Meal prep is a strategy that makes it easier to eat healthy, home-cooked meals throughout the week. That’s why we keep the whole meal-prep thing short and sweet — and sometimes spicy.
These easy, healthy meal-prep recipes take just 30 minutes or less. That’s what meal-prep is really about: creating nutritious meals easily and efficiently. That way, they’re ready when you are.
1. Quick and easy chicken spring roll jars
Your grab-and-go meals are as attractive as they are tasty with these mason jar noodles (you could also put them in other containers, but this way is more fun).
With spicy chicken on the bottom, rice vermicelli on top, and fresh veggies sandwiched in between, they’re a healthier and more refreshing alternative to fried spring rolls.
2. Meal-prep sesame chicken pasta salad
Pasta salads are a no-brainer for meal prep: They last a few days, and the flavors get even better as the ingredients hang out together.
You’ll love the sweet and tangy sesame dressing of this dish even more on the fourth day than you did on the first.
3. Spicy peanut chicken wraps
Even counting the time to cook the chicken, this recipe comes together in 20 minutes flat. Tuck the shredded meat into tortillas along with broccoli slaw and a sriracha-spiced peanut sauce and scratch off four lunches from your to-do list this week.
4. Honey sriracha glazed meatballs
These easy baked turkey meatballs are glazed in a sweet and spicy sauce. Bake 40 of these as a tasty protein component of your make-ahead meal.
Freeze them or keep them in the fridge to use throughout the week. Top salads, grains, pasta, or cauliflower rice or tuck them into a whole-wheat pita.
5. Smoky green bean turkey skillet
Short on time and groceries? Turn to this five-ingredient skillet meal to save hours in the days ahead. Frozen green beans, jarred salsa, and a paprika-garlic-basil salt jazz up ground turkey.
6. Meal-prep Vietnamese beef and riced veggies
No need to wait for rice to cook with this meal when you’ve got frozen riced veggies to keep the prep time short (and the carb count light).
Top the colorful bed of faux grains with tender chunks of beef and store the peanutty hoisin sauce separately to drizzle over everything when you’re ready to dig in.
7. Salsa verde taco meal-prep bowls
This recipe makes eight servings and is a good use of leftover brown rice or quickly cooked cauliflower rice or quinoa.
There’s no guac or cheese in these to-go bowls, and you won’t even miss them — salsa verde, cumin, and oregano give the ground beef plenty of Tex-Mex flavor.
8. Dijon steak nicoise salad
Meal prep goes (sorta) gourmet with this simple but refined steak salad. As long as you keep the dressing, veggies, and meat separate until it’s time to eat, you can enjoy a bistro-style lunch or dinner several times a week.
9. Cumin spiced beef wraps
Bite through these crisp rolls to a spicy beef filling. Lettuce wraps like these are designed for meal prep. Keep the leaves and the filling separate until chow time, so there’s no chance of the leaves getting soggy.
10. Meal-prep tuna salad
We usually whip out a can of tuna when we’re tight on time. But make tuna salad in advance, and life gets even easier. In this version, it’s cushioned with fresh tomatoes and hard-boiled eggs in your lunch box.
That’s how plain ol’ tuna becomes a real meal. (Bet you didn’t notice there’s no bread.)
11. One-pan baked cod and veggies
Yes, cod is meal-prep friendly. Once it’s cooked, you can keep it in the fridge for a couple of days… if it lasts that long.
This terrific one-pan recipe makes four servings, which can be one special dinner for two followed by lunch the next day.
12. Healthy sheet pan tilapia and veggies
Having leftover brown rice is key to making this a complete meal in 30 minutes. If you don’t have any, the roasted fish fillets and veggies go equally well with quicker-cooking grains like quinoa.
13. Shrimp teriyaki zucchini noodles meal prep
Spiralized zucchini makes this a salad in noodle form. Shrimp and veggies are tossed in homemade glaze. We reduce the amount of honey to 1 tablespoon to ensure the dish doesn’t become an accidental sugar bomb.
14. Honey BBQ baked salmon bowls
Quinoa cooks up in less than half the time rice does, so it’s a great meal-prep candidate. Here, the fluffy, protein-rich seeds are topped with nutritional powerhouses like salmon, avocado, and pumpkin seeds.
15. Healthy meal-prep bowls
Go back to basics with these simple, straightforward meal-prep bowls. Calling for neat and colorful rows of veggies, chickpeas, quinoa, and feta, this no-cook recipe makes it easy to eat the rainbow.
16. Meal-prep veggie stir-fry
The key to this timesaver is prepping all the veggies at once, so you’ll be ready to stir up a sizzling mix in minutes throughout the week. This blogger has scoped out non-plastic containers for meal prep and carrying to the office.
17. Greek kale and quinoa salad meal-prep bowls
This vegetarian salad smiles back at you. Massaged the kale in lemon-olive oil dressing and layer it over fluffy quinoa. Then add crunchy cucumbers, savory olives, salty feta, creamy hummus, and whole chickpeas.
Garnish with fresh dill and lemon wedges. Their bright flavors will make you happy to eat this satisfying salad 3 days in a row.
18. Tofu burrito bowl meal prep
Chipotle sofritas, step aside! The spiced tofu mixture in these meal-prep burrito bowls is tastier and healthier, and it takes just 15 minutes to make. Score!
Plus, since the recipe makes enough for five meals, the cost per meal is just a fraction of what you’ll pay at a fast-food joint.
19. Quinoa fajita bowls
Quinoa is the protein source in these vegan fajitas. Fajita seasoning and jarred pepperoncini are smart shortcuts that punch up the flavor in this bowl of goodness.
20. Sun-dried tomato chickpea one-pot pasta
You’ve got options with this one-pot recipe. Either combine all the sauce ingredients in advance so all you have to do is dump them in a pot with hot pasta come dinnertime, or make the whole thing on Sunday night and divvy it up in individual containers.
Spending all day meal-prepping is a thing of the past. With these recipes, you’ll have food on your plate (and ready for the rest of week) before the end of that Netflix episode you’re watching. Now that’s what we call fast.