Life’s short. And we’re willing to bet that unless you’re pursuing a career as a chef, the last thing you want to do is spend a significant chunk of your time in the kitchen. Unsurprisingly, people only cook dinner from scratch 28 percent of the time, according to Food Business News. You can chalk that up to our time-strained schedules.
Because we also tend to decide what we’ll eat for dinner within an hour of the nighttime meal, keeping convenient food products in your pantry at all times will help you whip up something healthy on the fly.
Luckily, there are plenty of healthy food products popping up on supermarket shelves that can help you start cooking less and living more. Check out our best picks to whip up a semi-homemade meal in just 15 minutes. Whatever you do with your newfound free time is totally up to you, but can we recommend taking advantage of it to quickly prep some morning meals? Look no further than our 50 Overnight Oats Recipes For Weight Loss if you need a little inspiration.
Caulipower Cauliflower Pizza Crust
With this fun find, you can whip up a pizza faster than having a pie delivered. Stick the frozen cauliflower crust in the oven, and then add toppings galore once it’s been crisped the way you like it. Whether you end up splashing on a simple sauce and cheese or loading it with veggies, pop your masterpiece back into the oven for a few more minutes. You’ll be doling out slices for dinner in no time. But if meal prep isn’t the only thing you’re looking to speed up, we’ve also got The 55 Best Ways To Boost Your Metabolism.
Amy’s Organic Light In Sodium Spicy Chili
With jalapenos, bell peppers, and onions mixed into an organic tofu and red bean base, one serving of Amy’s packs in 15 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber. But what we really love about this can is that it cuts cutting out of the equation by adding in so many extras. Use the time you saved to throw in more ingredients or simply grate some cheese over the top and serve!
Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Bell Peppers and Onions
Looking to speed up your stir-fry? Quit cutting and grab a bag of bell peppers and onions from Trader Joe’s instead. This bag of colorful, fire-roasted veggies is the perfect topper for a rice bowl. Add in chunks of chicken, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil, and you’ve made yourself an effortless and healthy meal.
Wild Planet Skipjack Wild Tuna, No Salt Added
For extra protein added to your meal without extra minutes added in the kitchen, open up a can of Wild Planet tuna. Not only is it low-cal, almost fat-free, and high in protein, but it will take seconds to dump onto a salad. For other quick fixes, take a look at these 20 Healthy, Five Ingredient Dinners.
Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie Burger
Can’t find enough time in the day to fire up the backyard BBQ? Head to your local supermarket to find these satiating veggie burgers that pack in a solid dose of both protein and fiber, and pop them in the oven. Stack the crisped patty over Ezekiel toast and layer with lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and pickles for a meatless meal that’s ready in under 15 minutes.
Minute Whole Grain Brown Rice
You might not have an hour to devote to meal-making, but you’ve probably got a few minutes. With this box of instant brown rice, you can have four servings of whole grains ready in less than 10 minutes—enough to feed the whole fam! Pile on chunks of avocado, sliced scallions, and sushi-grade tuna for quick poke bowls everyone will love.
Modern Table Jalapeno Cheddar Mac & Cheese
Got 15 minutes for a pasta dish that tastes like it took much longer to make? This Modern Table meal kit doesn’t just come with lentil elbows packed with pea protein—17 grams per serving, to be exact—but also a packet of spicy sauce. Boil the noodles, stir some milk and butter (or do without the butter to cut calories and fat) into the cheesy powder, and mix it all together for a meal that’s easier than easy and will set your mouth on fire.
Amy’s Breakfast Burrito
Yes, this is technically labeled a “breakfast” burrito, but who wouldn’t love ending their day with tofu, black beans, and salsa in their belly? Especially when it’s organic with a nutrition label you can feel good about. When the founder, Rachel, wanted organic ready-made meals but came up short at the grocery store, she and her husband made their own. You know what that means? All kinds of effortless eats from Amy’s that don’t taste like you pulled them out of the microwave. Don’t worry, we won’t tell anybody!
Gardein Meatless Chick’n Strips
Transform Meatless Mondays with these plant-based strips that taste just like the real thing. And with its fresh ingredients, not to mention its complete convenience, you’ll be packing protein into any meal no problem—without hitting the drive-thru.
Trader Joe’s Steamed Lentils
For protein-rich legumes that are fully cooked and full of flavor, pick up a pack of steamed lentils next time you’re at Trader Joe’s. If you made them yourself, they’d take at least a half hour. But with this time-saving option, you can quickly add them into some soup broth you’ve heated up or onto the salad you’ve mixed. Don’t make dinner harder on yourself when you don’t have to and use these instead.
Sea Best Raw Shrimp
If you want protein with dinner, but don’t want to spend time slaving over the stove grilling, look no further than a bag of raw shrimp. It only takes a couple minutes to thaw them and a few more to boil them to perfection. While they do need to be stored in the fridge for an hour before serving, they’ll save you time in the long run—and taste delicious in a taco.
Tasty Bite Channa Masala
Remember that super speedy rice from before? It’ll come in handy again when this classic Indian dish comes into play. This Tasty Bite product needs just 60 seconds in the microwave, but you can boil the sealed channa masala pouch in five minutes, too. Spoon it out with rice or spread it onto flatbread, but either way, it’ll be full of flavor with a guilt-free nutrition label and a list of all-natural ingredients.
Trader Joe’s Riced Cauliflower And Broccoli
Hit up Trader Joe’s fridges for produce that will help finish dinner in a flash. Whether you go for the riced cauliflower or the riced broccoli—or both—you’ll be walking out with the perfect pasta alternative or side dish. No ricing is required on your end, so put the knife away and check out these nutrition stats instead. A serving of each ranges from only 25 to 35 calories.
Evol Lean & Fit: Teriyaki Chicken
Dinner for one? Try Evol’s teriyaki chicken! We’ve given you healthy hacks for how to pick up the pace when making rice, chicken, and veggies, but you can kill all three birds with one stone if you heat up a microwaveable meal like this. We love Evol’s options because they’ve got ingredients we trust and clock in at less than 300 calories. But if you’re looking to use the stove instead of the microwave, check out these 15-Minute Dinners For Weight Loss instead.