After a long day at work, you want to avoid spending a long time in the kitchen.
In order to eat nutritiously, we recommend preparing your food by scratch. However, that doesn’t always mean slaving for hours in the kitchen to create healthy dishes. We’ve discovered some easy meal prep recipes for those mid-week blues, which don’t require hours in the kitchen.
Easy Meal Recipes to Save You Time
In order to limit your time in the kitchen, fill your cupboards with herbs and purchase fresh meat and vegetables. All of these below easy meal prep recipes are simple-to-follow and will satisfy your cravings. As they’re too good to resist, cook your favourite creations in bulk and freeze them for those lazy days.
1. Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
This is one of our favourite easy meal prep recipes, which is ideal for vegans. This is the perfect comfort food for fall. Invite your friends around and wow them. Rather than one of the best easy meal prep recipes, your friends will think you worked hours on this dish.
- 1/2 cup green lentils
- 3 medium size sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 medium carrot, finely grated
- 1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tin organic chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 cup green peas
- Salt & pepper
- 1/4 tsp red chilli flakes
- A bunch of fresh coriander
- Cook the lentils according to the packet instructions. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Place diced sweet potato in a pan. Season with salt & pepper, cover with water & bring to a boil. Reduce to a medium heat & cook until the potatoes are soft. When cooked, cool slightly before mashing the potatoes up. Set aside.
- Fry the onions and garlic in a pan with 1 tbsp olive oil on a low to medium heat until just softened. Add the grated carrot and cook for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato puree, smoked paprika and chili flakes and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Add the cooked lentils into the pan with onions and garlic. Mix well. Stir in chopped tomatoes and peas. Cook on a medium heat for around 5 minutes. Take the pan off the heat, add freshly chopped coriander and season with salt & pepper.
- Transfer the lentil mixture into an oven proof dish and spread evenly. Top with sweet potato mash (use a fork to spread evenly).
- Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes. The potato should start turning golden brown.
2. Spicy Vegan Lentil Cakes
These spicy vegan lentil cakes are tasty and one of the best easy meal prep recipes which you and vegans will adore. For this recipe, we’ve used smoked paprika. However, feel free to opt for a milder herb if you aren’t a huge fan of spicy food.
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 small bunch parsley, chopped
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 4 tbsps psyllium husks
- 4 tbsps nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 bell peppers
- ½ cup flour of choice
- 2 tsps smoked paprika
- 1 tsp spicy paprika
- ½ tsp chili flakes
- Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
- Oil, for frying
- Add lentils in a pot and cover them with water. From the moment they start boiling, let them boil for around 15 minutes. Finally, remove from heat.
- Strain the lentils very well and put them in a large bowl. Start mashing them using a fork or a vertical blender. Add the rest of the ingredients, except oil.
- Start mixing the composition. It has to be sticky and easy to shape. If it’s not it means that you didn’t strain the lentils very good and the composition is too wet. No problem, just add more flour until it has a dough-like consistency. Alternatively, let it rest in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.
- Spray a non-stick pan with some oil. Not too much. Put each patty on the frying pan and let it fry about 2 minutes on each side.
3. Sticky Sesame Chicken Pieces
This is one of our favourite easy meal prep recipes, as it’s a healthy alternative to a greasy, high-fat takeaway. This recipe is ideal for chicken lovers who love Chinese food. By serving with fresh vegetables, it becomes a healthy meal, whilst the sauce is too delicious to resist.
For the Chicken:
- 2 chicken breasts
- 6tbsp instant mashed potato
- 2 eggs
- 1tsp sesame seeds
- 1tsp chilli flakes
- 1tsp powdered stock (chicken/vegetable)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- For the Sauce:
- 4 spring onions, sliced thinly
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 fresh red chili, diced small
- Fry light
- 4tbsp dark soy sauce
- 3/4 Ppnt chicken stock
- 1tbsp honey
- 1tsp sesame seeds
For the Chicken:
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
- Mix together the powered mash, sesame seeds, chilli flakes, powdered stock and salt and pepper.
- Dice the chicken into chunks and set aside.
- Whisk the two eggs together.
- Spray a large baking tray with Fry Light.
- One by one, dip the chicken pieces into the egg. Then, into the powered mash mix, ensuring they're covered all over. Place them separately on the baking tray. Spray with Fry light.
- Once all of the chicken is done, bake until crispy (around 15-20 minutes).
For the Sauce:
- Over a high heat, spray a frying pan with Fry Light. Add the spring onions, garlic and chilli to stir fry.
- Add the soy sauce and chicken stock. Then, add the sesame seeds and honey.
- Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened.
- Once the chicken is cooked, add it to the sauce. Stir until every piece of chicken is coated.
- Serve over sticky white rice and fresh steamed vegetables.
4. Roasted Red Pepper Paste
So many people are a fan of pasta, but cheese and tomato can quickly become boring. Mix up your sauce with this delicious, vegan-inspired recipe. We also recommend making this recipe in bulk to prepare your meals for the week.
For the Creamy Red Bell Pepper Sauce:
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1 red onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1 cup unsweetened almond or soy milk
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- black pepper, to taste
- red pepper flakes, to taste
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika powder
- 9 oz fettuccine
- Chopped fresh parsley, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Cut the red bell peppers and the onion into stripes. Together with the garlic, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, cook the fettuccine according to the instructions on the package. Set aside.
- Get the bell pepper, the onion, and the garlic out of the oven and place them in a high- speed blender. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.
- Pour the red bell pepper sauce into a saucepan and heat it up for a couple of minutes. Stir in the cooked fettuccine and serve immediately. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and more red pepper flakes if you like.
Do You Know Any Easy Meal Prep Recipes?
Every speaks about meal preparation, but we all seem to run out of time and the energy to stay motivated. However, eating healthy shouldn’t be daunting. The above recipes are suitable for various tastes and dietary needs.
Do you know any easy meal prep recipes which are delicious? Share your recipes and go-to ingredients in the comments to inspire others.
Related Article: Meal Prep: How to Eat Healthy Like a Pro & Keep it Up