Meal prepping can make your life and diet much easier to manage. But sometimes moving from the idea of meal prepping to actually planning, shopping, and food prepping can feel overwhelming—and that's where we come in. Here are our best meal prep recipes to help you get started!
Benefits of Meal Prepping
If you're new to meal prepping, you might wonder how it can benefit you. For starters, meal prepping can help you save money—as long as you're organized. Make sure to have a detailed grocery list and only buy what you need.
And speaking of that grocery list, meal prepping also allows you to budget for monthly grocery expenses. It may take a while to get into a groove, but try to sit down at the beginning of the month and plan out a few weeks of menus. Then, make your list and estimate expenses.
Once you have the meals ready, meal prepping makes it easier to make healthy choices, which can lead to reduced stress and less impulsive eating.
Breakfast Meal Prep Recipes
Skipping breakfast is often the result of hectic mornings. Here are two breakfast meal prep recipes to help you get off to a great start.
Lean Breakfast Burrito with Turkey Sausage
Crunched for time in the morning? No problem. These lean breakfast burritos with turkey sausage are easy to make, wrap, and store in the fridge for a healthy grab-and-go meal. You can also place all the fixings in a container and add to a tortilla when ready to eat. Loaded with turkey sausage, egg whites, cheese, tomatoes, onions, avocado, cilantro, and jalapeño, this healthy meal will give you the energy you need to power through the day.
Nutty Berry Oat Bowl
Raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries are packed full of antioxidants and other key nutrients your body needs. Add in some chia seeds, ground flaxseed, almonds, walnuts, and shredded coconut, and you have a powerhouse breakfast that is both delicious and healthy. Because it requires some prep time, this nutty berry oat bowl is easiest to make the day before and then store in the fridge. You can heat it on the stove or in the microwave when ready to eat.
Snack Meal Prep Recipes
On-the-go snacks are a staple in any meal prep plan. Here are two recipes that are quick to make, easy to store, and good for you, too!
Packable Oatmeal Bars
These packable oatmeal bars will not disappoint. Loaded with wholesome ingredients like oatmeal, nut butter, unsweetened applesauce, honey, and raisins, these bars come together in a flash and taste delicious cold or warm. Plus, you can double the ingredients to make an extra batch and store it in the freezer.
Spicy meets salty in this chili-roasted chickpea recipe. High in fiber and protein, chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) are the perfect meal prep snack. You only need garbanzo beans, grapeseed oil, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and kosher salt. Plus, they're easy to incorporate into a Sunday meal prep plan and store in ziplock bags or small storage containers.
Salad Meal Prep Recipes
Packing a salad each night for lunch the next day can get a bit tedious. Fortunately, salads are one of the best items to add to your meal prep lineup. Here are two hearty salad recipes that make excellent meals.
Protein Plus Salad
Chicken, tofu, chickpeas, edamame, carrots, broccoli, spinach, black beans, tomatoes, and sunflower seeds make this protein plus salad recipe a winner in our book. The key to this salad recipe is to prep and pack the salad fixings ahead of time. Then, clean the spinach and place it in ziplock bags. When it's time to eat, top a bed of spinach with the rest of the ingredients.
Roasted Vegetable Farro Salad
One way to make a hearty salad is to add whole grains. This roasted vegetable farro salad combines farro or a whole grain of your choice, cauliflower, broccoli, onions, olive oil, hazelnuts, cranberries, parsley, lemons, and apple cider vinegar. Prep ingredients on a Sunday and keep them in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
Chicken Meal Prep Recipes
Chicken is a staple in many meal prep recipes. Not only is this lean protein good for you, but it's also affordable and versatile. Here, we share two restaurant-quality chicken recipes guaranteed to satisfy your tastebuds and make meal planning a breeze.
Thai Chicken and Peanut Pasta
Are you tired of spending money on your favorite Thai take-out? This Thai chicken and peanut pasta recipe combine peanut sauce, pasta, chicken, bean sprouts, carrots, peppers, cucumbers, basil, chilies, and scallions for a delicious make-at-home meal.
Honey Garlic Chicken
One-pot meals are an easy way to fix it and forget it, especially when using a crockpot. This honey garlic chicken meal prep recipe combines chicken breasts, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, onion, and pepper in a crockpot for 3-4 hours. Store in one container in the fridge or separate into single-serving meal containers with a whole grain and vegetable of your choice.
Large Batch Meal Prep Recipes
Sundays are a great day to prepare for the week ahead, especially when it comes to cooking big batch meals. These recipes allow you the freedom to prep for a small or large batch—just double the ingredients if you want a big batch recipe.
