The Satisfying Heat-&-Eat Meals I Lean on When I’m Too Tired to Cook

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I’ll be honest: grocery shopping is not my favorite activity. I enjoy cooking and picking out what I’ll eat for the week, but the act of going to the store (and lugging all the food home) is one I put off quite frequently. When I’m not using the Walmart app to have the bulk of my groceries delivered, I have a grocery store tradition: I always treat myself to some heat-and-eat meals.

For me, there’s nothing better than coming home from the store and popping an easy meal in the oven while I unpack the groceries, because I’m always too tired to even think about cooking. They’re not only for grocery nights, though: I like to stock the fridge and freezer with various items that could not be simpler to prepare (or have no prep at all), because I never know when I might be in the mood for a bite and not in the mood to make something from scratch.

Here are a handful of my favorite affordable, satisfying prepared foods from Walmart to stock up on and save yourself a bit of time this week—you deserve it.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Flatbread

It’s hard to think of a flatbread combo better than chicken, bacon, and ranch, so I love to grab one (or two!) of these for a lunch that requires little to no thought throughout the week. All you have to do is bake it in the oven till it’s crispy, bubbly, cheesy goodness, and slice it up. I’d say it’s shareable but…I prefer it all to myself. Cleanup is easy, too, since I just line a sheet pan or the oven rack with some parchment paper I can toss at the end.

Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Speaking of iconic flavor combos, this spinach and artichoke dip is a must-have. I can easily scoop some in a bowl for a snack with veggies and pita chips, or pop the container in the microwave to heat and serve to guests with tortilla chips in a decorative wood bowl. I love how versatile it is while requiring basically no prep.

Loaded Potato Soup

Sometimes I just want to cuddle up on the couch with a bowl of hearty soup, and this loaded potato soup hits the spot every time. It’s just as delicious as one I might order for delivery or stand over the stove making myself, but it costs a lot less and takes a lot less time to prepare. Win-win.

Photo by ROCKY LUTEN

Chicken Strips

There’s rarely a time that you’d look in my freezer and not find chicken strips or nuggets. I love keeping them around for a WFH lunch (on their own or paired with a side) or heated and sliced for a crunchy chicken caesar wrap. Plus, even if I take my lunch outside or to the pool, I can pop it in a to-go container to get my chicken strip fix anywhere.

Broccoli Florets

Broccoli florets are endlessly useful, especially when I can keep them in the freezer so I always have an easy side dish or addition to a meal. I love roasting them with salt, pepper, and olive oil on a sheet pan that’s been lined with parchment paper, then adding the slightly-charred florets into a pasta or rice dish for extra veg and flavor.

Salad Mixes

Some nights, I might have the energy to make a main dish from scratch, but a side or salad is just a touch too much effort. Walmart’s Marketside salad mixes require no chopping or dirtying of extra utensils (they even include the dressing), and perfectly complement any meal we have on deck. And if we’re talking crowd-pleasing salads, ranch has to be up there with the best of them, right?



What are your favorite no-fuss meals? Tell us in the comments!

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