You can eat healthy everyday even if you are busy! Meal prep is the key.
You don’t have to be at the mercy of burgers and fries anymore. By setting aside a few minutes of your time each week, you can create a healthier and more satisfying breakfast, lunch and dinner.
To help you with that, I gathered 30 recipes that you can prepare ahead of time.
Some of these only need to be arranged in a plate, no cooking needed. So just be mindful that you have the ingredients ready.
By the way, this list does not come in the usual order (breakfast, lunch dinner). When I was writing this I got so excited with the lunch meal preps so I finished it first before the breakfast meals.
I left it as it is, no rearranging. So this rundown comes in this order – Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner.
To get the recipe for each meal, click the link back to the original source, just under each of the images.
1. Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
This is my favorite dish in this collection! Not to mention, the most popular for me.
We often order this during special occasions.
But now that I’m married to a cook, all it takes is one trip to the market, then my hubby takes care of the cooking, and voila! We have a delicious lunch waiting for us.
Not that I can’t cook it. It’s just that my hubby cooks waaaayyy better than I do, and I love his cooking so much!
As for its health benefits, I wanna highlight the broccoli.
According to the Dairy Council of California, a cup of cooked broccoli is a great source of Vitamin C, beta carotene, B1, B2 , B3, B6, iron, magnessium, potassium, zinc and has lots of fiber.
So put a great deal of broccoli in this dish! But don’t overcook it because that will kill its nutrients and enzymes.
Make it slightly cooked only – when you eat it it’s nice and crisp.
2. Vegan Sweet Potato Buddha Bowls
If you are on a plant-based diet, this one is for you!
You will have roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli on top of a slightly sweet mango coconut brown rice!
Just like broccoli, sweet potato is also packed with vitamins and minerals. It’s rich in Vitamin B, C, beta carotene and fiber.
And sweet mango… hmmm… apart from its addicting sweetness, it’s packed with enzymes and fiber that facilitates healthy digestion. It also contains Vitamin C which strengthens your immune system.
If vegan meals are as delicious as this, I bet you will love to eat more fruits and veggies daily!
3. Greek Chicken Meal
When I saw the video of this recipe I thought… hmmm… looks flavorful and delicious.
The combination of cucumber, tomatoes and red onion are not only flavorful and tasty, but absolutely healthy!
Cucumber has a high water content, which helps you keep hydrated, especially on summer days.
Tomatoes contain many vitamins and minerals, one of which is the popular antioxidant lycopene which has been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Onions contain anti-inflammatory properties that helps reduce blood pressure and protects you against blood clotting.
That makes this food a real must-try. And isn’t it fun to try a new taste from time to time?
Even better when that food contributes a lot to keeping you and your family healthy.
4. Steak Cobb Salad
Don’t you just love salads? And this one’s a low carb meal but high in protein and loaded with green.
You’ll have steak, hardboiled eggs, tomatoes, feta cheese, pecans and spinach.
Wow! That’s a lot!
According to webmd, red meat, like the steak cut of beef, is high in iron and a good source of Vitamin B12. This helps keep the red blood cells healthy.
It also contains zinc which keep the immune system functioning properly.
Egg is also rich in protein. Apart from that, it’s a good source of the antioxidant selenium which fights stress and helps the body in defending itself from chronic diseases.
It also has Vitamin D, B6, B12 and minerals like zinc, iron and copper.
Feta cheese is lower in calories and fat compared to other cheese. It has high amount of Vitamin B, phosporous and calcium which keeps the bones healthy.
However, due to its process, feta cheese contains high amount of sodium and lactose. So even if it’s nutritious, you still need to exercise caution when you include it to your diet.
If you are lactose intolerant, don’t use feta cheese in this salad. Instead, substitute it with natural, aged cheese such as Cheddar, Parmesan and Swiss.
Pecans contains more antioxidants than other tree nuts, even making it to the top 15 foods with the highest levels of antioxidants.
It’s also a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals that keeps your heart healthy, helps in weight loss, and reduces the risk of getting breast and colon cancer.
Last but not the least, spinach!
It’s a dark, leafy green with loads of nutrients important for skin, hair and bone health.
Whew! That’s really a lot!
Which makes this meal prep recipe a real superfood!
5. Hawaiian Chicken Bowls
At first glance, this looks like a sweet and sour meal.
