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How to meal prep for a good workout routine

man stretching for workout

Timing your meal prep for a good workout is one the most important factors for maximizing your eating and exercising. What you eat, as we all know, plays a huge role in a healthy lifestyle, weight loss, and muscle building but aligning your meals with your workout can be trickier. Having the right nutrients in your body at the right time provides the fuel for an effective workout session and body recovery. Even without getting too deep into measuring every nutrient in your diet, you can make easy adjustments to your meal prep for a good workout.

What type of exercise are you doing?

Everyone’s exercise goals and routines are different. Whether you’re aiming for muscle gain, fat loss, or overall maintenance, your nutritional needs will vary. Are you working out in the morning, at lunch, or in the evening? Sticking to a routine will help plan your meals. 

Timing your meals can play a major role in fueling a strong workout. 

Pre-Workout Nutrition: Eat a balanced meal of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats about 2 hours before your workout. This provides the necessary energy to fuel your exercise session.

Post-Workout Nutrition: Within an hour after your workout, focus on a post-exercise meal rich in protein and carbohydrates. This aids muscle recovery and replenishes glycogen stores.


If you’re a morning gym person, aim for a light breakfast that you can eat easily and digest entirely before your workout. Then have a larger meal for dinner to fuel the next day’s workout session. You can keep lunch balanced with protein and carbohydrates to recover from your workout and replenish the glycogen stores that were burned.


Midday or lunch workouts benefit from a good sized, healthy breakfast with plenty of carbohydrates to fuel your workout in a few hours. Lunch can be much more simple with high protein foods and some fruits and veggies. Dinners will tend to be lighter so you can meal prep small meals and prepare for bed.


Late afternoon or evening workout schedules are more flexible as you can adjust when you eat dinner. If you want to eat your big meal before you workout, make sure to eat early enough for your body to process the food and include carbohydrates for the workout. If you plan to workout first and eat afterwards, make sure your lunch from earlier was large enough to fuel the workout and have a simple dinner of protein, fruits and veggies. Breakfast in this case is generally smaller. A quick breakfast bar or some eggs is a great start. 

Another popular approach to planning your meals for a good workout is to break meals up into smaller portions and eat more often throughout the day. This is a great approach for some. It staves off feeling hungry, mixes up the food types, and is consumed/digested easily since the meals are smaller. A lot of us are too busy with work or family and if this doesn’t work for you don’t worry. Meal prepping 3 square meals a day with portion control and good nutrition is great too.

Meal prep for a good workout routine usually revolves around the major meals and balancing nutrients and calories. Everyone snacks though. If you are the type of person who can resist snacking, that’s great. For the rest of us it is better to plan healthy snacks rather than trying to resist altogether.

If you’re an avid snacker you should consider it during your meal planning and prepping. There’s nothing wrong with snacking but if you have workout and health goals, planning your snacks can make or break a successful nutrition plan.

  • Nuts
  • Greek yogurt
  • Apples and peanut butter
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Trail mix
  • Beef jerky
  • Popcorn

There are a ton of healthy snacks. The best approach is to make your own rather than buying it from the store. It’s far cheaper as you can make it in bulk and portion out the right amounts for you. You also get to avoid the sugars, salts, and any preservatives that are added.

Don’t forget to drink plenty of water regardless of your workout or eating routine. You should be drinking water throughout the day. This can make a huge difference on your workout and how good you feel during and after.

Part of a balanced meal prep for a good workout routine


  • Raw Nuts: pecans, almonds, cashews, pistachios, walnuts
  • Legumes: chickpeas, black beans, lentils, edamame
  • Seeds: pepitas, sunflower, chia, hemp, flax
  • Powders and Shakes: look for natural, organic and non-GMO protein powders with no artificial sweeteners or ingredients
  • Eggs: look for free-range, pasture-raised and organic with no added hormones
  • Dairy: kefir, cottage cheese, plain Greek yogurt


  • Vegetables: broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, asparagus, squash, Brussels sprouts (look for frozen to maximize shelf life)
  • Fruits: berries, mangoes, peaches, bananas, grapes, pineapple (look for frozen to maximize shelf life)
  • Whole Grains: quinoa, oatmeal, barley, farro, spelt, brown rice
  • Starches: sprouted grain bread, sweet potatoes, corn on the cob
  • Fermented: kimchi, pickles, sauerkraut, red cabbage

Fats (Omega-3-rich)

  • Plant-Based: avocados, olives or extra-virgin olive oil, natural peanut butter, tempeh, baked plantain chips
  • Animal-Based: salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines (choose wild-caught and look for frozen to maximize shelf life)

Prep Yo Self can help with meal prep for a good workout! Check out our Weekly Meal Plans for Free.

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Versatile Meal Prep, a “How To”

Meal prep versatility can make or break a routine. Meal prep burnout happens because you get bored of the flavors, the textures, the monotony of it all. It can also be as simple as one week of meals that you don’t like but are stuck with 5 days of food and you break from your habit. This is where versatility comes in and makes a world of difference. Being able to break up the pattern, pivot mid week, and feel reassured that you aren’t stuck eating the exact same meal all week.

There is a lot that you can do to improve your meal prep versatility. The most important part of any meal prepping is planning out your recipes. Preparing food that you like, stores well, is easy to cook, and combines with the other ingredients is the focus. 

View our regularly updated Weekly Meal Plans!

Start with flavor profiles

Some flavors go well on certain proteins and work differently with various vegetables. Consider flavors that you already like and plan around that to determine the protein. 

1. Garlic and Herb:

One of the most versatile flavor combinations is garlic and herb. It can be adjusted for your taste, goes on a ton of different ingredients, and is very healthy for you. You honestly might be able to put this on everything that isn’t sweet.

Components: Garlic, rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley.
Works well with: Roasted vegetables, grilled meats, pasta, salads.

2. Citrus and Herb:

This is a great combo of flavors for versatile meal prep as flavor is light and tends to leave the meal overall feeling light. This is good for lunches at work where you do want to be too tired after eating. This is also very easy to adjust to your preferences.

Components: Lemon, lime, orange, cilantro, mint.
Works well with: Seafood, chicken, salads, grains, vegetables.

3. Savory Umami:

Soy sauce can do a lot of work in flavoring foods. It’s a powerful flavor that is balanced out by the miso, mushrooms, and sesame oil. This is great for having a strong impact but it does limit the versatility as many foods simply taste like soy sauce if you go too heavy with it.

Components: Soy sauce, miso, mushrooms, sesame oil.
Works well with: Stir-fries, grilled meats, roasted vegetables, rice dishes.

4. Mediterranean:

This is another light flavor set that is delicious and nutritious. Getting fresh herbs will make a big difference but even the dried the seasoning bottles will work for improving your meal prep versatility.

Components: Olive oil, garlic, lemon, oregano, basil.
Works well with: Grilled proteins, salads, pasta, roasted vegetables.

5. Spicy and Smoky:

Spicy and smoky is a strong flavor combination with a lot of character. Used sparingly, in just the protein, works great and the veggies can be added later with little to no flavoring. 

