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Meal Prep Plan: How I Prep a Week of Gluten-Free Meals in Just 2 Hours

published Oct 25, 2019
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Credit: Creative Studio; Food Stylist: Brett Regot; Prop Stylist: Stephanie Yeh
Credit: The Kitchn

Gluten-free eating doesn’t have to mean sacrificing flavor or settling for complex (and often sub-par) recipe substitutions. There is a bounty of foods that are naturally gluten-free, and when you meal prep with them, you’ll be set for a week of easy eating. Whether you’re eliminating gluten because of doctor’s orders or to feel your personal best, this plan will show you how to fill your plate with delicious and wholesome gluten-free foods at every meal.

Credit: Creative Studio; Food Stylist: Brett Regot; Prop Stylist: Stephanie Yeh

Set aside two hours on Sunday to meal prep and get ready for the week, and you’ll be rewarded with ready-made gluten-free meals to eat all week long. Some nights won’t require any cooking at all! This week, I relied on the Kenmore Ovation Stand Mixer as a second set of hands to streamline meal prep, helping me get it all done in just two hours. And since the mixer does the work of many bowls, whisks, and spatulas, there’s no tower of dirty dishes to tackle at the end. When the Power Hour is over, you’ll have a fridge full of meals to the delight of gluten-free eaters and bread devotees alike. Here’s how to do it.

Meal Prep Goals

  • Breakfast: A bistro-style make-ahead breakfast that is easy to eat at any temperature.
  • Lunch: Ready-made lunches you can eat straight from the fridge that keep you satisfied until dinner.
  • Dinner: A variety of wholesome dinners that come together quickly. 
  • Nutritional goals: Eating well-balanced and delicious gluten-free meals that will satisfy everyone at the table.
Credit: The Kitchn

Meal Prep Plan Snapshot

  • Feeds: Two adults and two kids for breakfast and dinner, plus two adults for lunch.
  • Prep Time: About 2 hours.
  • Meals Covered: About 80% (no weekend meals).
  • Weeknight Cooking Required: Minimal. Dinners require little to no cooking in the evenings, so plan to gather at the table in 30 minutes or less.

My Meal Plan




Credit: The Kitchn
Credit: Creative Studio; Food Stylist: Brett Regot; Prop Stylist: Stephanie Yeh

My Shopping List

This week’s shopping list is full of fresh produce, gluten-free grains, wholesome dairy, and lean proteins. Check your refrigerator, freezer, and pantry before shopping to avoid purchasing ingredients you already have stocked.

  • Meat: 2 pounds lean ground beef, 6 ounces bacon, 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • Dry Goods: balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, 3 cups coarse yellow cornmeal, 1 (24- to 26-ounce) jar marinara sauce, Marcona almonds, 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, 1 tablespoon gochujang, corn tortillas
  • Produce: 13 garlic cloves, 2 small onions, 1 jar oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, baby arugula, baby spinach, berries, 4 sweet potatoes, 6 shallots, 4 scallions, 3 bunches beets (golden and red), 3 lemons, 2 bunches kale, 3/4 pound English cucumber, 1 jalapeno, 1 (16-ounce) container fresh tomato salsa, 2 limes, 4 avocados, 1 bunch fresh parsley, 1 bunch fresh thyme, 1 bunch fresh mint, 1 bunch cilantro, 1 red onion
  • Dairy: 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese, 13 large eggs, 6 ounces sour cream, 4 ounces goat cheese, 2 cups whole milk, 4 cups whole-milk ricotta
  • Pantry: Kosher salt, black pepper, vegetable oil, olive oil, red pepper flakes, cream of tartar, cumin (1 teaspoon ground and 2 tablespoons whole seed), smoked paprika, Italian seasoning, granulated (or superfine) sugar, vanilla extract
Credit: The Kitchn

