If you’ve been reading Hello Glow for a while, you know we absolutely love saving time, ingredients and nerves by prepping meals in advance. But in case that still sounds like too much work for you, just start small by preparing some of the ingredients you’ll be using in your meals during the week.
That means doing the boiling, grilling or chopping in advance, to save you tons of time when hunger kicks in. Weekly meal prep also ensures you get plenty of healthy, nutritious meals throughout the week and are less tempted to cave into junk food cravings.
8 Foods to Prep Each Week for Super Easy Meals
Make Doughs + Crusts
Refrigerate your favorite homemade pizza crust or dough for up to a week without worry. When it comes to yeast dough, let it rise before refrigerating in a ziplock bag. Then allow it to rise for a second time before baking. Pie crust also keeps well when dough balls are wrapped in plastic wrap and rolled out prior to baking.
Prepare Homemade Broth + Stock
When soups and stews are a big part of your regular meals, you always need broth! Whether it’s veggie, chicken or bone broth, you can easily keep it in the fridge for 4-5 days. Pour into an ice tray cube or muffin molds to freeze portion sizes that last even longer!
Whip Up Some Overnight Oats
The classic way to save time on busy mornings: prep your breakfast the night before and let it make itself overnight! Soak oats and/or chia seeds in milk or yogurt, then add different fruit and nuts as toppings, and there you have your breakfast for the week! You can find some of our favorite recipes here and here.
Hard Boil Eggs
Add protein to a salad or meal bowl. Or as a healthy snack. Or with avocado toast for breakfast. Hardboiled eggs always come in handy! They’re super easy to make in big batches, they’re convenient and portable (hello, picnics!) and you can store them in the fridge for the entire week.
Wash + Chop Veggies
Washing and chopping can take the fun out of cooking, especially when you’re hungry! Luckily, many veggies keep well even after they’re washed. So go ahead and wash, dry, peel, and chop peppers, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, fennel, garlic, onions, sweet potatoes and zucchini.
You can refrigerate them with a damp towel on top to keep them fresh. Enjoy throughout the week in salads or cooked meals! (Avoid pre-chopping eggplant, avocado, tomatoes, and other veggies that tend to change color or dry out quickly.)
Make Salad Dressing
Got a favorite salad dressing you know you always include in your work lunches? Better make enough for the entire week! They generally store well in the fridge for up to a week (less if they’re dairy based) and even in a dark, cool place in the pantry or kitchen.
Boil Grains + Legumes
A pot of quinoa can be used in so many ways, from breakfast recipes to salads and stews. You can also pre-boil rice, beans, lentils, chickpeas, barley, farro and other grains and legumes. They keep for 3-4 days in the fridge, and much longer if you put them in the freezer.
With the base ready, it’s so much easier to make a delicious meal! Needless to say, don’t make pasta in advance–it alters the taste, plus you don’t need more than 3-4 minutes to boil it anyway!
There are few recipes that can’t benefit from the added flavor of roasted veggies! Throw your favorites in the oven with a little olive oil and seasoning, then use them in anything from frittatas to casseroles, or as a side dish next to something else. Broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, carrots, eggplant, Brussels sprouts, beets, onions, and peppers all keep nicely.10