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21 (Really Good) Make-Ahead Meals That'll Save You Time And Money

Your future hungry self will always thank you for these.

If you're looking for easy and healthy meal prep recipes to fuel your week ahead, you've come to the right place. 🥑

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Meal prepping can save you money, take away the stress that comes from worrying about what to cook, and cut down on your actual time in the kitchen.

So we've rounded up several of our favorite make-ahead recipes — from breakfast smoothies, to classic chicken and veggie lunches, to meal prep options that are vegetarian, vegan, and Whole30-friendly.

If you have a favorite meal prep recipe to add, share in the comments!

1. Weekday Meal Prep Chicken Teriyaki Stir-Fry

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There's nothing like a recipe that's packed with protein and flavor — *and* takes less than 30 minutes to make. Several of these ingredients are staples you probably already have in your pantry, like honey, soy sauce, and rice.

Recipe: Weekday Meal Prep Chicken Teriyaki Stir-Fry

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2. Weekday Meal Prep Pesto Chicken and Veggies

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Want to up your chicken game? Try this. Pesto adds a ton of flavor, and you can throw the green beans in a skillet with olive oil or bake them in the oven. Best of all? Everything comes together in about 20 minutes.

Recipe: Weekday Meal Prep Pesto Chicken and Veggies

3. Portobello Fajita Bowl Meal Prep

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Meatless Monday just got a little better with these fajita bowls. No need to worry about flavor because these veggies are spiced with cumin, chili pepper, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes.

Recipe: Portobello Fajita Bowl Meal Prep

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4. Mixed Berry Smoothie Meal Prep

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A breakfast smoothie is a great way to start off the morning. Prep your fruits the night before, then just blend in the morning. This mixed berry version has blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. Blend with milk and Greek yogurt for extra protein — and you're all set.

Recipe: Mixed Berry Smoothie Meal Prep

5. Salmon Meal Prep Two Ways

This omega-3 packed meal is perfect to share — and the salmon is prepped two different ways: with a garlic paprika rub and a balsamic soy sauce. Take your pick!

Recipe: Salmon Meal Prep Two Ways

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6. Mason Jar Salad Meal Prep

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Some may dismiss jarred salads as just a trend — but they actually serve a practical purpose: making sure your salads don't get soggy ahead of time. The trick is to add the dressing first before adding anything else. Then layer in the rest of your veggies and protein. When you're ready, give it a shake, and enjoy!

Recipe: Mason Jar Salad Meal Prep

7. Meal Prep Pesto Chicken Pasta

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If you want to add more protein to your meal, swap regular pasta out for protein-rich pasta — like ones made from chickpeas or lentils.

Recipe: Meal Prep Pesto Chicken Pasta

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8. Weekday Meal Prep Chicken Burrito Bowls

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Say goodbye to eating out when it comes to burrito bowls, and hello to these homemade versions. Not only will this recipe save you money, but most of it is made in one pan — saving you time and cleanup, too. If you want a vegetarian option, sub the chicken for more veggies or soyrizo.

Recipe: Weekday Meal Prep Chicken Burrito Bowls

9. Balsamic Chicken and Veggies Meal Prep

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This balsamic chicken meal prep is so fancy, it's basically restaurant-quality. Double the balsamic glaze if you like a more saucy dish.

Recipe: Balsamic Chicken and Veggies Meal Prep

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10. Easy Honey Mustard Chicken Meal Prep

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The recipe is two-part but super easy. Start by cooking the potatoes, carrots, onions, and Brussels sprouts in one pan. While your veggies cook, start on the chicken. Whip up an easy honey mustard sauce with Dijon mustard, honey, herbs, and garlic. You'll have a simple but satisfying meal in no time.

Recipe: Easy Honey Mustard Chicken Meal Prep

11. One-Pan Teriyaki Chicken Meal Prep

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Who knew you could cook your favorite takeout meal in just one pan? And homemade teriyaki sauce is even tastier (and better for you!) than the store-bought stuff.

Recipe: One-Pan Teriyaki Chicken Meal Prep

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12. Make-Ahead Kiwi Banana Spinach Smoothie

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Meal prepping doesn't just have to be for stove-cooked foods. Prep your smoothies ahead of time and store them in a freezer-safe bag for up to 8–12 months. When you are ready, blend with your choice of milk and Greek yogurt.

Recipe: Make-Ahead Kiwi Banana Spinach Smoothie

13. Whole30 Coconut Curry Meal Prep

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You can't beat a make-ahead meal with a punch of flavor — and this green curry and coconut milk combo delivers. If you're not in the mood for something spicy, use a milder yellow curry paste for the sauce.

Recipe: Whole30 Coconut Curry Meal Prep

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14. Meal Prep Garlic Chicken and Veggie Pasta

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This recipe is so simple, anyone can cook it. All you need to do is sauté the chicken in oil and spices. Then remove the chicken, cook the veggies with garlic, and add cooked pasta. It all comes together really quickly.

Recipe: Meal Prep Garlic Chicken and Veggie Pasta

15. Weekday Meal Prep Turkey Taco Bowls

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This make-ahead meal features seasoned ground turkey that's cooked with canned diced tomatoes. You'll serve it with brown rice and top with black beans, corn, sautéed veggies, cheese, salsa, and a lime wedge. Who could say no to that?

Recipe: Weekday Meal Prep Turkey Taco Bowls

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16. Vegan Meal Prep With Sweet Potatoes and Tofu

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With toasted chickpeas, sautéed tofu, baked veggies, and creamy avocado, these bowls are packing some serious plant-based protein, fiber, and other nutrients.

Recipe: Vegan Meal Prep With Sweet Potatoes and Tofu

17. Cilantro Lime Chicken and Veggie Rice Meal Prep

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This protein-packed chicken option is paired with a veggie rice made with sautéed cauliflower, corn, onions, bell peppers, and garlic. You can always swap in regular rice as well.

Recipe: Cilantro Lime Chicken and Veggie Rice Meal Prep

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18. Make-Ahead Pineapple Orange Mango Smoothie

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A tropical smoothie that is ready in less than a couple of minutes has no competition. Freeze pineapple, mango, and oranges in a freezer-safe container, then blend with milk and Greek yogurt — and breakfast (or a snack!) is served.

Recipe: Make-Ahead Pineapple Orange Mango Smoothie

19. Mediterranean-Style Meal Prep

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Any meal prep recipe made with homemade hummus is always going to win. This Mediterranean-inspired option has quinoa, marinated vegetables, and hummus. If you want to keep this dish vegan, replace feta cheese with tahini.

Recipe: Mediterranean-Style Meal Prep

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20. Vegetarian Grain Bowl Meal Prep

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This veggie-packed recipe is perfect for the days when you have a ton of leftover veggies in the fridge and you need to use them ASAP. Roast all your veggies on a tray with spiced chickpeas and sweet potatoes, then serve over brown rice with your choice of sauce. This recipe features two kinds: a cilantro-lime sauce made with Greek yogurt, and a soy-maple dressing that's perfectly salty and sweet.

Recipe: Vegetarian Grain Bowl Meal Prep

21. One-Pan Chicken and Veggie Meal Prep

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One-pan meals are never a letdown, especially if you are limited on time. In this one, the chicken is seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and garlic. The trick is to wrap the chicken in parchment paper before cooking — this helps seal in the flavors and ensures that the chicken is perfectly juicy.

Recipe: One-Pan Chicken and Veggie Meal Prep

For even more delicious recipes and meal ideas, download the award-winning Tasty app for iOS and Android! 🍳

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