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EASY AND HEALTHY MEAL PREP IDEAS THAT YOU CAN COOK FOR THE WEEK IN LESS THAN 30 MINUTES

Preparing quick and delicious meals 3 times a day might seem impossible with everything else you have going on in your life! But by using some simple tips and by planning ahead, you’ll be blown away by how easy cooking delicious food can be.

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Make-ahead meals will save you money and time, plus you’ll be able to keep your diet under control and avoid eating unhealthy food.

And to help you get started, I put together an inspiring list of meal prep ideas that you can cook in less than 30 minutes on a lazy Sunday.

Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be amazed at how easy this is, and you’ll just ask yourself why you didn’t do this sooner!

HOW TO MEAL PREP: TIPS TO GET STARTED

1. Make a plan

Decide what you are going to cook ahead of time. Pick all the recipes you want to cook for the week, and put together a grocery shopping list. I would suggest you start with 2-3 recipes per week. It’s nice to have variety, but it also takes a lot more time to cook different meals, especially if you are just starting out!

2. Multi-task

Cook multiple things at once! You can actually bake chicken while roasting your veggies at the same time. This will really help you to get things done much faster.

3. Use Mason Jars

I love Mason Jars!

First of all, they look beautiful (I know, I do love pretty things!), but they are also very practical. They are cheap, microwave-safe (remove the lid!), and perfect for storing salads. Put the dressing on the bottom and the leaves at the top, so nothing gets soggy, and your salad will remain crispy for hours.

Greek Quinoa Salad Jars: Healthy Meal Prep Ideas Ready in 30 minutes or less

Recipe found on Little Spice Jar

4. Don’t meal prep too many meals

Don’t meal prep more than 5 days worth of food. Most of the food you will prep won’t last more than 3 days in the fridge, so make sure you freeze the rest.

Remove the meal from the freezer the night before you will eat it and leave it to defrost in the refrigerator. This will avoid germs and bacteria getting in your food.

5. Use the right containers

My favorite containers for healthy meals are made of glass. I prefer them to plastic containers for several reasons:

  • You can see what’s in them easily.
  • They can be used in microwaves.
  • They won’t alter the taste of food, even if it’s left in there for a few days.
  • When warming up your food, glass containers won’t release any chemicals at the hot temperature as plastic containers can.

If you do pick plastic containers, make sure they are BPA-free.

6. Keep your goal in mind

I am a big fan of having goals. They really help you to achieve results. Whether you are trying to save money, simply eat healthy food or lose weight, keep in mind why you are meal prepping! You’ll be less keen to opt for a takeout meal!

Need a hand meal planning? Just download my free templates!

How awesome would it be not to have to think about what’s for dinner for an entire week? Weekly meal planning can do that for you! Just download my free weekly meal planners in two beautiful designs to kick-start your meal planning journey.

If you plan your meals for the week, you’ll stop panicking about what to eat for dinner every night. And you will finally start developing healthy eating habits that will help you start enjoying your food every day and save money!

My top choice for healthy meal prep recipes

And here you can find my favorite quick and easy meal prep recipes! All these meal prep recipes will be ready in 30 minutes or less and are perfect for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

No matter what you love, there are some simple and yummy ideas for you: vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, and some for meat lovers!

BREAKFAST MEAL PREP IDEAS

My favorite easy weekly meal prep ideas for breakfast! They are perfect if you are on the run in the morning.

1. 6 Healthy Overnight Oats Ideas

PREP TIME: 5 minutes VEGAN/VEGETARIAN

Coffee and Walnut overnight oats: healthy meal prep ideas

See more: Veg biryani recipe (vegetable biryani) | Coral's Blog – Food Blog – Cooking Guide

Found on Gathering Dreams

A healthy breakfast meal prep recipe that you can bring to work with you! This 5-minute overnight oats recipe is filled with healthy foods and protein: rolled oats, chia seeds, and some healthy toppings to help you kick-start your day.

There are 6 delicious overnight oats recipes to try: berry, peanut butter, double chocolate, apple pie, coffee & walnut, and virgin piña colada. Click here to try them all!

And the great thing about these overnight oats jars is that they last up to 5 days in the fridge. You can meal prep these a few days in advance and just take them out of the fridge in the morning. I normally prep them on Sunday evening, and they are ready for the week!

2. Make-Ahead Fruit And Yogurt Parfait

PREP TIME: 10 minutes VEGETARIAN

Make-Ahead Fruit And Yogurt Parfait Ideas: Healthy Meal Prep Ideas Ready in 30 minutes or less

See more: Veg biryani recipe (vegetable biryani) | Coral's Blog – Food Blog – Cooking Guide

Found on Gathering Dreams

If you love fruit and granola, this is the perfect breakfast for you. These parfait ideas are super delicious, and they are much cheaper to make than buying them at Starbucks. Prepare these in the evening, and grab them on your way out of the door!

