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January 29, 2024/Diet, Food & Fitness/Recipes

75 Healthy Meal Prep Ideas for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

No more scrambling to figure out what to eat during your busy week

Meal prepping various dishes for snack, lunch and dinner

Meal prepping can save you precious time and money and help you eat healthier on an ongoing basis. But what should you make?!

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“Think about meals you like to eat at restaurants and that others have made for you, then look for ways you can recreate them yourself,” suggests registered dietitian Elyse Homan, MS, RD, LD. “It can also help to choose themes like Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday and Fish Friday, which will help you narrow down your options.”

Whether you’re new to meal prepping or just looking for new ideas to invigorate your regular lineup, here are 75 healthy meal prep recipes to choose from. Happy prepping, and bon appétit!

Healthy meal prep recipes for breakfast

Breakfast is called the most important meal of the day, but too many people feel like they just don’t have time for it.

“Meal prep is a great way to be sure you have something on hand in the morning, which saves you the time and energy of whipping something up when you’re barely awake,” Homan says.

Here are a few of our favorite healthy breakfast meal prep ideas.

Smoothies, yogurt and more

Smoothies, overnight oats, chia seed pudding, yogurt parfaits … they’re all super-easy to make ahead of time and refrigerate for the week.

A quick word about smoothies, though: While you can freeze an entire smoothie, you’ll have to remember to thaw it out in the fridge overnight so you can eat it in the morning.

“Instead, portion out the ingredients ahead of time and pop them in your freezer until it’s time to make each individual smoothie,” Homan suggests.

Here are a few recipes we love for easy breakfast meal prep:

Muffins and breads

Yes, baking counts as meal prep! Whip up a batch of something tasty and healthy, and you can eat them all week long.

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Eggs

If you like your eggs runny, you’ll have to make them in the moment. But hard-boiled, scrambled and baked egg dishes all keep well if you make them in advance.

  • Broccoli Sausage Frittata takes about 45 minutes to make. When it’s time to eat, add some sliced avocado on top.
  • Frittata With Baby Greens and Feta can be stored and enjoyed for up to four days.
  • Hard-Boiled Eggs stay good for up to a week in the fridge, so make a bunch and pair them with fruit for an easy grab-and-go breakfast.
  • Quiche Cups are meant to be made ahead of time so you can eat them throughout the week. “They can also be frozen and reheated in the microwave,” Homan says.
  • Scrambled Eggs With Tomatoes, Herbs and Goat Cheese can be easily turned into breakfast burritos. Just portion them into tortillas, wrap them tightly in aluminum foil and freeze them in resealable plastic bags. Heat-and-eat for breakfast.
  • Veggie Omelet “Muffins” are made in a muffin tin and can include whichever veggies you like best.

Healthy meal prep recipes for lunch

Whether you’re looking for something to pack for the workday or just want to have ingredients on hand that you can easily throw together at home, meal prepping for lunch is one of the best ways to make sure you eat well amid busy days.

As with any meal, it’s best to include a variety of food groups to keep you feeling full and satisfied.

“Having a meal that includes protein, complex carbohydrates and produce can help keep your energy up and prevent the mid-afternoon crash,” Homan says. "It also helps you avoid feeling ‘hangry’ or ravished by the time you get home from work.”

Try these healthy lunch meal prep recipes:

Salads and bowls to meal prep

Salads are one of the most versatile of lunches, coming in as many varieties as you can possibly imagine. And because they’re served cold, there’s no need to reheat your meal-prepped dish. Just dig in!

“For green salads, store dressings on the side, or else your greens will wilt in storage,” Homan advises. “For pasta salads, though, include the dressing with your meal prep.”

Here are some of our favorite salads of all varieties:

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Healthy, homemade salad dressings

If you’re meal prepping a salad of your own creation but want to make your own dressing to go with it, here are some options that are easy to prep and enjoy all week:

Sandwiches and wraps to meal prep

Nothing says “grab and go” like a handheld that can go right from the fridge, onto your plate. Sandwiches and wraps are, of course, also easy to pack for work or school lunches, making them a perennial favorite for adults and kids alike.

“Aluminum foil will help your wraps stay tightly wrapped in the fridge until you’re ready to eat them,” Homan adds.

Try these recipes for tasty, healthy, easy lunches:

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Healthy meal prep recipes for dinner

There’s no reason you can’t make “lunch” meals, like salads, wraps and sandwiches, for dinner (or breakfast, for that matter!). But if you’re looking for dinner dishes that are slightly heartier, these recipes make meal prep easy — whether you’re cooking for just you or for a whole family.

Burgers, meatballs and more

Burgers and meatballs are ideal for meal prep because they’re easy to freeze. That means you can make some now to come back to much later.

But here’s an important tip: “Meat-based burgers and meatballs should go into the freezer uncooked,” Homan states.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says uncooked ground meat is good in the freezer for three to four months, so long as you choose freezer-safe storage methods. When it’s time to cook them, let them thaw in the refrigerator or pop them in the microwave before you start cooking.

Try these dinner meal prep recipes:

More easy dinners to meal prep

Whether you’re just prepping a main ingredient (like making a roasted chicken to use in various meals throughout the week) or creating and portioning out entire meals, here are a few main entrees that are great for dinnertime meal prep:

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Soups and chilis to meal prep

“Soups, stews and chilis are an ideal meal prep food,” Homan continues, “You can rotate recipes weekly and enjoy them for days at a time.”

Another bonus? They’re often better on the second day, once the ingredients have had some time to sit and meld together, which deepens the flavor of the dish.

Here’s a long and delicious list of some of our favorite soups to meal prep:

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