What are your best meal prep recipes for quick dinners?May, 8 2023
Effortless Sheet Pan Dinners
Sheet pan dinners are the ultimate life-saver when it comes to meal prep. Not only are they easy to make, but they also require minimal cleanup, making them perfect for busy weeknights. One of my favorite sheet pan dinners is the classic combination of chicken, vegetables, and potatoes. Simply chop up your favorite veggies (I like using bell peppers, zucchini, and red onion), toss them in olive oil, and season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place your seasoned vegetables on one side of the sheet pan, and arrange your chicken (I prefer boneless, skinless thighs) on the other side. Season your chicken with your favorite herbs and spices, and then roast everything in a 425°F oven for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Voilà! A delicious, nutritious, and easy-to-clean meal is ready to be enjoyed.
Hearty Slow Cooker Recipes
There's nothing quite like coming home to a warm, home-cooked meal after a long day, and slow cooker recipes make that a reality with minimal effort. One of my go-to slow cooker recipes is a savory beef stew. Simply add cubed beef (I like using chuck roast), chopped carrots, potatoes, onions, and celery to your slow cooker. In a separate bowl, whisk together beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and your favorite seasonings (I use salt, pepper, and a pinch of thyme). Pour this mixture over your beef and vegetables, and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Once the meat is tender, stir in a slurry of cornstarch and water to thicken the stew, and let it cook for an additional 30 minutes. Serve with a warm slice of crusty bread, and you have a cozy, comforting meal that's perfect for any night of the week.
Stir-fry is a fantastic way to get a healthy, flavorful meal on the table in a matter of minutes. With countless combinations of proteins, vegetables, and sauces, the possibilities are virtually endless. One of my favorite stir-fry recipes is a simple chicken and vegetable stir-fry. Begin by cutting boneless, skinless chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and stir-frying them in a hot skillet or wok with a bit of oil. Once the chicken is cooked through, remove it from the pan and set aside. Add your favorite vegetables (I like using snap peas, bell peppers, and broccoli) to the pan, and stir-fry until they're cooked to your desired tenderness. Then, whisk together a simple sauce of soy sauce, honey, garlic, and cornstarch, and pour it over your cooked chicken and vegetables. Cook everything together for a few minutes to thicken the sauce, and then serve over a bed of steamed rice or noodles for a satisfying, quick dinner.
Perfectly Portioned Mason Jar Salads
Mason jar salads are an excellent meal prep option for those who want a healthy, no-cook dinner that's ready to go. They're especially great for packed lunches or on-the-go meals. Start by choosing your favorite salad greens (I love a mix of spinach and arugula) and place them at the bottom of the jar. Next, layer on your favorite chopped vegetables, like cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and bell pepper. For protein, add cooked and cooled quinoa, grilled chicken, or chickpeas. Top your salad with a handful of nuts or seeds for some crunch, and then add your dressing (I love a simple vinaigrette made with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper). When you're ready to eat, simply shake the jar to distribute the dressing and pour your salad onto a plate or into a bowl. Enjoy a delicious, nutrient-packed meal without any fuss!
Casseroles are the ultimate comfort food and make for fantastic meal prep options. They're easy to assemble and can be frozen and reheated as needed for a quick and filling dinner. One of my favorite freezer-friendly casseroles is a cheesy chicken and rice bake. Begin by combining cooked shredded chicken, cooked rice, and your favorite vegetables (I like using a mix of broccoli, carrots, and peas) in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together condensed cream of chicken soup, sour cream, and a bit of milk, and then pour this mixture over your chicken and rice. Stir everything together, and then transfer the mixture to a greased baking dish. Top with shredded cheese (I like using a mix of cheddar and Monterey Jack), and then cover and freeze until you're ready to enjoy. When you're ready to eat, simply thaw the casserole in the refrigerator overnight and then bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes or until heated through and bubbly. Serve with a simple side salad for a well-rounded, delicious meal.