With the hot, humid days of summer, there's an even bigger benefit to sticking with your Sunday meal prep routine. You already know it can save you time during the week, but right now it also means keeping the kitchen cool and leaving the oven off on steamy weeknights. Heat up the kitchen just once to cook these seven versatile things, and you're in for a week of easy, no-sweat summer suppers.
1. A Pot of Grains
Cook up a pot of your favorite grains on Sunday, then reap the rewards all week long. Turn them into a hearty grain and fruit salad, or use them to bulk up salads, breakfast bowls, and wraps.
When making grains in advance it's always a good idea to cool them in a single layer on a baking sheet. It's an extra dish to wash, but worth it since it helps grains keep their toothsome texture and avoid sogginess.
Recipes to Use Up a Batch of Grains
2. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Hard-boiled eggs aren't just easy to cook — they're also an ideal candidate for being made ahead, as they last about a week in the fridge. You already know they're a good peel-and-eat snack on their own, but wrap them in a slice of deli ham or pair them with a thick spread of hummus, guac, or pesto, and they're even more appealing.
Get inspired: 10 Easy Ways to Snack on Hard-Boiled Eggs
3. Sweet Potatoes
Of all the roasted veggies to stash in your fridge for the week ahead, sweet potatoes are my favorite pick for being the most versatile of the bunch. These sweet spuds have a place on the table any time of day. Load them up with sweet or savory fillings for a breakfast potato, or pair with black beans and a few tortillas for one of the easiest taco nights ever. You can even layer sweet potatoes into a sandwich, collard wrap, or salad.
Recipes to Use Up a Batch of Sweet Potatoes
4. Rice and Soba Noodles
Boil a pot of water to cook these chewy noodles now, and cold noodle bowls will come together in a matter to minutes for easy weeknight dinners. Mix in crunchy veggies, pre-cooked or rotisserie chicken, and a creamy dressing. For extra insurance that the noodles won't clump together, rinse them very well after cooking, then toss with a tiny bit of olive or sesame oil.
Recipes to Turn Cold Noodles into a Meal
If there's one thing that's worth heating up the oven for, it's bacon. Cook a whole package on Sunday, then reap the rewards all week long when you crumble it into your salads, sandwiches, and grain bowls, or pair with some hard-boiled eggs for a quick and easy breakfast.
The easiest way to cook bacon: How To Make Perfect Bacon in the Oven
A frittata is a versatile, make-ahead wonder. It's just as good cold as it is fresh from the oven, and can be loaded with whatever veggies, herbs, meat, and cheese you have on hand.
Get a Frittata Recipe
7. Chicken Breast or Thighs or Shredded Pork
Get a jump on a cool week of easy dinners by cooking up meaty mains during Sunday meal prep. Shredded pork or chicken turns taco night into an even easier affair and instantly makes salad into a dinner-worthy dish, while sliced chicken breast is the start of a satisfying sandwich and noodle bowl topping.