15 Last Minute Meals to Pick Up at the Store: Quick and Easy Dinner Solutions
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Are you in need of quick and easy meal ideas for those nights when you don’t have the time or energy to cook? Look no further than your local grocery store. With a little planning, you can pick up all the ingredients you need to make a delicious meal in less than 15 minutes. Here are 15 last-minute meals to pick up at the store to save you time and energy.
Understanding Last Minute Meals
When you’re short on time and need to put a meal together quickly, last minute meals are a great option. Last minute meals are meals that can be prepared in a short amount of time with minimal ingredients. They are perfect for busy nights when you don’t have the time or energy to cook a full meal from scratch.
One of the key benefits of last minute meals is that they are often made with ingredients that are easy to find and readily available at your local grocery store. This means that you don’t have to spend a lot of time searching for specialty ingredients or making multiple stops at different stores.
Another benefit of last minute meals is that they are often simple to prepare. Many last minute meals require only a few ingredients and can be made in under 30 minutes. This makes them a great option for busy weeknights when you don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen.
When it comes to last minute meals, it’s important to keep in mind that they don’t have to be boring or bland. With a little creativity, you can make delicious and satisfying meals using simple ingredients. In fact, many last minute meals can be made using pantry staples like pasta, rice, canned beans, and frozen vegetables.
Overall, last minute meals are a great option for busy nights when you need to get dinner on the table quickly. They are easy to prepare, require minimal ingredients, and can be made with pantry staples. With a little creativity, you can make delicious and satisfying meals that your whole family will love.
Benefits of Quick Meals
When you’re short on time, quick meals can be a lifesaver. Here are some benefits of opting for quick meals:
Quick meals are incredibly convenient. They save you time and effort, as you don’t have to spend hours preparing and cooking a meal. Instead, you can simply pick up a pre-made meal or assemble one from pre-made ingredients.
Quick meals come in a wide variety of options. From frozen entrees to pre-packaged salads, there are plenty of options to choose from. This variety can help you avoid getting bored with your meals and keep things interesting.
Quick meals often come in pre-portioned sizes, which can help you control your portions and avoid overeating. This can be particularly helpful if you’re trying to watch your calorie intake or maintain a healthy weight.
Contrary to popular belief, quick meals can be nutritious. Many grocery stores now offer pre-made meals and snacks that are made with fresh, healthy ingredients. Look for options that include lean protein, whole grains, and plenty of vegetables.
Quick meals can be a cost-effective option for busy individuals. While some pre-made meals may be more expensive than cooking from scratch, they can still be cheaper than eating out or ordering takeout.
Overall, quick meals can be a great option for busy individuals who want to eat healthy, nutritious meals without spending hours in the kitchen.
Planning Your Grocery Trip
When it comes to planning your grocery trip for last minute meals, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you need to buy. This will help you save time and avoid unnecessary purchases. Here are a few tips to help you plan your grocery trip effectively:
Make a List
Before heading to the store, make a list of the items you need for your last minute meals. This will help you stay organized and focused while shopping. You can use a paper list or a grocery list app on your phone. Make sure to include ingredients for each meal, as well as any snacks or other items you need.
Check Your Pantry
Before making your list, check your pantry to see what ingredients you already have. This will help you avoid buying duplicates and save money. If you have some ingredients on hand, you can adjust your list accordingly.
Look for Deals
Check your local grocery store’s weekly ad to see if there are any deals on the items you need. This can help you save money and make the most of your grocery trip. You can also look for coupons online or in your local newspaper.
Stick to Your Budget
When planning your grocery trip, make sure to stick to your budget. This will help you avoid overspending and keep your finances in check. You can use a budgeting app or spreadsheet to track your expenses and make sure you stay within your budget.
By following these tips, you can plan your grocery trip effectively and save time and money while shopping for your last minute meals.
Meal 1: Rotisserie Chicken Salad
If you’re looking for a quick and easy meal that’s also healthy and delicious, look no further than rotisserie chicken salad. This meal is perfect for busy weeknights when you don’t have time to cook, or for a last-minute lunch that you can quickly pick up at the store.
Rotisserie chicken salad is incredibly versatile, and you can customize it to your liking by adding your favorite ingredients. The basic recipe typically includes diced rotisserie chicken, mayonnaise, and celery, but you can add other ingredients like grapes, nuts, or even bacon to give it extra flavor and texture.
