The thought of making dinner from scratch every night can feel daunting, especially when there are so many other things to do like work, care for kids and keep up with household duties. Many families rely on convenience foods like frozen dinners, but there are also a number of fresh prepared entrees that can be found in the refrigerated section at most grocery stores. These meals are more healthful than frozen dinners and often more convenient, too.
The only difficulty is knowing which ones are worth buying. To help, we turned to reviews from real customers on Amazon who have purchased and tested these products for themselves. These best-selling items not only have near-perfect ratings, but they also have countless glowing reviews describing why they’re so great.
Read on for fresh prepared entrees that are so good, you’ll be feeling guilty for not making them from scratch.
Our Editor’s Best Fresh Prepared Entrees Reviews
- DELICIOUS KOSHER BEEF STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS: Cabbage Rolls, filled with soft and savory beef, and covered in the most delicious gravy, Kosher certified, packed fresh, and shipped to you so that you can have easy-to-cook homemade kosher meals!
- KOSHER FOR PASSOVER AND GLUTEN-FREE READY TO EAT MEALS: Our Cabbage Rolls meals are quick & easy to prepare and serve while preserving 100% of the taste and nutrition of a real home cooked dish. 3-minute microwaving or 7 – 10 minutes in boiling water are enough to prepare these delicious meals.
- HIGHEST AND FINEST INGREDIENTS: Our fully cooked meals are made with the finest ingredients, they include no preservatives, there are no MSG added, and they’re proudly cooked in the USA.
- LONG SHELF LIFE: Packed and sealed in a microwavable tray, our meals may be stored in a dry, refrigerated, or frozen area and preserve their quality for up to 3 years as long as they’re not damaged in any way.
- GLATT KOSHER: Certified by the Orthodox Union (OU), and Rabbi Getzel Berkowitz of Kiryas Joel. We’re committed to the highest level of kosher, no exceptions. Even the most difficult production demands do not compromise the kashrus standard, ever!
- Shabbat Beef Variety 6 Pack: 2 Beef Cholent, 2 Beef Rib Steak, 2 Chicken Soup, (Microwavable, Shelf Stable), Dairy Free, Glatt Kosher (12 oz, Pack of 6) - Not For Passover
- EASY TO PREPARE: Prepared dinner meals, fully cooked, quick and easy to prepare and serve. Simply unwrap and pop into a microwave for 2 minutes, or place as is in boiling water, heat for 7 - 10 minutes.
- TRAVEL BETTER: Good to go meal for a better travel experience. MEAL SOLUTIONS FOR: Traveling, Hiking, Backpacking, Camping, Hunting, Fishing, Boating, Military, Collage Students, Correctional, or Long Term Emergency Preparedness Supply Kit and Survival Food storage Preparations.
- SHELF STABLE: No refrigeration needed, long shelf life, may be stored in a dry, refrigerated, or frozen area. Packed and sealed in a microwavable tray. (We guarantee the quality of each meal for up to 3 years from the date of manufacturing - so long as they are not damaged in any way).
- FINEST INGREDIENTS: Our dishes are prepared with the finest ingredients - then sterilized to preserve freshness, flavor and texture. No preservatives, No MSG Added. Made in the USA. GLATT KOSHER: Certified by the Orthodox Union (OU), and Rabbi Getzel Berkowitz of Kiryas Joel.
- JUST APPLE + MANGO SERIOUSLY, THAT’S IT! We’re packing 2 REAL fruit servings in a delicious, chewy fruit bar that delights your taste buds and provides your body the daily nutrition it needs. No preservatives, added sugar, concentrates or purees. Just 100% delicious.
- HEALTHY SNACKING ON THE GO: 87% of Americans are not getting their daily recommended fruit intake, so toss That’s It. Fruit Bars in your gym bag or child’s lunchbox for balanced nutrition on-the-go, or try infusing with other recipes. Great for weight management, these bars are only 100 calories and contain vitamins A and C, 3g fiber, and are the purest alternative to nearly every bar, snack, juice, granola, fruit strips, fruit bits, and dried fruit.
- 2-YEAR SHELF LIFE: An estimated 60% of all produce is wasted each year due to spoilage, fruit bugs, peelings, etc. so all of our fruit bars have a sustainable shelf life of 2 years. We’re taking the wash, peel, cut, wasteful hassle out of produce, and conveniently integrating real fruit into every lifestyle in a way that is fresh, delicious, and safe for you.
- 100% NATURAL: Ingredient lists have never been this simple and clean. Manufactured free from the top 12 allergens, That’s It. Fruit Bars are nut-free, fat-free, non-GMO soy-free, pesticide-free, diabetic-friendly including Vegan, Paleo & Kosher.
