Skip Nav

POPSUGAR / advertiser content from / StarKist®


Easy Meal Prep Ingredients

Keep These 4 Key Ingredients on Hand For Super Simple Meal Prep

Eating well doesn’t have to be hard. We’ve partnered with StarKist® to reveal the meal-prep hack that makes packing lunch easier — and tastier — than ever.

Let’s be real: the last thing you want to do on a Sunday afternoon is meal prep for the week ahead. Cooking brown rice or mixing up homemade salad dressing for work lunches doesn’t make the Sunday scaries go away — if anything, it amplifies them.

However, there is a way to make meal prep short and sweet, so you have plenty of time to finish your reality TV binge. If you keep a few key ingredients on hand, you can throw together tasty, healthy meals in record time. All you have to do is shop for a few flavorful, healthy staples that you can remix into different meals all week long. Here’s what you need to keep on your weekly shopping list.

Pack in the Protein

First things first: any healthy lunch or dinner needs some protein. While you could certainly grill a whole batch of chicken breasts every week, there’s a much easier option: StarKist Creations® pouches. These pantry-ready pouches come in tasty flavors like Tuna Creations® BOLD Jalapeño, Chicken Creations™ BOLD Buffalo Style, and Salmon Creations® Mango Chipotle, so they’re ready to tear open and eat. Plus, StarKist pouches don’t need to be refrigerated, so you can just toss one in your lunch bag or desk drawer until you’re ready to eat. They're perfect for pairing with fresh veggies, serving over greens for a simple salad, and can even be eaten straight from the pouch!

Get Fresh With Veggies

Even if you're not making a salad for lunch, you need some veggies. Head to the grocery store at the beginning of the week to stock up on fresh vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, celery, tomatoes, and spinach. Anything goes — but you'll thank yourself for choosing veggies that don’t require much prep. Just give them a quick wash, slice them up, sort them in individual sandwich bags, and you’re ready to mix and match when lunchtime rolls around!

Make It Grain

Don’t forget healthy whole grains, either. If you keep a few options like pita bread, seeded crackers, and rice cakes on hand, you can easily mix and match them for quick lunches. Think pita pockets stuffed with Chicken Creations™ BOLD Buffalo Style, chopped celery, and blue cheese, or seeded crackers topped with Salmon Creations® Mango Chipotle and cucumber rounds. The possibilities are endless!

Top It Off
Finish the meal with some toppings that add a concentrated pop of flavor, creaminess, or crunch. Look for options that can last for a week or longer in the fridge or pantry, like feta cheese, sunflower seeds, capers, chopped nuts, and dried cranberries. It’s an easy way to add even more taste and excitement to a packed lunch, and means you’re much less likely to miss the deli salad you always order.

Shop the Article

Credits: Photography: Matthew Zach; Art Direction: Samara Grossman; Prop Styling: Aja Coon; Food Styling: Julia Choi; Production: Cassie Doyle