But it’s actually chicken in barbecue sauce!
Plus red bell peppers, fresh pineapple, red onion and zucchini noodles or fresh asparagus.
Bell peppers are packed with vitamins and minerals, and exceptionally rich in Vitamin C.
Pineapples also are very rich in Vitamin C.
Aside from that, pineapples contain loads of manganese and thiamin. According to Laura Flores, a nutritionist based in San Diego, manganese is important for the body’s defenses and thiamin is greatly involved in energy production.
Zucchini noodles or zoodles, is your fresh and healthy alternative to pasta. It’s a veggie that belongs to the squash family. Improving digestion and eye health, and lowering blood sugar levels are among its many benefits.
If you don’t know how to turn it into noodles, here’s a very easy tutorial from Lisa Bryan of Downshiftology.
Choosing asparagus over zucchini is also a healthful option. Asparagus is rich in glutathione that helps break down harmful compounds like carcinogens. This protects you from acquiring cancers like bone, breast and colon.
6. Turkey Taco Lunch Bowls
Turkey meat is a rich source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, zinc and vitamin B12. It also contains less cholesterol than chicken, pork and beef.
It’s a pity we don’t cook turkey that much. The last time I remember eating it was when I was still in high school and that’s more than a decade ago.
But just in case my hubby finds a turkey soon, this is something I look forward to experimenting with him.
I personally love the tomato salsa! We always make one as a side dish when there’s fried or grilled fish for lunch.
And the corn… hmmm… I love sweet corn!
7. Baked Tilapia with Garlic Breadcrumbs
This dish left me feeling really excited because…
Where we live, there’s a lot of tilapia!
We fry it, grill it, or cook a kusido. And now, here’s a new recipe that we can add into our tilapia dishes.
Tilapia contains protein and vitamins and minerals such as selenium, Vitamin B12, niacin and potassium.
A little caution though. According to Healthline, if you want to eat tilapia, avoid those coming from China. It’s because of their farming practices that may be harmful to your health.
Your best sources are those coming from the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Ecuador and Peru.
And of course, if you have a plan of vacationing in the Philippines, you can come to Buhi. It’s my hometown! We have lots of tilapia here – all fresh and nice!
I’ve loved this fish since kid, so I’m sure that you’re gonna love it too!
8. Mexican Stuffed Peppers
When I first saw this meal’s pix, I was curious. What could be inside those peppers?
It’s cooked ground chicken in Mexican flavors. Plus sweet corn, red onion, lime, cilantro, and maple syrup!
So this meal is packed with protein because of the ground chicken. And there’s the corn that contains fiber and antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin.
Okay… I’m having a little trouble pronouncing those antioxidants. Haha!
Anyway… add cheese if you’re a cheese lover.
And don’t forget those bell peppers! They are these meal’s containers, but of course you may eat them too!
9. Thai Peanut Chicken Bowls
In this meal, you’ll have noodles, sauteed chicken, fresh veggies slaw and peanut sauce.
What I love here is the slaw, because it consists of fresh veggies – broccoli, cucumber, red bell pepper, cilantro and green onions. That’s full packed antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in there!
Even better, there’s a peanut sauce for dipping! If you haven’t made one yet, that makes this meal prep even more exciting!
As for the noodles, it’s spaghetti pasta here. But you know you can always have zucchini for a healthier option.
10. Honey Sriracha Glazed Meatballs
If you’re looking for something spicy and sweet at the same time, this is it!
I’m not much on spicy foods but my hubby is. So I’m sure this is something he’s going to love!
These are turkey meatballs, but I think you can do this with chicken too.
I love the shredded carrots as a side dish. It’s the best source of beta-carotene. Eat carrots everyday and you can say goodbye to your Vitamin A pills.
Not to mention the spring onions and sesame seeds toppings just made this dish even more appealing to the eyes.
11. Cheese and Crackers
Really… but of course not cheese and crackers only.
You will add meat, fruits and veggies!
Here are just a few that you can add – grapes, cucumber, pepperoni, sausage, carrots, mustards, berries, you name it!
12. Chicken and Hummus Plate
Here’s a crunchy lunch with lots of fresh veggies – cucumber, red bell pepper and carrots!
Of course you shouldn’t forget the fruits. Add grapes, tomatoes or strawberries.
Together with chicken and hummus, you can look forward to a yummy and filling lunch!
