Before you get the hang of it, “meal prep” might make you think of a day spent slaving away in the kitchen, using up every last pan and Tupperware container you own. When you put it that way, ordering takeout sounds so much easier. But getting ready for the week doesn’t have to be such a process. As long as you find easy recipes and cook enough servings at once, you can be in and out of the kitchen in an hour. Seriously! Try one or two of these recipes and get cookin’… you’ll be fulfilling those New Year’s resolutions in no time.
1. Balsamic Chicken and Veggies
The secret to this super-easy meal? A two-ingredient sauce that works overtime as a marinade, cooking sauce, and dipping sauce. Use it to give baked chicken and veggies a flavor you’ll be happy to eat all week. Plus, it’s all made in one pan. It’s too easy not to make.
2. Honey Sriracha Glazed Meatballs
If you haven’t jumped on the make-your-own-meatballs wagon yet, it’s time to get with it. Ground turkey (like this recipe uses) is low-cost, and the meatballs can be used in bowls, over noodles, or eaten on their own as a high-protein snack. And when covered in honey and hot sauce, they’re pretty addictive.
3. Butternut Squash Harvest Bowls
When you need a break from sweet potatoes, give these squash bowls a chance. They’re made on a single sheet pan, meaning your meal prep can hardly get any simpler. Plus, the recipe uses veggies you can buy pre-chopped if you’re really short on time, like onions and peppers.
4. Turkey Taco Salad
Consider this your excuse to celebrate Taco Tuesday all week. The genius here lies in those mini plastic containers you’d usually find ketchup in—buy a pack and fill them with cheese, Greek yogurt (a sour cream sub), and pico de gallo. That way, your salads won’t get soggy in the fridge.
5. Loaded Lentil Salad
Brussels don’t take much to taste great, which is why they’re one of our faves, but we always forget how great they taste shredded too. Slice some up (or buy them pre-sliced!) and mix ’em with lentils, onions, pepitas, and sweet potatoes for a meat-free meal that’s full of protein and fiber.
6. BBQ Chicken Sweet Potato Bowls
Ten minutes of prep and your work here is done. Step one: Roast some taters and broccoli. Step two: Grab your favorite barbecue sauce (Annie’s makes a good one) and brush it on chicken breasts, then add to the sheet pan to bake. Step three: Shred and serve! And pack away the leftovers, of course.
7. Bang Bang Zucchini Noodles
Considering how easy it is to buy pre-cut zoodles these days, this meal can really be put together in next-to-no time. The bang-bang noodles get a little heat from sweet chili sauce and Sriracha and are a great base for whatever protein you want to cook up, like chicken or shrimp.