Start your pathway to healthy eating with these 3 quick, easy, and incredibly delicious meal prep recipes. Prepare each bowl in 20 minutes or less using only a handful of everyday ingredients.
A Quinoa Egg Bowl, a Black Bean Quinoa Bowl, and a Soba Noodle Stir-fry that are super flavorful and tasty.
I want to show you that meal prepping is not only easy and quick, but it can also include some of your favorite foods without depriving you of eating them. Yes, bacon CAN be part of a healthy diet as long as it is enjoyed in moderation. I actually believe that depriving yourself of ALL of your favorite foods just sets you up for failure. When you create nutritionally balanced meals that include your favorite things, you’ll enjoy sticking to a healthy diet and make it a true lifestyle instead of just a “diet”.
I’ve said it time and time again, meal prepping is a gazillion times more effective than willpower alone when you want to STICK to a healthy diet.
Ingredients and Subscitutions
Quinoa Egg Meal Prep Recipe
- Eggs – hard-boiled eggs are an incredible protein for meal prep recipes because they keep their texture over time, are quick to cook, and taste great even on day 4. If you don’t like eggs, you can replace them with some chicken however.
- Bacon – you can use regular pork bacon or turkey bacon if you want to reduce the fat-content of the recipe. Even with regular pork bacon the bowl is nutritionally balanced and not excessively high on fat. It’s all about enjoying foods like this in moderation.
- Lettuce – My favorite for this bowl are boston lettuce or butter lettuce but virtually any lettuce works of course.
- Quinoa – Quinoa is the fastes grain (seed) to cook, it doesn’t dry out over time, and it offers a lot of nutritional benefits. It’s my favorite carbohydrate for meal prep recipes because of all of this.
- Hummus – homemade hummus is delicious but store-bought hummus tends to have all clean ingredients. Always look for a brand that uses no more than chickpeas, tahini, lime, spices, and a little oil. If hummus isn’t your jam, make the dressing of the black bean quinoa meal prep bowls and use that instead.
Black Bean Quinoa Meal Prep Recipe
- Dressing – use whatever mustard you like, my favorite is Dijon. Lemon or lime as an acid is delicious but any vinegar works, too. Use a flavorless oil, my favorite is avocado oil but any other wors well. Use simple sea salt and pepper to flavor the dressing.
- Black Beans – I ususally cook my beans at home in the Instant Pot but since we’re trying to keep prep time of all of these meal prep recipes to 20 minutes or less I use canned in this case. Find a brand that includes Kombu Seaweed in their ingredients as that improves digestion of canned legumes.
- Quinoa – scroll up and read what I wrote under Quinoa Egg Meal Prep Recipe for quinoa.
- Corn – corn gives the meal prep bowls a little bit of sweetness, you can also use green peas instead.
- Red Bell Pepper – any color bell pepper works of course, I’m just choosing red because of color contrast. I recommd sticking with this vegetable as it is high in Vitamin C and helps with iron absorption in the plant proteins added.
- Hemp Seeds – hemp seeds add a nice nutty flavor and some extra protein to the bowl but any other seed works, as well. My favorite alternative would be toasted pumpkin seeds.
- Baby spinach – I don’t recommend replacing it with any other lettuce because this bowl is vegetarian and using several plant proteins (black beans, hemp seeds, baby spinach) to make it nutritionally balanced.
Soba Noodle Stir-Fry Meal Prep Recipe
- Soba Noodles – the big advantage of soba noodles is that they cook fast, are high in protein, and taste delicious. Other noodles work, too though.
- Scallions and Garlic – both are supre important to give the dish depth, don’t replace or omit them.
- Vegetables – my favorite combination is broccoli, bell pepper, and shiitake mushrooms. You can go wild here though and add whatever vegetables that speak to you. Just make sure you use some that sauté quickly. Some examples: julienned carrots, snow peas, cut up zucchini, bamboo sprouts, small cut-up cauliflower.
- Sole Filet – any type of fish cooks really fast which is why it’s the first choice for any 20-minute meal prep recipe. And yes, almost all animal protein, including fish, is safe to eat for up to 3-4 days. If eating 4-day old cooked fish doesn’t sound good to you though you can always replace it with some chicken. Simply pan fry your chicken before and then shred it or cut it up and add it at the end with the noodles.
- Soy Sauce – I like using low sodium because I feel I have better control over the saltiness of the dish but you can use regular as well. For a gluten-free alternative you can use Tamari, and for a soy-free alternative you can use coconut aminos.
