30+ Meal Prep Component Recipes To Mix & Match
Here you’ll find a roundup of 30+ dietitian-approved healthy meal prep component recipes to mix and match. “Meal Components” are individual parts that make up a meal, like proteins, starches, sauces, and vegetables. Preparing these individual components allows you to mix and match different meals throughout the week, allowing for more variety in your meal prep!
There are two general ways I like to approach meal prep:
- The first is by making large batches of full meals to have “intentional leftovers” for the week. If you’re looking for this approach to meal prep, feel free to check out my roundups for meal prep breakfasts, make ahead snacks, and lunch/dinner ideas!
- The second approach is what I like to call the “Meal Component Method,” in which you prepare large batches of different “components” of meals that take longer to cook. With these meal components ready to go, you can then mix and match those components with uncooked ingredients to create custom meals each day, depending on what you’re feeling like!
Today we’re going to be discussing the “Meal Component” Approach to meal prep. I’ll also be sharing 30+ different healthy meal prep component recipe ideas to get you started. This approach to meal prep allows for a bit more spontaneity and flexibility during the week, while still significantly cutting down on cooking time.
How Does It Work?
With this method, I typically recommend cooking different types of meal components each week. What are these general food components?
That might mean preparing a large pot of whole grains, a couple simple proteins, roasting a few trays of vegetables, and preparing a couple different sauces or dressings. This way, you’ll ensure that you’re going to have quality carbohydrates, healthy fats, protein, fibre, and lots of veggies ready for the week!
With these cooked components, you then can throw together different meals, like stir-fries, grain bowls, salads, sandwiches, pastas, tacos, or egg dishes.
Keep reading to see what “no-prep” ingredients I recommend having in your kitchen to create these meals, as well as different kind of meal ideas you can assemble with your prepped ingredients!
“No-Prep” Ingredients To Keep On Hand
- Raw vegetables. Chop them up to pair with dips for a healthy snack, or throw them into the meal ideas below.
- Leafy greens. Greens like baby spinach, kale, or arugula can easily be used as a salad base, or cooked into pastas, stir-fries, or egg dishes.
- Avocados. Adds a great source of heart-healthy fat to any meal. Use to make avocado toasts, in sandwiches or wraps, or add to salads or grain bowls.
- Nuts & Seeds. Another great source of healthy fats, including omega-3s, as well as plant-based protein. Sprinkle on top of salads or grain bowls for a nutrition boost.
- Bread or tortilla wraps. Use bread as a sandwich or open-faced toast base. Tortillas can be used to make wraps, tacos, quesadillas, or burritos.
- Spices + seasonings. Keep a bunch of different spices or herbs on hand to get a variety of flavours in your meals. Try ones like cinnamon, paprika, turmeric, curry powder, dried basil, or thyme.
- Fermented foods. Foods like kimchi or sauerkraut add a dose of gut-healthy probiotics and also flavour to your meals. Use them on grain bowls, sandwiches, stir-fries, or salads.
- Dry pasta. Pasta is cooked in under 20 minutes, and pairs perfectly with any meal prepped proteins or veggies you have! For an extra boost of protein and fibre, try lentil or bean-based pastas.
- Eggs. This easy and affordable protein source can matched with tons of meal prep ingredients. Make frittatas, omelettes, or scrambles with other prepped veggies or grains. Or, add a hard-boiled or fried egg to sandwiches, salads, or grain bowls.
What Types Of Meals Can You Make?
- Omelettes, scrambles, or frittatas
- Bowl meals (grain bowls, buddha bowls, etc.)
- Wraps or sandwiches
- Tacos, quesadillas, or burritos
- Open-faced toasts
Healthy Protein Recipes
Protein is a macronutrient that plays an essential role in many processes in our body. It helps to build and repair our muscles and all our body tissues. Protein also helps to slow digestion and keep us feeling fuller for longer. If you find yourself hungry not long after a meal, it could be that you’re not including enough protein!
Check out some of the easy protein recipes below. All of these recipes work great for meal prep and can be mixed and matched in a variety of different meals.
Want some no-recipe protein sources that can be added to the easy meal ideas above? Try having items like canned seafood (e.g. tuna, salmon, mackerel), canned chickpeas or beans, or eggs on hand!
