Meal Prep Hacks

Published: Jul. 30, 2019 at 1:45 PM CDT
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Don't let time in the kitchen deter your summer fun. Use these great healthy meal prep hacks to get in the kitchen and get on with your day.

Common kitchen items like muffin tins, ice cube trays and mason jars can be used to prep a week's worth of food in a short amount of time. Also, Hy-Vee short cuts, frozen vegetable items and rotisserie chickens keep chopping and cooking time to a minimum.

Mini Cauliflower Bites

Serves 24

These pizza-flavored bites made with a homemade cauliflower crust and tomato sauce. They're a perfect portable appetizer for any occasion.

All you need:

5 c. Hy-Vee Short Cuts cauliflower rice

1 Hy-Vee large egg, lightly beaten

1 ⅓ c. finely shredded Italian cheese blend, divided

½ tsp. Hy-Vee dried basil

¼ tsp. dried rosemary, crushed

dash(es) Hy-Vee salt

2 tbsp. chopped roasted red pepper, divided

2 tbsp. thinly sliced green onion, divided

72 miniature turkey pepperoni slices, such as Hormel

Tomato Pizza Sauce, optional

All you do:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat 24 (1-3/4-inch) muffin cups with cooking spray; set aside.

2. Place cauliflower into a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH about 8 minutes or until tender, stirring once or twice. If necessary, pat dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Cool. Add egg, 1 cup cheese, basil, rosemary and salt to cauliflower; stir to combine. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the mixture into each prepared muffin cup. Press evenly onto the bottoms and up the sides of cups. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until crusts are golden, edges are browned and centers are set. Remove from oven.

3. Spoon 1/4 teaspoon roasted red pepper and 1/4 teaspoon green onion onto each muffin cup. Top each with a rounded teaspoon of cheese and 3 pepperoni slices. Bake 2 to 3 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Carefully remove from muffin cups. Serve warm with Tomato Pizza Sauce for dipping, if desired.


Ice Cube Tray Ideas

- Fresh Herb butter

- Wine for sauces

- Tomato Sauce

- Fruit for drinks

- Juice for water or adult beverages

Homemade Pizza Rolls

Serves 6

Use Hy-Vee Short Cuts to make these quick and easy homemade pizza rolls.

All you need:

Hy-Vee all-purpose flour, for dusting

1 (15-oz.) pkg. Hy-Vee frozen Multi-Grain Pizza Dough, thawed

1 ½ c. Hy-Vee finely shredded Italian cheese blend, divided

½ c. Hy-Vee Short Cuts diced tri-peppers

½ c. Pepperoni, diced

1 Hy-Vee large egg

2 tsp. water

1 jar Gustare Vita pizza sauce

All you do:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Dust an 18 cube ice cube tray with flour. Mix together 1 cup of cheese, peppers, and pepperoni in a medium mixing bowl; set aside.

2. Unroll one package of pie dough. Press or roll out to an 11-inch circle. Carefully place it on top of the floured ice cube tray. Gently press pie dough into the ice cube tray creating deep wells. Divide mixture of cheese and vegetables evenly between wells, pressing down gently. Top with a spoonful of pizza sauce.

3. Invert ice cube tray onto prepared pan. Combine egg and water in a small bowl and brush onto pie dough. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden and crisp, sprinkling ½ cup cheese on top of pizza rolls during the last 5 minutes of baking.

4. Remove pizza rolls from oven; cool slightly. Cut pizza rolls apart by cutting along the groves; serve with pizza sauce, if desired.

Optional: Buffalo Chicken version- instead of died tri-peppers use died carrots and celery. Use diced rotisserie chicken to replace the pepperoni and buffalo sauce to replace pizza sauce.

Source: Adapted from

Mason Jar Ideas

- Fruit for smoothies

- Leftover Pasta, Rice, Grains

- Pre-chopped vegetables

- Beans

- Salads

Overnight Oatmeal

Serves 2

We love this recipe because you can customize it however you like. Plus, you can easily make a batch for the week ahead.

All you need:

1 (5.3 oz) container Hy-Vee plain Greek yogurt

⅔ c. Hy-Vee old-fashioned rolled oats

⅔ c. Hy-Vee skim milk or Almond Milk

½ c. chopped or sliced fruit or nuts

2 tbsp. packed Hy-Vee brown sugar or agave

Additional fruit or nuts, for garnish

All you do:

1. In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, oats, milk, fruit/nuts and brown sugar/agave.

2. Transfer to a pint jar or two half-pint jars. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 5 days.

3. To serve, remove jar lids and, if desired, top with additional fruit or nuts.

Source: Adapted from

Hailey Boudreau represents Hy-Vee as a nutrition expert promoting healthy eating throughout the community. Hailey is a Registered Dietitian and member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

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