Power Hour Meal Prep

Meal Prep Plan: How I Prep a Week of Easy Keto Meals

updated May 5, 2022
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

If feeling your best means eating keto by limiting carbs and fueling your body with lean proteins and good fats, then this meal plan is for you. The keto diet restricts carbohydrates to only 5 to 10 percent of daily calories, while prescribing that the bulk of one’s daily calories (70 to 80%) come from fat sources. 

Managing your macronutrients can feel like a full-time job, especially when you’re just starting out on a new eating regimen. Set yourself up for success by dedicating time at the beginning of this week to shop and prepare your meals.

In this Power Hour, I’ll share a week’s worth of keto-friendly breakfasts, lunches and dinners. With the recipes, shopping list, and meal prep plan in front of you, you’ll need just two hours to prepare the meals for the week. It’s easy to adapt this meal plan by adding whole grain sides and fruits for family members and children who are not following the keto diet.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

Meal Prep Goals

  • Breakfast: A protein-packed breakfast I can eat on the run (five days).
  • Lunch: Snacking-style bento box lunch full of texture and flavor (five days).
  • Dinner: Satisfying dinners I’d eat even if I wasn’t following the keto diet (five days).
  • Nutritional Goals: Meals in this week’s plan keep macronutrients within the recommended ranges for the keto diet. This means 60 to 75% of calories come from fat, 15 to 30% of calories come from protein, and 5 to 10% of calories come from carbohydrates.

Meal Prep Plan Snapshot

  • Feeds: 2 adults for breakfast and lunch, and 2 adults and 2 kids for dinner
  • Prep Time: About 2 hours
  • Meals Covered: About 80% (no weekend meals)
  • Weeknight Cooking Required? Moderate. Most ingredients are prepared, but require about 30 minutes of cooking to get dinner on the table.

Meal Plan




Credit: Patty Catalano

Shopping List

These are the ingredients I bought or used for this keto meal plan. Armed with this list, shop your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer before heading to the store to avoid purchasing ingredients you already have on hand. While you’re surveying your stock, double check staples like olive and vegetable oils, kosher salt, and black pepper as those items are not on this list.

  • Produce: 1 bunch basil, 1 bunch parsley, 3 cups baby spinach, kale, or arugula, 1 head garlic, 1-inch piece fresh ginger, 1 red bell pepper, 1 bunch scallions, 1 small and 1 large yellow onion, 12 ounces white button mushrooms, 4 zucchini, chili toppings (cilantro, avocado)
  • Deli: pre-made guacamole
  • Meat & Seafood: 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 2 pounds ground beef (or 1 pound ground beef and 1 pound ground pork), 1 pound ground pork, 24 ounces low- or no-sugar added bacon, 2 pounds thick-cut New York strip steaks
  • Dry Goods: red wine vinegar, sambal oelek or Asian chili garlic sauce, tamari or soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, cayenne, chili powder, dried oregano, nutmeg, ground cumin, hot smoked paprika, 1 1/4 cups almonds, 2 cups low-sodium beef or chicken broth, 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Dairy: 4 ounces cream cheese, 26 large eggs, 2 sticks unsalted butter, 10 whole milk string cheese sticks, 2 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese, 2 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese, 3 ounces goat cheese, 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chili toppings (sour cream, cheddar cheese)
  • Frozen: frozen riced cauliflower, 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, 12 ounces frozen zucchini noodles, 1 pound peeled and deveined raw shrimp
  • Alcohol: 1/2 cup dry red wine
  1. Hard-boil eggs. Begin meal prep by hard-boiling eggs. You’ll need 20 eggs to fill lunch boxes this week, so depending on the method, you may need to work in batches. No matter how you cook them, have an ice bath standing by to cool the eggs quickly. I like to peel the eggs right after cooling, but you can leave the shell on to maintain freshness for late-week lunches.
  2. Cook bacon. The best way to batch-cook bacon is in the oven. Heat the oven to 400°F. Depending on the size of your bacon strips, you’ll need to prepare 2 to 3 sheet pans. Line the sheet pan with aluminum foil for easier clean up and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Make keto chili. Prepare bean-free keto chili according to this recipe. I use kitchen shears to snip raw bacon into pieces directly into the pot. While the bacon renders its fat, dice the onion and mushrooms. Take your time browning the vegetables, making sure to scrape up the flavorful fond that develops on the bottom of the Dutch oven. Once cooked, remove from the heat and cool. Wait to add the vinegar until serving to bring brighten the flavors of the chili.
  4. Prep vegetables. Spicy Ground Pork and Zucchini Stir-Fry: Cut 3 zucchini into 1/2-inch thick half-moons. Shrimp Alfredo: Mince 2 cloves garlic. Garlic Butter Steak Bites: Mince 4 cloves garlic; chop 1/4 cup parsley. Combine garlic and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a small jar. Store the parsley separately. Easy Cheese and Vegetable Frittata: Dice 1 red bell pepper, chop 1/2 onion, quarter then slice 1 zucchini 1/4-inch thick, thinly slice 2 scallions.
  5. Make frittata. Once the bacon is crisp, prepare the frittata according to this recipe. Since goat cheese often comes in a 4-ounce package, I crumble the entire log into the frittata.
  6. Make stir-fry sauce. Combine tamari or soy sauce, fresh ginger, sambal oelek, and toasted sesame oil in a small lidded jar. Shake to combine then refrigerate until stir-fry night.
  7. Assemble stuffed chicken breasts. Thaw frozen spinach in the microwave and squeeze out excess water. Mix the spinach and cheese filling together in a bowl until well-combined. Cut a slit in the center of each chicken breast. Divide the filling evenly between the chicken breasts, filling the pockets. Refrigerate in an airtight container.
  8. Prep steak bites. Cut the New York strip steak into 1-inch cubes. Refrigerate in an airtight container.
Credit: Kitchn
Credit: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn


