Our microwave has never worked so hard. BabyTalk tried dozens of frozen, microwave, and just-add-hot-water foods to find the tastiest one-step meals for busy moms.
Lean Pockets Sausage, Egg & Cheese Pastries
Calories/fat grams: 290/9 for 2 pastries
Why it’s a winner: The flaky crust and gooey filling taste far more decadent than they are. Perfect on-the-go eating.
Uncle Ben’s Bacon, Egg & Potatoes Breakfast Bowl
Calories/fat grams: 290/13
Why it’s a winner: The hot and hearty scrambled eggs will warm your belly just as well as a heaping stack of pancakes fresh off the griddle.
Lean Pockets Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches
Calories/fat grams: 280/7 for one
Why it’s a winner: Tangy tomato sauce spills out from the crust with every bite and beats a PB&J hands-down.
Smart Ones Teriyaki Chicken & Vegetable Bowl
Calories/fat grams: 280/3
Why it’s a winner: Every forkful is packed with rice, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, broccoli, non-rubbery chicken, and a yummy sweet-and-tangy sauce.
Amy’s Teriyaki Bowl
Calories/fat grams: 300/2
Why it’s a winner: Dairy- and gluten-free, and made with organic tofu, rice, and vegetables, this is the perfect choice for vegetarians.
Thai Kitchen Spring Onion Rice Noodle Bowl
Calories/fat grams: 170/2
Why it’s a winner: This light and zesty noodle soup will add more zip to your day than a bowl of split pea.
Healthy Choice Stuffed Pasta Shells
Calories/fat grams: 290/6
Why it’s a winner: The shells actually stay firm while the cheese softens deliciously in the microwave. Served with broccoli.
Kraft Easy Mac Mega-Size Macaroni & Cheese Packets
Calories/fat grams: 380/11
Why it’s a winner: The classic kids’ meal (and moms’ guilty pleasure) is now easier to make and just as cheesy.
California Pizza Kitchen BBQ Chicken Pizza
Calories/fat grams: 280/9 for 1/3 of pie
Why it’s a winner: The crispy crust is topped with white chicken, BBQ sauce, smoked gouda cheese, mozzarella, red onions, and cilantro — and almost made us drool.
Stouffer’s Lean Cuisine Roasted Chicken with Mushrooms
Calories/fat grams: 370/5
Why it’s a winner: The chicken is tender, the sauce is creamy, and there are actually two full servings of veggies (broccoli) in this well-rounded meal.
Amy’s Veggie Loaf Dinner with Mashed Potatoes & Vegetables
Calories/fat grams: 280/7
Why it’s a winner: Close your eyes and this veggie loaf, made with lentils, beans, baby oats, veggies, and mushrooms, could be mom’s own down-home meat version.
Smart Ones Angel Hair Marinara
Calories/fat grams: 240/4
Why it’s a winner: The pasta is light and slurpable, and the spicy tomato sauce (with zucchini and mushrooms) has a surprising amount of punch.