49 Meal Prep Recipes for the Week Ahead

Busy cooks know that the weekend is the perfect time plan and prep. These meal prep recipes are easy to assemble and freeze, then warm up on weeknights.

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Tropical Chicken Cauliflower Rice Bowls

This tropical favorite is a delicious and healthy dinner with tons of flavor! You can substitute regular rice for the cauliflower rice if desired. —Bethany DiCarlo, Harleysville, Pennsylvania

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Coconut-Ginger Chickpeas & Tomatoes

This is my go-to quick dish. When you add tomatoes, you can also toss in some chopped green peppers (jalapenos, if you like heat) to make it even more colorful. —Mala Udayamurthy, San Jose, California
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Korean Beef and Rice

A friend raved about Korean bulgogi, which is beef cooked in soy sauce and ginger, so I tried it. It's delicious! You'll dazzle the table with this tasty version of Korean beef and rice. —Elizabeth King, Duluth, Minnesota
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Egg Roll Noodle Bowl

We love Asian egg rolls, but they can be challenging to make. Simplify everything with this deconstructed egg roll made on the stovetop and served in a bowl. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas
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Chicken Florentine Meatballs

Served over squash and a chunky, mushroom-tomato sauce, these tender meatballs are tops when it comes to great flavor. —Diane Nemitz, Ludington, Michigan
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Beef & Spinach Lo Mein

If you like a good stir-fry, this beef and spinach lo mein will definitely satisfy. I discovered the recipe at an international luncheon, and it's now a favorite go-to meal. —Denise Patterson, Bainbridge, Ohio
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Tandoori-Style Chicken with Cucumber Melon Relish

We all need a quick meal that's deliciously healthy. I marinate the chicken before I leave for work, and when I get home, I grill the chicken and make the relish. My husband loves the spicy flavor. To amp up the heat, add more crushed red pepper flakes. —Naylet LaRochelle, Miami, Florida
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Chicken Pesto Meatballs

These tender, pesto-stuffed meatballs get gobbled up in our house. They're short on ingredients, but packed with flavor. I always make a double batch, freezing the other half for a busy night. —Ally Billhorn, Wilton, Iowa
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Chicken Quinoa Bowls with Balsamic Dressing

I love this recipe because its simplicity allows me to spend time with my family while not sacrificing taste or nutrition. Plus the fresh spring flavors really shine through! —Allyson Meyler, Greensboro, North Carolina
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Italian Turkey Skillet

It's a challenge to find imaginative ways to use leftovers, especially for turkey after Thanksgiving. Here's a favorite of mine that you can easily make ahead for another dinner option. Prepare the recipe as directed, then transfer to a casserole dish and freeze up to three months. —Patricia Kile, Nokomis, Florida
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Honey-Glazed Chicken Kabobs

This is one of my husband’s favorite meals. I serve it with rice pilaf, salad and grilled garlic bread. —Tracey Miller, Aiken, South Carolina
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Asian Veggie Glass Noodles

My mom immigrated from the Philippines, so we would often eat Filipino pancit, a well-known glass noodles dish. I took her version and added my own touches to make it easier and a little healthier. —Jasmin Baron, Livonia, New York
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Freezer Burritos

I love burritos, but the frozen ones are high in salt and chemicals. So I created these. They're wonderful to have on hand for quick dinners or late-night snacks—I've even had them for breakfast! —Laura Winemiller, Delta, Pennsylvania
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Arrabbiata Sauce with Zucchini Noodles

This popular Italian dish is flavorful and spicy. We decided to re-create one of our favorite jarred sauces and serve over zucchini pasta for a lighter, healthier meal that's naturally gluten-free. The results were amazing! —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas
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Mini Shepherd's Pies

I’m as confident serving these little pies to company as to family. If I have enough time, I’ll use homemade biscuits and mashed potatoes. —Ellen Osborne, Clarksville, Tennessee
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Turkey Sausage and Lentil Soup

This recipe was given to me by my son, Chris, and we have it several times during the winter months. —Kathy Mazur, Sarasota, Florida
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Make-Ahead Lasagna

This is an old standby when time's limited and guests are expected for dinner. It's a combination of several easy lasagna recipes I have tried over the years. —Mary Grimm, Williamsburg, Iowa
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Mini Pork Pies

