Can you cook frozen dinners in a toaster oven?

Have you ever wondered if you could cook your frozen dinners in a toaster oven instead of using the traditional oven? The good news is that you can! Toaster ovens are a versatile and convenient kitchen tool with a variety of uses. In this article, we will explore the benefits of using a toaster oven to cook frozen dinners, along with some tips and safety concerns to keep in mind.

What Is a Toaster Oven?

A toaster oven is an appliance that can be used for both toasting bread and baking small items. It uses infrared radiation or convection heating elements to cook food quickly and evenly. Compared to a conventional oven, it is smaller and more energy-efficient.

Cooking Frozen Dinners in a Toaster Oven

Using a toaster oven to cook frozen dinners has its pros and cons. Here are some things to consider before deciding whether or not to use one:

Advantages of Cooking Frozen Dinners in a Toaster Oven

  • Cuts down on energy consumption compared to the conventional oven: since toaster ovens are smaller, they require less energy to preheat.
  • Toasty exterior and gooey interior texture: since the heating elements are closer together than in a conventional oven, food cooked in a toaster oven gets toasted on the outside while still retaining its moisture.

Disadvantages of Cooking Frozen Dinners in a Toaster Oven

  • Longer cooking time as compared to the microwave: while it may still be faster than using a regular oven, cooking times will be longer than when using a microwave.

Tips for Cooking Frozen Dinners in a Toaster Oven

To get the most out of your toaster oven, here are some tips for properly cooking frozen dinners:

  • Preheating guidelines: preheat your toaster oven according to package instructions or at 350°F for around five minutes before placing your dinner inside.
  • Suggestions for proper food placement inside the oven: place your dinner in the center of the baking rack to ensure even cooking. Avoid over-packing, which can create hot spots and uneven heating.
  • Tips for timing while baking: Stay alert while cooking, checking to see if food is cooked through or needs a longer time inside the oven.

Which Types of Frozen Dinners Work Best with Toaster Ovens?

Most frozen dinners can be cooked in a toaster oven with some slight adjustments. Here are some categories or types of dinners that work best:

  • Single serving dinners
  • Thin crust pizzas
  • Chicken strips and nuggets
  • Stuffed shells and lasagna
  • Fish fillets

Avoid larger-sized frozen foods and meals that have a lot of gravy or sauce like stews or soups because they may create a mess inside the small space.

Steps For Cooking Frozen Dinner In A Toaster Oven

Here are the steps you can follow when using your toaster oven to cook frozen dinners:

  1. Get your necessary prep steps accomplished: remove all plastic wrappings around your dinner options and place them onto an oven-safe tray.
  2. Follow instructions provided on the food packaging: read package instructions carefully before proceeding with any preparatory steps.
  3. Time required for specific types of dinner items: keep an eye on the timer or countdown clock as per item-specific instructions helpfully featured on backside packaging.
  4. Recommended temperature settings: Required temperature settings vary according to individual items.

Safety Concerns When Using A Toaster Oven to Cook Frozen Dinner

Safety should always be paramount when cooking anything in the kitchen – even if it is just reheating packaged foods in a toaster oven. Here are some safety concerns you need to keep in mind:

  • Precautions you need to take when handling your toaster oven: make sure that you keep children away from all appliances during cooking processes, including those posing safety hazards such as open heating elements, hot surfaces, etc.
  • Protecting yourself from getting burned when removing hot, prepped meals: always use oven mitts or suitable heat-resistant gloves to protect your hands while retrieving your precooked meal.


In conclusion, cooking frozen dinners in a toaster oven is an excellent way to save energy and add flavor to your food. The advantages of using a toaster oven include energy efficiency, even cooking temperatures and that desirable toasted texture. On the other hand, it requires longer cooking times as compared to the microwave hence you have to be vigilant about timing. Safety should always come first with protective gloves and supervising children’s kitchens access—significantly so if heating elements are uncovered or opened on any appliance while in operation. Lastly, consider which types of frozen dinners work best with your toaster oven before selecting your meal prep choices. Experimentation is the key!


  1. Q: Can I cook frozen dinners in a toaster oven? A: Yes, you can cook frozen dinners in a toaster oven. In fact, many manufacturers provide instructions for doing so on their packaging.
  2. Q: Is it safe to cook frozen dinners in a toaster oven? A: As long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and properly monitor the cooking process, it is safe to cook frozen dinners in a toaster oven.
  3. Q: Do I need to adjust the temperature or cooking time when using a toaster oven to cook frozen dinners? A: It’s always important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when cooking any type of food, but generally speaking, you may need to adjust the temperature and/or cooking time slightly when using a toaster oven compared to a conventional oven.
  4. Q: What type of frozen dinners work best in a toaster oven? A: Any type of frozen dinner can be cooked in a toaster oven, but smaller portions tend to work better than larger ones. Additionally, dishes that are meant to be crispy (like breaded chicken) may turn out better than those meant to be soft (like lasagna).

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