It's time to learn how to lunch meal prep like a pro. Preparing an entire week's worth of lunches may seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. Meal prepping can save you some serious time, stress, and money throughout the week.  

The days get hectic, and before you know it you're eating out and spending way too much money for crappy lunch food you don't even like eating. Meal prepping can keep you on track with your fitness goals, too. Save yourself from your next late afternoon binge eating sesh and learn how to meal prep.

If you're unfamiliar with meal prepping, all you have to do is take a favorite recipe, make a whole lot of it on a Sunday night (or whenever you want), divide it up evenly into containers, refrigerate or freeze it, and heat it up when you're ready to eat.

Before you can start cooking, you need to do these three, simple steps.

1. Invest in a set of containers

tea, oil, alcohol, wine
Angela Kerndl

If you haven't already done so, invest in a good set of containers—like one of these seven containers that are great for meal prepping—to store your food in. Plastic containers that are both BPA-free and freezer safe are ideal. Glass containers also work.

I bought my containers at The Dollar Tree for $1 per pack of three. They are BPA-free and freezer, microwave, and dishwasher safe.  

2. Go to the grocery store

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Angela Kerndl

Once you head to the store, it's important to follow your list and purchase only what you came for. 

3. Start cookin'

Put on some music and start prepping. Put together a meal you won't mind eating a lot of throughout the week. Think of something that won't go bad right away, too.

The recipe below is a perfect idea to meal to prep for a week's worth of lunches. It's like eating a Chipotle burrito bowl every single day without overeating or overspending.  

Lunch Prep Burrito Bowl

  • Prep Time:20 mins
  • Cook Time:30 mins
  • Total Time:50 mins
  • Servings:5
  • Easy

    Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 package instant brown rice
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 can sweet corn
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 red onion
  • Chopped romaine lettuce
  • 3 limes
onion, tomato, pepper, corn, vegetable, salad
Angela Kerndl
  • Step 1

    Cut the chicken into small pieces and place it in a small bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and as much taco seasoning as you would like and mix evenly. Refrigerate the marinated chicken while you prepare the next steps.

    meat, vegetable, sauce, honey, sweet
    Angela Kerndl
  • Step 2

    Cook 1 cup of rice on the stove. Follow the directions on the box. This should take less than 10 minutes if you have instant rice. Let the rice cool for about 5 more minutes.

    vegetable, wheat, pilaf, brown rice, risotto, cereal, rice
    Angela Kerndl
  • Step 3

    Prepare the salsa. Dice the tomato, onion, and chop the cilantro. Stir it all together and add lime juice. In another bowl, make the guacamole. Mash up the avocado and add tomato, cilantro, and lime juice.

    parsley, pepper, salsa, tomato, vegetable
    Angela Kerndl
  • Step 4

    Take the chicken out of the refrigerator and put it on a pan over medium heat. Keep the chicken on the stove until it's cooked all the way through. Cook on each side for about 3-4 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and let it cool on a plate.

    vegetable, meat, sauce, chicken
    Angela Kerndl
  • Step 5

    In the same pan, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook the sliced bell pepper. Cook for a few minutes.

    chili, vegetable, pepper
    Angela Kerndl
  • Step 6

    Open the cans of beans and corn. Get your containers ready to assemble. Evenly distribute the rice among the containers. Add the beans and corn next. Toss in the bell peppers and chicken. Then add the salsa or guacamole to each container.

    Refrigerate 2 of the containers. Put the other 3 in the freezer. Take the ones in the freezer out and put them in the fridge the night before you plan on eating them. Reheat each burrito bowl in the microwave before eating, or eat cold.

    carrot, tomato, onion, vegetable, corn, salad, pepper
    Angela Kerndl

While I do have a break in my schedule for lunch, it's convenient to not have to run all the way back to my apartment after class just to discover I have no idea what to make for lunch. I now get work done at the library and have no reason to complain since I already have a perfectly delicious home cooked meal ready to eat. Meal prepping really does make life a whole lot easier!

For more ideas, check out these 10 easy rotisserie chicken recipes and these 11 healthy breakfasts to make your weekly meal prep even easier.