24 Packaged Meals For When You Just Can't
So best-laid cooking plans don't turn into a $30 takeout order that takes you to Regretsville.
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1. Nissin Chow Mein Premium Teriyaki Beef will be an easy (and super affordable!) microwave meal that tastes almost like your beloved go-to takeout order.
2. NongShim Shin Ramyun Noodle Soup – it'll help satisfy your cravings for that legendary noodle shop where they know your name like on Cheers. It could be the next best thing ;).
3. Velveeta Original Shells & Cheese Microwave Cups I can personally vouch for, as I've purchased these in my local drugstore for a quick dinner one too many times.
4. Or Annie's Real Aged Cheddar Microwavable Macaroni & Cheese in case you try to keep your family eating organic.
5. Daily Harvest will quickly become an organic freezer staple for anyone who lives off of smoothies, harvest bowls, soups, and other scrumptious things. I've tried it and LOVE it.
6. Quaker stepped-up oatmeal mixes that'll just require adding water and microwaving. I've had them before and they have no business being that tasty.
7. ZATARAIN'S Reduced Sodium Red Beans and Rice can take care of the bulk of your family dinner in less than three minutes, without messing with everyone's dietary restrictions.
8. Idahoan Microwavable Instant Mashed Potatoes may make you say "But Elizabeth, mashed potatoes aren't a meal!" And to which I reply, "They can be if you really want them to be!!!" Not speaking from experience or anything....
9. Rice a Roni Cups in Chicken for a microwave meal that'll one-up Sandra from accounting's baked salmon she decided to heat up in the break-room microwave.
10. Simple Sensations Gluten-Free Italian Style Pepper Steak as the easiest way to win the desk lunch game. Period. (Well... unless you're plant-based, but there are plenty of other options for you in this story!)
12. Chef Soraya Plant Based Vegan Bowls you can reach for in your cabinet when you're on the verge of hangry but trying to eat something that'll actually stick with you and has ingredients you recognize.
13. Viet Way Pho Bo Rice Noodle Soup Bowl that'll hold you over 'til you're near your fave pho place.
14. NongShim Cup Noodle Soup in Kimchi for when that hankering for kimchi and slurpy noodles hits and you swore to yourself that you'd eat at home this week.
15. Campbell's Chunky Pub-Style Chicken Pot Pie Soup comes in a microwavable bowl, meaning it'd be the perfect thing to keep stashed in your filing cabinet at work for super busy days.
16. Barilla Italian-Style Meat Sauce Gemelli for when you want something with some meaty flavor and forgot to defrost stuff.
17. HMR Tasty Trio Entree Variety Pack can help you build up meals when you have the energy and/or bandwidth to actually fix a side. Whomst among us?!
19. Knorr Pasta Side Dish in Alfredo Broccoli may be marketed as a side, but if you really put your heart into it you can make it a whole meal. (Uh, I definitely have.)
20. Campbell's Slow Kettle Style Portobello Mushroom and Madeira Bisque to help your quick meal feel a lil' fancy, even if you heated it up in a microwave!
21. Velveeta Skillets Cheesy Philly Cheesesteak Dinner Kit just needs a few fixins to achieve a winning family feast.
22. Pasta Roni Angel Hair Pasta with Herbs for those nights when you don't have the energy to cook-cook but want something besides a PB&J.
23. NongShim Soon Cup Noodle Soup in Veggie as a vegan-friendly last-minute meal you can zhuzh up with some fresh veggies that are about to go bad in your fridge(!!!).
24. Annie Chun's Red Curry with Brown Rice & Red Quinoa for a non-GMO and gluten-free option you can keep in your pantry and still feel satisfied about eating when you'd rather eat your own arm that cut up some veggies for a stir fry.
Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.