Components: Chili powder, cumin, paprika, chipotle, garlic.
Works well with: Tacos, barbecue, roasted meats, soups.

6. Sweet and Tangy:

Sweet and tangy is a good way to balance out these other flavor profiles in your meal routines. Sometimes you need something that is less salty, smokey, or citrus-y. This profile can waken up taste buds and make any ingredients dramatically change their taste.

ingredients for versatile meal prep

Components: Honey, balsamic vinegar, mustard, maple syrup.
Works well with: Grilled meats, salads, roasted vegetables, glazes.

7. Balsamic Glaze:

Glazes are a great way to season your food. It’s easy to adjust the strength of the glaze and adjust the amount you pour onto the food itself. It can work as a marinade or as a dressing.

Components: Balsamic vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard.
Works well with: Grilled meats, roasted vegetables, salads, bruschetta.

8. Ginger Sesame:

Ginger sesame is a fantastic flavor profile that can be light as well, depending on how you make it and how much you add. This is another versatile meal prep flavor that is perfect for work lunches.

Components: Ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, green onions.
Works well with: Stir-fries, grilled meats, salads, noodles.

Choose versatile ingredients

Just like with choosing versatile flavors, versatile proteins and veggies are important. Consider the flavor profiles you’re interested in and choose a protein that can work well across multiple.

  • Proteins: Chicken breast, ground turkey, tofu, beans, ground beef.
  • Grains: Quinoa, brown rice, couscous.
  • Vegetables: Bell peppers, onions, cherry tomatoes.
  • Healthy Fats: Avocado, olive oil, nuts.

These are safe places to start for each category, however, depending on your personal tastes, you can really expand in tons of directions after identifying the flavors you want to work with.

Bulk prep protein, cook sides as needed

Another approach to versatile meal prep is to bulk cook the protein. This is often the most involved and longest part of the cook. If you can knock this out ahead of time then you can assemble meals as needed. This works especially well with instant pots, chicken, cuts of beef, and ground beef or turkey mixed with a sauce. This can often make enough to last all week, is super easy and can be portioned out and reheated nicely. 

The sides or the grains and veggies for each meal are important. Depending on the grain you’re going for, these can be cooked half at the beginning and the second half as you need it. This will keep the texture like you want it and offer you a chance to change it up if you are no longer enjoying the quinoa or cauliflower rice.

Veggies again can be eaten raw and just need to be cleaned and cut. You can also cook them separately and have them ready to be portioned out. Again, consider only making enough for a couple of days or making two sets of different vegetables so you can change it up each day.

The most important thing is to store the different parts individually. As soon as you combine all of the separate foods, they combine and are delicious but there is also no going back. Storing them separately gives you choice down the line. Even if that means throwing out some parts of the dish that you don’t like but keeping the other parts.

Sauces and Dressings

This is a game changer for food versatility. There are so many foods that you can simply cook with very little flavor and achieve the perfect texture while being blank canvases for flavor. Just like keeping each part of the meal prep separate, keeping the sauce separate will offer opportunities to pivot. It will also help your food retain its texture. In some cases the additional moisture will ruin the texture of a crust, breading, or a crisp bite. 

Utilizing sauces to make versatile meal prep is a fun way to mix and match flavors without being committed to a week’s worth of it. You can try a different sauce each day or even multiple sauces during the same meal. Sometimes a bit of sweet and tangy needs to be balanced with spicy and smokey.

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Meal Prepping Desserts

round plate with diced peaches and rolled oats

Meal prepping desserts is a great addition to savory meal prep or an introduction into meal prepping. We often don’t think about dessert meal prep as a lot of people meal prep for nutritional reasons or because dessert tends to be a cookie, or ice cream, or candy. Something that is easy enough to grab. Desserts can be more than that though, they can be healthy and delicious and an excellent part of a meal routine. 

round plate with diced peaches and rolled oats

One of the main goals behind meal prepping is to stay on a routine and avoid unhealthy, quick food options. The same goes for dessert. Baking cookies is easy enough but meal prepping with them will help limit how many you eat in one sitting. It’s also a great way to wrap up lunch or dinner so you don’t feel unsatisfied and likely to break from your routine. That little treat can psychologically provide comfort and prevent burn out.

Meal prepping desserts also has the added benefit of avoiding packaged or restaurant desserts which have a lot of preservatives, sugar, corn syrup, and many more ingredients that aren’t healthy. Planning your desserts ahead of time means you can select quality desserts from the bakery section, make your own, or at least choose healthy dessert options. You will be amazed at how much dessert you can actually eat while staying on a healthy diet.

Meal prepping savory dishes often involves how well the food stores and reheats. The same goes for desserts but has added wrinkles. If it’s meant to be cold, can you keep it cold until it’s time to eat? If it’s meant to be room temperature or hot, will the consistency and texture last until it’s time to eat? These are questions you often have to answer with savory meal prep. Consider your situation, is there a fridge or freezer, and what recipes will work for you. 

A safe tip may be to start with desserts that can be stored at room temperature, last a few days, and don’t require heating up. This way you can leave it on your counter, grab it the day you need it and otherwise not worry about it. Baked goods are an excellent choice for this. They will start to dry out but they’ll last a few days. Opt for desserts that maintain or even enhance their flavors and textures over time. 

ricotta apple ingredients

If you’re on a low or no sugar diet like keto, look for sugar free desserts. Be aware that many natural foods already have high sugar amounts. Some fruits and vegetables can actually be quite high in sugar naturally so just because it’s all natural doesn’t mean you can eat a ton of it. Balance out sweet fruits with yogurt or citrus. 

Consider options like energy bites, chia seed puddings, and fruit-based treats that are not only sweet but also offer nutritional benefits.

Just like meal prepping savory dishes, desserts can be prepared in large batches to save time and effort throughout the week. Choose recipes that lend themselves well to batch cooking, such as baked goods, bars, or no-bake treats. Once prepared, divide them into individual servings and store them in convenient, portion-controlled containers for easy access.

Desserts can also be frozen in parts either pre-cooked or post-cooked in portions. Cookie dough, muffins, or individually wrapped slices of cake can be frozen. When that sweet tooth strikes, you can simply thaw a portion and enjoy a freshly preserved treat without the need for excessive preparation.

To make your desserts even more meal prep-friendly, experiment with ingredient substitutions that align with your dietary needs. Explore natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, or stevia as alternatives to refined sugars. Swap traditional flours with whole grain or gluten-free options for a healthier take on classic desserts

Dessert meal prepping is a delightful and practical way to ensure that your sweet tooth is satisfied without compromising your commitment to a healthy lifestyle. Experiment with various recipes, be adventurous with ingredient substitutions, and discover the joy of having a curated selection of wholesome desserts at your fingertips.

round plate with diced peaches and rolled oats
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Best Meal Prep Containers – Gift Edition

This is a perfect time to update, upgrade, or replace your meal prep containers with more of the Best Meal Prep Containers – Gift Edition. Whether you’re treating yourself or the meal prepper in your life, this list will provide you plenty of options from cheap to expensive, full meal to portions, and silicone to glass and even ceramic.

