8 Pre-Made Foods That Make Mealtime Easier

Making a healthy dinner every night is a serious challenge. But what if we told you there are ways to make it easier? Yes, there are meals that only take three ingredients, but that won't work for every single night! Here are eight products you can buy that will cut down your meal prep time.

Salads: Buying a pre-packaged salad doesn't sound as healthy, but the convenience of ripping open the bag and needing only to add your dressing is a HUGE time saver. You can even get salad starter kits like this one from Betty Crocker to make it even easier!

suddenly salad
(Photo: Wal-Mart)

Frozen veggies: From brands like Green Giant, a bag of frozen veggies is easily made in the microwave. They make for a great side dish and are perfect for adding into a dish. You can save tons of time by microwaving for five minutes instead of cooking them yourself.

vegetable medely
(Photo: Wal-Mart)

Pre-peeled frozen shrimp: If you're making our Skinny Shrimp Tacos, Shrimp Caesar Salad or any other dish with these little sea creatures, buying them already peeled is going to save you tons of time! A raw shrimp is better for absorbing the flavors, but by the time you've peeled and cleaned the shrimp, the kids have begun sneaking snacks from the pantry.

(Photo: Wal-Mart)

Instant mashed potatoes: Not as nutritious as actual potatoes but a way better option than French fries, instant mashed potatoes can be the difference between a plate with a boring piece of chicken and an actual meal. Ore-Ida's Steam-n-Mash potatoes contain only 70 calories per serving. They have that homemade taste without the all the effort. Just steam, mash and serve!

steam n mash
(Photo: Ore-Ida)

Pasta Sides™: There are a lot of frozen option for side dishes. Knorr has a great pasta dish that will perfectly complement the healthy dinner you're preparing. By whipping up this quick side, you can spend your time and energy on the main attraction.

(Photo: Knorr)

Ready breads: Sometimes, a good side is a roll or biscuit. There isn't usually enough time in your evening to bake a loaf of bread, however. Check out these Artisan Breads from Alexia Foods. Alexia is best known for their natural frozen sweet potato fries, but they have great all-natural rolls that will nicely complement your meal.

(Photo: Seven Grains)

Precooked fish: If you want a healthy meal, many people think fish! However, prepping fish doesn't always leave time for everything else you need to do in the evening. Gorton's has a great grilled salmon you can buy at your grocery store. It's free of artificial flavors and MSG and each serving is only 90 calories!

(Photo: Wal-Mart)


Ready Rice®: Rice can be a great side dish or used in your main meal. It's not a huge effort to make, but when you already have several pots and pans to clean plus all the dishes your family will use, being able to cook your rice without making any more of a mess is a life saver! We love Uncle Ben's but there are lots of different options you can try. We like to use instant rice in this yummy Skinny Tropical Rice recipe!

Whole Grain Brown
(Photo: Uncle Ben's)