Meal prepping is the best: Not only does it help us eat healthy, but it’s also a huge time and money-saver. And as it turns out, preparing healthy lunches ahead of time is easier than we ever imagined. Follow this simple meal plan, with a limited grocery list and a few pantry staples, to help you meal prep for an entire month.

RELATED: 7 Ways to Meal Prep Like a Pro

meal prep week11
Twenty20

Grocery List
-2 15-oz cans garbanzo beans
-1 cucumber
-1 case cherry tomatoes
-1 head cauliflower
-1 package pita bread or wraps
-1 box quinoa
-1 avocado
-1 tub crumbed feta cheese
-Pantry staples like olive oil, dried spices, lemon juice, salt and pepper

Sunday Meal Prep
This week, cauliflower and chickpeas are the stars of the show. On Sunday night, drain two cans of chickpeas. Roast one can in the oven and mash the other in a food processor. Roast a head of cauliflower and cook a cup of quinoa or rice. 

RELATED: 7 Recipes You Can Make with a Can of Chickpeas

meal prep day 1

Monday: Greek Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

This salad couldn’t be easier. Sauté the chickpeas until golden brown, combine with chopped tomato and cucumber, then toss the whole bowl with feta and red-wine vinaigrette.

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meal prep day 2

Tuesday: Baked Falafel Wraps

These crispy little chickpea balls look intimidating, but you can make them in less than 30 minutes, we promise. Best of all, they’ll stay fresh all week in your fridge (or you can make extras and freeze them).

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meal prep day 3

Wednesday: Roasted Cauliflower, Tomato and Chickpea Bowl

You’ve already prepared the roasted garbanzo beans and cauliflower florets. Just pop the medley into the microwave, add lemon juice, hummus or tahini and you’re ready to eat.

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meal prep day 4

Thursday: Mashed Chickpea Salad Sandwich

Mashed chickpea and avocado is a tasty alternative to tuna or chicken salad—and it’s still packed with protein. (If you don’t already have bread on hand, use the leftover whole wheat wraps from Tuesday.)

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meal prep day 5

Friday: Vegan Buddha Bowl

With your quinoa/rice base and roasted chickpeas already prepped, you only need five minutes to assemble your bowl with sliced avocado, leafy greens or any other extra veggies you have on hand.

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RELATED: 3 Ways to Keep an Avocado From Browning

meal prep week 2
Twenty20

Grocery List
-2 lbs ground turkey
-1 box pasta
-1 head kale
-1 head Bibb lettuce
-1 box brown rice or quinoa
-1 large tomato
-1 can chicken broth
-1 onion
-1 large carrot
-Pantry staples like olive oil, dried spices, salad dressing, salt and pepper

Sunday Meal Prep
It’s all about the ground turkey this week. Sauté 2 pounds of ground turkey on Sunday (you’re going to want plenty of leftovers to freeze). Make brown rice and pasta and store them in leftover dishes in the fridge.

meal prep day 6

Monday: Turkey, Rice and Kale Soup

This hearty soup takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. Make a big pot on Sunday, and what you don’t eat during the week, you can freeze for up to three months.

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RELATED: 37 Fancy Meals You Can Make with a Pound of Ground Turkey

meal prep day 7

Tuesday: Turkey Taco Lunch Bowl

Before you leave for work, just add your favorite taco toppings (like salsa, cilantro, corn, black beans and avocado) to the pre-cooked rice and turkey base.

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meal prep day 8

Wednesday: Kale Caesar Pasta Salad

Just hold off on dressing the pasta salad until you’re ready to eat (no one likes soggy kale).

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meal prep day 9

Thursday: Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Reheat a portion of the ground turkey and season it with soy or teriyaki sauce. You can also add some cooked quinoa for extra protein. Fold the Asian turkey mixture into Bibb lettuce wraps. (And don’t forget the Sriracha.)

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meal prep day 10

Friday: One Pan Quinoa with Turkey and Kale

In addition to quinoa and turkey, you can really use any veggies you already have in your fridge, like mushrooms, peas, cauliflower or tomatoes.

