When people are wanting to take control of their eating, it’s a great idea to learn how to meal prep. This can be helpful for anyone, not just busy families. It can help save money and reduce stress and the difficulty of figuring out what to make for meals. Read on to learn about the benefits.

Benefits of Meal Prepping

Meal prepping is great because it checks one thing off of your to-do list, makes mornings and evenings easier, and relieves some daily stress.

If you have kids who are growing up, family meal prep can be a good activity to do together. You can teach them about food, and they can make sure there are some foods that they like ready. Everyone will be happy.

There are many benefits to meal prepping. Some tips before getting to easy meal prep ideas are to consider the following:

Save Money

Instead of buying what I think we need or might want to eat, I prepare a shopping list that targets what we need to meal prep. That means buying exactly what we need when we need it. And it still leaves room for stocking the pantry with the items we use often like pasta, flour, sugar, and canned tomatoes.

By meal prepping, you can cut down on the amount of food waste produced in your kitchen. This is because you can plan your meals around the food you already have, so you don’t end up buying things you don’t need.

Save Time

Would you like to have more free time? I would too. Sometimes life can be very hectic. However, if you plan and prepare your meals in advance, you can save a lot of time during the week. Yes, it may take a few hours on the weekend to cook and prepare the food. But, you will have more time during the week to do things you enjoy, such as reading, taking walks, or whatever it is that relaxes you. This equals a better quality of life.

Eat Healthier

Planning ahead when it comes to food can help to avoid impulse eating. If you have a plan, you are less likely to stand in your kitchen trying to figure out what to eat and end up snacking on unhealthy foods. Having a plan can help you to make healthier choices and avoid feeling starved before you eat.

Less Stress

Thank you for sharing easy meal prep ideas that help reduce stress in our lives. Planning ahead means one less thing to worry about on busy days.

Where do I start?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of meal prepping, start small by prepping just one meal at a time. Once you’re comfortable with the process, you can increase the number of meals and days you meal prep for.

What meals, in general, are good for meal prep?

What are some good meal prep meals? Salads (pack the dressing separately), pasta dishes, and wraps are a great place to start.

Most Popular Lunch Meal Prep Ideas

You can make delicious and healthy meals by doing some prep work on the weekends. This will help you eat healthier, save money, and reduce stress during the week.

Hot Lunch

I am looking forward to your hot lunch all morning long! These meal ideas are all healthy, with a grain, protein and plenty of vegetables. I would like to reheat them in the microwave and enjoy!

To meal prep, cook and portion out the desired amount into meal prep containers. Make sure to check the recipe directions to see if the sauce can be added immediately or must be stored separately.

I recommend storing in 2-cup meal prep containers in the fridge for up to 4 days.

How to serve- place in the microwave for a minute or two until it is piping hot.

Thai Chicken Lunch Bowls

Thai chicken lunch bowls are easy to prep and include roasted vegetables and chicken served over rice with a tangy homemade peanut sauce. They can be stored for up to four days.

Buddha Bowl Recipe

This bowl is full of healthy plant-based ingredients and great for meal prep! You can customize it with your favorite veggies and drizzle it with the delicious tahini sauce.

Honey Sesame Chicken Lunch Bowls

These healthy lunch bowls include chicken breast, broccoli, and asparagus in a honey sesame stir fry sauce. They’re perfect for meal prep!

Egg Roll in a Bowl (30 min, low carb)

This recipe for an “egg roll in a bowl” tastes just like your favorite takeout dish, but is much quicker to make, using only a single pan. It’s also low in carbs, with only 7 grams of net carbs per serving. The recipe includes a delicious slaw, made with ground pork and a delicious sauce.

Maple Ginger Chicken Meal Prep Lunch Bowls

You can make these maple ginger chicken meal prep lunch bowls ahead of time so you have four delicious lunches ready to go for the week!

Korean-Inspired Turkey Meal Prep Bowls

The ground turkey in these meal prep bowls is cooked in a Korean-inspired sauce, giving it loads of flavor! Each bowl is under 400 calories, making it a healthy and delicious option for lunch during the week. You can prepare this recipe on the weekend to have it ready to go during the week.

Low Carb Cheesy Chicken and Rice Meal Prep

This dish is a delicious and low-carb lunch option! It includes pan-fried chicken breast and broccoli, which are smothered with cheese and served over cauliflower rice. It is filling but light, containing only 5 g carbs and 43 g protein.

Cold Lunch

Healthy grain, vegetable, and protein salads that are easy to meal prep. These salads will help you get an extra serving of veggies in your day!

To meal prep, cook food and then put it into containers or jars. For salads in jars, put the dressing and heartier ingredients at the bottom of the jar, and then layer up, putting delicate ingredients at the top. Make sure to store crispy ingredients and avocados separately until you are ready to eat.

How to store- Some options for storing salads include: How to store- Some options for storing salads include:

  • Store in 2-cup meal prep containers
  • Store in 1-pint mason jars then dumps into a clean bowl to toss everything up in the dressing.

To prepare a meal prep container, mix everything up with the dressing and enjoy. To prepare a jar salad, dump it out into a clean bowl so the dressing covers all the ingredients evenly.

Turkey Taco Meal Prep Bowls

This dish consists of turkey taco meat, corn, pico de gallo, and brown rice. It is simple to make but will leave you feeling full. You can make it ahead of time and have four delicious lunches.

