A healthy frozen breakfast sandwich is hard to find with 16 varieties

Consumer Reports rated 16 varieties and found a couple to try

Published: September 13, 2014 06:00 AM

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Buying a box of frozen sausage, egg, and cheese sandwiches will save you some money compared with grabbing a similar breakfast from McDonalds or Burger King—but you won’t necessarily be saving calories, sodium, or fat. Our nutrition experts evaluated 16 of these sandwiches for nutrition and taste. The verdict: Finding one that’s as healthy as it is tasty isn’t easy.

Although the sandwiches supply plenty of protein, they are packed with sodium, low in fiber, and high in fat. As a result, we weren’t able to give any of the sandwiches a rating higher than Good for nutrition. As for flavor, many had a strange texture, like toughness or doughiness; subtle “off” notes, such as old meat or artificial flavor, and lower-quality ingredients.

In fact, we could only rate two Very Good for taste. Tyson Day Starts Breakfast Flatbreads Egg, Sausage & Cheese had soft, flaky, flavorful bread, tender scrambled eggs, and moist bits of breakfast sausage. Unfortunately, with 390 calories, it was one of the two highest calorie sandwiches in our tests. It also had 22 grams of fat, 8 of them saturated.

Kellogg’s Special K Flatbread Breakfast Sandwich, Sausage, Egg & Cheese (pictured) also topped our taste tests. The whole wheat bread and cheddar cheese were flavorful and the sausage was nice and spicy. It received a Good rating for nutrition thanks to its low calorie count (240 calories) and 3 grams of fiber. It had 11 grams of fat and it has more sodium than we’d like to see—820 milligrams, or about a third of the amount you should have daily.

Bottom line. A supermarket frozen sandwich can be convenient, but a healthier, tastier option is to make a batch of your own breakfast sandwiches, wrap them individually, and freeze them so you can grab and go in the mornings. Try the recipe below from the Consumer Reports’ test kitchen.

Breakfast Burrito

Makes 6 burritos/servings

4 large whole eggs

4 large egg whites

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 red bell pepper, finely chopped

½ small red onion, finely chopped

4 ounces turkey sausage (Italian sweet), removed from casings

3 ounces sharp light cheddar (50% less fat), grated

6 whole wheat tortillas (8-inch size)

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

In large bowl, whisk eggs and 2 tablespoons water; set aside. Heat olive oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add vegetables and cook until they have softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage, if using, and continue to cook, breaking up the meat until the sausage is browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes more. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Cool.

In same skillet, add eggs and cook, stirring and folding until cooked and no longer wet, about 3 minutes. Cool.

Place tortillas on paper towels or clean work surface. Distribute eggs across each tortilla, horizontally. Top with veggie/sausage mixture and sprinkle with cheese. Top with finely chopped herb. Fold the bottom of the tortilla over the filling, and then fold in the left and right edges.  Roll the burrito up to the top edge, forming a tight cylinder.  Repeat with remaining burritos. Wrap individual burritos with plastic wrap and freeze until ready to serve.

To serve: Unwrap burritos. Wrap in paper towel. Microwave 55 seconds. Turn over and microwave 55 seconds more. Let sit 1 minute before serving.

Per serving: 270 calories, 11 grams fat, 17 grams protein, 4 grams fiber, 580 milligrams sodium.

—Adam Kaplan

This recipe also appeared in the November 2014 issue of ShopSmart magazine.

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