To make rotisserie chicken salad, simply dice the chicken into small cubes and mix it with the other ingredients in a bowl. You can serve it on a bed of greens, or use it as a filling for a sandwich or wrap.
Here are a few variations of rotisserie chicken salad that you can try:
- Classic: Mix diced rotisserie chicken with mayonnaise, diced celery, salt, and pepper.
- Fruity: Add diced apples, grapes, and walnuts to the classic recipe for a sweet and crunchy twist.
- Spicy: Mix diced rotisserie chicken with mayonnaise, diced jalapenos, red onions, and cilantro for a spicy kick.
- Mediterranean: Add chopped kalamata olives, feta cheese, and diced cucumbers to the classic recipe for a Mediterranean twist.
Rotisserie chicken salad is a great option for a quick and healthy meal that you can pick up at the store. It’s also a great way to use up leftover rotisserie chicken from a previous meal.
Meal 2: Shrimp Stir Fry
If you’re looking for a quick and easy meal to whip up, shrimp stir fry is a great option. It’s a tasty and healthy dish that can be made in just a few minutes. Plus, it’s a great way to get in some veggies and protein.
To make shrimp stir fry, you’ll need some shrimp, veggies, and a stir fry sauce. You can find pre-made stir fry sauces at most grocery stores, or you can make your own by mixing together soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, and sesame oil.
Some good vegetables to include in your stir fry are broccoli, sugar snap peas, red bell pepper, and carrot. You can also add in some onion for extra flavor.
To make the stir fry, start by cooking the shrimp in a little bit of oil until it’s lightly browned on each side. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set it aside. Then, add the veggies to the pan and cook them until they’re tender-crisp. Finally, add the shrimp back to the pan along with the stir-fry sauce and cook for a minute or two until the sauce thickens.
Overall, shrimp stir fry is a quick, easy, and healthy meal that you can make in just a few minutes. It’s perfect for those nights when you don’t have a lot of time to cook but still want something delicious and nutritious.
Meal 3: Deli Sandwiches
When you’re in a rush and don’t have time to cook, deli sandwiches can be a great option. Most grocery stores have a deli section where you can find a variety of fresh sandwiches made to order. You can also find pre-packaged sandwiches in the refrigerated section if you’re in a hurry and need to grab something quickly.
One benefit of deli sandwiches is that they are customizable. You can choose your bread, meat, cheese, and toppings to create a sandwich that suits your taste. Many delis also offer vegetarian and vegan options, so there’s something for everyone.
When ordering a deli sandwich, be mindful of the nutritional content. Some sandwiches can be high in sodium and calories, so it’s important to read the labels and choose wisely. You can also ask for modifications, such as skipping the cheese or choosing a whole grain bread, to make the sandwich healthier.
Overall, deli sandwiches can be a convenient and tasty option for a last-minute meal. Just be sure to choose wisely and customize your sandwich to fit your dietary needs and preferences.
Meal 4: Veggie Pizza
If you’re looking for a quick and easy meal that’s also healthy, you can’t go wrong with veggie pizza. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also packed with nutrients from the vegetables.
To make a veggie pizza, start with a pre-made pizza crust or dough from the store. You can find these in the bakery or refrigerated section. Then, spread on some tomato sauce or pesto and sprinkle on your favorite shredded cheese.
Next, add your favorite veggies. Some popular options include bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach, and olives. You can also add some fresh herbs like basil or oregano for extra flavor.
Bake the pizza according to the package instructions and enjoy! It’s a great way to get in some veggies and satisfy your pizza cravings at the same time.
Meal 5: Sushi Platter
If you’re looking for a quick and easy meal with a touch of elegance, a sushi platter is a great option. Many grocery stores offer pre-made sushi platters that are perfect for a last-minute dinner or snack.
One option is Whole Foods Market’s boxed lunch and sandwich catering, which offers sushi platters that are perfect for any occasion. Their sushi platters come with a variety of sushi rolls, including vegetarian options, and are made fresh daily. Keep in mind that placing orders and cancellations require a minimum 48-hour notice and menu items, price, and availability may vary by store type and location.
Another option is Safeway’s sushi platters, which offer a great selection of fresh sushi rolls and trays that are perfect for impressing your guests. You can order online for pickup and get some of the best sushi near you.
If you’re looking for something more customizable, you can visit H-E-B Sushiya, which offers over 50 different types of sushi rolls made fresh daily. You can even ask their sushi chefs for a fresh roll, made however you want.
