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.
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
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 – 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 – 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 – 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.
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.
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. 😂
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. :)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 – 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.
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.
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!