If you’ve just gone to the grocery store and it still looks like there’s no food in your house but instead only ingredients, then you’re doing something right! If you’re avoiding factory-made food, it’s up to you to turn those ingredients into something edible, and today I’m sharing an easy way to do just that with food prep suggestions and storage information.
Of course, you could spend time making homemade dips, salad dressings, muffins, and the like (I love having that stuff on hand), but there are also plenty of foods you can prep that don’t require any recipe at all (i.e., it doesn’t get any easier). Honestly, the hardest part is just remembering to do it. So simply print out this list (here’s a pdf version for you), post it on your fridge, and the next time you’re in the kitchen making dinner, knock out two or three of these at the same time. The next time someone is hungry in a hurry, you’ll be glad you did!
What To Prep Ahead + Food Storage
|Food Item||Storage Location / Notes||Duration|
|Cooked bacon||Refrigerator||2 to 3 days|
|Baked white or sweet potatoes||Refrigerator||3 to 4 days|
|Cooked chicken (or other meat)||Refrigerator||3 to 4 days|
|Diced in-season fruit (such as melon, pineapple, and/or berries)||Refrigerator||3 to 4 days|
|Mashed potatoes||Refrigerator||3 to 4 days|
|Cooked quinoa or brown rice||Refrigerator||3 to 4 days|
|Washed and sliced raw veggies (such as carrots, bell peppers, celery, and/or cucumbers)||Refrigerator / Submerge carrots and celery in water||3 to 4 days|
|Washed lettuce or other greens||Refrigerator||3 to 4 days|
|Cooked whole-wheat couscous||Refrigerator||3 to 4 days|
|Cooked whole-wheat noodles||Refrigerator||3 to 4 days|
|Hard-boiled eggs||Refrigerator / Keep in shell until just before eating.||4 to 5 days|
What other easy items would you add to this list?
25 thoughts on “What Food to Prep for the Week (+ Food Storage)”
I always prep food for the week every Sunday, so any time I want a quick lunch I can just throw the ingredients together! I always steam and roast some veggies, cook some quinoa or other grain, cut up raw veggies, and make hummus!
I freeze cooked shredded chicken, ground beef (seasoned and not), bacon (crumbled), diced ham, ground Italian sausage on a parchment lined baking sheet and then store in stack-able containers. That way I can take as much or as little as I need for my recipe. I also cook a pound of beans (black, pinto, garbanzo) at a time and once cool freeze them flat in pint & quart size bags..
I too love to roast vegetables to use later. I also roast whole flowers of garlic and then store the cloves in olive oil to use in cooking later. I can add it at the last minute while sauteing vegetables and since it’s already soft, there is no chance of burning.
I found another cool website where you can add your favorite recipe and read about many more.The site is http://hifow.com
I roast a baking sheet of veggies for the week like: cauliflower, asparagus, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, etc which I store In the fridge to pull out as sides, for salads, or for quick soups. Roasting gives a nice rich flavor and good variety for the week combined with meats, grains, potaotoes and raw veggies
muffins, frittata, pasta sauce, cooked rice, crock-pot beans
At least once a week, we have “pizza from leftovers night.” Whole grain naan, sauce, and cheese – shredded in the beginning of the week, in serving size, to just plop atop the sauce and go. Top the cheese with anything you find in the fridge. Cook for 20 minutes at 425.
On an unrelated topic… What type/brand of all purpose skillet does everyone use? I cook eggs daily and have typically used a non-stick, but they don’t last very long and I’m concerned about the non-stick material. Suggestions???
Hi there. Lisa using All-Clad pretty much exclusively. I, personally, use a ceramic non-stick for eggs but the jury is still out on that surface, I think. :)
I use the ceramic non stick too.
I buy them every 9-12 mos. i dont get super expensive ones as they last no longer. Yes, i tried :(
Just an expense i figure on. About $20-25.
Read about heating a REGULAR skillet (not non stick) to proper temperature before adding the butter/fat and the food. If the surface of skillet is correct temp, food should NOT be sticking to the surface.
Yeah, well that is not true for eggs. Thats all i cook in my ceramic nonstick pans. Everything else i use my cast iron.
Freeze rice when it’s still slightly warm in individual portions and it steams in the microwave like freshly cooked!! Frozen Seitan (vegan chicken) nuggets and quiche are our go to freezer lunch or dinner staples.
Hi Kendra, could you tell me how you package the individual portions? Thank you
Just scoop individual portions Into plastic wrap and freeze. When you want to reheat, unwrap rice, put into a bowl and use the plastic wrap over the top. Usually I microwave for 1min 20sec.
Love having my fridge, freezer, and pantry stocked with ingredients for quick and easy weekday meals! I make batches of egg muffins and oatmeal cups to keep in the freezer for those mornings we’re rushing out the door. Easy to pop in the microwave to defrost and give the kids with some fresh fruit. My kids also love yogurt and kefir, so I keep both on hand at all times, including the pouches in case we need to run out the door.
If one doesn’t have time to cook their kids a hot breakfast every morning, a well stocked freezer is key. I cook a double batch of steel cut oats for heat and eat breakfasts, then portion out with a cookie scoop when needed. I also stock the freezer with other homemade breakfast foods like, whole wheat muffins, scones, corn bread, pancakes, crepes and waffles, individually portioned egg bake like frittata, and previously cooked sausage. I defrost portions the night before for my husband to heat if need be and serve with fresh fruit. This way my kids have a different breakfast every morning.
Great list! I also prep some no-cook breakfast items, like chia pudding or overnight oats (it doesn’t get easier than overnight oats!)
The refried bean recipe that is in the book is now a staple in the house. Since there are only two of us, we crockpot and freeze and then pull a container out every week. Dinner in 10 minutes with some whole wheat (real) tortilla, cheese and veggies. Best ever!
Now tell us what to do with the ingredients! LOL
You can always have some of these ingredients in the house since they will never go bad… http://www.wholesurvival.com/food/storage/27-foods-that-never-expire
Great list. What brand containers do you store these in?
The ones in the photo are duralex.
Definitely, browned ground beef stored in enchilada sauce or lettuce wrap sauce to help keep it moist!