Meal prep containers should fit the type of food you’re cooking. Many meals work better with individual compartments while others keep better with good insulation. Having a variety of meal prep containers available can also open up your meal routine. You feel more freedom to try new recipes when you know you have the perfect container for it.

Need more information before you select the best meal prep container for you or as a gift? Here is some helpful details for understanding the materials and their benefits:

Plastic containers:

  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Inexpensive and widely available.
  • Durable and resistant to breakage.

Glass containers:

  • Generally more durable and long-lasting compared to plastic.
  • Environmentally friendly and recyclable.
  • Non-reactive and doesn’t absorb odors or stains.

Silicone containers:

  • Flexible and collapsible, saving storage space.
  • Lightweight.
  • Resistant to stains and odors.

Ceramic containers:

  • Oven-safe and can withstand high temperatures.
  • Resistant to odors and stains.
  • Durable and long-lasting.

1. Bentgo® Modern – Versatile 4-Compartment Meal Prep Containers

Chic and modern, it’s even in the name, the Bentgo meal prep container is microwave safe, breaks out into pieces for easy washing, and has customizable compartments! This is a great choice for lunch meal prep. The leak resistance seals keep your bag clean so you can carry without concern. It also looks great. The bento style lunch box stands out in a modest way. The Bentgo comes in a variety of colors and is one of the best meal prep containers to give as a gift.

Meal Prep Container Price: $28

  • CUSTOMIZABLE COMPARTMENTS: An optional divider provides a fourth compartment for creating portion-controlled meals
  • LEAK-RESISTANT LUNCH BOX: Mess-free design comes with a leak-resistant seal that hugs the removable food tray to avoid spills
  • PERFECT FOR ON THE GO: Confidently carry your Bentgo Modern in a purse, briefcase, or backpack for eating healthy wherever you go!

Get 10% Off on Your First Order with Bentgo! Just subscribe to the newsletter and be the first to know of their new products and promos. Visit Bentgo Now.

2.W&P Porter Bowl Lunch Container

The W&P Porter silicone lunch bowl is perfect for soups and salads. The size is great for lunch or storing leftovers for the next day. Microwave and freezer safe, this modern food container is durable and last for years. The lid fits tight with a strap, although it is not as leak proof as other options.

Price: $20

  • PREMIUM, FOOD-GRADE MATERIALS: Crafted from high-quality BPA-free plastic & silicone, the Porter Bowl is a game changer. The durable plastic base is wrapped in the highest quality protective silicone with a silicone snap-strap to secure the plastic lid
  • SMART & STYLISH: The Porter Bowl’s sleek minimalist design & muted hues elevates the everyday – you can cut down on single-use plastics and look good doing it
  • TAKE IT TO GO: Roomy, one-liter capacity packs everything from big salads and grain bowls to pasta and veggies. The unique dimensions make it ideal for commuting. 7.5″ diameter, 2.875″ tall, Capacity: 4 3/8 cups (1 liter)
  • EASY TO CLEAN: The Porter Bowl is designed to make meal prep and cleanup a breeze; Throw it in the microwave, then rinse it out or toss it in the dishwasher (just don’t put it in the oven)

Shop W&P Porter Bowl Meal Prep Containers

3. Hydro Flask Insulated Food Jar

Leak proof, gorgeous design, and it comes in a variety of colors and sizes. The double insulation keeps food the perfect temperature for hours. It’s dishwasher safe so clean up is easy. The leak proof, twist on lid makes this a great option for soups, dips, and sauces. Throw it in your bag with your favorite meal and enjoy a warm lunch on a cold day. The powder ceramic coating on the outside is durable and the stainless steel shell can take a beating without showing wear.

Price: $22.46 – 33.69

  • TempShield double-wall vacuum insulation
  • Made with 18/8 pro-grade stainless steel to ensure pure taste and no flavor transfer
  • Leakproof when closed
  • Color Last powder coat is dishwasher safe, keeping your bottle slip-free and colorful
  • BPA-Free & Toxin-Free

Shop Hydro Flask Insulated Meal Prep Containers

4. Stasher Silicone Reusable Storage Bags

Looking for an alternative to plastic bags carry your lunch in? Try Stasher silicone resuable bags. These funky little bags are very versatile and can be used for anything. Microwave, dishwasher, and even oven (up to 400 degrees) safe so you can store food and reheat easily. The leak proof seal keeps moisture in and out. Most importantly they’re much more durable than traditional plastic bags and they can last a long time even with daily use. These are a great product to have alongside any of the best meal prep containers just for those extra crackers, chips, fruit slices, or sauces. For lunches on the go, they fit so nicely into any bag unlike hard plastic or glass containers.

Price: $36.88

  • GO BAG GOES WITH YOU: Store a quick snack for the road, office supplies, or personal hygiene items; This leak-free, portable, accessible storage stays secure with a clip for your bag or beltloop; (18 Ounce)
  • MORE GREEN, PLEASE: Preserve herbs and greens in a variety of ways, regrow veggie scraps, and store them in Stasher bags once harvested for an endless garden of green goodness;
  • JUST THE STASH: Platinum food-grade silicone Stashers are dishwasher, microwave and oven safe to 400F; Eliminate single-use plastic by using Stasher for snacks, travel and low-waste items like reusable straws and utensils
  • EASY TO CARE FOR: Reusable silicone Stashers go from the freezer to the microwave to the oven & dishwasher; Store low-waste items, like reusable straws & utensils, for a portable meal or, so you can refuse single-use plastic

Shop Stasher Silicone Meal Prep Bags

5. Caraway Glass Food Storage Set

The Caraway Glass meal prep containers make an amazing gift for meal prep enthusiasts. The elegant design, the optional compartments, and quality materials are above what most people are going to have for their lunch boxes. The sleek styling will stand out and materials will last for years. They are more expensive than other containers on this list and depending on your budget may not be right for you but if you want to give a great gift to someone this is a perfect option. Microwave, freezer, and oven safe (except for lids and inserts) this set ticks all of the boxes and looks great doing it. Definitely one of the best meal prep containers especially for gifts.

Price: $220.50

  • KEEP YOUR FOOD FRESH: Look forward to leftovers with Caraway’s easy-to-store, non-toxic food storage containers. This 14 piece set looks great and most importantly keeps your food extra fresh and organized.
  • CREATE YOUR OWN BENTO BOX: Build an on-the-go bento box with the 4 dot & dash inserts. They fit nicely in one of the glass food containers for a lunch that stays fresh and tightly sealed. Use the Storage Straps to add an extra layer of security.
  • SAFE, NON-TOXIC CONTAINERS: Every piece of our food container set is free of toxic materials such as PTFE, PFOA, PFAS, and BPA. The containers are safe for microwave, oven, refrigerator, and freezer use. Lids and inserts are not microwave safe.
  • WHAT’S IN THE BOX: Each set comes with 1 large container, 2 medium containers, 2 small containers, 2 dot inserts, 2 dash inserts, 2 container straps, and 3 complimentary organizers for easy kitchen storage.

