24 HEALTHY MEAL PREP IDEAS TO SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE

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.

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

First of all, they look very pretty (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 are going to 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 with 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.

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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 to 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. 5 Make-Ahead Fruit & Greek Yoghurt Parfait Ideas

PREP TIME: 10 minutes
VEGETARIAN

Make-Ahead Fruit & Greek Yoghurt Parfait Ideas: Healthy Meal Prep Ideas Ready in 30 minutes or less

Found on Project Meal Plan

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!

2. 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!

3. Superfood Instant Pot Oatmeal in a Jar

PREP TIME: 10 minutes
VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE

Superfood Instant Pot Oatmeal in a Jar: Healthy Meal Prep Ideas Ready in 30 minutes or less

Found on Cotter Crunch

A healthy breakfast meal prep recipe that you can bring to work with you! This 10-minute oatmeal recipe is filled with superfoods: gluten-free rolled oats, apples, walnuts, flaxseed, goji berries, and more. You can make this with a slow-cooker, but it’s easily prepped on a stove too!

And the great thing about these oatmeal 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!

LUNCH MEAL PREP IDEAS

Some delicious meal prep lunch ideas. And not all healthy meal prep recipes need to be for boring sandwiches! I picked lots of delicious 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. Awesome Lunch Box Ideas Perfect For Work

PREP TIME: 5 to 25 minutes

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!

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

Found on Gathering Dreams

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 and 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 less

Found on Pinch Of Yum

This spicy chicken with rice and beans is very filling and packed with proteins. If you are a fan of using an Instant Pot, this is the perfect recipe for you. But don’t worry, you can meal prep this even without an Instant Pot. It will just take a bit longer and you can use a crockpot or a simple pan.

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 a super easy prep and even easier clean up!  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 less

Found on I Am A Food Blog

This veggie sandwich is truly epic! Not only it’s beautiful to see, it’s delicious too! 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

Taco Bowl @ Chelsea's Messy Apron: 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 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. Greek Orzo Salad In a Jar

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

PREP TIME: 35 minutes
VEGETARIAN

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.

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

PREP TIME: 30 minutes
VEGETARIAN

Found on Pinch Of Yum

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

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. Salad in a Jar

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

PREP TIME: 15 minutes
VEGAN

Found on Veggies Save The Day

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

This veggie version is light and quick to prep: main ingredients are corn, chopped carrots, peppers, cucumbers, cabbage, spiralized zucchini and leafy greens of your choice.

20. Protein Power Mason Jar Salad

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

PREP TIME: 29 minutes
VEGETARIAN

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 to warm up in the office!

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

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

PREP TIME: 30 minutes
VEGAN

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

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!


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