You need to eat, and heaven knows your family needs to eat, but if you are maxed out on time and motivation because of work, school, chauffeuring, having a new baby, toddlers that eat fifteen meals a day, or all of the above, the solution for meals is having healthy, ready-to-eat, minimal-clean-up, whole food on hand at all times. ALL. TIMES. This just got serious.
50 No-Prep Healthy Foods For When You have No Time
When I was a new mom, breastfeeding made me ravenous, but because I was up to my elbows in exploding diapers, hadn’t showered for 3 days, and only had two hours of sleep in two days, the last thing I had time for was cooking and washing dishes! Can I get an AMEN!?
I had dutifully packed freezer meals into my freezer before having my baby, but most of the time I couldn’t even remember to thaw the bags in the fridge the night before, or put them in the crockpot in the morning. :/
A good day was when I had thawed that bag of frozen Italian chicken and actually washed the crockpot from the day before. On a bad day, you would have found me delirious, crying on the couch with a spoonful of peanut butter in one hand and a sleeping baby in the other.
Sad, right? But I think we have all been there. That place where we just can’t.
Can’t cook. Can’t clean. Can’t find the time. Can’t find the motivation.
Guess what. There is a simpler way.
Stock the pantry and fridge with healthy no-prep foods like these:
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Nuts/Seeds/Beans: almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts, nut butter/sunflower seed butter, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, healthy trail mix, canned black beans, canned chili beans.
Meat: Turkey/ham/beef slices, rotisserie chicken, marinated tuna pouches, boiled eggs
Fruit: Apples, applesauce, oranges, bananas, grapes, berries, apricots, or any in-season fruit
Dried Fruit: raisins, prunes, medjool Dates
Dairy: Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, Cheese sticks/cubes/slices, milk, sour cream
Grains: whole wheat crackers, rice cakes, baked corn chips, english muffins, whole grain bread, wraps/tortillas, pretzels, instant oatmeal, granola, cereal
Vegetables: pre-made salad mixes, spinach, cherry/grape tomatoes, microwave steam-able veggies, raw baby carrots, celery hearts, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, sugar snap peas, avocados, canned tomatoes
Condiments/Other: salsa, hummus, guacamole, pickles, barbecue sauce
Mix and match to make meals and snacks:
- Instant oatmeal with flax seeds, milk, blueberries
- Almond butter on toast and apple slices
- Toasted English muffin, avocado slices, and strawberries
- Yogurt with fruit and granola
- Cereal with milk and a banana
- Boiled egg, buttered toast, applesauce
- Cream cheese and turkey slices on crackers with grapes
- Egg Salad served with bread/lettuce
- Turkey and lettuce sandwich
- Peanut butter sandwich
- Green salad with chopped egg and tomatoes
- Rotisserrie Chicken slices, raw carrots and broccoli with dressing
- Marinated Tuna and tomatoes lettuce wraps
- Ants on a log
- Peanut butter on crackers
- Cheddar cheese and crackers
- Apple and cashews
- Roasted pumpkin seeds and berries
- Chips and salsa or hummus
- Cheese cubes and pretzels
- Almonds and medjool dates
- Apple slices or banana with nut butter
- Rice cakes and raisins
- Trail mix
- Chicken Burritos- Warmed rotisserie chicken on tortillas with cheese, salsa, & guacamole
- Green Salad- Salad mix with Cherry tomatoes, shredded cheese, chopped Turkey slices, and roasted sunflower seeds with your favorite dressing.
- Taco Salad- Salad mix topped with black beans (rinsed and drained), grape tomatoes, cheese, diced rotisserie chicken, and plain yogurt or sour cream
- Layer Bean Dip- Re-fried beans, guacamole, salsa, sour cream, and cheese layered in a dish and served with baked corn chips
- Fast Chili- 1 can tomato sauce, 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 can black beans, 1 can chili beans, 1 cup frozen corn (optional), 3 TBSP Chili Powder, + salt and pepper to taste. Stir together and heat until warmed through. Serve with crackers or corn chips.
- BBQ Chicken Sandwiches- Mix shredded rotisserie chicken with barbecue sauce. Serve on buns with pickles and a steamed veggie.
For more fast combinations, add rice or pasta. If you have a rice cooker you could make fluffy fragrant rice in just one minute of hands on prep time (If you haven’t tried Jasmine rice, it is so so good). I love my rice cooker and use it all the time. You could make a big batch to last the whole week and just warm in the microwave.
You know my favorite thing about preparing meals this easy? Less dishes to wash!
Want to buy the no-prep foods I mentioned at the store? I made a handy printable shopping list and menu ideas with these items already listed. Just print it off and cross off what you don’t want. Now you just saved even more time. You’re welcome. 🙂
Head over to the free printables library to download it, or if you haven’t signed up yet, put in your info below to get the password sent to you.
If you have a little more motivation and want to try freezer meals for more variety, check out my post 8 Freezer Cooking Hacks that Make Prep Day a Breeze.
What is your favorite fast meal? Let us know in the comments.