Meal prep is an incredible concept and can make eating healthy, especially plant-based, much easier. The hardest part about it is knowing what to make to ensure a tasty, filling, and healthy meal that will taste good later. We give you the four best recipes that are perfect for cooking ahead of time.
What is meal prepping?
If you don’t already know, meal prep is just as it sounds: preparing your meals ahead of time. Which is a great way to stay on track and ensure you’re eating healthy and making conscious decisions.
Most often, we get a skewed concept of meal prepping because we see big strong guys eating out of Tupperware with brown rice, broccoli and chicken. That’s one way to do it, but that’s not how we do it around here.
What can you meal prep?
Ideally, you want to choose recipes and meals that can:
- Be made easily in bulk
- Can be portioned into containers and stored
- That you know you enjoy
Cooking in bulk is less stressful when it’s simple and easy, portioning directly after cooking will save you time in the future, so when you leave for work on Monday you can either take all the meals with you to store there or take one every morning.
Plus, it helps immensely if you enjoy the meals you make. Then you’ll be looking forward to your meal and less likely to choose something else. It’s all about making it easier to hold yourself accountable.
Easy Meal Prep Recipes
All printable versions of recipes can be found at the bottom of post.
This one is seriously good, and the best part about it is it takes just 5 minutes to prepare. It’s as simple as it gets.
Made with garbanzo beans, delicious spices like turmeric, paprika, and pepper, fresh garlic and your choice of vegan mayo or avocado, this eggless salad can go inside a wrap or between two slices of bread.
It’s finished off with diced red onion, tomato, and pickles (pickles are the best part) and a crisp leafy green like spinach or kale.
Add a cup of berries, grapes, sliced apple, or other fruit for a filling and delicious meal.
This is one of my favorites. I used to make this when I was interning in California. I hardly had time at all to cook anything, I was gone all day working and then worked out immediately after work. Sometimes, I ate it twice a day.
Plus, I was a college student living in California, if you can imagine, I was pretty broke. But that didn’t stop me from eating healthy.
This recipe brings together all your favorite (healthy) burrito ingredients perfectly with just the right spices; quinoa, black beans, peppers, and onion. Overall, it’s simple and versatile – you can always switch out quinoa for rice, black beans for pinto beans, or use red peppers one week and green the next. It’s up to you!
Quinoa is a great cook-in-bulk grain, so keep in mind that this recipe and the next (the Mediterranean bowls) both use quinoa.
Most of the ingredients are combined and spiced in the same pan, which will in turn be warmed up later together, but if you choose to use fresh romaine, salsa, and nutritional yeast, you’ll need to have those in containers on the side to combine before eating.
We also found that when we make these burrito bowls, we think the leftovers actually taste better the next day.
An important side note, we (highly) recommend making some cilantro avocado lime sauce, too to pour over the top. It’s the bomb.
Like we said, quinoa is ideal for prepping in bulk and this recipe also uses quinoa as it’s base. Although, it is important to note that this quinoa is spiced differently than the burrito bowl. An easy way to do this is to divide the quinoa up into portioned bowls for either mediterranean or burrito (or both) and then spice in portioned containers, that way, there is no mix up.
This recipe is one of my favorites. In fact, I just made it yesterday to portion and take to work with me as lunch. I think I’d go as far as saying this is my favorite plant-based recipe that we’ve made so far. It’s that good.
Plus, the only “cooking” it requires it the quinoa. After that it’s seasoning, slicing and dicing – that’s it!
The ingredients for this recipe are very similar to the eggless salad wrap and it uses quinoa like the burrito bowls – that makes grocery shopping that much easier.
I made four lunches with: 1 cup of dry quinoa, 1 can of garbanzo beans, 1 tomato, 1 small red onion, 4 pickles, and about 4-6 tbsp of original hummus. Talk about bang for your buck.
When I prep these, I portion quinoa and garbanzo beans into one container (to then eat out of) and put my diced toppings and hummus in two other containers to add on top after warming, but you can eat this recipe cold, too, if you prefer.
We chose this pasta recipe because well, hence the name, it can be made in one pot. That makes it a great option to prep ahead of time, especially if you’re prepping other meals. One-pot is all you need!
