Need ideas for healthy meal prep?
I've got you!
I've compiled this big list full of top-rated healthy meal prep ideas to make your life a whole lot easier.
If you made it to this post, you want to rely less on takeout and fast foods and more on home-cooked food. So congrats on that! I've been a health coach for over a decade, and I can tell you that eating home-cooked food is one of the single best things you can do for your overall health.
And for my Public Service Announcement: Please know that healthy meal prep should be easy and enjoyable! Do not make food that you don't look forward to eating. There are endless delicious healthy meal options available to you, so find what you love and enjoy it.
Big Benefits of Meal Prep
- Meal prep helps you eat healthier: We all know shopping without a plan can result in impulse shopping. Likewise, eating without a plan can make you eat on impulse. If I don't plan, I wait until I am famished and go for the quickest option. That's not healthy. But with a few recipes for meal prep, you're less likely to go for a not-so-great option when you already have a healthy meal at home.
- Meal prep helps reduce stress: By eliminating on-the-spot decisions, meal prep can ease decision fatigue which reduces stress. Additionally, having healthy meals on hand helps reduce the anxiety of not knowing what to eat or not having healthy options in front of you.
- Meal prepping helps save money: Instead of buying what I think I need, I prepare a shopping list that targets what I need for meal prep. So I buy in bulk, freeze extra food for later, and spend less eating out.
- Meal prepping helps improve your kitchen skills: If you want to feel more confident in the kitchen, meal prepping might be what you need to improve your kitchen skill. Meal prepping can also open you up to a world of amazing recipes – from making taco chili in a pressure cooker to cooking asparagus in the oven.
You might be thinking, okay, I am ready! But how do I go about meal prepping?
Tips for Easy Meal Prep
- Stock up on food storage containers with lids that will help your recipes for meal prep stay fresh and taste better. I prefer glass, but do what works for you. Sometimes the plastic ones are necessary. You can also grab little compostable cups on Amazon or at a store for sides of dressing and sauces, or use reusable ones if you have them. Good health isn't about perfection, it's about progress, a good attitude, and a positive outlook that you can take steps to make better choices as you go.
- Start with ONE recipe then go from there. What would help you the most? Breakfast already made, packed lunches, or dinner in the fridge when you get home. Master one, then add in more.
- Pick a day to prep your meal. Sunday and Wednesday are two common choices.
- Shop wisely & don't overpay. Only buy what you need, and don't buy in bulk just to save money because if it goes bad, you actually overpay. I buy almost all pantry staples including extra virgin olive oil, mustard, olives, flours, beans, and more on Thrive Market for the best prices. Here's my partner link to save 40% on your first order, on top of the already built-in savings.
- Know how much you need to prep—if you're single don't make eight breakfast servings. Similarly, if you have a family of four, then determine how much you'll need for the week.
- Only make food you love! This is a big one. It's important to look forward to eating your meals for meal prep. Otherwise, they go bad in the fridge. It's always possible to make what you love in a healthier way. Don't sacrifice enjoyment for some fad diet.
- Get a meal planning template. My Top 50 Healthy Recipes Ebook comes with a printable meal planning template if you need it.
- Bookmark your favorite recipes. You can bookmark this page and other favorite recipes in your browser for easy access in the future.
All set to meal prep? Let's get right into it!
34 Ideas for Healthy Meal Prep
I've put these ideas for healthy meal prep into meal categories, but don't let that hold you back. You can always eat breakfast for dinner or lunch for breakfast. Do what works for you.
Breakfast Meal Prep
1. Overnight Oats
All you have to do is combine dry whole rolled oats, milk of your choice, and other fun add-ins you want (in this case, chia and hemp seeds), refrigerate it overnight, and the next morning you have a bowl of soft, delicious oats.
Here are two ways to do it:
2. Easy Healthy Homemade Granola
If you love granola, then you will love this recipe. Most store-bought granola contains unhealthy fats, oils, and unnecessary ingredients. But guess what? This granola recipe doesn't contain all that yucky stuff. This recipe is super delicious, healthy, and cheaper to make. Prepare this overnight, and grab them on your way out of the door.