As a child, I discovered my love of pork pies. I used to help my father deliver oil on Saturdays, and we would stop at a local place to have the meaty pastries for lunch. —Renee Murby, Johnston, Rhode Island
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Louisiana Jambalaya

My husband helped add a little spice to my life. He grew up on Cajun cooking, such as Louisiana jambalaya, while I ate mostly meat-and-potato meals. —Sandi Pichon, Memphis, Tennessee
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Mini Meat Loaves

My family and I can't get enough of these little meat loaf muffins topped with a sweet ketchup sauce. They are the perfect portion size. This recipe requires no chopping, so it's quick and easy to make a double batch and have extras for another day. I've given them to new moms, too. —Joyce Wegmann, Burlington, Iowa
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Italian Sausage Rigatoni Bake

This casserole combines all of our favorite Italian flavors, but the fresh mozzarella really sets it apart! —Blair Lonergan, Rochelle, Virginia
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BLT Quinoa Bowls

I absolutely love a BLT with sliced avocado and an egg. Recently, I've been trying out grain bowls, and I thought the flavors of my favorite sandwich would work really well. My family agreed! —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Honey BBQ Chicken

I grill everything—veggies, oxtail, tofu. This chicken is our favorite. I keep a ready supply of sauce and rub, so prep couldn't be easier. —Jerry Rosiek, Eugene, Oregon
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Italian Veggie Beef Soup

My sweet father-in-law, Pop Pop, would bring this chunky soup to our house when we were under the weather. We like it so much, we take it to our own friends who need comfort. It always does the trick. —Sue Webb, Reisterstown, Maryland
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Slow-Cooker Char Siu Pork

The Asian influence here in the Hawaiian islands inspired my char siu recipe. It’s tasty as is, in a bun or over rice. We make it often so we have leftovers to add to fried rice, ramen and salads. —Karen Naihe, Kamuela, Hawaii
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Roasted Cauliflower & Red Pepper Soup

When cooler weather comes, soup is one of our favorite meals. I developed this recipe for my husband and me. I wanted it to be a healthier version of all the cream-based soups out there. After a bit of trial and error, this is the keeper. —Elizabeth Bramkamp, Gig Harbor, Washington
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Double-Duty Layered Enchilada Casserole

Here's a heap of cozy comfort. The Taste of Home Test Kitchen took my recipe for chili without beans and turned it into a scrumptious enchilada casserole. —Molly Butt, Granville, Ohio
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Lisa's All-Day Sugar & Salt Pork Roast

My family loves this tender and juicy roast, so we eat it a lot. The sweet and salty crust is so delicious mixed into the pulled pork. —Lisa Allen, Joppa, Alabama
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Santa Maria Roast Beef

A simple dry rub is enough to turn roast beef into a real crowd-pleaser. The slightly spicy meat is scrumptious piled on top of fresh crusty bread. —Allison Ector, Ardmore, Pennsylvania
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The Ultimate Fish Tacos

This recipe is my favorite meal to prepare. Adding my own personal touch to the marinade makes my fish tacos pop with flavor. I warm corn tortillas on the grill and add salsa, cilantro, purple cabbage and fresh squeezed lime. —Yvonne Molina, Moreno Valley, California
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Thai Coconut Beef

My husband and I love Thai food, but going out on weeknights can be challenging with busy schedules. I wanted to create a Thai-inspired dinner that could double as an easy lunch the following day. The beef is fantastic in this dish, but chicken or pork would be equally delicious! —Ashley Lecker, Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Miniature Meat Pies

I make these handheld pies in advance, keep them in the freezer, then bake them the day of the party. They are always a hit at tailgate and potlucks. —Gayle Lewis, Yucaipa, California
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Shredded Beef Burrito Filling

Make your next office party a taco bar or burrito bar! Set out the beef in the slow cooker on warm, along with tortillas, bowls of shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream, and chopped lettuce, jalapenos, onions and tomatoes. For a variation, I make Beef & Bean burritos by mixing a can of refried beans into 3 or 4 cups of cooked beef filling. —Hope Wasylenki, Gahanna, Ohio
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Hearty Chicken Gyros

