chipotle orange pork meal prep

5 Meal Prep-Friendly Recipes for Busy Weeks

Last Updated on March 11, 2024

Eating healthy while you juggle all your commitments — work, kids, chores, exercise, errands, the list goes on — can be a challenge. It’s so tempting to pick up fast food on your way home from work or grab takeout for lunch on days that just don’t seem to end.

Enter meal prep. The concept is simple: Take an hour or two on the weekend to cook meals you can enjoy all week long. Bring some to work for a delicious home-cooked lunch, or pull one out at dinner when you don’t feel like cooking. (Have ’em for breakfast if you want — we won’t judge.)

All of these recipes are meal prep-friendly, so you can enjoy home-cooked meals, save money, and stay on track with your health goals. Once you start the meal-prep habit, you’ll never want to go back to winging it.

Herb and White Wine-Marinated Chicken Breasts

The secret to flavorful, juicy chicken breasts that don’t dry out when you rewarm them is the marinade in this recipe. It also has plenty of herbs — oregano, rosemary, and Italian parsley — to infuse the chicken with flavor. Plus: This comes together in just 30 minutes, so meal prepping is a breeze.

Instant Pot Chuck Roast with Dirty Mash and Citrus Carrots

The Instant Pot is the tool of choice for many meal-preppers, as it allows you to cook rich and flavorful dishes in a fraction of the time. This Instant Pot chuck roast with dirty mash and carrots really shows off the appliance’s magic; it’s a complete meal, with protein, veggies, and carbs, all made in the same pot.

You’ll love the intense flavors that develop from pressure cooking the chuck roast with porcini mushrooms and red wine. The flavor-packed mashed potatoes and citrus carrots round out the meal beautifully.

Roasted Vegetables with Carrot Top Pesto

Did you recently visit the Farmer’s Market or get a CSA delivery? Use up your veggie haul in this dish: roasted vegetables with carrot top pesto. Enjoy it with a burger or a piece of simply roasted chicken.

The recipe calls for Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, butternut squash, acorn squash, delicata squash, red onions, and broccoli — but you can swap in other vegetables, depending on what you have on hand. Plus, the pesto not only adds zingy flavor, it also makes the the dish super low waste, since you use up those carrot tops.

White Bean and Bacon Salad

This white bean and bacon salad makes a perfect side dish to baked chicken breast or steak, but it’s also a speedy lunch on its own. Plus, you’re meant to enjoy it cold, so you don’t have to worry about reheating it. Have it with chicken breast or steak for lunch or dinner.

The salad itself only requires cannellini beans, bacon, and red pepper, with a simple orange and oregano vinaigrette shallots, champagne vinegar, olive oil, orange juice and zest, and Dijon mustard. If you have leftover vinaigrette, toss it into a salad, or drizzle on cooked shrimp.

Chipotle Orange Pork Loin with Sweet Potatoes and Green Beans

When you need a meal prep option that requires very little effort, give this chipotle orange pork loin with sweet potatoes and green beans a try. Thanks to a slow cooker (or an Instant Pot, if you’d like to speed things up), you don’t have to do much of the leg work.

It’s also a simple recipe, with only a handful of simple ingredients, like orange juice, canned chipotle with adobo, diced tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and green beans. There is, of course, a tender and juicy pork loin at the center of it all.

This is a complete and easy meal on its own, but feel free to serve it alongside some mashed potatoes, brown rice, or cauliflower rice for more heft.

Courtney Hamilton is a writer and editor with over seven years' experience in journalism, blogging, communications, and other media. She has written for publications like PaleoHacks, PaleoPlan, The Center for American Progress, OC Weekly, and more. 
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