Caprese Chicken Salad Meal Prep Bowls

Bowls containing a mixture of baked chicken, fresh cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, quinoa and basil leaves, all coated in a balsamic vinaigrette, makes for a fresh, summery and delicious meal.

Cold Sesame Noodles with Spiralized Vegetables

This recipe is for vegan sesame noodle bowls that can be prepared ahead of time and eaten as a lunch. The spiralized vegetables are mixed with chickpeas and whole wheat spaghetti in a spicy almond butter sauce.

(Make Ahead) Chicken Fajita Lunch Bowls

Do you want to have some healthy and delicious lunches during the week? If so, you should try making these chicken fajita lunch bowls! This recipe is inspired by a Mexican bean salad and it combines bell peppers, baked chicken breast, and rice with a delicious fajita-vinaigrette.

Chopped Chickpea Salad (Make Ahead)

. This chopped chickpea salad with bulgur wheat, crunchy veggies, feta cheese, and a delicious honey lemon vinaigrette is a delicious vegetarian salad that tastes even better on day 2.

Satay Chicken Lunch Bowls

You can prep these satay chicken lunch bowls on the weekend and enjoy them throughout the week. They’re a tasty, low-carb lunch option, and the peanut sauce is delicious!

Soups

I typically eat soup for lunch during the colder months, and sometimes even in the summer! I find that they’re a great way to sneak in extra vegetables.

To meal prep, cook a big batch of food and portion it out for the week. Leftovers can be frozen for long-term storage.

in the fridge for 2-3 days, in the freezer for 2-3 months, or in a leak-proof container in the fridge for up to a week To store soup, you can either keep it in the fridge for 2-3 days, or in the freezer for 2-3 months. If you’re planning on keeping it in the fridge, make sure to use a leak-proof container. How to store – Some options for storing soup include:

  • Store in 20 oz meal mugs from Corningware (though they must be kept upright during transportation)
  • Store in 1-pint mason jars, then reheat in bowls in the microwave
  • Store in a Crock Pot lunch warmer, which plugs in and heats your food (great for teachers or anyone without a microwave)
  • Store in a 24-oz thermos, which is perfect for soup

What you will need to do in order to serve this dish is to bring crackers or your favorite soup dipper.

Healthy Homemade Instant Noodles (3 flavors)

You can make healthy homemade instant noodles by cooking whole wheat spaghetti and adding rotisserie chicken and veggies. They will taste just as good as ramen noodles and make a delicious, hot lunch.

Hearty Vegetable Soup

This vegetable soup is perfect for a cold day. It is full of flavor and has a tomato broth. The soup is also loaded with fresh vegetables.

Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

This delicious butternut squash soup is blended with sage and maple syrup for a sweet and savory mix. Ready in under 30 minutes, it’s perfect for meal prep!

Healthy Broccoli Cheese Soup

This broccoli cheese soup is healthy and thickened with potato instead of heavy cream. It is packed with healthy vegetables, yet still comforting and satisfying. It is also gluten-free.

Healthier Beef & Barley Soup

This is a rich and hearty soup that is perfect for a colder day. It has a great beefy flavor and is full of umami. It only gets better the second day!

Hearty Lentil Soup

This lentil soup is hearty and filling, with plenty of lentils, vegetables, and fresh herbs. It’s a great vegan soup recipe that works well for meal prep!

Can you meal prep for 7 days?

Yes, food can be stored in the fridge for meal prep. However, it is best to choose recipes that can be frozen for days 4-7 and then defrost them when ready to be eaten to limit the risk of food spoilage.

What is the easiest make-ahead meal to make?

In my opinion, the easiest food to make is pasta. For example, you can make ziti in advance by cooking the pasta, adding marinara, and placing dollops of ricotta cheese on top. The shredded mozzarella cheese will melt when you heat it. Or, you can make an even simpler dish by just combining pasta and sauce. One of my kids’ favorite variations is to add peas to the pasta while it is cooking, and then dress the pasta with butter, salt, and pepper.

What can I meal prep in 10 minutes?

Salads with chickpeas or other beans can be made quickly and easily. For a heartier meal, try chicken wraps with rotisserie chicken, cheese, and roasted red peppers. Simple pasta dishes like vermicelli are also quick and easy to make. For a more filling meal, try bean thread noodles with rotisserie chicken, baby greens, and shredded carrots.

How long do meal prep recipes last in the fridge?

How long you can keep your meal prep recipes varies depending on the recipe. But a good rule of thumb is that you should eat them within four days. If you have more than that, you should freeze the portions (if they freeze well).

How can I meal prep cheaply?

Great question! You can save money by following a couple of simple tips. Stick to cheaper items like beans, pasta and rice as these can be combined with other ingredients to make a variety of dishes. For fresh ingredients, buy what is in season as it will be the cheapest option at the grocery store or farmers’ market. When deciding what ingredients to buy, avoid costly items like fancy cheeses and go for basics instead. Another tip is to buy in bulk where possible. For example, chicken is often cheaper per pound if you buy more of it, and lemons can be purchased at a discounted rate if bought in bulk. To make the most of your ingredients, try to use similar ones for different recipes. This way you can take advantage of bulk prices and ensure nothing goes to waste.

 

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About Rhoda ...

Rhoda is an award-winning dietitian, mature age model, and CEO of Sayvana Women.  

She is the creator of the Elegant Eating Solution, an affordable program that helps women avoid weight regain and feel great about themselves, without restrictive eating.

Elegant Eating is based on the science of protein leverage and follows the unique R.E.M.A.P approach to successful aging.

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