11 Tools Our Editors Swear by for Making Meal Prep a Breeze

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Wintery meal prep laid out on surface.
Credit: Photo: Julia Gartland; Food Stylist: Jessie YuChen

Weekly meal prep schedules, like gym memberships, are a popular way to kick start a new year. But, thankfully, unlike exercising, you don’t have to consistently stick with a meal prep plan to reap the benefits. Whenever you want to have a week where you do little to no cooking on most days and save money by grocery shopping more strategically, you can — and we have the kitchen tools that make getting into meal prep easy.

Our editors tested and approved every one of these tools, and love how much they help with cooking and storing food in larger batches. They also appreciate how much time they save you in chopping and mixing ingredients, which is often the most potentially daunting part of meal prep. Check out our favorite meal prep essentials to make the most of your meal prep goals — even if it just means making one lunch for tomorrow!

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Great Jones

Our favorite meal prep plans often call for oven-roasting foods, and these stylish and durable sheet pans are the ones you want to have for the job. High heat from crisping up chicken thighs and caramelizing vegetables doesn't wear these sheets down — even the bright color lasts after repeated use. After using hers for over two years, our editor Danielle found that they held up just as well as high-grade sheet pans from a restaurant supply store, which is no easy task.

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When you're looking for containers to hold all your delicious meals, choose ones that will last a long time and stand up to repeated use. Our editor Meredith, who also does private meal prep catering, prefers these glass Pyrex containers because she knows they will never let her (or her clients) down. The full 18-piece set gives you plenty of options to hold a week's worth of meals (as well as snacks and dips).

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Our Place
was $40.00

Having ample room to slice and dice all your ingredients may feel like a tiny consideration, but it makes a big difference. Food pieces fall off too-small cutting boards too easily and become annoying to have to constantly pick up. Plus, a bigger workspace lets you transfer cut-up ingredients to a pot all at once. Our editor Stella loved all the details that make this a comfortable cutting board to use over and over again, especially the non-slip edges and plastic construction that prevents knife marks.

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For a knife that is sharp enough to slice both tomatoes and animal parts, sturdy enough to withstand thousands of chops, and large enough to work through big batches of produce, our editor Ian recommends this Amazon-favorite chef's knife. This is suited especially well to meal prep because the wide and square blade doubles as a bench scraper to efficiently move ingredients.

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Williams Sonoma

Food processors offer amazing shortcuts when you're doing meal prep because in a matter of seconds they can do all the mincing and dicing that would have taken you many minutes. They're also great for making smaller batches of sauces or dressings when you don't want to break out a full-size blender. Our editor Ian loved how this mini food processor took up minimal space in his kitchen and lets you switch between different cutting styles without having to swap in a different blade.

6 / 11
was $545.00

When you're cooking a sizable quantity of anything, you need pots and pans that have room for all your ingredients. The 4.5-quart sauté pan and 6.5-quart Dutch oven from Caraway's best-selling set can handle large batches of meats and veggies for you to pack up for the week. Our editor Danielle loved how the remarkably slick non-stick surface makes cooking feel seamless because you never have to stop to scrape off food, and how it makes cleanup a breeze.

7 / 11
was $249.95

Make quick work of salad dressings, marinades, and even soups in this compact blender from the brand loved by home cooks and professional chefs alike. Its sharp blades and powerful motor blend smoothies and acai bowls without a problem, and while it comes with a tamping tool, our editor Lisa found she didn't need it! Volume markers on the inside of the container are also helpful for measuring large quantities.

8 / 11
was $34.99

Food containers with compartments are ideal when you're meal prepping because they keep ingredients separate until you're ready to mix them. This is a big plus for salads that have dry ingredients that you don't want to get soggy and dressing that you don't want to let oversaturate your greens. Our editor Britt found that this self-contained design helped her eat more homemade salads and avoid spending money going out for lunch. Bentgo also makes a kids version that reliably keeps sandwiches, crackers, cut-up fruit, veggies, and dips totally separate.

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Bed Bath & Beyond
was $49.99

Save yourself from washing one more cup by enjoying blended drinks right from this handheld blender. Our editor Tamara liked how it helped her increase her fruit intake, and because it's USB-C rechargeable, you never have to worry about buying batteries. If you're a smoothie lover, try bagging up pre-portioned ingredients at the start of the week so you can pour them in here and have a tasty drink in seconds.

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was $109.00

Because meal prep inevitably involves working on multiple dishes at the same time, you can produce more consistent results and prevent yourself from feeling overwhelmed if you enlist some help. An instant-read thermometer lets you know exactly when something in the oven is ready so you don't waste time wondering or accidentally taking it out too early. Our editor-in-chief Faith swears by this specific model because it works super quickly — the temperature displays in less than a second — and is always reliable.

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was $52.99

If you want to include a hearty quiche into your meal prep plan or add a little dessert (and why not?), this small-space friendly mixer is perfect for beating large quantities of eggs and whipping up fluffy whipped cream. The real stroke of genius here is that you can choose to use this as either a handheld mixer or as a stand mixer. Just pop the mixer off the base — or leave it on — and get to work. Our editor Ian had never seen a two-in-one mixer like this before and ended up being extremely glad he chose it over the more costly and heavy models.