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6. Glotoch 50 Pack 32 oz Meal Prep Containers

Sometimes a fancy glass or silicone container doesn’t fit the situation. Sometimes you a plastic container is all you need. These containers are reusable and versatile but if you don’t want to risk breaking, losing, or forgetting your quality containers they’re a good choice. These classic meal prep containers work for most situations. They’re not as great with the microwave or with preventing leaks but for general use of storing food and transporting your lunch to the work fridge until you’re ready to eat, they’re great.

Price: $19.43

  • TO GO CONTAINERS with thoughtful design ensures this container set meets all your needs. Perfect for packing lunches, takeout, and delivery. Prep hot or cold meals: salad, sandwich, snack, fresh fruit, dip, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and leftovers. Prep meals worry-free, our food prep containers’ durable design has a high tolerance for bending, twisting, and temperature, plus our airtight, leak-proof lids seal tight, keeping your food safe and secure.
  • 50 pack set of 32 oz. take out food containers, with 2 compartments to keep entrees and sides separated. Containers measure: (8.4” x 6” x 1.77”). Stackable and lightweight design allows for easy storage. Washable, reusable, and microwave safe. Containers can be reheated or frozen and withstand temperatures in the range of (-40°F to 270°F) or ( -40°C to 132°C). Strong crack resistant material is dishwasher safe and can be washed in the top rack of the dishwasher repeatedly.
  • All of LUNCH CONTAINERS are made with you and your health in mind, made from the highest quality food-grade PP plastics] These containers are BPA free, temperature resistant and microwavable. Manufactured via injection molding, our products have airtight lids to seal and safely store food. Durability and flexibility, minimize cracking and prevent damage common among competing products. Plastic containers with lids are easy to clean. Eco-friendly and recyclable.

Shop Glotoch 50 Pack Meal Prep Containers

7. Overnight Oats Jars with Spoon and Lid

Overnight oats are hugely popular. These jars are perfect for oats, fruits, salads, soups, and veggies. The tight fit, leak proof lid means you don’t have to worry about spillage while the clear jar is great for visualizing the food and showing off your meal prep skills. The handy detachable spoon is a great addition. Nothing is worse than forgetting the utensils you need to actually eat your lunch, besides forgetting your lunch entirely. These mason jar style containers can be used for storing food, pickling, or lunch. The measurement marks will help with portioning while the wide math will make it so much easier to actually get food in and out. Everything is dishwasher safe and ready to go!

Price: $14.39

  • Thick Oats Container: Premium glass oatmeal container made of premium BPA free durable food-grade glass, these overnight canning jars are sturdy enough for everyday home use, the wide mouth mason jars is easy to use and clean.
  • Various Uses: (15oz✖6pack) Glass container with lids & spoon is a good choice for dieters to control food intake. Perfect for storing cereal, milk, yogurt, oats, rice, coffee, tea, snacks, nuts, cookies, these overnight oats jars suitable for any office, restaurant, dormitory or family use.
  • Airtight and Keep Food Fresher: Silicone lids with seal rings make these oatmeal container more airtight and leak proof. Luecmo Overnight Oats Jars can keep your food dry and fresh for a long time. Convenient and attractive in the kitchen, the Oatmeal Container also a great addition to your pantry organization.
  • Wide Opening Mason Jars: Wide opening design make its easy to put in and take out your storage, easy to clean. Crafted of food-graded glass, BPA-Free, non-toxic, the storage jar’s body is transparent so it’s easy to see what’s stored inside and to know how much is left in the oats jar.

Shop Overnight Oats Meal Prep Containers

8. Beanto Cutlery Set On-The-Go

Speaking of the utensils you need to eat your meal prep lunch, no set would be complete without reusable spork, knife and even chopsticks. The cute container stores the utensils safely and keeps them from getting dirty from everything else in your bag. Available in a handful different colors, these are a great companion to any of the best meal prep containers on our list. The microwave safe utensils are durable and dishwasher safe. Utensil sets often go forgotten about which make them a perfect gift or stocking stuffer for the meal prepper in your life.

Price: $8.43

  • Compact and Portable: Set includes chopsticks, knife, and a spork. Each utensil is durable with high heat-resistance and nests neatly into a slim travel case for easy portability.
  • Perfect Companion: Our cutlery is the ideal companion to the Beanto Bowl. Creates an enjoyable dining experience when used together. Included silicone strap attaches cutlery to the Beanto Bowl (sold separately).
  • Food Safety: Safe for microwave, refrigerator, and freezer. Made of FDA and LFGB certified food-grade safe materials. BPA-free and free from BPS, Lead, Cadmium, Latex, and Phthalates.

Shop Beanto Cutlery Set

We actually have another article on this topic. You should check out our first article about the “Best Meal Prep Containers” if you’re looking for something a little different.

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Meal Prepping Appetizers

glass meal prep containers with deviled eggs and arugula salad

It’s the time of year for feasting, extravagant food and multiple courses, for friends and family. Everyone is busy and budgets are tight. Finding ways to streamline your cooking is imperative and this all starts with appetizers. Meal prepping appetizers can save you a ton of time and money. We are here to help with recipes and tips. 

Appetizers are small foods before the main course but despite their size can be more expensive and time consuming to cook than the entree. Meal prepping appetizers yourself rather than buying pre-made can be more work but this will save you money and create better food. You can control portions, salt and sugar levels, and focus on delivering a nutritious appetizer to kick the meal off right.

glass meal prep containers with deviled eggs and arugula salad

Grocery prices have grown so much so fast and knowing how to pick your recipes and plan your grocery shopping can save you on meal prepping appetizers. Do your research early, plan your cooking schedule, and make in bulk to maximize your time in the kitchen.

Focus on appetizer recipes that use ingredients that are always cheaper and simpler to make. It doesn’t mean that they aren’t still delicious or part of the festive meals. Foods like beans, rice, potatoes, lentils, and bananas are all common ingredients that can be cooked quickly and easily. They usually can be done in 30 minutes with minimal involvement. 

Meal prepping appetizers for holiday meals can also benefit from using canned or frozen fruit and veggies. Depending on the recipe, swapping to these shelf stable options can be cheaper than organically grown as well as avoiding food waste. 

Buying in bulk has been a long standing approach to saving money and time with cooking. If you’re committed to multiple holiday parties and need to bring food to each one, bring the same appetizer each time and buy the ingredients in bulk right from the beginning. This is especially the case when buying shelf stable ingredients that are on sale. Not to mention the time savings in the kitchen. Cook the base ingredients in bulk and form an assembly line to improve productivity. 

round plate with egg rolls, sliced green cucumber, and shredded red cabbage

Another way to make the most of meal prepping appetizers is to plan ahead and recognize that you’ll have leftovers. Use those leftovers for future lunches. This means choosing recipes that are meal prep friendly, they store and reheat well. Again, potatoes, beans, and rice are great options for this. You can add those to future meal preps and mix and match easily. This’ll make meal prepping the days after the big holiday meal a breeze. As often as you can, leave any extra ingredients that you don’t need for the party stored separately rather than combined. That way you can finish the assembly later for better quality. Maintaining texture and flavors is key in meal prepping and that’s, often, much easier to do before you combine. 