3. Hard-Boiled Eggs
If you want a savory idea for healthy meal prep, then a hard-boiled egg with a little salt and pepper might be exactly what you need. You can make them on the stovetop or in the Instant Pot. Hard-boiled eggs keep up to three days in the fridge.
4. Mini Baked Egg Cups
Here's a healthy and easy meal prep breakfast idea, Mini Egg Cups. Not only are these easy to make, but they are a great way to get in some extra veggies.
5. Make A Breakfast Casserole
If you like more of a proper breakfast, make one of these breakfast casseroles and keep it covered in the fridge to eat from all week long.
6. Easiest Hash Brown Casserole
Let's take a sec and talk about one of the most searched recipes on the web, Hash Brown Casserole. It's easy, cheesy, and only takes minutes to prepare, not to mention it's a favorite side dish for holiday dinners, casual weeknight dinners, and total comfort food!
7. The Perfect Baked Oatmeal Recipe (+7 Variations)
Tired of that same old oatmeal and looking to change it up? The taste and smell of this baked oatmeal is to die for, and the best part is it can be made ahead of time. Have a healthy breakfast for when you are on the go, or perfect option for your next weekend brunch.
8. Spinach Frittata Recipe (Oven Frittata Method)
Ever have those moments where you need a solid breakfast or brunch dish to serve, but have NO IDEA what to make? I am solving your problem with this easy, crowd-pleasing Spinach Frittata Recipe. This frittata recipe is highly customizable for breakfast and leftovers; after all, who doesn’t like breakfast for dinner?
9. Almond Flour Scones
Scones make for a quick meal that you can eat on the go. Easy, fluffy, and simply delicious, almond flour scones can pair perfectly with your morning coffee.
10. Make-Ahead Smoothies
While I do think smoothies are best fresh, you can learn how to save a smoothie for later right here.
11. Healthy Banana Bread
Have spotted dark-turning bananas in your kitchen? Good thing for you. Make sure not to toss them in the garbage. Get some eggs, flour, and sugar, and get ready to bake some banana bread.
I've got two options for you here. The first is a healthier take on traditional banana bread, and the second is a low-carb almond flour banana bread.
Banana Bread Recipe + Gluten Free Version
12. Peanut Butter Oat Energy Bites
As a health coach, I feel obligated to tell you it's best to sit down and eat slowly and enjoy your food rather than inhaling something on your drive to work. In reality, I know that sometimes you need something super quick and portable. Energy bites are here for the win! You can use peanut butter, almond butter, or any nut butter or sun butter (sunflower seed butter) to make these energy bites.
13. Chocolate Avocado Mousse Recipe
Chocolate for breakfast? Yes, please! You can get this done within 5 minutes. Just blend the ingredients, store them in the fridge, and you will have a delicious breakfast to enjoy in the morning. It keeps about 3 days in the fridge, so plan to eat it a few days in a row. I love this with sliced strawberries in the summer.
Lunch Recipes for Meal Prep
Soups and salads are awesome ideas for healthy meal prep. Wraps can also be great, however, make sure to keep any dressing to the side until you eat it.
Make soups in a big Dutch oven that can go from the stove to the fridge (just make sure it's cooled to room temp before putting it in the fridge).
Grain-based salads like quinoa salad or rice are fantastic meal prep ideas. Green salads are best kept with the greens and dressing separate until you eat.
14. Vibrant Curry Quinoa Salad
This curry quinoa salad is so simple to make, delicious, and SO refreshing! It tastes even better the longer it sits. If you make a big batch, you'll have something delicious, and healthy to eat all week.
15. The Jennifer Aniston Salad (aka Bulgar Mint Salad)
Want a light and healthy salad for your next lunch or dinner, then I have the recipe for you! The internet has blown up with Jennifer Aniston’s salad recipe packed with plant-based protein, crunchy and fresh. This bulgar wheat salad is a spin on tabouli, and it's awesome!
