Struggling to find the time to cook for you and your family? We feel you. Modern life is busy, and when you’re juggling work, childcare, exercise and household chores, planning healthy meals is often the last thing on the to-do list.
But, what if we said all you need is an hour or two of prep to guarantee a week’s worth of healthy, low-effort, high-reward meals that are ready when you are? From brilliant breakfasts and lovely lunches to delicious dinners and super snacks, we’ve pulled together our favourite food-prep ideas that the whole family will love.
Whether you’re short on time, stuck in a cycle of the same old meals, or want to get more organised, our meal-prep ideas will have you kitchen-ready in no time.
Not only is this cereal recipe super simple, you can customise it according to whatever you’ve already got at home. Serve with milk or yoghurt and top with fresh fruit; or follow the tip in the recipe to turn it into Bircher muesli/overnight oats. This recipe makes 12 servings and it’ll last for ages in an airtight container.
Bored of porridge? Couscous is surprisingly lovely for breakfast time and can take on almost any flavour combination. Make a batch at the start of the week, and you can switch up the fruit and nuts, depending on what you have to use up.
Made with a hearty mix of rye flour, oats and yoghurt, these simple scones make a substantial base for all kinds of toppings. Try them with eggs and avo, cottage cheese and berries, or nut butter and sliced banana.
Brilliantly simple, this veggie frittata recipe makes a healthy and filling midweek lunch, and is perfectly portable, too! Make a batch or two for the week, portion up and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. The salad is best dressed just before serving.
These mega baked sweet potatoes are piled high with Cheddar cheese, bacon, fresh chilli, and spring onion. Bake a batch while you prep the fillings, then store in the fridge for up to 5 days. Delicious as they are, or served with the salad or roast chicken below.
Featuring gorgeous winter greens, creamy hazelnuts and a zingy tahini dressing, this simple quinoa salad recipe is full of nuttiness and zing. It’s filling enough to be a lunch or dinner; but also makes a tasty side dish to roast chicken or salmon. Keep the salad and dressing separate in the fridge for up to 3 days, and toss together before serving.
It’s not hard to see why this roast chicken salad recipe is such a classic. Succulent, juicy chicken is roasted with garlic and tomatoes, then shredded and tossed with tender green beans and crunchy croutons. A great way to use up your Sunday roast leftovers, this epic salad is also well worth roasting a chicken for. It will keep happily in the fridge for up to 3 days. Store the croutons in an airtight container, so they keep their crunch.
Keep things interesting by prepping a few different salad dressings for each serving:
This veg-packed couscous salad recipe is a brilliant vegetarian lunch or dinner idea. It takes mere minutes to prep the veg, before the oven does most of the work. For best results, keep the toasted pumpkin seeds in an airtight container and scatter over the salad just before serving.
Once prepped this salad is great as it is, or try serving alongside other veg or protein. We recommend:
This zingy shredded chicken is super-versatile. Stuff into soft tortillas, turn into burritos, or serve with salad, black beans and rice.
Check out more batch-cook ideas
This chicken is roasted, so not only does the oven do all the work, it also allows you time to get creative with the slaw. You can make it using whatever crunchy veg you already have in the salad drawer.
- Stuff into soft rolls or wraps
- Turn into a salad bowl
- Shred the chicken and stir into pasta or risotto
This vibrant vegetarian traybake is packed full of the good stuff. Store the veg, couscous and yoghurt separately in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Check out more easy traybake ideas
Marmite fans: this one’s for you. Pop a batch of popcorn on Monday night, then toss with Marmite and melted butter for a tasty low-sugar snack you can enjoy all week. Batch up and store in an airtight container.
Full of flavour and ready in just five minutes, this colourful 3-ingredient dip is a no-brainer! Perfect for a mid-afternoon snack with crudités, crackers or bread, or as part of a lunchtime mezze, this vibrant dip will keep happily in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Check out more easy dip recipes
These fantastic little pick-me-ups are packed full of healthy oats, nuts, seeds and dried fruit. Kept in an airtight container, they’ll keep for up to 2 weeks, or up to 3 months in the freezer.
For more prep-ahead inspiration, check out our 5-ingredient batch-cooking recipes.