Power Hour Meal Prep

Power Hour: How I Prep a Week of One-Pot Breakfasts, Lunches, and Dinners in Just 2 Hours

published Jan 21, 2022
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winter meals, prepared in storage and cooking vessels on a wood surface
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell
Credit: Kitchn
Power Hour Meal Prep

At Kitchn, we believe the fewer pots and pans required to get a meal on the table, the better. That’s why we love one-pot recipes, which typically come together quickly and never leave us with a mountain of dishes in the sink.

This winter-ready Power Hour meal plan is built around satisfying and cozy one-pot recipes. In a meal prep session of under two hours, you’ll have prepped a week’s worth of wholesome breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that are seasonal and delicious — and let a single pot do most of the work. Here’s how to make it happen.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

Meal Prep Goals

  • Breakfast: A simple option that just needs to be reheated (five days).
  • Lunch: Two satisfying choices that require little to no time to prepare (five days).
  • Dinner: A mix of quick-cooking and already-cooked winter meals that come together in just one pot (four days).
  • Nutritional Goals: No set goals, but all meals are wholesome and satisfying.
Credit: The Kitchn

Meal Prep Plan Snapshot

  • Feeds: 2 adults
  • Prep Time: Under 2 hours
  • Meals Covered: About 75% (no Friday night or weekend meals)
  • Weeknight Cooking Required? Moderate (about 5 to 20 minutes of quick cooking and reheating)

Meal Plan

Breakfast

Lunches

Dinners

Credit: The Kitchn

Shopping List

This week’s shopping list leans on wholesome ingredients like vegetables, beans, and whole grains. It assumes cooking basics like olive oil, salt, and pepper are already on hand.

  • Produce: 1 pound broccoli, 1 pint cherry tomatoes, 3 Roma tomatoes, 1 head of garlic, 3 yellow onions, 1 avocado, 1 bunch cilantro or scallions, 1 small bunch basil
  • Meat: 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • Refrigerated: 1 dozen large eggs, 1 quart whole milk, 1 (8-ounce) bag shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, 1 small chunk Parmesan cheese, 1 stick unsalted butter, 1 head celery, 2 medium carrots
  • Frozen: 1 bag frozen corn kernels
  • Pantry: 2 (32-ounce) cartons low-sodium chicken broth, ground cumin, long-grain white rice, chili powder, bay leaves, barbecue sauce, 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, salsa, 1 pound orzo pasta, 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, pearled barley, all-purpose flour, 2 (32-ounce) cartons low-sodium vegetable broth
  • Other: Whole-grain sandwich rolls or tortillas
Credit: The Kitchn

Power Hour: How to Get the Prep Done

  1. Bake frittata: ​​Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 375°F. Prepare the sheet pan frittata according to recipe instructions.
  2. Make burrito bowls. While the frittata bakes, prepare the BBQ chicken burrito bowls on the stovetop according to recipe instructions. Let cool while you prepare the soup.
  3. Prepare mushroom soup. While the burrito bowls cool, make the mushroom and barley soup according to the recipe instructions.
  4. Pack up everything. Cut the frittata into individual squares and refrigerate in an airtight container. Refrigerate the burrito bowls in individual airtight containers or one large airtight container. Refrigerate the soup right in the lidded pot or in a large airtight container.
Credit: Kitchn
Credit: The Kitchn
Credit: Joe Lingeman

A Week of Hearty & Healthy One-Pot Winter Meals

Breakfast

Warm frittata squares in the microwave and enjoy as is or tucked into a roll or tortilla; serve with a clementine on the side.

Lunch 

  • Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday: Reheat servings of the chicken burrito bowls and garnish with a mixture of your favorite toppings: BBQ sauce, shredded cheese, sour cream, diced avocado, salsa, chopped cilantro, or sliced scallions.
  • Wednesday and Friday: Rewarm servings of leftover orzo and chickpeas in the microwave or on the stovetop, adding a splash or two of water, as needed, to loosen it up.

Dinner

  • Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Mushroom and Barley Soup: Rewarm servings of mushroom and barley soup.
  • Tuesday, One-Pot Orzo with Tomatoes & Chickpeas: Prepare the orzo according to recipe instructions. Enjoy portions and refrigerate the rest for lunch.
  • Friday: Reward yourself with takeout from your favorite neighborhood restaurant.

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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.