Remember the age old rule of cooking: people eat with their eyes first. Work on your presentation. Making something quick and cheap can seem fancy and festive if you put work into making it look delicious and fit for a party. Just serving it out of a pot or a plastic container is fine but if you’re trying to class up a meal then serve it with finesse. Put the food in a serving dish, sprinkle some finishing spices on top, top it with fresh herbs, serve it hot. These tips can elevate your meal and make it feel special.

Meal prepping appetizers can ensure that you serve good food and enough for everyone. The trick is making good decisions along the way. Don’t cook ingredients too far in advance. That’s a quick way to waste a lot of time and money. The day before is a safe bet.

round plate with egg rolls, sliced green cucumber, and shredded red cabbage

Air Fryer Beef Egg Rolls

If you’re a fan of savory, crispy, and oh-so-flavorful bites, you’re in for a treat. These mouthwatering egg rolls are not just about incredible taste; they’re a celebration of health and budget-friendliness. With lean ground beef, vibrant red cabbage, and a homemade sauce that’s both sweet and savory, we’re about to create a lunch meal…

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rectangular plate with turkey and cheese taquitos with pico de gallo, avocado, and spring mix

Air Fryer Turkey Deli Taquitos

Air Fryer Turkey Deli Taquitos – the ultimate air fryer lunch hero. Budget-friendly, time-saving, kid-approved, and infinitely customizable. Believe me, if you’re all about quick, budget-friendly, and delicious meal prepping, this is the game changer you’ve been waiting for! This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our privacy policy for details. We love Air…

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round plate with deviled eggs and arugula salad

Tuna Stuffed Deviled Eggs

Greetings, food enthusiasts! Today, I’m excited to share with you a fabulous recipe that not only adds a burst of flavor to your meal prep routine but also offers numerous health and cost benefits. Get ready to indulge in the delectable goodness of Tuna Stuffed Deviled Eggs, a low carb meal that will keep your…

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Make Ahead Meals for the Holidays

make ahead holiday meal roast

The holidays are coming up and cooking a lot of food takes so much time. Anything you can do to make ahead meals for the holidays, the better. From prepping individual ingredients to fully cooking entire dishes days ahead of time can make the day-of go so much easier. You can trust that you have everything ready and you have enough. Relieve the stress of cooking on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and every holiday throughout the year.

Meal prep and make ahead meals can save you a ton of time on main courses or side dishes. If you don’t know the basics you can find yourself having to remake a lot of food though. Some dishes and ingredients work and others simply don’t. Follow these fundamental rules and you should do great.

Foods that can be frozen entirely cooked are a great option for saving time especially when you’re expecting to feed a lot of people. Meals that focus on a meat, grain or veggie generally freeze well. 

  • Casseroles: Creamy casseroles freeze very well. Although cream doesn’t freeze well on its own, as part of a dish it works. You can entirely cook dishes like mac n cheese, pot pies, and casseroles ahead of time and freeze them days in advance. Take it out the morning-of and reheat in the oven.
  • Soups & stews: Soups and stews freeze and reheat fantastically. The moisture from the broth keeps everything sealed and prevents the other ingredients from drying out in the freezer. We covered this before on this post: Tips For Freezing Meals. Soups make a great addition to holiday meals but they take so long to cook and develop flavor. Make ahead meals for the holidays, like soups, is an efficient and easy way to prepare. Even if you don’t want to cook the entire soup ahead, even just preparing the broth can save hours to build flavors. (depending on the soup)
  • Dough: Pie, bread, and cookie dough all freeze well. Dough can take a lot of effort and time to prepare. Make ahead meals like pot pies, dessert pies, or breads will make holiday dishes possible that would ordinarily not be an option.
  • Desserts: So many desserts do well in the freezer or in the fridge. Cookies, cakes, other pastries, you can even get away with prepping them and leaving them unbaked until the day of. Make ahead desserts is definitely a time saver and game changer.

Don’t feel limited though. Tons of make ahead meals can be frozen. A good rule to follow is don’t freeze foods that are

  • Crunchy
  • Mayonnaise based meals
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Salads
  • Custards

Any meal that requires an emulsion is likely to split or become grainy. Foods release moisture as they’re freezing so crunchy foods lose their crunch.

Reheating make ahead meals for the holidays

Most frozen meals can be cooked or reheated from frozen. Adjust the cooking times and use a food thermometer to check internal temps. 

Leftovers from the holidays

According to the USDA, if you thawed the meal in the refrigerator, yes, you can refreeze foods after cooking or reheating them. Make sure to freeze food again within 3 days however the earlier you get it frozen the better it tends to upkeep. 

Make ahead meals a day before

prep ahead holiday meal ingredients

Preparing vegetables the day before is a great way to save time, peel potatoes, cut off the ends of string beans, chop onions, and roast beets. Thaw the turkey, marinate or brine the meat, and make any dips. All of this prep not only makes things easier but also helps develop flavors.

Use separate meal containers to avoid flavors leaching from each other. See our blog post on meal prep containers. Learn more with our post on the Best Meal Prepping Containers.

Want help on cooking the perfect turkey for Thanksgiving, check out our article on How to Cook Turkey for more information!

Need some help with some ideas for make ahead meals for holiday appetizers, sides, and entrees then start here:

rectangle white baking dish with sliced sausage, diced potatoes and peppers, and green onions

Oven Baked Sausage and Potato Hash

Hey there, breakfast enthusiasts! Today, I’ve got a scrumptious recipe that will not only save you time but also add some flavor-packed excitement to your morning routine. Get ready to dive into the deliciousness of oven-baked sausage and potato hash. This delightful dish is perfect for breakfast meal prep, and I’ll tell you why! This…

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round plate with deviled eggs and arugula salad

Tuna Stuffed Deviled Eggs

Greetings, food enthusiasts! Today, I’m excited to share with you a fabulous recipe that not only adds a burst of flavor to your meal prep routine but also offers numerous health and cost benefits. Get ready to indulge in the delectable goodness of Tuna Stuffed Deviled Eggs, a low carb meal that will keep your…

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chicken and green beans

Roasted Chicken with Green Bean Casserole

Roasted chicken and green bean casserole are two classic American dishes in and of themselves but together the two provide a nutrient-packed meal with a fantastic balance of protein, carbs, and fats. Many people often look to French’s or Campbell’s green bean casserole recipes but we prefer our, made from scratch cream base coupled with…

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Meal Prepping Snack Packs – Lunch Ideas

meal prepped snack pack

Lunchables are a popular choice for children’s lunches and as a grown up you can still enjoy meal prepping snack packs. It’s like a small charcuterie board on-the-go. For busy people, meal prepping snack packs has to be one of the easiest and quickest meals out there. Adult snack packs have become popular in the past few years and there are a few options for you that are prepackaged in the store, however making your own is so easy and customizable.

