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My Weekly Meal Prep Routine (+PDF)

As part of my Sunday reset routine, I meal prep ingredients for a variety of meals for the week ahead. Ranging from meat to carbs, bread, sauces, and lunchbox baking, this routine not only saves time and food waste but also money as I’m less likely to revert to takeaways and packaged meals when I’m in a pinch. In this overview, I share my easy weekly meal prep routine that I’ve followed over the last few years and ideas on how you can get started as well.

Caro next to meal prep containers.
Table of contents

Download my Meal Prep Cheat Sheet

I had a conversation with a friend the other day about my grocery list and meal prepping and what my routine looks like and she was so keen to hear more. That’s where the idea for this post came about. I collated all items into a MEAL PREP CHEAT SHEET for you (and me!) to download to give you plenty of ideas on what to prepare for the coming week.

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My meal prep method

  • Ingredients instead of meals: I prepare ingredients instead of pre-made meals as I prefer cooking meals on the day if our busy schedule allows it and also some flexibility as I love making up new recipes.
  • Prep beyond a week: I typically prepare fresh items such as meat and yogurt that are consumed within a few days as well as items that can be frozen or stored in the pantry or refrigerator for later on such as muffins, spice mixes, and ferments.
  • Think beyond dinner: Every week I meal prep different items, to keep flexibility in the diet. I cover not just items for dinner but for breakfasts, lunch, and snacks.
  • Be flexible: The number of items I meal prep ranges from 2-7 depending on the amount of time I have, the complexity of the recipes, and the produce available. Some items like bread, yogurt, and feeding my sourdough starter are firm items on the meal prep list while I also like to have some room for new from-scratch items. This is the time when I may take a packaged item from the pantry and try to recreate it at home such as olive oil mayonnaise.
  • Mix it up: Avoid getting into a rut! My Cheat Sheet includes 65 ingredients you can prepare to keep meal prepping fun and varied.

Get started in 3 steps

  1. Start slow: Choose 1 or 2 items to start with. Some boiled eggs and brown rice are a great start!
  2. Mix it up: Avoid getting into a rut of prepping the items week over week. Choose different ingredients each week.
  3. Build it up: Each week make an item that lasts longer than a week such as spice mixes, pickles, or ferments and you’ll quickly create a stash of food.

Storage

When meal prepping it’s important to store the cooked items properly to avoid spoilage and potential food poisoning. Make sure you fully cool the items and store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Use your nose later in the week and if in doubt – throw it out!

65 Easy Weekly Meal Prep Ideas

Protein

  • Pulled chicken, lamb, or pork
  • Salmon (baked)
  • Steak (pan-seared, grilled)
  • Garlic shrimp (pan-seared)
  • Tuna (pan-seared)
  • Roast – chicken, beef, pork, lamb (oven baked, slow cooker, or pressure cooker)
  • Eggs (hard-boiled)
  • Greek yogurt (InstantPot or yogurt maker)
  • Sausages (oven-baked, pan-seared, grilled)
  • Bacon (pan-seared, grilled)

Vegetables

  • Broccoli (roast, steam, stir-fry)
  • Bell peppers (chop, roast, sauté)
  • Carrots (shred, roast, boil, steam)
  • Zucchini / courgette (chop, spiralize (zoodles), roast, grill)
  • Brussels sprouts (roast, sauté)
  • Green beans (trim, steam, roast)
  • Asparagus (roast, sauté, grill)
  • Cauliflower (roast, boil, steam, rice)
  • Mushrooms (slice, sauté, roast, grill)
  • Tomatoes: tomato sauce
  • Spinach and kale (chop, sauté)
  • Cabbage (shredded, sauté)
  • Corn (roast, boil, sauté, grill)
  • Potatoes and sweet potatoes (roast, boil, mash)
  • Edamame (shell, steam)
  • Onions (chop, sauté – for garnish or cooked dishes)
  • Squash and pumpkins (chop, roast, mash, or purée (sweet and savory dishes)
  • Salad (wash and dry, chop)
  • Chickpeas (boil, roast, blend – hummus)
  • Celery (chop)
  • Lentils (boil)
  • Black and black beans (soak, boil)
  • Eggplant (roast, grill)

Carbohydrates / Bases

  • White or brown rice (boil)
  • Quinoa (boil, fluff)
  • Couscous (boil)
  • White or whole-wheat pasta (boil)
  • Gnocchi
  • Oatmeal (cook, portion)
  • Cornbread (bake)
  • Biscuits (prepare dough)
  • Pie crust (prepare dough or prepare crust)

Bread

Snacks

  • Crackers 
  • Freeze bananas (smoothies)
  • Bliss balls
  • Roast nuts

Sauce, condiments & spices

  • Tzatziki
  • Pesto
  • Mayonnaise
  • Dressing
  • Hummus
  • Guacamole
  • Dips
  • Teriyaki sauce
  • Homemade spice mixes

Baking

Watch My Sunday Meal Prep Routine

More resources

For more cooking from scratch resources, check out the following articles:

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