Whether it's been a long day or just a lazy one, sometimes cooking is the last thing we want to do. Microwave dinners aren't only fast and straightforward to make, but they also last a long time. Though these meals have become infamous in recent years, not all ready-to-eat dinners are created equal. From mouthwatering Asian noodles to flavorful Mexican cuisine, these meals sport natural ingredients, little to no preservatives, and favorable nutrition facts. Read on to discover some of the healthiest microwave meals on the market.
Trader Joe's Chicken Burrito Bowl
Trader Joe's has a host of healthy options, and their chicken burrito bowl is no exception. This perfectly portioned microwave dinner is only 380 calories but is loaded with nutrition and protein.
One container has 22 grams of protein, 10 grams of fiber, and no trans fats. In addition to all-white meat, the meal also includes red and green peppers, corn, beans, brown rice, and red quinoa! The preservatives are kept to a minimum, so the ingredients list doesn't read like a science experiment.
Sweet Earth's Peruvian Burrito
Sweet Earth has a wide variety of burritos, many of which are a relatively healthy choice when it comes to microwave foods. The Peruvian Burrito is a prime example of how this company sticks to whole foods that pack a punch in terms of flavor.
This burrito variation includes ingredients like poblano peppers, fire-roasted tomatoes, sweet potatoes, goat cheese, chia seeds, and much more. Their lengthy ingredients list includes only Non-GMO and organic ingredients, so you can feel good about each bite.
Love The Wild's Baja Style Fish Taco Bowl
If you're the kind of person who always orders a bowl when you go out to eat, then we highly recommend that you check out the brand Love The Wild. They have a variety of bowls that are chock-full of healthy and natural ingredients.
It's not every day that you find a decent microwave fishbowl. This one is packed with ingredients like barramundi sauce, fresh tomatoes, corn, onions, cheese, and more. What you won't find is this bowl are chemicals or otherwise questionable ingredients.
Amy's Mac And Cheese
If you're going to opt for mac and cheese, go for Amy's brand. When it comes to ingredients, it doesn't get much more straightforward than pasta, milk, cheese, butter, rice flour, salt, and organic annatto (a cheese preservative).
These ingredients account for the 18 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and zero trans fat in this meal. Best of all, they have gluten-free, dairy-free, and low-sodium variations, so you can enjoy this childhood favorite regardless of dietary restrictions.
Loma Linda's Chipotle Bowl
If you're trying to lay off meat products, you've got to try the Loma Linda Chipotle Bowl. This flavorful meal is vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, and free of cholesterol, fat, and preservatives.
What is in it is soy protein, tomatoes, brown rice, chipotle paste, black beans, bell peppers, corn, lemon juice, and a whole lot of spices. An entire pouch is only 260 calories but includes 18 grams of protein, 10 grams of fiber, and 20% of your daily potassium.
Evol's Chicken Enchilada Bake
Don't let the backward spelling of "love" throw you off, for this chicken enchilada bake is anything but "evol." At 370 calories, this delicious meal features 20 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, and no trans fat or added sugar.
It also has 15% of your daily value of calcium and iron. This bowl is made with white meat chicken, black beans, rice, cheese, pepper purees, and spices, and is free of questionable ingredients.
Saffron Road's Vegetable Pad Thai
Another excellent pick for those looking for a vegan option is Saffron Road's Vegetable Pad Thai. This mouthwatering microwave dinner features gluten-free rice noodles, reduced-sodium tamari sauce, peanut butter (yes, you read that right), celery, onions, carrots, lime juice, and more.
As far as nutrition facts, there are 15 grams of protein per container, zero cholesterol, and no trans fat. Some of its delicious flavor can be attributed to the 18 grams of sugar found in the sauce, so we wouldn't recommend it to those on a strict no-sugar diet.
Artisan Bistro's Savory Turkey
If you're craving a meal that feels homemade but takes a fraction of the time to prepare, try Artisan Bistro's Savory Turkey. The turkey is topped with a delicious mushroom sauce and comes with a side of veggies and quinoa.
This well-balanced meal is packed with 24 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber. It only has 5 grams of sugar, 1 gram of saturated fat, 330 calories, and about a fifth of your daily sodium intake.
Lean Cuisine's Honey Citrus Chicken
Lean Cuisine's Honestly Good Honey Citrus Chicken is heavy on flavor but light on sugar and fat. Free of artificial ingredients and preservatives, the number one ingredient in this meal is broccoli.
Other ingredients include grilled chicken breast, pasta, garlic puree, lemon zest, yellow zucchini, spinach, sundried tomatoes, and more. In addition to being a good source of vitamin A, calcium, iron, protein, and fiber, this meal offers 17% of your daily value in potassium.
Red's Braised Chicken, Sweet Potato & Quinoa Burrito
If you're craving a burrito but don't want to blow your daily calorie intake, it may be worth trying Red's Braised Chicken with Sweet Potato & Quinoa burrito. At only 280 calories, this meal features 14 grams of protein and 30% of your daily value of vitamin A and iron.
