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).
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!***
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).
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.
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…
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.
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.
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!
Question of the Day
Are you a Sunday Meal Prep person?
What’s your favorite tip?