The Worst Frozen Dinners on Store Shelves
There really is nothing quite like a frozen dinner. All you need is a microwave (or oven if you're feeling fancy) and five minutes later, your meal is ready. For those nights when you don't have the time or the energy to whip up a full dish from scratch, there is nothing more convenient. Plus, these frozen meals seem rather decadent, equivalent to what you would order from a restaurant—or so they seem.
But there are some frozen dinners out there that are just not worth it.
We went ahead and took a deep dive into the frozen foods aisle and found the worst frozen dinners that are simply the unhealthiest. We even ranked them from bad to the worst of the worst for you, too. And while you're making room in the freezer, look out for the 100 Unhealthiest Foods On the Planet!
Lean Cuisine Sesame Chicken
Lean Cuisine meals are known for being a lighter, healthier option compared to other frozen meals, but the sesame chicken dish gives you breaded chicken that is tossed in 15 grams of sugar. Along with as much sodium as you could get from eight and a half pretzel rods. Skip!
Amy's Cheese Lasagna
This dish from Amy's is made up of five cheeses that are layered along with marinara sauce. It's packing 680 milligrams of sodium for a rather small serving of pasta. Amy's offers up tons of other frozen options that are much better for you!
Marie Callender's Sweet & Sour Chicken
Sorry, but going for a sweet and sour chicken option isn't better than sesame chicken—in fact, it's worse! This dish from Marie Callender's is made of battered chicken that is tossed with vegetables, pineapple, and sweet and sour glaze sauce atop rice. While it has a solid protein serving, it's packing 29 grams of sugar, nearly as much as you would get if you ate three Original Glazed Donuts from Krispy Kreme.
Michelina's Tortellini Alfredo
This pasta dish from Michelina's seems too good to be true, as it's only 240 calories for the entire meal. But don't let that fool you. See, the tortellini pasta here is stuffed with a creamy blend of ricotta, Parmesan, and Romano cheeses, and is all tossed in a rich Alfredo sauce. And you already know Alfredo sauce is always one to avoid when it comes to unhealthy sauces! Altogether, this meal has 960 milligrams of sodium, for such a small dish.
Banquet Chicken Fried Chicken Meal
It's best to avoid anything that is labeled as "fried," and this chicken fried chicken Banquet meal is proof. It's packing nearly 1,000 milligrams of sodium! Keep in mind that The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams a day, moving toward an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 milligrams per day for most adults. This one meal ends up costing you nearly half your day's worth of sodium.
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Stouffer's Baked Macaroni & Cheese
By now, it should be clear that while mac and cheese is thought of as one of the top-tier comfort food dishes, it doesn't really do much for you, nutritionally speaking. This baked version from Stouffer's is topped with buttery romano bread crumbs, creating a meal that is loaded up with fat and sodium.
And that one gram of trans fat? That's a hard pass, as trans fats are proven to be harmful. They not only lower your HDL levels (otherwise known as your good cholesterol), but can even trigger heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic conditions, according to Harvard Health.
Stouffer's Bowl-Fulls Fried Chicken Mashed Potatoes
This Stouffer's bowl is made up of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, and gravy, creating a meal that is very similar to KFC's Famous Bowl. While it's certainly less caloric than the KFC version, this meal is still way too high in sodium.
Marie Callender's Meatballs & Sausage Marinara
This pasta dish is packed with meatballs and Italian sausage, creating a meal that is teetering on the line of being too high in protein and again, is a sodium bomb.
Banquet Salisbury Steak Meal
Banquet strikes again. This time, they're serving up steak that is smothered in gravy alongside creamy mashed potatoes, sweet corn, and a cinnamon apple dessert. There is just far too much sodium and carbs here to justify eating this one!
Hungry-Man Selects Golden Battered Chicken with Cheese Fries
In this meal from Hungry-Man Selects, you'll find golden battered chicken and fries that are swimming in a cheese sauce. This makes for a highly caloric dish that is loaded with salt. No thanks!
DiGiorno Cheese Stuffed Crust Three Meat Small-Sized Pizza
DiGiorno went ahead and made small-sized pizzas that are the perfect portion for one person to eat all by their lonesome. But this three meat-topped mini frozen pizza pie also features a crust that is stuffed with cheese, creating a meal that high in calories, sodium, and fat.
You're already aware of how bad trans fats are, and the fact that you get 1 gram here is problematic. The 2020-2025 American Dietary Guidelines actually recommend people limit trans fats to as low as possible, which basically means you shouldn't have any.
Hungry-Man Double Chicken Bowl Boneless Fried Chicken
And now we present one of the worst frozen dinner options you'll find. This Hungry-Man meal is made of two fried chicken patties that are served with mac and cheese. The fact that it has more than 2,000 milligrams of sodium is downright scary. Then you take into consideration the amount of calories and fat you get as well and it's obvious this frozen dinner is one that should never make its way into your freezer.
Here are some recipes that take about as long to whip up as a frozen dinner:
20 Quick Recipes Made with Frozen Foods
20+ Quick & Easy Recipes to Make With Pizza Dough