Meal prep combinations can be a scary word, especially when you’re not used to doing it. You feel like there’s a lot of work for something that can be done by other people. You know they’re possible but don’t they take up a lot of time and effort?
You see all the platters and meal combos in the stores. They look beautiful and appetising, but the thought of spending so much money on them is sickening. And then you don’t really know exactly what has been added to them. Sure, they’ll have an ingredients list but do you really know all the ingredients used.
The great news is that you can do it all from home in your own time. Meal prep combinations do not need to be time-consuming or expensive. They don’t take an experienced chef to put them all together.
Whether you’re an individual or you have a family of four or five, you can get into meal prep combinations. Here are 15 to get you started with and you can move on from there.
Keep the Number of Foods Simple
Before we start, I want to share one tip that I found when it comes to the meal prep combos. Always keep your ingredient base simple. You don’t need more than three or four ingredients together to create delicious dishes. Any more than that and you run the risk of having too many flavours on your plate.
More is not better. Tastes clash, and you don’t quite get the aromas of some of the spices or herbs that you’ll use. By the time, you’ve finished eating, you forget that there was a certain ingredient in the dish and it felt like a waste of time and effort.
Opt for three or four basic ingredients and then add two spices or herbs at the most. Salt and pepper are on top of this, but not all dishes will need them. It’s really a personal taste when it comes to the salt and pepper.
You’ll soon find that the preparation time is cut to a minimum and the cost of your meal combinations is instantly reduced. When you have fewer ingredients, you’ll also find there are more ways that you can put everything together.
So, without any further delay, here is the 15 simplest meal prep combinations that anyone can do.
#1. Broccoli and Sweet Potatoes
This is more of a side dish than a main meal, but it’s still one of the easiest options on the list. Yes, there are only two ingredients involved in this combination, which makes your life so much simpler.
The two ingredients are those that you will get in the store without any bother, and they work together extremely well. You’ll get rid of some of the bitterness in the broccoli through the natural sweetness of the potatoes.
Cut the broccoli into florets and steam them. You can eat them raw if you want, but steamed is excellent with the sweet potatoes and on a cooler winter evening. Either way, you’ll get all the nutritious elements of broccoli, including iron, calcium, and magnesium.
The sweet potatoes work well as wedges. Just chop them up into a wedge shape and pop them in a sealable bag. Add a couple of teaspoons of olive oil and fully coat your sweet potatoes. You can add some salt if you’d like, but there really isn’t any need for it. Pepper is a good option, though. Pop on a baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the wedges.
You can also cut the sweet potatoes into thin circular slices as if you were going to make a potato bake with them. This just gives you something different.
#2. Parmesan Chicken with Vegetables and Spanish Rice
This one will take a little more prep, but it is very easy to do. The whole meal combination just needs to be reheated once made, and it makes a whole lunch or dinner. You’ll have no complaints from the kids when they want something fast and tasty after school.
For the vegetables, just has a small helpful of your favourite options. Some of the most popular for meal prep combos are carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli.
With the chicken breasts, you just need to top with some salsa and cheese and then bake until the chicken is fully cooked. While the rice cooks, add in a cup of salsa with two cups of broth instead of normal water.
Yes, it really is that easy!
#3. Chicken with Rice and Asparagus
Asparagus is a vegetable that we tend to forget about. It’s one of my favourites because it’s so full of flavour and naturally crispy. Of course, it’s full of health benefits!
It works well with almost anything and is something to include in your meal prep combinations. When you use it, there’s also no need for special sauces with the other food that you make. For this prep, we’re just using brown rice and chicken with your asparagus.
Cook your chicken in bite sized pieces seasoned with your favourite herb or spice. Boil the rice as you usually would and either grill or boil your asparagus to make them a little softer.
Simply arrange them in your dish next to each other. Use the rice as a barrier between the asparagus and chicken.
#4. Salmon, Veggies, and Wild Rice
The veggies can be anything that you want. When it comes to the wild rice and salmon, mushrooms and broccoli tend to work out the best, but you could also opt for kale or asparagus. If you want to go extra healthy and avoid the carbs, you could opt for coconut or cauliflower rice instead of the wild rice.
Wrap your salmon up in foil with some lemons and bake in the oven until fully cooked. Make your wild rice as you usually would with boiling water and steam or gently fry your vegetables. If you’re frying, avoid too many fats but do use a tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil.
Place the rice on one side of your dish and the vegetables on the other. Top with your cooked salmon and you’re ready.
#5. Chicken, Egg and Tomatoes
Sometimes you just really want something easy to eat at work. You want a lunch that is perfectly acceptable cold, but that you just pull out of the fridge. This is where this excellent simple meal prep combo comes into play.
Chop your chicken into chunks and fry in coconut or olive oil. Allow to cool. Boil your eggs and slice in half. Chop up some cherry tomatoes and cube some feta cheese.
Arrange in your dish how you want and just pop in the fridge. It’s ready to go whenever you are.
#6. Courgettes and Wild Rice with Chicken
Chicken and rice do make the simplest of meals when it comes to combos. Why not try out a few different vegetables with them and a few different methods of cooking the chicken.
With this one, I’ve chosen courgettes. Spiralise them or peel with a Y-peeler. You’ll get a funky shape for your dish. Use wild rice for something a little different and bake your chicken. You can even add some quinoa to your wild rice if you want.