1. Make-Ahead 4-Way Breakfast Meals
I love these breakfast meals from Smile Sandwich!
Not only do they look yummy, but there are actually four varieties you can choose from! Don’t you just like it when you have several options in your food?
Just by taking a look at it, I actually have a favorite already!
And that’s the meal with the sunny side up. I love it when the egg is slightly cooked and the yolk is still runny!
So here’s what you’ll find in this 4-Way Breakfast Meal Prep:
- Country Breakfast Meal Prep (upper left) – fried sweet potato, scrambled eggs and turkey sausage
- Savory Oatmeal Breakfast (lower left) – oats, sunny side up egg, bacon and cheese
- Spinach, Mushroom and Feta Breakfast (lower right) – mushrooms, spinach, feta cheese, tomatoes, avocado and boiled eggs
- Mexican Breakfast Meal (upper right) – sweat potato, black beans, scrambled egg and avocado
Oatmeal has a soluble fiber that makes you feel full longer than other foods.So if one of your goals is to lose weight, you can’t go wrong with oatmeal.
Mushrooms are also great source of fiber and provide many vitamins like Vitamin B, selenium, potassium, copper and Vitamin D. It also aids in digestion.
Avocado is among my favorite fruits and it’s actually a super fruit! It’s packed with Vitamins C, E, K , B6, riboflavin, niacin, folate, magnesium and potassium.
It also contains healthy fats which slows the breakdown of carbohydrates, helping to keep your blood sugar levels in check.
Black beans is a good source of protein and fiber which also helps you feel full for a longer time.
No matter which of these four meals you choose to prepare, it can give you the nutrients that you need to start a productive morning.
2. Deli Snack Box
I know the name said snacks. But who said you can’t prepare this as breakfast on the go?
This is one of the easiest in this collection.
All you have to do is stuff your meal prep containers with sliced turkey, hard boiled egg, tomatoes, cheese, crackers and almonds. And you’re good to go!
Choose multi-grain crackers because these contain fiber, Vitamin B and iron.
3. Mexican Style Breakfast
Here is a breakfast that’s really loaded. If you’re expecting a stressful day, this is your absolute morning meal.
You will have sauteed broccoli, cauliflower and bell pepper. Then there’s scrambled eggs, salsa and whole grain toast.
Just one slice of whole grain toast with egg can already make you feel full. Plus having those crunchy veggies is something your body will thank you for.
This is the first meal here with cauliflower so I’m gonna tell you why you can’t go wrong with this veggie.
Cauliflower has Vitamin K which keeps the bones healthy and helps prevent osteoporosis. It’s also a good source of folate, so if you are expecting, this will help a lot in the growth of your baby.
It contains many other nutrients that improves digestion, boosts brain health and keeps the immune system healthy.
4. Paleo Pancake Breakfast Meal Prep
If you want an indulgent breakfast but without the refined sugar, you got it right here!
This meal offers you hot paleo pancakes in almond butter, plus berries or any fruit of your choice, and hard boiled egg.
Paleo pancakes are just like your classic pancakes, but without the sweets, dairy and other processed contents. You can try different ingredients to make this.
One good example is this paleo pancake recipe made from banana, coconut flour and eggs.
Here are more paleo pancake recipes for you to try.
Just like your usual pancakes, all you have to do is add water to it and you have a mixture ready to be cooked.
Berries are loaded with antioxidants that help protect cells from damage. So pick any berry you want – blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries, for a tasty and nutritious breakfast!
5. Paleo Gluten Free Breakfast
Here’s another paleo meal with eggs, avocado, brussel sprouts and tomatoes.
By the way, if you’re not on paleo diet, it doesn’t mean you can’t try these awesome recipes, okay?
Just like cauliflower, brussel sprouts are rich in Vitamin K. It’s also high in Vitamin C and fiber.
6. Cheese and Fruit Bistro Box
This is another breakfast that’s very easy to prepare. Just like the Deli Snack Box, all you have to do is stuff food inside your meal prep container.
What’s exciting is that this is a copycat of the bistro boxes you’ll find at Starbucks.
Just place cheese, crackers, apple, almonds and cranberries into your container and you have your own Starbucks on the go!
Apples… hmmm… have you heard the old proverb that says an apple a day keeps the doctor away?
That’s because of apples’ many benefits to health.
