These Vegetarian Frozen Dinners are Perfect for Finals

It was a vegetarian, food writer’s dream come true when I was asked to taste test MorningStar Farms’ five new veggie bowls. I figured I’d get a small box in the mail of my tasty vegetarian frozen dinners, heat them up, take some photos and write a review to let students know how I felt about the options. After all, I am a professional when it comes to vegetarian frozen entrees, as I've been a vegetarian for 11 years. I was ready for anything.

Or so I thought. My roommates and I had way too much fun when we unpacked the 80 frozen meals that MorningStar Farms shipped to me and packed as many as we could into our freezer. Next, it was time to get cracking on the taste tests.

Our first thought when unpacking the boxes was how tiny they seemed to be. Some of the meals were definitely more filling than others, but under five dollars and below 340 calories each, they were a decent meal when eaten with a snack on the side. Plus two were totally vegan and the rest were vegetarian. To be honest, these are super meals to enjoy during the hectic time of finals. Each box was also easy to throw in a bag on the way to my internship and simple to make.

Chik’n Tikka Masala

What’s inside: Vegetarian chik’n strips, naan bread, mixed veggies in a tomato curry sauce.

Nutrition: 340 calories, 12g fat, 9g fiber, 17g protein.

How does it taste? This meal easily disappeared faster than the rest, and for a good reason. It was crazy good. I’m one to like spice and curry, and that’s definitely a prerequisite for enjoying this meal. The spice has a nice kick, the chickpeas and green peas were scrumptious, and the naan bread was perfect for wiping the bowl clean at the end. I could eat this one over and over.

Recommendation:  10/10 Absolutely!

Chik’n Pot Pie

What’s inside: Vegetarian chick’n strips, biscuit, and mixed veggies in a wine and herb cream sauce

Nutrition: 330 calories, 15g fat, 3g fiber, 14 g protein

How does it taste? If the crumbly dough of a traditional pot pie is your favorite part, you may want to consider skipping this version of the classic. The biscuit was still pretty good when placed on top of the veggies and eaten together, and it still added a good starch to the mix. The entrée was a little light on veggies and fake meat, but the carrots, corn and potatoes paired beautifully with the creamy wine sauce. This was to die for, even if I needed a snack on the side to keep me full.

Recommendation: 9/10

Japanese Soba Noodle

What’s inside: Soba noodles, vegetarian steak strips, edamame, snap peas, bamboo shoots, red peppers, carrots, and green onions in a soy ginger garlic sauce.

Nutrition: 240 calories, 3g fat, 5g fiber, 17g protein

How does it taste? For a totally vegan frozen meal, I was pretty impressed by the flavors. I wish there were more noodles, but they paired really well with the sweet and spicy sauce on top. Well, more so underneath - make sure to mix this one well for full flavor! The steak was a little too chewy for my taste, but it was a good alternative to the chicken in many of the other meals. This one’s also packed with tasty veggies as well. To be honest, there were times we heated up two for one meal. It was super yummy - but just a little too small. Definitely filling with a snack on the side. 

Recommendation:  7/10

Italian Sausage Bake:

What’s inside: Spinach, zucchini, vegetarian sausage crumbles, chickpeas, and mushrooms in a cheese and tomato basil sauce with mozzarella cheese.

Nutrition: 240 calories, 11g fat, 6g fiber, 14g protein

How does it taste? The major disappointment with this one was the lack of starch. The flavors are awesome, but it tastes like someone made a killer sauce and forgot to boil the pasta. It’s super creamy, cheesy and packed with veggies. Without a starch, you'd figure the sausage crumbles would be the star of the show, but it was pretty low on those too.

Recommendation:  5/10, but if you put the sauce on pasta it bumps it up easily to a 9/10.

Moroccan Medley:

What’s inside: Peppers, sweet potatoes, green beans, olives, vegetarian chick’n strips, and couscous in a sweet Harissa sauce.

Nutrition: 240 calories, 6g fat, 5g fiber, 11g protein

How Does it taste? I may be a little biased on this one because I hate olives, so I was not excited to try this. I spent the first few minutes picking out every olive I could, and was surprised that it was really flavorful. There was a lot of chicken, a delicious quinoa and couscous blend, and a spicy tomato sauce. So overall, if I wasn’t so opposed to olives I could see myself eating this one again.

Recommendation:  7/10 without the olives.

Disclaimer: The author was contacted by a MorningStar Farms communications representative to write a review in exchange for the free samples. The author was not told what to write, but simply asked to review the products.

All photos belong to the author.