Healthy Meal Prep Diet Plan Step-by-Step Guide
Weight Loss Resources Healthy Meal Prep Guide

Easy plan with recipes for tasty, low calorie meals for the working week in about an hour

Healthy Meal Prep Diet Plan Step-by-Step Guide

By wlr's resident foodie Joanne Putney

Wouldn't it be great to have your lunches and dinners ready to go for the week ahead?

  • All healthy, tasty and low enough in calories to help you lose weight
  • No cooking to do from Monday to Friday, no food decisions to fret about
  • Ready in an easy but intensive 1-hour* Sunday cook-up

* It should take about an hour if you're pretty quick at chopping veg, a litte longer if you don't do much cooking.

To make things easy our step-by-step guide shows you what to next at 5-minute intervals. Watch the video first to get an overview of the whole week's preparation in 4½ minutes.

What's In the Plan?

  • 5 lunches and 6 dinners - that means you get to eat a delicious dinner on Sunday night afer all that cooking.
  • Approximately 950 to 1000 calories are provided in the lunch and dinner meals for each day. Leaving 200-600 available for breakfast, drinks and any snacks depending on your weight loss goals and calorie target.
  • Some meals are suitable for vegetarians and vegans, and where chicken or salmon is used a meat substitute such as a Quorn or Oumph! product would work just as well.

Meal Prep Meal Plan Overview Video

Music: www.bensound.com

Now this is some super speedy cooking - it's ok, I can't actually chop that fast!

Step-by-Step Guide

A quick overview of the 1 hour meal prep timings so you can see how simple it is and how it all fits together.

0 mins - Marinate the chicken

Chicken marinating

5 mins - Prepare the roasted veg (& pop in oven to cook)

Vegetables to roast

10 mins - Boil eggs on hob (& pop the chicken in oven)

Eggs boiling

15 mins - Cook pasta and rice on the hob

Pasta in boiling water

20 mins - Make salmon parcels (& pop in to oven)

Prepare salmon parcels

25 mins - Chop up broccoli

Chop broccoli into florets

30 mins - Drain the rice and pasta, then flavour pasta with pesto

Pesto pasta

35 mins - Make a quick 10 minute curry - it's surprisingly GOOD! :)

Cook Curry

45 mins - Prepare a simple Greek salad

Greek Salad

50 mins - Get chicken, salmon and vegetables out of oven

Roasted vegetables

55 mins - Make a quick Ratatouille from half the roasted veg

Ratatouille

60 mins - Assemble the meals...
 

Salmon with Pesto Pasta and Broccoli

Salmon with Pesto Pasta and Broccoli (eat fresh!)

Store in the fridge - for up to 2 days

I knew I was gonna be really hungry after cooking all this delicious food, so I factored in an extra (secret) dish to eat once it was all complete. Clever, hey! Obviously, you could save it for another day... but I doubt if you will! :) So officially, that's 11 meals in an hour - but who's counting! Sshh...

  • 1 serving pesto pasta
  • 1 salmon fillet
  • ½ cooked broccoli

 

Greek Salad with Chickpeas

Greek Salad with Chickpeas (eat cold)

Store in the fridge for up to 2 days - VEGETARIAN

Now this was amazing - leaving the Greek salad and chickpeas to infuse in the dressing overnight really helped. It is best served at room temperature - as it allows the tomatoes to really shine - and the Feta becomes more creamy too. Be warned, this is really filling!

  • 200g can chickpeas (drained)
  • 1 serving Greek salad
  • 50g Feta cheese

 

Roast Chicken and Vegetable Wrap

Roast Chicken and Vegetable Wrap (enjoy hot or cold)

Store in the fridge - keeps for 3 days - assemble before eating

Simply microwave the vegetables and chicken (if you fancy it hot) spoon over a little Greek yoghurt and wrap - yummy... The rest of the yoghurt can be enjoyed as a dessert (I was so full, I had to save mine for later in the evening!)

  • 1 serving roasted vegetables
  • 100g sliced chicken
  • 1 tortilla wrap
  • 1 small pot Fage 0% Total yoghurt

 

Chicken Pasta Salad

Chicken Pasta Salad (enjoy cold)

Store in the fridge - keeps for 2 days 

Thoroughly enjoyed this one. It's just perfect for a no-fuss take-to-work lunch - filling an delicious and you can eat it cold too. The Greek salad keeps for 2 days, I expect it could be a little wet by the 3rd (not that I had chance to test the theory!)

  • 1 serving pesto pasta
  • 1 portion Greek salad
  • 100g sliced chicken

 

Chickpea and Spinach Curry

Chickpea and Spinach Curry (reheat & eat)

Store 1 portion in the fridge - keeps for 3-4 days
Freeze 3 portions 

The picture really doesn't do this justice. For such a surprisingly simple meal to make, this vegetable curry is packed full of flavour. As a bit of a carnivore myself - this vegan friendly dish was an unexpected favourite - lucky really, since I had 3 more servings in the freezer.

