What are your favorite paleo convenience foods?

by (14843) Updated February 21, 2013 at 10:29 PM Created December 01, 2011 at 6:26 PM

I hope I'm not alone in having some regular go-to items that, while not 100% paleo to 5 decimal places, are in the spirit of healthy paleo foods. My latest find has been frozen fire roasted peppers and onions from Trader Joes. I dump a cup or so into a container the night before, and by lunch-time, they're thawed enough to mix with another favorite of mine, a 3.5 oz can of tuna or salmon from Vital Choice.

Of course there's the Artisana coconut butter (I especially like the pre-measured 2 oz packages for travel). And generally 3x a week, I'm going the Steamfresh veggie route (the broccoli and cauliflower mix is the standard).

What about you? Do you have convenience foods that work for you while doing paleo?

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30 Replies

140 · December 01, 2011 at 8:35 PM

Newbie here ... 1st answer ever!

Wholly Guacamole 100-calorie packs are the bomb. No more making a batch of guacamole and having part of it start turning brown in the fridge.

130 · December 02, 2011 at 8:51 PM

I've been pondering quite a bit on this exact topic recently. When taking long road trips, backpacking, attending Burning Man, or otherwise being in a situation where cooking isn't convenient, "convenience foods" can be a lifesaver. Whether on the road, on trail, or on the Playa, the following are some of my favorites:

Doesn't Require Refrigeration

  • Canned wild caught salmon
  • Canned tuna (not as often as salmon due to potentially higher mercury content)
  • Canned sardines (usually in olive oil for more fat)
  • Tanka Bars! (http://www.tankabar.com/)
  • Gluten-free beef jerky
  • Avocados (sprinkle a little sea salt on = Heaven)
  • Artisana Coconut Butter (SO good!)
  • Coconut oil (good for adding fat to just about anything)
  • Walnut butter
  • Almond butter (especially the small packets like Justin's Nut Butter)
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Dehydrated berries (like the dried blueberries at Trader Joe's)
  • Trail mix (nuts and dried fruit, NO peanuts, no extra crap)
  • Kale chips
  • Pure Bars (nice little carb boost for CrossFit days if you don't have cooked yams handy)
  • Kind Bars (can be found at the counter at most Starbucks locations!)
  • Lara Bars (especially the Coconut variety)
  • Gluten-free dairy-free 90% dark chocolate (obviously refrigerate if it's hot out)

Requires Refrigeration (or ice chest ;) )

  • Smoked salmon
  • Gluten-free nitrite-free deli meat
  • Organic berries
  • Gluten-free sausages (Applegate, etc - many are already fully cooked and just need to be heated)
  • Beef Pemmican from U.S. Wellness Meats (potentially not shelf stable due to water content)
  • Trader Joe's fully-cooked microwavable bacon (probably wouldn't go crazy with this one...)
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Coconut milk (nice for topping off an Americano)

If I'm on the road and my only option at the time is a convenience store, I'll usually fall back on a banana, hard boiled eggs, and whatever package of unsalted nuts has the least added crap (soybean oil, peanut oil, etc). Not optimal, but probably better than any of your other options at a gas station. ;) I typically stock up pretty damn well beforehand though to avoid such desperate situations.

There are plenty of different types of places where I'd typically find "convenient" prepared meals on the road (Chipotle, taquerias, etc), but I figure that would probably be more appropriate for a different post. :)

6218 · December 02, 2011 at 12:24 AM

Mostly Protein:

1) hard boiled eggs ideally pastured

2) jerky ideally grass-fed/pastured

3) Vital Choice canned fish - salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, etc.

Mostly Fats/Carbs:

1) dark chocolate 70-85%

2) kale chips

3) Paleokrunch (bars and cereal)

4) 1-2 TBSP tree nuts: pecans, almonds, walnuts, and/or macadamias

5) Emmy's Coconut Macaroons

6) Good Health Avocado oil Sea Salt Potato chips

2746 · December 01, 2011 at 7:09 PM

a piece of fruit is pretty convenient as are hard boiled eggs if you hard boil a bunch at one time

608 · December 01, 2011 at 7:30 PM

Maybe a bit boring, but I adore soft boiled eggs. Salt and Sriracha and I am in heaven. They are also pretty much the perfect food in terms of rations.

I also like whey shakes with either nut butters or fruit and a splash of cream.

Tea with coconut oil is very satisfying as well.

Honestly though? My biggest convenience is eating big, once (maybe twice) a day and not feeling hungry or snacky ever.

12118 · December 02, 2011 at 2:04 AM

For me, there's:

  • Canned tuna

  • Clementines (though only around workouts for me for now...those suckers are too compelling!)

