Power Hour Meal Prep

Meal Prep Plan: How I Prep a Week of Vegetarian Mediterranean Diet Meals In Just 2 Hours

updated Jun 28, 2021
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk

The Mediterranean diet, which is centered around whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and healthy fats like olive oil and avocado, was recently named the best way to get healthy in 2020. If you’re eager to get started on it, this meal prep plan will help you do just that.

Though seafood and lean protein like chicken is acceptable on the Mediterranean diet, this weekend’s Power Hour is strictly plant-based. It’s great for vegetarians and anyone who’s looking to eat less meat. Carve out about two hours for meal prep on Sunday, and you’ll be rewarded with an entire week of wholesome and colorful breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.

More Mediterranean Diet meal prep plans:

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

Meal Prep Goals

  • Breakfast: One easy no-prep option that’s wholesome and packable (five days).
  • Lunch: Alternating choices that make use of dinner leftovers (five days).
  • Dinner: Mediterranean-leaning meals that are full of flavor and come together easily (five days).
  • Nutritional Goals: All meals are both vegetarian and inspired by the Mediterranean diet.

Meal Prep Snapshot

  • Feeds: Two adults
  • Prep Time: About two hours
  • Meals Covered: About 80% (no weekend meals)
  • Weeknight Cooking Required? Light (10 to 15 minutes of light cooking to bring dinner together)

My Meal Plan


  • Greek yogurt with store-bought muesli and fresh fruit



Shopping List

This week’s shopping list is focused on the Mediterranean diet staples like vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and vegetarian-friendly protein, plus a few pantry items. It assumes staples like olive oil, salt, and pepper are already on hand.

  • Produce: 1 bag clementines, 1 bunch bananas, 1 large English cucumber, 1 bunch parsley, 2 large sweet potatoes, 2 medium yellow onions, 1 medium bunch Swiss chard, 1 lemon, 1 small head celery, 2 medium carrots, 12 ounces cremini mushrooms, 1 (5-ounce) box baby arugula
  • Refrigerated: 1 large tub plain Greek yogurt, 4 ounces garlic and herb goat cheese, 1 pound unsalted butter, 1 dozen eggs
  • Pantry: 1 box quinoa, 1 box pearled barley, 1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, 1 (6-ounce) jar Kalamata olives, 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, 2 quarts low-sodium vegetable broth, 1 box of dried penne pasta, red wine vinegar, dried oregano, dried bay leaves, ground cinnamon, za’atar, red pepper flakes, 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, all-purpose flour
  • Other: 1 bag or box of store-bought muesli
Credit: The Kitchn

Power Hour: How I Get the Prep Done

  1. Bake sweet potatoes. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the sweet potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until very tender, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool before refrigerating.
  2. Boil quinoa. Place 1 1/2 cups quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse well. Place the quinoa, 2 3/4 cups water, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a Dutch oven or large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and all the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  3. Prepare vegetables for soup. Meanwhile, soak the porcinis and chop the vegetables for the Mushroom and Barley Soup.
  4. Drain quinoa and make soup. When the quinoa is cooked, drain it, transfer it to a rimmed baking sheet to cool, and return the pot to the stove (wiping out the pot, if needed) and prepare the soup in the same pot according to recipe instructions.
  5. Prepare white beans and chard. While the soup simmers, prepare the Crispy White Beans and Greens in a large high-sided sauté pan according to recipe instructions (don’t worry about cooking the eggs). When finished, transfer the mixture to a storage container without the lid to let cool and wipe out the sauté pan.
  6. Make chickpea tomato sauce. Use the sauté pan to make the Chickpea Tomato Sauce according to recipe instructions.
  7. Assemble quinoa salad. While the tomato sauce simmers, prepare the vegetables and double the amount of dressing for the Mediterranean Quinoa Salad. Reserve half the dressing to use for arugula salads through the week and assemble the quinoa salad according to recipe instructions. 
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman/Kitchn; Food Stylist: Brett Regot/Kitchn

A Week of Vegetarian Mediterranean Diet Meals


Enjoy a bowl of Greek yogurt sprinkled with muesli and a clementine or banana at home or take it to go.


Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: Mediterranean Quinoa Salad. Pack up two portions of quinoa salad.

Tuesday, Mushroom Barley Soup: Pack up two portions of soup.

Thursday, White Beans with Greens: Divide the rest of the white bean and chard mixture into two portions and pack each with a jammy egg.


Monday and Thursday, Mushroom Barley Soup: Rewarm two portions of soup for dinner and serve with grainy bread, if desired. Serve with arugula dressed with some of the prepared oregano dressing, if desired.

Tuesday, Sweet Potatoes with Chickpea Tomato Sauce: Rewarm the baked sweet potatoes and half of the chickpea tomato sauce in the microwave and split and fill the potatoes with the sauce. Serve with arugula dressed with some of the prepared oregano dressing, if desired.

Wednesday, Crispy White Beans with Greens with Jammy Egg: Cook 4 jammy eggs and rewarm half of the white bean and chard mixture in a skillet on the stovetop. Divide the mixture among two bowls and top each with a halved jammy egg and red pepper flakes.

Friday, Chickpea Tomato Pasta: Boil 6 ounces of dried penne pasta and rewarm the rest of the chickpea tomato sauce while it cooks. Toss the cooked pasta with the warmed sauce. Serve with arugula dressed with some of the prepared oregano dressing, if desired.


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.