We’ve seen enough beautifully packaged mason jar meals to know that meal-prepping does, in fact, have a happy ending. It’s just the whole getting started part that’s so hard. Sure, you can turn to Google for help—but there’s so much out there, it can be tricky to know where to begin. And scrolling through a dizzying amount of blogs and banners is enough to send some of us running to the nearest Chipotle.
But no need to panic just yet—there are a few meal-prep pros out there who have made finding the right recipes a bit more manageable. Follow these bloggers’ Pinterest boards to find meal-prep ideas catered to fit specific meal types, diets, and even budgets. And don't forget to join our Facebook group, Prepped, with thousands of other savvy batch-cookers swapping ideas and inspiration.
If you don’t know how the heck you’re about to feed yourself for a full week, Two Peas and Their Pod is a great place to start. Check out blogger Maria Lichty’s Pinterest board for more than 50 weekly meal plans you can follow so that you won’t be staring longingly into an empty fridge once Friday rolls around.
To make it even easier? Lichty suggests throwing together a few staples at the beginning of the week, like hard-boiled eggs, homemade granola, veggies and hummus, roasted vegetables, and cooked quinoa. From there, plan around what’s in season and on sale, so you’re saving time and money.
For the meat and potatoes of meal prep, Meal Prep on Fleek should be your go-to guide. This board covers the basics, from a blow-by-blow guide to cooking a whole chicken to healthy vegan meal-prep recipes. Blogger Sarah Kessli offers up great advice on which foods can last a lifetime (did someone say sweet potatoes?) and which ones might wilt away by day two (the one character flaw of kale).
In addition, Meal Prep on Fleek gives awesome tips on how to incorporate one ingredient—like chicken or lentils—into different meals, so that you’re not feeling bored by Tuesday.
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day—but, unless you’re one of the blessed few “morning people,” it’s often one of the most difficult to prepare in advance. That’s why Sweet Peas and Saffron blogger Denise Bustard’s breakfast meal-prep board is so great; it gives you countless ideas to keep you satisfied for lunch but keeps things interesting. By whipping up egg muffins or overnight oats a few nights before, you don’t have to resort to doing a last-minute donut run every day.
When it comes to meal-prepping, we often let snacks fall by the wayside. But when the snacking hour (er... hours) hits, there’s nothing stopping us from taking our grumbling stomachs to the nearest vending machine and forking over a few bucks for approximately three M&Ms. Check out blogger Lee Hersh’s board for healthy, easy snack ideas to keep you happily munching all week long—from pre-workout energy bites to snacks to make in your instant pot.
Got an empty freezer on your hands? That’s about to change. Ali Martin of Gimme Some Oven is all about transforming the oh-so-often underutilized space from a graveyard for forgotten frozen peas into a cornerstone of your meal-prep practice.
One super-secret weapon in the freezer, says Martin, is your ice cube tray. Instead of sticking to H2O, you can use it to store small portions of leftover sauces, pesto, cookie dough, and coffee or tea to keep your iced drinks cold... and flavorful. Be sure to label everything that goes into the freezer, she warns, since food tends to become pretty unrecognizable in its frozen form.
Not only does blogger Jazmin Rode’s Pinterest board take on meatless meal prep, but it also focuses on budget-friendly recipes. From breakfast to soups and snacks to Crock-Pot recipes, there’s a little something for anyone interested in saving money... which probably means there’s something for everyone in here.
And if you’re looking to save a little extra time while you’re saving cheddar, Rode suggests knocking out several sheet-pan recipes at once. Take your meal-prep efficiency to the next level by lining your sheet pans with parchment paper to minimize cleanup time.