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Are you looking for quick and easy vegetarian meal prep ideas and recipes? We’ve compiled a list of 23 options for vegetarian meal prep that will have you feeling healthy, energized, and prepared for the week!
Between work, the kids and all your responsibilities, cooking at the end of the day may be the last thing you want to do.
You may have no energy or motivation by the end of your work day and picking up your phone to order pizza may be all you can handle.
But there’s an easier, healthier way to do things. Meal prep your week!
To avoid those late night cravings, and to make your mornings a little easier (or at least less rushed), try meal prep. It not only means you don’t have to do extra work when you are tired from a long day, but will help you stay on track with healthy eating.
This list of quick and easy vegetarian meal prep ideas will have you feeling healthy, energized, and ready for the week.
In this post on vegetarian meal prep ideas we will cover:
- What is meal prep and why should you do it?
- What tools do I need to start meal prepping?
- Easy vegetarian meal prep ideas
- One-pot vegetarian recipes for meal prepping your week
- Vegetarian soup meal prep recipes
- Salad meal prep ideas
- Vegetarian side dishes
What is Meal Prep and Why Should you Try it?
Meal prepping just means you make your meals for the week (or event the month) ahead of time.
It allows you to have meals ready at a moment’s notice, without having to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen every day.
So, instead of rushing around trying to pack a lunch for work at the last minute, or trying to find the energy to cook dinner at the end of your work day, you can grab something ready-to-go. You just have to do the cooking all at once on the weekend and then store it in the fridge or freezer.
There are many benefits to meal prep. It can save you time for one thing.
Meal prep also saves you money over going out to eat. The average cost of just a lunch meal out at a restaurant is between $10-15. That can add up fast!
And, it is a lot healthier to prep your meals for the week in advance. You might be tempted to eat pizza or fast food that can pack on the cholesterol and the pounds.
But, having your meals cooked and prepped ahead of time will keep you from making that unhealthy and sometimes expensive choice. You can even set aside healthy snacks for the week too.
What do I need to start meal prepping?
You don’t really have to have anything to start meal prepping! However, there are some tools and kitchen appliances that will make it easier.
Here are a few items you need to make meal prepping easier:
- Snapware Plastic Meal Prep Food Storage This is a 5-piece set for only $12.99! Plus, they are BPA Free, Microwave, Freezer and Dishwasher Safe
- Snapware Glass Food Storage Container If you prefer a more heavy-duty meal storage container you can opt for this glass version
- Ziploc Freezer Bags If you are planning out your meal prep for longer than a week these freezer bags will help
- Easy Lunch Boxes – 3 Compartment Bento These are perfect for keeping different parts of your meal separated but still in one container to take to work or school
- 2 & 3 Compartment Glass Meal Prep Containers This is a nice set of 4 containers that are glass and include both 2 and 3 compartment options
Cooking appliances to help with meal prep:
- Crockpot 7 Quart Slow Cooker If you don’t have a slow cooker yet you should definitely invest in one. They are an easy way to cook one-pot meals ideal for your weekly meal prep.
- Instant Pot Pro 10-in-1 Pressure Cooker An Instant Pot is another handy cooking appliance to make your meal prep even easier. This one even includes a rice cooker, steamer and slow cooker.
Books about meal prep
Here are some books that can be helpful for making a vegetarian meal prep plan.
- Meal prep weekly planner and grocery list journal
- Clean eating meal prep recipe book
- Smart meal prep for beginners
Easy vegetarian Meal Prep IDeas
This curry can be made in advance to eat for dinner or to take with you on your commute as lunch. Add this dish to a bowl, pack it up in a healthy wrap, or enjoy with cauliflower rice for an easy meal. Try this delicious recipe.
Smoky Lentil Tomato Soup
Soup can be an easy and cheap meal prep idea. Combine lentils, garlic cloves, carrots, sweet onion, celery sticks or diced onions in a pot and add broth. Add tomatoes (or tomato paste) and season with salt, black pepper and red chili flakes to taste.
Soba Noodles With Stir Fry
Cook soba noodles in boiling water for three minutes or according to the package instructions then rinse them under cold running water until they are cool enough to handle.
Then sautee your choice of vegetables in a wok or pan with soy sauce, ginger and garlic. Try broccoli, water chestnuts and snap peas for a nice mix!
Add the noodles to your stir fry mixture and serve on a plate with cilantro sprinkled over top (optional).
Try this super healthy Sesame Soba Noodles Recipe.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Avocado
Cut sweet potatoes into wedges or chunks then drizzle them with olive oil, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Place in roasting pan and roast at 425 degrees F for 45 to 50 minutes or until tender.
Peel an avocado and cut it into bite size chunks then place in a bowl with the roasted sweet potatoes. Easy Peasy! For a little variety try these sweet potato, avocado bacon bites!
Vegan Burrito Bowls
Layer brown rice or quinoa with black beans, red onion, corn, pico de Gallo or guacamole (or avocado slices), and cilantro leaves.
Top with your hot sauce of choice for a quick meal prep dish that is packed with protein! With vegetarian meals it is important to make sure you are consistently including protein to make up for the lack of meat which these burrito bowls cover. Burrito bowls make an excellent choice of vegetarian meal prep for lunch.
Crispy Quinoa Patties
These quinoa patties can be made ahead of time and used for breakfast, lunch or dinner! Add them to a salad, eat with side veggies or in a wrap.