No matter which option you choose, a sushi platter is a great way to enjoy a delicious and healthy meal in a hurry.
Meal 6: Pre-Made Soup and Bread
If you’re looking for a quick and easy meal that’s also comforting and satisfying, then you can’t go wrong with pre-made soup and bread. This meal is perfect for those busy nights when you don’t have time to cook, but still want something warm and nourishing.
One great thing about pre-made soup and bread is that there are so many options available at your local grocery store. You can choose from a variety of soups, such as tomato, chicken noodle, or vegetable, and pair it with your favorite type of bread, such as a baguette, sourdough, or whole grain.
When selecting your soup and bread, be sure to read the labels and ingredients to ensure that you’re getting a nutritious and healthy meal. Look for soups that are low in sodium and fat, and bread that is made with whole grains and natural ingredients.
To make this meal even more filling and satisfying, you can add some protein by topping your soup with cooked chicken, tofu, or beans. You can also add some fresh herbs or spices to give your soup and bread some extra flavor.
Overall, pre-made soup and bread is a great last-minute meal option that’s easy to prepare and perfect for those busy nights when you don’t have time to cook. Just heat up your soup, slice your bread, and enjoy a warm and comforting meal in no time.
Meal 7: BBQ Chicken Wrap
If you’re in the mood for something filling, delicious, and easy to prepare, then you can’t go wrong with a BBQ chicken wrap. This meal is perfect for those hectic days when you don’t have time to cook, but still want to enjoy something tasty and satisfying.
To make this wrap, you’ll need some cooked chicken (rotisserie chicken works great), BBQ sauce, cheese, red onion, and large flour tortillas. Shred the chicken, mix it with BBQ sauce, and sprinkle some cheese and onion on top. Then, wrap it all up in a tortilla and you’re good to go!
If you want to add some more flavor to your wrap, you can also try adding some cilantro, avocado, or even some crispy bacon. You can also use different types of cheese, such as cheddar, mozzarella, or even pepper jack, to give your wrap a unique taste.
This meal is perfect for a quick lunch or dinner, and it’s also great for meal prep. You can easily make a batch of these wraps in advance and store them in the fridge or freezer for later. Just wrap them up tightly in foil or plastic wrap, and they’ll stay fresh for several days.
Overall, the BBQ chicken wrap is a delicious and easy meal that you can enjoy anytime. It’s packed with flavor and protein, and it’s also very versatile, so you can customize it to your liking. Give it a try and see for yourself how tasty and satisfying it can be!
Meal 8: Pasta Salad
If you’re looking for a simple and refreshing meal to make in a hurry, look no further than pasta salad. Honestly, this is usually at the top of my list of 15 Last Minute Meals to Pick Up at the Store! This dish is perfect for those hot summer days when you want something light and flavorful. The best part about pasta salad is that you can make it with just about anything you have on hand.
To make a basic pasta salad, start by cooking your favorite type of pasta according to the package directions. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and rinse it under cold water to cool it down. Then, add your favorite vegetables and herbs to the pasta. Some good options include cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and fresh basil.
To give your pasta salad a little extra flavor, you can also add some protein. Grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu are all good options. You can also add some cheese, such as feta or Parmesan, to give your salad a little extra kick.
When it comes to dressing your pasta salad, keep it simple. A basic vinaigrette made with olive oil, vinegar, and Dijon mustard is always a good choice. You can also use a store-bought Italian dressing if you’re short on time.
Overall, pasta salad is a quick and easy meal that you can make in a pinch. It’s also a great way to use up any leftover vegetables or protein you have in the fridge. So the next time you’re in a hurry, consider making a delicious and refreshing pasta salad.
Meal 9: Hummus and Veggie Platter
If you’re looking for a healthy and satisfying snack, you can’t go wrong with a hummus and veggie platter. Hummus is a great source of protein and fiber, while veggies provide a variety of vitamins and minerals. Plus, it’s a perfect option for those who are following a vegan or vegetarian diet.
To make a hummus and veggie platter, you can either make your own hummus or buy it from the store. You can find a variety of flavors, such as classic, roasted red pepper, garlic, and more. Once you have the hummus, you can choose your favorite veggies to pair with it.
Some popular veggies to include on a hummus platter are:
- Bell peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
You can also add some pita bread or crackers to the platter for some extra crunch. To make the platter look more visually appealing, you can arrange the veggies in a circular pattern around the hummus or create a rainbow effect by using different colored veggies.
