list, Every Menu Item at McDonald’s—Ranked!
Kashi 7 Grain Waffles
Kashi does waffles right: These are the most fiber-packed waffles in the freezer.
Healthy Choice Pesto & Egg White Scramble
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.
Amy’s Black Beans & Tomatoes Breakfast Burrito
Black beans are one of the healthiest foods on the planet—and this burrito is packed with ’em.
Dr. Praeger’s Hearty Breakfast Bowl
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 Domino’s for their cheat meals?
Bagel Bites Cheese & Pepperoni
Not a perfect snack, but still decent for a non-diet pizza product. You’d be better off indulging in these 50 Snacks With 50 Calories or Less.
Amy’s Cheese Pizza
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
Newman’s Own combines spinach and cheese for a truly delicious slice sans too much sodium. Click here for The Ultimate Weight-Loss Pizza Topping Guide!
Sweet Earth Truffle Lovers Pizza
Truffle lovers rejoice for this umami-packed pie that also sneaks in a respectable 5 grams of fiber and 12 grams of protein
Peas of Mind Cheese Pizza
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
Kashi Chicken Pasta Pomodoro
Small savings in everyday choices is the key to sustainable weight loss. A simple savings of
20 calories every day adds up to 2 pounds a year. That’s 20 pounds over the course of a decade—and no more love handles. With fewer calories than most other frozen chicken dishes, this will get you there.
Michelina’s Macaroni & Cheese
Diffuse the comfort food’s flab-producing potential by opting for this light rendition. It has less fat than most pizzas, even.
Lean Cuisine Four Cheese Cannelloni
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
Bertolli Mediterranean Style Chicken, Rigatoni & Broccoli
With a low-sugar count, a whopping 7 grams of filling fiber, and an impressive 23 grams of protein, we can overlook the slightly high sodium content.
FROZEN FISH ENTREES
To shrink your belly, go small with shrimp. Just skip the cocktail sauce—and avoid tilapia.
Cape Gourmet Cooked Shrimp
Unadulterated shrimp are among the leanest sources of protein on the planet. (And guys, speaking of protein, you’ll want to read this list of the 30 Best Proteins for Your Penis.)
Margaritaville Island Lime Shrimp
These shrimp are tossed in butter, but luckily it’s a light bath, so we still think they’re a healthier choice over others that are totally drenched in butter.
SeaPak Salmon Burgers
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 20 Best-Ever Fat Burning Soups, and you have a full, healthy meal.
Gourmet Dining Shrimp Stir Fry
American interpretations of Asian cuisine tend to be high in sodium, but this solid blend of fiber and protein more than makes up for it.
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. Enjoy, and also eat these 25 Best Foods for a Toned Body.
Evol Bowls Teriyaki Chicken
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.
Ethnic Gourmet Chicken Tikka Masala
The sauce is created with fat-free yogurt for low-calorie creaminess. Speaking of yogurt, while in the grocery store, make sure to pick up a stack of these 25 Best Yogurts for Weight Loss!
Wildscape Chimichurri Chicken
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
Instead of the standard white rice, this meal rests on a blend of black beans and brown rice. We love grains like unbleached rice (and we love chia seeds—click here for the 50 Best Chia Seed Recipes on Instagram
Beetnik Lemon Chicken With Cauliflower Rice
Beetnik’s blend of cauliflower rice, tender chicken, and lemony mushroom sauce makes this pick low-carb and high-protein.
FROZEN BEEF ENTREES
Eat This, Not That! prefers chicken dishes, because they generally have less sodium and fat, compared to beef entrees. But if you’re a hard-core carnivore, here’s what to buy.
Stouffer’s Beef Pot Roast
In the world of frozen entrées, there’s always some sacrifice involved. In this case, we’ll take the elevated salt count rather than the trans fats—and get a hit of fiber and protein in the process. Speaking of fiber, if you need help getting things moving, don’t miss this amazing list of 37 Best Foods Full of Fiber!
Banquet Meatloaf Meal
When it comes to delivering comfort dishes for a reasonable number of calories, Banquet’s regular line of entrées is among the best in the freezer.
White Castle Microwaveable Cheeseburgers
We can’t believe we’re saying this, but with decent at-home nutritionals, Harold and Kumar have less to worry about than ever. Hey, they’re better than any of these Worst Burgers in America!
Newman’s Own Beef & Broccoli Complete Skillet Meal
The first ingredient in this bag is broccoli. In the cost-conscious world of processed foods, that’s exceedingly rare. Speaking of veg, check out these 27 Complete Vegetarian Proteins!
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: Every Fast-Food French Fry—Ranked!
Ore-Ida Steak Fries
A serving of these hulking spuds contains fewer than half the calories you’d find in the average medium order of fast-food fries.
Cascadian Farms Fire Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Cascadian Farms uses just one ingredient in this bagged app: organic sweet potatoes. Check out these other clever 40 Ways to Lose Weight in 4 Seconds.
Applegate Organics Organic Chicken Strips
The relatively light breading makes Applegate’s strips less fatty than the competition’s.
José Olé Chicken Taquitos Rolled in Corn Tortillas
These taquitos win by virtue of their little corn sleeping bags, which are lower in fat than flour tortillas. And if you enjoy going south of the border, don’t miss Every Menu Item at Taco Bell—Ranked!
Foster Farms Mini Corn Dogs Honey Crunchy
At only 55 calories per dog, the damage potential here is relatively low.
ICE CREAM AND FROZEN TREATS
Find ones with few ingredients and under 20 grams of sugar and you’re golden!
Breyers Black Raspberry Chocolate
The secret to a low-calorie ice cream is simple: Lead off with something lighter than cream. This one uses regular milk first and cream last. Use a bit to make one of these 56 Smoothies for Weight Loss!
Turkey Hill Light Recipe Moose Tracks
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.
Edy’s Slow Churned Mint Chocolate Chip
Edy’s Slow Churned line leans more heavily on milk than cream, which keeps the calories in check.
So Delicious Chocolate Velvet
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
Careful—it’s made with real coffee, so it’s not the best choice right before bed. Speaking of sleep, here’s 30 Things to Do 30 Minutes Before Bed to Lose Weight!
Breyers Natural Vanilla
Breyers Natural has earned our allegiance for both its low-calorie concoctions and the simplicity of its ingredient statements.
Halo Top Red Velvet
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!
Snickers Ice Cream Bar
As decadent as it may seem, the Snickers Ice Cream Bar has less sugar and total calories than an actual Snickers candy bar. Better than these 40 Most Horrifying Things Found in Food!
Nestlé Drumstick Lil’ Drums Vanilla with Chocolatey Swirls
The perfect portion for an after-dinner indulgence.
Diana’s Bananas Banana Babies Dark Chocolate
Banana, chocolate, and peanut oil. You don’t find a frozen treat with a simpler recipe.
So Delicious Fudge Bars
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.
Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Chocolate Fudge Bar
A classy upgrade to the standard Fudgsicle, this frozen treat delivers 6 grams of belly-filling protein. Kinda like our favorite chia puddings.