These make-ahead healthy meal prep ideas and recipes will keep you satisfied and nourished, supporting weight loss or maintenance. All recipes and ideas are plant-based and budget friendly. This post includes affiliate links, which means I make a small commission when you order through them.
Though I’m typically anti-diet, I am all about food that makes us feel nourished, satisfied, and happy. Being that time of year when many of us would like to shed a few pounds or hit the reset button, I’ve gathered some of my favorite meal prep recipes and tips for getting started on not a diet, but a healthier, sustainable lifestyle.
Why You Should Meal Prep
Having a plan, and healthy meals prepared, makes it so much easier to eat well on busy days, and resist ordering that pizza again. In a 2017 study of 40,000 adults in France, researchers found that those who meal prepped were less likely to be overweight, and consumed a wider variety of high quality foods. A couple of reasons for this may include portion control and less temptation.
Meal Prep Containers
Choose glass containers that come with airtight lids so that your food will stay fresher longer, and you can pop it in the microwave covered with a paper towel.
There are many options on Amazon Prime. Sectioned containers are nice for keeping food separate.
Soups: Make a pot of soup and let cool completely. Portion in glass jars and refrigerate for up to 3 days in the refrigerator, or 3 months in the freezer. Leave at least 1/2″ headspace in jars if freezing.
Salads: When packing leafy greens, pack the dressing separately so it doesn’t wilt. Alternatively, choose lettuce-free salads like the ones below.
Smoothies: You can freeze smoothie packs (solid ingredients frozen in freezer bags to add to the blender later), or freeze pre-made smoothies following these instructions. Try our Weight Loss Smoothie recipe.
Fruit & Veggies: Wash and let your produce dry completely. Rinsing berries in an apple cider vinegar rinse will keep them fresher longer. Then store in the fridge. Make a batch of hummus for dipping raw veggies.
Lean & Plant-Based Proteins like tempeh, which is fermented and good for gut-health, and tofu.
Enjoy an apple cider vinegar shot a day with these two easy and tasty recipes! Made with Bragg's apple cider vinegar with the mother and fresh juice, these ACV shots are great for natural immune support, detox, wellness, and weight loss*
All of these nourishing breakfasts can be made at least one day ahead of time.
No more boring lunches! These Grilled Green Goddess Wraps are full of green goodness and nutrition with a lima bean spread, broccoli, and hearts of palm! Gluten-free, nut-free, and vegan, these wraps are a healthy recipe that's school or work friendly and freezable!
Find out how to make healthy veggie spring or summer rolls with this easy recipe! Fresh spring rolls are a simply delicious combination of fresh vegetables, herbs, rice paper, and a flavorful peanut sauce for dipping. These spring rolls are naturally vegan and gluten-free. They last up to 2 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Gallo Pinto is a rice and beans dish with its origins in Central America. This take is inspired by my time living in Costa Rica and how I most frequently experienced this dish. It is so tasty and filling that I love to introduce it to others who may not have experienced it yet!
Quick and easy falafel recipe stuffed inside a flatbread wrap with vegetables and tahini sauce make a delicious vegetarian, vegan, plant-based lunch or dinner. Make a batch of falafel on the weekend and freezer or refrigerate for adding to salads and wraps throughout the week.
An easy meal prep recipe that makes a delicious lunch or dinner on busy days. This meal prep bowl is naturally vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free. It's packed with quinoa, roasted broccoli, grapes, and pecans.
Easy Instant Pot pressure cooker burrito bowls made with cilantro lime brown rice and black beans using the pot-in-pot method. These Chipotle inspired burrito bowls are vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free.
Avocado Green Goddess dressing is bright, fresh, and zingy! Made with ripe avocado, fresh herbs, and lemon juice, this vegan salad dressing is oil-free and gluten-free. It's a healthier version of the classic Goddess dressing. Use it as a dip for veggies, a dressing for salad, or sauce for grain bowls.
This flavorful Middle Eastern chickpea salad made with dried or canned chickpeas is perfect for meal prep as it lasts for several days in the refrigerator. Enjoy as a side salad or stuffed into pita pockets. This recipe is naturally vegan and gluten free (without the pita).
This updated version of the original weight loss cabbage soup diet recipe is packed with nutritious vegetables and cabbage. Make it on the stovetop on in the Instant Pot. This healthy detox soup is high in fiber and naturally vegan and gluten free.
Fakes, or Greek Lentil Soup, is a popular recipe in Greece, especially during Lent, but enjoyed all year. It's a simple, hearty lentil soup that just happens to be vegetarian and vegan friendly. Make your Greek lentil soup on the stovetop or in the Instant Pot pressure cooker for an easy, healthy meal.
I'm so glad you're here! I'm a busy mama to two sweet girls and a bunch of funny animals. I'm passionate about sharing the beauty of real food through plant based recipes. I hope you find many easy, nourishing, delicious recipes your family will love.