Power Hour: How I Get the Prep Done

I set aside two hours at the start of the week to meal prep. The first half of this Power Hour was focused on prep work. Slow-cooking chicken and roasting root vegetables takes time, so that’s where I began. I kept things moving, replacing sheet pans with polenta squares and the egg bake as soon as the oven was free. I used the Kenmore Ovation Stand Mixer to move efficiently through the prep list for everything from blending eggs to whipping cheeses and mixing meatballs. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Cook Slow Cooker Salsa Pulled Chicken. Begin this Power Hour with slow cooker salsa chicken. Add half of a (16-ounce) container fresh salsa to a 6-quart slow cooker. Nestle boneless, skinless chicken breasts into the salsa in an even layer, then pour the remaining salsa over top. Set the slow cooker aside to cook on high for 1 to 2 hours, or until a probe thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken reads 165oF.
  2. Roast vegetables. Prepare the beets following this recipe. Toss washed and trimmed beets (making sure to leave one golden beet raw) with olive oil, salt, and pepper on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Cover with a second sheet of aluminum foil and crimp the edges to make a packet. Roast in a 425oF oven for about 60 minutes or until tender. Roast the sweet potatoes for the egg bake in the oven rather than cooking on the stovetop, since we’re roasting extra sweet potatoes to serve for lunch. Coat diced sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread into a single layer on a second baking sheet. Place in the oven with the beets and roast 20 to 25 minutes or until tender and beginning to brown, tossing once. Cool and peel the roasted beets, then slice into wedges or cubes. Refrigerate beets for lunches and Wednesday’s dinner. Transfer half of the sweet potato to a storage container for lunches and reserve the other half for the potato egg bake.
  3. Assemble and bake Breakfast Polenta Squares with Spinach & Bacon and Spicy Kale and Sweet Potato Egg Bake. Once the beets and sweet potatoes come out of the oven, reduce the temperature to 350oF. I streamlined prep by baking the Breakfast Polenta Squares with Spinach & Bacon and Spicy Kale and Sweet Potato Egg Bake at the same time. The polenta squares have a longer bake time, so prepare them first. Use kitchen shears to quickly chop the bacon and brown in a skillet until crispy. Add diced onion, then spinach to the bacon. Blend the eggs, milk, cornmeal, and half of the Parmesan cheese in the Kenmore Ovation Stand Mixer. Combine bacon mixture with egg mixture, pour into a 9×13-inch baking dish, and whisk in 4 cups boiling water. Bake for 20 minutes, whisk very well, then continue to bake 30 to 40 minutes. Top with the rest of the Parmesan cheese, cool, and refrigerate. Next, sauté minced garlic and chopped kale for the Spicy Kale and Sweet Potato Egg Bake. Plan to do this in two batches, as you’re doubling the kale to have enough for lunches. Put the first batch of kale into a container for lunch; season the second with cumin and paprika, then transfer it to a greased 2-quart baking dish for the egg bake. Add the reserved roasted sweet potatoes and onion. Use the Kenmore Ovation Stand Mixer to blend the eggs, sour cream, gochujang, and salt. Pour the egg mixture over the kale and sweet potatoes. Bake in the oven alongside the polenta squares.
  4. Make Warm Chickpea Salad with Cumin & Garlic. Toast cumin seeds and red pepper flakes until fragrant. Add garlic, 1 (15-ounce) can drained chickpeas, and sun-dried tomatoes, and sauté until coated in the oil and spices. Stir in chopped parsley, mint, and the zest and juice of 1 lemon. Transfer to a container and refrigerate. The salad will be served warm for dinner, so dice the cucumber and store separately to maintain its cool crunch. Add the second can of chickpeas when you reheat the salad, making sure to reserve the chickpea liquid (or aquafaba) from the can. Use that liquid to make Chickpea Whipped Cream and serve with fresh berries for dessert.
  5. Make Whole30 Italian Meatballs. Turn the Kenmore Ovation Stand Mixer on low to gently mix the beef, finely chopped onion, parsley, garlic, Italian seasoning, and egg until combined. Scoop into 1 1/2-inch balls and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  6. Make dressing for Roasted Beet Salad. Combine shallot, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper in a lidded jar. Peel and thinly slice the remaining golden beet. Refrigerate dressing and sliced beet separately.
  7. Whip goat cheese for Roasted Beet Salad. Combine goat cheese and olive oil in the Kenmore Ovation Stand Mixer and whip on medium to medium-high speed until light and spreadable. Refrigerate in a small food storage container.
  8. Make Dorie Greenspan’s Ricotta Spoonable. Double the recipe to serve for lunch all week long. In the Kenmore Ovation Stand Mixer fitted with the flat beater attachment, whip the ricotta, lemon zest, lemon juice, shallots, scallions, olive oil, salt, and pepper together until well-mixed. Add the herbs through the pour-in top of the mixer and mix on low until incorporated. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate.
  9. Shred Slow Cooker Salsa Pulled Chicken. Use tongs to transfer the cooked chicken to the bowl of the mixer. Turn the mixer on low and shred the chicken using the flat beater attachment. Transfer to an airtight container with any salsa remaining in the slow cooker and refrigerate.
Credit: Creative Studio; Food Stylist: Brett Regot; Prop Stylist: Stephanie Yeh
Credit: The Kitchn
Credit: The Kitchn