  • Boiled eggs

  • Pistachios

  • Presliced liverwurst

  • Coconut manna/butter

  • Starbucks plain coffee or espresso (regular or decaf) and I ask for the heavy whipping cream to pour in myself! :)

  • Macadamia nuts

  • Freeze dried fruits and dried fruits

And for when I'm feeling fairly lazy, Trader Joe's has some decent precooked nitrate free bacon.

784 · December 01, 2011 at 10:38 PM

I keep a meat bucket in my refrigerator, and in it are packages of meat defrosting at various stages (the small plastic bucket (it's a calf feeding pail) keeps any melted juices from the packages from leaking onto the shelves of the fridge and the mess is non-existent). The convenience comes from "what do I want for supper", just haul out the bucket onto the counter, check for what's thawed and ready to go and choose what meat you want. At the same time, because of the various states of defrosting, even the totally defrosted meat is kept colder than it normally would be.

No mess, grab the meat you want with a good choice, then pop it back in the fridge again.

If you are talking the fastest foods for cooking, it's going to be ground meat and eggs, with bacon and eggs coming a close second. The eggs are close by in the hen house so I don't run out.

I don't eat a huge amount of vegetables, so don't think of them as a fast food at all, but sauerkraut and pickles probably would be the tops on the list for convenience of the ones I eat most. Oh, and garlic and mushrooms. Dinner or breakfast in 15 minutes is fast enough for me.

If you really mean by convenient foods that are available to eat right NOW, then the canned sardines are probably right up there. I use the Wild Planet ones from Amazon and they are really good.

1607 · December 01, 2011 at 7:21 PM

I'm a HUGE fan (addict) of jerky. Also, canned tuna and salmon. Fruit and nuts are good too. I hate to cook and I'm all about convenient food. Applegate or other natural lunch meats/deli meats are also big favorites of mine. I know some people frown on processed meats, but I'd starve otherwise. Rotisserie chickens are also gift from heaven.

Thankfully, my husband likes to cook, so I get nice balanced hot dinners several time a week.

520 · December 01, 2011 at 7:06 PM

I've been making my own jerky for a couple of months. A couple pounds of ground meat in my dehydrator eilds a big mason jar full of jerky strips. I'm pretty careful about what condiments and spices I eat, so it's great to be able to make my own. The problem is that I eat it so quickly!

37013 · December 01, 2011 at 6:30 PM

1) Bacon is convenient because it's a joy to cook and eat bacon.

2) US Wellness beef sticks.

3) a can of sardines. I never think of them until all of a sudden I crave them and I assume it's a deficiency thing because then, and only then, they're delicious with olive oil and a little powdered mustard.

Medium avatar
522 · December 02, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Wasn't someone talking about some sort of treat/cookie/something a few days ago? I failed to jot the info down and now can't remember.

Does anyone else remember?

I'm going to Costco tomorrow for that sausage! Sounds delicious.

70 · December 02, 2011 at 5:47 AM

I love this site! I was wondering this same question today. Lots of great ideas. Let's not forget leftovers. When I cook dinner, I always make 2-3 extra servings, it's usually lunch and something breakfast for the next days meals.

7153 · December 02, 2011 at 12:14 AM

My go-to lunch if I don't have any leftovers around is a can of sardines. I usually have some kimchee with that, too.

I also keep Larabars and jerky in my purse in case I get stuck out somewhere at meal time. Larabars do have a lot of (natural) sugar from the dates, but I'd rather have that than a fast food burger to tide me over until I get home.

1498 · December 01, 2011 at 8:55 PM

We have different stuff here in the UK ... for me, the most convenient standby is sausages (Waitrose Gluten-Free Cumberland). Excellent with eggs, bacon, mushrooms (black pudding for a treat) - usually fried in butter.

3737 · December 01, 2011 at 7:03 PM

Frozen Applegate sausage or natural chicken strips (I get mine from BJs) and Alexa sweet potato fries. Salad is good in that it requires no cooking but still requires shopping.

63 · July 17, 2012 at 11:18 AM

First answer for me !!

I made a giant frittata at the beginning of the week and have eaten it as snack some days, breakfast for others. I found having that helpful.

I often do veggies or low sugar fruit w macadamias or almonds ( LOVING trader joes macadamias)

Also I just made an avocado dressing that doubles as a great dip. So I'll use that w veg or topping for eggs. Or make egg salad with.

I'm a week into paleo myself.. So I'm still trying to figure it all out too!! Love it so far!

198 · December 02, 2011 at 9:23 PM

I like primal shakes.

2 cups frozen strawberries 4 cups coconut milk 2 tbl spoons of almond butter squeeze of honey.

BLEND AWAY!!--soo good.

