Breakfast Meal Prep Ideas
My favorite easy weekly meal prep ideas for breakfast! They are perfect if you are on the run in the morning.
Found on Gathering Dreams
A healthy breakfast meal prep recipe that you can bring to work with you! This 5-minute overnight oats recipe is filled with healthy foods and protein: rolled oats, chia seeds, and some healthy toppings to help you kick-start your day.
There are 6 delicious overnight oats recipes to try: berry, peanut butter, double chocolate, apple pie, coffee & walnut, and virgin piña colada. Click here to try them all!
And the great thing about these overnight oats jars is that they last up to 5 days in the fridge. You can meal prep these a few days in advance and just take them out of the fridge in the morning. I normally prep them on Sunday evening, and they are ready for the week!
Found on Gathering Dreams
If you love fruit and granola, this is the perfect breakfast for you. These parfait ideas are super delicious, and they are much cheaper to make than buying them at Starbucks. Prepare these in the evening, and grab them on your way out of the door!
PREP TIME: less than 5 minutes VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE
Found on The Worktop
I love this with fresh berries in the summer or warm apple compote in the winter! Delicious!
CHECK OUT: 25 HEALTHY BREAKFAST MEAL PREP IDEAS FOR BUSY MORNINGS
Benefits Of Meal Prepping
Food ready to eat whenever youre hungry
Whether you love to cook fresh meals every day, or you feel like you never have time, meal prep is a great way to have something to eat ready whenever you have no time. If you are late from work or are just rushing out of the house at the last minute, have a meal ready to grab can be a lifesaver!
Eat healthy meals every day
The hungrier you are, the more tempted you get to buy unhealthy food. By cooking delicious food ahead of time, youll know exactly what you are eating. You can pick the right ingredients and make sure you add to your diet plenty of fruit and vegetables.
Save money on food
You dont have to meal prep every day, but by bringing your lunch from home 3-4 times a week, you can easily save more than $1,000 a year!
How To Tell If Steak Is Good Quality
There are few tips to know if a steak is of good quality!
Colour: Good quality steaks shouldnt be oxidized this would mean that the steak hasnt been stored properly or its old. You can tell if a steak is oxidized if the color of the beef has started turning a brownish-grey. This rule doesnt apply to dried aged steaks because they are aged in special conditions.
Storage Conditions: Even if the steak isnt oxidized, you should still look out for its storage conditions. The refrigerator and meat should be cold, and there should be no damage to the package. The beef packaging should be air-tight, and there shouldnt be much or any liquid in the packaging. Make sure to also check the best before and expiry date.
: Look for marbling throughout the steak. These are white flecks of intramuscular fat in meat, and its a good sign that the steak will be flavorful and juicy. Connective tissues break down during slow, moist cooking, so if your recipe isnt braised, its best to buy a steak with as little as possible or to remove them.
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Can You Freeze Meal Prep Recipes
Some meal prep recipes will freeze better than others. Proteins like chicken, turkey and beef will hold up well to freezing. Typically starches like pasta do not hold up well in the freezer as theyll be mushy when thawed. Rice and potatoes are great candidates for the freezer. Many vegetables can be frozen, but veggies with a high water content, such as zucchini and lettuce, do not freeze well.
What Are The Benefits
The key benefit is that it saves time, with some meals ready in less than 30 minutes!
Prepare batches of pre cooked meals for single servings!
Other benefits include it saves money, stay on track for dietary needs, avoiding issues with missing or insufficient ingredients, and makes it easier for you to get what you need, right when you need it.
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Keto Chicken Enchilada Bowl
As the name implies, this is a healthy meal prep idea for all you keto diet people. Enchiladas are pretty much always a good idea, and this recipe comes complete with jalapenos. Great for a kick if you like spiciness, of course!
MmmGreek cooking is always so tasty. You can seldom go wrong when youre working with such delicious ingredients. Chicken, Tzatziki, and veggies a great, satisfying combination.
If you like Greek food , you cant miss this healthy meal prep recipe!