Besides the shopping trip, it’s mostly cutting up fruits, veggies, and cheese and stacking them in meal containers. It’s so easy that a child can do it. If you need to prepare meals for yourself and a child, this is a great option. You can both eat the same or similar meal and they can learn about meal prepping while they help you.

One of the best parts of meal prepping snack packs is being able to customize them to your particular dietary needs. It’s much easier to balance nutrition or lean towards high protein foods or low sugar. Since each element of the snack pack is individual, it’s extremely easy to adjust even daily to your needs or taste for the day. 

Meal Prepping Snack Pack Ideas

  • Chicken salad, snap peas, blueberries, pita
  • Hummus, carrots, mandarin orange slices, salami
  • Cottage cheese, strawberries, broccoli, beef jerky
  • Greek Yogurt, grapes, almonds, cherry tomatoes
  • Nut butter, apple slices, hardboiled eggs, baked chicken, cauliflower
  • Tuna, hardboiled eggs, cucumbers, crackers

Customizable snack packs provide a ton of variety in your meals. You can simply buy random foods and mix and match them to see how they taste together. It’s much more fun and engaging than a sandwich and often tastes better. It’s easier to be creative and experimental when it’s just amounts of each food. These fun deviations from your normal meal prep routine keeps things fresh and exciting. Preventing diet burnout is very important in meal prepping. Check out bento boxes as well. Japanese lunch boxes that are extremely popular with a huge variety of foods that can be included and even the complexity of flavors. Bento can act as a great inspiration for you meal prepping even if you’re not prepared to invest the same amount of time.

You can also use fresh ingredients for your homemade snack packs. Fresh fruit, veggies, cheeses and crackers all taste better than the prepackaged store snack packs. Plus, meal prepping snack packs at home is much more affordable. You can buy in bulk and break down each ingredient into snack size portions. You’ll also be surprised how much you can buy for the same price as store bought snack packs which are priced up for convenience.

Another way that meal prepping snack packs can save you money is by using those random leftovers. Sometimes you end up with small amounts of left overs that don’t work well into a different meal but can easily become part of a snack pack. Cooked veggies, fruits like grapes or strawberries, even proteins like shredded chicken and ground beef can be worked into a snack pack. Being able to use these small parts of other meals to make an entire lunch minimizes food waste and saves you money.

Having the right meal prep containers helps out a lot. Each food should be stored separate to avoid soggy crackers and cheese. Classic lunch containers with 3 or 4 compartments are perfect for this. Even small single compartment containers are great for specific snack foods. 

Meal prepping snack packs at home also means you can portion control. Snack packs tend to be small anyways however the nutrients tend to be heavy on cheese and crackers. Balancing your snack pack is easy if you know the basics. These simple foods will taste great together and will balance well.

These are popular meal prepping snack pack foods. Mixing and matching them can create a variety of flavor combinations as well as keeping lunch at work fun. The trick is to balance nutrients. Try to always include a veggie, a fruit, a small amount of cheese and protein. Include dips to make veggies more fun if you’re not a veggie fan. 

  • Cheese cubes or string cheese
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Deli meat
  • Leftover chicken 
  • Chicken salad
  • Cucumbers
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Hummus
  • Mixed nuts
  • Grapes
  • Yogurt
  • Beef or turkey jerky
  • Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • Peanuts or Almonds
  • Tuna
  • Baked tofu
  • Cottage cheese
  • Apple slices
  • Egg bites
  • Broccoli
  • Crackers
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Meal Prepping Soups

chicken soup

Meal prepping soups is one of the easiest, most affordable meal prepping methods. On top of that, soups are versatile and last a while in the freezer, just a few reasons soup is so popular. It’s soup season and a perfect time to dust off your big pots and instant pots. Soup meal prep is very forgiving, you can adjust and season as you go and build up flavors slowly. There are many soup tricks to learn to balance the saltiness, thickness, maintain vegetable textures, and much much more.

A good thing to check before you get started is how many meal prep soup containers you have available. It’s frustrating to spend hours making a soup only to find that you don’t have the right containers to actually take it with you. If you’re planning to freeze the majority of it, then a gallon bag will suffice. It freezes well and is more convenient to store in the freezer. Lastly, make sure to let soup cool down to room temperature before putting it in the fridge or freezer.

Soups are some of the most affordable options for home cooking. Not only does it go a long way but it’s great for cheap or throw away ingredients. Leaner and tougher cuts of beef and pork are great options for stews. The longer cooking times and broth help break down the protein and these cuts have great flavor, it’s just the texture and tenderness that need help.

Cuts to use in stews and soups

  • Chuck
  • Bone-in short rib
  • Bohemian (Bottom Sirloin Flap)
  • Beef Round
  • Oxtail
  • Cross-cut shanks

Depending on the recipe you’re making, the order of cooking can vary however a good rule is to sear the meat before you add it to the broth. This searing helps maintain the flavor and bite of the meat as well as adding a caramelized note. 

Meal prepping with soups is also a great way to save money with all of the off-cuts of vegetables. Broccoli stalks, carrot peels, beet skins, there are tons of ways to use these pieces of vegetables in a soup and never notice. 

Round bowl with beef soup and udon noodles.

You can even make delicious broth with bones. A popular option to buy an entire chicken, after cleaning the meat off, you can use the carcass to create a homemade chicken broth. A good broth can be easy, water and strong ingredients from the pantry, concentrates, herbs, and salt and pepper. Soups alongside the rest of your meal prep makes cooking at home even more affordable. 

There are 4 famous soup bases the French mirepoix, German suppengrün, Spanish sofrito and Creole “holy trinity” are four classic flavor bases that dominate many western recipes

Mirepoix & Suppengrün: Made by cooking onions, celery, and carrots in a pot. Mixed together and started all at the same time, they are cooked slowly in butter or oil without browning them. This brings the flavor out.

Sofrito: Sofrito is a flavorful cooking base used in many Latin American, Caribbean, and Spanish cuisines. Traditionally, it is made by grinding ingredients together using a mortar and pestle. Often made with onion, garlic, bell pepper, tomato, and cilantro with additional spices.

Creole “holy trinity”: Similar to the French Mirepoix, the Creole soup base starts with onions, celery, but then substitutes bell peppers in for carrots.

However we often tend to be too busy for more involved soup meal prep recipes and we are just looking for a simple, no fuss soup. Crock pots and instant pots are amazing for this. With a bit of store bought stock or bouillon cubes, throw everything into the pot and just set to cook for hours. (typically around 4 hours) You can still build up flavors and it’s just as delicious with way less work. These recipes are perfect soup meal prep for busy schedules.

round plate with beef chunks in tomato sauce with napa cabbage, red cabbage, and sliced mushrooms

One Pot Beef and Cabbage Stew

Are you in search of a hearty and hassle-free dinner meal prep option that will make your weeknights a breeze? Look no further than our One-Pot Beef and Cabbage Stew recipe. Packed with lean beef, colorful cabbage, and savory mushrooms, this dish is a surefire way to satisfy your taste buds while simplifying your meal…

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Round bowl with beef soup and udon noodles.

