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 meat at least one of those criteria.
Jimmy Dean Delights Turkey Sausage Breakfast Bowl
(1 bowl, 198 g) 240 calories, 8 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 720 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 22 g protein
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
(2 waffles, 72 g) 150 calories, 5 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 340 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 4 g protein
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
(1 sandwich, 113 g) 210 calories, 6 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 510 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 13 g protein
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
(2 waffles, 72 g) 150 calories, 5 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 340 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 4 g protein
Kasi does waffles right: These are the most fiber-packed waffles in the freezer.
Amy’s Toaster Pops—Apple
(1 pastry, 2.11 oz) 160 calories, 3.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 110 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein
Say hi to the thinking parent’s smarter Pop Tart. The latter has high fructose corn syrup, regular old corn syrup and sugar among the ingredients, with less than 2% of dried fruit. Amy’s has apples as the second ingredient, and is sweetened with a touch of cane sugar and juice. For more slimming swaps that’ll allow you to carbo-load, guilt-free, don’t miss these 25 Best Carbs for Weight Loss.
Amy’s Black Beans & Tomatoes Breakfast Burrito
(1 burrito, 170 g), 270 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated), 540 mg sodium, 38 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 12 g protein
Black beans are one of the healthiest foods on the planet—and this burrito’s packed with ’em.
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?
Kashi Stone-Fired Thin Crust Pizza Mushroom Trio & Spinach
(⅓ pie, 113 g) 150 calories, 9 g fat (4.5 g saturated), 660 mg sodium, 28 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 14g protein
This pie features more pesto than cheese, which means you end up with more monounsaturated fat from olive oil than saturated fat from dairy. That’s a healthy swap.
Bagel Bites Cheese & Pepperoni
(4 pieces, 88 g) 200 calories, 6 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 340 mg sodium, 28 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 7 g protein
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
(1 pie, 167 g) 420 calories, 17 g fat (6 g saturated), 720 mg sodium, 49 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 18 g protein
For the rare times when you allow yourself the privilege of eating a whole pizza, this is exactly where you should turn.
Newman’s Own Thin & Crispy Uncured Pepperoni
(⅓ pie, 125 g) 320 calories, 16 g fat (6 g saturated), 800 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 15 g protein
Newman’s skips the nitrates and nitrites with its pepperoni. Click here for The Ultimate Weight-Loss Pizza Topping Guide!
Tofurky Italian Sausage & Fire Roasted Veggie
(⅓ pie, 132 g), 270 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated), 320 mg sodium, 40 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 13 g protein
Tofurky’s lactose-free “cheese” is made using protein, flour, and oils.
Peas of Mind Cheese Pizza
(⅓ pie, 109 g) 240 calories, 5 g fat (2 g saturated), 510 mg sodium, 36 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 11 g protein
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
(1 entrée, 283 g) 280 calories, 6 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 470 mg sodium, 38 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 19 g protein
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 less calories than most other frozen chicken dishes, this will get you there.
Michelina’s Macaroni & Cheese
(1 package, 213 g) 250 calories, 6 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 500 mg sodium, 38 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 9 g protein
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
(1 package, 258 g) 230 calories, 6 g fat (3 g saturated), 690 mg sodium, 33 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 11 g protein
Swap out 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
(1/2 package, 340 g) 400 calories, 16 g fat (4 g saturated), 860 mg sodium, 44 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 20 g protein
After pasta, the first two ingredients are broccoli and chicken. That’s exactly what you want to see in your ingredients list.
FROZEN FISH ENTREES
To shrink your belly, go small with shrimp. Just skip the cocktail sauce—and avoid tilapia.
Cape Gourmet Cooked Shrimp
(3 oz) 50 calories, 0.5 g fat, 330 mg sodium, 10 g protein
Unadulterated shrimp are among the leanest sources of protein on the planet. (And guys (or the ladies who love them), speaking of protein, you’ll want to read this list of the 30 Best Proteins for Your Penis.)
Margaritaville Island Lime Shrimp
(6 shrimp, 4 oz) 240 calories, 11 g fat (3 g saturated), 330 mg sodium, 12 g protein
These shrimp have also been tossed in butter. The difference is quantity; here it’s a light bath, but in SeaPak’s scampi it’s a tidal wave.
SeaPak Salmon Burgers
*(1 burger, 91 g) 110 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated), 340 mg sodium, 16 g protein(
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.
Gourmet Dining Shrimp Stir Fry
(1/2 package, 198 g) 200 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated), 640 mg sodium, 12 g protein
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
(1 bowl, 255 g) 260 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated), 560 mg sodium, 43 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 14 g protein
Evol’s teriyaki bowl is made with brown rice, free-range chicken, and enough produce to meet 90 percent of your day’s vitamin A needs.
Ethnic Gourmet Chicken Tikka Masala
*(1 package, 283 g) 260 calories, 6 g fat (2 g saturated), 680 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 19 g protein
The sauce is created with fat-free yogurt, for a 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!
Banquet Chicken Fried Chicken Meal
(1 entrée, 286 g) 350 calories, 17 g fat (4 g saturated), 930 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 12 g protein
Thinner breading and better sides save you 90 calories over Banquet’s “premium” version.
