The 9 Best Healthy Frozen Dinners in 2020, According to a Dietitian

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Our Top Picks
"The dish is friendly for the whole family, as it’s naturally gluten-free and vegan."
"The balance of macronutrients can help to promote regular blood sugar along with 4g of filling fiber."
"The vegan, gluten-free, GMO-free bowls are loaded with veggies and taste homemade."
"A blend of basil, spinach, cashews, olive oil, and nutritional yeast that offers 8 grams of protein with only 22 grams of carbs."
"Incredibly allergy-friendly, as they are free from wheat, gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, corn, or nuts."
"Each serving boasts 9 grams of protein from melty mozzarella cheese and 3 grams of dietary fiber from fiber-rich veggies."
"This freezer staple is fantastic for vegans, vegetarians, and meat-lovers alike."
"Each package contains 17 grams of vegetarian protein with no preservatives, artificial colors, or flavors."
"Each convenient bowl can be ready in 5 minutes and offers 10 grams of plant-based protein, one serving of vegetables, and 9 grams of fiber."

Gone are the days of bland, tasteless, and unhealthy TV dinners. Today, the frozen section is a great place to look for quick and easy options that you can keep on hand for when you’re not in the mood to cook or when you’re short on time. Frozen meals do tend to have high sodium, saturated fat, and calorie levels, but if you shop smartly, you can find some great dinnertime staples in the freezer aisle. 

Here, the best healthy frozen dinners.

Best Overall: Amy's Light & Lean Quinoa and Black Beans with Butternut Squash & Chard Bowl

Amy’s makes great-tasting frozen foods from organic, whole-food ingredients. This vegetarian bowl features black beans and savory quinoa with butternut squash and chard. With 240 calories, 10 grams of protein, and 11 grams of fiber per bowl, Amy’s is an excellent option for an easy and tasty dinner. Plus, it contains 440 milligrams of sodium and 38 grams of carbohydrates, which is low compared with similar frozen dinner products.

Amy’s Light & Lean products are lower in calories and fat than typical frozen meals but don't skimp on taste. They're also easy to prepare in the microwave, oven, or toaster oven.

This plant-based dish is friendly for the whole family, as it’s naturally gluten-free and vegan. Plus, it's free of common allergens, including dairy, corn, and tree nuts.

Best for People With Diabetes: Good Food Made Simple Chicken Black Bean Bowl

With 350 calories, 19 grams of protein, and 41 grams of carbs, the Good Food Made Simple Chicken Black Bean Bowl is a great frozen choice for people with diabetes. The balance of macronutrients—protein, fat, and carbohydrates—can help to promote regular blood sugar along with 4 grams of filling fiber. For those people with diabetes who are counting carbohydrates and aiming for about 45 to 75 grams of carbohydrates per meal, this tasty bowl is a good choice.

Best Ready-to-Eat Meal Delivery: Splendid Spoon Lemon Wild Rice & Broccoli Bowl

Make plant-based eating a no-brainer with Splendid Spoon’s ready-to-eat bowls. Splendid Spoon bowls arrive ready-to-eat, but they can be frozen for up to one month, so you can enjoy them immediately or stash them in the freezer and reheat for a quick and easy dinner in a pinch. With an impeccable ingredient list, Splendid Spoon bowls are a great addition to your dinner rotation. The vegan, gluten-free, GMO-free bowls are loaded with veggies and taste homemade.

Best Frozen Meal Delivery: Daily Harvest Cauliflower Rice + Pesto Bowl

Daily Harvest is typically known for delicious smoothies, but the Harvest Bowls are a great option for a stress-free dinner. The bowls come frozen and can easily be reheated on the stove or in the microwave to create a flavorful, nutritious dinner. Enjoy the veggie-based bowl alone, or for a more filling option, use it as a base for your favorite protein such as chicken, eggs, or fish. The low-carb Cauliflower Rice and Pesto Bowl features a delicious blend of basil, spinach, cashews, olive oil, and nutritional yeast that offers 8 grams of satiating protein with 22 grams of carbohydrates.

Best Veggie Burger: Hilary's Hilary’s Eat Well World’s Best Veggie Burger

Hilary’s certified organic plant-based burger lives up to its name as “world’s best” and is made with tasty ingredients like whole grain millet, kale, spinach, and sweet potatoes. Many vegetable burgers use potato or brown rice as a base, whereas Hilary’s is primarily made up of millet. Millet is superior to potato and brown rice in terms of protein content, and the whole grain offers various minerals and B vitamins. Hilary’s are also incredibly allergy-friendly, as they are free from wheat, gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, corn, or nuts.

