No matter how well you eat throughout the semester, those good habits seem to go right out the window when finals roll around. Unfortunately, as good as a slice or three of pizza or a big bowl of ice cream may seem at the time, indulging in foods high in salt, fat, and sugar won't reduce your stress, and in actuality, will probably just make you feel worse off.

Here's where meal prep comes in. Meal prep isn't just something for food bloggers and Pinterest gurus. This trend is perfectly fit for the busy college student. If you can spare 45 minutes ahead of time to prepare your food, you will reap the benefits of having nutritious meals to come home to after a long day of studying. 

The Prep

  • Prep Time:10 mins
  • Cook Time:35 mins
  • Total Time:45 mins
  • Servings:4
  • Easy


  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Seasoning choice
  • 1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
  • 2 hard-boiled or fried eggs
  • Feta cheese
  • Balsamic dressing
  • 1/2 cup rice cooked
  • 1/4 cup spinach cooked
  • Step 1

    Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes. On a baking sheet, toss sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts with olive oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper.

    vegetable, sprouts, brussels sprout
    Natalie Chuang
  • Step 2

    Roast veggies for 30-35 minutes at 400°F.

    Natalie Chuang
  • Step 3

    While the veggies cook, heat a medium skillet on the stove with olive oil. Cut chicken breasts into halves and season with salt, pepper, oregano, lemon pepper, and/or any seasoning you prefer. Cook for about 10 minutes on each side until browned.

    Natalie Chuang
  • Step 4

    Store the veggies and chicken in plastic containers and refrigerate.

    Natalie Chuang

Now that the prep is done, all you have to do is assemble and eat! Here are three meal variations so you won't get bored.

Meal One: Chicken and Roasted Vegetables

Natalie Chuang

This meal is the simplest and easiest of the three. Just reheat some of the veggies and chicken. Save this for your busiest day so you can focus all your energy on studying.

Meal Two: Balsamic Chicken Salad with Egg and Feta

salad, lettuce, vegetable, spinach
Natalie Chuang

For a lighter meal, opt for this salad. Top some romaine lettuce with sliced chicken, a hard-boiled egg, feta cheese, and a drizzle of balsamic dressing. The great thing about salad is that it can be anything you want it to be. Throw in any other ingredients you find in your fridge and enjoy!

Meal Three: Roasted Veggie Rice Bowl with Egg

kale, sweet potato, potato, broccoli, spinach, sweet, egg
Natalie Chuang

This is a heartier option that is also super versatile. I made my bowl with brown rice, roasted veggies, cooked spinach, and a fried egg. The egg can also be substituted with a hard-boiled egg or some sliced chicken as an alternative.

Keep in mind, meal prepping isn't an all-or-nothing deal. You don't have to prep every single meal, but with some planning ahead, you can easily cover dinners for a week in just an hour. Now get prepping and ace those finals!