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Chef-Quality Foods from our Frozen Department

Chef-Quality Foods from our Frozen Department

The following story was written by Heinen’s partner Elaine T. CicoraPhotography was provided by Carolyn Hodges of The Dinner Shift.

Frozen foods sometimes get a bad rap. But the truth is that frozen foods can be a convenient, affordable and delicious way to add variety and nutrition to your diet.

At Heinen’s, our commitment to providing the highest quality products extends to our carefully curated selection of frozen foods. March is National Frozen Foods Month and the perfect time to explore the best of what our Frozen Department has to offer.

Heinen's Chef Quality Frozen Food Product Packaging on a Tile Surface

From the Yucatan to Ohio City … from stone-baked flatbreads to chocolate covered berries … and from gluten-free wonders to high-protein treats, here are eight “must try” frozen options selected for quality, flavor, nutrition and chef-worthy appeal by Heinen’s product experts.

Beecher's Frozen Mac and Cheese on Tile Surface with a Wood Cutting Board and Striped Dish Towel

1. Beecher’s Handmade Cheese Frozen Entrees
Must Try: “World’s Best” Mac & Cheese, Gluten Free Mac & Cheese and Cheese Curd Lasagna

You probably know Seattle-based Beecher’s from its legendary handmade cheeses in the Specialty Cheese Department. But did you know you could find the same attention to quality and flavor in Beecher’s award-winning frozen entrees and sides? Dish up a comforting bowl of Beecher’s “World’s Best” Mac & Cheese to see what we mean. It’s made with a mouthwatering combo of their signature Flagship and Just Jack cheeses slathered over penne with just a hint of spice; a grain-free version delivers the same award-winning yum without a trace of gluten. And lasagna fans, take note: Beecher’s Cheese Curd Lasagna features layers of pasta, ricotta, mozzarella, cheddar and tomato sauce, topped with creamy, milky cheese curds for a main dish as unique as it is satisfying.

Real Good Foods Frozen Entrees in Packaging on a Tile Surface with Two Metal Forks, White Napkins and a Gray Placemat

2. Real Good Foods Frozen Bowls, Bakes and Enchiladas
Must Try: Lasagna Bowl, Broccoli Cheddar Bake, Cheese Enchiladas and Chicken Enchiladas

At Real Good Foods, the difference is right there in the name, reflecting the company’s focus on real ingredients with plenty of protein, no added sugar and a low glycemic index. Take the Real Good Lasagna Bowl, for instance: Made with sugar-free sauce and a unique chicken-and-cheese pasta replacing the usual flour, this no-grain, no-gluten single-serve entrée dishes up 26 grams of protein and just 4 grams net carbs. Consider, too, the vegetarian Broccoli Cheddar Bake, offering 20 grams of protein and 11 grams of net carbs, or the grain-free, gluten-free Cheese Enchiladas, with a whopping 36 grams of protein and 5 net carbs. Increase the eye-appeal of any of these dishes by removing them from their packaging, baking them in your own casserole dish, topping them with your family’s favorite flavor enhancers and serving them with a salad.

Mason Dixie Frozen Breakfast Sandwich Packaging on a Tile Surface with a Cup of Coffee and Blue Dish Towel

3. Mason Dixie Foods Frozen Breakfast Sandwiches
Must Try: Liege Waffle Sandwiches with Chicken Sausage & Maple, Cheddar Breakfast Sandwiches with Sausage and Egg and Buttermilk Biscuit Breakfast Sandwiches with Sausage and Egg

Founded by a first-generation American craving the homestyle foods she grew up on, this small, independent maker strives to keep it real: real butter, real dairy and real flavor, that is. The resultant made-from-scratch products aren’t just preservative- and additive-free: they’re delicious, too. Take Mason Dixie’s not-so-classic riff on chicken and waffles, here reimagined as two trendy liege waffles (Belgian-style waffles sweetened with pearl sugar), cosseting a patty of juicy chicken sausage. Or maybe you’re all about the biscuit: the Buttermilk Biscuit or the Cheddar Biscuit, that is, each sandwiching a sausage patty and a real egg. Sure, you can grab one right out of the microwave and rush out the door. But options abound. Toppings like hot sauce, mayo, a pouf of arugula salad, extra cheese or slices of quick-candied bacon take these sammies to a whole new level. Mix up a batch of Bloody Marys, and Sunday-morning brunch is a breeze.

Vista Hermosa Frozen Breakfast Burritos in Packaging on a Tile Surface with a Red Rimmed Plate

4. Vista Hermosa Frozen Hand-Rolled Burritos
Must Try: Sweet Potato & Cactus Burrito, Bean & Oaxaca Cheese Burrito and Spicy Chicken Burrito

Inspired by the burritos served inside the sturdy brick walls of Tacombi, a popular Yucatan taqueria, these plump, 8-ounce burritos are a delicious refutation to the claim that frozen foods can’t be wholesome. From the flour tortilla wrapper – made with locally milled, non-GMO, white Sonora wheat, water, salt and avocado oil – to simple but flavorful fillings like Sweet Potato and Cactus, Bean and Oaxaca Cheese and Spicy Chicken, these hand-rolled burritos are fast, convenient and preservative free. Grab one for a quick lunch; or add a salad, steamed rice, diced avocado or your favorite salsa for a delightful dinner fit for the whole family.

