Depending on who you are, you might regard meal prep to be on par with an aspiration to someday join the gym: a repeatedly deferred goal. But cooking and packaging meals for later consumption is not as painstaking as you might think.
In the long run, prepping meals saves you money (i.e., no more takeout), is healthier (i.e., no more impulsive choices when you are feeling particularly ravenous), and it minimizes stress (i.e., no more wondering what you’ll have for dinner).
To get you started, here are 7 easy meal-prep recipes you can make! Keep in mind that most of these recipes are infinitely adaptable, meaning that you can nix certain ingredients or swap out veggies to sub in ones that are to your liking.
[Be sure to click on the recipe links for full instructions, including prep and cook times, ingredient quantities, and serving sizes.]
1. Baked Lemon Pepper Salmon
For citrusy flavor that soars in every charred bite of fish, look no further than this low-carb and gluten-free recipe. Baked in about 25 minutes, the recipe entails a dry rub made of lemon pepper seasoning, basil, oregano, thyme, and salt—as well as a homemade lemon-dill yogurt sauce to drizzle on top of your salmon.
The shortlist of ingredients for whipping up this sauce includes yogurt, minced garlic, salt, dried dill, and lemon zest. In terms of storage, the sauce and any accompanying veggies keep well in a refrigerator for up to one week, and salmon leftovers can be stored for up to 4 days.
2. Chopped Chickpea Salad
This easy meal-prep recipe tastes even better on Day 2. To make this satisfying vegetarian offering, make sure you have bulgur wheat (quinoa or rice make great substitutes), chickpeas, chopped veggies (we recommend celery, radish, red onion, and bell peppers), feta cheese, and lemon vinaigrette.
Although this brine-y and tangy salad is already brimming with protein, grains, and vegetables, it pairs well with chicken entrées—especially if they’re marinated with citrus and/or garlic.
3. Hearty Lentil Soup
Who says warm soup is only in season during cold-weather months? You can still find comfort in a hearty lentil soup this summer by trying out this Instant Pot meal-prep recipe.
For a soup that can be cooked in under 20 minutes, throw chopped onions, carrots, and celery stalks along with minced garlic, green lentils, and diced canned tomatoes into your Instant Pot. Add fresh thyme, Italian seasoning, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper, and pour chicken or vegetable broth. Stir to combine, and voilà!
4. Breakfast Fruit and Yogurt Parfait
It is universally understood that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and yet it is the most easily forgotten one. Forgoing breakfast won’t be a problem thanks to this healthy meal-prep recipe that withstands a good 3–4 days in the fridge.
To make a fruity yogurt parfait in a mason jar, alternate dollops of Greek yogurt with handfuls of fresh raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, or blueberries. To avoid sogginess, we recommend topping your yummy creations with some crunchy granola the morning you plan on consuming this breakfast. With optional toppings including nuts, coconut flakes, and honey, it’s no wonder “parfait” is French for “perfect.”
5. Teriyaki Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry
It’s dealer’s choice when it comes to choosing to eat this easy meal-prep recipe for lunch or dinner. Either way, it’s surprising how low-calorie this stir fry is for how filling it is.
To make it, prepare cubed chicken breasts by sautéing them in a pan with teriyaki sauce, which you can make with light soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar, cornstarch, minced garlic, sesame oil, and ground ginger. Prepare your rice (as desired) separately in addition to steamed broccoli florets and sliced bell peppers. When you’re ready to eat your meal, mix these elements together, and enjoy!
6. Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Kabobs
Yes, savory kabobs make for an excellent meal prep option! Roll out the old grill and get to work by following this recipe that is teeming with Mediterranean flavors. Get started with a Greek chicken kabob marinade made with olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, dried herbs, garlic, and salt and pepper.
As your cubed pieces of chicken marinate for 30 minutes, prepare wedged pieces of red onion, zucchini, summer squash, and red bell pepper (among other veggies). Artfully thread your skewers, and grill each side for a few minutes until they are charred to your satisfaction. We suggest squeezing some lemon before taking your first bite.
7. Honey Sriracha Meatballs
Take your meatballs to new heights with this easy meal-prep recipe that infuses Asian flair with Sriracha and soy sauce. After flavoring your lean ground beef with garlic powder, onion powder, ketchup, and salt and pepper, fortify your meatballs with Panko breadcrumbs.
After these are baked for 15 minutes, they are ready to be bathed in a homemade sauce composed of Sriracha, reduced-sodium soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, honey, grated fresh ginger, and minced garlic. And just like that, you’ve got an offering that can be refrigerated for up to 5 days and that is wonderfully complemented with rice and steamed broccoli.
We hope these easy meal-prep recipes inspire you to step up your game in the kitchen. Let us outfit the heart of your home—check out our appliances catalog and call our experts today! We are always happy to help.