7 Very Tasty Microwaved Meals I Buy on Repeat

published Dec 17, 2021
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

For me, a home-cooked meal is the ideal. But in reality, I’m usually short on time or energy (or both). I have a few simple recipes that are breakfast and lunch staples (including this fall-inspired smoothie, which I make every morning), but my meal planning often involves one time-saving tool: my microwave.

Thanks to a rotation of microwave meals, I can enjoy a variety of hot vegan and vegetarian dishes at a moment’s notice. All of these microwaveable meals are so good — they taste nearly homemade. And yes, if you’re wondering, I do check sodium levels to make sure my intake is in line with the daily recommendation.

Here are the seven that are worth stocking in your own freezer and pantry.

Credit: Nilina Mason-Campbell

1. Amy’s Kitchen Tofu Scramble

Ready after five minutes in the microwave, this suite of all things breakfast includes hash browns, tomato paste, and a mix of spinach, carrots, and mushrooms. As a devoted fan of Safeway’s “just for U” program, I often stock up on these cartons whenever I pop into Safeway. I eat these for breakfast, yes, but most often for dinner!

Buy: Amy’s Kitchn Tofu Scramble, $3.98 for 9 ounces at Walmart

Credit: Nilina Mason-Campbell

2. Tasty Bite Organic Coconut Squash Dal

Costco recently started carrying 8-pack boxes of these Coconut Squash Dal meals. The non-perishable packets are super easy to make: Just vent the packet by tearing it open two inches, toss it in the microwave, and I have a tasty dinner. I have a habit of taking and eating Tasty Bite meals when I’m traveling, but on especially lazy nights I’ll throw one in the microwave and pair it with a packet of Seeds of Change rice. Both are ready in less than three minutes, total.

Buy: Tasty Bite Organic Coconut Squash Dal, $3.75 for 10 ounces at iHerb

Credit: Sweet Earth Enlightened Foods

3. Sweet Earth’s Korean Japchae

Anytime I come across Sweet Earth’s Korean Japchae at Target, it’s an instant buy. This stir-fry noodle dish is so divine. The quantity of the vegetables is great and the whole thing cooks up very nicely in the microwave. Ready in five minutes — including cooling time — these are typically priced in the $5 range.

Buy: Sweet Earth’s Korean Japchae, $5.89 for 9 ounces at Instacart

Credit: Nilina Mason-Campbell

4. Amy’s Vietnamese Inspired Banh Mi Veggie Wrap 

A few years ago Amy’s was on a roll, introducing several new frozen wraps. (In this case, maybe they were on a wrap? Zing!) As a longtime fan of the organic brand, I tried every vegan option and this Banh Mi wrap was an instant favorite. Flavorful without being overbearing, every bite is comforting, creamy goodness. While I’ve been a devotee of their tofu scramble wrap (see above) and rice and bean burritos, this one is even more of a home run. It quickly rose (and has remained) to the top of my list when it comes to Amy’s offerings. While the price varies depending on where I shop, it’s a constant easy meal that usually comes in under $3.

Credit: Nilina Mason-Campbell

5. Sweet Earth Vegan General Tso’s Tofu 

After trying (and loving!) their plant-based chicken strips, Sweet Earth’s General Tso’s Tofu was my intro to the brand’s frozen microwave meals. And it remains a perennial favorite. The broccoli tastes fresh and includes an adequate portion, allowing me to check off a full serving of veggies for the day. Plus, I can typically stretch the sauce that comes in these microwave meals into a whole additional meal by adding a packet of Seeds of Change rice.

Buy: Sweet Earth Vegan Frozen General Tso’s Tofu, $2.59 for 9 ounces at Walmart

Credit: Nilina Mason-Campbell

6. Dr. McDougall’s Vegan Miso Ramen Noodle Soup

I stock up on these Vegan Miso Ramen Noodle Soup cups whenever I order from Vitacost. They’re so portable and great for travel, whether that means taking them on an extended trip or just carrying one around in my tote while I go about my day. Add water and heat them in the microwave. They have just the right amount of saltiness and flavor to make every bite taste as great as the last — just make sure to stir in any contents that might be lurking at the bottom!

Buy: Dr. McDougall’s Vegan Miso Ramen Noodle Soup, $2.29 for 1.9 ounces at Vitacost

Credit: Nilina Mason-Campbell

7. Mike’s Mighty Good Vegetarian Vegetable Ramen Soup

The broth in these ramen cups is so rich: a powder and vegetable flavor packet is bolstered by a small additional packet of oil. I love noodle cups where you just add water, and this one surpasses them all. If served up in a bowl, you’d never believe it was cooked in a microwave. It has a restaurant-quality taste and I like that the package encourages you to add fresh vegetables to the mix for an even fuller meal. I’ve yet to try that route, because it’s super pleasing on its own. I can often snag these for less than $2 each at Whole Foods, Market of Choice, or Natural Grocers.

Buy: Mike’s Mighty Good Ramen Soup, Vegetarian Vegetable, $2.99 for 1.9 ounces at Instacart