Our 50 Best Meal Prep Recipes of All Time

updated May 29, 2019
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(Image credit: Christine Han)

Inspiration can go a long way — and that’s definitely the case when it comes to meal prep. You might have the desire to prepare a bunch of things to eat through the week but knowing exactly what to make can sometimes feel overwhelming. Let this be your guide. We rounded up our 50 best meal prep-friendly recipes so you look to them easily, all in one spot. They include grab-and-go breakfast options, packable lunches, and dinners that take well to be reheated, along with some basics that can be incorporated into all three meals. Meal prep planning just got a whole lot easier.

The Best Grab-and-Go Breakfasts To Meal Prep

Incorporating breakfast into your meal prep plan is a smart play, especially if you’re the type who wakes up late and rushes out the door. All of the breakfast options below are items that can either freeze well, come together super quickly, or be re-used in a variety of ways throughout the week. (Or all of the above!)

The Best Packable Lunches To Meal Prep

Lunch is often the center of a meal prep plan, as it’s nice to have feel-good things to reach for instead of having to revert to your closest fast-casual spot. Sandwiches that can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator or freezer without getting soggy are wins, as well as hearty pasta, grain, bean, or green salads that won’t wilt. Here are several to choose from:

The Best (Balanced!) Bowls To Meal Prep

Well-rounded bowls that incorporate protein, vegetables, and whole grains can be enjoyed for either lunch or dinner, which is why they’re a great thing to have on a meal prep plan. Pick one to add to your plan and you can pack individual servings in containers to bring on-the-go or assemble the components at home in a bowl right before eating.

The Best Hearty Dinners To Meal Prep

The best meal plan-friendly dinners fall into two camps. They are either dishes that get better with age, like chili or a curry, or they are made almost fully in advance and just need a few minutes of time to bring together at night, like meatballs, which you just need to boil some spaghetti for.

The Best Basics To Meal Prep

Beyond actual composed dishes, prepping a few basics is a smart move that leaves you with more room for experimentation during the week. Boiled eggs or roasted vegetables can be used in salads or sandwiches, baked potatoes can become a side dish, and marinated beans can be piled on toast for lunch or even mashed and eaten with crackers as a snack.

How to Make Chimichurri Sauce (Image credit: Lauren Volo)

The Best All-Purpose Sauces To Meal Prep

Sauces aren’t an essential part of meal prep but if you do have the time to whip one up, you’ll quickly become a believer. Make one flavorful, versatile sauce like chimichurri or tahini and it can be used so many different ways through the week. You can dip raw vegetables into it as a snack, use it as a spread in a sandwich, drizzle it over a grain bowl, or even use it as a salad dressing.