Heinen's Frozen Italian Entrees in Packaging on a Tile Surface with a Wooden Spoon

5. Heinen’s Frozen Italian Entrees
Must-Try: Mushroom Fettuccine, Penne Arrabbiata, Mushroom Risotto, Asparagus Risotto, Gnocchi Sorrentina and Spinach & Cheese Ravioli

Meat-free dining couldn’t be easier than with these vegetarian pastas and risottos from Heinen’s. Made with premium ingredients and ready to heat and eat, Heinen’s frozen Italian entrees are not only free of preservatives, artificial flavors and synthetic colors, but they help you bring sophisticated dinners to your table in a flash. Who wouldn’t savor a serving of creamy Mushroom Risotto, made with a blend of porcini and champignon mushrooms, white wine, garlic and herbs; or the Gnocchi Sorrentina, with tender potato gnocchi bathed in tomato sauce with mozzarella and basil? A glass of wine and a flicker of candlelight will make your favorite Italian restaurant feel as close as your dining room table.

Heinen's Frozen Flatbreads in Packaging on a Tile Surface with a Pizza Cutter and Green Striped Dish Towel

6. Heinen’s Frozen Flatbreads
Must Try: Pepperoni Duo Flatbread, Four Cheese Flatbread, White with Garlic and Italian Herbs Flatbread, Vegetable Flatbread, BBQ Chicken Flatbread, Bruschetta Flatbread and Buffalo-Style Ranch Chicken Flatbread

Ready in less time than it takes to order carry-out, these stone-baked, heat-and-eat flatbreads are just what the chef ordered when time is at a premium. In flavor combinations to please every palate, you’ll find everything from classics – like the Pepperoni Duo (melted mozzarella layered with slices and chunks of savory pepperoni) and the White (cheeses, Italian seasonings and a light garlic spread) – to the contemporary, like BBQ Chicken (chipotle BBQ chicken with cheese, crunchy peppers and red onion) and Buffalo-Style Ranch (melted cheese, Buffalo chicken and creamy blue-cheese ranch sauce). Whichever you choose, you can count on bubbly toppings and crisp-crusted goodness just right for either a light dinner or an appealing appetizer. And don’t hesitate to gild the lily: After baking, these flatbreads take well to such additions as fresh baby arugula or spinach, artfully placed dollops of olive tapenade or drained and chopped artichoke hearts. Buon appetito!

Ohio City Pasta Frozen Ravioli Packaging on a Tile Surface with a Wooden Spoon, Wood Cutting Board and Striped Dish Towel

7. Ohio City Pasta Frozen Ravioli
Must Try: Spinach Ravioli, 4 Cheese Ravioli, Butternut Squash Ravioli and Cremini & Fontina Ravioli

Since 1990, Cleveland-based Ohio City Pasta (OCP) has been handcrafting top-quality products that are favored by chefs and found in fine restaurants throughout the Midwest. Happily, OCP’s scratch-made ravioli has also found a home in the freezer case at Heinen’s. Made with all-natural ingredients (sourced and selected as locally as possible), options include slow-roasted butternut squash in sage pasta; four-cheese filling in egg pasta; spinach and cheese in spinach pasta; and pasta filled with cremini mushrooms and fontina. All varieties cook in just five minutes in a pot of boiling water and go well with a wide assortment of sauces – everything from simple browned butter to OCP’s Fine Herb Marinara or your own homemade pesto.

TruFru Frozen Chocolate Covered Fruit in Packaging on a Tile Surface with Fresh Berries Scattered Around Packaging

8. TruFru Frozen Chocolate Covered Berries
Must Try: Strawberries in White and Milk Chocolate and Raspberries in White and Milk Chocolate

Gluten-free, non-GMO and containing only 90 calories per serving, what could be more indulgent than red, ripe strawberries or plump, juicy raspberries – picked fresh, enrobed in both white and milk chocolate and quick-frozen at minus-300⁰ F? You wouldn’t be the first person to stand in front of the freezer, eating these frozen, chocolatey berries straight out of the bag. But if you can restrain yourself, you’ll discover a host of equally good-tasting uses for these gourmet bites. Layer them in a granola-yogurt parfait, perhaps; or drop them in the blender as part of your protein smoothie. Garnish your homemade pot de crème or crème brulee with a handful; or chop and scatter them on your morning oatmeal or waffles. It’s no surprise that TruFru has been honored by groups including the National Restaurant Association and The National Confectioners Association: For grab-and-go goodness, it doesn’t get better than this.

Heinen's Grocery Store

By Heinen's Grocery Store

In 1929, Joe Heinen opened the doors of a small butcher shop on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio, aiming to establish himself as the city’s purveyor of quality meats. As customers came into Heinen’s new shop for their meat purchases, they began asking him to carry groceries as well. Joe added homemade peanut butter, pickles and donuts and by 1933, business had grown enough to include a line of produce and canned goods. Heinen’s Grocery Store was born.

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