30 Meals You Can Prep in 30 Minutes or Less

By , SparkPeople Blogger
If you had to describe meal prep with one word, it might be “healthy” or “delicious” or—if you’re one of the lucky ones who enjoys cooking—maybe even “fun.” However, you probably wouldn’t choose the words “fast” or “easy.” To the contrary, the idea of meal prep might conjure images of tedious list-making, endless grocery trips and hours chained to the stove (figuratively, we hope).
You already know that planning and preparing your own meals is the most important ingredient in the recipe for success. Meal preppers are less likely to fall into the takeout trap, succumb to unhealthy cravings or eat supersized portions—all of which means they’re more likely to lose weight. And here’s a secret that might surprise you: They actually end up saving more time in the long run.
It’s time to bust the myth that meal prep is only for diehard chefs who have plenty of hours to spend shopping, chopping, seasoning and slicing. There are plenty of healthy, satisfying meals that can be thrown together in small, stolen pockets of time between the office, the gym and the countless tasks on your to-do list.​
Try some of these sub-half-hour recipes, then let us know which ones make it into your weekly rotation.

1. Paleo Sloppy Joes: Made from scratch with nothing but natural ingredients, this family favorite comes together in under 20 minutes, using only one pan.

Image courtesy of One Clever Chef

2. One-Pan Chicken Parmesan: This quick-and-easy version of an Italian classic can be finished in the oven or on the stove.

3. One-Sheet Roasted Greek Salad: Loaded with flavor, this easy-to-make, one-sheet salad is a dinner winner.

Image courtesy of Live Best

4. 20-Minute Sheet Pan Shrimp Tacos: With quick clean-up, nutritious ingredients and kid-friendly taste, this will quickly become a regular in your weekly meal planning routine.

Image courtesy of The Seasoned Mom

5. Almond Crusted Tilapia: Moist and flaky with a crunchy crust, this seafood meal is quick and easy to make.

Image courtesy of Fannetastic Food

6. Chicken Enchilada Casserole: This easy-to-assemble Mexican meal is sure to keep the whole family coming back for seconds.

7. Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad with Chicken: If you’re not eating it right away, leave the dressing on the side until mealtime.   

Image courtesy of Toby Amidor Nutrition

8. Roasted Sweet Potato Bites: You’ll want to keep plenty of these on hand as healthy snacks.

Image courtesy of The Healthy Apple

9. Shrimp and Avocado Soup: Filled with whole foods, this recipe will warm you through the winter and is still light enough to eat through the summer. Make extra and enjoy it all week.

Image courtesy of Mommy's Memorandum

10. Easy & Skinny Spicy Orange Chicken: With just seven ingredients, this healthy, delicious dish is on the table in under 30 minutes.

Image courtesy of Amy's Healthy Baking

11. Roasted Cauliflower Soup: Hearty and dairy-free, this soup is easy to prepare and super flavorful.

Image courtesy of The Healthy Apple

12. Pasta Puttanesca: This simple, heat-and-eat dinner is loaded with the delicious flavors of tomatoes, olives, capers and anchovies.

Image courtesy of Live Best

13. Linguini with Swiss Chard: In just 15 minutes, this veggie-full recipe packs a powerful punch of health benefits.

Image courtesy of Live Best

14. Hearty Beef and Vegetable Stew: This heart-healthy, one-dish meal is made with lean, top-round beef, lots of vegetables and an aromatic herb mixture.

15. Rustic Italian Tortellini Soup: Add additional vegetables or even beans for more protein.

16. 15-Minute Chili: Make extra of this flavorful comfort chili and freeze the rest for easy future meals.

17. Instant Pot Smoky Mexican Chicken Soup: Mexican soup enjoys a smoky twist with this super simple recipe.

Image courtesy of Kitchen Stewardship

18. Salmon & Mango Poke Bowl: A summertime favorite, poke bowls are no-cook, which means all you have to do is chop up your favorite ingredients and dig in.

Image courtesy oof Foraged Dish

19. One-Pan Chicken Fajita Rice: This is ready faster than you can pick up Mexican takeout.

Image courtesy of The Girl Who Ate Everything

20. Dump-and-Bake Chicken Marinara Gnocchi: There’s no prep work necessary for this easy dinner recipe that cooks entirely in one dish.

Image courtesy of The Seasoned Mom

21. Saucy Tomato and Artichoke Chicken Recipe: If you have 15 minutes and four ingredients, you have dinner.

Image courtesy of Fannetastic Food

22. Easy Coconut Curry: This versatile recipe can easily be customized with your favorite veggies or meatless proteins.

Image courtesy of Fannetastic Food

23. Apple and Pork Stir-fry with Ginger: This super-simple supper is packed full of fruits and veggies.

24. Korean Noodles: This vegetarian meal is full of flavor and healthy benefits, and is ready in less than 30 minutes.

Image courtesy of Live Best

25. Better Beef and Broccoli: Even easier and more flavorful than takeout.

26. Slow Cooker Lentil Curry: Let the slow cooker do all the work! The result is a flavorful and healthy dish the whole family will love.

Image courtesy of The Pretty Bee

27. Walnut & Herb Crusted Salmon: Use your food processor to make the topping, and then roast this salmon in your oven (or even the grill). A side of asparagus fits right in.

Image courtesy of Foraged Dish

28. 20-Minute Chicken Creole: This quick Southern dish contains no added fat and very little added salt in its spicy tomato sauce.

29. Bean, Corn and Avocado Salad: Enjoy it with baked tortilla chips, on a whole-grain tortilla or by itself.

30. BBQ Rubbed Salmon with Roasted Veggies: This one comes from SparkPeople’s registered dietitian, Becky Hand. Baked on a single sheet pan, this dinner is quick and easy to prep and clean up is a breeze.
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup broccoli, cut into bite‐size pieces
1 cup cauliflower, cut into bite‐size pieces
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 (4 oz. each) salmon fillets
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
¼  tsp salt
¼ tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly oil a large baking sheet. Place vegetables in a bowl and sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper and oil. Toss to coat. Place vegetables in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake in oven for 15 minutes.
  • While vegetables are baking, combine brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  • Rub mixture over each salmon fillet.
  • Remove veggies from oven after 15 minutes of baking. Stir vegetables gently.
  • Place salmon on baking sheet with vegetables.
  • Return to oven and bake for 15 more minutes, until fish flakes easily with a fork and vegetables are tender. 
Servings: 6
Serving Size: 1 piece salmon and ½ cup vegetables
CALORIES: 280; FAT: 12 g; PROTEIN: 30 g; CARB: 2 g; FIBER: 4 g; SODIUM: 86 mg
Which of these have you tried (or would like to try)? Any other simple recipes you’d add to the list?