Wrap up the chicken in some foil with some rosemary and thyme over the top. You’ll get a fragrant dish to eat either at work or for dinner during the week.
#7. Vegetable Salad in a Cup
Get some plastic cups for your meal prep with this salad. You’ll be able to pop it in a bag easily to take on the go with you and store in the fridge extremely easily. Don’t forget to look for cups with lids to them!
Chop up a range of your favourite salad vegetables. Lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, and carrots are all excellent options when mixed together. Arrange your cup in colour order to add a bit of presentation to your meal. You won’t feel like you’re eating a salad!
You can opt for a salad dressing if you want. Take this in a separate little container and add to your salad when you’re ready to eat it. Your salad leaves will stay crispier this way.
#8. Roast Potatoes with Stuffed Chicken
Chicken doesn’t just have to have spices and herbs thrown on the top when baking. You can make a stuffed chicken as part of your meal preparation.
Use some cheese and a range of vegetables, such as spinach, kale, peppers, and mushrooms. Slices your chicken in half and add the stuffing in the middle and then fold back over. Wrap up in foil and cook until your chicken is fully cooked through.
While you’re doing that, chop up some potatoes for roasting. Cover in some paprika to give a bit of a kick and then pop in the oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes.
There’s no need to add anything extra when serving!
#9. Salmon and Eggs on a Bed of Spinach
Spinach is one of the best vegetables for nutrients. It has literally everything your body could possibly need, including iron, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D.
But it’s not just nutritious. Spinach is also tasty and works so well with some protein rich foods. That’s the case when it comes to eggs and salmon.
Bake your salmon in the way I’ve already suggested—with the lemon and wrapped in foil. Just simple boil your eggs until they are fully cooked (yolk included). Arrange the spinach on the bottom of your tub and then top with the salmon and eggs. You can add a dollop of mayonnaise or sauce if you would like. Cream cheese also works well sprinkled with some chives.
If you don’t want to bake the salmon, you can get some smoked salmon strips. Just layer these over the top of your spinach.
#10. Chicken, Cucumber and Tomatoes
Yes, chicken again. This is another meal prep combo that can be eaten cold so you can take it to work without any bother at all.
Chop up your chicken into strips and either bake or fry until fully cooked. You could also do this on one of your countertop grills if you’d like. The chicken works extremely well with a Cajun spice.
Slice up some cherry tomatoes and cucumbers and place in half of your dish. You can also use a bed of spinach if you’d like. Add the cooked and cooled chicken to the other side and then refrigerate until you’re ready for it.
#11. Boiled Potatoes with Cod and Green Beans
This may not sound like the most exciting meal, but it is one of the healthiest. It’s also extremely easy for anyone to do.
Start by baking or frying your cod. It really depends on how you prefer it cooked. While doing that, boil your potatoes and steam your green beans. Just pop them all in a dish, with the cod sitting on the bed of green beans. You can then sprinkle with some salt and pepper and garnish with a wedge of lemon for when you’re ready to eat it.
#12. Paleo Friendly Chicken Meal Combo
When you’re on the paleo diet, you need to cut out all things carbs. Well, there are still meal preparations that you can do without too much hassle. Chicken tends to be the go-to option, but this combo includes a bit of a dessert to enjoy.
Cook your chicken how you favour it—I’ve already shared some ideas—and place in torn pieces in your tub. Chop up some cucumbers and tomatoes to place next to it.
Yes, I know that we’ve already covered this one, so now it’s time for something a little different. Add some sliced apple to your dish for your dessert. You can switch out your fruits and vegetables for others that you’d like to try, such as carrot slices, pepper slices, and even pears for dessert.
On the side, add a little tub of hummus for dipping your vegetables in.
#13. Haddock with Egg Whites and Veggies
This is another paleo friendly meal and is also low in calories and cholesterol. The vegetables are up to you, but I suggest broccoli, asparagus, or spinach.
Cook your haddock how you prefer, such as baked with lemon. For the eggs, boil them as you usually would. Once they’re fully cooked, open them and remove the yolk. You just want to prep the meal with the egg white to remove the cholesterol and excess calories from the meal.
#14. Satay Chicken with Vegetables
Sometimes we just want to try something a little different. This was the case when I found a satay chicken recipe. You just need to find a satay sauce to cook your chicken breasts or thighs in. This just helps to keep your meal prep as simple as possible.
Serve with your favourite vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, or even asparagus. You can add some rice if you really want but it’s not necessary. Finish off with a tub of chutney or spicy cashew sauce.
#15. Meatball Macaroni
This is likely the hardest of the 15 options on the list, but it’s still relatively simple. You’re just making a meatball and pasta dish that is suitable for meal prep.
You can make your own meatballs or buy them already made. The choice is completely up to you. Macaroni is a great pasta option for meal prep since it’s smaller. You get that feeling that you’re eating more, even if you’re not. Serve with some broccoli or mushrooms to get your nutrients that way.
Now top with a tomato pasta sauce. Make your own and store is separately in the fridge or freezer. Take out a small tub of it when you’re ready to take your pasta and meatballs out for your meal.
Now It’s Time to Get Meal Prepping
Meal prepping is extremely easy and good for you. Whether you just want to make your life easier or you want to focus on a better diet and lose weight, you can gain so many benefits from meal prepping.
These simple meal prep combinations will give you an idea of places to start. Enjoy these meals and have some fun creating your own combinations in the future.