1) Garlic Shrimp With Smoked Paprika & Honey
2) Baked Harissa Salmon
3) Crispy Baked Tofu
4) Honey Mustard Garlic Shrimp
5) Baked Salmon With Pistachio Pesto
6) Crispy Turmeric Salmon
7) Curry Tofu Scramble
8) Honey Lemon Oven Baked Salmon
9) Marinated Peanut Tempeh via Minimalist Baker
10) Balsamic Mustard Baked Tempeh via The Full Helping
Healthy Starches & Whole Grains
I also recommend prepping one or two healthy starch or whole grain recipes to have a quality source of carbohydrates to add to your meals. Our brains, muscles, and liver all use carbs as their primary fuel to carry out their various and extremely important roles within our bodies.
Healthier sources of carbohydrates include things like starchy vegetables (like potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, or winter squash) as well as whole grain foods (like quinoa, millet, farro, brown rice, oatmeal, whole wheat pastas). Carbs are also found in things like beans, lentils, and fruits. In addition to carbohydrates, these foods are great sources of a variety of micronutrients and dietary fibre.
Check out some of the starch/grain meal prep component ideas below. These dishes can be added to a multitude of different meal ideas. Use them to bulk up salads, as the base of a grain bowl, in a stir-fry, thrown into a frittata, or simply as a side!
11) How To Cook Quinoa: 3 Ways
12) How To Cook Farro
13) Creamy Coconut Corn Rice
14) Vegan Cheesy Broccoli Rice
15) Cheesy Miso Mushroom Rice
16) Crispy Roasted Potatoes With Chili & Paprika
17) Carrot Parsnip & Potato Mash
18) Roasted Butternut Squash With Kale & Coconut Cream
Cooked Vegetable Side Dishes
I don’t think I need to tell you that we should aim to get more veggies in our diet. Having some veggies prepped and in your fridge will highly increase your chances of eating them!
Check out some simple vegetable meal prep component ideas below. They work great as side dishes, thrown into salads, grain bowls, stir-fries, pastas, or frittatas/scrambles!
19) Easy Roasted Broccolini & Kale With Honey
20) Garlic Sautéed Green Beans With Dijon Vinaigrette
21) Honey Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Blue Cheese
22) Balsamic Roasted Broccoli
23) Oven-Roasted Radishes
24) Roasted Zucchini With Parmesan & Basil
25) Curry-Roasted Cauliflower
Healthy Sauces, Dips & Dressings
Last but definitely not least, I always recommend meal prepping a yummy sauce and/or dressing to keep in the fridge for the week.
Having a delicious sauce not only is a way to get in tons of nutrition (these are all great sources of healthy fats), but it also is a way to add a ton of flavour and variety to your meals. Check out some of my favourites below!
26) Vegan Miso Tahini Sauce
27) Vegan Hemp Seed Pesto
28) Herby Yogurt Salad Dressing
29) Vegan Red Pesto
30) Peanut Sauce via Pinch Of Yum
31) Basic Vinaigrette: 3 Ways via Cookie + Kate
32) Roasted Vegetable Dips: 3 Ways
33) How To Make Chia Jam: 3 Ways
More Meal Prep Ideas
- 25 Dietitian-Approved Healthy Breakfast Meal Prep Ideas
- 27 Healthy Make-Ahead Snack Recipes
- 30 Healthy Meal Prep Ideas For Lunch & Dinner
- How To Meal Prep With Eggs
I hope this post has inspired you to approach meal prep in a different way and given you tons of easy meal prep component recipe ideas. Let me know in the comments how you mix and match them!
If you include any of these recipes in your weekly meal prep, let me know in the comments below. Be sure to follow along on Instagram and Pinterest for more nutrition tips and simple, healthy recipe ideas.
Get the Recipe: 30+ Meal Prep Components To Mix & Match, Including Creamy Coconut Corn Rice
- Rinse brown rice in a sieve then transfer to a large pot.
- Add water, 3/4 cup coconut milk, salt, and pepper to the pot with the rice. Stir, then bring to a boil over high heat.
- Once boiling, stir the drained corn into the rice. When the liquid returns to a boil, cover and reduce to low heat. Allow to simmer for about 40 minutes. NOTE: all rice brands are a bit different, so please check the packaging of the rice you're using to see the exact amount of liquid to rice ratio and cooking time!
- Once the liquid has absorbed into the rice and the rice has a fluffy texture, stir in the remainder of the coconut milk. Remove from heat.
- Garnish with chopped basil as desired (optional) and serve with your favourite protein!
- garlic shrimp with smoked paprika and honey
- baked harissa salmon
- honey-lemon baked salmon with thyme
- baked salmon with pistachio pesto
- crispy turmeric salmon
- runny eggs – fried, soft-boiled, or poached! Stir the yolk in the rice to make it extra creamy 🙂