3. Overnight Chia Seed Pudding With Almond Milk

PREP TIME: less than 5 minutes VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE

Overnight Chia Seed Pudding With Almond Milk: Healthy Meal Prep Ideas Ready in 30 minutes or less

Found on The Worktop

This is the perfect healthy vegan meal prep recipe for breakfast! It’s ready in pretty much a couple of minutes and only requires 2 ingredients. Just mix chia seeds and almond milk before going to bed, put them in the fridge, and you will have a tasty breakfast to enjoy in the morning! Add whatever fresh fruit you love, and you are ready to go!

I love this with fresh berries in the summer or warm apple compote in the winter! Delicious!

CHECK OUT: 25 HEALTHY BREAKFAST MEAL PREP IDEAS FOR BUSY MORNINGS

LUNCH MEAL PREP IDEAS (PERFECT FOR DINNER TOO!)

Some delicious meal prep lunch ideas. And not all healthy meal prep recipes need to be for boring sandwiches! I picked lots of tasty alternatives for you.

4. Greek Couscous Salad

PREP TIME: 25 minutes VEGETARIAN

Greek Couscous Salad: Healthy Meal Prep Ideas Ready in 30 minutes or less

Found on Chelsea’s Messy Apron

This colorful and healthy Greek couscous salad is so delicious, your co-workers will envy you as soon as they see it! It’s the perfect healthy meal prep option for a work lunch. It’s also very cheap to make!

If you want to go for a meaty option, you can simply add some grilled chicken on top!

5. 5 Awesome Lunch Box Ideas Perfect For Work

PREP TIME: 5 to 25 minutes

Easy lunch meal prep ideas for the week: awesome lunch boxes!

See more: Veg biryani recipe (vegetable biryani) | Coral's Blog – Food Blog – Cooking Guide

Found on Gathering Dreams

If you are after some simple lunch ideas, you can try these awesome lunch boxes. They only take between 5 to 25 minutes to prepare. They are healthy, perfect if you are in a hurry, and will satisfy everyone.

Delicious! They are my go-to lunch at the moment!

6. 10-Minute Chickpea Curry

PREP TIME: 10 minutes VEGAN, GLUTEN FREE, DAIRY FREE, NUT FREE

I have a bit of a problem with this chickpea curry. I cook it ALL THE TIME! And Dan is getting a bit tired of it, lol! But I love it: this is my go-to weeknight meal, for many reasons!

It’s rich, spicy, but not overpowering, filling, and ready in only 10 minutes. Plus, it’s the perfect meal prep recipe. You can cook a big batch, put it in the fridge or freezer, and be done for the week. And it’s really cheap to make: a portion comes out at less than $2.

7. Spicy Chicken Meal Prep With Rice And Beans

PREP TIME: 20 minutes

Spicy Chicken Meal Prep With Rice And Beans: Healthy Meal Prep Ideas Ready in 30 minutes or lessFound on Pinch Of Yum

And aren’t these meal prep containers super-cute? I hate microwaving in plastic, and these glass containers, not only are very durable and reusable but will keep your food organized, too, with all those dividers. You can find them on Amazon by clicking here!

8. Meal Prep Chicken Fajitas

PREP TIME: 25 minutes

Meal Prep Chicken Fajitas: Healthy Meal Prep Ideas Ready in 30 minutes or less

Found on Sweet Peas and Saffron

These meal prep chicken fajitas are made on one (or two) sheet pans, making for super easy prep and even easier cleanup! Serve them in tortilla bowls for a no-mess lunch.

9. Italian Couscous Salad

PREP TIME: 25 minutes

Italian Couscous Salad: Healthy Meal Prep Ideas Ready in 30 minutes or less

Found on Chelsea’s Messy Apron

I never seem to have enough couscous salads! This is another variation, with an Italian twist on it. This healthy meal prep recipe is perfect for lunch or dinner: it’s fresh and light tasting while still being filling and satisfying. The dressing is packed with spice/dried herbs, and the vinegar and honey make it tangy and sweet at the same time.

10. The Ultimate Veggie Sandwich

PREP TIME: 10 minutes VEGETARIAN

The Ultimate Veggie Sandwich: Healthy Meal Prep Ideas Ready in 30 minutes or lessFound on I Am A Food Blog

This veggie sandwich is truly epic! Not only it’s beautiful to see, but it’s also delicious too! The main ingredients are romaine lettuce, carrots, cucumber, red cabbage, avocado, sprouts, red onion, and tomatoes. Yummy!

