Power Hour Meal Prep

Meal Prep Plan: A Week of Easy Sheet Pan Meals

published Oct 16, 2018
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)
(Image credit: The Kitchn)

Sheet pans are one of the true MVPs of the kitchen. They’re easy to cook with, easy to clean, and they pretty much ensure that — as long as you load them up with smart, quick-cooking ingredients — meals will basically make themselves in the oven. That’s why sheet pan recipes are often a centerpiece of my meal prep at home.

During this Power Hour, I use them to cook a week’s worth of breakfasts and lunches, then I prep ingredients for easy sheet pan dinners so that all you have to do come weeknights is toss it all together on the sheet pan and throw it in the oven. Let’s get started!

While I typically enjoy leftovers, my husband doesn’t quite share the same love. What we can agree on, however, are big-batch meals that can be eaten in a variety of different ways. Repurposing leftover ingredients changes things up just enough to keep meals interesting and prevent boredom.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

The one exception is lunch, where I’m happy sticking with one option for the week that can be made in its entirety ahead of time.

My Meal Prep Goals

  • Breakfast: A big-batch breakfast that can be eaten a bunch of different ways (at home or on the go) for myself and my husband (five days).
  • Lunch: Lunch that’s heavy on protein and veggies for me and my husband (four days).
  • Dinner: Prepped dinner ingredients so I’m not starting from zero every night, and meals that provide ample leftovers to be repurposed into another dinner (five days).
  • Nutritional Goals: While we don’t have any food restrictions, we focus our diet on whole foods, lots of veggies, and lean proteins.
(Image credit: The Kitchn)

Meal Prep Plan Snapshot

  • Feeds: Two people
  • Prep Time: About 2 hours
  • Meals Covered: About 80% (no weekend meals)
  • Weeknight Cooking Required? Moderate (15 to 20 minutes of light cooking to bring dinner together)

My Meal Plan



  • BBQ Tofu Bowls: Broccoli slaw with sheet pan BBQ tofu, roasted butternut squash zig-zags, black beans, and lemony yogurt dressing


(Image credit: The Kitchn)
(Image credit: Kelli Foster)

My Shopping List

Below are the ingredients I bought or used for this meal prep plan. I also relied on staples already in my pantry, like cooking oil, spices, flour, and yeast.

  • Produce: 1 pound broccoli, 2 pints cherry tomatoes, 1 bag broccoli slaw, 2 bell peppers, cucumber, carrots, asparagus, sliced mushrooms, 2 avocados, 2 bags butternut squash zig-zags, small potatoes, red onion, garlic, lemon, olives
  • Meat: 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, 2 pounds sirloin steak, sliced pepperoni
  • Dairy: Eggs, whole milk, 2 packages extra-firm tofu, Greek yogurt, low-moisture shredded mozzarella, feta
  • Pantry: Black beans, sliced sourdough bread, BBQ sauce, quinoa
(Image credit: The Kitchn)

Power Hour: How I Get the Prep Done

With under two hours on the clock, this plan walks you through prepping nearly all of your meals for the week ahead. My approach to meal prep is all about efficiency, multitasking, and embracing the “meanwhile.” This means I always start with the tasks that take the most time, and I aim to take advantage of those sporadic hands-off moments (the oven preheating, water coming to a boil, etc.).

My Sunday afternoon prep list is as follows (and we’ve created a handy pinnable image with the menu and prep list below, if you want to save this for later!):