When i first started paleo, everything tasted bland. Now, shakes like these are very tasty, and very convenient.

277 · December 01, 2011 at 7:29 PM

Aidell's chicken-apple sausages. dice 'em & scramble with eggs in the morning, or just heat a sausage to take in the car for a quick breakfast.

Not completely letter of the law, of course - but you can also grab 15-sausage packs at Costco, in addition to the 5-sausage version in most of the mainstream grocery stores around here (in Portland, Oregon)

3365 · January 25, 2013 at 11:31 PM

Baked, peeled, frozen sweet potatoes in ziplock baggies. Take them out to thaw in the morning, by lunch it's just like a sorbet.

I only eat nuts when I'm away from home. That way, once the portion is gone, I don't have to worry about binging.

5744 · July 18, 2012 at 12:53 AM

Hard-boiled eggs. If I could consume only one food ever it would be quality, pastured hard-boiled eggs.

Walnuts, macadamia nuts, almonds, dates and figs are also nice.

417 · December 02, 2011 at 11:41 PM

I have two little kids that are on the go and I am always looking for a quick paleo snack for them. I came up with a few delicious bars that I keep in the freezer/refrigerator just for them. They are a big hit for my hubby too who travels a lot. Whenever they are hungry they know where to find them.

Cinnabon Cookies: http://www.thewholekitchen.com/cinnabon-cookie/

Coconut Lemon Bars: http://www.thewholekitchen.com/coconut-lemon-bars/

11049 · December 02, 2011 at 5:49 AM

Macadamia nut butter, eaten right out of the jar with a spoon :)

20 · February 21, 2013 at 10:29 PM

I like Lydia's Organics Green Crackers are great when I get stuck and need something quickly. My 6 year old likes them, but not my 8 year old :)


I also like Lydia's Ginger Nori Crackers too:


I also buy Tanka Bites for emergencies.

I love packaged "Cheesy" Kale Chips, but I don't think the yeast is actually too easy on my digestion, so that's a rare splurge now...

I also have been buying organic, prepared cilantro hummus and/or chimmichuri sauce lately. I dip in strips of rotisserie chicken or veggies, and eat it on my eggs in the morning. So yummy!

Otherwise, I try like others to make extra of everything and always have leftovers in the fridge.

120 · July 17, 2012 at 9:37 PM

All of the ideas mentioned are great, and I typically prefer "real food" as snacks. However, if you need something packaged either for convenience or because you're traveling, you can do no wrong with Steve's Original: Paleo Krunch Bars, Paleo Krunch Grainless Granolas and Paleo Kits. They're a little on the expensive side but made with awesome ingredients. Plus, I feel an obligation to support businesses like his that are dedicated to offering healthy, great tasting foods.


120 · July 17, 2012 at 6:58 PM

I love Tao Kae Noi seaweed snacks I found at my local Korean market:


I can eat them all day. I love the original flavor and the shrimp too. Fried in palm oil.

120 · July 17, 2012 at 4:38 PM

Applegate meats - Soprasetta, Coppa, and others.

Cashews and others nuts - portioned out in one cup containers that I can grab easily as I run out the door.

Pork rinds - the convenience store on my way to work carries small pkg which is nice.

Bacon - duh. ;)

126 · July 17, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Blueberries, walnuts :)

0 · July 17, 2012 at 2:47 AM

I love Emerald Cocoa roasted almonds. They taste like chocolate candy and only have 1 gram of sugar!!!!

230 · December 03, 2011 at 2:46 PM

Creamed coconut - I eat it out of the jar!

Homemade almond butter (raw) - heated at a low temp and blended, eat with veggies, thats a treat though.

There are a lot of 'convinience' foods which take minutes to cook. Such as grilled sirloin or prok loin.

Fruit is an option but limit it on paleo.

549 · December 03, 2011 at 2:14 AM

-I like making shakes myself, especially if they contain spirulina or aloe vera gel (though they don't always taste good depending what you put it in, but they are really good for you).

-Sometimes when I want a treat, I just put some cocoa powder into some yogurt with some stevia extract and blend. Quick, easy and tasty!

-Raw veggies/fruit - I know it's obvious, but the enzymes are amazing for you.

-Raw grassfed liver pieces, if you can stomach it - again, amazing health benefits

-Hardboiled eggs (not to be obvious)

-Pieces of cheese with friut/veggies

-leftover roast beef slices

-Organic/homemade salsa with organic/homemade veggie chips - usually I put the salsa in my eggs in the morning, lol

-Shot of raw, extra virgin, cold pressed coconut oil (surprisingly satiating, amazing for health)

-leftover chicken meat pieces (really handy to have, actually)

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