16. Black Bean Quinoa Salad
This healthy idea for a meal prep salad is super easy to make and everyone loves it. It's great on its own or as a base for a healthier taco salad.
17. Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
This is one of my favorite weeknight recipes for several reasons! It's rich, spicy, but not overpowering. Plus, you can get it done in just 15 minutes. All you need to do is prepare a big batch, store it in your fridge, and be done for the week. Easy-breezy!
18. Orzo with Mint & Peas + Sides
One of my favorite pastas for meal prep is orzo (or any short cut pasta) with mint, peas, lemon, and real parmesan—it's SO good! Pair it with some leftover chicken or beans and some fruit and you'll have a lunch that you definitely look forward to eating.
19. Meal Prep Salad Jars
Meal Prep Salad Jars are awesome if you want to create an assembly-style batch of fresh salads that keep in the fridge all week long. The key is in how you layer the ingredients to make sure nothing gets soggy.
Here's the recipe and a video to show you how to do it:
20. Healthy Unfried Fried Rice
This healthier fried rice is an all-time favorite. Plus, it's good hot or cold. Fried rice makes for an awesome dinner or meal prep it for lunch all week long.
21. Fiesta Quinoa Soup Recipe
Soups are not only easy to make and nutritious, but they also freeze well. Great, right? If you're like me and want to live off the frozen leftovers of this soup, you're going to want to make a huge batch.
22. Easy Lentil Soup
Good 'ol lentil soup is an awesome idea for healthy meal prep. It's delicious, filling, and easy to make! No need to settle for bland Lentil Soup! Make it right and you’ll have everyone begging for seconds.
23. Black Bean Soup from Scratch
What's not to love about soup that is hearty, filling and super easy to make? Black bean soup from scratch is an awesome make-ahead meal and it freezes well, too.
24. Easy Split Pea Soup
Looking for something delicious and super budget-friendly? Split pea soup is your answer. It's loaded with fiber and protein to keep you full. Plus, its nostalgic flavor is super comforting.
25. Easy Healthy Minestrone Soup
Minestrone is the ultimate café soup. If you want a restaurant-style feel that you made at home, this minestrone will definitely do the trick.
26. Loaded Veggie Hummus Wraps
Wraps are great for healthy meal prep because you can make them in an assembly line. One tip, if your wrap has a dressing like these hummus wraps below, keep the dressing to the side until it's time to eat to prevent your wrap from getting soggy.
27. Mom's Tuna Salad in Lettuce or a Tortilla
Tuna wraps are a fantastic no-cook meal prep option. I always "cook once, eat 2-3 times" when making tuna salad or egg salad. Store the tuna separate from the lettuce or tortilla until you eat.
P.S. Egg salad is amazing and keeps for a day or two if you want to use it for a meal prep recipe, but it doesn't keep as long as everything else on this page, that's why it doesn't have its own spot on the list.
Dinner Recipes for Meal Prep
Dinner recipes for meal prep should include slow cooker meals, soups, and veggies. Anything in the lunch category is great for dinner, too.
28. Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos
Chicken tacos are great for the chronically busy because it's a "dump and heat" recipe. All you do is mix the ingredients in a pot and let it cook. Oh, also, this recipe freezes well.
29. Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
Instant Pot Shredded Chicken is one of the fastest and easiest recipes that freezes amazingly for your next meal prep. Perfectly seasoned and moist from fresh to frozen! It's a healthy and excellent addition to the week's soups, salads, pasta, or sandwiches.
30. Everyone's Favorite Vegetarian Chili Recipe
Chili is no doubt a crowd-pleaser, and this black bean vegetarian version is also a winner. It's also one of the best recipes for meal prep because it freezes perfectly and heats up nicely. You can fuel your body on a cold night with a delicious bowl of spicy black bean vegetarian chili.
