30 Meal Prep Ideas to Save Time and Eat Healthier

30 Meal Prep Ideas to Save Time and Eat Healthier

If you find yourself spending too much on takeout or staring into your fridge hoping for some magic to happen, meal prep might just be the solution. Weekly meal planning (you should try our meal planner!) and prepping is a practical lifestyle choice for anyone looking to streamline their eating habits, save time and money and reduce stress. The idea is simple: dedicate a few hours to prepare your meals for the week, and you can save yourself time, cash, and the daily headache of deciding what to eat.

So here are 30 meal prep ideas we put together for you. These are are easy and simple ideas to customize and implement as part of your weekly meal planning routine.

Meal Prep Ideas:

1. The Classic Chicken, Rice, and Veggies
Start with the basics. Grilled chicken, a side of brown rice or quinoa, and a mix of your favorite roasted vegetables. It’s simple, customizable, packs well and always satisfying.

2. Mason Jar Salads
Layer your ingredients with dressing at the bottom to keep it from getting soggy. Greens go first, then the other vegetables, proteins, nuts and seeds on top. Shake it up when you're ready to eat.

meal prep mason jar salad
3. Slow Cooker Chili
Nothing beats coming home to a ready-made meal. A big batch of chili can last you through the week and is perfect for chilly evenings.

4. Overnight Oats
Mix oats with milk or a dairy-free alternative, add some chia seeds and honey, and leave it in the fridge overnight. Top with fruit and nuts in the morning.

5. Stir-fry Prep Packs
Chop up a variety of vegetables and proteins, store them in containers. When you’re ready, stir-fry with your choice of sauce for a quick meal.

6. Burrito Bowls
Layer rice, beans, vegetables, and protein in a bowl. When you're ready to dive in, add toppings like cheese, sour cream, tahini or salsa.

7. Freezer Pre-Toasted Sandwiches
Prep your toast sandwiches (you can use butter, cheese, dried tomatoes, etc.), wrap them up, and freeze. When hunger strikes take one out and put in the oven or heated griddle.

8. Snack Boxes
Prepare boxes of mixed nuts, cheese, grapes, and crackers for when you need a quick snack on the go.

meal prep ideas snack boxes

9. Breakfast Muffins
Egg muffins with spinach, herbs and cheese are a great grab-and-go breakfast option.

10. Pasta Salads
Pasta, fresh veggies, a protein, and your favorite dressing. Perfect for lunch or a light dinner. If you pack a pasta salad for work, remember to place the dressing in a separate jar so the salad doesn't get soggy by the time you get to it.

11. Smoothie Packs
Freeze portions of fruits, vegetables, and protein powder. Blend with your choice of milk, vegan alternative or juice for a quick smoothie.

12. Baked Sweet Potatoes
Pre-bake a few sweet potatoes. Top with black beans, cheese, and avocado for an easy meal. That's too much work? Just add sea salt and olive oil on top and dive in.

13. Quinoa Salad Jars
Layer quinoa with a variety of vegetables, a protein, and dressing for a healthy and quick lunch.

14. Meatballs and Marinara
Prep meatballs and freeze them. Simmer with marinara sauce for a quick pasta dish or sub sandwich filling.

15. DIY Instant Noodle Cups
Layer noodles, a protein, vegetables, and spices in a jar. Add hot water when you’re ready to eat for an instant meal.

16. Roasted Chickpea Gyros
Season chickpeas and roast them until crispy. Prep your veggies and tzatziki sauce, then assemble in pita bread when ready to eat. The roasted chickpeas are also a wonderful stand alone quick snack option.

meal prep ideas: roasted chickpeas

17. Turkey Meatloaf
Bake a lean turkey meatloaf with your favorite herbs. Slice and portion for the week, serve with steamed veggies.

18. Vegetable Stir-Fry with Tofu
Prep your favorite veggies and tofu. Marinate tofu for extra flavor, and stir-fry everything together when ready to serve.

19. Zucchini Noodles with Pesto
Spiralize zucchinis and store them dry in the fridge. Mix with homemade or store-bought pesto and your choice of protein for a quick, low-carb meal.

20. Black Bean Soup
A hearty and healthy soup that freezes well. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt and fresh cilantro.

21. Couscous Salad
Mix cooked couscous with diced vegetables, chickpeas, and a lemon-olive oil dressing for a refreshing lunch option.

22. Stuffed Peppers
Fill bell peppers with a mixture of ground turkey, quinoa or rice, and tomato sauce. Bake and store for an easy reheat meal. For a vegan version, fill with quinoa or rice, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and herbs.

meal prep ideas: stuffed peppers

23. Sweet and Sour Chicken
Prep and store your chicken and veggies separately. When ready, cook with a homemade sweet and sour sauce.

24. Salmon Patties
Mix canned salmon with breadcrumbs, eggs, and seasoning, form into patties, and cook. Freeze well for a quick protein option.

25. Veggie and Bean Chili
A vegetarian twist on a classic, using beans and lentils for protein. Cook a big pot and freeze in portions.

26. Cooked Lentils
Spiced lentils are easy to make, they store well, and can be served over rice, as protein in a vegetables salad or with flatbread.

27. Greek Chicken Bowls
Marinate chicken in spices (cumin, paprika, salt and pepper, olive oil), then grill. Serve with cucumber salad, rice and tzatziki sauce.

28. Shrimp Fried Rice
Prep shrimp and veggies ahead. Quickly fry with day-old rice and eggs for an easy meal.

29. Muffin-Tin Frittatas
Beat eggs with your choice of fillings, pour into muffin tins, and bake. Great for breakfast or a protein-packed snack.

meal prep ideas: muffin fritatas

30. Tuna Salad
Prep a tuna salad and store in the fridge in a tight box. Eat with bread or over greens.

Meal prepping is a skill worth having and developing. It might seem daunting at first, but once you get into the rhythm, it’s a game-changer. You’ll save time, eat healthier, and maybe even discover a new favorite recipe. Try these ideas, mix them up, and make them your own. Happy prepping!

For more meal prep tips

life and apples meal planner

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