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RELATED: 25 Easy Five-Ingredient Meals for Lazy Nights

meal prep week 3
Twenty20

This Week's Grocery List
-2 large zucchinis
-1/2 dozen eggs
-2 lbs ground beef
-1 can chicken broth
-1 bag spinach
-Pita bread or wraps
-Pantry staples like olive oil, dried spices, feta cheese (left over from week 1), bread crumbs, salt and pepper

Sunday Meal Prep
It’s all about zucchini and ground beef on week three. Cook the ground beef on Sunday, which you’ll use to make meatballs, Bolognese and stuffed peppers. Peel two zucchinis—spiralize one into zoodles and grate the other into shreds to make fritters.

RELATED: 37 Fancy Dinners You Can Make with a Pound of Ground Beef

meal prep day 11

Monday: Zucchini Noodles Bolognese

Make a big batch of Bolognese sauce and freeze it in single-serve plastic bags. Use it to dress your zucchini noodles, which will stay fresh in an airtight container for three to four days.

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meal prep day 12

Tuesday: Italian Meatball Soup

Pack the extra portions up in Tupperware for no-brainer weekday meals for weeks to come.

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meal prep day 13
PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Wednesday: Stuffed Peppers

You already have ground beef, so just add spices and stuff it in a pepper with rice and cheese (we used feta). Tightly wrap the unbaked, assembled stuffed peppers and freeze them for up to a month. Pop one into the oven anytime and bake it directly from frozen at 350°. 

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meal prep day 14

Thursday: Zucchini and Feta Fritters

While you’re spiralizing the zoodles, pan-fry the prepped, grated zucchini with eggs, flour and feta. These fritters come together in about 20 minutes, so you can make a big batch and freeze what you don’t need for another day.

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meal prep day 15

Friday: Mediterranean Meatball Gyros

Meatballs are one of the easiest foods to freeze, so if you plan ahead, this can be a five-minute lunch. Pop a few in the fridge overnight to let them thaw, and the next day just toss them in a pita with some chopped veggies, hummus or a dollop of Greek yogurt.

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RELATED: 17 Things You Can (and Should) Stuff In a Pepper

meal prep week 41
Twenty20

This week’s grocery list:
-1 avocado
-1 15-oz. can black beans
-1 box pasta
-1 box quinoa or rice
-1 head garlic
-2 sweet potatoes
-1 package corn tortillas
-1 can corn kernels
-1 large tomato
-1 32-oz carton almond milk
-1 package shredded cheese (Cotija or Monterey Jack)
-Pantry staples like olive oil, dried spices, dijon mustard, lime juice, salt and pepper

Sunday meal prep:
Prepare two sweet potatoes as the core of this week’s meal plan. Peel and cut one potato into 1 ½-inch pieces and roast it in the oven. Spiralize the other sweet potato, then sauté the ribbons in olive oil and freeze them. Cook plain pasta and quinoa or rice so it’s ready for the week.

RELATED: How to Eat Clean for a Whole Entire Week

meal prep day 161

Monday: Avocado and Black Bean Pasta Salad

This filling pasta salad couldn’t be easier. Got cayenne or garlic powder? Whisk the spices with 2 tablespoons of lime juice, then drizzle it over the salad right before you eat it. 

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meal prep day 17

Tuesday: Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos

Just pop your pre-roasted sweet potato wedges and black beans into corn tortillas with a sprinkle of cheese and call it a fiesta. 

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meal prep day 18

Wednesday: Avocado, Black Bean and Corn Salad

The best thing about this no-cook lunch: It’s better after a few days, when the flavors have marinated. Just add sliced avocado before eating.

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meal prep day 19

Thursday: Sweet Potato Noodles with Almond Sauce

You already have most of the ingredients for this creamy vegan sauce in your pantry. The best way to keep the firm swoodle texture is to freeze them and thaw on the day you’re ready to eat them.

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meal prep day 20

Friday: Black Bean Burrito Bowl

Cooked rice? Check. Roasted sweet potato? Check. Sliced avocado? You bet. All you need is a sprinkle of paprika, chipotle chili and a squeeze of lime and you’re ready to roll.

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RELATED: 13 Healthy Buddha Bowl Meals Anyone Can Make

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