- TRY THEM ALL: We make it convenient and fun to get your two whole servings of fruit just from one That’s It. Fruit Bar. No washing or peeling required, try from a variety of combinations from Apple to Apricot, Banana, Blueberry, Cherries, Coconut, Mango, Pineapple, or Strawberry.
- INCLUDES: 2 Artichoke & Roasted Pepper Quinoa Quick Meals, 2 Grilled Vegetable & Herbs Farro Quick Meals, 2 Peruvian Vegetable Ceviche Cauliflower Quick Meals
- PLANT-BASED: Vegan. Nut-Free. No Sugar Added. No Artificial Flavors or Colors. Low Glycemic-Index.
- PACKED WITH NUTRIENTS & ANTIOXIDANTS: Complete Protein with all 9 Essential Amino Acids. Contains 10+ different Vitamins and Minerals. Source of Complex Carbohydrates.
- PERFECT FOR TRAVEL: Busy Moms and Dads, Students, Corporate Executives, Fitness Enthusiasts. Great for Planes, Trains, Road-Trips and Camping.
- DAILY GOURMET: With Mealet you can enjoy the taste of freshly cooked gourmet food at home. 4 International recipes handcrafted by Chef Shankar Krishnamurthy will transform your home dining experience. Enjoy Italian, Chinese, Mexican and Mediterranean entrees at your dining table.
- CONVENIENT: Making Mealet is as easy as boiling water. Empty the contents of a packet into a bowl. Pour 1 cup boiling water and close with a lid for 10 minutes. Stir, and enjoy !! Ideal for weekday/night meals. Have it for lunch, dinner, or even a post workout snack! Have it on the go: after class, in the office, while hiking/camping, or while traveling.
- AFFORDABLE: We believe that high quality food must be affordable. When all of us can afford to stop eating unhealthy packaged foods, the cumulative effect will be positive for our families and for the environment.
- HEALTHY, MILLET BASED: Whole millets are nutrient dense, high in protein, iron and complex carbohydrates that give energy for extended periods of time. Mealet is Certified Organic, Plant based, and Gluten free, and contains no synthetic preservatives whatsoever.
- FAIR TRADE, SUSTAINABLE: All our ingredients are grown by women farmers in family-owned farms, with a focus on conserving water and soil health, and building community. Millets are the perfect food to address climate change. They grow around the year, require very little water, and no chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
- McNish, Douglas (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 224 Pages - 08/29/2013 (Publication Date) - Robert Rose (Publisher)
- HEARTY FLAVORS - Prepared with love, each of the authentic Indian meals in this variety pack feature fresh ingredients and aromatic spices, and are paired with delicate, fluffy rice from the Himalayan foothills. Savor these rich, home-cooked flavors anytime, anywhere.
- SHELF STABLE - Our food has a long shelf life and can stay fresh without refrigeration. These pre-prepared Indian meals are ideal for short and long travels, making them second-to-none in terms of taste and convenience.
- PACKABLE - Each packaged meal fits easily in your regular lunch bag. These meals are great to take on camping trips, and perfect for busy students, working professionals, and anyone who simply loves Indian cuisine. Our ready-to-eat food lets you enjoy your favorite dishes without the long lines or troublesome preparation.
- HEAT & EAT - The microwavable trays make our meals quick and easy to prepare. Just pop it in the microwave oven, wait 90 seconds, and enjoy!
- NUTRITIOUS - Our 100% organic microwavable Indian meals are loaded with nutrients. Made with all-natural, non-GMO ingredients, they don’t contain gluten, dairy, and artificial additives.
- Non-GMO Project Verified
- Certified Gluten Free
- Certified Halal & Kosher
- Easy to prepare meal starter, simmer sauce or marinade
- In single use pouches to avoid waste.
- Six 10 oz. microwave trays of HORMEL COMPLEATS Turkey & Dressing is a traditional favorite you can have any day of the year, in 60 seconds – it’s America’s no.1 shelf stable tray
- Made with high quality ingredients and homestyle recipes HORMEL COMPLEATS Turkey & Dressing has oven roasted white turkey with traditional dressing and a rich turkey gravy - it’s big on flavor and a big value
- Shelf stable, HORMEL COMPLEATS entrees go from shelf to table with no prep, no mess and no clean up – conveniently stocked in your pantry whenever hunger hits.
- A quick, nourishing option for a satisfying lunch or a hearty dinner with 20 g of protein per serving (36% DV) and no artificial ingredients
- From chili with beans to Salisbury steak, mac and cheese, beef stew, chicken and dumplings, pot pie and more, HORMEL COMPLEATS microwaveable trays are an easy, affordable way to get supper on the table.