Breakfast Polenta Squares with Spinach & Bacon: This breakfast casserole doesn’t rely on bread for its bulk; it uses cornmeal instead. Serve cheesy, custardy polenta squares at any temperature to start the morning.


Dorie Greenspan’s Ricotta Spoonable: Warm the roasted beets, sweet potatoes, or kale in the microwave just long enough to take the chill off. Portion a generous scoop — about 1/3 cup — herbed ricotta into a bowl or lunch container, then top with the warm vegetables.


  • Monday: Tacos with Slow Cooker Salsa Pulled Chicken and Guacamole: Start the week with an easy taco dinner. Mash avocados with lime and garlic to make guacamole. Reheat chicken in a pot on the stove or in the microwave until hot. Toast corn tortillas in a skillet, then wrap in a clean kitchen towel to keep warm. Assemble tacos tableside, adding your favorite fixings, from sliced red onion to cilantro and the freshly-made guacamole.
  • Tuesday: Whole30 Italian Meatballs with Marinara and Creamy Stovetop Polenta: When it comes to cradling marinara-sauced meatballs, creamy cornmeal polenta is superior to spaghetti in every way. This method for making polenta is ideal for dinner prep. Start the polenta first. Boil the water, then whisk in the polenta and cook until thickened slightly. Cover pot and keep cooking for 30 to 40 minutes, but only stir every 10 minutes or so. While the polenta cooks, heat oil in a large skillet and brown the meatballs. Pour in store-bought marinara sauce, then simmer until the meatballs are cooked through and the polenta is done. Ladle polenta into shallow bowls and top with meatballs, sauce, and a dusting of Parmesan cheese. 
  • Wednesday: Roasted Beet Salad with Whipped Goat Cheese: There’s no cooking required for tonight’s dinner. The oil in the salad dressing may have solidified, so take the dressing out of the refrigerator as soon as you get home. Spoon goat cheese onto the bottom of a plate or shallow bowl. Top with roasted red and golden beets and a few slivers of raw beet. Finish with arugula, Marcona almonds, and maple-balsamic dressing.
  • Thursday: Spicy Kale and Sweet Potato Egg Bake: Tonight is another no-cook, gluten-free meal. Remove the egg bake from the refrigerator to take the chill off. Serve at room temperature or cook in a low oven (300oF) until warmed through. Serve alongside leftover arugula from Wednesday’s dinner to finish the meal.
  • Friday: Warm Chickpea Salad with Cumin & Garlic and Chickpea Whipped Cream with fresh berries: Drain and rinse the chickpeas from the final unopened can, making sure to reserve the liquid. Add a teaspoon of oil to a large skillet, add the chickpeas and the prepared chickpea salad, and toss to combine. Cook until warm over medium heat. Remove from the stove and stir in the chopped cucumber just before serving to add a cool, crunchy contrast to the warm, spiced chickpea salad. Use the reserved chickpea liquid to make Chickpea Whipped Cream. Turn the Kenmore Ovation Stand Mixer to medium speed and pour the chickpea liquid, cream of tartar, and vanilla through the pour-in top of the mixer. With the mixer still on, slowly add the sugar, whipping until soft peaks form. Spoon the chickpea whipped cream over fresh berries for dessert.
Credit: Creative Studio


Power Hour Meal Prep is the series where we help you put it all together. We show you how to eat well during the week with an hour or two of Power Hour prep over the weekend. Every plan is different; mix and match to find your own personal sweet spot.