Meal Prep Ideas for Dinner



Dinner is arguably the most stressful meal of the day. When you get home after a long day of work, do you really want to plan and prepare an entire meal? The good news is that dinner is just as easy to meal prep as breakfast and lunch. Get your storage containers ready and use these four recipes to create days worth of pre-made meals.


Meal Prep Burrito Bowls


Burrito bowls can be customized to your taste. For instance, you can easily exchange the white rice for quinoa or brown rice and add additional veggies like sauteed peppers and onions. They’re delicious and healthy if you know which ingredients to use.


These meal prep chicken burrito bowls are filled with grilled marinated chicken, cilantro lime rice, black beans, and fresh salsa. It’s also a great option because it’s pretty quick to assemble.


For the chicken, you will need:

  • 1 1/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1/3 cup lime juice

  • 1 tsp honey

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin

  • 2 cloves garlic minced

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1 tsp onion powder

  • 2 tsp chili powder


For the cilantro lime rice:

  • 3 cups cooked rice brown or white, or you can use quinoa

  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro leaves

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • Salt and pepper to taste


Additional burrito bowl ingredients:

  • 1 15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed

  • 1 cup corn kernels thawed from frozen or canned

  • 1 cup fresh salsa


To prepare the marinade, pour the lime juice, olive oil, and water into a large resealable bag. Add the garlic, honey, salt, cumin, smoked paprika, onion powder, and chili powder. Seal the bag and shake it to combine everything. Add the chicken to the bag of marinade, seal it, and place it in the fridge. Allow it to marinate at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours.


Next, preheat a grill, grill pan, or skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken, and cook it for 5-6 minutes on each side or until it’s cooked through. Chop the cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces. Place your rice of choice or quinoa in a large bowl. Add the cilantro, lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste, then toss the rice to coat it evenly.


Divide the rice between 4 meal prep containers. Arrange the chicken, beans, corn, and salsa on top. Cover and store the containers in the refrigerator until you are ready to heat and serve them.


Greek Chicken Bowls


This recipe for Greek chicken bowls will make your taste buds thank you. Prepping for these bowls will only take about 30 minutes, and it will save you a lot of time later in the week. Try to eat this meal within 3 days, but it will remain fresh for up to 5 days.


For the Greek chicken, you will need:

  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 3 tbsp garlic minced (note: adjust to preference)

  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar

  • 1 tbsp dried oregano

  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


For the cucumber salad, you will need:

  • 2 English cucumbers peeled and sliced

  • 1/3 cup lemon juice

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar

  • 1/2 tbsp minced garlic

  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano


For the Tzatziki sauce, you will need:

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt

  • 1 English cucumber finely diced

  • 1 tsp to up to 1 tbsp minced garlic (adjust to garlic preference)

  • 1/2 tbsp dill weed or 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped fine

  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tsp lemon zest

  • 1/2 tsp chopped fresh mint (optional)

  • Salt and pepper to taste


Additional ingredients:

  • 3 cups cooked brown rice

  • 1 1/2 lbs cherry tomatoes halved

  • 1/2 cup red onion slices


In a large plastic zip bag, combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, oregano, greek yogurts, and salt and pepper. Massage everything in the back to mix properly, then add the chicken to the bag. Massage once again to make sure the chicken is fully covered and allow it to marinate for at least 20 minutes or up to 12 hours.


Drain the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade. In a skillet, heat some olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken once the skillet is hot, flipping it part way through as you cook it. Cook the chicken approximately 3-4 minutes per side or until the internal temperature is 165 degrees. Remove it from the pan and let it cool.


Once the chicken is cool, cut it into bite-sized pieces. Meanwhile, make the cucumber salad by cutting the cucumbers and tossing them in a bowl with the lemon juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, and oregano. Set it aside.


Make the tzatziki sauce by combining the Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, dill weed, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl. Season it with salt and pepper and add the mint (optional). Refrigerate this part while assembling your bowls.


