15 Single-Recipe Meal Prep Ideas

by Beth - Budget Bytes
Pin Recipe

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that we make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.

I don’t have a new meal prep this week because I took this past week off from the kitchen to recharge my creative juices, but I thought it would be a great time to share a list of recipes that I’ve had waiting in the wings, these 15 Single-Recipe Meal Prep Ideas.

The meal prep series that I’ve been doing for the past few months shows how to combine 2-3 recipes into a whole “meal” that can then be portioned out for the next few days, but the type of meal prep that I’ve always leaned toward in the past are single-recipe meal preps. These are recipes that provide my protein, vegetables, and carbs all in just one recipe so I even less to think about, less to prepare, and usually less to shop for. So if you’re trying to build a meal prep habit, but find yourself short on time, make it easy on yourself and try out one of these 15 single-recipe meal prep ideas.

My criteria for a single-recipe meal prep is that it stores and reheats well, and it provide a balanced meal all in one recipe. There are 15 good examples here, but other recipes that are usually good candidates are any type of bowl meal, skillet meal, “one pot” recipes, or any hearty soup, stew, or chili.

15 Single Recipe Meal Prep Ideas that are easy to cook, filling, well rounded, and store well so you can cook once and eat for the week! BudgetBytes.com

For more information about meal prepping, how it works, and why I do it, check out Meal Prep 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Prepping and Portioning Meals, or check out my entire Budget-Friendly Meal Prep Archive.

15 Single Recipe Meal Prep Ideas

This One Pot Sausage and Sun Dried Tomato Pasta cooks quickly and in one skillet so that no flavor is lost! Make dinner fast, easy, and delicious. BudgetBytes.com

One Pot Sausage and Sun Dried Tomato Pasta – This simple pasta whips up in no time, reheats extremely well, and is packed with flavors and textures. This is still, to this day, one of my favorite skillet pasta meals!

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils are a hands-off, fiber filled, freezer friendly vegan dinner. Budgetbytes.com

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Lentils – I especially love this recipe for meal prep because it basically cooks itself in the slow cooker so you can enjoy your day instead of spending it preparing your meals for the week. Bonus: this one makes a big batch and freezes well, so you can pack some up for this week and stash the rest in the freezer for another week!

Garden Vegetable Lasagna soup with a colorful vegetable medley and a melty three cheese ricotta blend in each bowl - BudgetBytes.com

Garden Vegetable Lasagna Soup – If you’re in the camp that thinks soup can’t be a meal, think again! This one is super filling with its thick lasagna noodles and dollop of melty cheese, but still chock full of healthy vegetables.

Spanish Chickpeas and Rice - BudgetBytes.com

Spanish Chickpeas and Rice – This is probably the most popular “one pot” meals on my website because it’s one of those recipes that is vegan, but you’re too busy gobbling it up to notice! This one also freezes great.

Celebrate like you're in Louisiana with this easy, filling, and inexpensive one pot favorite, Pastalaya. It's the shortcut pasta version of Jambalaya! BudgetBytes.com

Pastalaya – Y’all know how much I love my pastalaya! Spicy smoked sausage, a light but creamy sauce, and the holy trinity of vegetables (onion, celery, and bell pepper). It’s such a classic. And because there isn’t a ton of sauce, the pasta holds up well in the refrigerator and keeps from getting mushy.

If you're looking for a quick and easy dinner, this Southwest Chicken Skillet is it! Precooked chicken makes this dinner possible in about 30 minutes. BudgetBytes.com

Southwest Chicken Skillet – This recipe is the ultimate short-on-time meal prep recipe! Grab a rotisserie chicken at the store and a couple more pantry staples like rice, beans, salsa, and cheese, and you’ve got everything you need! Plus, I could eat this beans-rice-salsa-cheese combo every day and pretty much never get sick of it. 😂

This pot of Chicken and Dumplings with Vegetables is a classic comfort food packed with enough vegetables to count as a well rounded meal. BudgetBytes.com

Chicken and Dumplings with Vegetables – You can meal prep comfort food, too! I made these chicken and dumplings (with vegetables) a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed the leftovers for the rest of the week. And, like many recipes, the leftovers are even better than the first day. :)

These vegan Soy Marinated Tofu Bowls are full of rich flavors and plenty of texture to keep your taste buds happy and your belly full. BudgetBytes.com

Soy Marinated Tofu Bowls with Spicy Peanut Sauce – I loooove this one! Marinating the tofu makes it ultra flavorful and just a little sesame oil really makes the rice pop. One tip for meal prepping this recipe, though. Keep the sauce on the side and add it after reheating to prevent it from soaking in and disappearing.