11. 15-minute Meal Prep: Sesame Noodle Bowls

PREP TIME: 15 minutes

15-minute Meal Prep: Sesame Noodle Bowls @ Pinch of Yum: From protein-packed to vegetarian-friendly, these are the perfect healthy meal prep ideas to prep on Sunday in less than 30 minutes!

Found on Pinch of Yum

These meal prep sesame noodle bowls are made with delicious noodles, an easy creamy sesame sauce, perfect browned chicken, and all the veg!

12. Taco Bowl

PREP TIME: 25 minutes

Taco Bowl @ Chelsea

Found on Chelsea’s Messy Apron

An easy to make taco bowl recipe! This meal is filling, packed with good ingredients, and is a great make-ahead weekly meal prep option.

13. Panzanella in a Jar

PREP TIME: 15 minutes VEGAN

Salad in a Jar (Panzanella): Healthy Meal Prep Ideas Ready in 30 minutes or less

See more: Veg biryani recipe (vegetable biryani) | Coral's Blog – Food Blog – Cooking Guide

Found on Gathering Dreams

I love salads in a jar: they look so pretty in these Weck Mason Jars, and it’s an easy way to pack your lunch. You can make this salad ahead of time, and you’ll be ready for lunch on the go!

This filling version of Panzanella is light and quick to prep: the main ingredients are tomatoes, stale bread, olives, chickpeas, onions, and basil.

14. Roasted Cauliflower Tacos With Chipotle Romesco

PREP TIME: 30 minutes VEGAN

Roasted Cauliflower Tacos With Chipotle Romesco: Healthy Meal Prep Ideas Ready in 30 minutes or less

Found on Minimalist Baker

These smoky, roasted cauliflower tacos with a spicy chipotle romesco sauce are super delicious! A healthy plant-based meal that’s ready in under 30 minutes and easy to pack, and so satisfying!

15. Loaded Caprese Grilled Cheese

Found on Pinch Of Yum

I am not sure if you know this, but I LOVE pesto!

And this Caprese Grilled Cheese is loaded with basil pesto, a thick and chunky garlic butter tomato sauce, and fresh mozzarella cheese, all on grilled sourdough bread. This is the perfect vegetarian lunch sandwich!

16. Meal Prep Vegetarian Quinoa Burrito Bowls

PREP TIME: 15 minutes VEGETARIAN

Meal Prep Vegetarian Quinoa Burrito Bowls: Meal Prep Ideas Ready in 30 minutes or less

Found on Simply Quinoa

These easy vegetarian quinoa burrito bowls are the perfect recipe to meal prep for a healthy lunch or dinner. It makes 5 days’ worth of food in less than 20 minutes, is packed with nutrients, and tastes delicious!

17. Spicy Chickpea Quinoa Bowls

PREP TIME: 20 minutes GLUTEN-FREE, VEGAN

See more: Breakfast Crepes With Crepe Filling Ideas | Coral's Blog – Food Blog – Cooking Guide

Spicy Chickpea Quinoa Bowls @ Eat Yourself Sinny: From protein-packed to vegetarian-friendly, these are the perfect healthy meal prep ideas to prep on Sunday in less than 30 minutes!

Found on Eat Yourself Skinny

These super flavorful meal prep bowls are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and perfect for your weekly meal prep! Easy to assemble and even easier to make!

18. Santa Fe Low Carb Chicken Meal Prep

PREP TIME: 30 minutes

Santa Fe Low Carb Chicken Meal Prep @ Sweat Peas and Saffron: Meal prep recipes: these are the perfect healthy meal prep ideas to prep on Sunday in less than 30 minutes!

Found on Sweet Peas And Saffron

This yummy lunch meal prep has cilantro lime cauliflower rice and bell peppers topped with taco-seasoned chicken breast and cheese! 8 g net carbs but still fills you up.

19. Greek Orzo Salad In a Jar

PREP TIME: 35 minutes VEGETARIAN

Greek Orzo Salad In a Jar: Healthy Meal Prep Ideas Ready in 30 minutes or less

Found on How Sweet Eats

Ok, this salad will take an extra 5 minutes over 30 to prepare, but it’s absolutely delicious. And if you chop veggies fast, you’ll be able to make it in half an hour. It’s the perfect meal prep idea doe lunch when you are in a hurry but still want to eat a healthy meal.

