Coming up with healthy meal prep ideas can sometimes be a pain! But fret no more, in this post I share with you my best lunch ideas, no cook meal prep ideas and a tasty chicken meal prep recipe!
Keep reading to find out what are some healthy meal prep ideas you can cook this week!
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When you think about meal prep, do you think about having to eat the same thing everyday? Me too! Or at least I did.
However, I realized it really doesn’t have to be like that.
There are lots of fun and healthy meals you can make that your entire family will LOVE. When considering meal prep for a family, you should remove this idea of making a meal that lasts all week. And instead think that you’re just cooking ahead of the meals you would’ve made anyway.
Preparing the meals in advance, you can save time and money, as well as ensure you’re eating a balanced, healthy diet every week.
Need a little inspiration? Here’s 6 lunch ideas that can be prepared in advanced, to make it quicker and easier during the week:
Meal Prep Lunch Ideas
1. Mason Jar Salads
There are tons of different salads that can be put in Mason Jars. One of the best things about this idea is they can stay fresh for an entire week.
There is an art to this and you will have to stack them the correct way (put dressing in first). However, if you do, you’ll be surprised just how long they can last.
There is no limit to the salad that you can put in these jars. Whatever your favorite one is, it can be stored inside a mason jar for a quick, easy and healthy lunch.
2. Beans, Brown Rice & Veggies
This is a winning combo for any lunch box.
Find a black bean recipe that you really like, then simply add some brown rice and broccoli, peppers or any other veggies that you have precut to a bowl.
The ingredients are affordable and it’s sure to keep you feeling full until dinner.
3. Grilled Chicken Veggie Bowls
This is a really flexible lunch idea. You can grill up a bunch of chicken and then add brown rice.
For the veggie part of the dish, you can add anything that is in season or that you have on hand. You can roast the veggies, steam them or even put them on the grill.
4. Quinoa and Roasted Brocoli Bowls
For this simple lunch idea, you’ll need quinoa, roasted broccoli, cheese (maybe feta?) and avocado. You can also make a simple dressing out of olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey lemon juice, pepper and kosher salt.
5. Shrimp Stir Fry
Find a recipe for stir fry shrimp (there’s hundreds available online) and make dinner one night. You can then use the leftovers for lunch the next day.
One stir fry idea is to get any veggies you have on hand and sauté them. Ginger works really well with shrimp, as does garlic. Then add either brown rice or Pad Thai noodles.
5. Bento Box with Brown Rice
This idea requires brown rice and grilled chicken. You can also add a different sauce on different days for variation.
One day can be BBQ Chicken; another Buffalo! Choose the sauces
Both of these will help to enhance the flavor, while also ensuring the rice won’t be too dry when eating it.
As you can see from these ideas, they all use similar ingredients! All you have to do is batch cook a bunch of rice, beans and chicken – have some chopped veggies ready to go and voila you can have so many meals!
No Cook Meal Prep Ideas
Many meal prep plans call for cooking of the ingredients in order to get meals into casserole dishes to freeze or make a bunch of those compartment meals.
However, some meal prep involves absolutely no cooking whatsoever. These are just some of the no-cook meal prep ideas you can use to make your meal planning quick and easy. It doesn’t matter how much time you have available, these no-cook meal prep tips will fit perfectly into your schedule.
If you want to make your meal prep super-easy, here’s some awesome ideas for a no-cooking meal prep plan.
Chop Up Some Veggies
An easy and simple way to meal prep without cooking anything, is to take all of your raw veggies and chop them up into smaller pieces. You can also slice some veggies into wedges if you intend to roast them as side dishes.
Some vegetables will eventually be pealed, so it is up to you whether you want to remove the skin before or after meal prepping.
In each container, try to have a combination of chopped veggies which tend to go well together with similar meals.
Spiralize Your Veggies
If you like veggie pasta, a spiralizer is going to be your new best friend.
Instead of trying to slice them as thin as possible, just use a spiralizer, which gives you pasta-like noodles of your favorite veggies. Zucchini and squash is a favorite for veggie pasta, though you can experiment with other vegetables as well.
Marinate Your Meat
Just because you aren’t cooking any meat yet, doesn’t mean you can’t use it for meal prep!
In fact, just separating the meat into portion-size containers for later is a big help. That way, you don’t need to cook the entire package of chicken breasts, but simply remove one freezer bag or container with a single chicken breast for your dinner.
I actually buy whole chickens (usually two at a time), cut them up and then put them into Ziploc bags depending on how they can be used for a meal.
Another way to meal prep with your meat without cooking it, is to put it into a container and add your marinade. The longer it sits in the marinade, the more flavorful it will be when it is time to cook it.
Did you know that you can prepare oatmeal in advance?
Take some mason jars and add a single portion size of oatmeal to the bottom of the jar, then include your different toppings on top of each one.
Each jar of oatmeal can be a different flavor or recipe, such as an apple cinnamon oatmeal jar, a mixed berry oatmeal jar, or a strawberries and almonds oatmeal jar.
These are all ready to eat as soon as you wake up. Enjoy cold as is or pour into a microwave safe bowl and heat it up for about 30 seconds.
My Favorite Chicken Meal Prep Recipe
Finding new and exciting lunch ideas couldn’t be easier thanks to the internet.
It wasn’t until last year that I discovered this super easy meal prep recipe.
If you’re having trouble deciding which delicious new lunch idea to try out, I recommend trying to make one of our absolute favorites – Salsa Chicken.
Salsa chicken is a really easy meal to make that not only works great for lunch, but dinner too. It’s also a recipe you can easily create in bulk to save for later meals.
Here’s how to get started:
To start with, you’ll want to have some salsa for your chicken.
You can use your own salsa that you make specifically for this recipe or you can do what I do and get jar salsa.
If you’re in a hurry, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with using store-bought salsa in the jar. The point of meal prep is to save us time!
I’m 100% okay with using Pace for this recipe.
Slow Cook The Chicken
Get some chicken (I use breast) and place it in your slow cooker, then cover it with your salsa. Add a little water if more liquid is needed, and turn your slow cooker on. That is all you need to do!
There is no easier recipe to have going on meal prep day.
While the chicken is cooking, which takes about four or five hours on high, you should have plenty of time to heat up some rice or a side dish.
It’s worth keeping in mind that each slow cooker is different. So, you may want to keep an eye on it. You’ll know its ready when you can easily shred it.
That’s the entire recipe. You can play around with it and have it as tacos or on tostadas. I have done them all!
Once your chicken is ready, chop, dice, shred, or freeze as whole pieces. You can also enjoy it as a main meal too of course.
The leftovers can be used in sandwiches, salads, chicken fajitas, chicken and cheese quesadillas, or as the main component of, or a deconstructed, salad.
The options really are endless when it comes to salsa chicken.
You can add more spice by going with a hot salsa. Or if you’d prefer, you can keep it mild, giving you plenty of great options for your lunch.
Salsa chicken is super-delicious, versatile to use in order to construct other meals and it’s really affordable too.
So, if you’re looking for unique lunch recipes which won’t break the bank, this is definitely one of the best to cook up. Why not try the above recipe for yourself and see just how delicious it truly is?
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Hi, I’m Jeanette!
I'm a mom of three kids and love creating new methods and strategies to make motherhood easier! I am on a mission to spend less time worrying about chores and more time with my family. I hope to help moms like YOU as I share my journey here.