Tips & Tricks for Sunday Meal Prep

Since it’s Monday and the start of a new week, I thought it was the perfect time to share my top tips and tricks for Sunday meal prep. I hope you find them beneficial to your next prep day! A huge thank you to Blue Apron for sponsoring this post! 

As you guys probably remember, I’m ALL about Sunday meal prep as a way to ensure that our family eats healthy at home. I’ve found that spending an hour or two on the weekend preparing food makes it so much easier to throw together quick meals during the week. And if nutritious food is prepped and ready to go, we don’t have an excuse to order take-out or eat cereal for dinner (not that there’s anything wrong with that every once in awhile).

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Sunday Meal Prep might seem like a lot of work and a bit daunting, but it’s totally worth the effort since it helps our family eat better in the long run. For instance, when I’m starving and faced with what to eat, knowing that I have a number of nutritious options in my fridge helps me stick to my healthy eating habits. I promise, once you devote a few Sundays (or Saturdays or whatever day works best for you) to food prep, it just gets easier and easier. In fact, I think you’d be surprised by how quickly things come together. Plus, it sets you up for a healthy week ahead and you can’t beat that!

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Last week, I had the opportunity to work with Blue Apron once again, so I wanted to share my top tips for Sunday meal prep. With the help of Blue Apron, cooking for the week was even easier and faster since all of the farm-fresh ingredients were delivered right to our front door in exactly the right proportions. I didn’t need to look in our cabinets for specific ingredients or take the time to measure out each and every one of them. I also didn’t need to take an extra trip to the grocery store, which was a serious time-saver in itself. There also wasn’t any waste from unused ingredients, so I didn’t waste money either. (FYI: Blue Apron offers a recycling program! Learn more here. Blue Apron is also working to develop a sustainable food system. Check out their mission page here.) Basically, with Blue Apron, you order your meals online and they’re shipped for free right to your doorstep. Everything is delivered in a refrigerated box so ingredients stay fresh even if you’re not at home when your package arrives.

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Blue Apron offer two types of plans:

  • The 2-Person Plan will set you up with one delivery a week, each with three inventive meals for two. Each week, the culinary team creates six new recipes for this plan, and you will be sent a curated menu of three recipes based on your dietary preferences.
  • The Family Plan is perfect for feeding a family of four. With this plan you can opt to receive one or two deliveries per week, each delivery consisting of two meals to be served family-style.

meal prep with blue apron

Each menu is between 500-800 calories per person and all meals can be prepared in 40 minutes or less. Blue Apron now ships to most of the country and there’s no commitment– you can skip or cancel the service at any time. We especially love that Blue Apron is adding new recipes all the time, so we always have something new and exciting to try in the kitchen!

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If you’re curious about Blue Apron and want to give it a try, here’s some incentive! ***The first 25 readers will get THREE free meals on their first Blue Apron order! Just click here!***

Meal Prep Tips & Tricks

Have a game plan – Having a game plan for your prep day is key, so you can focus your efforts and move right through your cooking. My plan usually looks something like this: Select 3-4 core recipes to make for dinner, brainstorm lunch ideas (i.e. dinner leftovers, quickie meals), make breakfasts for stress-free mornings, and prep one sweet snack to eat throughout the week (hey, I love my treats).

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Find your core recipes – Ah, yes. Finding your core, go-to recipes is essential. They’re ones that are tasty, versatile, always come out well, and can be thrown together quickly and effortlessly. Basically, they’re the foundation of our food prep day. For example, some of our favorite core recipes are Breakfast Potatoes, Crockpot Steel Cut Oatmeal, Crockpot Barbecue Chicken (chicken breast + barbecue sauce), Hashbrown Breakfast Bake, The Easiest Chicken Fajitas You’ll Ever Make, Grilled Chicken Brushcetta, and Peanut Butter Protein Balls. We make these recipes again and again, week after week. I don’t make them ALL every week, and I’ll often throw in a new recipe or two, but they’re for sure the foundation of our meal plan.

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Double (or triple) the recipe – You’re already doing the prep work, so why not double or triple the recipe for later. It’ll save you time in the long run! Plus, you can “re-purpose” leftovers for “new” meals throughout the week or freeze them for future use.

Read the recipe in its entirety – Ok, this might be a duh tip for some people, but, if you’re like me, I typically hop right into making a recipe without reading all of its steps. Most of the time, it’s not a huge deal, but, on occasion, I run into prep issues, like soaking chia seeds overnight, which throws off my Sunday meal prep. Whomp whomp. Additionally, reading the recipe from start to finish helps me plan how to prep it, which bring me to…

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Prep recipes as much as possible – Especially when it comes to dinner, I prep as much of the meal as possible—sometimes to the point of making the entire recipe, but not cooking it or “assembling” it. For instance, we had taco salads last week. I chopped up the lettuce and sautéed a bunch of peppers and onions and stored them in separate containers in the fridge. On taco salad night, I cooked up the ground beef, added some taco seasoning, the peppers and onions (at the end just to warm them) and dinner was done in no time! Similarly, if I know two recipes call for rice, for example, I will make a double batch, so I don’t have to cook more later on in the week.

