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For many of us, success in the kitchen starts with meal prep. That said, it can be hard to know how to perfectly organize your kitchen and shopping list in a way that leads to smoothly making meals throughout the week.
That’s why we’ve rounded up some cookbooks that focus on making your week more efficient by showing off methods that will help you meal prep like a pro.
11 cookbooks for your meal prep library
- Healthy Meal Prep by Stephanie Tornatore
- Damn Delicious Prep by Chungah Rhee
- Smart Meal Prep for Beginners by Toby Amidor
- The Healthy Meal Prep Instant Pot Cookbook by Carrie Forrest
- Cook Once, Eat All Week by Cassie Joy Garcia
- Mediterranean Diet Meal Prep by Brandon Hearn
- Food That Works by Malia Dell
- Meal Prep by David R. Burton
- Keto Meal Prep by FlavCity by Bobby and Dessi Parrish
- Plant-Based Meal Prep by Stephanie Tornatore
- Meal Prep for Two: 8 Weekly Plans and 7 Recipes to Get Healthier Together by Casey Seiden
Stephanie Tornatore focuses on showing home cooks that their busy lives can still be conducive to nutritious meal-making. She features step-by-step plans for each week, convenient shopping lists, and even tips on the perfect ways to store your items.
She also shares 50 recipes that are as simple as they are delicious, like Chicken Fajita Bowls and Date and Nut Granola Bars.
This book features 115 low-calorie recipes that are simple and tasty. Chungah Rhee (of the popular Damn Delicious food blog) believes that meal prep is the secret to eating and living healthfully, and has plenty of tips to help you stay on track while forming habits that will last.
And hey, how can you not be intrigued by the sound of Mason Jar Lasagna?
Dietitian Toby Amidor focuses on teaching people how to transform their lives through meal prep. She provides six weekly meal prep plans that cover breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She goes on to provide shopping lists, storage tips, and information about using leftovers so you never have to wonder what to eat.
If your favorite way to cook is with your Instant Pot, look no further! Carrie Forrest lays out 75 recipes that are easy to prep and toss into your favorite multicooker — and are healthy, to boot. Forrest also lays out the best option for storing and freezing leftovers for later so nothing goes to waste.
Batch cooking is the name of the game in this cookbook by Cassy Joy Garcia. She focuses on gluten-free options and provides 26 weeks’ worth of meal prep options that will relieve the stress that often comes with cooking at the last minute. (Did we mention they’re also affordable?)
You’ll learn how to turn basic ingredients into multiple meals (i.e., shredded pork, potatoes, and cabbage form the basis for Honey Mustard Pork Sheet Pan Dinner, Enchiladas Verde Casserole, and Sloppy Joe Stuffed Potatoes).
If you subscribe to the Mediterranean diet or have been curious to try it, this is the book for you. It features 21 days of recipes that are low in both sodium and carbs. The book is organized into breakfast, lunch, and dinner and features dozens of healthy recipes for each meal that you can prep ahead of time.
It can be hard to avoid eating out — especially during the workday. In this book, Malia Dell focuses on meal prep to get you through a busy work week so that you don’t have to rely on less-than-healthy takeout when you come home. It walks readers through ways to prep realistically, and keep food they love in rotation throughout their week.
Meal prep for a full 30 days at once with over 27 easy, healthy recipes. David R. Burton focuses on how prepping meals in advance is the first step in building a healthier diet overall.
In addition to general meal prep, Burton debunks weight loss myths and provides tips to aid in your weight loss journey, but even if you’re not looking to shed pounds, you’ll appreciate streamlining your routine.
Each recipe can be at least partially prepped in advance, and you’ll see how to prep a full week’s worth of meals in one evening. With recipes for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner (and even keto desserts), you’re all set for keeping your macros on track.
You’ll find plenty of comfort food faves made healthier with whole ingredients, meal plans that take the guesswork out of the equation, and flexible build-a-meal strategies to help you tailor everything to your taste.
Eating healthier (and sticking to any new habit, like meal prepping), is often easier when you enlist the help of a friend or loved one. Then again, this meal prep cookbook for two is also handy if you simply need to cook smaller batches of food.
The weekly plans have fun themes like Mediterranean Staycation and Better Than Takeout, but you can also mix and match recipes as you like.
For most of us, meal prep is well worth the effort. And the right meal prep cookbook can take you from “Wait, what’s for dinner?” to “I’ve got 7 full days’ worth of meals in my fridge, NBD.” Start with any of these 11 helpful books as your field guide to meal prep success.