Overall, a hummus and veggie platter is a simple and healthy snack that you can easily pick up at the store. It’s perfect for a quick snack or as an appetizer for a party.
Meal 10: Cheese and Crackers
If you’re in a hurry and need a quick and easy meal, cheese and crackers can be a great option. This classic snack is perfect for when you’re short on time but still want something tasty and satisfying. Plus, it’s easy to customize to your tastes and preferences.
To make this meal even more filling, you can add some protein and other toppings. For example, you could add slices of deli meat, such as ham or turkey. You could also add some fresh fruit, like grapes or apple slices, to balance out the savory flavors.
When it comes to choosing cheese and crackers, there are a lot of options available. You could go for a classic cheddar cheese and plain crackers, or mix things up with different flavors and textures. Some popular cheese options include:
- Pepper Jack
- Blue Cheese
For crackers, you could choose plain saltines or mix things up with different flavors and textures. Some popular cracker options include:
- Wheat Thins
- Club Crackers
- Pita Chips
When putting together your cheese and cracker meal, you can get creative with the presentation. Arrange the cheese slices and crackers on a platter or cutting board, and add any additional toppings you like. This can make the meal feel more special and enjoyable, even if it’s just a simple snack.
Overall, cheese and crackers can be a great option for a quick and satisfying meal. With so many different cheese and cracker options available, you can mix and match to create a meal that’s perfect for your tastes and preferences.
Meal 11: Tuna Salad
When you’re short on time and need a quick and easy meal, tuna salad is a great option. It’s a classic dish that can be made in a variety of ways to suit your preferences.
One of the great things about tuna salad is that it can be made with just a few ingredients. All you need is canned tuna, mayonnaise, and some seasonings. However, if you want to add more flavor and nutrition, you can also add chopped celery, onions, and pickles.
If you’re looking for a healthier option, you can swap out the mayonnaise for Greek yogurt or avocado. This will give your tuna salad a creamy texture without all of the added fat.
Tuna salad is also a versatile dish that can be served in a variety of ways. You can enjoy it on a bed of lettuce, in a sandwich, or even in a wrap. It’s a great option for a quick lunch or dinner, and it’s also perfect for meal prep.
When you’re in a rush and need a meal that’s quick and easy, tuna salad is a great option. With just a few ingredients, you can have a delicious and satisfying meal in no time.
Meal 12: Ready-Made Lasagna
When you’re in a rush and don’t have time to cook, ready-made lasagna is a great option. Lasagna is a classic Italian dish made with layers of pasta, cheese, and meat or vegetables. It’s a hearty and filling meal that’s perfect for a quick dinner.
Ready-made lasagna can be found in the frozen food section of your local grocery store. It’s a convenient option because all you have to do is heat it up in the oven, and it’s ready to eat in no time. Most brands come with cooking instructions on the packaging, so you can easily follow them to prepare your lasagna.
One of the benefits of ready-made lasagna is that it’s a complete meal in one dish. It contains all the necessary components of a balanced meal, including protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables. Some brands even offer vegetarian or gluten-free options, so you can choose the one that fits your dietary needs.
Overall, ready-made lasagna is a great option when you need a quick and easy meal. It’s a classic dish that’s sure to satisfy your hunger and taste buds. Just pop it in the oven, and you’ll have a delicious meal in no time.
Meal 13: Frozen Veggie Burgers
When you’re in a hurry, it can be tempting to grab fast food or skip a meal altogether. However, frozen veggie burgers are an easy and healthy option that can be prepared in minutes. They’re also a great source of protein and fiber.
To prepare frozen veggie burgers, simply heat them up in the oven or on the stovetop according to the package instructions. You can also cook them in an air fryer for a crispy texture.
To make your veggie burger more filling, consider adding toppings such as avocado, cheese, or sautéed mushrooms. You can also serve it on a whole wheat bun or wrap for added fiber.
When shopping for frozen veggie burgers, be sure to check the ingredients list for any additives or preservatives. Look for options that are made with whole food ingredients such as beans, grains, and vegetables.
Overall, frozen veggie burgers are a convenient and nutritious option for a quick meal. With a little creativity, you can customize them to your liking and enjoy a satisfying and healthy meal in minutes.
Meal 14: Pre-Cooked Grilled Chicken
For a quick and easy meal, pre-cooked grilled chicken is a great option. You can find it in the deli section of most grocery stores, and it’s usually sold in 1-2 pound packages.
