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+ servings
TV dinners air fryer

Microwave Meals in Air Fryer (TV Dinners and more!)

Summer Yule
Can you put microwave meals in an air fryer? Yes! Learn how to cook TV dinner in the air fryer with this guide!
5 from 3 votes
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 360 kcal

Ingredients

  • 9.5 ounces frozen lasagna (269g) OR
  • 9 ounces frozen macaroni and cheese (255g) OR
  • 20 ounces frozen stir fry meal (567g) OR
  • 16 ounces frozen chicken and sauce (454g) OR
  • 9 ounces frozen enchilada meal (255g) OR
  • 10 ounces frozen curry meal (283g) OR
  • your favorite frozen meal

Instructions

  • If your microwave food container is safe in the regular oven, it should be safe in the air fryer. Always check the package of the food you’re using to be sure. Remove any plastic overwrap and put the food in a parchment-lined aluminum pan (if necessary) before beginning the recipe. 
  • Preheat the air fryer to 375°F (190°C) for 5 minutes. Cover your tray of food with foil. We're going to be cooking all of these meals at 375°F (190°C).
  • For frozen lasagna: air fry for 45 minutes in the middle of the air fryer oven. Uncover the lasagna and bake an additional 2-3 minutes to finish melting the cheese.
  • For frozen mac and cheese: air fry for 40 minutes in the middle of the air fryer oven. Uncover the mac and cheese, stir, cover with foil again, and bake 15 more minutes.
  • For frozen stir fry meals: air fry for 30 minutes in the middle of the air fryer oven. Stir, cover with foil again, and air fry 30-35 minutes. 
    Remove the foil and stir again. Air fry for 5 minutes uncovered. This helps evaporate any excess water in the meal while it finishes cooking. 
    Check the food with a meat thermometer. If it hasn’t reached a safe temp of 165°F (74°C), stir and air fry uncovered for 5 more minutes.
  • For frozen chicken and sauce: air fry for 30 minutes in the middle of the air fryer oven. Then gently break the chicken up into pieces, cover with foil again, and bake 20 more minutes. 
    Check the temperature of the chicken after cooking to ensure it reached 165°F (74°C). While the chicken cooks, put the sauce packet in a bowl of water to thaw it. Change out the water as needed if it gets too cold. 
  • For frozen enchilada meal: air fry for 45 minutes in the middle of the air fryer oven.
  • For frozen curry meal: air fry for 30 minutes in the middle of the air fryer oven. It will be thawed out at this point, but not very hot. Stir it, replace the foil cover, and air fry for 20 minutes more. 
    Check to ensure the chicken reached a safe minimum internal temp of 165°F (74°C). Add more cooking time if needed.
  • Note: If I've missed your favorite type of microwave meal, drop me a comment below! I will update this post based on your suggestions.

Notes

This is a level 1 recipe (may help support fat loss). You can find a microwave meal that will meet your needs, pretty much no matter what you’re looking for. There are gluten-free, low-calorie, high-calorie, low-carb, vegan, and Paleo meals available, and more. 
That said, there are some nutritional downsides to your standard TV dinner. Here are a few: 
  • Many microwave meals are high in sodium 
  • Many microwave meals count as ultra-processed foods 
  • Frozen microwaveable meals tend to have a small volume and not be very filling (relative to the calories they provide) 
Luckily, there are ways around all of these issues. First, it’s possible to find frozen meals for the microwave that have 500-600 mg of sodium or less per serving.  
Unfortunately, companies like Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice change products in their lines all of the time. Recipes for a favorite lower sodium frozen meal can also change. The best way to know what you’re getting is to look at the nutrition label when you shop. 
Second, some companies are creating less processed frozen meals to meet consumer demand. Primal Kitchen is one brand that uses a lot of familiar ingredients in their meals, similar to what you might make at home. 
Finally, you can find microwave meals that are packed with low-calorie, high-volume veggies. Primal Kitchen’s Chicken Fried Riced Cauliflower is a perfect example. (Well, it’s technically a frozen skillet meal, not a microwave meal. But I digress.) 
 
Nutrition information depends on the microwave meal or TV dinner you choose. The information listed here is for Amy’s Cheese Enchilada meal. 

Nutrition

Calories: 360kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 16gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gSodium: 770mgPotassium: 530mgFiber: 6gCalcium: 25% DVIron: 15% DV
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