This recipe is vegan as well so it covers all bases when you are looking for healthy vegetarian meal prep ideas. Quinoa is an ideal vegetarian dish because it is packed with protein.
Make a pot of brown rice according to package instructions. Fill bowl with brown rice, top it off with sauteed veggies of your choice like broccoli, carrots or sugar snap peas. Add Lipton vegetarian soup mix, and black beans. Add salt and pepper to taste!
You can also include a meat substitute like Cauliflower Walnut Taco Meat as in this taco bowl recipe from Peas and Crayons.
Vegan Chickpea Curry
This curry dish is flavorful and super healthy but best of all takes only 10 minutes to prepare! If you are looking for a high protein vegetarian meal prep idea that is easy and quick to make this is it.
one-pot vegetarian recipes for meal prepping
One way to make your vegetarian meal prepping easy is to cook a one-pot recipe. All you have to do is throw all the ingredients into one pot and cook it!
I love to make up a bowl of chili because it can make a meal for a few days off just one hour of work!
Chili is an ideal vegetarian meal prep idea for this reason and because it is pretty easy to make. Try this vegetarian chili recipe from Delish.
Really you can just combine whatever amount you like of pinto or kidney beans, tomatoes, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin seeds (optional), vegetable broth, and oregano leaves in a pot on the stovetop. Simmer it for an hour at least so the flavors can combine and your done!
Sun-dried Tomato One Pot Pasta
Delicious comfort food that makes for the best vegetarian meal prep idea! Try this recipe out for an easy meal prep for your week.
creamy vegan one-pot pasta
The Recipe Well has this to-die-for comfort food pasta dish that is an ideal meal prep idea for vegetarians.
It features a cashew rosé sauce and the whole dish only takes 30 minutes to prep!
One-Pot Skillet Vegetable Lasagna
If you want a creative meal prep idea try this One-Pot Vegetable Skillet Lasagna from Making Thyme for Health. Zucchini, corn and bell peppers are some of the delicious vegetables in this dish.
One-Pot Curried Cauliflower with Couscous and CHickpeas
Another one-pot vegetarian recipe that is easy to make and the perfect meal prep idea. This recipe makes for a hearty lunch you can take to work easily.
Vegetarian Soup Meal Prep REcipe Ideas
Soup makes for easy, healthy meal prep. It is easy to make, heat up and store.
Cream of Cauliflower Soup
This cream of cauliflower soup recipe from My Darling Vegan is a rich and creamy meal prep idea that even features tofu bacon!
Not only is this a healthy vegetarian meal, it is also a meal prep recipe that works for Vegans.
Sweet Potato Soup
Of course everyone knows Butternut Squash makes for a good soup, but have you tried Sweet Potato Soup?
This Ginger Sweet Potato Soup is sweet, a little spicy and an ideal meal prep recipe for vegetarians.
Butternut Squash Soup
Another perfect recipe for vegetarian meal prep is butternut squash soup. Warm, cozy comfort food. Try this recipe from Gimme Some Oven which is made in a crock-pot for even easier prep.
You can also try these pumpkin recipes for more fall comfort food.
Ramen noodles make a great inexpensive soup you can make as well!
Salad meal prep ideas
Of course you can’t go wrong with salads for healthy, vegetarian meal prep ideas. The trick is not putting any dressing on them until you are ready to eat them so they don’t get wilted.
kale salad is a good meal prep idea. Kale is a super food, packed with antioxidants. Some tasty items to include in a kale salad are sweet potatoes, chickpeas, almonds or even pine nuts. below are two kale salad meal prep recipes you can try.
Kale and Sweet Potato Salad
Kale is a super food and should be a mainstay in your diet. Just combine kale, apple, pecans and cooked sweet potato with your favorite dressing! Bake the sweet potatoes tossed in cinnamon for extra flavor.
This recipe from Skinny Taste combines sweet potatoes, kale, dried cherries, feta and pepitas for another delicious combo. You can also add chickpeas which pack a lot of protein per bite.
Kale Salad with Quinoa, Oranges and Avocado
Combine quinoa (or rice, brown rice if you want to be super healthy with your meal prep), oranges, and avocado in a bowl. Top with almonds and a crumbly cheese of your choice like Feta or goat cheese.
Sweet potato and arugula salad
Only 15 minutes to prep! Topped with avocado and creamy peanut butter dressing. Try the recipe from The Loopy Whisk.
Vegetarian Meal Prep Side Dishes
One easy way to meal prep for the week is to just make a few of your favorite side dishes! Any meal made up of 3 vegetarian side dishes work! But here are a few tasty options to try:
Cinnamon Roasted Butternut Squash
Another healthy vegetarian side-dish to use in your meal prep repertoire is roasted butternut squash. This recipe from Well Plated is delicious. Of course you can roast this versatile vegetable with just about any seasoning you want!
These are great to snack on before or after a workout. You can also eat them as an easy lunch, in wraps with fresh veggies and hummus
Make cauliflower rice up ahead of time for the week for a healthy meal prep addition! Add some chickpea curry over it, top with avocado slices or any type of vegetable and sauce you like.
Cut tofu into cubes or triangles, sautee in a little oil with salt and pepper, add eggs (optional), turmeric powder, nutritional yeast flakes to taste. Saute until the mixture is scrambled like regular eggs might be. Add cooked mushrooms for additional flavor.
Tons of options for meal plans! Just get started today!
Checkout this in-depth guide on How to Cook Healthy on a Budget!