The three cooks at Seoul Mandoo in Aurora make about 1,500 Korean mandu every day, from softball-size wang mandu stuffed with the likes of galbi, veggies, or shrimp to smaller, Seoul-style meat-and-kimchi mandu. Their labor translates into plenty of frozen dumplings for you to steam or microwave at home. Eat them immediately after cooking, while the thin rice-flour wrappers are still fluffy. $20 for 25; seoulmandoo.com


Kelly and Mario Crobu—he a native of Sardinia, Italy—began delivering their homestyle Casa Crobu frozen pastas and sauces across the Denver metro area in May 2020; we’ve been carb-loading their potato-, pecorino-, and mint-stuffed culurgiones, a Sardinian specialty, ever since. $18 for 12; casacrobu.com


Clint and MaryKay Buckner have raised free-range pigs, lambs, and cows the responsible way on their Longmont farm, Buckner Family Ranch, for a decade now, and the resulting meat tastes like it comes from happy animals. Stocking your freezer with their chops, steaks, and sausages is easy, as the Buckners will deliver any order over $150. Prices vary; bucknerfamilyfarm.com


Shepherd’s pie. Coq au vin. Clam chowder. Mobile-trailer-based Postcard Foods co-owner Bridget Bagel cooks all that and more from scratch, freezing and packaging each dish for easy reheating. She and partner Jim Abraham will deliver, but you can also pick up their tasty meals (as well as panini, salads, and quinoa bowls) at Molly’s Spirits’ Lakeside and Greenwood Village locations. From $14; postcardfoods.com


Photo courtesy of Anna Regan/Ace Eat Serve

The spices, chiles, ginger, and coconut in Ace Eat Serve’s Chiang Mai–style curry, available by the frozen quart with a side of cooked rice, are always in balance, hitting every point among sour, salty, bitter, spicy, and sweet. Potatoes, carrots, long beans, squash, and chicken (a $2 add-on) soak up all that flavor. If Indian is more your jam, chef Thach Tran has recently added Massaman and vindaloo curries to Ace’s take-home menu. $17; aceeatserve.com

Ice Cream

Pints of small-batch ice cream from Montclair’s year-old Walia Creamery, owned by sisters Yeshi and Aster Gebremeskel, are must-haves for your freezer. Even if you’re not vegan, try one of the coconut-cream-based flavors, from spiced apple to sweet potato to chai—and grab a take-and-microwave Ethiopian meal ($10) while you’re there. $10 per pint; waliacreamery.com


If you’re ready to go beyond potato samosas, Dave Hadley is here for you with six-month-old Samosa Shop. The Biju’s Little Curry Shop vet is offering fat, freshly fried (and frozen) samosas in unexpected flavors, from bacon, egg, and cheese to jerk chicken with sweet plantains, at pop-ups, markets, and online. (Curries, chai, spice mixes, chutneys, and Hadley’s Scorpion hot sauce are also available.) From $12 for three; samosashop.co

Dim Sum

It’s not an overstatement to say that ChoLon is locally famous specifically for executive chef Lon Symensma’s French onion soup dumplings, each one a mouthful of brothy joy. Dumpling maven Michelle Xiao, who joined the team in 2019, is now crafting them—as well as pot stickers, shumai, crab rangoon, and bao—for at-home cooking. Symensma’s video tutorials are your sous chef, and ChoLon sells steamers ($12) too. From $15; cholon.com


Jeremy Yurek’s great-grandparents, Josephine (Baba) and Charles (Pop), emigrated from Poland about 120 years ago, but you can still taste Baba’s pierogi, thanks to Jeremy’s Baba & Pop’s food truck and year-old Aurora restaurant, where they are sold frozen by the dozen. The potato-and-cheddar flavor is a Baba classic, but don’t overlook modern varieties like chile relleno and pulled pork. $14 for 12; babaandpops.com

Pot Pie

This is no gloppy, soggy-bottomed chicken pot pie. John Hinman, of Hinman Pie, wouldn’t dream of it, filling his crusts with just the right amount of sage cream gravy, pulled white and dark meat, potatoes, peas, carrots, and celery. From $13; hinmanpie.com


El Salvador native Franklin Escobar and his family opened Pupusas Familia at the Boulder County Farmers Markets in 2019 and have since sold thousands of fluffy stuffed masa cakes. There are several fillings to tempt you, such as chicken, chorizo, or spinach with cheese or vegan kale and pinto bean, but whichever you pick, the pupusas’ fresh corn flavor will shine through. $15 for four; pupusas-familia.square.site

Pasta & Sauce

When you have fresh noodles and pints of Bolognese tucked away in the freezer, what’s for dinner is never in question. Chef Lisa Pisano channels trips across Italy and memories of her grandmother’s cooking into every batch of Fantasioso Foods’ pasta (long noodles like linguini and pappardelle as well as stuffed pastas like ravioli and tortellini) and sauce. From $8 per pound; fantasiosofoods.com

Cheese Bread

Brazilian pão de queijo is not only a staple breakfast food and snack in its home country, it’s also a treat that Bruna Piauí Graf will bring to your Denver-area door, thanks to two-year-old Bruna’s Cheese Bread. The crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside breads (which come bite-size or as rolls for sandwiches) take 15 minutes to bake from frozen and are as welcome as a warm after-school snack as they are with a cup of coffee. From $16 for 12; brunasbread.com

Cinnamon Rolls

There’s nothing sweeter than pulling a tray of golden brown cinnamon rolls from the oven on a weekend morning—especially when someone else makes them for you. Enter Park Hill’s Cake Crumbs Bakery & Café, where you can buy take-and-bake rolls that rise to the occasion and come with a pastry bag of rich cream cheese frosting. You only have to remember to thaw the rolls overnight. $16 for four; cake-crumbs.com


In Venezuela, a party isn’t a party without tequeños. Traditionally made by wrapping pieces of salty white cheese in a flaky fried pastry shell, the snack has been reinvented by Aura Langdon, owner of the virtual, pickup-only Aura’s Bakery in Sloan’s Lake. She makes the classic flavor, sure, but also fills her pastries with goat cheese and pesto; ricotta, bacon, and leeks; cinnamon-sugar apples; and Nutella. From $14 for 12; @auras.bakery on Instagram

Denise Mickelsen
Denise Mickelsen
Denise Mickelsen is 5280’s former food editor. She oversaw all of 5280’s food-related coverage from October 2016 to March 2021.
Patricia Kaowthumrong
Patricia Kaowthumrong
Patricia joined the 5280 staff in July 2019 and is thrilled to oversee all of the magazine’s dining coverage. Follow her food reporting adventures on Instagram @whatispattyeating.