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overhead shot of four meal prep containers filled with honey sesame chicken meal prep bowls
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5 from 26 votes

25 MOST Popular Meal Prep Lunch Ideas + Build Your Own Meal Prep Bowl

This formula shows how to mix and match ingredients to build your own meal prep bowl. Prepping your meals ahead will help you eat healthier during the work week!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Lunch
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free
Servings: 4
Calories: 303kcal


Protein (pick one of the following):

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast (cut into 1 inch cubes)
  • 1 lb shrimp (deveined and tails removed)
  • 1 can chickpeas or black beans (drained + rinsed)
  • 1 lb lean ground beef (or ground turkey)

Vegetables (use 4 cups)

  • zucchini noodles
  • broccoli (cut into florets)
  • cauliflower (florets or rice)
  • bell peppers (sliced)

Carbohydrates (pick one)

  • ¾ cup uncooked rice (white or brown)
  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 4 oz whole wheat spaghetti (cooked)
  • 2 sweet potatoes (roasted; small-medium)


  • Cook your protein in a frying pan until fully cooked through. Skip this step if using beans.
    cooking chicken in frying pan
  • Cook your vegetables in a pan or roast in the oven until tender. Skip this step if using zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice (they will cook when reheated in the microwave).
    cooking vegetables in frying pan
  • Cook your grains in a pot, rice cooker, or the oven until cooked through.
    sushi rice in instant pot after cooking
  • Shake up your sauce. If you use the honey sesame sauce or teriyaki sauce you will want to thicken in a pan for a few minutes, then toss with your protein. For almond butter sauce + green goddess sauce, store in a separate condiment container until just before serving.
    adding sauce to chicken in frying pan
  • Assemble: in each meal prep container, add 4 oz of protein, 1 cup vegetables, ½ cup (roughly) of cooked carbohydrates, and 1-2 tablespoons of the sauce.
    lunch bowls portioned out



Nutritional information is for 4 oz chicken, 1 cup broccoli, ½ cup cooked rice and 1 tablespoon of teriyaki sauce.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. 
Heat in the microwave until steaming hot. Do not reheat more than once.


Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 303kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 853mg | Potassium: 788mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 601IU | Vitamin C: 83mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 2mg