Choosing Meal Prep Recipes
Besides choosing recipes with ingredients that you enjoy eating, look at the preparation method for the meal prep recipes.
You want to find recipes that make it easy to prepare a large batch at one time. Even better is if it requires little oversight while cooking. That way you can do other things while you are cooking. You could even prepare several meals at one time to put in individual containers.
Some of the easiest cooking methods for meal prep are:
- Instant Pot not only does this cook quickly, but you can put a large amount of food in the Instant Pot. Plus, you can set it and forget it!
- Sheet pan sheet pan recipes cook all the ingredients on one pan.
- Slow cooker while this takes awhile, it cooks without any need to watch it.
- One pot soups or other meals that are all cooked in one pot are just as easy as sheet pan recipes.
Recommended Reading: Best Fruit Smoothie Recipes For Weight Loss
Making Meal Prep Healthy
Meal prepping makes everything easy. Including healthy eating. When you dont feel like cooking but you are hungry, its good to know that youre only minutes away from a delicious healthy meal.
Heres how to meal prep the healthy way:
- Plan out calories ahead of time and make healthy meals including snacks or meal prep smoothies to have between meals. This will keep cravings under control.
- Create a healthy menu with meal prep recipes for the week. I have everything you need here breakfast meal prep, lunch meal prep, dinner meal prep, meal prep smoothies, and other healthy meal prep ideas. Choose your favorites and create your very own menu.
- Check the meal prep recipes you included in the menu and make a shopping list. Avoid buying unhealthy ingredients and replace the ones you already have with healthier options. For example, buy coconut sugar or honey instead of white sugar, opt for whole wheat flour or chickpea flour instead of all-purpose flour, choose coconut oil instead of butter.
- Dont go grocery shopping when youre hungry, youll be tempted to buy more food. Especially unhealthy food.
If you need meal prep ideas for weight loss, read our Meal Prep for Weight Loss guide for tips on how to lose weight meal prepping.
Do You Have Meal Prep Containers
Now that your meal plan is out of the way, its time to think about how youre going to organize all the food. I recommend keeping a selection of small, medium, and large containers, to accommodate everything from a large batch of zucchini lasagna to a small jar of lemon vinaigrette.
You can read all about my favorite meal prep containers, but heres a quick glance at my top choices:
- Weck Jars: These rounded glass jars come in a variety of shapes and sizes, are 100% airtight and freezer-safe.
- Le Parfait Jars: Theyre very similar to Weck jars and are great for canning or preserving ingredients.
- Glasslock Containers: These are your typical meal prep containers thats great for larger food items. But the best part is that theyre durable in the fridge, freezer, and microwave.
- Stasher Bags: For sustainable reusable ziplock bags, opt for these silicone ones!
Recommended Reading: Plant Based Recipes For Beginners
Quinoa And Rice Pilaf
Here’s how to cook quinoa with rice: Put them in the pot together and let them simmer until tender. It’s really as simple as that! Use the fluffy grains as a side dish or base for a grain bowl. Or try our favorite way to enjoy them: sprinkled into a salad for a hearty lunch.
Get the Recipe: Quinoa and Rice Pilaf
Lunch Meal Prep Ideas
Some delicious meal prep lunch ideas. And not all healthy meal prep recipes need to be for boring sandwiches! I picked lots of tasty alternatives for you.
VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE, DAIRY FREE, NUT FREE
You can get these containers here!
I have a bit of a problem with this chickpea curry. I cook it ALL THE TIME! And Dan is getting a bit tired of it, lol! But I love it: this is my go-to weeknight meal, for many reasons!
Its rich, spicy, but not overpowering, filling, and ready in only 10 minutes. Plus, its the perfect meal prep recipe. You can cook a big batch, put it in the fridge or freezer, and be done for the week. And its really cheap to make: a portion comes out at less than $2.
Found on Pinch Of Yum
This spicy chicken with rice and beans is very filling and packed with proteins. If you are a fan of using an instant pot, this is the perfect recipe for you. But dont worry, you can meal prep this even without an Instant Pot. It will just take a bit longer, and you can use a crockpot or a simple pan.
