This post is sponsored by Walmart and SheKnows Media.
I feel like a total champ when I meal prep on Sunday. But have you ever made a big batch of chicken or sauce only to have it sit in the fridge all week, staring at you because you don’t know what to do with it? That’s me. I want to meal prep. Let me bake and chop! The meal part is the challenge. The ingredients can be in the fridge, and I’ll still have a #saddesklunch that involves a microwave meal.
That’s why I love the idea of actually prepping an entire week of complete meals all at once. Everything is already together, all in one spot. Because sometimes you don’t want to pull 80 million containers out of the fridge and whip up a creative recipe when you’re starving at 12 o’clock.
Every part of this meal bowl can be made ahead: pasta, pesto, chicken and veggies. And you’ll have a substantial, filling lunch (or dinner) all week with protein, good fats, and veggies. Plus there are carbs. Maybe it’s just me, but if there are no carbs I’m inevitably hungry an hour later.
Another bonus: the olive oil, chicken, veggies and spices are all from Walmart’s Great Value Organic line. Meat is the one thing I always buy organic, and the prices can make you do a double take. Not at Walmart. With that savings I can afford to go with organic produce, olive oil, even spices.
I love pesto, but it can get expensive too. After spending 30 minutes searching for pine nuts I’m in no mood to spend $10 on fresh basil. Using frozen peas, dried spices and Walmart’s Great Value Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil makes this version much more wallet friendly.
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen Great Value Organic Sweet Peas, defrosted
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley
- 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest and juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh or dried basil
- 1 tablespoon fresh or dried mint
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
- 2/3 cup Great Value Organic olive oil
Place all ingredients except for the olive oil in a food processor. Blend until combined and slowly pour in the olive oil while still processing. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cooking pasta, baked chicken and roasted veggies is my favorite way to meal prep. They’re mostly hands off, and they only take 20 minutes to make. I’m no whiz in the kitchen, and I can put this whole thing together in 30 minutes.
Pea Pesto Penne Meal Prep Bowls with Three Herb Chicken and Roasted Veggies
- 1 pound organic chicken tenders
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- ½ tablespoon dried basil, divided
- ½ tablespoon dried oregano, divided
- ½ tablespoon dried parsley, divided
- 2 medium zucchini, chopped
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- ½ white onion, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Great Value Organic olive oil
- 1 pound Great Value Organic dried penne, cooked according to package directions
- Pea Pesto (recipe above)
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Season chicken tenders with the lemon juice and half of the herbs. Let sit for at least 20 minutes. Grill or bake chicken for 15-20 minutes. Set aside.
Place vegetables on a sheet pan. Season with the remaining herbs and salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil, toss to coat, and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and just beginning to brown.
Now you’re ready to make the lunches. Divide the pasta, veggies, chicken, and pea pesto into storage containers. Depending on how generous your portion sizes are you’ll get 4-5 complete meals. Stick them in the fridge and revel at your productivity. Combine that with how good you’ll feel after a week of eating real food, and it’s a total happy dance moment.
Recipes by Laura Wallace, Photos by Susan Hudson