Because of its phytonutrients and antioxidants, apples can improve brain health, prevent dementia, reduce your risk of stroke, diabetes, breast cancer and obesity.
You’re aware that berries are very rich in antioxidants, but do you know that cranberries contain an even higher content of it than the others?
So make sure that you always include this in your diet. Cranberries can help prevent urinary tract infection and gum diseases and boosts your immune system.
7. Banana-Almond Butter-Chia Toast
I like toasted bread from time to time. How about you?
If you’re always looking out for a healthy toast, here’s one you don’t want to miss!
Bananas are rich in Vitamin B6 which benefits your body in a lot of ways. Among many others, it removes unwanted chemicals from your liver and kidneys and helps maintain a healthy nervous system.
It’s also a good source of potassium which helps maintain a healthy heart. It gives you energy too, but without the much hated cholesterol.
Chia seeds contain fiber and lots of vitamins and minerals – phophorous, potassium, calcium, vitamin A, C and E. So sprinkle more of this super seed!
8. Cosmic Fruit Wrap
This is a burrito, but not your usual one. Because instead of meat or eggs, what’s inside are fruits!
You’ll have pineapple, strawberries and grapes.
Strawberries, being of the berries family, have lots of antioxidants that helps your body fight the negative effects of free radicals. It has lots of Vitamin C which strengthens your immune system.
Grapes contain resveratrol, an antioxidant found in the skin of red grapes. It is associated in the prevention of certain types of cancer. It’s also found to help in keeping your eyes and your heart healthy.
What a healthy and fruity way to start your morning!
9. Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole
What I love about this is it’s just like a pizza!
If you’re a pizza lover, but you’ve decided to stop eating it because you care for your health, here is a very healthy alternative that you will surely love!
Here’s a bigger look!
The original recipe uses sausage for the meat. But you can modify it with the meat of your choosing. You can have ground turkey, beef or chicken.
If you like to keep it strictly vegan, just eliminate the meat and double your vegetable serving.
You’ll have bell peppers, mushroom, spinach, onion, eggs and cheese.
Now you can eat as much of this “pizza” without feeling guilty of breaking your diet.
Honestly, this is my favorite breakfast in this collection. I look forward to trying it with my hubby!
10. Roasted Sweet Potato Combo
Once again, here’s a breakfast that involves sweet potato. It’s just that this time, it’s roasted!
With it are avocado, arugula, egg and hummus.
Arugula is a leafy green belonging to the cruciferous veggie family – broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale and cabbage.
Like the rest of the family, it has cancer- fighting elements and contains Vitamin K, which improves bone health.
For more breakfast ideas, check out this post: Quick and Healthy Breakfast Meals for Busy Mornings
1. Asian Chicken Salad
I’m Asian, yet I haven’t tried this meal before. But I’m so proud Asian cuisine has something like this!
It combines savoy cabbage, red cabbage and romaine lettuce. Then there’s carrots, red bell pepper, green onions, oranges and chow mein noodles.
If it’s your first time to hear chow mein noodles, it’s Chinese noodles made wheat flour with egg. It’s normally stir-fried with meat and vegetables.
You can also add snow peas, edamame or beans in this recipe.
When it comes to noodles, Chinese cuisines will not disappoint you, so you should definitely give this a try!
2. Buffalo Chicken Salad Lettuce Cups
I love salads, especially something with mayo!
And here’s one you should try.
You’ll need chicken, carrots, celery, onion and lettuce.
I can imagine it as something like my favorite macaroni salad. Well, just without the macaroni.
You can also add fresh pineapple to give it a sweeter taste, and red bell pepper for additional crunchiness.
If you’re vegan, a homemade vegan mayo is also perfect for this salad.
3. Tofu Burrito Bowl
This is another burrito bowl but this time the main ingredient is tofu.
Tofu is a food derived from soya. It’s gluten-free, low in calories and packed with protein. It also contains iron, calcium and minerals.
You’ll also have cilantro, tomato salsa, onion, black beans, avocado and any green of your choice like lettuce and spinach.
4. Chicken Satay with Grilled Veggies
Are you a barbecue addict? This one’s for you, with a healthy twist!
The chicken is marinated in peanut butter, lime and peppers (not your usual barbecue sauce).
Then there’s plenty of veggies – carrots, zucchini, onions and cilantro!
