8 Frozen Foods You Should Be Buying At Target

Target cart frozen foods aisle
Target cart frozen foods aisle - ZikG/Shutterstock

Buying frozen foods is a good way to stock up on groceries. They provide more flexibility with meal planning, since they tend to have a long shelf life, and there's never been a greater variety of options. As one of the biggest grocery chains in the country, Target is a great place to buy frozen foods, because it has such an especially large inventory to pick from. But which frozen options are most worth your money?

I have the answer to that question. When shopping for frozen food, I make sure my selections are well-rounded, including ingredients and meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Of course, I also leave room for desserts, too. This allows for a wide range of options. Frozen burritos are quick, delicious, and often economical. Frozen fruit recipes are a tasty and convenient way to make everything from smoothies and popsicles to cobbler and ice cream sandwiches. And this is only the beginning. Want to see what the best choices are and know the reasons why? You're in the right place. These 8 frozen foods should be on your Target shopping list.

Read more: The 11 Best Frozen Burger Brands Available

1. Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream

Ben & Jerry's Tiramisu ice cream
Ben & Jerry's Tiramisu ice cream - Ben & Jerry's

I've been known to whip up some homemade ice cream from time to time, but I'm still a fan of the store-bought stuff. Ice cream is always hard to resist, but there's something special about Ben & Jerry's. The company's ice cream flavors are extra creative and seem perfectly crafted for ultimate sweet tooth satisfaction. While other brands stick to predictable flavors such as plain chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, Ben & Jerry's isn't afraid to raise the bar and get more inventive. The company's tiramisu ice cream is a prime example, featuring mascarpone ice cream, coffee fudge swirls, and shortbread cookies under a luscious layer of chocolate ganache and espresso fudge chunks. This is by far one of my favorite flavors from Ben & Jerry's and it's often in stock at Target.

In fact, the Ben & Jerry's selection at Target tends to be quite impressive. While it's true that most grocery stores carry Ben & Jerry's, Target's inventory often seems more expansive, with some locations carrying over 20 flavors. If you're a big fan of Ben & Jerry's, be sure to check out Target's massive stash in the frozen food aisle. There's a good chance you'll encounter some flavors that you haven't seen in other stores.

2. Kodiak Protein-Packed Buttermilk Flapjacks

Kodiak Protein-Packed Buttermilk Flapjacks
Kodiak Protein-Packed Buttermilk Flapjacks - Kodiak

Frozen waffles are pretty easy to find. Frozen pancakes? Not so much. But thanks to Target, you can score these buttermilk flapjacks from Kodiak. I've been buying these for years and they taste pretty close to homemade. What I really like about them is that unlike other frozen waffle and pancake brands, these are made from 100% whole grains and come fortified with protein, which makes them extra filling and nutritious. When I'm in the mood for pancakes and I don't have time to make classic pancake batter from scratch, these flapjacks from Kodiak never let me down.

What's cool about these flapjacks is that they also come in a smaller size. These mini pancakes are a great option for kids, or if you're trying to eat smaller portions yourself. You can warm Kodiak flapjacks up in the microwave or in the toaster oven. In a matter of minutes, you have a steaming stack of pancakes ready to smother in some maple syrup. For some extra flavor and nutrition, try pairing these with a side of fresh fruit like sliced strawberries or bananas.

3. Wyman's Wild Blueberries

Wyman's Wild Blueberries bag
Wyman's Wild Blueberries bag - Wyman's

Don't get me wrong here -- I love fresh fruit. In fact, I think eating a juicy piece of fresh fruit is one of life's greatest pleasures. But the fact is that fresh fruit doesn't last very long, so I often keep a couple of bags of frozen fruit in the freezer for smoothies. Not only does frozen fruit last much longer than fresh fruit, frozen fruit also blends well in smoothies and gives them an icier texture. Wyman's Wild Blueberries is a great example, and it contains only one simple ingredient -- wild blueberries.

Healthy smoothie recipes are one of the best ways to start the day. I usually stick to a blend of Greek yogurt, frozen fruit, honey, and a splash of soy milk. For smoothies, the trick is buying the right type of frozen fruit. Anything with a bunch of seeds, like blackberries or raspberries, might be a bad idea, depending on your preferences. Seeds often survive the blender, creating gritty smoothies with seeds that can end up getting stuck in your teeth. For this reason, I usually stick to blueberries, since there are no hard seeds to deal with. And this bag from Wyman's does the trick. They are healthy, delicious, and there's no seeds to worry about -- just juicy little orbs of sweet, tangy goodness.

4. Amy's Burritos

Amy's bean and cheese burrito
Amy's bean and cheese burrito - Amy's

Amy's specializes in frozen foods that are of a higher caliber. The company uses a lot of organic ingredients and offers everything from enchiladas and macaroni and cheese to tortilla soup and black bean veggie burgers. I've been a big fan of Amy's food for years, especially the company's burritos.

