Looking for recipes for the week ahead? Here’s a week’s worth of healthy recipes planned for you for every meal of the day, plus meal prep tips!
Are you stuck trying to meal plan recipes for the week? We’re here to help! There are lots of meal plans to choose from here on A Couple Cooks. But if that seems overwhelming (we get that!), Alex and I thought it could be helpful to show you a sample week of recipes. What if we picked 7 recipes for a week, and talk about how to meal prep them?
Well, we did! Below are 7 recipes for the week ahead including breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was pretty limiting, because 7 recipes is only one recipe per day! But it does illustrate a point. Here are a few caveats to understand:
Read this first!
- Eating leftovers is key: especially re-purposing them! Alex and I make about 3 to 4 dinner recipes per week. The rest of the time we eat leftovers from previous meals, or turn them into something new! Save leftovers from the recipes below and turn them into your own creations: eat them straight up, or turn them into a frittata or quesadilla filling!
- Go for uber simple breakfasts & lunches. Here at A Couple Cooks, we find that the easiest life rhythm for us is to go simple on breakfast and lunch. We eat oatmeal almost every day. For lunches we do boring things like veggies and hummus, cheese and crackers, or nuts and dried fruit. Or, leftovers! We’ve included a few lunch ideas below, but again, try to keep it as simple as possible.
- Life is flexible, so meal planning has to be flexible and creative. The 7 recipes below are just some ideas to give you ideas. We don’t know if you’re cooking for 1 or 4, what your diet is, what foods you like, how many nights you have time to cook, and how many leftovers you’ll have left over. So there’s no way for us to say exactly what to eat. Take the ideas you like, and make it your own!
And now, 7 recipes for the week ahead!
For more recipes, go to our Healthy Meal Plans.
Why we love it: This easy sheet pan dinner is full of colorful vegetables and loaded with flavor! It's a plant-based dinner that roasts up everything on a sheet pan at once: lots of good-for-you veggies and chickpeas for plant based protein. Throw it all in the oven while you cook rice or quinoa. Dinnertime win!
Meal prep tips:
-Start the week with this one! Chop all the veggies in advance and refrigerate until roasting, OR roast all of them in advance and reheat in a 350 degree oven.
-If you're serving with cashew cream (the plant based option), blend it up in advance. The cashews require an hour or so to soak, or you can soak them overnight. Or, use sour cream instead.
-Make quinoa to serve alongside: but make sure to make a double batch so that you can use it in the quinoa fried rice below! (You'll need 5 cups cooked for the fried rice.) You also can use our Instant Pot quinoa method.
-Leftovers are great for lunches!
Why we love it: This fried rice is made with quinoa instead of rice (yes, quinoa fried rice) and packed with baby greens, carrots, onion, and ginger. It's a great way to use up extra quinoa that you made to go along with the sheet pan dinner! Dollop with hot sauce and get your healthy on!
Meal prep tips:
-As noted above, make a big batch of quinoa to serve with your sheet pan dinner, and use extras for this quinoa fried rice. It short cuts the time and it's even better made with leftover quinoa!
-Chop the veggies in advance and refrigerate until making the recipe. The veggies will stay good chopped up to 3 days.
-Serve with Easy Edamame as a side dish.
Why we love it: Is it Pizza Friday yet? This one starts with our thin crust pizza dough. Then it's slathered with our tangy, garlicky easy pizza sauce. Top that with caramelized peppers and onions, fresh arugula, and a handful of grated Parmesan cheese. It's SO flavorful and turns out with only ⅓ the calories of a typical delivery pizza!
-Speed up the process and use storebought naan as a pizza crust instead! We bake our naan pizzas at 450 and pre-bake the crust for about 2 to 3 minutes per side before topping.
-Make the easy pizza sauce in advance. It only takes 5 minutes, but it's one less prep step!
Why we love it: Here's the fastest dinner recipe you'll make! This one's for the end of the week when you're feeling worn out. The star is “chorizo-style eggs”: eggs whisked with spices that magically turn meaty. Top with salsa fresca, red onion, cilantro and well: WOW. You’ve got to try these.
Meal prep tips:
-Hardly any, really! This meal is designed to be made on the spot.