20. Protein Power Mason Jar Salad

PREP TIME: 29 minutes VEGETARIAN

Protein Power Mason Jar Salad: Healthy Meal Prep Ideas Ready in 30 minutes or less

Found on Garden In The Kitchen

This Protein Power Salad Jar has the perfect combination of nourishing, filling, and hydrating ingredients for a tasty and balanced meal. Pack and store in your fridge until ready to eat. Delicious!

21. Honey Sriracha Glazed Meatballs

PREP TIME: 30 minutes

Found on Eat Yourself Skinny

This recipe is super easy. You can serve these delicious turkey meatballs with brown rice, quinoa, or even cauliflower rice. Carrots add a good crunch, and everything is topped with green onions and sesame seeds. This is a delicious and filling meal, easy to prep in advance and warm up in the office or at home!

CHECK OUT: 21 QUICK AND EASY LOW-CARB SPIRALIZER RECIPES YOU NEED TO TRY

22. Easy Vegan Red Lentil Dal

PREP TIME: 15 minutes VEGAN

Easy Vegan Red Lentil Dal: Meal Prep Ideas Ready in 30 minutes or less

Found on Simply Quinoa

Using just one pot and ready in under 20 minutes, this easy vegan red lentil dal is a flavorful, plant-powered meal! Serve with quinoa or rice, perfect for meal prep!

23. Cold Sesame Noodle Meal Prep Bowls

PREP TIME: 30 minutes VEGAN

Cold Sesame Noodle Meal Prep Bowls: Meal Prep Ideas Ready in 30 minutes or less

Found on Sweet Peas and Saffron

These cold sesame noodle meal prep bowls are the perfect vegan prep ahead lunch: spiralized vegetables tossed with chickpeas and whole wheat spaghetti in a spicy almond butter sauce.

24. Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowl

PREP TIME: 30 minutes VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE

Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowl: Healthy Meal Prep Ideas Ready in 30 minutes or less

Found on Minimalist Baker

I love Mexican food! And this low-carb burrito bowl version is simply delicious. Ready in 30 minutes, this burrito bowl is made with seasoned cauliflower rice, black beans, grilled peppers and onions, and guacamole!

25. Sheet Pan Garlic Ginger Chicken & Broccoli

PREP TIME: 30 minutes

Sheet Pan Garlic Ginger Chicken & Broccoli: Healthy Meal Prep Ideas Ready in 30 minutes or less

Found on Pinch of Yum

Another take on chicken meal prep: a simple and low-maintenance recipe with huge flavors and no refined sugar in sight! The perfect meal prep idea if you love chicken!

Tired of planning your meals for the week?

Sometimes all you need is an easy, no-brainer plan to follow.

So, while I was looking for a perfect meal plan solution, I came across Melissa and her amazing The Fresh 20. For a few dollars a month, Melissa will send you a delicious meal plan for the week. Each plan will require you to buy only 20 ingredients, and you can prep a whole week’s worth of meals in 1 hour! And you can try it for free!

Don’t miss out! Try The Fresh 20 meal plan by clicking here and pick the best plan for you.

And if you are craving more weekly meal prep ideas, check out my latest awesome posts!

1. 100+ Vegan Meal Prep Recipes Everyone Will Love ~ 2. 10 Delicious Veggie Sandwich Recipes for your Lunch Box

Benefits of meal prepping

Food ready to eat whenever you’re hungry

Whether you love to cook fresh meals every day, or you feel like you never have time, meal prep is a great way to have something to eat ready whenever you have no time. If you are late from work or are just rushing out of the house at the last minute, have a meal ready to grab can be a lifesaver!

Eat healthy meals every day

The hungrier you are, the more tempted you get to buy unhealthy food. By cooking delicious food ahead of time, you’ll know exactly what you are eating. You can pick the right ingredients and make sure you add to your diet plenty of fruit and vegetables.

Save money on food

By making a meal plan, you’ll be able to waste a lot less food. When you go food shopping, you’ll just buy exactly what you need and won’t be tempted to overspend. Plus, by bringing your own delicious lunch to work, you’ll save a great deal of money! With an average work lunch costing up to $10-a-day in a big city, you can end up spending over $2,500 a year on work lunches alone!

You don’t have to meal prep every day, but by bringing your lunch from home 3-4 times a week, you can easily save more than $1,000 a year!

Is meal prep for you?

Meal prepping can save your life, especially if you have a hectic schedule but still want to eat healthy food.

Just try it for a week, and you will see a big change in your health and in your wallet!

What are your favorite healthy meals to prep? Share them in the comments below!

Refer: 20 Delicious Summer Dishes You Can Make in a Slow Cooker

SOME MORE MEAL PREP IDEAS AND TIPS TO INSPIRE YOU:

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