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15 Recipes Perfect for Meal Prep

We all know meal prep can save time, money and help us eat healthier, but it does take a certain level of commitment and a bit of advance planning. Popular meal preppers, like registered dietitian and busy mom Lindsay of The Lean Green Bean, attribute their success to having a handful of go-to, meal prep–friendly recipes in their recipe box. They turn to these dishes time and again because they’re nutritious, tasty, can be prepared in advance and take the guesswork out of what to eat when life gets busy.

Whether you’re new to meal prep or are a seasoned veteran, consider trying some of these meal prep–friendly dishes. Hopefully a few of them will end up in your rotating list of favorites!

Vegetarian Meal-Prep Recipes

1. VeggistroneMake-ahead tip: Make a double batch — one to eat now and one to freeze for another week!

Photo and recipe: EatingWell.

2. Whole-Wheat Vegetable LasagnaMake-ahead tip: Prepare the veggie sauce and assemble in advance. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before baking. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for an additional 3 days.

3. Eggplant ParmesanMake-ahead tipAssemble lasagna, cover and freeze (unbaked) for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator for 2 days. Uncover and bake at 400 F for 40 to 45 minutes.

Photo and recipe: EatingWell.

4. Moroccan Lentil SoupMake-ahead tip: Cook the soup and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 6 months. Stir in cilantro and lemon juice just before serving.

Moroccan Lentil Soup

Chicken Meal-Prep Recipes

5. Yogurt-Curry Marinated Chicken ThighsMake-ahead tip: Prepare marinade in advance and store in the fridge. Add chicken to the marinade the morning before cooking so it’s ready to go when dinnertime rolls around!

Photo and recipe: EatingWell.

6. Chicken and White Bean SoupMake-ahead tip: Make a double batch, one to eat now and one to freeze for another week. Soup will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost one day before serving.

Photo and recipe: EatingWell.

7. Teriyaki-Marinated ChickenMake-ahead tip: Make a double batch and freeze the second portion of chicken in the marinade for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator one day before cooking.

Photo and recipe: EatingWell.

8. Lemon-Garlic Chicken Penne with Pesto and SpinachMake-ahead tip: Chicken and pesto can be made in advance. Store them in the fridge for a quick pasta dish later in the week or freeze both in individual freezer bags for up to 1 month. Thaw pesto and frozen chicken in the refrigerator one day before serving.

Chicken Penne

Photo and recipe: EatingWell.

9. Whole Roasted Lemon-Herb Chicken & VegetablesMake-ahead tip: Cook once and eat all week! Chicken and veggies can be portioned for future meals or served on top of salads or pasta.

Photo and recipe: EatingWell.

Beef and Lamb Meal-Prep Recipes

10. Quick Shepherd’s PieMake-ahead tip: Make a double batch and freeze the remaining portion for a quick, reheatable meal in the future. To freeze, add meat and veggies a disposable foil pan and top with mashed potatoes. Cover with a double layer of aluminum foil and freeze. Defrost in the refrigerator 1 to 2 days before eating. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before reheating. Slowly reheat the entire pan in a warm, 300 F oven (with foil cover) or spoon into bowls and microwave.

Photo and recipe: EatingWell.

11. Quick Beef and Barley SoupMake-ahead tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Photo and recipe: EatingWell.

Fish and Seafood Meal-Prep Recipes

12. Salmon ChowderMake-ahead tip: Cook and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat with just a minute or two in the microwave!

Photo and recipe: EatingWell.

13. Shrimp Fried RiceMake-ahead tip: Use 3 cups of day-old, leftover brown rice and save yourself a step. Portion and store fried rice in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Photo and recipe: EatingWell.

14. Salmon Cakes with Olives, Lemon and DillMake-ahead tip: Freeze uncooked salmon cakes for future meals. If thawing in advance, follow the usual cooking directions. If cooking from frozen, reduce heat a touch and cook for longer.

Photo and recipe: EatingWell.

15. Fish Stew with Olives, Capers and PotatoesMake-ahead tip: Portion and store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheats with just a minute or two in the microwave!

Photo and recipe: EatingWell.

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