12 On-the-Go Meals for Weeknight Dinner
Soccer games, baseball practices, dance competitions — we’re all busy people spending our time shuttling even busier kiddos. As a result, family dinners around the table aren’t always feasible. So what’s a parent to do? Here’s a solution: When you need to eat on the go, whip up one of these portable meals that are tastier, healthier and more satisfying than fast food.
Photo By: Holley Grainger, MS, RD, founder of Cleverful Living
Photo By: Andrea Mathis, RD, founder of Beautiful Eats & Things
Photo By: Tracee Yablon Brenner, RDN, founder of Triad to Wellness
Photo By: Jodi Danen, RDN, founder of Create Kids Club
Photo By: Chelsey Amer, MS, RD
Photo By: Shannon Garcia, RD, founder of KISS in the Kitchen
Photo By: Lindsay Livingston, RD, founder of The Lean Green Bean
Photo By: Rebecca Clyde MS, RDN, owner of Nourish Nutrition Co
Photo By: Gwynn Galvin of Swirls of Flavor
Photo By: Kara Lydon, RD, founder of The Foodie Dietitian
Photo By: Sharon Palmer, MSFS, RDN, founder of The Plant-Powered Dietitian
Photo By: Dena Norton, MS, RD, founder of Back to the Book Nutrition
Walking Sweet and Sour Chicken Rice Bowls
For a single-serve, portable meal in a pouch, try Walking Sweet and Sour Chicken Rice Bowls. This recipe can be prepped from start to finish in just a few minutes, making it an ideal dinner when you’re in a hurry. The microwaveable rice pouch cooks in just 90 seconds, so use that time to toss together leftover cooked chicken, pineapple, bell peppers and sweet and sour sauce, then stir into the hot cooked rice. You’ll be able to make this meal and be out the door faster than you could pick up Chinese takeout.
Savory Waffle Turkey BLTs
Waffles for dinner are always a hit — especially when traditional frozen waffles are transformed into Savory Waffle Turkey BLTs. Whether you’re packing them for lunch, a picnic or dinner on the go, this sweet and savory sandwich will surely be a hit. If you don’t plan to eat the BLT within the first hour, pack the tomatoes in a separate container to keep the waffles from getting soggy.
Asian Chicken, Zoodle and Sorghum Mason Jar Salad
A terrific meal option when you need something portable, this Asian Chicken, Zoodle and Sorghum Mason Jar Salad packs in flavor and nutrition. Thanks to the airtight seal on the jar, the salad can stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to five days. Registered dietitian Tracee Yablon Brenner shares, "The benefit of this salad is that it’s ready to eat in its own container, so grab a fork and eat directly from the jar. However, if you’re worried about traveling with glass, simply transfer the salad to a plastic storage container, then pack in a cooler."
Crunch Wrap Supreme
Skip the drive-thru and make this Crunch Wrap Supreme recipe before leaving the house. Simply wrap each one in foil and pack in a cooler to eat in the car, at practice or from the stands. Since these freeze well, make an extra batch and freeze in individual zip-top bags.
Easy Summer Rolls With Sunbutter Sauce
Dietitian Chelsey Amer knows that it can be hard to eat veggies on the go. However, these Easy Summer Rolls With Sunbutter Sauce are a convenient and portable way to wrap up your favorite veggies when you're going to be out and about. Amer shares, "A large collard green leaf or rice paper wrapper is the perfect container to transport a rainbow of veggies. Pack the rolls and sunflower seed butter dipping sauce in a to-go container, and you’re all set."
Blueberry Pecan Chicken Salad
Stuffed in a pita pocket, topped on a salad or scooped with crackers, chicken salad is a fan favorite when you’re on the move. "Blueberry Pecan Chicken Salad is the perfect on-the-go option that's packed with protein, vegetables and even fruit. It's bursting with flavor and fun textures, plus it's a cinch to whip together," shares registered dietitian Shannon Garcia. Make a big batch of chicken salad and keep it on-hand for when you need to quickly scrape together a meal.
Baked Ranch Chicken Taquitos
Baked Ranch Chicken Taquitos are a kid-friendly lunch or dinner option and ideal for busy weeknights. Registered dietitian and mom Lindsay Livingston shares, "They’re like tacos, which my kids love, but they’re rolled up really tightly, which makes it easier for me to pack a lot of stuff into them." These taquitos are loaded with black beans, hummus, cooked chicken, cheese and ranch dressing. For busy weeknights, assemble a double batch, then bake one half right away and freeze the other half. The taquitos can be baked straight from frozen.
Tortilla de Patata
Simple and satisfying Tortilla de Patata is a Spanish favorite that is traditionally eaten like a frittata with a side salad or folded and placed inside a baguette. Registered dietitian Rebecca Clyde says, "Because it is delicious warm or cold, this sandwich makes for a versatile on-the-go meal that provides carbs, protein and veggies all in one portable meal."
Walking Taco Bar
With just a little prep, you can set up a quick Walking Taco Bar, allowing everyone to customize their meal and take it on the go. Creator Gwynn Galvin shares, "A Walking Taco Bar is the perfect way to serve up a saucy taco filling and your favorite toppings in a bag of chips for a game. Crush the chips in your bag, top them with a flavorful beef taco filling, pile high with lots of taco toppings, add a plastic fork, and you’re all set!" It’s easy to walk around with these portable tacos and even jump up and down without making a mess when your team scores.
Mini Tuna Sushi Burritos
Combine two favorite meals — sushi and burritos — into a delicious dinner on the go. More satisfying than your average sushi roll, Mini Tuna Sushi Burritos use guacamole in place of sliced avocado and are rolled in tortillas or roasted seaweed (nori). Stuffed with fresh veggies, heart-healthy tuna, guac, a spicy Greek yogurt mayo and sushi rice, these portable sushi burritos pack tons of flavor and fun.
Tofu Kale Power Bowl With Tahini Dressing
For an easy-to-pack, nourishing power bowl, registered dietitian Sharon Palmer says that her Tofu Kale Power Bowl With Tahini Dressing is the ideal go-to. "I love this recipe because it’s packed with plant protein, healthy fats, veggies and flavor. It meets all of my nutrient needs for a meal, it’s satisfying (meaning I won’t get hungry later) and I can easily pack it up in a big sealable storage bowl with a fork. I’ve even taken it on an airplane."
Beef and Potato Hand Pies
Combine your love of comfort food with the need for a convenient meal, and these Beef and Potato Hand Pies are just the answer. Wrap leftover roast beef and potatoes in a flaky frozen pie crust to create a portable hand pie that beats drive-thru any day of the week. This grab-and-go recipe can also be stuffed with leftover veggies, chicken or pork. The options are endless!