-If you'd like, make Easy Quick Pickled Onions instead of using fresh red onion. They keep in the fridge for weeks and add a bright tang to tacos.
Why we love it: These Mexican pinwheels work for lunch or dinner. And they're all about making a healthy meal as fast as possible. You'll chop healthy veggies, season them with cumin and chili powder, then roll them into a tortilla with a bit of hummus and a sprinkle of cheese. MAN, they are so tasty!
-This is designed for lunches, but could work for dinner in a pinch, too. Make the entire recipe in advance and refrigerate until serving. It's great for lunches or healthy snacks throughout the week.
Why we love it: Essentially a meatless chicken salad sandwich using chickpeas, the chickpea salad features mashed chickpeas, celery, green onion, a little mayo, and a pop of lemon. It’s one of our top easy lunch or dinner recipes and takes only 10 minutes!
Meal prep tips:
-This is designed for lunches, but could work for dinner in a pinch, too. Make the chickpea salad in advance and refrigerate until serving. You can serve as a sandwich as you see here, in a wrap, with pita triangles, or on crackers.
Why we love it: It's our go-to breakfast (or lunch!). This best oatmeal recipe tastes incredible, with a chewy texture instead of the standard runny oatmeal. It’s vegan so it’s a plant based way to start the day. AND topping it with peanut butter makes it full of plant based protein: you’re literally full for hours after you eat it.
Meal prep tips:
-It only takes 10 minutes to make, so make up a big batch and eat off of it all week! Leftovers are good refrigerated for 5 days.
Healthy Sheet Pan Dinner
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
This healthy sheet pan dinner is filled with healthy vegetables and fresh flavor! Throw it all in the oven while you cook rice or quinoa. Dinnertime win!
- 1 crown broccoli (1/2 pound)
- 1 medium red onion
- 2 medium sweet potatoes (1 1/2 pounds)
- 2 medium red potatoes
- 1 red pepper
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning*
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 lemon
- Rice or quinoa (or another whole grain or seasoned lentils), to serve (optional)
- Dollop of sour cream, Vegan Sour Cream, Cashew Cream, or hummus, to serve
- Adjust the oven racks for roasting 2 trays. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Optional: If serving with rice or quinoa, follow How to Cook Brown Rice, Instant Pot Brown Rice, How to Cook Quinoa or Instant Pot Quinoa.
- Chop the broccoli. Cut the onion into thick slices. Dice the potatoes. Dice the red pepper.
- Place all the vegetables in a large bowl. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then add them to the bowl. Mix in the olive oil, garlic powder, Old Bay, Italian seasoning, and kosher salt until everything is evenly coated.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (we prefer this to silicone baking mats because it results in crispier veggies). Spread the vegetables evenly onto each sheet.
- Place into the oven and bake for 20 minutes (do not stir!). Remove the pans from the oven, rotate them, and roast another 10 minutes (for 30 minutes total) until tender and lightly browned on one side.
- Cut the lemon into wedges, and spritz the veggies with fresh lemon juice to taste. (Required: this step adds just the right zing! Or you can serve with lemon wedges.)
- Transfer to a serving bowl or dish and serve immediately with rice or quinoa. Dollop with sour cream, cashew cream or hummus.
*If you can’t find Old Bay, you could try 1 teaspoon paprika and ¾ teaspoon kosher salt or celery salt.
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Sheet Pan
- Cuisine: Vegetarian
Keywords: Recipes for the week
Looking for 4-week meal plans?
If you’d like something a little more defined than the 7 recipes for the week above, we’ve got free meal plans! They also emphasize the flexible nature of cooking and planning, but they’ve got a spreadsheet where you can sketch out your ideas. If this sounds interesting to you, here are all our options:
- 28 Day Healthy Meal Plan: includes fish, shellfish, vegetarian, and vegan recipes.
- 28 Day Vegetarian Meal Plan: includes vegetarian recipes (no meat but dairy and eggs)
- 28 Day Vegan Meal Plan: includes vegan recipes (no animal products, dairy or eggs)
- 28 Day Plant Based Diet Meal Plan: includes vegan recipes (no animal products, dairy or eggs)