Kashi Lemongrass Coconut Chicken
(1 entrée, 283 g) 300 calories, 8 g fat (4 g saturated), 680 mg sodium, 38 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 18 g protein
Instead of the standard white rice, this meal rests on a blend of oats, wheat, and quinoa. We love grains like those (and we love chia seeds—click here for the 50 Best Chia Seed Recipes on Instagram
Kashi Chicken Enchilada
(1 entrée) 280 calories, 9 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 620 mg sodium, 6 g fiber, 12 g protein
Kashi’s blend of whole grains makes these corn tortillas surprisingly healthy.
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 Homestyle Classics Beef Pot Roast
(1 entrée, 251 g) 320 calories, 8 g fat (3 g saturated), 1,570 mg sodium, 41 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber, 20 g protein
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 double our 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 Meat Loaf Meal
(1 meal, 269 g) 280 calories, 13 g fat (5 g saturated), 1,000 mg sodium, 28 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 12 g protein
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
*(2 burgers, 104 g) 310 calories, 17 g fat (8g saturated), 600 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 14 g protein
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
(1/2 package, 250 g) 250 calories, 10 g fat (3 g saturated), 800 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 19 g protein
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
(7 fries, 84 g) 110 calories, 3 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 290 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein
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 Farm Shoe String French Fries
(3 oz, 85 g) 110 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated), 10 mg sodium, 17 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein
Cascadian Farm tosses these fries in apple juice, the sugar from which caramelizes into a crisp, golden crust. Like that trick? Check out these other clever 25 Ways to Lose Weight in 5 Seconds.
Applegate Organics Organic Chicken Strips
(3 strips, 84 g) 170 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated), 350 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrates, 12 g protein
The relatively light breading makes Applegate’s strips less fatty than the competition’s.
José Olé Chicken Taquitos Rolled in Corn Tortillas
(3 pieces, 85 g) 200 calories, 8 g fat (1.5 g saturated), 390 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrates, 7 g protein
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
(4 dogs, 76 g) 210 calories, 12 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 490 mg sodium, 18 g carbohydrates, 7 g protein
At only 53 calories per dog, the damage potential here is relatively low.
ICE CREAM AND FROZEN TREATS
Find ones with six or fewer ingredients, and you’re golden!
Breyers Black Raspberry Chocolate
(1/2 cup, 67 g), 140 calories, 4 g fat (3 g saturated), 16 g sugars
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
(1/2 cup, 61 g) 140 calories, 6 g fat (2.5 g saturated), 15 g sugars
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 but lose belly fat
Edy’s Slow Churned Mint Chocolate Chip
(1/2 cup, 60 g) 120 calories, 4.5 g fat (3 g saturated), 35 mg sodium, 13 g sugars
Edy’s Slow Churned line leans more heavily on milk than cream, which keeps the calories in check.
So Delicious Chocolate Velvet
(1/2 cup, 81 g) 130 calories, 3.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 14 g sugars
So Delicious cuts the fat without needing to make up for it with an extra hit of sugar. Pair it with bananas.
Edy’s Rich & Creamy Grand Coffee
(1/2 cup, 65 g) 140 calories, 7 g fat (4 g saturated), 13 g sugars
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
(1/2 cup, 66 g) 130 calories, 7 g fat (4 g saturated), 14 g sugars
Breyers Natural has earned our allegiance for both its low-calorie concoctions and the simplicity of its ingredient statements.
Häagen-Dazs Chocolate Sorbet
(1/2 cup, 105 g), 130 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 21 g sugars
One of the few Häagen-Dazs products that we can actually stand behind.
Snicker’s Ice Cream Bar
(1 bar, 49 g), 180 calories, 11 g fat (6 g saturated), 15 g sugars
As decadent as it may seem, the Snicker’s Ice Cream Bar has less fat, sugar, and total calories than an actual Snicker’s candy bar. Better than these 40 Most Horrifying Things Found in Food!
Nestlé Drumstick Lil’ Drums Vanilla with Chocolatey Swirls
(1 cone, 43 g) 110 calories, 5 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 10 g sugars
The perfect portion for an after-dinner indulgence.
Diana’s Bananas Banana Babies Dark Chocolate
(1 piece, 60 g) 130 calories, 6 g fat (3.5 g saturated), 14 g sugars
Banana, chocolate, and peanut oil. You don’t find a frozen treat with a simpler recipe.
So Delicious Minis Vanilla
(1 sandwich, 40 g) 90 calories, 2 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 8 g sugars
Low in sugar and overall calories, this is a good treat to keep in mind even if you’re not lactose intolerant.
Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt Chocolate Fudge Bar
(1 bar, 70 g) 100 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated), 13 g sugars
A classy upgrade to the standard Fudgsicle, this frozen treat delivers 7 grams of belly-filling protein. Kinda like our favorite chia puddings.
LOSE UP TO 14 POUNDS—FROM YOUR BELLY FIRST!
All it takes is a humble bag of tea. Find out how in THE 17-DAY GREEN TEA DIET, developed by the bestselling authors of Eat This, Not That!
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