Cook the brown rice according to package directions. When it’s finished cooking, divide everything between meal prep containers, 1/2 cup in each container, halve cherry tomatoes, and mix with red onion slices. Divide amongst the bowls. Top with the chicken, cucumber salad, and some tzatziki sauce. Keep for 3-5 days in airtight containers.


Curried Chickpea Bowls with Garlicky Spinach


These vegan curried chickpea bowls are perfect for dinnertime and will make your meal prep an absolute breeze for the upcoming week. Additionally, this meal is gluten-free, hearty, and, of course, filling without being overpowering. The chickpeas in this recipe pair perfectly with the “garlicky” spinach and brown rice, and you can cook them together in the same pan while the brown rice is cooking.


The recipe below makes three servings, but if you want to make a week’s worth of meals, you can simply double the recipe. Eat the curried chickpea bowls hot or cold.


For the garlicky spinach, you will need:

  • 1 tsp avocado oil

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 5 oz baby spinach

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

  • 1/2 lemon juiced


For the curried chickpeas, you will need:

  • 2 tsp avocado oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

  • 2 tsp curry

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 2 tbsp tomato paste

  • 3 tbsp water

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

  • 1/2 tsp pepper

  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (for topping)

  • Green onion, chopped (for topping)

  • 3 cups cooked brown or white rice


Cook the rice if you have not done so already. Heat the teaspoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook it until it’s fragrant (about 1-2 minutes). Add the baby spinach to the skillet and sauté it for 2-3 minutes or until spinach has started to wilt.


Toss in the sea salt and lemon juice. Toss to evenly coat it, then remove it from the heat and place the spinach on a small plate. In the small skillet you used to cook the spinach, add another 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook (stirring frequently) until the onions are soft (about 5 minutes).


Add the spices (curry powder, cumin, and cinnamon), chickpeas, and tomato paste into the skillet. Toss to combine everything and quickly add water as the pan will start to dry out. Add sea salt and pepper, toss everything together, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and prepare the bowls (each one with brown rice, chickpeas, and spinach).


For meal prep purposes, allow all of the ingredients to cool, then, using 3 storage containers, fill each with 1 cup rice, 1/3 of curried chickpeas, and 1/3 of baby spinach. Top them with cilantro and green onion. Place them in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.


Vegetarian Kung Pao Quinoa Bowls


Quinoa

  • 1 cup quinoa

  • 2 cups water

Greek Goddess Dressing

  • 1 cup basil, chopped (not packed)

  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped (not packed)

  • 1/4 cup green onion

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

  • 1/8 tsp salt

  • 1/8 tsp pepper

  • 1/8 cayenne pepper


Kung Pao Veggies

  • 2 tbsp sesame oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup green onion, minced

  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas

  • 4 cups broccolini

  • 1 heaping cup matchstick carrots

  • 2 tbsp tamari (soy sauce or coconut aminos)

  • 1 tbsp sriracha

  • 1 tbsp chili paste

  • 1 tbsp honey


Other Toppings

  • Peanuts

  • Sesame seeds

  • Green onion


In a large pot, bring the quinoa and water to a boil. Cover and decrease the heat to low, letting it simmer for around 20 minutes or until all the water has evaporated. Place the sesame oil in a large pan and heat it on medium/high heat. Then, add in the vegetables and beans and sauté them for 3-5 minutes to lightly cook the veggies so that they are still crunchy. Once the veggies are at the desired texture, add in the sauce ingredients and sauté them for a few minutes.


For the Greek Goddess Dressing, follow the instructions here, but use cilantro and add a tablespoon or two more of olive oil to make it saucier! Next, prep the bowls by separating the quinoa out into 4 portions. Do the same thing with the veggies. Top the bowls with peanuts, sesame seeds, green onion, and a few tablespoons of the Green Goddess Dressing.


We hope that these dinner meal prep ideas help you save time and eat healthy!


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