Road trip season has officially arrived – and if you’re one of the many travellers hopping into a car and driving for hours, days and even weeks, you better be preparing a good playlist and an even better stock of snacks. If you want to keep your eyes on the road, you’ll need food in your stomach. 

While many people’s snack bags tend to be filled with basic sandwiches, greasy chips, sugar-coated candies, and a lot, A LOT, of paper and plastic waste, we have a better suggestion. Whether you need an energy boost, a sugar rush or something to simply tackle road hunger, these easy homemade snacks will keep you and your road trip gang fuelled up, alert and satisfied even on the longest drives – with minimum waste and zero guilt on the side. Grab a bite and enjoy the ride.


Most of us, most of the time, confuse boredom with hunger – and when we’re stuck in a car for hours and hours, we can get very, very hungry (sorry, bored). Here’s where you grab a bag of seed mix. With all the vitamins, minerals, fibre and Omega-3s packed into these tiny powerhouses, seeds are the perfect healthy treat when you’re not really hungry, but still want something to munch on. Just mix roasted sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and flaxseeds, and store in an airtight bag, or toss in a few other ingredients to add more flavour. For example, you can make a seed trail mix with dried fruit, or a spicy mix with some cayenne and soy sauce for extra tang.

And when you’re starting to feel real hunger, instead of reaching for a bag of chips or salty crackers that are usually high in sodium and fat, go for some crispy roasted chickpeas. They’re rich in protein, fibre and healthy carbs, plus they’re nutty, crunchy and flavourful – a satisfying combination. Just drain and dry a can of chickpeas, coat with salt and olive oil, and roast until they turn golden and crispy. For more spiciness, try this chilli lime recipe, or go for this cinnamon-covered alternative if you want a touch of sweetness.

Another great substitute for potato chips? Kale. Unlike processed potatoes, kale keeps its nutritional value when turned into chips – plus it’s high in antioxidants as well as fat- and sodium-free. Again, just toss together kale, olive oil and salt, along with your favourite seasonings, like garlic, pepper or paprika. Then roast until crunchy. You can eat them by themselves or make some kale nachos to pair with guacamole or your favourite dip. You can also whip up some cheesy chips, adding parmesan into the mix or making them with nutritional yeast for a vegan-friendly result. If you’re a fan of sweet potatoes, try making ‘sweet’ kale by mixing a teaspoon of maple syrup with the oil.

Another healthy bite to keep you full until the next stop? Popcorn. This popular snack is nutrient-dense, high in fibre, low in calories and yet also filling. And although plain salted popcorn is good as is, you can literally add anything to make your popcorn pop with flavour. Whether it’s Italian herbs and parmesan, spicy chilli, cinnamon sugar or gingerbread spices, the seasoning options are endless for this iconic treat. Before hitting the road, store your popcorn in airtight bags to prevent it from going stale.


While liquid foods are definitely harder to take on the go, you don’t need a bowl and spoon to enjoy a chilled soup. Gazpacho is the ultimate hot-day food, as well as a healthy meal for whenever you’re craving something light and refreshing. Just grab an insulated container to keep your soup cold and ready for your next pit stop, or simply sip on the drive. This cucumber avocado gazpacho takes literally 10 minutes to make, and it’s even more refreshing and creamy than the original recipe. (Alternatively, check out our round-up of the best chilled soups for summer.)

Now, whether you choose to stop at a nice picnic spot, camp for the night or eat while you drive, sandwiches are the easiest meal solution for the road. But what about giving it a twist with an equally easy option? Quesadillas are super versatile (depending on the filling, you can have them for breakfast, lunch or dinner) and quick to pre-prep. You can go for the simple cheese and chicken quesadillas that leave no mess, or amp it up with a vegan recipe using sweet potatoes and peppers.

And if you want to turn your car into a party bus, bring an iconic party food that doubles as a perfect road meal, too. The sausage rolls you get from the refrigerated aisle at the supermarket are usually too processed and high in saturated fat, but luckily, they’re a cinch to make at home – and the golden, flaky results are even better. Plus, they have all three macronutrients – carbs, protein and fat – so they’re a balanced meal all in one (well, sort of). You can opt for a simple 3-ingredient recipe or make some healthier alternatives, like this one with lean chicken mince, this one with vegetables and cheese, or this vegan option with mushroom filling. Either way, they’ll be great for lunch or dinner.


Just because you’re busy driving doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of a good, satisfying dessert. And speaking of good desserts, doesn’t everything taste better covered in chocolate? These chocolate-covered almonds are perfect for sweetening the ride, easy to grab while you keep your eyes on the road, and their two main ingredients are considered heart-healthy foods (big plus!). You’ll only need melted dark chocolate, almonds and a pinch of sea salt. For a more gourmet version, you can try these chocolate cashew candies or these chocolate-covered pistachios. Just be warned: once you’ve tried one, you’ll go nuts.

If you need your dose of endorphins and an instant energy boost, protein bars are a great road trip snack, as they keep you alert and active when you’re starting to feel road fatigue. Instead of going for the high-sugar protein bars found at the gas station, make your own with natural ingredients, no added sugar and no baking. These fruity 3-ingredient bars are incredibly easy and delicious, gluten-free and vegan, while this protein-filled hazelnut and chocolate recipe will satisfy a sweeter tooth. If you’re looking for a mix between those two, these oatmeal and peanut butter bars are equally easy-to-make and filling, use only healthy ingredients, and have a rich blend of sweet flavours.

Finally, if you’ve got a hankering for summer flavours, make a batch of homemade marshmallows and have them ready for sandwiching in s’mores during a camping stop on the road, or to eat them by themselves while you drive – either way works. This 25-minute marshmallow recipe is everything you need to bring the campfire spirit with you, or alternatively, you can make a marshmallow-based dessert menu ahead of time: these mouth-watering s’mores cookies will save you the mess of actual s’mores (store them in a bag with a piece of bread to keep them fresh and soft), while these Nutella and marshmallow sandwiches will always be a crowd-pleaser.

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