I love reinventing classic recipes to fit our taste and healthy lifestyle. This recipe is quick to prepare and can be served with oven fries or on its own. You can add Greek olives, omit the onion, or even use cubed pork tenderloin for a new taste. —Kayla Douthitt, Elizabethtown, Kentucky
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Ham, Potato and Pepper Chowder

I have been serving this chowder for years now. When I’m feeding family members who don’t eat dairy products, I substitute oil for the butter and use coconut milk or soy creamer instead of heavy cream. It still turns out wonderful! —Eileen Stefanski, Wales, Wisconsin
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Sausage & Chicken Gumbo

This recipe for classic southern comfort food was the first thing I ever cooked for my girlfriend. It was simple to make but tasted gourmet—definitely love at first bite. —Kael Harvey, Brooklyn, NY
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Pan-Roasted Pork Chops & Potatoes

An easy marinade gives these chops lots of flavor, the crumb coating packs on crunch and Brussels sprouts add nutrition! —Char Ouellette, Colton, Oregon
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Whiskey Pineapple Chicken

Everyone in my family loves this recipe and its sweet marinade made with ginger, pineapple and a splash of whiskey. Want even more intense flavor? Let the chicken marinate for two full days. Wow! —Jodi Taffel, Altadena, California
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Chocolate-Chipotle Sirloin Steak

Looking to do something a little different with grilled sirloin? Add smoky heat and chocolaty rich color with this easy five-ingredient rub. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Grilled Onion & Skirt Steak Tacos

My grandparents came from Mexico, and I grew up watching my grandmother and mother in the kitchen. This steak marinated in beer and lime juice honors their passion for cooking. —Adan Franco, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Cuban Ropa Vieja

I love having this as a go-to recipe for a weeknight meal. Its great authentic Cuban taste puts it at the top of my list.—Melissa Pelkey-Hass, Waleska, Georgia
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Game-Stopper Chili

This hearty chili with sausage, beef, beans and barley is perfect for the halftime food rush. People actually cheer when they see me coming with my slow cooker! —Barbara Lento, Houston, Pennsylvania
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Low & Slow Pork Verde

My family loves this versatile pork dish. We like to have it over a serving of cheesy grits, but it also goes well with rice or potatoes. Leftovers make an excellent starter for white chili. —Val Ruble, Ava, Missouri
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Greek Tomato Soup with Orzo

My recipe for manestra, which means orzo in Greek, is effortless and very easy to make. You need only a few steps to transform simple ingredients into a creamy one-pot wonder. —Kiki Vagianos, Melrose, Massachusetts
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Make-Ahead Cabbage Rolls

I've relied on this recipe for years, and my cabbage rolls never fail to impress. As the host of a number of holiday parties, my guests have come to expect this main entree. —Nancy Foust, Stoneboro, Missouri
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Grilled Dijon Pork Roast

I created this recipe one day when I was scrambling to find ingredients for dinner. My husband absolutely loved it. Now it's the only way I make pork!—Cyndi Lacy-Andersen, Woodinville, Washington
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Pizza Pasta Casserole

Kids will line up for this zippy pizza-flavored dish. The recipe makes two casseroles, so you can serve one to your family right away and keep the other in the freezer for another night. —Nancy Scarlett, Graham, North Carolina
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Chicken Burritos

This mouthwatering chicken burrito recipe makes enough for two casseroles, so you can enjoy one today and freeze the other for a busy weeknight. They're super to have on hand for quick meals or to take to potlucks. —Sonya Nightingale, Burley, Idaho.
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Slow-Cooker Stuffed Pepper Soup

I tweaked a recipe I got from one of my best friends, and I couldn't believe how much this soup really does taste like stuffed green peppers! With beef and brown rice, slow-cooker stuffed pepper soup makes a hearty meal on a cold day. —Gina Baxter, Plainfield, IL

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Rashanda Cobbins
Rashanda is a former food editor for Taste of Home. While studying for her bachelor’s degree in culinary arts, Rashanda interned in Southern Living’s test kitchen and later spent nearly a decade developing recipes and food content at ConAgra Brands. In her spare time, she loves scoping out local farmers markets and having picnics in the park.