The 14 Best and Worst Frozen Appetizers You Can Buy, Dietitians Say

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Whether it’s a game, a cocktail party or enjoying the sun on the grill, appetizers are a must for hungry guests. While homemade appetizers are fun and often delicious, preparing them can detract from enjoying the festivities.

Having an arsenal of frozen entrees ready to heat up can help you eat well, impress your guests, and have fun at the same time. If you’re looking for some healthy and delicious options, we’ve got you covered with both the foods to buy and the unhealthy options to avoid. As you walk down the frozen food aisle, you should be aware of a few red flags on the nutrition labels of your favorite apps. Some of the biggest health culprits found in these frozen foods include sodium and saturated fat, both of which are related to a higher risk of heart disease when eaten in excess.

To help you plan your next party without sacrificing your health, we asked dieticians to share their favorite appetizers to make entertaining a breeze—and also the ones they’d never buy. Here are some of the store’s best and worst frozen entrees, according to registered dietitians. Read on, and to learn more, don’t miss 15 Healthy Frozen Dinners for Easy Weekday Meals.

The 7 best healthy appetizers

Fill your cart with some of these healthy DR-approved snacks.

strong bites roots of spinach
Strong roots

FOR 3 BITES: 180 calories, 9 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 240 mg sodium, 16 g carbohydrates (2 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 3 g protein

Strong Roots Spinach Bites is a plant-based app that makes eating vegetables fun for kids and adults alike. “These no-sugar apps are vegan, easy to make, and a great way to fit more veggies at the start of a meal,” she says Malina Malkani, MS, RDN, CDN, a registered dietitian and author.

RELATED: 6 Best Leafy Greens You Should Be Eating Every Day

Bibigo Steamed Gnocchi
Courtesy of Bibigo USA

FOR 6 PIECES: 250 calories, 7 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 570 mg sodium, 34 g carbohydrates (2 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 15 g protein

Bibigo Steamed Chicken and Vegetable Dumplings are filled with ground chicken, providing a good source of protein for muscle repair and growth, says Registered Dietitian Wan Na Chun, MPH, RD, CPT. Nutrient-rich vegetables like kale, carrots and onions offer essential vitamins, minerals and fiber that are the icing on the cake, Chun adds.

annies pizza poppers
Better health market

FOR 6 PIECES: 180 calories, 5 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 300 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrates (1 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 7 g protein

Pizza rolls are a favorite of kids and adults alike, but they can be loaded with fat and sodium. Annie’s Three Cheese Pizza Poppers have just 2 grams of saturated fat and just 300 milligrams of sodium, or 13 percent of the Daily Value, making them one of the healthiest frozen pizza rolls around.

alexia sweet potato puffs
Alessia Alimenti

PER CUP: 140 calories, 4.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 230 mg sodium, 23 g carbohydrates (3 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 1 g protein

These popable sweet potato puffs from Alexia have no saturated fat and offer 3 grams of fiber per serving. Perfect to enjoy before or alongside a meal.

fresh kid chicken meatballs
Cool boy

FOR 6 MEATBALLS: 140 calories, 6 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 440 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrates (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 10 g protein

“Not only are Fresh Kid Chicken Meatballs packed with lean chicken, they also boast a delicious blend of hidden greens,” she says. Jessie Hulsey RD, LD, a registered dietitian based in Atlanta. “The combination of protein-rich chicken and a medley of vegetables provides a well-rounded option that supports a balanced diet for children and adults!”

deep indian cooking potato peas samosa

FOR 1 SAMOSA + 1 SPOON OF CHUTNEY: 120 calories, 4.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 260 mg sodium, 18 g carbohydrates (2 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 3 g protein

These Potato and Pea Samosas from Deep Indian Kitchen are vegan, a little spicy and filled with potatoes, peas and chillies for an incredibly flavorful appetizer. Plus, each samosa has just 1 gram of saturated fat and contains 2 grams of fiber.

applegate naturals spicy breaded chicken nuggets
Applegate Naturals

PER 3 OZ: 170 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 430 mg sodium, 16 g carbohydrates (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 11 g protein

Applegate Naturals’ Spicy Breaded Chicken Breast Bites are boneless, skinless and perfectly seasoned with no artificial ingredients added, she explains Lauren Manager MS, RDN, LDN. Manaker recommends serving these bites with dipping sauce and celery-carrot sticks for an easy and healthy snack.

The 7 Worst Appetizers

It might be best to leave these apps in the freezer section.

TGIFridays Cream Cheese Poppers

FOR 3 PIECES: 220 calories, 13 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 470 mg sodium, 23 g carbohydrates (<1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 4 g protein

Just three of these TGI Friday Cream Cheese Filled Jalapeno Poppers contain 5 grams of saturated fat, or 20 percent of the Daily Value! Not to mention the 470 milligrams of sodium, which amounts to 20 percent of the Daily Value for sodium.

RELATED: Here’s what happens to your body when you eat too much salt

white castle cheese sliders
Courtesy of White Castle

FOR 2 SANDWICHES: 340 calories, 18 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 620 mg sodium, 29 g carbohydrates (1 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 16 g protein

“White Castle Cheese Sliders may be small, but they pack a big punch when it comes to fat content, with a staggering 18 grams of fat per serving,” says Hulsey. A whopping 8 grams of that fat comes from saturated fat. Eating too much of this unhealthy fat can lead to weight gain, raised cholesterol levels and a higher risk of heart disease, Hulsey adds.

totinos pizza rolls
General Mills

FOR 6 ROLLS: 230 calories, 9 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 410 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrates (1 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 6 g protein

Pizza wraps aren’t a “healthy” food to begin with, but Totinos Pepperoni Bacon Pizza Wraps are high in sodium, fat, and calories, making them an option best left in the freezer case.

Jewish national beef francs in a blanket

FOR 5 PIECES: 310 calories, 25 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 590 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrates (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 8 g protein

Just five of these Jewish National Beef Francs in a blanket will cost you 50% of your DV for saturated fat and over 20% of your Daily Value for sodium. And that’s before you’ve dipped them in your favorite dressing.

jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese from the market pantry
Market pantry

FOR 3 PIECES: 240 calories, 17 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 640 mg sodium, 19 g carbohydrates (1 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 4 g protein

One serving of Market Pantry Cream Cheese Stuffed Jalapeos has 640 milligrams of sodium, or a whopping 27 percent of your Daily Value. Snacking on these high-sodium poppers will make it nearly impossible to reach the recommended daily sodium limit of 2,300 milligrams per day.

Farmhouse Rich Breaded Mozzarella Sticks
Rich farm

FOR 3 STICKS: 270 calories, 15 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 650 mg sodium, 23 g carbohydrates (1 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 12 g protein

Just three of these Farm Rich breaded mozzarella sticks have 650 milligrams of sodium, which is the equivalent of 28 percent of the recommended daily limit. While they have a good amount of protein for cheese sticks and can be filling, the high sodium content along with 5 grams of saturated fat lands them on the list of worst appetizers for your health.

beer sepak budweiser battered cod

FOR 5 PIECES: 260 calories, 16 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 580 mg sodium, 20 g carbohydrates (1 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 7 g protein

The fried breading and cheesy inside of these SeaPak Budweiser Beer Battered Crab Poppers add so much sodium that one serving will get you 25 percent of your daily limit before you add the 230 milligrams found in the resulting tartar sauce!

RELATED: 7 Highest Quality Frozen Seafood Brands

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