Putting together a week’s worth of food in advance saves time and is pretty much the responsible thing to do. But it can also make for a serious mess in the kitchen. When you end up with cluttered counters and a sink overflowing with pots and pans, meal prep can start to feel… well, kind of miserable.
Keep things organized, efficient, and simple with dishes that use minimal equipment but don’t skimp on flavor or nutrition. These 19 make-ahead recipes require just one pot or pan, saving you from a ton of cleanup and a meal-prep meltdown.
1. Sheet Pan Sriracha Ranch Chicken
You don’t need to buy overly fancy or expensive ingredients to keep your weekly meals interesting. It’s not a conventional combo, but ranch seasoning + a drizzle of Sriracha can do wonders to take plain chicken and veggies to new levels of tasty.
2. One-Pan Healthy Italian Sausage and Veggies
With potatoes, lots of veggies, and the sausage of your choosing in one sheet pan, all the colors in this meal means that it’s nutritionally balanced. Seasonings like dried basil, Parmesan, and red pepper flakes make sure it tastes as good as it looks.
3. Shrimp Vegetable Skillet
Get four meals from just 30 minutes of work with this simple shrimp skillet. We guarantee that’s less time, effort, and money than it would take for you to step away from your desk to buy lunch from Monday to Thursday.
4. One-Pan Baked Teriyaki Salmon and Vegetables
Lower in refined sugar than your average bottled teriyaki, this homemade sauce is just sweet enough without going overboard. Slather it onto salmon and veggies, then bake for a more hands-off version of a stir-fry. The rice does require a second pan, but it’s an optional component, so don’t sweat it.
5. Garlic Herb Chicken and Sweet Potato Sheet Pan Meal Prep
This recipe knows that garlic in any form elevates a dish. Here, four cloves get tossed with sweet potatoes, vegetables, and chicken. A generous glug of olive oil and 40 minutes in the oven later, you have a fantastic-smelling meal ready to be stored in Tupperware for the week.
6. Sriracha Cauliflower Fried Rice
Two advantages of cauliflower rice over the regular kind: It’s not as heavy, and it takes much less time to prepare. Pair it with a few veggies, a protein, and a hefty squirt of Sriracha for a meal you won’t get bored of during the week.
7. One-Pot Thai Shrimp and Quinoa
This recipe has you cooking your quinoa, veggies, and protein all in a single pan. It’s not hard; it’s a matter of getting the timing right to the enjoy coconuty, fragrant results.
8. Ground Beef Zucchini Sweet Potato Skillet
Savory beef and sweet potatoes make a great pair in this hearty skillet dish, while lots of extra veggies add fiber and even more volume. If you have cooked rice on hand, pack it into your meal-prep containers along with this mixture. If not, no worries—this is delicious on its own.
9. Meal-Prep Scrambled Tofu Breakfast Tacos
Seeing as they’re stuffed with spiced tofu, tomatoes, and avocado, it’s a good thing you get two of these delicious tacos in one serving. They may have the word “breakfast” in their name, but once they’re prepped and ready to go, they can really be enjoyed for any meal.
10. Meal-Prep Vegetarian Quinoa Burrito Bowls
A copycat Chipotle meal every day of the week that’s healthier and cheaper that the original? We’re in. Quinoa takes the place of the rice to add some extra protein to the dish, while all the cilantro-lime flavor makes the meal taste just like the restaurant version.
11. Sweet Chili Tofu Salad
The only “cooking” involved in these meals is the baking of the tofu, which is coated in an addictive, sweet chili sauce before it goes in the oven. The other components of the salads can be assembled right in the containers you’ll save them in. Easy!
12. Greek Grilled Chicken and Hummus Wrap
Heat up a grill once, and get four days’ worth of chicken for these hearty wraps. A simple vinaigrette keeps the protein juicy, while hummus and feta add even more flavor, and fresh veggies give it a satisfying crunch.
13. Meal-Prep Turkey Taco Black Bean Salads
In these easy bowls, a simple turkey, black bean, and salsa mixture gives you a great base to build on with your favorite toppings. A Greek yogurt and salsa dressing gives it the creaminess of ranch dressing without the sugar or preservatives.
14. Middle Eastern 3-Bean Salad
Instead of a leafy salad, meal-prep a more satisfying fiber- and protein-packed version. This recipe uses mild beans but gives them an exotic flavor upgrade with fresh mint, parsley, and pine nuts.
15. Spicy Chipotle Turkey Burritos
If meat is a must-have in your burrito, this recipe has you covered. Turkey keeps the protein lean, while a delicious Greek yogurt and cheese mixture helps bind the veggies together.
16. Thai Coconut Healthy Homemade Instant Noodles
All you gotta do here is precook the noodles before layering them into jars along with coconut milk, curry paste, and veggies. Pour hot water on top when you’re ready to eat. It’s the quickest way ever to get your Thai food fix!
17. Easy Chicken Bowls
Disclaimer: You do need already-cooked couscous (or another grain you like) on hand for this recipe to come together in a single pan, but it’s totally worth it. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we can focus on the really good part. With juicy chicken, cumin-spiced peppers, salsa, beans, and just enough shredded cheddar, this make-ahead meal doesn’t skimp on ingredients, but throwing them together couldn’t be easier.
18. Quinoa and Sweet Potato Chili
Chili is the quintessential one-pot meal. And it’s always filling, thanks to the beans. But this one adds even more fiber with sweet potatoes and quinoa. Each of your meal-prep servings will average out to about 14 grams of fiber each.
19. Cilantro Lime Chicken Burgers
When you really, really want a burger, nothing else will do. Next time that craving strikes, be ready with these freezer-friendly chicken patties. They can be prepped and saved for up to a few weeks so that all you have to do is pop a few on the grill when you’re ready to eat.