And arent these meal prep containers super-cute? I hate microwaving in plastic, and these glass containers, not only are very durable and reusable but will keep your food organized, too, with all those dividers. You can find them on Amazon !
Another take on chicken meal prep: a simple and low-maintenance recipe with huge flavors and no refined sugar in sight! The perfect meal prep idea if you love chicken!
Read Also: Herbalife La Bamba Diet Recipe
But What Is Vegan Meal Prep
Vegan meal prep is all about cooking a few healthy meals ahead of time and portioning them out through the week.
You decide what to eat, prepare a grocery list based on the recipes you picked, and batch cook your meals all together.
This will help you save time, money and eat much healthier unprocessed plant-based meals.
Vegan meal prep is perfect if you are:
- working full-time and want to save money on lunches
- a student that wants to have food ready on the go
- busy parents that want to get their family eating healthy meals
- conscious about food waste
- someone who hates cooking every day, and prefer to concentrate the effort to once or twice a week!
Durable Salads That Stay Good For Days
The key to meal prep salads that last is avoiding lettuce and leafy greens. These salads are tossed with colorful vegetables, pantry staples, an array of proteins. But the best part? They last for about 3-4 days in the fridge.
- Broccoli Salad: For the broccoli lovers, this one checks all the boxes of crispy, creamy, sweet, and savory.
- Ultimate Chicken Salad: This classic recipe tastes great on its own or wrapped in a sandwich for a heftier meal.
- Tuna Salad: Another easy comfort food that works well in a variety of recipes from wraps to sandwiches. Give my broccoli tuna salad a try too!
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad: Fresh, bright, and zesty, this chickpea salad is a real pantry staple MVP.
- Greek Salad: Even though its tossed in a dressing, this one holds up extremely well in the fridge!
- Egg Salad: This ones super easy and can be spruced up to be a curried egg salad or avocado egg salad.
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Spicy Tuna Bowls Meal Prep
Cant get enough seafood? This dish is for you.
Flaky canned tuna is mixed with Sriracha mayonnaise and toasted sesame oil. This adds creaminess, umami, and heat that your taste buds will love.
This is accompanied by cauliflower sushi rice and crunchy Persian cucumbers. All garnished with sesame seeds and scallionsjust like your favorite Japanese restaurant, but healthier.
Besides being delicious, these meal prep bowls are pretty healthy. Thats because theyre packed with heart-healthy omega-3s from the tuna.
Whats more- they take only 20 minutes to make. So, theyre perfect when youre running short on time.
Pork And Vegetable Stir
Tender pork and crisp veggies are a fantastic combo in our book, and this easy meal prep mixes them into one tasty dish. We combine the pork with cornstarch and a flavorful soy sauce before sautéing the meat alongside other ingredients. Then, its finished with a honey-and-broth mixture that also enhances its delicious flavor. It only takes 20 minutes to prepare and cook this food prep, but the taste remains palatable after a few days.
Recipe for Inspiration: Pork and Vegetable Stir-Fry with Cashew Rice
Recommended Reading: New York Times Lasagna Recipe
How To Meal Prep For Weight Loss
Meal prepping for weight loss requires the same planning as meal prepping for any other requirement, as one must choose when to do it, what to cook for the plan chosen, purchase the items for the meals chosen, and sufficient storage containers and space.
When looking to lose weight, many find themselves eating the same foods over and over again as they may be convenient to cook, tasty, and filling, as well as easy to find in the supermarket over time, especially those that need to lose larger amounts of weight, may start feeling bored, so it is important to keep changing recipes.
While the whole concept of changing recipes may sound scary, it shouldnt be, as new recipes do not necessarily require fancy ingredients or methods. Sometimes a roasted chicken breast can be simply flavored with some rosemary and lemon for a change, or it can be grilled with some spices to have a whole new meal!
Chicken And Kale Caesar Wraps
Its not easy being green or is it? Packed with greens , this a great healthy meal prep idea for weight loss.
