The 10 Essential Things to Prep for Easier Weekday Meals

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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Meal prep is all about setting some time aside on the weekend (or a day that works best for your schedule) and cooking a food, or even a whole meal, to make feeding yourself and your family easier during the week. While this practice looks a little different for everyone, there are some versatile staples that you just can’t go wrong with adding to your meal prep session. Here are 10 to get you started.

Whether you’re cleaning out your crisper or starting with a fresh haul, roasting a batch of veggies is an invaluable addition to the week. It’s an instant side to round out whatever’s for dinner, and can be added to everything from a plate of scrambled eggs to sandwiches.

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

One of the great things about muesli is that it keeps for a while, so if you eat it regularly go ahead and make a double batch.

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(Image credit: Leela Cyd)

Hard-boiled eggs are always a good idea to include in your meal prep routine. They add a punch of satisfying protein to salads and grain bowls.

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(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

Since baked sweet potatoes take a while in the oven, they’re not very weeknight-friendly. Bake them over the weekend, then reheat and use them for breakfast or lunch, stuff them for dinner, or use them as a simple side dish.

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(Image credit: Faith Durand)

A pot of grains is a meal-prep must, and I lean towards brown rice since it’s so versatile. Use it for everything from Buddha bowls to stir-fries to soup. And of course you can eat it as a simple side that partners with anything.

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

The beauty of frittatas is that they’re just as tasty eaten chilled or at room temperature as they are fresh from the oven. Layered between a couple of slices of bread with a swipe of Dijon, it makes the most amazing lunch.

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Why bake a plain batch of tofu when you can take advantage of its chameleon-like ability to absorb any flavor it’s paired with? This version goes big by first coating the tofu with a smoky dry rub, then tossing it with plenty of sauce.

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

If you do just one thing during your meal prep session, make a sauce! In fact, make a double batch. This is the sauce I make more than any other, both for its flavor and versatility. I put it on everything from salads to sandwiches, and even use it as a dipping sauce.

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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

This slow cooker chicken is the gift that keeps on giving. Use it for sandwiches, tacos, salads, or pizza, then stash the leftovers (there will be leftovers!) in the freezer.

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(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

This might be called “Thanksgiving slaw,” but this is a recipe to keep in your meal plan all year long. It has a hearty base, which means it holds up well for a week of make-ahead lunches or as a simple side for dinner.

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