11 Best Packaged Foods for Meal Prep

11 Best Packaged Foods for Meal Prep

Meal prep is a great way to set yourself up for healthy eating throughout the week, and it can save you money (goodbye takeout lunch). But prepping all of your meals at once can be exhausting. That’s why I turn to pre-packaged foods that make meal prepping easier and less stressful.
Stock up on these 11 foods the next time you’re in the grocery store.

 

Frozen Fruits and Veggies

Frozen fruit can be enjoyed in a smoothie, in oatmeal, or over the top of yogurt. Buying them frozen saves money, and you won’t have to worry about your fruit going bad. Frozen veggies are clutch, too: Green beans, broccoli and riced cauliflower are favorites of mine since they’re versatile (throw ‘em in soup, curry, or stir-fry) and add a boost of fiber. Plus, many frozen versions are microwaveable so they’re ready to eat in minutes.

Quick-Cooking Oats

DIY oatmeal jars are the easiest meal prep breakfast, ever. Simply combine oats and your favorite toppings (we like dried fruit, nuts, almond butter, and a little light honey) into a mason jar. When you’re ready to eat, simply add hot water and enjoy.

String Cheese

It’s worth prepping a few snacks for the week, and string cheese is a good choice since part-skim mozzarella sticks have around 80 calories and 8g of protein. Just throw a string cheese and a piece of fruit or some nuts into your lunch bag to ward off midday munchies.

Haricot Verts

Haricot verts are basically just fancy French green beans, but they require no trimming (yay!! I hate trimming green beans) and cook super fast. They’re also great in a salad, or to munch on raw as a snack.  You can find these fresh and frozen.  Trader Joes typically stocks them year round.

Canned Beans

I love beans—they’re full of plant-based protein and fiber, and make for a great meal base. Buying cans of beans saves tons of time and effort on the meal prep front. One of my favorite ways to use them is in the slow cooker with a pork loin for this Sweet and Sour Baked Beans with Pork.

Plain Greek Yogurt

I buy Greek yogurt by the quart each week. The reason? It’s versatile. I like that I can either go sweet and top it with frozen berries and nuts or savory and top it with a fried egg, some kind of grain and roasted vegetable for super last-minute late dinners.  Check out all these recipes you can make with Greek Yogurt.

Salad Kits

Sure, you could make a salad at home in minutes, but salad kits are so convenient (and often help us eat more veggies! Plus, there are some really tasty flavor combos and they can be easily doled out into tupperware containers for the week.  When buying a salad kit make sure to check the ingredients, especially the dressing if its included, and make sure it has less than 8 grams of sugar.  You can also create your own “salad kit” by hitting up your grocers Salad Bar and filling a container with all your favorite toppings that you know you won’t have time to prep during the week.

Roasted Chicken

I’ll pick up a rotisserie chicken every week and shred it to eat it on salads, in tacos, or even thrown into stir fry. Since it’s already cooked, there’s literally zero prep required.

 

Pre-Cut Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Cauliflower and Butternut Squash

Pre-cut vegetables are a game changer and major time-saver! Yes, you will pay a little more than buying the whole vegetable but you will be saving tons of time in the kitchen because all of these are ready to roast, saute, or be made into slaw.

Microwaveable Grains

Grains like farro, rice, or quinoa can take up to 40 minutes to make from scratch. Even though microwaveable packages of grains cost a little more, they save so much time that they’re definitely worth it for meal prep. 90 seconds for quinoa? Count me in!

Microwaveable Sweet Potatoes

Again, microwaveable sweet potatoes cost a little more, but they are worth it. They come in their own microwave-safe plastic wrap and are ready in under 8 minutes. Make them a meal by stuffing them with microwaveable lentils, your favorite veggies, and a dollop of Greek yogurt, salt and pepper.