31. Chicken Poblano Chili Soup
Delicious? Check! Freezes well? Check! This chili soup is creamy and has a spicy flavor that will keep you coming back for MORE. If you want to change up your soup game, this Chicken poblano chili soup is the way to go!
32. Thai Peanut Noodles
How about a bowl of delicious Thai peanut noodles that's healthy, budget-friendly, and ready in 15 minutes? Yes, please!! Tasty, rich, and crunchy, this recipe hits all the bases. This meal is nutritious and the perfect comfort food for busy nights!
33. Mom's crockpot Pot Roast
This pot roast looks fancy but it's easy to make. Plus, it can feed an army! Put it on in the morning and come home to a great meal.
34. Meal Prep Fajita Bowls
And last but certainly not least, what could be better than having fajita-style bowls for lunch or dinner this week? This style of meal prep bowl is meant to be flexible. Simply grab some chicken or beans (or both!), saute up some peppers and onions, make some rice or quinoa, and slice up a few limes.
If you're in a rush in the mornings but want to bring an awesome lunch to work with you, prep these on Sunday for lunch all week long. Or, keep them in the fridge to come home to a great dinner. Enjoy!Print
These Meal Prep Fajita Bowls are one of our favorite healthy meal prep ideas! They're easy to customize and turn out awesome every time. You decide if you want to make them with chicken or black beans (vegetarian), or both. I suggest you make them to your liking by adding or omitting anything listed here.
Scroll through this entire post above the recipe card for over 30 health meal prep ideas!
- 2 cups shredded chicken (or any leftover chicken); from 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 packet taco seasoning, or make your own by using 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 2 teaspoons ground chili powder, and 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ cup white or brown rice; (quinoa also works!)
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 1 small onion, sliced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin, divided
- 1 teaspoon mild or medium chili powder, divided
- 1 (14-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed (omit if desired)
- 2 limes
- sea salt or Kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- Salsa or pico de gallo
- Sour cream; sub plain Greek yogurt if desired
- Shredded cheese
- Prepare the shredded chicken (recipe here). Add a packet of taco seasoning or 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 2 teaspoons ground chili powder, and 2 teaspoons salt to the InstantPot or Slow Cooker Chicken to add extra flavor to the chicken. Or use any leftover chicken you have, or buy cooked chicken at the deli counter at your store.
- Prepare the rice according to the package instructions. Stir in ½ teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon of fresh lime juice (from 1 small lime) at the end of cooking to add flavor.
- Prepare the onions and peppers. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers with ½ teaspoon each cumin, chili powder, and salt. Add a few spins of freshly ground black pepper. Saute the onions and peppers 4-5 minutes until cooked through.
- While the onions and peppers cook, prepare the beans if using. Add the drained and rinsed beans to a medium saucepan or skillet with ¼ cup water, ½ teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon chili powder, and 2 teaspoons salt. Stir and simmer for 10 minutes to allow the beans to absorb the spices. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Alternatively, you can skip this part and simply add the plain drained and rinsed beans to the meal prep bowls with a pinch of salt.
- Assemble the meal prep fajita bowls. I like to add a row of rice, then a row of peppers and onions, then a row of chicken and/or a row of beans. Cut a lime into 4 wedges and add 1 wedge to each bowl and squeeze on top of everything right before eating. If adding salsa or sour cream, I suggest putting them in small containers (you can use compostable/disposable cups like in the images here, or any small container you have) to prevent everything from getting soggy. If adding shredded cheese, put it on top of the rice or in a small container to prevent it from getting soggy.
Fajita meal prep bowls are meant to be customized to your liking. Use everything listed here, or omit anything that doesn't work for you. Prepped bowls will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Keywords: meal prep, meal prep fajita, healthy meal prep ideas
Meal prepping can ease stress, especially if you have a busy schedule but still want to eat healthy food. Just try it for a week, and once you get the hang of it, you'll be stunned at how easy this is!