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Cook the meal – Depending on the recipe, sometimes I prepare the entire meal on Sunday to eat throughout the week. For instance, this Grilled Chicken Bruschetta keeps really well, so I often make a big batch on Sundays to throw on top of a salad or into a wrap.

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Determine which foods take the longest to prepare – To ensure that I get the most out of my food prep time, I think about which foods require the most time to prepare and get going on them first. For instance: Roasting potatoes or other veggies, crockpot recipes, baking, or soaking beans. I prep these things first and then spend the rest of my time doing less time-consuming things, like chopping veggies, washing fruit, etc. Plus, I like getting the “tough” stuff out of the way first!

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Question of the Day

Are you a Sunday Meal Prep person?

What’s your favorite tip?

24 Comments

  1. I totally agree with the “double or triple” the recipe thing! Also, even if all you have time to do is just grill up a bunch of protein and buy pre chopped veggies from trader joes it’ll make your week easier! I also love the already riced cauliflower from trader joes. Although you spend a smidge extra for pre chopped veggies… Sometimes it’s worth it to me!

  2. I find that chopping produce ahead of time can save the most time during busy week night cooking. Sunday meal prep really helps us eat healthier and removes a lot of stress during the week.

  3. To be honest, I haven’t been really a meal prepping kind of gal. Not that I don’t find it useful, I just find it extremely intimidating. Do I really have to prepare all that food in a single day? And I even live alone. But some days, I find I’m too busy to prepare something for myself that I thought I’d have to give meal prepping a go one of these days.

  4. How do you store the food for the week? I get nervous about eating cooked leftovers after a few days. Do you put some in the fridge and some in the freezer? I usually try cook every third night or so, or like two big things for the week for dinners and/or lunchs, rather than meal prep once a week, so that I don’t freak out about the food having gone bad –but then I also tend to get lazy and eat out or eat peanut butter with chocolate chips too often (I live alone too)

    1. We just throw it in Tupperware containers and eat it throughout the week. It’s typically all gone by Friday and then we wing it on the weekends.

  5. My favorite thing lately has been grilling 2-3 proteins and veggies plus making some form of quinoa or spicy rice every Sunday. And then I have meat and veggies ready for the week. It’s been such an great time saver, and I’ve been eating much healthier. When I get the muchies at 4 I can just eat a small bowl of roasted veggies with a li’l salsa or hummus and make it to super time instead of crackers or chips or chocolate. I love your meal prep ideas. I always have a game plan!

  6. I love Sunday meal prep – my boyfriend and I have been kicking butt at mason jar salads this summer! I love having lunches ready to go for the week, and I know we both eat healthier because it’s so easy in the moment!

  7. I am a working mom with a 15 week old and meal prepping rocks! I try to do it Sunday before everyone wakes up. I use my daily planner to plan the meals and leftovers throughout the week. Then make a grocery list from their. It is so much less stressful!

  8. I love Blue Apron! My husband thinks it is a waste of money, but he would eat the same thing all day every day and not be bored, so he just doesn’t get it. So my compromise is, I do an order once a month. I wait for a week that I know my schedule is going to wipe me out, and the thought of grocery shopping just seems too much to bear! AND there has to be good meals without peppers as the main part for me to order. I get migraines from most peppers. So meals I can easily leave them out, but I don’t want to change the taste of the meal much.
    The cool part is, after a few orders, Blue Apron lets you invite 3 people and THEY get their first 3 meals free. How awesome is that? Giving someone free food just feels so nice <3

    1. That’s about how often we do Blue Apron. It’s a nice change from the usual, and I always love trying new foods and cooking techniques, so it’s one of my favorite things! 🙂

  9. Good stuff here! I have personally worked with clients on nutrition for 15 years now and I can say without hesitation that planning and preparation are KEY to making a permanent lifestyle change. I really liked your “core recipes” made with a high yield because it actually saves time in the long run. My wife and I do something similar to this and we find that it saves us loads of time in the long run. I have also found (on a professional level) that this single practice can either make or break a healthy lifestyle. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  10. How do you make reheated roasted potatoes good?? I try all the time, but once they’ve been refrigerated and reheated, the regular potatoes get dry and the sweet potatoes get soggy. :-/ Any tips or tricks???

  11. I need to get better at meal prepping!! I work Friday and Saturday nights as a Nurse and really need to find a good routine for my meal prep! I got the meal planning and grocery list making down pat! Haha! Thanks for all the great tips!

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