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Plant-Based Meal Prep: Your Guide to Easy and Delicious Meals


Let’s face it: Life is busy. And sometimes, prepping even the easiest of meals at the end of a busy day can seem like an exhausting task. You can simplify meal prep throughout the week by planning and preparing your favorite plant-based recipes in advance.

By taking some time to prep meals for the rest of the week, you can check one more thing off of your daily to-do list. Here, we show you how to get started with plant-based meal prep and share some of our favorite recipes.

Understanding the Basics of Plant-Based Meal Prep

Meal prepping involves both planning and preparing your meals in advance for a specific period of time. For example, you might plan your meals for a few days or even for the entire week. You can prep any meal, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, depending on what fits your needs.

Essential Plant-Based Pantry Staples

When prepping plant-based menus, there’s one critical goal to keep in mind: taking in a healthy amount of nutrients and protein. You’ll want to stock your pantry (or fridge) with plenty of protein sources such as whole grains and beans. This is especially important if you’re living a vegan lifestyle.

Other nice-to-have ingredients include dairy alternatives. Plant-based alternatives can make up the base of plenty of recipes and are incredibly helpful to have on hand.

Kitchen Tools & Equipment for Efficient Prep

To prepare your meals, you’ll want all of your favorite kitchen basics, from knives to saucepans to baking sheets. However, for efficient prep, you’ll also want containers for storing your meals until you’re ready to enjoy them.

For example, use plastic or glass containers with a lid to store meals in your fridge or freezer (just be sure they’re freezer-safe). Or, you can also use plastic zipper bags, especially if you’re storing a batch of soup.

3 Tips for Planning and Preparing Your Meals

Are you ready to start meal prepping? Let’s dive into a few useful tips to get you started.

1. Set Realistic Goals and Meal Prep Objectives

When it comes to meal prepping, there’s no right or wrong. You can prep breakfast, lunch and dinner for an entire week or simply prep some grab-and-go snacks. The key is to set realistic goals for yourself that you can achieve.

Don’t be afraid to start small. Any level of food prep is going to help make your days run smoother. Plus, you can always increase the amount of prep you do once you’re comfortable.

2. Create a Meal Plan and Grocery List

To simplify meal prep, it’s best to create a meal plan to follow. You can easily plan out the meals you want to enjoy throughout the week and then create a grocery list of ingredients you need to fulfill your plan. Not only will this help you stay on track, but it will also ensure you know exactly what to pick up when grocery shopping.

3. Batch Cook for Portioning and Convenience

If you love variety, you could make multiple meals and enjoy something different each day. Or, if you’re looking to save time, batch cooking is another great meal prep method.

Batch cooking involves preparing one or two meals in large batches that you can then portion out to enjoy over a few days. Some recipes, such as soups and pasta, are great for batch cooking. Simply prepare the meal, store it in the fridge or freezer and then reheat it when you’re ready.

Storing and Reheating Plant-Based Meals

Once you’ve prepared your meals, you’ll need to properly store them to ensure they stay just as tasty as when they were made. You’ll also need to reheat your meals in a way that preserves their taste and texture.

Use Proper Storage Techniques for Different Types of Meals

Meals should be stored in airtight containers in the fridge or freezer. If you want to enjoy your meal in the next couple of days, place it in the fridge. If you wish to store your meal for longer, it’s best to place it in the freezer.

For the best results and to avoid spoilage, make sure you’re following food safety guidelines that dictate how long something should be stored.

Freezing and Thawing Plant-Based Meals

If you’re freezing your meals, make sure the glass or plastic containers you use are freezer safe. To thaw frozen meals, you’ll want to do so in the fridge. This ensures the meal remains at a safe temperature.

Since this takes time, we recommend placing your meal in the fridge the night before you plan to enjoy it.

Reheating Plant-Based Meals While Maintaining Taste and Texture

When reheating a meal, try to reheat using the same method it was prepared in. For example, if you’re reheating soup, place it back onto your stovetop. If it’s pizza you’re reheating, use the oven. Doing this helps protect the taste and texture of your dish.

Of course, this isn’t always easy to do, especially if you’re at work or elsewhere. Many dishes can be reheated in the microwave, including soups, stews, pasta dishes and beyond. When using the microwave, be sure to stop the timer and stir your meal every so often for even heat distribution.

Maintaining Variety in Plant-Based Meals

Sticking with a meal plan can get a bit boring after a while, especially if you’re batch cooking. That’s why it’s important to use plenty of variety in your meal prep!

Incorporate Seasonal Produce

Seasonal produce is a great way to enjoy some variety in your meals. For example, you can enjoy perfectly fresh apples through late summer and fall. Or, pick up some delicious sweet corn in the summer months.

One way to find seasonal produce is to visit your local farmer’s market. This will allow you to pick up fresh produce you may not have considered while shopping in the grocery store.

Explore Different Cuisines and Flavor Profiles

If you’re a creature of habit, incorporating meals from different cuisines and flavor profiles can pull you out of a recipe rut.

For example, add some Thai flavor to your weekly meal plan by trying some plant-based curries. Or, incorporate some Mexican spice by trying some tacos (like these Coconut Cauliflower Tacos).

Flavorful and Versatile Plant-Based Recipes

Ready to start cooking? Here are some of our favorite plant-based recipes that are great for preparing in advance.

Mason Jar Miso Zoodle Soup

The mason jar makes this recipe a cinch to prepare, store and enjoy. This zoodle soup features simple but delicious ingredients such as zucchini noodles and carrots. While this recipe calls for chicken broth, you can easily swap it out for Pacific Foods Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Broth.

View the full recipe: Mason Jar Miso Zoodle Soup

Quinoa Grain Bowl With Mushrooms, Sweet Potato and Kale

Bowls are easy to prepare in advance and can be customized to your liking. This bowl features earthy mushrooms and sweet potato, as well as nutty quinoa, avocado and other ingredients.

View the full recipe: Quinoa Grain Bowl With Mushrooms, Sweet Potato and Kale

Sheet Pan Fajitas With Vegan Queso Sauce

This is a plant-based take on a classic Mexican dish that features a dairy-free “cheese” sauce made from Pacific Foods Organic Oat Original Beverage and cashews. Fajitas bring the sizzle to any lunch or dinner. Plus, since this recipe is prepared on a sheet pan, it’s easy to batch cook.

View the full recipe: Sheet Pan Fajitas With Vegan Queso Sauce

Vegan Spring Rolls With Ginger Curry Dipping Sauce

These spring rolls feature plenty of fresh ingredients, from carrots and cucumbers to bean sprouts and cabbage. The sauce is perfectly spicy, including ingredients like curry powder, ginger and Thai pepper.

As a note, this recipe is best when it’s fresh. Plan to make these spring rolls in advance to enjoy over the next day or two.

View the full recipe: Vegan Spring Rolls With Ginger Curry Dipping Sauce

Pacific Foods Makes Plant-Based Meal Planning Easy

Meal prepping helps you reduce the time you spend in the kitchen so you can spend more time doing the things you love. Pacific Foods’ broths, stocks, soups and beverages are perfect pantry staples that help you simplify meal prep. Find our plant-based products at a grocery store near you!