Instant Pot Recipe for Beef Udon Noodles

Enjoy udon noodles served in this savory soup by using your chopsticks while making a slurping sound. Slurping enhances the flavors of this dish 🙂 This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our privacy policy for details. Cooking for two can be a challege, but with a little planning and creativity, it can be…

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chicken soup

One Pot Mexican Chicken Soup

This Mexican Chicken Soup Recipe comes together quickly and is a flavorful and budget-friendly meal. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our privacy policy for details. Not only is this Mexican Chicken Soup Recipe full of nutrients and high in protein, it is also made with pantry-friendly and budget-friendly ingredients. Why is This…

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turkey soup

One Pot Turkey Toscana Soup

Here’s a healthy spin on a restaurant classic. This One Pot Turkey Toscana Soup recipe is lightened up with healthy ingredients that you can make in less than 30 minutes. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our privacy policy for details. Why You’ll Enjoy this Version of Turkey Toscana Soup Zuppa Toscana soup…

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Our Favorite Meal Prepping Soup Recipes

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Meal Prepping with Pork

pork carnitas ingredients - high protein meals

Meal prepping with pork is a great addition to your meal prep routine. Healthy cuts of pork and the right recipes can be very nutritious, taste amazing, and stores well. Knowing how to introduce and balance pork in your diet can make a big difference and open a whole new world of proteins and recipes. Some cuts of pork can even be leaner than chicken if your diet is restrictive on fatty foods. 

Meal prepping with pork offers unique flavors and textures as well as being versatile. Most cuisines around the world have pork as one of their primary proteins. Choosing the right cut for the recipe and for your dietary needs is the important part.

pork carnitas ingredients - high protein meals

Pork is an excellent source of high-quality protein, essential for muscle growth and overall health. Meal prepping with pork can also be a cost effective protein compared to beef. As always, pay attention to the deals at your local grocery store and you can save a lot. Good meal prepping leverages ingredients that are versatile and can last in the fridge or freezer. Pork freezes well, leading to less food waste and pairs nicely with many sides due to its mild flavor.

Pork’s high protein will make you feel full faster for longer. If you balance your meal prepping with pork with healthy portions of vegetables and fruits, this can be a great inclusion into your weight loss meal routine

Meal prepping with popular cuts of pork

Pork Chop: This is one of the most popular cuts of pork. The pork chop is versatile and easy to cook. Pan-fry, baking, grilling, and many others. It takes well to a variety of seasonings and is a good place to start. This can be and tends to be a lean cut and is a good option for meal prepping with pork on a diet.

Pork Tenderloin: The pork tenderloin tends to be the other go-to option for pork cuts. It’s lean as well and could be a healthy option depending on your dietary goals or needs. The tenderloin is tender, just as the name suggests, and is often roasted, slow cooked, or pan-fried. 

pork carnitas meal prep

Pork Shoulder (Pork Butt): Another versatile cut as well as being economical. Per pound, it’s a relatively affordable protein option. Often used with stews and other slow cooking methods like pulled pork. Use a crock pot or instant pot with some sauce and spices and you’ll have a good amount of pulled pork ready for sides with very little work required. (pay attention to the sauces that you use, they can be high in sugar, salt, and others. Read the label and look for healthier options)

Ground Pork: People often think of ground beef, chicken, or turkey. Ground pork is only considered as part of a breakfast sausage or a meatball. Both of which are great uses of pork and are delicious as part of a balanced meal. Ground pork can be used in many of the same ways that ground chicken and beef are, just be careful of the fat content of the ground pork and the cooking. Pork needs to be cooked all the way through.

Ham: Ham is used on the daily for sandwiches and on holidays as a centerpiece entrée. There are a lot of types of ham as well as cooking methods. This tends to be a popular option just for the leftovers alone. The sweet and salty pork pairs well with a variety of sides and can last 3-5 days in the fridge (after cooked) before drying out or going bad.

Bacon: Probably the most popular cut of pork. Bacon’s reputation precedes it but small amounts can be included in a balanced meal. Bacon contains nutrients like Vitamins, B1, B2, B3, B4, B5 as well as iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium. The high content of saturated fats tends to be the issue though. Although newer science debates the impacts of “unhealthy” fats, limiting your portions is important. It also tends to be high in sodium so if you need a low sodium option consider a different bacon product.

Meal Prepping with Pork: Cooking Methods


  1. Preheat your oven to the desired temperature (usually around 325-375°F or 160-190°C).
  2. Season the pork with herbs, spices, and marinades for flavor.
  3. Place the pork in a roasting pan, fat side up, on a rack to allow air circulation.
  4. Roast until the pork reaches the recommended internal temperature for the specific cut you’re cooking. Use a meat thermometer to check doneness.


  1. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat (350-450°F or 175-230°C).
  2. Season the pork with your choice of rubs, sauces, or marinades.
  3. Grill the pork over direct heat, turning as needed until it reaches the recommended internal temperature.


  1. Heat a skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Season the pork and add a small amount of oil to the pan.
  3. Cook the pork on both sides until it’s browned and reaches the safe internal temperature.


  1. Preheat your oven to 350-375°F (175-190°C).
  2. Place the seasoned pork in a baking dish and cover it with foil or a lid.
  3. Bake until it reaches the safe internal temperature.

Slow Cooking:

  1. Slow cooking is ideal for pork cuts like shoulder or ribs.
  2. Season the pork and place it in a slow cooker.
  3. Add liquid (broth, sauce, etc.) for flavor and moisture.
  4. Cook on the low setting for an extended period (6-8 hours) until the meat is tender.


  1. Cut pork into thin strips or small pieces.
  2. Heat a wok or skillet over high heat.
  3. Add a small amount of oil and stir-fry the pork with vegetables and seasonings.


  1. Braising involves searing the pork in a hot pan, then slow-cooking it in a flavorful liquid like broth or wine.
  2. It’s suitable for cuts like pork shoulder.
  3. After searing, transfer the pork to a heavy, oven-safe pot, add the liquid and other ingredients, and cover it.
  4. Braise in the oven at a low temperature for several hours.


  1. Boiling is typically used for cooking pork to be used in soups, stews, or to make pulled pork.
  2. Season the water with spices and herbs, then simmer the pork until it’s tender.

Use a meat thermometer to ensure your pork is cooked thoroughly and reaches a safe internal temperature. For most cuts of pork the USDA recommends 145°F (63°C), however for ground pork and some other cuts, it is recommended to cook to 160°F (71°C), or until shredded easily. Cooking times vary based on the thickness of the cut so use a thermometer to be safe.