  • 1 portion rice
  • 1 serving curry

 

Houmous and Vegetable Wrap

Houmous and Vegetable Wrap (enjoy hot or cold)

Store in the fridge - keeps for 3 days - assemble before eating

I used a plain houmous (as it was the only low calorie one available in store) - but a flavoured reduced calorie one would have been better. I also used a wholemeal wrap for extra fibre, but think herb or sundried tomato one could have been even better! Maybe if you're planning to eat it cold, a couple of spare lettuce leaves would have added crunch... 

  • 1 serving roasted vegetables
  • 1 mini pot houmous
  • 1 tortilla wrap
  • Little Gem lettuce leaves (optional)

 

Cream Cheese Salmon with Ratatouille

Cream Cheese Salmon with Ratatouille (reheat & eat)

Freeze - defrost overnight 

I was seriously looking forward to this one - and it didn't disappoint :) I defrosted it overnight, carefully drained off a little of the liquid from the vegetables and reheated in the microwave. The cream cheese/salmon combo was divine particularly with the little kicks of chiili ratatouille.

  • 1 portion Ratatouille
  • 1 salmon fillet
  • 1 individual Boursin

 

Egg Salad with Croutons and Mayonnaise

Egg Salad with Croutons and Mayonnaise (eat cold)

Store in the fridge - keeps for up to 7 days! - assemble before eating

This simple salad keeps really well. Storing the boiled eggs in their shells and they will last 7 days in the fridge. It does require a little assembly on the day - but it's well worth it, trust me! (I actually wasn't even sure whether to include this recipe - but when you put the simple ingredients together, you'll be surprised how the crunch of the croutons, the creaminess of the eggs and the fresh salad items combine to make something way more satisying than you'd expect.

  • 1 Little Gem lettuce
  • 2 boiled eggs (in shells – they will keep up to 7 days in fridge!)
  • 2 cherry tomatoes
  • 25g croutons (keep separate for crunch)
  • 1 tsp mayonnaise – add on the day you eat…

 

Chicken Pasta Bake with Broccoli

Chicken Pasta Bake with Broccoli (reheat & eat)

Freeze - defrost overnight

Defrost, reheat and eat. Before I froze this, I blitzed some roasted Mediterranean vegetables with some chopped tomatoes to make a smooth pasta sauce - but this is an optional step as it would've been lovely with a chunkier sauce too.

  • 1 portion Ratatouille
  • 1 serving pesto pasta
  • 100g sliced chicken
  • ½ cooked broccoli

 

Pasta and Mozzarella Salad

Mozzarella and Tomato Pesto Pasta Salad (enjoy cold)

Freeze the pasta - add fresh ingredients on the day

This "fresh" salad again was an absolute favourite of mine - I froze the pesto pasta plain and defrosted the night before - then simply add the mozzarella and cherry tomatoes and drizzle with a dash of balsamic vinegar - to make a super simple but satisfying lunch.

  • 1 serving pesto pasta
  • 6 cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 6 mini mozzarella pearls
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • Basil leaves (optional)

 

Tortilla Pizza

Tortilla Pizza (reheat & eat)

Freeze - defrost overnight - reheat and eat

These tortilla pizzas are so simple to make... I used a leftover wrap, topped with a spoon of pesto, a little roast chicken, some spinach and sweetcorn - then I wrapped it in clingfilm and popped it in the freezer on a tray. Take it out to defrost overnight, then add some mozzarella balls and pop it in the oven for 10 minutes. I thoroughly enjoyed tucking into this - even as the family around me devoured their "real" pizza.

  • 1 tortilla wrap
  • 1 tbsp pesto
  • 100g sliced chicken
  • Handful baby spinach
  • 6 black olives
  • 6 mini mozzarella pearls
  • 80g sweetcorn (or anything else you have leftover in the fridge)

 

All done - well, almost (you still have to tidy up I'm afraid!)

Meal Prep Meal Plan - Alternative Options

The options are only limited by your imagination - and you can use the tools in wlr to calorie count the ideas you have and see how to combine the "recipes" to make your own dishes... I think, if you like all the component parts, you really can't go too wrong.

  • Switch out the salmon fillets for prawns - get fresh ones and fry them in a little oil until slightly browned on the edges - then enjoy with a stir-fry sauce.
  • Swap the rice for noodles and the pasta for couscous - both are extremely versatile and can be easily frozen and reheated (or eaten cold)
  • Try mixing your favourite vegetables to roast: sweet potato and broccoli works great too - or roasted parsnips, carrots and brussel sprouts in winter maybe... (that sounds amazing!)
  • Flavour the salmon in new ways - cook it in the parcel topped with chilli pesto, curry paste or drizzled with teriyaki sauce
  • Substitute the chicken with steak or flavoured tofu instead....

I thoroughly enjoyed my week of meal prep meals - I hope you do too...

Best wishes, Joanne :)

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