40 Meal Prep Ideas For Beginners Make Eating Healthy Easy

Simplify Your Healthy Eating Journey
Popular Health
By Popular Health Staff

Healthy Meal Prep Ideas

Who says healthy eating has to be difficult. Enjoy any of the following ready to eat 40 healthy easy meal prep ideas for the week! Prep, freeze and save the meal for later!

It is perfect for beginners whether for a family, kids or for one person.

You can prep for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

Why Is It Important

Prepping meals is not a hobby, but a habit. It can become as fun as a hobby once you get the tips and tricks that you will learn as you go.

One of the goals is to save time by getting things ready ahead of time.

The second goal is to maximize the use of food and reduce waste by making purposeful meals.

A third goal, which applies to dieters everywhere, is to maintain a dietary regime by pre-arranging meals ahead of time.

What Are The Benefits

The key benefit is that it saves time, with some meals ready in less than 30 minutes!

Prepare batches of pre cooked meals for single servings!

Other benefits include it saves money, stay on track for dietary needs, avoiding issues with missing or insufficient ingredients, and makes it easier for you to get what you need, right when you need it.

Meal prep makes it also easier to stick with your weight loss goals!

Learn How To Meal Prep

If you are new to how to eat healthy look no further. Most individuals prefer to create a system that can be repeated every week.

Having a system in place helps the process to become a habit. Once you get used to the process, it will become easier as you go.

There are a lot of shortcuts you will also learn along the way. Just stick with it, try it and apply all your ideas, and you will learn how to prep your meals like a pro.

What Are The Short Cuts

One of the preferred methods involves selecting one or two days of the week and designate those days for prepping your meals in advance.

Here are some short cuts to ease the process.

Meal Prepping
Meal Prepping

Day 1:

Preppers make a list of the meals that they want to eat for the week.

This day is also used to purchase all the ingredients needed for the meals and in the right portions.

It is difficult to prep without a grocery shopping list and meal plan.

Part of the reason is that, without a clear idea of what will be eaten, it is hard to decide the portions that will be needed for prepping.

This shopping trip will also include containers, reusable cutlery, containers for seasoning, or travel-sized seasonings for healthy lunch boxes.

It is important to also plan ahead for beverages, especially if you are a prepper who follows a specific diet.

Not having the right drink readily available will result in having to depend on a vending machine, or resorting to whatever is available.

Along with containers, cutlery, and beverages, preppers should also consider other items that keep the food warm or cold.

Insulated bags, ice packs, and thermal bags are also a part of the preparation process.

Day 2:

Now that all ingredients and tools are ready to go, the next step is to revise the portions and seasonings that go with your dietary needs that follow specific guidelines.

Aside from that, this is where the fun comes in. The day is all about baking, stewing, roasting, and just cooking away.

The last part is the “plating” of the food, or putting it in their containers, for optimal preservation.

Preppers should separate foods that may dissolve in separate containers.

For example, separate bread items from sauce items, or leafy greens from salad dressings that may soften them overnight.

Foods that are crunchy after cooking will lose their crunch overnight, so opt for meals that do not require “toasted” items, unless you have a way to toast the food at your destination.

Refrigerating the meals is the last step, which also requires that you consider the nature of the food being refrigerated.

Freezing is usually not needed, unless you use the meals for over a week.

Therefore, refrigerating the meals and getting them ready to go is also an essential part of prepping meals.

Meal Prepping

How Do Lazy People Do It

Here are some shortcuts that could help even the least enthusiastic person go for it.

Think ahead. Do not think of this as “dieting.” Instead, be creative and think of all the meals you could eat.

Motivation is the key to everything.

Let creativity motivate you to go get the ingredients and tools you need for prepping. The rest will follow naturally.

Another way for lazy people to prep is by sticking to what they know.

For example: A taco casserole with the ingredients that meet your dietary lifestyle is super easy to make and eat.

Dishes made with low-carb noodles, soups, and casseroles can last more than 4 days if they are refrigerated properly.

They are also super easy to make, and easy to store, as well.

The best part of prepping is that, if you use recyclable containers, you do not need to worry about washing dishes.

You can just toss them away and recycle them.

What Containers Should I Use

The most sought-after containers are sturdy enough to take changes in temperature, come with an equally sturdy lid, seal properly, and are recyclable.

A quick search for meal prep containers will lead you to hundreds of companies that are eco-friendly and know every need of preppers all over the world.

Best List Of Companies

Meal prep companies consist of meal kits that are delivered. See below the top 10.

