Healthy Meal Prep Ideas

Make lunch count! Read on to find healthy meal prep ideas and easy meal prep recipes that will make you look forward to lunch each day.

Meal Prep Ideas

Meal prep is all the rage these days, and for good reason! When I worked in an office, the lunches I packed were some of the healthiest meals I’d eat in a week. They were full of fresh veggies, they kept me from eating out, and they were satisfying enough to prevent me from getting too snack-y in the middle of the afternoon. In short, they helped me save money and kept me eating healthy. What’s not to love?

Today, I’m sharing the meal prep ideas, tricks, and tips I picked up from my years of packing lunches, plus a whole slew of healthy meal prep recipes. Whether you’re new to healthy meal prep or are a seasoned pro looking for new meal prep ideas, I hope you find some lunchtime inspiration!

Healthy Meal Prep Ideas

Sturdy Salad Meal Prep Ideas

My favorite category of weekday lunch. We’re talking pasta salads, noodle salads, slaws, leafless salads, and, of course, kale salads. Vegetables and noodles that hold up well (or even improve) when dressed ahead of time are ideal here.

Healthy Meal Prep Recipes

Bowl Meal Prep Ideas

Essentially salad’s heartier cousin. My favorite bowls consist of a grain, a protein (chickpeas, lentils, baked tofu, etc.), plenty of raw + cooked veggies, and a yummy sauce. Top with nuts, seeds, herbs, or something pickled for extra texture and pops of flavor.

Healthy Meal Prep Recipes

Sandwich and Wrap Meal Prep Recipes

Sandwiches and wraps can get a bad rap as a less-than-healthy lunch, but if you fill them with plenty of fresh veggies and plant-based protein, they can be a great take-to-work choice. Veggies with a hearty spread, chickpea salad, or planks of baked tofu or tempeh are all great vegan filling options. If you’re not vegan, a little cheese can go a long way in adding flavor and staying power to a sandwich.

Vegan meal prep

Meal Prep Ideas for Leftovers

Last but not least, leftovers(!) are a great lunch to take to work. Many soups, stews, and curries taste better on the second day, so you’ll do yourself a favor by making a meal plan ahead of time and setting aside a serving for lunch. Loaded veggie pizzas and veggie patties also keep well.

Let me know what your favorite meal prep ideas are!

Looking for more meal prep recipes?

Try packing overnight oats in a Mason jar for breakfast, or check out these healthy recipes for  breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Healthy Meal Prep Ideas - Broccoli Quinoa Bowls

rate this recipe:
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 35 mins
Serves 4
These broccoli quinoa bowls are a great packable meal!

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch broccolini, cut into pieces
  • 3 large kale leaves, chopped (about 3 loose packed cups)
  • Juice of ½ lemon, more to taste
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 3 red radishes, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup fresh leafy herbs, ie, mint, basil, and/or dill
  • 1 batch Roasted Chickpeas
  • 1 batch Lemony Pea Pesto
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Prepare a large pot of salted boiling water and a large bowl of ice water. Drop the broccolini into the boiling water and blanch for about 1 minute, or until tender but still vibrant green. Transfer the broccolini to the ice water and let it cool for 1 minute. Drain and set aside to dry as you make the other components. Alternatively, you can roast the broccoli.
  • Place the kale into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Massage the leaves until they soften and wilt down.
  • Divide the quinoa among 4 meal prep containers. Add the kale, radish, herbs and broccolini. Season with drizzles of olive oil, squeezes of lemon juice, and sprinkles of salt and pepper. Add the roasted chickpeas and top with dollops of pesto.

 

16 comments

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  1. Daniella from daniellamariedesign.com
    02.05.2019

    This post could not have come at a better time! Love all your ideas! Thank you.

  2. Caoimhe
    02.06.2019

    This is exactly what I needed to see today, this is so great!

  3. Sarah | Well and Full
    02.06.2019

    Reading this article was perfect timing for me, because I’ve just recently started thinking about how I want to step up my lunch game. All of these were such inspiring ideas! 🙂

  4. You made the boring food look wow! You inspired me to cook better and more importantly a healthy and yummylicious meal! Thank You, keep up the good work!

  5. Haley
    04.03.2019

    So many meal prep ideas. I love it!

  6. Simone Athena Santollo David
    05.06.2019

    I really love broccollies its so yummy healthy tasty vegan preparation. Recipes and tips are fantastic! Thank you..

  7. Sally from battlecreekcarpetcleaning.com
    05.29.2019

    Do you have any ideas on how to ‘fix’ a vegetable if its a bit older than you would like/bought some bad ones. Throwing them out would be a bit wasteful, but it’s not as good as fresh ones.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.29.2019

      Hi Sally, I love this idea for a whole new post – thank you, I’m inspired to come up with a group of ideas around this topic!

  8. Scarlet
    08.20.2019

    I love all your ideas for healthy meal prep and how you break it down for prep and packing. That broccoli quinoa recipe looks fab too. Pinning to try soon!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.21.2019

      thank you! I hope you love the recipes!

  9. Lex
    02.01.2020

    Great recipes! Roughly how long in advance would you say these meals could be made?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.03.2020

      These can be stored about 3-4 days in the fridge.

  10. Marcella
    04.14.2020

    5 stars
    I love your recipes

  11. Laurie
    10.28.2020

    Avocado can’t be cut in advance as it oxidizes after being cut. So, I recommend updating this recipe to include adding the avocado on the day when this lunch will be served. Alternatively, omit the avocado or substitute it for a different vegetable.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.