12 Healthy Meal Prep Recipes That Cook in 30 Minutes or Less
With the New Year approaching, having healthy recipes that you can meal prep quickly goes a long way toward helping you achieve your goals. We spoke to nutrition experts to find out exactly what recipes they’re loving for fast meal prep in under 30 minutes or less.
Some of these recipes can be cooked in as little as 10 minutes to help you save time and be more efficient in the kitchen. We know that meal prep can get boring and stressful, and these recipes are sure to make your life easier without the hassle of hours in the kitchen.
Keep reading to find out what these dietitians love to meal prep for their families!
1. Taco Lettuce Cups
This taco recipe is high in protein and super versatile if you change up the type of meat you put in it. To prevent getting bored, you can use chicken one week, ground beef the next, and a vegetarian bean option the third time.
“These taco lettuce cups are easy 20-minute lettuce cups stuffed with taco meat and your favorite taco toppings. A balanced dinner that makes for perfect lunch leftovers,” says Julie Kay Andrews from The Healthy Epicurean.
Try the recipe from The Healthy Epicurean.
2. Chickpea Flour Pancakes
This high-protein recipe is great for the whole family and will keep you full for hours. Make these for a savory breakfast or a side dish to your meals. Compared to traditional pancakes, which are high in refined flowers and sugar, these chickpea flour pancakes are high in fiber and protein which will keep you full for hours.
“This is one of my favorite dishes made with chickpea flour and has all the added nutrition of the spices, tastes wonderful, and is a great vegetarian option,” Moushumi Mukherjee MS, RDN tells us.
Try the recipe from Dietitian Moushumi.
3. Baked Oatmeal Cups
Oatmeal every day gets boring, but there’s no denying that oats are super nutritious. These baked oatmeal cups are a great way to change up your oatmeal game, while still packing tons of nutrition to keep you full and energized.
“These apple-baked oatmeal cups are the perfect option for a grab-and-go breakfast! Made with rolled oats, these are full of fiber to help keep you feeling full and satisfied until your next meal,” says Nicole Addison, MHSc, RD, and creator of Nourished by Nic.
This recipe lends itself well to changing out different ingredients so that you never feel bored. We love this with apples, but could also be made with banana or cranberry instead.
Try the recipe from Nourished by Nic.
4. Chicken Pesto Pasta Salad
This chicken pasta salad dish is a hit for family dinners and serves as a bonus for tomorrow’s leftovers at lunch. Super balanced with protein, carbs, and fiber from vegetables, we know you’ll love this dish.
“This pasta salad is the perfect balanced make-ahead lunch! With chicken for protein, lots of fresh vegetables, and pasta for fiber this is a great satisfying option,” Addison says.
Try the recipe from Nourished by Nic.
5. Mediterranean Egg Muffin Cups
“In a rush to get out the door for school drop off or work? These Mediterranean Egg Cups take less than 20 minutes to make, can be prepped ahead of time, and stored in your fridge or freezer to be thawed and enjoyed on the go during those busy mornings for moms on the run,” says Jamie Adams MS RD LDN, owner Mamaste Nutrition offers. “Packed with protein and rich in veggies, these egg cups are a great way to start your day.”
Start your morning off with a high-protein breakfast with these Mediterranean egg muffin cups. With plenty of protein and fiber, you’ll find yourself feeling full all morning even though you grabbed a quick breakfast on the go.
Try the recipe from The Mediterranean Movement.
6. Three Bean Chili
“Three-bean chili is a delicious recipe for batch cooking and meal prep throughout the week,” suggests Elysia Cartlidge, MAN, RD, founder of Haute & Healthy Living. “It’s loaded with veggies and beans for a satisfying fiber and protein-packed meatless meal. As a bonus, it’s freezer-friendly, so you can make up a batch and freeze any leftovers for quick and easy meals in upcoming weeks.”
Batch cook this three-bean chili on the weekend and enjoy leftovers for days all week. Beans are high in protein and fiber which gives this dish more staying power and will keep you full longer.
Try the recipe from Haute & Healthy Living.
7. Vegetarian Rice Bowls
“How about a healthy meal prep recipe that cooks up in just 10 minutes? This vegetarian rice bowl makes four servings — so have one for dinner tonight and package up the rest for meals later in the week,” says Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Plant Based with Amy. “You get fueling protein from the chickpeas and feta, as well as satiating fiber from the brown rice and veggies.”
This vegetarian rice bowl is a winner for the whole family and easy to assemble which means each person can pick and choose what they want in their bowl. No more arguing at the table about not liking one of the ingredients!
If you’re looking for ways to get your kids involved in meal prep, we’ve thought of that too.
Try the recipe from Plant Based with Amy.
8. One Pot Pappardelle Pasta
This meal prep dish is a fan favorite because you’ll only be cleaning up one pot for the entire recipe. There’s nothing better than a quick recipe and quick cleanup.
“This one-pot pasta dish is a bright, colorful dinner,” says Anne Danahy, RDN, owner of Craving Something Healthy. “It features a rainbow of your favorite fresh vegetables in a light, lemony cream sauce. The best part is that it takes only 30 minutes to make and everything cooks in one pan.”
Try the recipe from Craving Something Healthy.
9. Middle Eastern Bean Curry
Spice up your beans with this afghan-style bean curry. With nearly 7 grams of fiber per serving, beans are an absolute nutrition powerhouse. This dish will keep you satisfied for hours, and your taste buds will be happy with the Middle Eastern flavors of Lubya.
“Lubya is an Afghan-style bean curry filled with satiating fiber and plant-based protein,” says Mackenzie Burgess, RDN and recipe developer at Cheerful Choices. “It’s one of my favorites to meal prep because you only need one pan and simple ingredients found in your pantry. The flavors get even better over time so you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. Simply reheat when you’re ready to enjoy.”
Try the recipe from Cheerful Choices.
10. Chipotle Lentil Chili
Chili is always a crowd-pleaser, and it is one of those dishes that seems to taste just as delicious the second time around. If you’re looking for a ‘Meatless Monday’ recipe, look no further than this chipotle lentil chili.
“I love this simple lentil recipe. It’s vegan, a good source of protein, fiber, and iron — and it’s super tasty,” says Lisa Andrews, MEd, RD, LD.
Try the recipe from Sound Bites Nutrition.
11. Instant Pot Beef and Vegetable Soup
If you’re looking for a way to use your instant pot that will give you tons of leftovers for the week, we’ve got you covered. This beef and vegetable soup is cooked in just under 30 minutes in the Instant Pot and is a wonderful addition to your weekly rotation of meal Staples.
“This is my go-to nourishing and hearty soup recipe that is packed with flavor and takes just under 30 minutes to prepare and cook! It’s loaded with veggies, fiber, and lean protein and makes a large batch with leftovers that freeze wonderfully,” says Shannon A. Garcia, MDS, RD, LD, from KISS in the Kitchen.
Try the recipe from KISS in the Kitchen.
12. Sheet Pan Shrimp Primavera
“I love this simple and flavorful recipe because it cooks in just 10 minutes and is packed with lean protein and veggies,” Garcia continues.
Shrimp is such an easy source of quick-cooking protein to add to any dish. This recipe gets bonus points for cooking all on one sheet pan, it’s done in just 10 minutes.
Try the recipe from KISS in the Kitchen.
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