When it comes to saving money, there's no better way than to cut down on eating out.
According to certain reports, “families of two adults needed an average grocery budget of $938.50 per month in 2021.” If you can even reduce that by 10%, you'll be saving almost $100 a month!
When thinking about ways to save on food, one of the best ways is to meal prep. If you're struggling with meal prep ideas, this post is for you. In it, you'll discover 20+ easy and tasty meal prep ideas to try out. Not only are these delicious, but they are also extremely straightforward and simple to prepare. Who knows, maybe one of them will even become a go-to meal for you.
Here are 20+ of the best healthy meal prep ideas to consider.
Why You Should Meal Prep
Meal prepping might seem like a hassle at first, but there are actually many benefits of practicing healthy meal prep that seriously outweigh the cons. Some of them are:
- Meal prepping allows you to save lots of money in the long run.
- When you meal prep, you save a large amount of time that you can put towards other endeavors.
- By prepping for the week ahead in terms of food, you are saving yourself lots of stress regarding what to do for each meal.
- Eating meal prep meals is typically a lot healthier than eating out.
Because you buy in bulk when you meal prep, you aren't paying all the unnecessary fees that you would at a restaurant for service and “experience.” The same steak that costs $50 at a steakhouse, can be bought for $8 at Costco.
Also, thinking about what to eat for the day when you don't have a plan can be very stressful and time-consuming. When you get your entire week's worth of food done in one shot, you save yourself both of these resources.
Finally, eating meals that are homemade are usually a lot healthier than eating out. A meal prepped roasted sweet potatoes meal is likely to be much better for you than a cheeseburger and fries.
Meal Prep Ideas to Try Out
Here are some delicious meal prep ideas to try. From fall-themed overnight oats to garlic spaghetti, to sesame chicken stir fry, there's a meal on this list that you're sure to love.
Breakfast Meal Prep Ideas
Ham and Swiss Omelet
Few people in the world don't like omelets. This recipe only calls for some butter, cooked ham, shredded swiss, and eggs. If you have all of those, you can scale this meal on a huge scale. The great thing about omelets is that they're flexible and easy to fit into meal prep containers.
Overnight No-Cook Oatmeal
Oatmeal normally takes at least a few minutes to prepare. Compound this over months and you're losing days of your precious time. With overnight no-cook oatmeal, simply prep the ingredients together, pop them in the refrigerator, and wake up the next morning with a delicious serving of oats.
Grapefruit and Chia Seed Pudding
Requiring only a few ingredients, this pudding is simple to make and delightfully delicious. The great thing is that you can prep a whole batch of the pudding beforehand, and when you need to make a quick breakfast meal, take out some of the pudding and eat it with some grapefruit (or oranges).
Make-Ahead Freezer Breakfast Burritos
Gone are the days of buying frozen breakfast burritos from the grocery store. Now you can make your own! Breakfast burritos are an awesome savory way to start your day, and you can store as many of these in your freezer as you want!
Apple Wraps with Almond Butter Sauce and Granola
If you love almond butter recipes, you'll really enjoy this meal prep idea. Similar to the chia pudding idea, you can prepare tons of one part of this meal ahead of time, and when you want to eat it, just complete the recipe by adding the final ingredient.
Two Ingredient Pancakes
When thinking about meal prep ideas, pancakes usually don't come to mind. That being said, normal pancakes require more than 2 ingredients to make. You can make a big batch of these pancakes and store them in the freezer for up to six months and they'll still remain fresh when you reheat them for consumption!
Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats
Pumpkin pie in the morning hardly sounds like a good meal prep idea, but you can actually take advantage of any leftover pumpkin puree you might have with this simple recipe. Not only will you ensure there are no leftovers, but you'll also be giving yourself that fall vibe (which be hard to come by in certain warm regions).
Lunch Meal Prep Ideas
Vegetarian Cauliflower Rice Bowl
These cauliflower rice bowls are savory, healthy, and easy to prep. Plus, chances are you have all the necessary ingredients in your home already! Try this recipe out and you're sure to never see cauliflower the same again. These bowls could very well become a part of your weekly meal prep sessions!
Honey Sesame Chicken with Broccolini
Kick your meal prep lunch ideas to a new level with this sweet and savory meal. Packed with healthy proteins, carbs, and starches, you could probably live off this meal for the rest of your life if you really needed to. Bonus: this meal stores in your refrigerator for up to four days.
Cheeseburger Meatloaf Meal
When it comes to meatloaf meal prep ideas, there's nothing that really beats this one. If you're like me and have never heard of the words “meatloaf” and “cheeseburger” together in the same sentence, prepare to be pleasantly surprised. This easy-to-make recipe is filling, tasty, and goes well with a lot of sides. Pair this with some mashed potatoes and green beans to make a meal that you won't get bored of.
Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Garlic
It's hard not to like a spaghetti meal, especially when it only takes two steps to prepare! This meal is delicious and simple. If you really wanted to, you could probably prepare a whole week's worth of this in just an hour or so. Add some red pepper flakes for when you actually eat this meal, and you've got yourself a fine dining experience.
Meal Prep Roasted Chicken with Vegetables
A classic meal prep recipe, this dish should be a staple in every meal prepper's book. You can cook a big batch of this beforehand and store it for days in the refrigerator. Alternatively, because it's just a bake recipe, you can prep the raw ingredients in large quantities and just take them out to bake when you're hungry.
Chickpea Spinach Salad
When it comes to vegetarian meal prep ideas, this chickpea spinach salad ranks very high (only to be contended with by the famous Greek couscous salad). This meal is high in protein and fiber and also super easy to prepare. You can make huge amounts of this salad meal prep and just store it in your fridge for when you're craving some healthy food.
Strawberry Arugula Salad with Chicken
Have some leftover chicken breast? Try this amazing salad and chicken meal prep idea! Perhaps one of the most lavish meal prep lunch recipes on this list, this salad has chicken, baby arugula, goat cheese, strawberries, slivered almonds, and some savory lemon juice dressing to top. Easily prepared, you can bring this perfect meal prep into the office and have all your co-workers' mouths watering.
Dinner Meal Prep Ideas
Meatball Rice Stir-Fry with Peppers
For a delicious meatball and rice meal prep idea, check out this Asian-inspired meatball and rice meal. You can make tons of the meatballs and peppers at once and save them for the future (to be paired with rice).
Perfectly Poached Chicken
Poached chicken can find its way into almost any meal prep routine, from chicken noodle soup to sesame noodle bowls to sweet chili chicken. This recipe shows you how to make the best meal prep chicken out there with step-by-step instructions on how to poach this poultry.
Instant Pot Beef Ragu
If you've never had an instant pot-based meal before, you're seriously missing out. This instant pot meal prep idea is seriously awesome with tender beef shreds, carrots, and ragu sauce served all over some fresh egg noodles.
Sheet Pan Fish and Chips
When thinking about sheet pan recipes, fish and chips don't usually come to mind. Traditionally, this dish is made with tons oil and a big mess of heat. This recipe breaks the tradition and shows you how you can make tasty fish and chips right on your sheet. The best part is that with sheet pan fish and chips, you can make a ton of it and store it for later.
The Week-Long Meal Prep Bowl
This tasty meal prep bowl is easy-to-make, super healthy, and can last you all week. Filled with sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower, this recipe is easily a contender for favorite meal prep idea out of all the meal prep ideas. If you find that you're enjoying these, you can also make some alterations to change this meal into spicy tempeh bowls.
10-Minute Chickpea Curry
This meal prep recipe is sure to be a winner in almost anybody's home. Not only is it delicious, but it's also plant-based, gluten-free, and dairy-free! You can meal prep breakfast with this recipe or try it for dinner one night. Don't be surprised if you find yourself returning to it over and over.
Ground Turkey Stir Fry
Who knew that ground turkey could taste this good? This meal is full of healthy ingredients, easy-to-make, and also very tasty. Be sure to consider whipping some of this up if you ever find yourself with some leftover ground turkey.
Easy Honey Garlic Chicken Meal Prep
When it comes to meal prep ideas recipes, it's hard to beat something that's both extremely tasty and easy to prepare. This honey garlic chicken only requires a few ingredients and a little bit of your time. You'll find that you can make lots of this in one batch and have tons to spare for meals in the future.
Recap: 20+ Easy Meal Prep Ideas to Try
If you're looking for a meal prep recipe to try out, you've definitely come to the right place. This post has provided you with 20+ delicious and healthy meal prep ideas to consider and try in your own home. Before you go ahead and dive, here are some helpful meal prep tips to keep in mind:
- Invest in some glass meal prep containers. They work with almost any meal prep recipe and are an efficient way to store food in the refrigerator.
- Make sure you have enough spices on hand. Because you'll be eating a lot of the same meals with meal prepping, you'll want to make sure that each one is chock full of flavor.
- Plan ahead before you meal prep. For meal prepping to truly be efficient, you'll want to set aside a blocked-off time each week to just focus on meal prepping. Diving in without a plan is sure to result in trouble.
- Track your favorite meals. If there's a particular meal prep recipe that you really like, jot it down and save it for the future!
- Portion your meals correctly. With meal prepping, portions are crucial, since you don't want to have leftovers, but you also don't want to still be craving more after each meal. Take some time to figure out portioning and make sure you're packing the right amount for each meal.
Armed with these 20+ recipes and these five tips, you should be all set to meal prep to your heart's desires. What are you waiting for? Dive right in and start enjoying all of the benefits of meal prepping immediately!
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Jeff is a current Harvard student and author of the blog Financial Pupil who is passionate about learning, living, and sharing all things personal finance-related. He has experience working in the financial industry and enjoys the pursuit of financial freedom. Outside of blogging, he loves to cook, read, and golf in his spare time.