- One 12.3 oz. pouch of Cracker Barrel Oven Baked Havarti Macaroni and Cheese Dinner
- Oven-baked with creamy Havarti cheese for a delicious macaroni and cheese dinner
- Dinner includes cheese sauce, seasoning packet, toasted breadcrumbs and dry macaroni
- No artificial flavors or dyes
- Seasoned with garlic and chives
Best Fresh Prepared Entrees Buying Guide
Before choosing the best fresh prepared entrees you should consider following options:
1. Protein Source: The main ingredient in your protein source determines the overall quality of your meal. Options like beef, salmon, chicken, and eggs are high in protein but also high in saturated fat.
Be sure to check the labels and try to find sources of protein that are higher in omega-3 fats and leaner overall.
2. Sodium: Salt is a flavor enhancer, so it is impossible to have a meal without it.
However, too much salt can cause water retention, high blood pressure, and increase your risk of heart disease. One of the easiest ways to reduce the amount of salt in your diet is to cook with broth instead of water.
3. Carbohydrate Source: When shopping for carbs, keep in mind that not all carbs are created equally.
Pasta and bread are high in calories but are slowly digested by the body. As a result, they are often referred to as “bad” carbs.
On the other hand, foods like beans and sweet potatoes are often considered “good” carbs because they are lower in calories and digested quickly, making you feel full for a longer period of time.
4. Organic: You may have heard the word “organic” thrown around a lot, often with little explanation of what it means.
What it boils down to is that the food was grown without the use of synthetic herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides.
5. Fresh or Frozen: Frozen meals are convenient and cost less than fresh, but they often have more sodium, and the quality is not as high.
Fresh meals are more expensive and may require additional time to prepare, but they are generally higher in protein, vitamins, and minerals.
6. Cost: The price tag of a frozen meal plays a large role in your decision. The price of fresh meals varies depending on the ingredients in your meal.
For example, a fresh salmon dish may be more expensive than a frozen chicken dish.
However, the overall protein content is higher in the fresh salmon dish, and the omega-3 fat content may be higher as well.
7. Portion Size: Portion size is important to keep in mind when shopping for fresh meals. Frozen meals are already portioned, but with fresh meals, you are responsible for the size.
If you are eating at home, consider keeping the leftovers for lunch the next day.
If you are eating the meal at work, keep a small Tupperware in your desk drawer to store your leftovers.
8. Meal Prep: When preparing your meal, make sure to read the label to determine the overall nutrition of the meal.
Choose meals that are high in protein and low in carbs. Frozen meals are often higher in carbs and lower in protein, so keep that in mind when making your decision.
9. Quality of Ingredients: If you have the option, try to purchase meals with ingredients you recognize, instead of buying something that has a long list of unrecognizable ingredients.
This is especially important with fresh meals, since you are responsible for the preparation. Try to stick to fresh meals with simple ingredients, so you can be sure the quality is high.
10. Taste: Taste is subjective, but it doesn’t hurt to try a few different options before making your final decision.
The best way to do this is to purchase a small or single-serving size. This way, you can try a few different options and make
What else you should know about fresh prepared entrees
1. What are some of the most popular fresh prepared entrees?
Some of the most popular fresh prepared entrees include salmon, grilled chicken, steak, and vegetables.
2. What are the benefits of eating fresh prepared entrees?
Some benefits of eating fresh prepared entrees are that they can be healthier than fast food or processed foods, they can save time because you don’t have to cook them yourself, and they can be more convenient than cooking at home.
3. What are some tips for preparing fresh prepared entrees?
Some tips for preparing fresh prepared entrees include:
-Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before handling any food.
-Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water before cutting or eating them.
-Use clean utensils, cutting boards, and cooking surfaces when preparing food.
-Cook food thoroughly to the recommended internal temperature.
-Avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw meat, poultry, and seafood away from other food.
-Refrigerate or freeze perishable food promptly.
4. How can I make my fresh prepared entrees more nutritious?
You can make your fresh prepared entrees more nutritious by adding more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. You can also add more lean protein, such as chicken, fish, tofu, or beans.
5. What are some common mistakes people make when preparing fresh prepared entrees?
Some common mistakes people make when preparing fresh prepared entrees are not cooking the food long enough, not using fresh ingredients, and not following the recipe.
On the market, there are numerous best fresh prepared entrees. Hopefully, the list of the top ten best fresh prepared entrees will save you time researching and deciding on the best one for you.