Best Frozen Pizza: CAULIPOWER Veggie Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Made with real cauliflower, the frozen Caulipower Live Life on the Veg pizzas are a great healthy dinner in a pinch. Stock your freezer with this nutritious, family-friendly option that contains 30% less sugar than typical gluten-free pizzas. Many frozen pizzas are high in carbohydrates and lack vegetables and protein. Each ½-pizza serving of Caulipower Live Life on the Veg boasts 9 grams of protein from melty mozzarella cheese and 3 grams of dietary fiber from fiber-rich veggies. 

Best Low Sodium: 365 Organic Quinoa with Vegetables

Whole Foods Market offers a simple, steam-in-the-bag quinoa and vegetable mix with 5 grams of protein, 3 grams of dietary fiber, and a modest 10 milligrams of sodium per 1-cup serving. This freezer staple is fantastic for vegans, vegetarians, and meat-lovers alike. Make a balanced, plant-based meal by topping a serving with a few slices of healthy fat-filled avocado or use it as a base for a low-sodium dinner by adding grilled chicken.

Best Vegetarian: EatingWell Vermont Cheddar Mac & Cheese

Amplify the nutrition of your vegetarian mac and cheese by choosing Eating Well’s Vermont Cheddar Mac and Cheese. Note that the first ingredient in this frozen dish is fiber-rich, protein-packed broccoli. Each package contains 17 grams of vegetarian protein with no preservatives, artificial colors, or flavors. Eating Well uses whole-grain pasta to boost fiber, protein, and overall nutrition including key vitamins and minerals. With 348 milligrams of calcium from real cheddar and mozzarella cheese (and calcium-containing broccoli), this creamy dish boosts bone health with each bite.

Best Vegan: Luvo Performance Kitchen Vegan Great Karma Coconut Curry

Luvo Performance Kitchen offers delicious whole-grain, gluten-free, and non-GMO vegan dishes with tons of plant-based protein and fiber. Each convenient bowl can be ready in 5 minutes and offers 10 grams of plant-based protein as well as one serving of vegetables and 9 grams of fiber. The nutrition is on point with 390 milligrams of sodium and only 1 gram of sugar.

Final Verdict

If you're looking for an excellent frozen dinner, Amy's Light & Lean or Low in Sodium meals are an excellent choice. The brand's Light & Lean Quinoa and Black Beans with Butternut Squash & Chard Bowl takes the top pick in terms of taste, nutrition, and overall satisfaction. Plus, Amy's is available in a variety of retailers and online distributors.

What to Look for in a Healthy Frozen Dinner

Ingredients: When shopping for frozen dinners, always check the label to ensure the product is made of real food ingredients you can read (such as whole grains, legumes, or vegetables). When possible, choose a product that uses organic or non-GMO ingredients.

Calories: In general, look for a healthy frozen dinner with approximately 250 to 500 calories. Many frozen items list multiple servings per box, so always double-check the serving size when trying to calculate how many calories the dinner contains. Note that calorie needs vary between individuals based on many factors, including activity level and age, so you may need more or less, depending on your caloric needs. If the serving size is on the smaller side, bulk up the meal with a side salad and veggies to add extra satisfying dietary fiber.

Protein & Fiber: Choose a meal with at least 4g of protein and fiber per serving.

Sodium: While sodium is used in frozen foods to preserve and enhance flavor, it’s best to choose a meal with under 750 milligrams of sodium (less than 1/3 of the recommended daily value of 2300 milligrams). 

Fat: Healthy frozen dinners contain a bit of healthy fat but should not exceed 10 to 18 grams of total fat. In general, aim for less than 4 grams of saturated fat.

What Experts Say

"One of the easiest ways to keep your kitchen stocked with a variety of ingredients to make simple, easy, and nutritious meals is to take advantage of the frozen aisle. Freezing retains the nutrition content of many foods and is one of the most underrated, convenient, and cost-effective ways to supply your kitchen with plenty of meal options. To mix up the flavors or textures, you can always get creative and add extra fresh veggies, greens, sauces, or spices during preparation."—Abigail Taft, MS, RD, LD

Why Trust Verywell Fit

A personal note on my recommendations written above. As a dietitian, I am cautious to recommend frozen dinners, as many frozen entrees contain lots of sodium, saturated fat, and questionable ingredients. That said, there are many excellent options on the market, such as the products above. In writing this article, I spent time looking at multiple products and brands and consulted with trusted peers in dietetics.

I believe the products in the round-up are made by trusted brands and are composed of high-quality ingredients. I would recommend the above products to friends, family, and clients, and have personally tried most of the products. You can currently find Splendid Spoon bowls and Hilary's veggie burgers in my freezer. Eliza Savage, MS, RD, CDN

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Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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