- Sesame Seed Oil – this is optional but oh so recommended. It does give the dish a finishing touch.
- Optional Heat – I love spicy stir-frys and my favorite spice for this one is either Salsa Macha or Sambal Olek.
- Toasted Sesame Seeds – To toast sesame seeds you simply add a tablespoon to a dry preheated pan and stir them in there for a few minutes or until they start lightly browning.
How To Make Nutritionally Balanced Meal Prep Recipes
- Choose a carbohydrate – great carbohydrates for meal prep because they don’t dry out and keep their shape for extended periods of time in the fridge are: quinoa, farro, sweet potato, oats, brown or wild rice.
- Choose a protein – almost all protein, both plan and animal protein, lasts in the fridge safely for 3-4 days which is why you will mostly find 4-day meal prep recipes online. This does not mean your food becomes radioactive on day 5. It simply means there is a greater associated risk with food poisoning. Some proteins are great for staying delicious cold, some are better for reheating. For example shrimp and chicken breast are great when eating cold and not so great to reheat because they become rubbery. Chicken thighs are fantastic for reheating because they don’t overcook when being reheated but they don’t taste so good cold.
- Choose vegetables – always add plenty of vegetables to your meal prep bowls to make them nutritionally balanced and healthy. Some vegetables are better than others to keep cut up in the fridge. As a rule of thumb: the more water a vegetable has the less it’s suitable for meal prep. Cucumber for example gets a bit yucky over time. The harder the vegetables the better they hold up. Carrot and celery for example are super crunchy even on day 4.
- Choose healthy fats – we all know avocado is about the healthiest of all fats however avocado isn’t suitable for meal prep at all! It browns super quickly no matter what trick you use to slow down the browning process. Hummus, nut butters, cold-pressed oils in dressings are much better for meal prep.
Find all equipment you need for meal prep and my favorite container in my Shop. And if you’re ready to commit, join Green Healthy Cooking’s 6-Week Clean Eating Program which is chock full of healthy clean-eating recipes and plenty of meal prep ideas.
3 Healthy Meal Prep Recipes
- 1.5 cups quinoa
- 4 eggs
- 4 rashers bacon
- 2 heads boston lettuce
- 1 red bell pepper
- 8 Tbsp hummus
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 14-oz can black beans
- 1 cup cooked corn
- 1 red bell pepper
- 4 Tbsp hemp seeds
- 1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 lime
- sea salt
- 4 Tbsp avocado oil
- 7 oz soba noodles
- 1-2 Tbsp avocado oil
- 4 scallions
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1-3 heads of broccoli - depending on size, see photos/video for amount reference
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1.5 cups shiitake mushrooms
- 4 sole fillets - (400g/14oz)
- 3-4 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1-2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tsp salsa macha or sambal olek (optional)
- Quinoa Egg Meal Prep Recipe: Cook quinoa with 1.5 cups water, and fridge-cold eggs at the same time in the Instant Pot for 1 minute on high pressure plus full natural pressure release. OR cook separately on the stove: quinoa as instructed on the package and hard-boil eggs for 8 minutes in boiling water, then let cool on the counter (no ice bath required). Cut bacon into thin stripes, then pan-fry until golden and crispy, drain the fat and pat the bacon with a paper towel to remove the excess fat. Cut the bell pepper into thing tripes. Assemble the meal prep bowls by dividing all ingredients amongst 4 bowls.
- Black Bean Quinoa Meal Prep Recipe: Cook quinoa with 1 cup water in the Instant Pot for 1 minute on high pressure plus full natural pressure release. OR cook on the stove as instructed on the package. Dice bell pepper. Make the dressing by combining mustard, sea salt, pepper, lime juice, and avocado oil and shake until well combined. Assemble the meal prep bowls by dividing all ingredients amongst 4 bowls. Keep the dressing separate until moments before eating a bowl.
- Soba Noodle Stir-Fry Meal Prep Recipe: Cook soba noodles as instructed on the package. Slice scallions and finely chop garlic. Cut broccoli into small florets and thinly slice the bell pepper. Preheat a large pan over medium heat and once hot add avocado oil and oniony part of scallions as well as chopped garlic. Stir-fry for about 1 minute. Add broccoli florets, sliced bell pepper, and shiitake mushrooms and stir-fry for about 5 minutes. Add cut-up sole fillets to the pan and stir-fry until fish is cooked through. Add cooked and drained soba noodles and soy sauce to the pan and mix well. Add sesame oil, chili if desired, and then sprinkle with the green part of scallions and toasted sesame seeds. Divide amongst 4 meal prep containers.