  • Freshly
  • Plated
  • Gobble
  • Blue Apron
  • Purple Carrot
  • Every Plate
  • Hello Fresh
  • Sun Basket
  • Home Chef
  • Terra's Kitchen

Working couples, singles, and busy families who care about eating fresh, home-cooked meals are flocking to the concept of freshly prepped meal kits or prepared meals creating a convenient way to eat healthy without a lot of fuss. Meal delivery services focusing on healthy ingredients or specialty diets offers super fresh prepared meals or easy to read recipes with pre-portioned ingredients that allows you to prepare meals in minutes to make home-cooked healthy meals.

Fresh meals delivered, are tailored to nearly every diet under the sun, from Gluten Free, Paleo, Vegan to Omnivores.

Main Benefit Of Fresh Meals

  • It’s convenient
  • It’s easy
  • Improve culinary skill (if you order meal kits)
  • Save time
  • Save money
  • It’s fun

Which Meal Delivery Service Is The Cheapest

The cheapest meal delivery service is Every Plate.

At less than $5.00 on average per meal, this delivery service offers high quality ingredients, portion control, and the convenience of home delivery at a cost that is lower than takeout.

These include sticking to a dietary lifestyle, maximizing the use of food, controlling portions, and saving time as well as money.

Healthy Meal Prep Ideas

Easy Meal Prep Ideas Strategies

  • Nail down a system for collecting new recipes.
  • Save recipe in a planner.
  • Ask those around you what they like to eat.
  • Keep a food journal.
  • Read healthy food quotes to stay motivated.
  • Make a list of what you would like to cook.
  • Have a food theme night each week.
  • Make a detailed shopping list.
  • Don't let junk food sneak into your shopping cart.
  • Organize meals around sales to reduce your shopping bill.
  • Invest in the right containers.
  • Invest in mason jars.
  • Stock up on staples.
  • Stack up glass containers of prepped ingredients in the refrigerator.
  • Make a double batch of soup, stew, etc and throw it in the freezer.
  • Don’t overstuff the refrigerator.
  • Keep a well-stocked pantry.

Which Foods Should You Use

  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Quinoa
  • Lentils
  • Brown rice
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Overnight oats
  • Black bean
  • Roasted vegetables
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Iced tea
  • Ground meat
  • Pasta
  • Veggies
  • Hummus
  • Bowls
  • Wraps
  • Salads
  • Snacks
  • Smoothies
  • Nuts
  • Cauliflower mash
  • Grilled chicken breasts
  • Steak
  • Sauteed kale
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Grilled shrimp

Dietary Type

  • Keto
  • Low carb
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Paleo
  • Gluten free

Cooking Methods Used

  • Crock pot
  • Instant pot
  • Slow cooker
  • Sheet pan

How Long Can I Keep In The Fridge Or Freezer

The maximum that I recommend when prepping for the week in advance is 5 days. Keep up to 3 days of meals in the fridge and freeze the rest.

Below we feature a growing meal prep resource along with 40 meal prep recipes.

Meal Prep Ideas Resource

40 Meal Prep Ideas With Recipes

Access the best list of recipes below.

Buddha Bowls

The Ultimate Winter Bliss Bowlsfeatured on changeinseconds.com and photo source: pinchofyum.com

Get the 20 recipes.

Mongolian Beef Broccoli Rice Bowls

Mongolian Beef Broccoli Rice Bowlsfrom cottercrunch.com

Get the recipe.

Veggie Burrito Bowl

Veggie Burrito Bowlfrom feastingathome.com

Get the recipe.

Rice Noodle Recipes

Coconut Curry Noodle Bowlsfeatured on changeinseconds.com and photo source: pinchofyum.com

Get the 20 recipes.

Noodle Bowl Recipes

Thai Peanut Chicken Zucchini Noodle Bowlfeatured on changeinseconds.com and photo source: pinchofyum.com

Get the 8 recipes.

California Chicken Bowls

California Chicken, Veggie, Avocado and Rice Bowlsfrom halfbakedharvest.com

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30-Minute Thai Basil Turkey Bowls

30-Minute Thai Basil Turkey Bowlsfrom lexiscleankitchen.com

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Chopped Thai Chicken Salad with Skinny Peanut Dressing

Chopped Thai Chicken Salad with Skinny Peanut Dressingfrom littlespicejar.com

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Chicken Shawarma and Sweet Potato Fry Bowls

Meal Prep: Chicken Shawarma And Sweet Potato Fry Bowlsfrom halfbakedharvest.com

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Pesto Zucchini Noodles

Pesto Zucchini Noodlesfrom kirbiecravings.com

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Vegan Nourish Bowl

Vegan Nourish Bowl from noracooks.com

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Honey Sriracha Chicken Bowls

Honey Sriracha Chicken Bowlsfrom thegirlonbloor.com

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Carnitas Burrito Bowls

Carnitas Burrito Bowlsfrom fitfoodiefinds.com Get the recipe.

