Meal prep is a sure-fire way to save time, energy, and money while ensuring that the food you're eating is packed with much-needed nutrients. It will also help you manage portion sizes and hone your skills in the kitchen.
To help you get started, we've put together a list of seven oh-so-amazing meal prep ideas easy enough for novices. Read on to get started in the miraculous meal-planning game!
Breakfast is undoubtedly the most important meal of the day. Even if you're rushing out the door to go to work or getting your kids ready for daycare or school, these yummy and nutritious breakfast recipes will ensure you always start your day off right—filled to the brim with energy.
1. Fruit and Yogurt Parfait
Yummy yogurt parfaits made with fresh fruit, granola, nuts, and seeds can appeal to children and adults alike. This grab-and-go recipe is also incredibly simple to prepare well in advance.
Just assemble your preferred parfait ingredients in individual jars. Then keep them in the fridge, and you have healthy make-ahead meals that will last for up to 5 days!
This flexible and portable recipe is a fantastic treat for those who prioritize convenience and versatility. Don't hesitate to play around with the ingredients to match your dietary needs and make it extra appealing for the picky eaters in your family.
2. Bell Pepper Egg Cups
Do you want a hearty breakfast that you can prepare in no time? Bell pepper egg cups are veggie-loaded treats that are the answer to your time-constrained prayers.
To prepare this protein and nutrient-rich dish, all you have to do is add your choice of chopped veggies and optional protein into hollowed-out bell peppers. Crack an egg into each and place them in a greased baking dish to cook.
You can then garnish this hearty dish with red pepper flakes, cheese, or your favorite herbs to enjoy a quick breakfast that does not compromise health and flavor.
How about healthy, delicious meals that taste as good on day four as they do on day one? Now, that's the perfect way to enjoy a filling midday meal—one that will give you the energy boost you need to survive the day.
Read on to find out our top favorites.
3. Italian Couscous Salad
Spice up the traditional Italian couscous salad by adding roasted garlic dressing to the mix. Include fresh basil, mozzarella, meat (optional), and olives to the mix, and you have the perfect healthy recipe—one that's equal parts fresh, light, and filling.
You can jazz up this recipe by swapping pearl couscous with your desired small pasta shapes and using ingredients already available in your pantry instead of hitting the supermarket.
This flexibility provides all the room for creativity and practicality that you will ever need.
4. Chicken Shawarma Quinoa Bowls
Do you want to spice up your make-ahead meal lifestyle? You're in luck. This easy-to-make Middle Eastern-inspired recipe makes a mean lunch that's packed with otherworldly flavors.
Tender, juicy chicken spiced to perfection combined with fresh veggies, creamy tahini sauce, fluffy quinoa, and warm naan is a fantastic dairy-free dish that will get you a gold star from everyone in your family. It's just that good!
It can be challenging to find the energy to cook a filling, nutritious dinner after coming home from work.
These dinner meal prep ideas will help you stay on top of your meal game while saving you some quality time and energy:
5. Enchilada Casserole
Casseroles are perfect low-effort dinners, and spicing them up with classic enchilada flavors will take your meal to the next level.
They require very little cleaning time and can be frozen and reheated to be enjoyed later, too! Just thaw the casserole in the refrigerator overnight and let it sit on the counter for half an hour before baking to enjoy a tasty dinner.
To make this cheesy, better-for-you enchilada-inspired recipe, throw together cooked ground beef, enchilada sauce, salsa, and your preferred enchilada elements into a casserole dish and bake. And there you have it, an appetizing dish that will have you coming back for seconds.
6. Roasted Veggie Balsamic Chicken Grain Bowls
This easy one-pan recipe is light, flavorful, and chock full of veggies—the perfect filling dish for a busy weeknight dinner. To enjoy the fresh and light flavors, you should portion out rice and your choice of veggies. Top them with a balsamic dressing of dijon mustard, raw honey, balsamic vinegar, dry basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and olive oil.
In addition to an excellent flavor profile, this colorful recipe is as pretty as it can get. It'll have you feeling like you're eating something straight out of a Pinterest mood board. And best of all, you'll be able to sneak veggies into picky eaters' plates!
7. Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps
Flavorful and straightforward Thai turkey lettuce wraps topped with a tangy and slightly spicy peanut sauce is a recipe that is destined to become a welcome addition to your family cookbook—one you'll want to revisit time and again.
The heavy ground turkey filling is scooped in a light; crunchy lettuce leaf is garnished with peanuts and green onions to bring a bold flavor and an irresistible texture to the forefront. This instant crowd favorite also offers endless customization opportunities to make dinner for people with varying taste preferences.
Made a bigger batch than required? Slide it in the fridge or freezer to enjoy later.
Now That You've Got Some Free Time on Your Hands
Meal prep can save you so much time cooking breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This means you can indulge in some quality self-care to boost your mental health and complement the physical benefits you reap from eating these healthy, easy-to-make meals.
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Author: Keren Dinkin
I love trying new recipes. Thanks for sharing.