Its also great for both lunch or dinner, and the Caesar dressing has a vegetarian option. Of course, it still includes chicken, so youll have to leave that out if you want them to be totally vegetarian.
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Healthy Snack Meal Prep Recipes
If you thought you were only getting breakfast, lunch, and dinner college student meal prep recipes, Ive got some more up my sleeve! Here are some delicious and healthy snacks that you are going to love.
These rainbow fruit skewers are a beautiful and easy snack to eat on the go. Just load up a skewers with your favorite fruits and its all prepped!
You can find the recipe for Fruit Skewers from Simply Life By Bri.
Trail mix bars
Whether you want a mid-day snack or post workout pick-me-up, these trail mix bars are perfect! These are super easy to make and such a healthier alternative to pre-packaged granola bars.
You can find the recipe for Trail Mix Bars from Bucket List Tummy.
Who wouldnt want an adult lunchables!? Just that name gets me excited. These are healthy and fun snacks that can be substituted with all your favorites.
You can find the recipe for Adult Lunchables from Smack of Flavor.
Chocolate peanut butter energy balls
Ahh these energy balls look so delicious!! These are the perfect guilt free, energy boosting snack.
You can find the recipe for Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls from Happy Kitchen.
Almond joy energy bites
Heres another energy ball recipe if a lot of chocolate isnt your thing! These energy bites are filled with healthy ingredients to make for a great snack.
You can find the recipe for Almond Joy Energy Bites from Chef Savvy.
Chocolate bliss balls
Vegan Bowls With Broccoli Grapes Pecans & Quinoa
Lunchtime is the perfect time to break away from the grind of work. But the last thing you want to do during your lunch break is waiting in line for the microwave.
Thats why its good to have a lunch that you can enjoy cold like this vegan meal prep bowl.
Its packed with chickpeas, quinoa, and roasted broccoli. The pecans add a nice crunch, while the grapes add sweetness.
And the tangy-sweet homemade lemon dressing adds creaminess and complements the microgreens perfectly. Youll want to add the dressing to everything.
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Slow Cooker Tuscan Sausage And Kale Soup
Perfect for a cold day, this hearty soup will warm you up while still being healthy. As the name implies, it has plenty of greens.
Its also protein-packed with beans as wells sausage. The sausage is turkey sausage, too, so its still low in fat.
This is another healthy take on a less-healthy classic. Replacing beef with turkey and noodles with zucchini noodles makes this a healthy meal prep idea for weight loss.
In fact, the author mentioned it helped her lose weight. This recipe is also gluten-free and Paleo.
Who needs meat when you have avocado? Perhaps Im a bit biased, but I thats how I feel about it. And, somehow, this is the only casserole on this list.
Butternut squash, black beans, and tomatoes this recipe is cheap, but wont break the bank.
How To Make Meal Prep Burrito Bowls
The first step to making these burrito bowls is marinating your chicken. The chicken gets marinated in a mixture of lime juice, olive oil and seasonings, then grilled to perfection. If you dont want to fire up the grill, you can cook this chicken inside on a grill pan or in a regular skillet. The chicken is combined with cilantro lime rice, black beans, corn and fresh salsa to make an amazing meal that tastes like it came from a restaurant.
These meal prep burrito bowls are highly customizable. You can add more toppings like cheese, shredded lettuce, sour cream or guacamole right before serving. You can also swap out the rice for quinoa or substitute brown rice instead of white rice. Sometimes I also add sauteed veggies like peppers and onions. The sky is the limit!
Meal Prep Burrito Bowls
- 1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
For the cilantro lime rice
- 3 cups cooked rice, brown or white
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- the juice of one lime
- salt and pepper to taste
Remaining burrito bowl ingredients
- 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup corn kernels, thawed from frozen or canned
- 1 cup fresh salsa
Preheat a grill, grill pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook for 5-6 minutes per side or until done. Chop the cooked chicken into bite sized pieces.
Place the rice in a large bowl. Add the cilantro, lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat the rice evenly.
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