One way to use pre-cooked grilled chicken is to make a simple salad. Just toss the chicken with some mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and your favorite dressing. You can also add some croutons or nuts for extra crunch.
Another option is to make a chicken wrap. Grab a tortilla, add some lettuce, cheese, avocado, and pre-cooked chicken. Roll it up and you’ve got a tasty meal in minutes.
If you’re looking for something a little heartier, try making a chicken and vegetable stir-fry. Just sauté some vegetables in a pan, add the pre-cooked chicken, and stir in your favorite sauce. Serve it over rice or noodles for a complete meal.
Pre-cooked grilled chicken is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. It’s a great option for busy weeknights when you don’t have a lot of time to cook. Plus, it’s a healthy source of protein that can help keep you full and satisfied.
Meal 15: Pre-Made Guacamole and Chips
If you are in a hurry and looking for a quick and easy snack or appetizer, pre-made guacamole and chips are a great option. You can find them in the deli or snack aisle of most grocery stores.
Guacamole is a dip made from mashed avocado, lime juice, and salt. It is a healthy snack option as avocado is a good source of healthy fats, fiber, and vitamins. Chips, on the other hand, are not as healthy as they are usually high in calories, fat, and sodium. However, they are a great option for a quick and easy snack.
To make this snack, all you need to do is open the bag of chips and the container of guacamole and serve them together. If you want to make it a little more interesting, you can try adding some diced tomatoes, onions, or jalapeños to the guacamole for extra flavor and nutrition.
Overall, pre-made guacamole and chips are a convenient and tasty snack option that you can easily pick up at the store. Just be mindful of the portion size and enjoy in moderation.
Final Thoughts on 15 Last Minute Meals to Pick Up at the Store
Having a last-minute meal plan is essential for anyone who wants to save time and still enjoy a healthy and delicious dinner. With the various options available at the grocery store, you can easily pick up a few ingredients and whip up a quick meal in no time.
Whether you opt for frozen chicken strips, canned vegetarian chili, or pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, there are plenty of options to choose from. You can also get creative with your meals by adding different spices, herbs, and sauces to enhance the flavor.
Remember to always check the nutrition labels and ingredient list to ensure that your meal is healthy and balanced. You can also consider meal prepping on the weekends to save time during the week and ensure that you always have healthy meals on hand.
With these tips and ideas, you can easily create delicious and healthy meals in just 15 minutes or less. So next time you’re short on time, head to the grocery store and pick up some of these last-minute meal options for a quick and easy dinner.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some quick and easy meal ideas for busy weeknights?
If you’re short on time, consider picking up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. You can shred the chicken and use it in a variety of recipes, such as chicken tacos, chicken salad, or chicken and rice bowls. Another quick and easy meal idea is to make a stir-fry with pre-cut veggies and a protein of your choice. Serve it over rice or noodles for a complete meal.
What are some no-cook meal ideas that can be picked up at the grocery store?
If you don’t feel like cooking, consider picking up a pre-made salad from the grocery store. You can also grab some pre-cut veggies and hummus or guacamole for a quick and healthy snack or light meal. Other no-cook options include sushi rolls, cold cuts and cheese, or a sandwich made with deli meat.
What are some last minute dinner ideas for picky eaters?
If you’re cooking for picky eaters, consider making a simple pasta dish with a side of garlic bread. You can also make a quesadilla with cheese and chicken or veggies. Another option is to make a homemade pizza with toppings of your choice.
What are some healthy last-minute dinner ideas?
For a healthy meal, consider making a salad with pre-washed greens, veggies, and a protein of your choice, such as grilled chicken or tofu. You can also make a stir-fry with lots of veggies and a protein of your choice, served over brown rice or quinoa. Another option is to make a veggie-packed soup or chili.
What are some dinner ideas that can be made with ground beef and picked up at the store?
If you have ground beef on hand, consider making tacos or a taco salad with lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, and avocado. You can also make spaghetti with a simple tomato sauce or a beef stir-fry with pre-cut veggies. Another option is to make a hearty chili with ground beef, beans, and veggies.
What are some cheap and easy dinner ideas that can be made after grocery shopping?
For a budget-friendly meal, consider making a frittata with eggs, cheese, and leftover veggies. You can also make a simple pasta dish with a homemade tomato sauce or a stir-fry with frozen veggies and a protein of your choice. Another option is to make a veggie-packed omelet or a grilled cheese sandwich with a side of tomato soup.