The Easy Cheese and Vegetable Frittata is cooked, sliced, and ready to eat. Reheat until just warm in the microwave or toaster oven each morning. Pair the frittata with a cup of bulletproof coffee if you need a jolt of caffeine to start the day (Net Carb: 7 grams).


Snack-style lunches are my preferred midday meal. I start nibbling mid-morning and finish through the 3 o’clock slump. Lunch this week is a Bacon Chips and Dip Keto Bento Box made with store-bought guacamole cups, crispy bacon, hard-boiled eggs, whole milk string cheese, and a handful of almonds (Net Carb: 3 grams).


  • Monday, Easy Keto Chili (Net Carb: 7 grams): Reheat the chili, then just before serving stir in a splash of red wine vinegar to awaken the flavors. Serve with your favorite keto-friendly toppings like sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, diced avocado, and cilantro.
  • Tuesday, Stuffed Chicken Breast with Spinach and Cheese (Net Carb: 4 grams): Season the stuffed chicken breasts on both sides with kosher salt. Heat oil in a cast iron skillet until shimmering. Cook until the chicken is brown on one side and releases easily from the pan. Flip, add a pat of butter to the pan and continue to cook until the chicken reaches 165°F. Cool slightly before slicing and serving.
  • Wednesday, Garlic Butter Steak Bites (Net Carb: 3 grams): Celebrate mid-week with garlicky, buttery caramelized steak bites. Season the cubed pieces of New York strip steak with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Melt 1 stick of butter in a skillet then add the steak. Sear until browned on two sides. Add the pepper-garlic mixture and garnish with the chopped parsley. Transfer the shrimp from the freezer to the refrigerator to thaw overnight.
  • Thursday, Shrimp Alfredo with frozen zucchini noodles (Net Carb: 3 grams): Prepare frozen zucchini noodles according to package directions. Pat the shrimp dry and season with kosher salt and black pepper. Melt butter in a skillet and cook until pink and opaque. Transfer the shrimp to a skillet and make the Alfredo sauce. Melt butter in the same skillet (no need to wash), then add garlic and cook until fragrant. Whisk in the heavy cream (you’re eating keto, after all!), Parmesan cheese, salt, nutmeg, pepper, and water. Cook until thick then add the shrimp and zucchini noodles, tossing to coat in the sauce.
  • Friday, Spicy Ground Pork and Zucchini Stir-Fry (Net Carb: 8 grams): This is one of my favorite meal prep recipes because with the stir-fry sauce made and zucchini sliced, getting dinner on the table happens in a matter of minutes. Cook the ground pork until browned and bite-sized. Then cook the zucchini. Combine the two and stir-fry in the sauce before serving over cauliflower rice.


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.