While it may be quick to grab food on the go every day, lunching out can get old fast — for both your health and wallet. Meal prep can seem like a big to-do for those who aren’t used to it. However, it’s as simple as cooking up a batch of food you love and packing it away for later. It’s also a great opportunity to try out new recipes and surprise yourself with new flavors and combinations.
Check out these super easy, healthy meal prep ideas.
Who doesn’t love a good soup? It’s like getting a warm hug in the middle of the day. Especially in the fall and winter months, soups are sure to have you feeling the warm fuzzies. For meal prep, look for hearty, filling soups that can power you up and help you charge through the afternoon.
One beauty of meal prepping soup is the versatility of storage! Soups can last up to three months in the freezer, though you should avoid options with dairy or noodles. Choose single serving-sized containers that you can grab as you need. Simply thaw one out the night before, and you’re ready for lunch or dinner.
Fresh Pea Soup
This hearty recipe is ideal for a cool summer evening. Beyond the shelled peas, you’ll need an onion, leeks, chives and fresh mint leaves. Don’t forget to sprinkle garlic croutons on top once you reheat.
This soup is a fantastic source of protein, fiber, essential vitamins and antioxidants. To whip up on a batch, you’ll need to stock up on a few key ingredients, such as chickpeas, tomatoes, fresh spinach and, for topping, parmesan cheese.
2. Sandwiches and Wraps
Sandwiches and wraps are just about the most classic lunch food, but that doesn’t mean you can’t spice things up and have a little fun! Sure, you could go for the traditional peanut butter and jelly. However, there are so many other delicious options out there.
Sandwiches and wraps are easy and quick to make the day you want them. Still, there are plenty of recipes that store well in the freezer for a quick and easy meal on the go.
Easy Falafel Burger
These burgers have all the same seasonings and ingredients as traditional falafel. Plus, it’s all made in one bowl, making for easy cleanup. You’ll only need to gather eight ingredients to whip this recipe together, including garbanzo beans, garlic hummus and fresh cilantro.
Green Goddess Veggie Sandwich
This rainbow sandwich offers layers of fresh, delicious veggies. Take a bite into shredded carrots, creamy avocado, tasty goat cheese, heirloom tomatoes, sliced cucumbers and more. Plus, don’t forget the homemade dressing.
3. Rice Bowls
Rice is filling, easy to make and goes with just about everything. That’s why it’s such a great meal prep base. In the mood for Indian? Rice has you covered. Craving Mexican food? Rice has your back. Does Asian food sound great this week? Rice bowls are perfect.
There are a couple of ways to store rice bowls when meal prepping. Many people like to pack the rice and main dish separately and mix them later, but you can always toss them together and store in one big, flavorful mixture. It’s all up to you!
Spicy Peanut Tempeh Bowl
Are you looking for a simple plant-based meal? You’ve found it. Steam your rice, choose your favorite veggies and whip up a batch of five-ingredient tempeh. Once done, you’ll have a delicious meal you can freeze for later.
Pineapple Chicken Stir-Fry
Want to transport yourself to Hawaii without hopping on a plane? If so, this recipe is for you. Simply gather chicken breast, stir-fry sauce, brown rice, fresh pineapple and a handful of veggies.
4. Pasta and Noodles
Just like rice will fill you up, pasta certainly can too. Sometimes a carb kick in the middle of the day is just what you need to put a little pep in your step. One way to make pasta dishes even healthier is to sub out regular options for whole grain or rice noodles.
When it comes to storing pasta dishes, many people like to keep the sauce separate from the noodles. If the recipe calls for cooking everything up in one pot, however, it’s fine to store them together.
Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo
Whip up this creamy alfredo recipe in one pot, stirring in peas and roasted cherry tomatoes. To make the sauce, you’ll need a handful of items, including vegetable broth, soy milk, vegan butter and garlic.
Super Kale Pesto Pasta
This homemade pesto sauce contains hemp seeds, which are high in protein and packed with amino acids. You’ll also get a nutritional blast from the fresh kale, garlic and lemon juice.
The Best Meal Prep Recipes
Meal prepping is one of the best ways to be intentional with your food and create healthy, fulfilling meals to look forward to. If you love prepping your dishes, you might want to invest in a slow cooker since you can toss everything in the pot and forget about it.