The burrito also has only 2 grams of sugar and zero trans fats. Inside you'll find chicken, spices, brown rice, black beans, cheese, sweet potato, quinoa, tomatillos, jalapeno, onions, and lime juice.
Kashi's Chimichurri Quinoa Bowl
There virtually nothing to scrutinize about Kashi's Chimichurri Quinoa Bowl. It has no cholesterol, only 1 gram of saturated fat, and has almost half of your daily value of fiber!
While most of the items on this list have at least 20% of your daily value of sodium, this meal has only 14%. It is also a good source of protein, vitamin C, and iron. The vegan meal is loaded with veggies, lentils, potatoes, spices, and-- of course-- quinoa and chimichurri.
Amy's Light & Lean Swedish Meatballs
If you're looking for a portion of comfort food that won't destroy your dietary goals, look no further than Amy's Light & Lean Swedish Meatballs. This meal is so delicious and flavorful that you may forget it's vegetarian. That's right; these meatballs are made from quinoa, lentils, tofu, and flax seeds.
The meatless alternative contributes to the fact there's only 210 calories and 4.5 grams of fat in a bowl. Nevertheless, the meal features 10 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber to ensure you feel satisfied and guilt-free.
Healthy Choice's Italian Chicken Sausage & Peppers
If you love sausage as much as we do, we highly recommend Healthy Choice's Italian Chicken Sausage & Peppers. The bowl is bursting with flavor and includes chicken sausage made from chicken thigh, bell peppers, tomato, onions, chard, kale, black barley, red quinoa, red rice, spinach, and more.
In addition to having 6 grams of fiber and 16 grams of protein, this meal is also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron.
Luvo's Quinoa & Veggie Enchilada Verde
Luvo's Quinoa & Veggie Enchilada Verde is a delightful twist on Mexican cuisine. Made with vegetarian ingredients, this meal boasts a whopping 16 grams of fiber, 10 grams of protein, and only 16% of your daily value of sodium.
At less than 300 calories, you can be sure that this nutritious meal will hold you over without putting you over. The ingredients include black beans, red quinoa, corn, bell peppers, poblano peppers, cheese, cilantro, garlic puree, lime juice, and more.
Amy's Sweet & Sour Asian Noodle
If you're anything like us, then the minute you read "sweet & sour" your mind went to sugar. By some miracle, there are only 11 grams of sugar in an entire package of Amy's Sweet & Sour Asian Noodle, which is relatively low for an Asian food sauce.
As part of Amy's Light & Lean category, this meal only has 260 calories in it and 4 grams of fat. This gluten-free and vegan meal is loaded with organic ingredients that will leave you feeling positive about your dinner choice.
Healthy Choice's Beef & Broccoli
Sporting only 2 grams of saturated fat and 22 grams of protein, Healthy Choice's Beef & Broccoli is a great way to get your red meat fix without going overboard. The meal is a good source of iron, vitamin C, and fiber.
The sauce and beef do have a bit of added sugar, but only 6 grams per container. The meal also features polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats (the good ones) and flavorful ingredients like ginger, garlic, and chili paste.
Amy's Black Eyed Peas And Veggies Bowl
Amy's Black-Eyed Peas and Veggies bowl is as healthy as it sounds. Its all-organic ingredients list includes brown rice, black-eyed peas, broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, onions, spices, ginger puree, and extra virgin olive oil.
The 290 calorie meal features 5 grams of fiber, 9 grams of protein, 15% of your daily value of iron, and 10% of your daily value of potassium. It is also free of cholesterol, trans fats, added sugar, GMOs, gluten, animal products, and tree nuts.
Artisan Bistro's Wild Salmon With Pesto
Artisan Bistro's Wild Salmon with Pesto is a well-balanced, tasty meal that you can feel positive about choosing. The 310 calorie meal has 15 grams of healthy fats from the fatty fish, only 2.5 grams of saturated fat, and no trans fat.
The meal also features no added sugars, 40% of your daily value of vitamin A and C, a fifth of your daily amount of calcium, 16 grams of protein, and 3 grams of fiber.
Kashi's Chicken Pasta Pomodoro
Free of artificial ingredients and packed with nutrients, Kashi's Chicken Pasta Pomodoro is a delicious and healthy pick. The 280 calorie meal features 19 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, and zero trans fat.
Inside you'll find multigrain penne pasta, chicken, cheese, spices, and veggies including mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, and zucchini. Complete with a tomato, garlic, and basil sauce, this meal gives you an Italian food experience without the worry of overindulging.
Artisan Bistro's Chicken Citron
Another great pick from Artisan Bistro is their Chicken Citron frozen meal. Complete with quinoa, edamame, and spinach, this meal features 22 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and only 280 calories.
This meal is also the lowest-sodium option on this list, with a mere 13% of your daily value in each container. It also has a whopping 80% of your daily value of vitamin A and is a good source of vitamin C, calcium, and iron.