Illustration: Christina Harrison Text: Daniel Boone

A hot sandwich ready in less than five minutes sounds perfect for lunch on busy days. The challenge in the past though has been finding healthy sandwich options that tasted good and weren't chewy after been microwaved. While sandwiches and wraps are still a small portion of the freezer section, there are more choices (including gluten-free and vegan), and several we'd highly recommend.

December 08, 2016

Taste Test Winners:

Amy's Broccoli & Cheese in a Pocket Sandwich

"My favorite soup wrapped up in a sandwich," was the way one taster described this top pick. The broccoli-cheese mixture is creamy, comforting, and plentiful, and the broccoli is crisp-tender, not mushy. We love this pocket for a quick lunch on a cold or rainy day for all ages. $3.49, vegetarian

Calories 270; Fat 10g (sat 4g); Protein 8g; Carb 37g; Fiber 3g; Sugars 4g; Chol 15mg; Iron 1mg; Sodium 520mg; Calc 200mg

Amy's Indian Samosa Wrap

This sandwich mimics a traditional samosa by wrapping a hearty mixture of potatoes, sweet peas, and tofu in a wheat tortilla. The filling is seasoned with a balanced blend of turmeric, garam masala, and coriander to give it authentic flavor. Microwaving made the wrap a little soggy, although definitely still edible, but try cooking in the oven if you have the time. $3.49, vegan

Calories 250; Fat 9g (sat 1g); Protein 8g; Carb 35g; Fiber 4g; Sugars 2g; Chol 0mg; Iron 2mg; Sodium 680mg; Calc 60mg

Glutenfreeda Pesto Chicken Pizza Wrap

Shredded chicken is cooked in a tangy marinara sauce which perfectly compliments a rich pesto sauce and cheese. The wrap tastes like it was freshly-made, not frozen and reheated. It's rare to find frozen dishes with authentic pesto sauce, so if you're a fan, this sandwich is for you. $3.69, gluten-free

Calories 240; Fat 10g (sat 2g); Protein 15g; Carb 27g; Fiber 4g; Sugars 2g; Chol 25mg; Iron 0mg; Sodium 450mg; Calc 60mg

Others We Liked:

Amy's Gluten-Free Indian Aloo Mattar Wrap

Potatoes, sweet peas, garbanzo beans, and tofu are cooked in a garlic-ginger tomato sauce to make this wrap's filling. The spice blend isn't quite as perfected as in the traditional dish, but this is still a tasty and filling lunch option. $3.49, vegan

Calories 250; Fat 9g (sat 0.5g); Protein 9g; Carb 32g; Fiber 6g; Sugars 5g; Chol 0mg; Iron 2mg; Sodium 590mg; Calc 40mg

Amy's Cheese Pizza in a Pocket Sandwich

Craving pizza? Try this this pocket sandwich then that has plenty of mozzarella cheese and a tangy tomato sauce. Both kids and adults will like this quick pizza alternative. $3.49, vegetarian

Calories 310; Fat 10g (sat 3.5g); Protein 14g; Carb 42g; Fiber 4g; Sugars 5g; Chol 15mg; Iron 2mg; Sodium 450mg; Calc 200mg

Amy's Spinach Pizza Pocket Sandwich

Similar to the Cheese Pizza version above, this pocket has a little more flavor depth thanks to a blend of feta and mozzarella cheese. Plus you get a dose of veggies thanks to the ample, but not overpowering, spinach filling. $3.49, vegetarian

Calories 280; Fat 9g (sat 4g); Protein 13g; Carb 37g; Fiber 4g; Sugars 3g; Chol 15mg; Iron 2mg; Sodium 460mg; Calc 200mg

Things to Look For:

  • Whole Grain Flour: It's rare to find a frozen sandwich or wrap that's 100% whole grain, but there's quite a few that use a mix of whole and refined grains. Check the ingredient list when you shop; you want to make sure you see at least one whole grain towards the top of the list. Another tip: look 4g or more fiber per serving.
  • Sodium: Tangy fillings and cheesy sauces can quickly make sodium levels creep up, so look for options that have less than 750mg sodium.
  • Saturated Fat: Cheese is a key ingredient in most hot wraps and pockets, and it makes them comforting and filling. But it can also push saturated fat content up, so look for options that have 6g or less saturated fat.

How We Tested

Only frozen foods that met Cooking Light’s nutrition guidelines were tested. Products were eliminated based on the following: lack of calorie and/or protein adequacy, lack of whole grains, presence of trans fat or hydrogenation, presence of significant added sugars, and presence of artificial coloring or sweeteners. All frozen foods were cooked according to package directions and taste tested by a panel of Cooking Light editors and staff. To ensure consistency, Breville microwaves were used to cook all foods.