The Ultimate Guide to Meal Prep: Gadgets, Recipes, Hacks & More

Jan 17 2020
Meal-prepping is more than a trend -- it's a great habit that can set you up for healthy-eating success. Here are our top 5 tips for successful meal prep… plus lots of recipes!

Gather Your Tools

Anything that makes meal prep easier makes us more likely to do it! We've got a whole bunch of useful finds to help you on your make-ahead journey. Color-coded cutting boards, kitchen scales, veggie choppers, egg cookers… Check 'em out, and fill any holes in your kitchen arsenal.

Plan Your Meals for the Week

The most important step in meal prep is planning ahead! Look for recipes that appeal to you for the coming week: Note how many servings they make, and plan what you’ll eat and when. And if you want some extra help, grab a weekly menu-planning notepad.

Cook in Big Batches

We love prepping high-yield recipes in advance. "But HG, I'm only cooking for myself, and I'll never get through 12 servings of chili before it goes bad." Freeze it for the future! (Tips on that below.) In addition to full-on recipes, we also cook go-to ingredients that can be dressed up different ways, like chicken breast and spaghetti squash…

Embrace Shortcuts

Let yourself off the hook where you can -- your meals don't need to be painstakingly elaborate! We're big fans of keeping it simple. If you get overwhelmed planning for a whole week’s worth of groceries, stick to recipes with 6 ingredients or less. (If only there were a whole book of those recipes…) Or choose ingredients that help you cut down on prep time, like frozen stir-fry veggie mixes, jarred sauces, and precooked chicken sausage. 

Pack Individual Servings

Once everything is prepared, portion it out into single servings right away. Then just grab your meal, heat it up (or don't!), and eat. Remember how we mentioned freezing your meals earlier? We've got all the deets on the best way to do it…

New Year, New Trader Joe’s Haul on the HG Podcast!

It’s time for another Chew & Tell! In this haul, we’re trying the latest food finds from Trader Joe’s. Lisa, Mikey, and Jamie sample everything from dips to burgers! Listen in for the 411 on…

⭑ protein-packed summer sausage made with turkey
⭑ creamy pea soup without any dairy or gluten
⭑ 50-calorie queso perfect for Super Bowl Sunday
… and so much more!

Click to listen! And subscribe so you never miss an episode.
FYI: We may receive affiliate compensation from some of these links. Availability is accurate at the time of publication and subject to change.

Chew on this:

January is National Oatmeal Month. Oatmeal happens to be a great make-ahead option. Try this Instant Pot Basic Oatmeal… Cook once, eat all week!

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SmartPoints® value* not what you expected? We follow the same method as WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) when calculating the value of a recipe: We add up the SmartPoints® values* of the individual ingredients using the Recipe Builder, not the calculator. (Many foods have a value of zero and remain zero in recipes.)

*The SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by WW International, Inc., the owner of the SmartPoints® trademark.