Cilantro is an herb loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. There are many health benefits associated with cilantro, but what caught my attention is its ability to protect you against food poisoning.
It also protects your brain and helps to ease anxiety.
5. Smoked Salmon Toast
I’ve always loved fish. And salmon is among them!
Salmon contains plenty of omega-3 , protein and Vitamin B.
This toast is also not your usual because you’re going to dip your bread slices into an egg mixture – whisked egg, milk, cheese, salt and pepper. Then you will fry it in a little butter.
So you see it’s not your usual put-it-in-the-toaster bread toast.
Plus you’ll get plenty of vitamins and minerals because of its plant additions – parsley, dill, lemon zest, capers and eschalot!
6. Chicken Cobb Salad
Here’s another salad dinner that will make you want to prepare healthy dinners more!
You’ll have lettuce, chicken, hard-boiled egg, tomato and onion.
There’s also bacon but add it only if you want. Personally, I prefer this without bacon.
Avocado is also a nice addition. It’s among my fruit favorites, so I definitely will add one when it’s time to eat this meal prep.
7. Vegan Tofu Scramble
If you love scrambled eggs, you will love this too.
It’s not egg. It’s tofu! But it’s scrambled. So it’s just like egg.
If you’re a vegan, this is a great alternative to your scrambled eggs.
Okay… maybe you’re not vegan. Maybe you really love scrambled eggs and you’re not looking for any substitute for it.
Just think of this dinner as variety to your usual. It doesn’t hurt cooking something just like your scrambled eggs. Plus it’s healthy!
8. Steak Burrito Bowl
This is another favorite of mine. It’s because of the steak.
I just so love steak on rice!
If you need a heavy dinner, this is your go-to meal.
With this are lettuce, pico de gallo or tomato salsa, black beans, guacamole and cheese. Then you’ll have cilantro and lime juice for toppings.
Just thinking of the steak with the pico de gallo already makes my mouth water!
9. Healthy Taco Salad
You’ll have ground beef, romaine lettuce, black beans, corn, tomatoes, cheese, avocado and salsa.
Only the beef needs cooking which probably takes only 10 minutes. The rest is simple preparing and assembling of the ingredients.
So it won’t probably take you longer than 20 minutes to prepare this. If you move like I do (a bit slow really), it could take you 30 minutes.
But that’s okay! Because when you’re eating this meal already, you’ll feel that it’s all worth it.
10. Farmers Market Salad
When I saw this recipe, I thought to myself… my, am I on a feast?
Just look at the abundance of veggies on the plate and you’ll know what I mean.
You’ll have sweet potato, red cabbage, tomatoes, radish, cucumber, avocado, basil leaves and lots of greens of your choice.
You can put any veggies you love in here!
That’s why this recipe is called farmers market salad. Whatever good veggie you might see in the market, you can put it here. How awesome is that?
After a long day’s work and you feel like you just need to unwind and eat, you can make this salad and feast on fresh veggies.
And you can eat as much without the fear of getting bad cholesterol, or high triglyceride, because these are veggies!
11. Salmon Cobb Salad
You have already been introduced to steak cobb salad and chicken cobb salad in this meal prep collection.
Now, you’ll have another cobb salad, but this time, it has one of the healthiest fish in the world – salmon!
I know salmon tastes so good in a toast.
In this recipe… hmmm… it tastes even better!
Like the farmers market salad, there’s a lot of healthy goodies in this dinner.
To name them – rommaine lettuce, endive, watercress, hard boiled eggs, cheese, avocado, tomatoes, red onion, with red wine and mustard vinaigrette as dressing.
You can add bacon too!
But if you’re like me who tends to be really strict with healthy diet, you can do away with the bacon. The salad still tastes so good, even without it!
12. Chicken Pesto Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
What’s so interesting about this recipe (well, apart from it being yummy of course), is that you’re going to stuff the chicken pesto inside the potatoes.
That makes it really unique and creative, and it’s like adding one more cup of love to the food.
This meal is also one of those which you can use to train your kids – they’ll have this mindset that greens taste good. When they grow up, they won’t dread veggies!
It takes time to be healthy.
Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t just happen. It requires effort, money and an unwavering desire to change.
One of the best changes you can make is to stop going to fast food chains and start choosing healthful foods.
It may take you extra time to go to the market and prepare your meals, but if you stay consistent, sooner or later, your body will thank you for it!