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Pre-packaged foods make grab-and-go easier than ever

doritos walking taco
Photograph courtesy of PepsiCo

This year, time has been an extremely valuable resource for foodservice workers. Being able to prepare menu items quickly was an important asset for staff as they adjusted to new demands on their operations. One way many operators streamlined the preparation process was by incorporating packaged foods into their menu items. This allowed for quick prep of grab-and-go options, without having to sacrifice variety. Going into 2021, this efficiency will remain important as students head back into school—this way, kitchen staffs can prep meals ahead of time so that students can pick something up quick.

Grab-and-go versatility and convenience

By using pre-packaged products in foods offered in cafeterias, workers can create an array of meals that students, faculty and staff can pick up in a breeze and be on their way—without sacrificing great taste or quality ingredients. For example, instead of simply offering a container of yogurt, operators can offer a yogurt parfait featuring pre-packaged Grandma’s® Mini Bites Blueberry Vanilla Naturally Flavored Crisps. This helps fulfill grain requirements as well as keeps the menu interesting.

Beyond that, using pre-packaged ingredients offers foodservice operators the opportunity to create a number of versatile options with just a few staple ingredients. For example, Fritos®  corn chips can be used as a chili topper or as a base for chili pie; Funyuns® whole grain rich onion flavored rings  can be used as a burger topping or in place of croutons in a salad; and Doritos® and Tostitos® tortilla chips can be used as part of a walking taco or loaded nacho recipe.

For operators looking to stay ahead of the curve, using pre-packaged foods as part of the menu can be a big benefit. Need some inspiration? Try these ideas that are perfect for offering as grab-and-go eats.

Lunchtime variety

A quick lunchtime meal that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser, Fritos® Chili Piecalls for portioning corn chips into a serving bowl, cup or tray, scooping one cup of hot chili with beans on top and garnishing with diced onion and shredded cheddar cheese.

A similar option, also made with pre-packaged chips, walking tacos made with Doritos® reduced-fat tortilla chips offer a flavorful take on this ultra-portable meal. To make Crazy Tacos with Doritos® Walking Taco  top 1.4-ounce bags of Doritos® Walking Taco with taco filling, then addshredded cheese, lettuce and tomato.

Beyond these uses, pre-packaged chips can be added as sides for soups or toppings for salads, making it easy for operators to offer portioned “pick 2” lunch options.

Kid-friendly comfort foods with a twist

Give sloppy joes a fun update with prepared Beef Philly Cheese steak on a bun dressed with a slice of tomato, shredded lettuce and American cheese. Top with crunchy, savory Funyuns® Whole Grain Rich Snacks, a baked, onion-flavored snack, and lunch is served! For a spicy option, Buffalo chicken nachos made with Tostitos® are a delicious crowd pleaser.For the Buffalo chicken, heat diced chicken with cream cheese, sour cream, buffalo sauce and water. To assemble the dish, top Tostitos® Whole Grain Rich Crispy Round Tortilla Chips with the chicken mix, then garnish with mozzarella cheese, diced celery, diced carrots and diced tomatoes. Drizzle with reduced-fat ranch salad dressing for a spicy (but not-too-spicy!) twist on  traditional nachos.

From a base for nachos to providing a fun new way to enjoy taco flavors and so many more meals, pre-packaged products from PepsiCo give foodservice operators the convenience and speed they need to offer an array of delicious, grab-and-go meals without a ton of back-of-house prep. Click here to learn more about how packaged foods can make menu prep easy

This post is sponsored by PepsiCo Foodservice

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