Amy's sells a variety of burritos that include cheddar cheese with beans and rice, black bean and cheese, and a southwestern burrito made with poblano peppers, olives, jalapenos, pinto beans, and Monterey jack cheese. The quality of the cheese in these burritos is better than many of the other frozen burrito brands that I've tried; it somehow doesn't taste frozen. Same goes for the beans, which are rich and creamy. Target has a nice selection of Amy's burritos in its frozen food section, so I always make a pit stop there to pick up a few of these to have some easy lunch options on deck. I like eating these burritos with some brown rice, avocado slices, and a fresh lime wedge.

5. Stouffer's Lasagna

Stouffer's lasagna box
Stouffer's lasagna box - Stouffer's

There's something comforting about Stouffer's lasagna, so when I want a big family-size tray of it, I'll often look for it in Target. While other stores carry only the single servings of this lasagna, Target often keeps the family size in stock, which is great when you want leftovers or have a few mouths to feed.

Is this a match for the lasagna at that legendary mom-and-pop pasta shop that's been around forever? Absolutely not. Does it hold a candle to grandma's secret recipe? Let's not be ridiculous. But Stouffer's lasagna is great for those days when you want a low-effort meal that only requires you to push a few buttons or turn a few knobs. The meat crumbles ensure you're getting some protein and the sauce is plentiful, though you probably can't help but wish for a little more cheese. Stouffer's lasagna still rises to the occasion and delivers lasagna that's always satisfying. I like pairing it with a quick Greek salad and pre-made garlic bread.

6. New York Bakery Five Cheese Texas Toast

New York Bakery Texas toast
New York Bakery Texas toast - New York Bakery

This is by far the best frozen garlic bread I've ever had, and I see it at Target all the time. New York Bakery's Five Cheese Texas Toast consists of thick bread slices that are heavily smothered in garlic butter and topped with shredded cheese. The cheese blend includes asiago, mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan, and provolone. The truth is that homemade garlic bread really isn't all that difficult to make, but let's not pretend that it isn't also nice to buy it pre-made sometimes. This is the answer when that craving strikes.

The trick with this garlic bread is baking it until the edges of the crust get lightly browned. At that point, the crust has the perfect amount of crispiness, the butter has thoroughly soaked into the bread, and that mix of shredded cheese on top has melted. The end result is everything I want in garlic bread -- it's buttery, garlicky, cheesy, crispy, and fluffy. The next time you're at Target, toss this in your shopping cart to beef up that Stouffer's lasagna or give it a whirl on spaghetti night.

7. Alexia Sweet Potato Fries

Alexia sweet potato fries
Alexia sweet potato fries - Alexia

Whenever I'm making crispy homemade smash burgers for dinner, I usually try and scoop up these frozen sweet potato fries from Alexia to go with them. I'm a sucker for sweet potato fries. I like regular French fries too, but if I'm given a choice, I'll almost always pick sweet potato fries over the traditional kind that are usually made with russets. I love the contrast of subtle sweetness from the potato and the touch of salt on the outside.

The trouble is that good quality premade sweet potato fries can be hard to find. Some of them are sliced too thin, which causes the potatoes to easily dry out in the oven. Others are practically impossible to get crispy without burning. I'm happy to report that none of this is the case with these sweet potato fries. Alexia's are crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle with that famously scrumptious combo of sweet and savory that sweet potato fries are known for. And they're ready to slip in the oven without having to slice a single spud. What more could you ask for?

8. California Pizza Kitchen BBQ Chicken Pizza

California Pizza Kitchen BBQ Chicken Pizza
California Pizza Kitchen BBQ Chicken Pizza - California Pizza Kitchen

California Pizza Kitchen sells a variety of frozen pizzas that offer a level of quality and flavor that most other brands just can't compete with. One of my favorites, which is consistently available at Target, is its BBQ chicken pizza. Even though I never order pizza with chicken or barbecue sauce for  toppings from a restaurant (I'm more of a pepperoni and mushroom kind of guy), there's something about California Pizza Kitchen's version that just works. The chicken is tender, the barbecue sauce conjures up some sweet smokiness, and the slivers of red onion add a little punch. This pizza is undeniably delicious, even as it spits in the face of tradition.

I could probably eat pizza every day for the rest of my life and die a happy man. And while I certainly love ordering it for delivery, isn't it nice to save a few bucks and throw a frozen one in the oven to satisfy that pizza craving when hunger strikes? I think so. Grab a couple of these when you want a quick dinner, pair it with an easy Caesar salad, and dinner's done.

How We Decided Which Frozen Foods Are The Best To Buy At Target

Target shopping cart frozen foods
Target shopping cart frozen foods - ZikG/Shutterstock

I selected these products based on my own personal experience with them. My opinions were formed based on a variety of factors, but overall quality -- encompassing flavor, texture, and caliber of ingredients -- was key. The brand's flavor options were also important: I took a look at how many choices were offered, and how they stacked up against each other. After careful consideration of these elements, this list of the best-ever frozen food options at Target emerged.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.