These rich and spicy Coconut Jerk Peas are super simple to make and pair brilliantly with a sweet and vibrant pineapple salsa. BudgetBytes.com

Coconut Jerk Peas with Pineapple Salsa – Here is another great vegan meal prep idea, and it’s also fairly quick and simple. I’d probably pack the salsa in the same container as the peas and rice, but if you really enjoy temperature contrast in your food or really want to maintain that fresh cilantro flavor, you can pack the pineapple salsa in separate containers and add it after reheating the peas and rice.

These Sweet Potato Grain Bowls with Green Tahini Sauce are prefect for meal prep and bursting with color, texture, and flavor! BudgetBytes.com

Sweet Potato Grain Bowls with Green Tahini Sauce – Grain bowls are pretty much made for meal prepping. I even pictured this recipe in my meal prep containers when I first posted it! As I mentioned in the intro, bowl meals are naturals for meal prep because they have so many texture, flavors, and nutrients in one dish, AND they can usually be eaten hot or cold. No need to reheat! I would keep that green tahini sauce on the side, though.

This oven baked Sheet Pan Sweet and Sour Chicken is a little more forgiving than a fast moving, high heat stir fry, making it great for beginners! BudgetBytes.com

Sheet Pan Sweet and Sour Chicken – This recipe combines the ease of a sheet pan meal with the convenience of meal prep! If you have a million things going on during your few days off, this might be a good option for you. Because the chicken and vegetables cook a little more slowly in the oven than in a high heat stir fry pan, it’s a little more forgiving if you’ve got screaming kids or other distractions while you’re cooking.

Build BBQ Chicken Burrito Bowls are an easy, customizable lunch option that is great both hot or cold! BudgetBytes.com

BBQ Chicken Burrito Bowls – More bowl meals, please! This one is super simple and requires cooking only one thing—the rice (providing you use a rotisserie chicken). If you’re uneasy about the darkening of avocados in the fridge, just keep the avocado halves whole and cut off a few slices each day for your bowl.

Hoisin Stir Fry Bowls with Spicy Peanut Sauce are a quick and colorful answer to dinner - BudgetBytes.com

Hoisin Stir Fry Bowls –  Another super simple stir fry that holds up excellently in the fridge! I kind of love how the peanuts get a little soft as the bowl is stored in the fridge, but if you prefer the extra crunchy texture, simply keep those separate and sprinkle them on top after reheating.

This super easy and satisfying, "sweep the kitchen" Penne Pasta with Sausage and Greens is an entire meal in one pot. Cook once, eat all week.



Penne Pasta with Sausage and Greens – This is my old-school meal prep recipe! For years this was my ultimate weekend recipe because it’s so insanely easy and feeds me for daaayyyss. Plus I never get tired of pasta and red sauce. Add flavorful sausage and some healthy greens and it covers all the bases.

A large bowl of Chicken Yakisoba with a fork stuck in the side

Chicken Yakisoba – And last, but certainly not least, is this veggie-packed Chicken Yakisoba! The vegetables are cooked very briefly in this recipe, leaving them with just a bit of crunch, which also means they don’t get overcooked when you reheat it later. Win!

What are your favorite recipes or types of dishes to meal prep? Share your favorites in the comments below!

Share this recipe

Posted in: , ,

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Leave a Comment
  1. I like to meal prep soups and chili and then freeze them in mason jars. However, I would love to find other kinds of freezer friendly meal prep options. I love the idea of a freezability rating mentioned by another commenter.

  2. I love the look of this website and the great ideas! Check out my YouTube channel “Get Your Dish Together!” for information on food prep, nutrition, and living your best YOU!

  3. Hey I have loved everything that I have made from here and the only thing I would like even better is a calorie count on servings. 

    1. Calorie counts can be super imprecise and vary so much since people buy slightly different ingredients and brands from region to region.

      If you’re truly interested, you can do it yourself for the recipes (I did it for a few from budget bytes before I realized it was super unhealthy for me mentally haha) but I’ve seen Beth reply to comments like this in the past saying she doesn’t intend to ever put the calorie counts up.

    2. I’d recommend using MyFitnessPal or another calorie calculator. As you go, just put in the specific brands you buy and it’ll add it up. You can even add ingredients together as a “recipe” and then later say you’ve eaten half the recipe or an eighth of it, etc.