Of course, if you choose to include the garlic butter mushrooms, you’ll need a sauce pan as well, but either way, this recipe uses minimal utensils and is super delicious.
This one could always be prepped for dinner time, if you get home from work and don’t feel like cooking or know you have a long couple of days, making one pot of this ahead of time could save you time later on.
The Best Part About Meal Prep
These four recipes we shared with you all share overlapping and versatile ingredients. This means that not only are they easy to make and store, but they make the overall shopping and preparation process easier for you as well.
Happy Meal Prepping!
This easy plant based spread is perfect for dipping pretzels and crackers, adding to a wrap with spinach, or over some fresh bread slices.
- 1 can Garbanzo Beans Rinsed
- 2 tbsp Vegan Mayo or 1/2 avocado
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 red onion chopped (optional)
- 1/2 tomato diced (optional)
- dill pickle chopped (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a Nutribullet or other blender
Pulse, shaking in between. Do not blend completely, you want it to be chunky.
Mix any unmixed parts by mashing and stirring with a fork
(optinal) mix in diced onion, tomato, and pickles to the mix
With spinach or your choice of leafy green, add to a tortilla for a wrap, or fresh bread slices for a sandwich.
Healthy Burrito Bowls
Flavorful homemade burrito bowls.
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water (broth)
- 1 can black beans
- 1 chopped red onion
- 1 chopped green pepper
- 2 chopped tomatos
- 1 avocado
- garlic salt
- black pepper
- chili powder
- red cayenne pepper
Cook quinoa (process depends on brand, so read instructions) but usually water or broth of choice, in a pot over high heat, bring to a boil, lower heat and cover.
Cook for ~15-20 minutes
In fry pan with olive oil over medium heat add garlic and chopped onion
Add chopped peppers and garlic salt, paprika, cumin, chili powder, red cayenne pepper (optional)
Once the vegetables are cooked, add beans
Fill a bowl with chopped romaine, top with vegetabales, add chopped tomato, salsa, avocado/guacamole
Mediterranean Inspired Quinoa Bowl
Nutrient packed, mediterranean inspired power bowl.
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1 can garbanzo beans warmed, rinsed
- 1 cup dill pickles chopped, diced
- 1 cup red onion chopped, diced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- original hummus
- crushed black pepper topping
In a small saucepan over high heat, combine 1 cup vegetable broth with 1/2 cup of quinoa, stir
Bring to a boil
Cover and lower heat for 20 minutes
After 20 minutes, stir in turmeric, garlic salt, and black pepper
Constructing the bowl
Heat garbanzo beans in another small saucepan (or microwave) keeping the liquid from the can
Rinse garbanzo beans and rinse with water
Lay a bed of quinoa
Add garbanzo beans, toppings, and hummus
Top with black pepper
One Pot Pasta
Delicious pasta that is all done in one pot.
- 1 box whole grain (vegetable) pasta
- 1/2 diced onion Red or White
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 roma tomatos
- 2 handfuls spinach
- 2 1/3 cups Vegetable broth
- 2 1/3 cups milk alternative unsweetened plain almond milk
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- olive oil
- 2 cups mushrooms (optional)
- italian seasoning
- garlic salt (optional)
- vegan butter (optional)
One Pot Pasta
Heat a deep pan over medium heat with olive oil
Add diced onion and garlic, stir and let cook until garlic goldens
Add Roma tomatoes, stir
Add salt, pepper, and italian seasoning to the vegetables, stir until coated evenly
Pour in vegetable broth and milk alternative, stir
Pour in 16 oz (1 box of pasta of your choice)
Cover and simmer for 10 minutes on medium-high heat
Uncover, stir in spinach and add Nutritional Yeast
Stir until completely combined. It should have a creamy like texture
Garlic Butter Mushrooms
Using a small fry pan, add 2 tbsp of vegan garlic butter over medium heat
Add washed, dried, and chopped white mushrooms, stirring to coat in butter
Sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper
Stir occasionally, letting cook for about 5-7 minutes
Turn on low heat to return to pasta
Top one-pot vegan pasta with garlic butter mushrooms and enjoy!