Meal prepping was invented for the purpose of making your meals quick and easy to access. It can be such a useful tool to help us keep on track of our diet, measuring our daily intake of calories, and simply saving us time. Vegan meal prep is no different to any other type of meal prep. It's quick and easy as long as you know what to put into each meal.
That's why we've made the ultimate guide to quick and easy vegan meal prep. To help you understand everything you need to create delicious go-to meals you won’t get bored of.
Feel free to have a look at our vegan meal prep guide.
The Secret to Great Vegan Meal Prep:
The secret to vegan meal prep is to be organized. It requires you to set aside an hour or two which will provide you with vegan meals for the week. The great thing about vegan foods is that they have less of a tendency to spoil quickly compared to meat products.
So before you start, get everything you need to hand. Make sure that ahead of your meal prepping, you’ve gone grocery shopping and got all the ingredients you need.
You can check out our vegan meal prep shopping list HERE.
Here's a list of all the essential ingredients you will need for your vegan meal prep. Having these ingredients to hand on a weekly basis will not only make meal prepping quicker and easier for you, it will make your vegan meals taste irresistibly delicious and enhance the flavors so that it retains its taste after being stored.
Onions will make up the base for most of your vegan dishes. They put flavor and texture into all dishes and pair beautifully with the other ingredients on this list
Garlic is the ultimate base ingredient alongside onions. It enhances the flavor of the dish dramatically and will be commonly used in most of your vegan meal prep
Like garlic, ginger is another base ingredient that will be added to onions and will be primarily used in Asian style dishes.
Beans are a cupboard ingredient that you can buy either canned or packaged. If you're getting the canned variety, make sure that they are in water where there is no added salt.
Lentils, like beans, can be stored in the cupboard for long periods of time. They are a perfect replacement for meat in vegan dishes and are also a very cheap vegan meal prep option.
Rice is a great side to add to your vegan dishes that will bulk up the meals nicely. It pairs with a lot of flavors and provides you with the energy you need throughout the day.
Salt & Pepper
Salt and pepper may sound pretty obvious. But nonetheless they are an ingredient you need to add to all dishes. Salt and pepper are the base seasonings to all vegan meals
Herbs & Spices
Herbs and spices will set your vegan meals apart from anything else you have tried before. Without herbs and spices, vegan meals will taste incredibly bland. Certain dishes call for certain types of spices but having a good basic range in your kitchen means that you will be able to make most dishes easily. Our recommendations are; cinnamon, cumin, chili flakes, chili powder, turmeric, paprika, garam masala
Lemons & Limes
Lastly grab yourself a large bunch of lemon and limes! Adding the acidic juices of these wonderfully vibrant citrus fruits can really transform your dishes. They add subtle flavours that give that extra kick of goodness we all need.
The Vegan Meal Prep Guide
In our guide we wanted to give you some vegan meal prep ideas for the week for those stressful moments where you just need something – and fast! Getting to school or work, dropping off the kids, trying to make that gym glass will no longer be stressful with these quick and easy vegan meal prep recipes to hand.
Vegan Meal Prep Breakfast Ideas:
We've added overnight oats to this list because, well, they can be left overnight. The basic formula for overnight oats is to simply add water or plant-based milk to oats and leave the mix in the refrigerator overnight. When you’re on the go, place your mixture in a portable Mason jar and you can grab it from the refrigerator first thing in the morning.
We recommend adding a plant-based milk of your choice to your oats because it will add more flavor and give a nice thick, creamy texture to the mix.
You can then top your oats with fresh fruits or alternatively you can make a coulis the night before alongside your oats. If you want a higher protein option you can add a scoop of protein powder to the mixture and leave that in the fridge overnight (make sure you go for a vegan protein powder!).
Some recipes get super flavorful with overnight oats, so it really depends on your preferences. You can make strawberry, vanilla chocolate, banana, matcha – any flavor you desire!
Another great vegan breakfast option if you have a sweet tooth is a very simple yogurt parfait. There are vegan friendly yogurts that you can buy from your local supermarket and most granola varieties are already vegan friendly. Just make sure to check the label!
Simply add layers of both the yoghurt and the granola to a Mason jar and then you can always top with a homemade fruit or a fruit coulis and simply refrigerate. Check out our recipe for a crunchy, coconutty, breakfast jar.
If you're looking for a savory option, then a breakfast burrito is a great option for vegans. Of course vegans can't eat eggs so a bean heavy breakfast burrito with some fresh veggies is a great way to start the day. If you're feeling adventurous feel free to make an imitation egg scramble from tofu with added turmeric and salt and pepper for flavor and color.
Vegan Meal Prep Lunch Ideas:
Wraps and sandwiches are a classic lunchtime staple. And yes, you can still eat them on a vegan diet. Vegan wraps are often filled with wonderful vegetables including spinach, avocado, peppers, and tomatoes. Pair your veggies with a nice vegan friendly sauce or even hummus or guacamole to enhance the flavors. To the mix, add beans and rice if you are looking for a filling vegan lunch or you can keep it simple and just add the beans for a little protein boost.
On the side you can still add your favorite snacks including some healthier potato chips made from peas or lentils. Fresh fruit and vegetables with a nice dip are also a great option to make up a hearty meal. Simply pop your wrap and your sides in a lunch box and take it to work with you.
Sushi is another great lunch staple. It's small and highly portable. Vegan sushi contains no fish but you can replace fish with vegetables and if you really want to experiment go for tofu which you can easily cook at home. It might sound a little bit daunting to start making sushi from home but it's actually quite fun and because you're not using any fish you don't have to worry about making yourself poorly. Summer rolls are also a super quick option that you can whip up within 15 minutes. Pair with a nice homemade peanut butter dip for some extra protein and you have a moreish lunch packed with vitamins.
Nourish bowls have been taking over salads in the vegan community. If you’re after a light vegan lunch, nourish bowls or Buddha bowls are the delicious version of that weak salad we’ve all tried and failed to enjoy. The base is mainly made of mixed greens, rice, vegetables like shredded carrot or sweetcorn, and avocado. Add beans, tofu, seitan, falafel or chickpeas to bulk up the meal and make it filling. Then prep a vegan friendly dressing mix and pop in a portable container. Make sure you don’t add your dressing too early, or the salad will go soggy and taste bitter.
Vegan Meal Prep Dinner Ideas:
Chili is a wonderful dish that is perfect for feeding big families, but you can also make a large batch which you can split into portions for your vegan meal prep. If you have a busy evening and want to come in from work with dinner ready and waiting, refrigerate or freeze your portions of chili and when needed, simply pop on the stove and reheat. Vegan friendly chili's replace meat with either beans or lentils and use the same base ingredients and spices that you would for the meat version. That means the only thing you really must switch out here is your meat for beans and your beef stock for vegetable stock. All other flavors remain just as rich and punchy as usual.
Pasta is vegan friendly but when you find yourself out and about there are often animal products added that make it hmm not so vegan friendly. Baking pasta is fantastic because it's another thing that you can cook in a large batch and then add a range of different sauces to fit your own tastes.
Our personal favorite sauces include a vegan hummus pasta and pasta and pesto. Both dishes are incredibly quick and easy to make for a yummy vegan dinner. Simply boil pasta, and add sauce. Pop it in the fridge to eat cold or place back on the stove or microwave.
If you are looking to keep your protein levels high, a great option is to add beans or greens to make a pasta salad. Or, add vegetables like mushrooms and peas which are high in protein.
If you're making your own sauces, it's worth searching the web for some vegan recipe inspiration. Once you've discovered a couple of sources that you like you can keep them in the fridge which then means you can add them to your pastor at any point. This way you won't get bored of having the same meal over and over again.
Asian dishes are wonderful for making vegan foods taste fantastic. The flavors in Asian cooking are very intense thanks to ingredients like coconut milk, vegetable stock and ginger. To make a delicious Asian vegan dinner simply cook your base sauce as you would, bulking up the meal with vegetables and noodles that contain no egg. For your meat replacement, a great option is either seitan or tofu. Both these ingredients are high in protein and add texture that can imitate meats like chicken. You won't need any additional flavor from the meat in this one because it will taste so good and hearty with just some simple spices and sauce.
Once again, place your noodles in Tupperware and store until you’re ready to pop back on the stove.
For a simple vegan meal prep experience, you simply need to get familiar with the ingredients you will be using regularly.
Once you feel confident using these ingredients, making vegan meal prep recipes becomes quick and easy.
The web is filled with amazing recipes you can try out, or check out our article for the best vegan cookbooks to fill your kitchen with this summer. You will quickly find recipes you enjoy and won’t second guess veganism ever again!