With these grocery store dinner hacks, you'll cut down on prep time and make it easy to get in all the veggies you need to stay healthy.

Kristina LaRue, RD, CSSD
September 20, 2018

Life gets busy and it's not always easy making a healthy dinner from scratch every night of the week. Washing, slicing and dicing veggies can be time-consuming, and sometimes it's just easier to skip the prep. Lucky for us, the produce gods have heard our cries! Nowadays, there are so many exciting preprepped veggie options at the grocery store that you could probably get away with buying most of your veggies preprepped (if you're willing to pay a little extra). Think spiralized zoodles, riced cauliflower, peeled and cubed butternut squash-and the classics, canned and frozen veggies. Eating plenty of vegetables has a whole host of benefits. You end up getting more fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, which can help reduce the risk for diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Not to mention, eating more vegetables makes it easier to lose weight. With these grocery store dinner hacks, you'll cut down on prep time and make it easy to get in all the veggies you need to stay healthy.

Grocery Store Dinner Hacks to Help You Eat More Veggies

Pick up some of these healthy grocery store shortcut ingredients this week and see how easy making a veggie-packed dinner can be! Scan the related recipes to see what ingredients can be bought preprepped, frozen or canned.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Premade cauliflower pizza crust is making its way to the frozen foods section of grocery stores quickly, and it makes sense why. Making cauliflower pizza crust on your own is a fun project (try out the EatingWell Cauliflower Pizza Crust!) but not the most realistic for busy weeknights. This fast store-bought alternative is a great shortcut to creating a low-carb, veggie-packed pizza.

Recipes to Try:

Spiralized Veggies

Spiralizing veggies is wonderfully innovative example of how you can add more vegetables to your diet. If you don't own a spiralizer, no worries-grocery stores have caught on quickly to this trend and now offer prespiralized zucchini, summer squash, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, carrots and more.

Recipes to Try:

Peeled & Precut Veggies

Gone are the days of chopping and slicing. Thanks to our fast-paced lifestyle and modern conveniences, precut vegetables are here to stay. Nowadays, you can find so many fresh, ready-to-use veggies in the produce section: from peeled, cubed butternut squash (talk about a time-saver!) to diced carrots, celery and onions, minced garlic and sliced mushrooms. Buying preprepped vegetables will easily save you 10 to 15 minutes every time you cook. And with them being so convenient, it's really hard to find an excuse not to eat your veggies.

Recipes to Try:

Preshredded Slaws

The options for preshredded slaws go way beyond the classic green and red cabbage slaw. New preshredded slaw combinations are coming in hot. In most stores, you can find broccoli slaw, shredded Brussels sprout slaw, and "superfood" slaw, with beets, kale and cabbage. These preshredded slaws are a fun and tasty alternative to the typical salad. Use these slaw mixes to make a delicious dinner side salad or main dish (try topping with chicken, avocado and sunflower seeds), or use as a taco or pizza topper.

Recipes to Try:

Riced Cauliflower & Sweet Potato

From fresh to frozen, riced veggies are all the rage. We love riced veggies like sweet potato, broccoli and cauliflower because the effort (and mess) of ricing veggies has been done for us. Plus, they are so easy to work into recipes ... often without the picky eaters even knowing! Use cauliflower rice as a side dish on its own, or mix in with brown rice for a lower-carb alternative and added volume. While whole grains like brown rice aren't bad for you, if you're trying to lose weight or watching your carb intake, riced veggies make a nice rice alternative.

Recipes to Try:

Prewashed Greens

The concept of washing your vegetables seems simple enough, but why not cut out 15 minutes of prep when you can? Prewashed greens like spring mix, peppery arugula, crisp spinach and chopped kale are some of the great shortcut options for getting a quick and healthy salad on the table or a veggie-packed soup simmering on the stove. Fortunately, these days you can find a whole aisle at any grocery store dedicated to prewashed salad bags or boxes.

Recipes to Try:

Frozen Vegetables

Did you know that frozen vegetables are just as good, if not better, than fresh vegetables? When companies bag up their crops to be frozen they often do it with their freshly picked, in-season crops. Once frozen, the healthy makeup of the vegetable stays intact and completely preserved until opened again for cooking. Some of our favorite frozen ingredients are corn, green beans, peas, spinach and butternut squash. Don't skip the freezer section-make sure to grab some frozen veggies on the way out of the market.

Recipes to Try:

Canned Vegetables

Canned vegetables tend to get a bad rap but, in reality, they're a healthy, convenient option that can be real dinner savers when you're pressed for time or just not interested in prepping veggies from scratch. Believe it or not, certain canned vegetables may be more nutritious that their fresh counterparts because the canning process increases the bioavailability of nutrients-tomatoes, carrots, corn, beans and pumpkin are just a few examples. Look for no-salt-added or low-sodium options to help cut down on excess salt, and stock up on your favorites when they're on sale so you always have them on hand for quick and easy meals.

Recipes to Try:

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