Real Food: On-the-go {10 Minute Meal Ideas}

real food fast

I shared yesterday that while real food does take more time and effort, there are some things you can do to stream line the process. Today, I wanted to share specifically some of my favorite quick meals.

This list is by no means exhaustive. I simply sat down and made a quick list. I’m sure I’ll add to it as time goes on, because there are so many options for quick meals!

On-the-go Portable Meals & Snacks

In addition to my list of real food packaged items, here are some other things that we eat often if we need an on-the-go meal. Sometimes this means on-the-go meals are somewhat “snacky,” but we generally try to have some combination of carbs, veggies, fruit, and protein. Here are some options that are portable or that travel well.

  1. Carrot sticks or baby carrots
  2. Cucumber slices/sticks
  3. Raw Broccoli/Cauliflower
  4. Apples
  5. Bananas
  6. Grapes
  7. Dried fruit (raisins, etc.)
  8. Nuts
  9. Crackers (Triscuits, ak-mak)
  10. Homemade bread or muffins
  11. String cheese
  12. Raisins
  13. Tuna
  14. Black Olives
  15. Hard-boiled eggs (*prepared in advance–will keep for 5 days in fridge)
  16. Home-popped popcorn
  17. Brown Rice Cakes
  18. Granola Bars
  19. Celery with Nut butter
  20. Grape Tomatoes
  21. Applesauce– Store bought or homemade, prepared in advance

You can also find a lot of great portable meal ideas from 100 Days of Real Food (look for the “school lunches” tab)

Instant/Convenience Meals

Even T. V. Dinners take a few minutes to heat up, so this list of instant meals contains things that can be ready to eat in 5 minutes or less. Hint: there are lots of other meals that could be added to this list with some advance prep work.

Fruits and veggies can be served as a part of most of these meals as well.

  1. Tuna Salad with triscuits, raw veggies, and fruit.
  2. Quick salad with ak-mak crackers or triscuits. I often make salads with whatever veggies we have available, usually lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, cucumber, shredded carrot, sometimes hard-boiled eggs on top if I have them.
  3. Natural Peanut Butter (or other nut butter) & fruit-sweetened jelly on homemade whole wheat bread. (serve with carrot sticks, etc.)
  4. Nitrate and MSG free lunch meat
  5. “Snacky” meals from the list above
  6. Leftovers
  7. Caprese Salad with triscuits or homemade french bread lightly toasted.

10-Minute Meals

Most of our meals are ready in 20 minutes or less. But here are a few 10 minute ones.

  1. 100% whole wheat pasta with real food sauce (read ingredients before buying)
  2. Quesadillas (use pre-made homemade tortillas to make these real food approved). Add cheese, black beans, corn, tomatoes, peppers, onions, beef/chicken, for lots of great combinations.
  3. Soup–most soups I make are literally thrown together, dump in the ingredients and then eat. Some get better as the flavors simmer together for longer, but I have made chicken noodle soup or veggie soup in 10 minutes–add ingredients, cook on high until everything is warmed through, and it tastes great.
  4. Crockpot meals. These aren’t ready in 10 minutes, but 10 minutes of prep in the morning, and you have an instant meal at dinner time.
  5. Salmon/tuna patties with a veggie or salad
  6. Breakfast for dinner–scrambled eggs, toast, bacon or sausage
  7. Brown Rice with veggies.
  8. Pizza Bread (using real food bread, or homemade bread already prepared)
  9. Taco Salad
  10. Simple Goulash

Utilizing Leftovers

One of the biggest time-savers for me is utilizing leftovers. Plan for them. Cook extra so that you can have a heat-and-go meal another day later in the week. I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again, I almost always have cooked ground beef, shredded chicken, chicken strips, and/or find  strips ready to go in my freezer. It greatly increases the number of meals that I can have prepared in 10-15 minutes or less.

Real Food Series

This post is a part of my Real Food Journey series. Click here to see all the posts.

31 Days of Real Food Series

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