Hey friends! Do you ever struggle to eat healthy homemade meals when cooking for just two people? I’ve been there.
As a chef, I know how challenging it can be and how hard to find the motivation to cook a fresh meal for two. But with some planning, it can be easy, affordable, and so worthwhile. And the most important part, it can be fun!
In this blog post, I will share how to meal prep for 2 people step-by-step and give you simple recipe ideas to get you started.
I’m also giving simple and easy tips with some protein-packed recipes.
Let’s dive in!
Benefits of Meal Prepping
Let me tell you, putting in a little effort on the weekend to prep some meals for the week ahead has been a total game changer for me and my partner. There are so many benefits when you meal prep at home! Here’s why it rocks:
- We save money by reducing food waste and eating out less. Meal prep stops us from ordering takeout on busy weeknights.
- Helps you with your caloric goals, it’s much easier to track calories when you cook and prep by yourself.
- It saves us time during the week when we’ve got meals ready to just heat and eat. No more of those hectic weekday mornings where we’re scrambling to throw something together! Now breakfast, lunch, and dinner are ready to grab and go thanks to our meal prep.
- It’s way healthier than takeout or frozen meals. We eat more nutritious foods like fresh veggies, yummy salads, lean proteins, and whole grains. I love that we can make sure our meals fit our dietary needs and goals. No more mystery calories!
- Quality bonding time. We chat, listen to music, and get creative in the kitchen together. It’s our special bonding time while also tackling the meal prep. I look forward to it each week!
Choosing the Right Recipes
When you’re prepping meals for two, choosing the right recipes is a clutch, my friends!
- Start with simple things like chicken, beans, rice, fresh fruit, and veggies to make versatile two meals without requiring a bunch of specialty items.
- I love to add a twist and healthy boost by tossing in stuff like chia seeds, flax seeds, nuts, or pumpkin seeds.
- However, avoid things like pasta salads if you’re prepping for the whole week without freezing. The fresh components don’t hold up as well.
- Incorporate ready-to-use ingredients like rotisserie chicken to cut down on total prep time. Just shred chicken and add it to your favorite meals as a protein boost.
- Opt for recipes that make 4-6 servings or can easily be doubled – this way you’ll have tasty food prepped for multiple meals. Soups, chilis, roasted veggies, and curries are my go-to for freezing.
- Avoid things like cooked pasta salads if you want to do prep for a week without freezing.
With the right recipes, you’ll have delicious ready-to-go meals waiting for both you and your partner each day!
The Shopping List
Having the right shopping list is a clutch for meal prep so you don’t end up with food waste.
Use these tips for making a solid plan before hitting the store when prepping meals for two:
- Take a quick inventory of what you already have like pantry items. No need to buy ingredients you’ve already got on hand!
- List out the exact ingredients and amounts you’ll need for each recipe for the week, including any spices. Sticking to just the items on your list will keep your meal prep shopping trip short and sweet.
- When you’re at the store, try to avoid tossing in impulse purchases or straying from your list. Meal prep shopping for one week should be a quick in-and-out trip when you’ve got your list locked down!
How to Meal Prep for 2 People
My favorite meal prep recipes
I’ve tested these recipes over and over, so I can say with confidence they make the BEST meals to prep for busy weeks! One meal at a time!
- Breakfast – Red Lentil Breakfast Salad Bowl. This protein-packed bowl will give you tons of energy to start your day. (I love adding fresh veggies like cherry tomatoes and cucumber for freshness)
- Lunch – Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles. Yum! These meatballs pair perfectly with spiralized zoodles.
- Dinner – Roasted Salmon, Sweet Potato, and Tenderstem Broccoli. A classic healthy dinner combo that’s so easy to throw together.
For the Red Lentil Breakfast Salad bowl you will need:
- Red Lentils
- Fresh vegetables of your choice (red onion, carrots, cucumber, bell peppers)
- Cashew nuts to any other nuts you like
- Dried apricot
- make a list of said groceries needed for recipes
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Red wine vinegar
For the Turkey Meatballs and Zucchini Noodles:
- Turkey lean mince meat
- Tin tomatoes
- Fresh parsley or coriander
- Olive oil
For the Roasted Salmon, Sweet potato, and Tendertem Broccoli:
- Salmon fillets
- Tendertem broccoli
- Sweet potato
- Olive oil
- Baking paper
And there you have it – everything you need for a week of nourishing meals for two! Let me know if you try any of these recipes or need any other meal prep tips.
Happy eating and cooking!
The key to keeping your prepped meals tasty and safe is storing them properly, friends!
- After cooking, let your meals cool completely then transfer them into airtight glass or stainless steel containers.
- Store containers in the fridge for up to 4-5 days for fresh meals ready to grab and go! If you know you won’t eat it within 5 days, pop the extras right in the freezer.
- Keep your prep in crisp, airtight stainless steel containers in the fridge or freezer and your meals will be delicious all week long.
- Prep proteins, grains, veggies, and sauces in bulk
- Portion into individual containers and label with names/dates
- Store in the fridge for up to 5 days; freeze extra portions
My Favorite Meal Prep Containers
If you’re looking for the scoop on the best containers for meal prepping, be sure to check out my post on the best meal prep lunch boxes! I put my food prep container expertise to work and review all my top picks for keeping your meals fresh.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I make meals that both of us want to eat?
Communicate and compromise. Discuss your favorite dishes and dietary preferences, and find common ground. Rotate who chooses the meals, so both partners get what they like.
Our food budget is out of control. How can we keep costs down while cooking for two?
Plan your meals, make a shopping list, buy in bulk, use leftovers creatively, and consider cheaper protein sources like beans and lentils.
Is meal prepping cheaper?
Yes, it can be. Buying in bulk and avoiding spontaneous takeout or restaurant expenses usually saves money in the long run.
How many times a week should you meal prep?
Start with once a week and adjust as needed. Many couples find success with weekend days like Sunday meal prepping for the rest of the workweek.
What is the 2 2 2 meal plan?
The 2-2-2 meal plan is a concept menu where each meal includes two servings of vegetables, two servings of protein, and two servings of grains (e.g., rice, pasta). It’s a balanced and straightforward approach to portioning your plate.
How do you plan a meal for two on a budget?
Stick to affordable ingredients, choose recipes that use similar ingredients, reduce waste, and take advantage of sales and discounts.
Can I meal prep for 5 days?
Yes, you can. Many people meal prep for an entire workweek, which typically spans five days. Just ensure proper storage and freshness.
Can I meal prep for 2 weeks?
It’s possible for some dishes, especially if they freeze well. However, be cautious about freshness and food safety. Consider freezing a big batch of meals for the second week.
And that’s a wrap, my meal-prepping peeps! I hope all these tips help make meal prep and cooking for two feel simple and fun. I’ve covered easy breakfast, lunches, and dinner recipe ideas, a money-saving shopping guide, and storage hacks – that work!
Now you’ve got everything you need to start prepping tasty, homemade meals every week. Get ready to cook, save time, eat healthier, and stop the takeout madness each week!
Meal prep for two takes some planning but me and my partner have dialed it in. Even if you have different caloric needs, like we do, it’s easy and simple to prep!
With a little prep over the weekend and the right ingredient choices, you’ve got tasty homemade food for the workweek.
Create your meal plans and let me know if you have any other questions as you get started prepping. If you are just a beginner, check my latest post on how to meal plan for beginners and how to meal prep for a month.
Remember, one bite at a time and I see you!