Minimum meal prepping I like to get done each week.

The post was sponsored by Luvo.

I get easily overwhelmed with meal prepping. When I start to feel a sense of dread at the thought of having to spend a few hours prepping food I often end up not prepping anything, which sets us up for a more stressful week of throwing together last-minute, less-than-satisfying meals. Something that’s helped me lately is knowing the minimum amount of prep each week that sets us up for a smooth week when it comes to food.

For us, I’ve found our week flows better if we at least:

And that’s it! Three things.

For the bulk meal I try to fill up my favorite green Le Creuset Dutch Oven with something. This week I made a gnocchi bolognese soup.  I usually have a recipe I use for inspiration, but then I put my own twist on the recipe based on my cravings (and disinterest in following recipes because I get bored with reading instructions haha).

The Luvo meals come in handy as a grab-n-go lunch on the 2 days/wk I see clients all day.  I’ll pack snacks for hunger throughout the day, but knowing I don’t have to make a lunch helps me and Jo get out the door faster on out-of-the-house work mornings.

When I’m with Jojo she mostly eats what I eat, but there are 2-3 days a week we are apart so I like having some meal components made for her. We rely on fruit/vegetable squeeze pouches somedays, but I also like having some finger foods ready to go. For her, I usually plan a protein, vegetable and a carb. This week for Jo I got a can of beans for protein, made steamed zucchini and cauliflower with a bit of butter for a vegetable, and made muffins for some carbs based off this bread.

(The below photo is the mess our house typically is during meal prep and other times of the week. Also, we’re still waiting on our vent hood to get finished!)

For us, just getting/prepping 3 things is a low stress and sustainable way to consistently have
some ready-to-go meals for the week. 

Do you have a go-to plan for meal prepping? Are there any strategies you enjoy following?


  1. I am 3 years into ED recovery, and I signed up for a small CSA veggie box this summer, hoping that it would be a challenge for me to help re-engage with food in a positive way. It ended up being a bit stressful, but overall it helped me figure out how to cook for a household, not get too caught up in  “every meal must be a good one,” prepping items and bulk meals a like, and seeing how much less anxiety there was at dinner time when there was already stuff in the fridge to eat. I did a lot of [hearty veggie + protein, roasted, add sauce + grain] dishes and frittatas were a super easy way to make something versatile, portable, and crowd pleasing. I also worked at making a treat-a-week, a baked good or sweet tooth satisfier to help feel balanced and to not deny myself what I would want!

  2. I love the idea of having a minimum meal prep to keep from getting overwhelmed! I usually focus on prepping lunches for the work week, which is a huge help during the week! I also try to have at least one dinner prepared ahead of time like you’ve mentioned.

  3. This is a really helpful way of thinking through it! I’ve gotten so overwhelmed with meal prepping over the last few months which has led to not doing anything at all. And like you said, has made for more rushed and less satisfying meals. I’ve also found that because I feel so rushed then, that I just keep grabbing for the same things over and over again because I know they require little effort and are quick. Ultimately leads to such food boredom though… Super helpful to just think about it more simply. 1 bulk meal, a few staples and good to go. ❤️👍

  4. I used to food prep dishes from start to finish but was left with microwaveable meals that tasted like boring leftovers on the first day. It helped a lot to prep only certain components of a recipe to save time during the week. So now I only prep casseroles, soups, chopped or sautéed veggies, and fruit. I also usually have a batch of whole grain pancakes, muffins, or oatmeal bars in rotation. When looking at my meal plan each week, I make sure that I don’t have too many items that need advance prep and several items that come together quickly during the week (such as pre chopped veggies that are easily roasted). My other trick is to use recipes that can be cooked in one pan or on a sheet pan for easy clean up. I do all of my fajita fillings on a sheet pan! 

  5. Great advice! I too don’t like the overwhelming type id meal prep especially considering a baby in the mix. Gone are the days of spending even minutes of focusing on one task haha. Generally speaking we just come up with a rough plan and go from there. Buying nutritionally sound, easy to grab foods has been pivotal. Things like quinoa and rice packets that you throw in a skillet for two minutes (from Costco), frozen veggies and other quick dinner ideas are truly the only way dinner is on the table half the time! 

  6. Lately I have been loving the Taylor Farms salad kits that I can easily add onto without making a salad from scratch. It’s also been super helpful to have my husband batch grill proteins for the week. And I also try and make one batch meal that we can eat throughout the week (enchiladas are always a go-to, burrito bowls or rice dishes). Then, lots of sides and snacks to mix and match – tortilla chips, nuts, yogurts, popcorn, fruit, etc.

  7. Century to a kind of destruction:

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