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It’s the start of a new year and the start of a new week! If you’re trying to plan ahead for the week and maybe freeze some meals for busy days, you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to show you my three favorite easy chicken meal prep ideas.
Why meal prep?
Meal prepping is a smart solution for eating healthier well-balanced meals by planning your meals in advance so you don’t have to wonder what to eat when you’re in a pinch and it can help you to eat healthier. I love meal prepping on Sundays and having ready-to-eat meals when it’s lunch time or dinner time.
Here are my favorite chicken meal prep ideas
Be sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to find the full recipes for each of these chicken recipes!
Lemon Garlic Chicken with zucchini noodles and cherry tomatoes. I serve this with a side of berries that I remove before reheating the chicken meal prep.
Teriyaki Chicken served with Asian rice noodles and blanched broccoli. I also added some diced apples to eat after the meal, which I remove before eating.
Chicken Fajitas with sweet potato noodles and peppers/onions stir fry. For the fruit here, I added clementines.
How to meal prep chicken
1. Decide which three chicken recipes you’d like to make. I usually use 1 pound of lean chicken breast for each recipe. There are so many easy chicken recipes that work well for meal prep. You can start with your favorites or try the three I shared here.
2. Marinade the chicken. Once you’ve decided which recipes you’ll make, start marinating each of them separately. This helps to make sure the chicken is tender, juicy and very flavorful. I recommend marinating for about 30 minutes, and preparing the starches, vegetables and any fruits while waiting.
3. Cook the chicken breasts whole. By doing so, the chicken remains more juicy without over-drying. To make sure the chicken is not overcooked, always check that the internal temperature is 165 degrees. After cooking the chicken, let it rest for a couple minutes and then cut it up into smaller bite sized pieces. This makes it easier to reheat, and easier to eat when you’re on-the-go and don’t have a knife to cut the chicken.
Meal Prep Tips
1. Pick one day for meal prepping. Most people find it easiest to shop for groceries on Sundays and prepare their meals for the week that day. This way you’re cooking everything while it’s still fresh and while you have the most time. Picking one day to meal prep saves so much time because you can chop all the vegetables at once, use the same pan for cooking the meals (after quick wipe-downs), and save time in the long run from cooking each meal individually.
2. Keep components like sauces, dressings or juicy tomatoes separate so that the ingredients don’t get soggy. It’s helpful when the containers have compartments to help keep certain things separate, or you can keep them in a different small container.
3. Use airtight containers with lids that work well for you. I’m a huge fan of glass containers because I work at home and it’s easy for me to stack them in my fridge and reheat when I’m ready to eat. For my husband or when I’m on-the-go. I like using the Bentgo Fresh Pack System, which is portable, leak-proof, BPA-free and also super easy to reheat. Find containers that work well for you and that you enjoy eating from. Pictured here is the Bentgo system.
Frequently Asked Meal Prep Questions
Can you freeze chicken meal prep recipes?
The great thing about chicken is that it freezes really well and when reheated, it can retain that moisture and juiciness it originally had.
As for the vegetables and sides, I would recommend using vegetables and starches that don’t have high water content. For vegetables, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, carrots and peppers freeze pretty well. For starches, I would recommend rice, rice noodles, and white or sweet potatoes. I haven’t had much success freezing pastas because they lose their shape and texture when frozen, unless they’re in a casserole.
How long can you keep chicken meal prep in the fridge?
You can store these in the fridge for up to 3-4 days for the best freshness and taste. If you’re freezing them, they will last 3 months. Just make sure you’re using freezer safe containers that will maintain the food’s freshness.
How do you reheat chicken meal prep?
When stored in the fridge, you can reheat these as you normally reheat food. When stored in the freezer, I would recommend thawing them overnight in the fridge and then reheating as normal. Or you can also reheat them while frozen for about 4-5 minutes. It also helps to add a drop/spray of water or lemon/lime juice before heating the chicken so that it gets more juicy again.
I hope you try out meal prepping in 2019. It’s a great way to eat healthier since you’ll plan your meals when you’re not hungry. It can also save you money since cooking in bulk helps use up ingredients fully. And most importantly it helps you maintain balance and save time during your busy week, so it’s one less thing you have to worry about!
For more meal prep recipe ideas, check out:
- Easy Overnight Oats
- Taco Salad Meal Prep
- Healthy Egg Salad
- Vegetarian Lemon Rice Soup
- Baked Pasta with Ground Turkey
If you’ve tried any of these healthy-ish feel good Chicken Meal Prep recipes or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!
Chicken Meal Prep – 3 Ways
Lemon Garlic Chicken
- ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound chicken breasts cut into 1 inch chunks
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 2 cups zucchini noodles
- Parsley for serving
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
- 1 garlic clove pressed/minced
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound chicken breasts cut into 1 inch chunks
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 8 oz rice noodles
- Sesame seeds for serving
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon Fajita seasoning
- 1 pound chicken breasts cut into strips
- 3 colored bell peppers thinly sliced
- 1 large onion thinly sliced
- 8 oz sweet potato noodles
- Lime wedges for serving
- Cilantro for serving
Lemon Garlic Chicken
- Whisk the chicken broth, lemon juice, garlic and oregano in a small bowl, side aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large pan on medium-high heat. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper and cook until tender and no longer pink, about 2-3 minutes.
- Transfer the sauce evenly over the chicken. Stir well and cook for 2-3 more minutes to allow the flavors to combine. Transfer the chicken to the meal prep containers.
- 10. Add the cherry tomatoes to the same pan, and cook until they soften and start to burst, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer the tomatoes to the meal prep containers.
- 11. Add the zucchini noodles to the same pan and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Then transfer the noodles to the meal prep container.
- 12. Serve with lemon wedges and fresh parsley, if desired.
- Whisk the ingredients for the teriyaki sauce in a small bowl; set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large pan on medium-high heat. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper and cook until tender and no longer pink, about 2-3 minutes
- Pour the teriyaki sauce over the chicken, and continue to cook until the sauce thickens and sticks to the chicken; about 4-5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to the meal prep containers.
- 10. Add the broccoli florets to the same pan, and cook until the color brightens and the broccoli softens slightly, about 2-3 minutes. Transfer the broccoli to the meal prep containers.
- 11. Add the rice noodles to the same pan and cover with hot water. Cook according to package instructions. Then transfer to the meal prep container.
- 12. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions, if desired.
- Whisk 1 tablespoon olive oil, lime and fajita seasoning together in a large bowl. Add the chicken to the marinade and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
- Heat a large pan on medium-high heat. Add the marinated chicken, and cook until fully cooked, about 4-6 minutes. Transfer the chicken to the meal prep containers.
- Heat the remaining olive oil in the pan. Add the onions and cook for 2 minutes. Add the sliced bell peppers and cook with the onions until they slightly soften, about 2 more minutes. Transfer the vegetables to the meal prep containers.
- Add the sweet potato noodles to the same pan and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Then transfer the noodles to the meal prep container.
- 10. Squeeze lime over the finished dish and garnish with cilantro, if desired.