Crunchy Chicken Salad with DIY Chicken Salad Dressing
Crunchy chicken salad is a versatile large batch meal prep recipe you can top on a bed of lettuce, in a croissant, or between two slices of your favorite bread. Plus, this recipe comes with a bonus DIY chicken salad dressing that can take the place of mayonnaise.
Sweet Potato Chili
Soups are an excellent option for large-batch meal prep recipes. You can divide the servings up and store some in the refrigerator and some in the freezer for later. This sweet potato chili is loaded with black beans, onions, seasonings, and of course, sweet potatoes.
Freezer Meal Prep Recipes
Whether you're cooking for one or a family of five, freezer-friendly meals are a staple in many homes. Beyond shopping, prepping, and cooking, just make sure you have heavy-duty freezer bags or containers with a lid and plenty of room to store your meals. Here are two recipes to get you started.
White Bean Chili
White bean chili is an excellent meal to make in bulk and freeze. Plus, this freezer meal prep recipe is made in a slow cooker, which means your prep time is only about 10 minutes. The slow cooker does the rest! Then when you're ready to eat, take one container out of the freezer and place it in the refrigerator until it defrosts.
Baked chimichangas are easy to freeze in individual portions, making them an excellent freezer meal prep recipe for busy families. These chimichangas are filled with ground turkey, refried beans, salsa, and Monterey Jack cheese. Wrap in a flour tortilla and top with sour cream, and you have a quick and easy dinner for any weeknight.
Staple Meal Prep Recipes
You can make any food a staple in your meal prep lineup. The key is to find ingredients you often use and like to have on hand. Here are two of our favorite staple meal prep recipes.
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
Having shredded chicken in the fridge or freezer is a necessity for meal prep planning. And instant pot shredded chicken is a staple you'll want on hand. This staple meal prep recipe freezes easily and goes well with quinoa, brown rice, tortillas, or by itself.
Peanut Butter and Oatmeal Protein Bars
Peanut butter and oatmeal are two staples in many meal prep plans. Pair them together, and you have peanut butter oatmeal protein bars. Made with only four ingredients, these grab-and-go bars are quick to make and can stay fresh in the refrigerator for days.
Spreads and Sauces Meal Prep Recipes
Spreads and sauces meal prep recipes can add flavor and variety to any lunch or dinner. Here are two fan favorites to add to your menu.
Basic Barbecue Sauce
Homemade barbecue sauce is a great addition to chicken, ribs, hamburgers, and even a side of fries. You will likely need to purchase a few ingredients to make this meal prep sauce, but it only takes about 20 minutes to prep and cook before it's ready to serve.
Hummus pairs well with veggies, crackers, pita chips, flatbread, and apples. The combination of chickpeas, garlic, tahini, cumin, and paprika is a perfect blend of flavors. This classic hummus recipe makes a decent-sized batch to have in the fridge or to freeze some for later.
Vegetable Meal Prep Recipes
Vegetable meal prep recipes make it a breeze to boost your intake of these nutrient-dense favorites. Here are two healthy meal prep recipes to help you sneak in your recommended daily servings of vegetables.
Mexican Quinoa Bowl
Vegetable meal prep recipes are fun, flavorful, and filling. This Mexican quinoa bowl is loaded with goodies like tomatoes, avocados, jalapeño, lemon, quinoa, and black beans. Plus, it's easy to divide into individual servings and pack in containers for lunch the next day.
Peppers and Guacamole
Eating sliced bell peppers mixed with guacamole is a healthy way to get in your daily veggie quota. While using red, green, yellow, and orange peppers is ideal, you can choose to add any pepper you like. Pairing peppers with guacamole also gives you an excellent source of energy and healthy fat.
Protein Meal Prep Recipes
Looking for ways to get more protein in your diet? Meal prepping can help you increase your protein intake while also delivering plenty of flavor and fun. Check out these two protein meal prep recipes.
Shrimp Fajita Bowl
Getting more protein in your diet is easy with this shrimp fajita bowl recipe. Loaded with shrimp, brown rice, avocado, bell peppers, jalapeño, onions, and various spices, you can chop, prep, cook, and fill a bowl in under 30 minutes.
Chicken Ranch Tacos
Chicken ranch tacos are a simple solution to a busy schedule. All you need to do is toss the chicken breasts, taco and ranch seasoning packets, and chicken broth in a slow cooker and cook for five hours. Then, serve on tortillas with tomatoes and lettuce for a tasty high-protein dinner.