Meal Prep Plan: How I Prep a Week of High-Protein Meals Packed with Veggies
You want to load up on all the veggies at mealtime, but you also want a meal that’s totally filling and won’t leave you reaching for a snack in an hour. If it feels tricky to have both, this meal plan shows you just how achievable (and easy!) it is. This one-week plan is all about loading up on a variety of vegetables and leaning on high-protein ingredients to keep every meal filling and satisfying.
With about two hours of meal prep, this Power Hour sets you up with a week of fully prepared breakfasts and lunches. You’ll also cook one dinner in advance and prep the remainder, so weeknight cooking is kept to the bare minimum with just about 20 minutes in the kitchen. Here’s how to do it.
Meal Prep Goals
- Breakfast: A make-head breakfast that can skew sweet or savory depending on toppings (five days).
- Lunch: A satisfying lunch that’s assembled in advance and just needs to be reheated (five days).
- Dinner: Nourishing and filling meals that are loaded up on vegetables and can be prepped in advance or come together easily during the week (five days).
- Nutritional Goals: The goal for this week’s plan is to keep each meal high in protein and include a variety and ample amount of vegetables.
Meal Prep Snapshot
- Feeds: Two people
- Prep Time: About 2 hours
- Meals Covered: About 85% (you’ll have some leftovers for a couple of weekend lunches and/or dinner)
- Weeknight Cooking Required? Moderate. Up to 20 minutes of cooking or simple reheating is required on weeknights, but all the slicing and chopping is already complete.
This week’s shopping list relies on a mix of produce, dry and refrigerated pantry basics, and store-bought conveniences. Shop your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer before setting foot in the store (or opening your grocery delivery app) to avoid adding items to the cart that you already have on hand. I also used staple ingredients — like olive and vegetable oils, kosher salt, and black pepper — that are not listed here.
- Produce: 2 large lemons, 3-inch piece fresh ginger, 1 container berries, 1 avocado, 10 ounces baby spinach, 2 medium yellow onions, 1 small red onion, 2 medium red bell peppers, 1 1/2 pounds broccoli, 1 head garlic, 1 medium head butter lettuce, 1 medium tomato, 1 medium English cucumber, 1/2 pound zucchini, 1/2 pound yellow squash, 1 small bunch fresh cilantro, 1 (14-ounce) bag coleslaw mix, 1 small bunch scallions
- Refrigerated & Frozen: Greek yogurt, 4 large eggs, 2 ounces feta cheese
- Meat & Seafood: 1 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, 2 (4- to 6-ounce) boneless pork chops (about 3/4-inch thick), 1 pound ground pork, 2 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
- Pantry: 1 cup quinoa, 2 cups steel-cut oats, 6 cans chickpeas, ground cumin, ground turmeric, garlic powder, dried Italian seasoning, dried oregano, 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, 16 ounces salsa, 2 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce), 1 teaspoon rice vinegar, 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- Bakery: 6 pita breads
Power Hour: How to Get the Prep Done
- Cook chicken and veggies. While the oven heats to 500°F, cut the chicken breasts and broccoli into bite-sized pieces and cut the bell peppers into 1-inch chunks. Cook on a sheet pan according to the recipe instructions for about 20 minutes. Cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, cook the grain bowl base.
- Make grains. Cook the quinoa and steel-cut oats for the breakfast grain bowls, according to the recipe instructions, for about 25 minutes. Cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, cook the eggs.
- Hard-boil eggs. Hard-boil 4 eggs on the stovetop, to top the breakfast grain bowls. Cool completely and store in a bowl in the refrigerator.
- Sauté greens. Use large, high-sided pan. Wipe clean and use again for chickpea mixture.
- Make chickpea pitas. Prepare the chickpea and vegetable filling for the pitas according to the recipe instructions. Cool the filling completely. Once cooled, slice the pitas in half, fill the pita pockets, and wrap each pita half tightly in aluminum foil. Store at least 10 of the wrapped pitas (there will be 12 total) in a large resealable bag in the refrigerator. There will be 2 extra pitas; store them in the refrigerator to eat over the weekend, or store in a separate resealable bag in the freezer.
- Prep vegetables. Prep half the amount of vegetables for the Greek Salmon Salad and Salsa Pork Chops, and the full amount for the Egg Roll Skillet. For the salmon salad, thinly slice 1/2 of the red onion, tear the lettuce into bite-sized pieces, cut the tomato into 1-inch pieces, quarter half of the cucumber and cut into 1/2-inch pieces, and cut the olives in half lengthwise. Add everything to a large bowl, crumble the feta and add to the top, cover, and store in the refrigerator. For the salsa pork chops, cut the zucchini and yellow squash into 1/2-inch-thick half-moons, and store in a covered container in the refrigerator. For the Egg Roll Skillet, dice 1 medium yellow onion, mince 3 cloves garlic, and peel and mince a 1-inch piece fresh ginger. Place the onion in one small airtight container and the garlic and ginger in a separate airtight container, and store in the refrigerator.
- Make dressing. Make half of the dressing for the Greek Salmon Salad according to the recipe instructions. Store in a jar or other airtight container in the refrigerator.
Everyday will start with a breakfast grain bowl. To keep things interesting, change up the toppings to alternate between a sweet and savory breakfast. Toppings like Greek yogurt and hard-boiled egg will also give breakfast an added protein boost.
- Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, Sweet Breakfast Grain Bowl: Each morning reheat two portions of the grain bowl base, loosening the mixture with water or milk (dairy or non-dairy), if desired. Top with Greek yogurt and fresh berries.
- Tuesday and Thursday, Savory Breakfast Grain Bowl. Each morning reheat two portions of the grain bowl base, loosening the mixture with water or broth, if desired, and two portions of the sautéed greens. Top with a sliced hard-boiled egg.
Each day reheat two chickpea pita halves, uncovered, in a 325°F regular or toaster oven until warmed through, about 20 minutes.
- Monday, Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggies: Reheat half of the chicken breast, broccoli, and bell peppers in a 350°F oven until just warmed through, about 10 minutes.
- Tuesday, Greek Salmon Salad: Transfer 1 1/2 tablespoons of the prepared vinaigrette to a baking dish large enough for the salmon fillets. Coat the fillets and marinate in the refrigerator while the oven heats to 425°F. Cook the salmon according to the recipe instructions, for 8 to 12 minutes. Divide the salad between two bowls or plates, top each with a salmon fillet, drizzle with vinaigrette, and dig in. Dinner comes together in about 20 minutes.
- Wednesday, Leftover Chicken and Veggies: Reheat the remainder of the chicken breast, broccoli, and bell peppers in a 350°F oven until just warmed through, about 10 minutes.
- Thursday, One-Skillet Salsa Pork Chops: The prep work for tonight’s dinner is done and it just requires less than 15 minutes of cooking. Cook the pork chops according to the recipe instructions, and dig in to a saucy supper.
- Friday, Egg Roll Skillet: Prepare the stir-fry according to the recipe instructions. The whole thing comes together in less than 15 minutes. Save the leftovers for a lunch or dinner over the weekend.