Meal prepping for yourself and others can get monotonous if you stick to the same ingredients and recipes week after week. Mixing up the protein is a great way to entirely transform a recipe. Experiment with pork as a substitute in your favorite recipes or branch out into new recipes. We suggest these as a great place to start:

round plate with sliced pork tenderloin and diced butternut squash

Island Spiced Pork Loin with Butternut Squash & Apples

Island-Spiced Pork Loin with Butternut Squash and Apples is a meal prepper’s dream come true! The spicy, sweet, and savory notes from the pork marinade, the tender and caramelized qualities of the roasted butternut squash, the crispness and freshness of the apples, and the mild sweetness of the red onions all come together to create…

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pork carnitas

Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Tostadas

This Instant Pot Pork Carnitas is a game changer for your weekly dinner meal prep! It tastes as if it came from a restaurant, but you don’t have to break the budget by making it yourself at home. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our privacy policy for details. What Are Pork Carnitas?…

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How to Make Easy and Healthy Pan-Fried Pork Chops

Crispy golden brown pork chops ready in less than 10 minutes! These easy pan-fried pork chops come together quickly, are bursting with flavor, low carb, and make for a perfect weeknight dinner. Ease of Making: Medium This pork chop recipe is prepared on the stovetop and uses thinly sliced boneless cuts that sear in a…

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Best Fall Seasonal Recipes

seasonal meal of chicken and veggies

It’s time for Fall Seasonal Recipes! Great fall seasonal recipes are characterized by their use of fresh, in-season ingredients that capture the essence of autumn. Every year, fall is the season everyone gets excited about for food. From harvest festivals to thanksgiving, there is a long tradition of copious amounts of food during this season. It’s one of the best, if not the best, for fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs. The flavors are diverse and rich. There are a ton of seasonal recipes that you can make with fresh, versatile ingredients. 

Cooking seasonally means incorporating ingredients that are freshly harvested or prepared for your region during this time of year. These days we have year round produce and products so seasonal cooking isn’t as significant as it used to be, however seasonal ingredients can be more flavorful and use less chemicals to sustain them. Unless you shop at a farmers market or grow your own food, you may not even be aware of what seasonal foods are available in your region. With the weather cooling off this is a great time to visit your local farmers market and have a nice day grocery shopping outside.

The temperature change and local culture will dictate what will be readily available but grocery stores these days stock most of everything you’re looking for. If it doesn’t, ordering it online is always an easy option. You should take some time to look up what foods are seasonal for your area and mix up your meal routine with seasonal recipes.

Warm and Comforting: Fall is associated with cooler weather, so great fall recipes tend to be warm, hearty, and comforting. Dishes like soups, stews, casseroles, and roasted vegetables are perfect for keeping you cozy on chilly evenings.

Rich Flavors: Fall recipes often incorporate rich, earthy flavors that are synonymous with the season. Ingredients like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and allspice are commonly used to add warmth and depth to dishes. Savory herbs like rosemary, thyme, and sage also feature prominently.

Seasonal Spices: Spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg are staples in fall recipes, adding warmth and aroma to both sweet and savory dishes. These spices often evoke a sense of nostalgia and comfort.

Fall Seasonal Foods & Ingredients

  • Bananas
  • Beets
  • Bell Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Cranberries
  • Ginger
  • Grapes
  • Green Beans
  • Kiwifruit
  • Lemons
  • Lettuce
  • Limes
  • Mangos
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Pears
  • Peas
  • Pineapples
  • Potatoes
  • Pumpkin
  • Radishes
  • Raspberries
  • Rutabagas
  • Spinach
  • Sweet Potatoes & Yams
  • Swiss Chard
  • Turnips
  • Winter Squash

This doesn’t represent all of the Fall ingredients but it’s definitely enough to get started. Check out your regional fall delicacies and expand your meal prep routine.

Fall Seasonal Recipes for Breakfast:

round plate with baked eggs and sweet potato

Baked Sweet Potato Egg Frittata

This oven-baked sweet potato egg frittata is a hearty dish that boasts a delightful combination of velvety eggs, the wholesome goodness of sweet potatoes, and the fresh pop of green onions. Whether you’re a meal prep enthusiast looking for a weekly staple or a busy individual in need of quick, satisfying meals, this frittata has…

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breakfast quinoa

Cinnamon Toast Quinoa Crunch with Strawberries

If you enjoy oatmeal for breakfast, try this healthy breakfast alternative. It is a sweet and nutty cinnamon-toasted quinoa recipe. Feel good and start the day off with this super healthy bowl of nutrients! This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our privacy policy for details. Why we enjoy this sweet quinoa breakfast for…

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cranberry oat muffins

Cranberry Oatmeal Muffin Bars

These fruity cranberry oatmeal muffin bars are a treat that you can enjoy for breakfast, snacks, and even dessert! This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our privacy policy for details. We enjoy prepping make ahead breakfasts for the week so that we always have something on hand to start off the day with…

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Fall Seasonal Recipes for Lunch: 

balsamic steak

Grilled Balsamic Steak Salad with Sweet Potato

Some things are just meant to be just like this Balsamic Glazed Steak Salad with Savory Sweet Potato Wedges! This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our privacy policy for details. Prepping tasty meals can be challenging, especially if you’re short on time. But meal prepping in advance can help set you up for…

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chicken kale salad

Grilled Honey Dijon Chicken Kale Salad

This delicious and gorgeous roasted sweet potato and kale salad with grilled chicken is full of flavor. It’s a nutrient-packed lunch for the week. This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our privacy policy for details. Why This Kale Salad is Healthy Complete Meal: This recipe has lean protein, complex carbs, vegetables, fruit, and…

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Fall Seasonal Recipes for Dinner: 

How to Make Easy and Healthy Pan-Fried Pork Chops

Crispy golden brown pork chops ready in less than 10 minutes! These easy pan-fried pork chops come together quickly, are bursting with flavor, low carb, and make for a perfect weeknight dinner. Ease of Making: Medium This pork chop recipe is prepared on the stovetop and uses thinly sliced boneless cuts that sear in a…

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chicken artichoke

Chicken and Artichoke Bake

Chicken and Artichoke Bake mixing bowlbaking dishoven 12 oz chicken tenders12 oz canned artichoke hearts1/4 cup mayonnaise1/4 cup parmesan cheese1/2 cup cherry tomatoes1/4 tsp garlic powder1/4 tsp salt1/4 tsp pepper1 tbsp olive oil Pre heat oven to 425FGrease baking dish with olive oil Drain artichoke heartsSeason chicken tenders with garlic powder and saltIn a bowl,…

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delicata steak

Balsamic Steak with Roasted Delicata Squash

Balsamic Steak with Roasted Delicata Squash knifecutting boardmixing bowlsheet panoven 12 oz sirloin steak1/4 each red onion1 large delicata squash1 tbsp green onion ((chopped))1 tbsp concentrated balsamic vinegar1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce1 tsp sriracha sauce2 tsp garlic powder1/4 tsp salt1/4 tsp pepper2 tbsp olive oil Pre-Cook (Mise En Place):Gather your equipment: knife, cutting board, sheet pan,…

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Fall Seasonal Recipes for Side Dishes: