(Think P3 Copycat) Plus Ideas!
Protein Snack Packs – savory ham, creamy muenster cheese, and crunchy roasted almonds are a quick and easy pick-me-up for those times when you’re stomach is rumbling but your next meal is just around the corner. These protein snack boxes are inspired by P3 packs without the price tag!
This homemade protein snack recipe is perfect for busy people who want to avoid the expense and monotony of pre-packaged P3 snacks. Although there are some great protein products available, you will definitely get what you pay for quality-wise in this market.
I like avoiding extra salts, fats, and sugars for a high protein and easy to take with you snack box. The substitution and variations section has loads of protein snack pack ideas so that you can suit any fussy, I mean, particular eaters.
The best version of a P3 copycat homemade snack box will allow you to make a cost-effective and high-quality protein pack of your own!
Why You’ll Love This Homemade Protein Snack Pack Recipe:
- Fast and easy, protein snack packs only need 10 minutes of prep time.
- Choose healthy ingredients to control fat, salt, sugar content, and avoid allergens.
- You can easily tailor copycat P3 snacks for individual family preferences.
- Kids will enjoy snack assembly, learn healthy portioning, and weekly food planning strategies.
- Homemade protein snack packs are a convenient grab-and-go snack for the whole family.
- Protein snack boxes help everyone avoid the fast-food drive-through when you’ve made a protein pack you love!
- Homemade P3 copycat snacks allow you to avoid empty calorie snacking, sugar crashes and reinforce good food choices.
- Did I mention you save money? 🙂
Where the P3 Snack Packs All Began
When Oscar Meyer introduced the first P3 protein snack packs back in 2014, they were a big hit! A nicely packaged, three-compartment disposable plastic food container marketed and enjoyed as a healthier snack alternative with 13 grams of protein.
These convenient grab-n-go protein snack packs contained ingredients from three well-known brands: Oscar Mayer, Kraft, and Planters. The idea took off as meat, cheese, and nuts were a welcome respite for people who were tired of choking down yogurt, smoothies, and protein bars on the go.
Now you can make your own healthy, homemade, and cost-saving protein snack pack alternatives to a store-bought version of the P3!
Equipment Needed To Make Protein Snack Boxes
- Cutting Board
- ⅓ c Measuring Cups
- Reusable 3-Compartment Food Containers (plastic)
- 5-Pack Airtight Snack Pack Containers (glass)
- Or Snack Size Baggies
Ingredients You Need To Make This Protein Snack Pack Recipe
How to Make Homemade Protein Snack Boxes
Slice the ham into cubes about ½-inch. Cut the cheese into smaller cubes. The volume of each should come out to approximately 2 ⅓ cups.
Line up the meal prep containers without their lids. This will make it easier and quicker to fill up – it’s like an assembly line.
Place ⅓ cup of ham in one section of each container. Place ⅓ cup of cheese in each container. Repeat the process with the almonds – ⅓ cup in each container.
Place the lids on the containers and place them in the refrigerator.
How should I store snack packs?
Keep your premade protein snack packs refrigerated in airtight food containers or snack bags.
Can you freeze snack packs?
Some online opinions are that you can freeze protein snack packs, but you sacrifice texture and sometimes flavor if you go this route. Cheese tends to crumble or gets gritty when frozen, and nuts seem to take on the taste of whatever is frozen next to them.
When choosing alternate ingredients that do freeze well, place them in a separate container and use them as a way to keep the other portion of your protein snack pack cool until eaten. (Think frozen grapes, yum!)
Homemade Copycat P3 Snack Tips
Cheese and nuts are nutrient and calorically-dense foods; keep in mind proper portioning if you are concerned with calorie consumption.
Dried fruits typically contain a high sugar content and can cause a glycemic spike if eaten first or the portion is too large in your protein snack box.
Not all nuts are created equal. Check the ingredients and salt content of processed or dry roasted products; opt for raw or home toasted nuts when possible.
Try keeping with heart-healthy nuts like walnuts rich in antioxidants and Omega-3s.
Opt for nitrate and nitrite-free meat from the deli counter if you don’t have any leftover ham or chicken. Request they make .5 inch slices, perfect for cubing!
P3 Copycat Protein Snack Boxes Substitutions and Variations
As I’ve touched on, not all protein snack pack ingredients are created equal. The overall snack pack idea is to have a healthy balance of protein, carbs, and fats based on your dietary needs. I’ve categorized some additions and variations for you into groups with that in mind.
Protein Snack Meat Substitutions:
- Healthier choices include your leftover turkey, chicken, and other meats you prepare at home that snack well, so you always know the quality of your meats.
- Grilled hotdogs or kielbasa rounds are a great hit with kids.
- Sliced Jerky Sticks, summer sausage, pepperoni slices, or pre-packaged jerked meat products work for variety in a pinch. Use these types of meat sparingly as these products can contain ingredients that are often better avoided.
Cheese Substitutions for Snack Packs:
- Cheese, yes, please! Any variety of cheese you prefer, keep to the 2-ounce serving. It’s easiest to divide your 8 oz. block of cheese into four equal portions and then slice or dice as you prefer.
- A convenient cheese substitute is pre-package/portioned cheese servings like string cheese sticks, Mini Baybel Cheese Rounds, Cracker Barrel Cracker Cheese Cuts, individually wrapped 2 oz. cheese snack bars.
Homemade Protein Snack Packs
- Cutting Board
- Meal Prep Containers
- 2 ⅓ cups ham
- 2 ⅓ cups cheese
- 2 ⅓ cups almonds
- Slice the ham into cubes about ½-inch. Cut the cheese into smaller cubes. The volume of each should come out to approximately 2 ⅓ cups.
- Line up the meal prep containers without their lids.
- Place ⅓ cup of ham in one section of each container. Place ⅓ cup of cheese in each container. Repeat the process with the almonds – ⅓ cup in each container.
- Place the lids on the containers and store them in the refrigerator.
Nut Substitutions For P3 Copycat Protein Packs:
- Oven Roasted Salted Pecans
- Peanut (a legume, but I’m all-inclusive)
The nutrition information for your protein snack packs will vary with what you fill them. Below is a guide to help you plan your packs. The nutrition information is from FatSecret.ca and is an approximation. (Information for cheese is for shredded cheese for reference. Please refer to the nutrition information on the package.)
|Ham||120||11.82 g||0||7.76 g|
|Pepperoni||157||6.85 g||1.36 g||13.56|
|Almonds||273||10.03 g||9.32 g||23.9 g|
|Cashews||249||7.22 g||12.94||20.49 g|
|Pecans||249||3.3 g||4.99 g||25.89 g|
|Peanuts||273||12.43 g||7.77 g||23.72 g|
|Pistachios||226||8.37 g||11.35 g||18.04 g|
|Walnuts||259||6.03 g||5.43 g||25.82 g|
|Cheddar cheese||150||9.29 g||0.48 g||12.36 g|
|Pepper Jack cheese||139||9.04 g||0.66 g||11.19 g|
|Muenster cheese||137||8.73 g||0.42 g||11.2 g|
Sweet Tooth Satisfier (Fruits) Additions:
Fruit additions are not as high in protein and fat content as the previous categories but make for a nice treat or finish if you use your protein snack pack as a light lunch:
- Dried Fruits: cherries, apricots, apples, gingered pineapple, figs, prunes, raisins, banana chips, apple rings, or throw some fruit roll-ups in for the kids in a pinch.
- Freeze Dried Fruits like raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, and bananas are a lighter, crisper version of dried/dehydrated fruits. They keep longer, retain most of their nutrient content, and do not require additives to preserve freshness.
- Fresh fruit can be added to protein snack packs; however, you’ll have to watch for spoilage if you make them a week in advance.
- Frozen fruit is also an option, like pineapple or mango chunks. Most berries will run and become juicy when they thaw, although they are still enjoyable, not a true grab-and-go option. (You know, grabbing and tossing into your mouth with your fingers.) Try freezing grapes, no mess!
Special Note: All About the Greens!
It wouldn’t seem fair to include fruits in homemade protein snack boxes and not give a shout-out to the veggie world!
If you want to expand the protein snack pack ideas, consider adding any raw veggies you enjoy. As I said, I’m all-inclusive!
Protein snack packs, P3 copycats, are a fantastic way to make sure you and your family enjoy a healthy, nutritious snack on the go.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please comment in the section below!