Best Fried Rice

Best Fried Ricefrom lifemadesweeter.com

Get the recipe.

Healthy Roasted Chicken and Veggies

Healthy Roasted Chicken and Veggiesfrom gimmedelicious.com

Get the recipe.

Chicken Bowls: 5 Ways

Easy Chicken Meal Prep Bowls- 5 Waysfrom smilesandwich.com

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Fajita Bowls with Cauliflower Rice

Fajita Bowls with Cauliflower Ricefrom kirbiecravings.com

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Chicken Pad Thai Noodles

Chicken Pad Thai Noodlesfrom lifemadesweeter.com

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Turkey Taco Bowls with Cauliflower

Turkey Taco Bowls with Cauliflowerfrom kirbiecravings.com

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Vegan Sweet Potato Buddha Bowl (also GF)

Vegan Sweet Potato Buddha Bowlfrom runningonrealfood.com

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Shrimp Taco Bowls

Meal Prep Shrimp Taco Bowlsfrom gimmedelicious.com

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Beef And Broccoli + Recipe Video

Beef And Broccoli + Recipe Videofrom lifemadesweeter.com

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Korean Chicken Bowls

Korean Chicken Bowlsfrom thegirlonbloor.com

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Greek Chicken Bowls

Greek Chicken Bowls (Meal Prep Easy)from eazypeazymealz.com

Get the recipe.

Chipolte Sweet Potato & Quinoa Lunch Bowls

Chipolte Sweet Potato & Quinoa Lunch Bowlsfrom thegirlonbloor.com

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Greek Quinoa Bowls

Greek Quinoa Bowlsfrom peasandcrayons.com

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One Pan Teriyaki Tofu And Broccoli

One Pan Teriyaki Tofu And Broccolifrom reciperunner.com

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Honey Sriracha Glazed Meatballs

Honey Sriracha Glazed Meatballs - Meal Prep Ideasfrom eatyourselfskinny.com

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Taco Salad Lunch Bowls

Meal Prep Taco Salad Lunch Bowls - Meal Prep Ideasfrom kristineskitchenblog.com

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Vegetarian Kung Pao Quinoa Bowls

Vegetarian Kung Pao Quinoa Bowls - Meal Prep Ideasfrom fitfoodiefinds.com

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Summer Glow Buddha Bowl

Summer Glow Buddha Bowlfrom ohsheglows.com

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Make Ahead Chicken Fajita Lunch Bowls

Make Ahead Chicken Fajita Lunch Bowls - Meal Prep Ideasfrom sweetpeasandsaffron.com

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Chicken Fajita Bowls With Cilantro Lime Quinoa

Chicken Fajita Meal Prep Lunch Bowls With Cilantro Lime Quinoafrom myfoodstory.com

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Curried Chickpea Bowls with Garlicky Spinach

Curried Chickpea Bowls with Garlicky Spinach - Meal Prep Ideasfrom eatingfoodbird.com

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Teriyaki Chicken And Broccoli

Meal Prep – Teriyaki Chicken and Broccoli - Meal Prep Ideasfrom gimmedelicious.com

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Chicken Breast Recipes

21 (Not-Boring) Chicken Breast Recipes Made for Meal Prep - Meal Prep Ideasfrom greatist.com

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Ground Turkey Bowls 4 Ways

Easy Ground Turkey Meal Prep Bowls: 4 Ways - Meal Prep Ideasfrom smileandsandwich.com

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Chicken Burrito Bowls

Easy Chicken Burrito Meal Prep Bowls (Gluten Free)from myfoodstory.com

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Greek Couscous Salad (use vegan cheese instead of feta)

Greek Couscous Saladfrom chelseasmessyapron.com

Get the recipe.

Cashew Chicken Sheet Pan

Cashew Chicken Sheet Panfrom lifemadesweeter.com

Get the recipe.

Get Started With Meal Prepping With 9 Ingredients

I hope you enjoyed our list of meal prep ideas to get started in your journey of healthy eating!

Want Additional Recipes?

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