  1. Make pizza dough: I start off by making the pizza dough in my stand mixer, then cover and let it rise (about an hour) while I tackle the rest of my meal prep. Later I’ll wrap the dough and store it in the freezer, with plans to take it out on Thursday morning to thaw in the fridge. Of course, you can also start with fresh pizza dough from the store.
  2. Roast butternut squash zig-zags: I toss the zig-zags with olive oil, salt, and pepper; adjust the oven racks to the upper and lower thirds of the oven; and heat the oven to 425°F. I roast the butternut squash zig-zags on the lower oven rack for about 15 minutes. When they’re done I transfer them to a container and wipe off the sheet pan, which I’ll use for the tofu. I lower the oven temp to 375°F.
  3. Cook quinoa: I quickly get a pot of quinoa going on the stovetop. It cooks for about 15 minutes, then steams for another five, and it doesn’t require much attention.
  4. Press tofu: This tofu recipe is best when as much liquid as possible can be pressed out first. I drain each package, then wrap each block with a clean dish towel, set them on a plate, and weigh them down with a cast iron skillet. I’ll come back to them in 15 to 20 minutes, after getting the frittata in the oven. When it comes out of the oven I’ll toss it with BBQ sauce.
  5. Roast vegetables for frittata: Everything for this frittata happens on a single sheet pan, which I love. I start by halving the cherry tomatoes and cutting the broccoli into small florets, then roast them on the upper rack of the oven for about 15 minutes.
  6. Cook frittata: While the vegetables cook, I whisk together the egg mixture. I pour the mixture directly onto the sheet pan and continue cooking the frittata for about 25 minutes.
  7. Cook tofu: Meanwhile, I tear the tofu into bite-sized pieces and toss them with a smoky spice rub. Once they’re arranged on the sheet pan, I slide it onto the bottom oven rack and cook for about 30 minutes (and toss once or twice).
  8. Prep salad bowl ingredients & dressing: While everything cooks, divide the slaw, black beans, and cooled roasted squash between lunch containers. I also whisk together a big batch of simple yogurt ranch dressing, which will be the dressing for the lunch bowls and for one of the dinners.
  9. Marinate chicken: Since I’m using boneless, skinless thighs for the chicken souvlaki, I decide to use the lemon-herb coating as a marinade for extra flavor. I mix together the marinade for the chicken, add the meat, mix until it’s well coated, then cover, and stash it in the fridge.
  10. Chop vegetables: I slice, dice, and chop all the vegetables that will be used for the chicken souvlaki, Greek chicken grain bowls, and sheet pan steak dinner. To keep the potatoes fresh and prevent browning, I store them in a container, covered in water.
(Image credit: The Kitchn)
(Image credit: The Kitchn)

A Week of Sheet Pan Meals

Here’s how all that prep turns into ready-to-eat breakfasts, grab-and-go lunches, and dinners that have a helpful head start.

Breakfast: While I’ve made just one breakfast option for the week, this simple vegetable frittata can be repurposed a variety of different ways, which keeps breakfast interesting for my family. We alternate between eating the reheated frittata partnered with fresh fruit (and maybe a slice of toast for my husband) and layering it on a couple slices of sourdough with a swipe of Dijon for an easy breakfast sandwich. By the end of the week, there’s not quite enough frittata for it to be a meal on its own, so we use it as a topping for avocado toast.

Lunch: Lunches are the place in the day where we try to keep things as easy as possible and as a result have the most willingness for repetitive meals. This week is a take on BBQ tofu bowls, with a broccoli slaw base, black beans, and roasted butternut squash. We’ll keep the yogurt dressing on the side and add at lunchtime. They’re hearty and filling, but not so much that it weighs us down for the afternoon.

Dinner: I kick off the week with a lemony-herb chicken souvlaki sheet pan supper that also includes sliced bell peppers and potatoes. The recipe calls for bone-in chicken thighs with a sauce that’s brushed over part-way through cooking, but I use boneless, skinless thighs instead and turn the sauce into a marinade. On Tuesday I cook up a simple and hearty steak and veggie supper. To use up the leftovers, I repurpose the remaining chicken into Greek-inspired grain bowls on Wednesday, and Thursday night we make the most of the last bits of steak by turning them into sandwiches. To cap off the week, the pizza dough is used for an easy sheet pan pizza.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

If you’ve never made a sheet pan supper before, this is a great way to get started. And if they’re a regular part of your meal plan, hopefully this gives you some fresh inspiration.

If you’re not specifically looking for sheet pan recipes, there are even more Power Hours coming your way. (See all the plans so far here.). If sheet pan meals are a staple in your house, I’d love for you to share your own favorite meals and meal prep strategies below!

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.