Here’s Why You Should Start Doing Meal Prep
Everyone wants to start the new year on a healthy note! One of the best habits to adopt in January is healthy meal prep.
When it’s done right, meal prep can help us save time and eat healthier. There’s no real limit on how much you can meal prep: whether you want to prepare 3 meals a day for 7 days a week, snacks for your kids’ lunches, or dinners during a busy work week, a good meal prep routine will set you up for success in any situation.
Incorporating healthy foods – including fresh veggies! – into your meal prep routine is a crucial part of the meal prep process. That’s why we’ve put together a simple meal prep guide with tips, recipes, and resources to help you prepare 5 healthy dinners for a busy work week.
Our Meal Prep Guide
This meal prep guide will focus on how to meal prep during a busy work week. We’ve chosen 5 healthy dinners to prepare ahead of time so that, once your week gets hectic, you don’t have to think twice about what you’ll be serving!
5 Healthy Dinners to Meal Prep
The 5 dinners we’ll be working with are:
Preparing these 5 dinner options before a busy work week will ease a little bit of stress and save a lot of time!
Before You Start Your Meal Prep
Before you start preparing your dinners for the week, make sure:
- You have the right size and number of containers for all your meals.
- You have set aside enough time to get all your prep done. We recommend setting aside 2-3 hours for your meal prep, and preferably on a Saturday or Sunday.
- You have all the ingredients on hand that you will need for each recipe. Download our printable Meal Prep Grocery List below to keep track!
Meal Prep Steps
Get all 5 dinner recipes ready before you start your meal prep routine.
Chop Your Veggies
One of the first things to do is to start chopping and preparing all your vegetables. This will be one of the most time-consuming parts of the meal prep process, so it’s good to get it out of the way first! This is also a great time to preheat your oven.
Prepare Your Chicken Meals
Next, we recommend preparing the chicken for your Lemon Garlic Chicken and putting it in the oven so that you can prepare it and one other stove-top meat at the same time. While your Lemon Garlic Chicken is cooking, you can start preparing your Mexican Chicken Tinga recipe on the stove.
Once these first two recipes are ready, divide your meals into your containers and let cool before covering and placing in your fridge. Label the lids with a sticker if you customized any of the servings so you remember which is which!
A few tips for preparing these two recipes ahead of time:
- You can customize the side you serve with the Lemon Garlic Chicken. You can serve one of the suggestions we have on our Recipe page or serve something you want to use up!
- If you’re serving your Mexican Chicken Tinga in tortillas or with tostadas, don’t pack the tortillas or tostadas up in the containers–serve them fresh the day-of.
- Don’t turn your oven off once you’re done baking your chicken as you’ll need it at the same temperature for one more recipe!
Prepare Your Gnocchi & Beef Recipes
The next recipe we recommend you prepare is the One Pot Gnocchi Bake. Once you’ve cooked your gnocchi and mixed all the ingredients in your casserole dish, you can place in the oven and start on your next dish: Beef Fajitas! The beef should take just a little bit longer to cook than the gnocchi bake, so both meals should be done around the same time. Once you’ve finished preparing these two dishes, it’s time to once again divide the two dishes into your containers and let cool before covering and placing in your fridge. Don’t forget your labels!
One extra tip for preparing these recipes: don’t assemble your Beef Fajitas in the tortillas until the day that you’re going to eat them. That way they stay fresh and avoid getting soggy!
Prepare Your Chili
The final dish to prepare is your Chicken & White Bean Chili. The reason we recommend leaving this for last is because it gives you as much time as you want to let it simmer and develop great flavor. You also don’t have to divide your finished chili into separate containers if you don’t want to. If you have extra room in your fridge, it may be easier to store in one large, covered bowl. Wait to store your chili in the fridge until it has had a chance to cool.
Final Meal Prep Steps
The final step for meal prep is clean-up. Give yourself at least 30 minutes to get your kitchen clean and organized. You may also want to rearrange your fridge to accommodate all your new containers.
And there you have it: 5 simple meal prep dinner recipes ready to serve throughout your busy work week!
Download Your Meal Prep Grocery List!
Now that you’ve got a meal prep guide to follow, download our free printable Meal Prep Grocery List so you can get started as soon as possible with adopting your new meal prep routine.
More Meal Prep Resources
Take your healthy eating routine to the next level with these extra resources: