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How to Eat Plant-Based When You Only Have 20 Minutes to Meal Prep (+ 30 Easy Plant-Based Recipes)

Quick Take

Want to eat more plant-based meals but finding the prep is too strenuous for your busy life? Sometimes even the “easy plant based recipes” online seem to include a whole lot of peeling and chopping. But fear not busy folks can still eat healthy! We’ve rounded up some of our favorite plant-based meal prep shortcuts to make eating healthy easier by getting dinner on your table a whole lot faster. Oh, and we’re sharing 10 easy plant-based recipes that are actually easy. 

Before we begin: skip the prep altogether with MamaSezz ready-made meals 

Make meal-time easy with whole food plant-based staples from MamaSezz. All MamaSezz Meal Bundles are 100% delicious with 0% B.S. (you know, Bad Stuff) – and we deliver it right to your door. Just heat, eat, and enjoy. Get started today.

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15 Plant-Based Meal Prep Shortcuts For Busy People

30 Easy Plant-Based Recipes (That Are Actually, In Fact, Easy!

Key Takeaways

15 Plant-Based Meal Prep Shortcuts for Busy People

1. Portion Out Snacks

Meal prep doesn’t have to mean cooking. You can simply portion out no cook snacks in separate grab-and-go containers to make healthy eating a whole lot easier throughout the week. Some great plant-based snacks to portion out ahead of time:

  • Peeled and chopped carrots and celery with oil-free hummus or MamaSezz Ranch Dressing
  • Peeled oranges
  • Sliced peppers and guacamole
  • Whole edamame 
  • Trail mix 
  • Granola (don’t want to make you own? Grab some MamaSezz Gram’s Granola for a clean refined sugar free snack!)
  • Peanut butter and banana bites
  • Ants on a log (celery with peanut butter and raisins!)
  • Grapes and handful of nuts 

2. Wash your fruits and veggies then chop them all at once

Don’t have an entire Sunday to dedicate to meal prepping? No problem. You can still make your week ahead easier by finding 10-15 minutes on Sunday (or whatever day works) for washing all your produce and chopping it. Then put the chopped veggies in a storage container either in the fridge to cook up later in the week or the freezer if you’re looking further ahead. 

Here are our top tips for washing your fruits and vegetables properly. Then follow these steps for freezing your produce.

3. Use the Same Ingredients More Than Once

When you plan for the week ahead, focus on making meals with similar ingredients. This way, you only have to prep a few ingredients and can mix and match throughout the week. Making rice for rice and beans? Double the rice and save half to make oil-free vegan fried rice later on. 

4. Go Buffet-Style 

In the same vein as #3, going buffet-style when it comes to meal prep can help you get easy plant-based recipes on the table, fast. OK, actually...they’re sort of recipe-less recipes because the idea with going buffet-style is to prepare:

2 plant-based proteins

1 type of whole grain

2-3 roasted vegetables

1 sauce or dressing

Then mix and match throughout the week to make different Buddha Bowls, wraps, or hearty salads. 

5. Use Shortcut Ingredients

While we tend to think of convenience foods as unhealthy, that's not always the case! There are plenty of shortcut ingredients that pass the healthy test  and make your meal prep a whole lot easier. When it comes to using convenience foods, skip over processed ones and instead choose whole food shortcuts, like:

  • Oil-free dressings and sauces
  • Quick grains or frozen brown rice (I love Trader Joe’s 10-minute farro and frozen organic brown rice)
  • Spiralized and pre-chopped veggies 
  • Pre-washed greens
  • Canned beans (choose organic and low-salt when you can!)

6. Freeze Leftover Prep for the Next Week Instead of Throwing Away

Roasted too many veggies? Simply freeze the produce to save for next week. You’ll eliminate food waste AND make next week’s meal prep faster. 

7. Make Individual Smoothie Packs

The ultimate easy plant-based recipe for breakfast: grab-and-go smoothie packs! When it comes to making single-serve smoothie packs for your freezer, here’s an easy smoothie formula to use:

1 cup greens

1 banana, sliced

1 cup of fruit (blueberries, strawberries, mangos, whatever floats your boat!)

Then on those busy mornings, grab a smoothie pack from the freezer, toss in your blender and add 1 cup of non-dairy milk

Looking for even easier plant based recipes for the morning? Skip the prep altogether and grab the ready to blend MamaSezz Breakfast Smoothie. You just add non-dairy milk!

7. Make a Big Batch of Baked Oatmeal 

Overnight oats are often touted as a time saver (and they certainly can be!) but making a big batch of baked oatmeal works wonders for those busy mornings, too. A big bonus with baked oatmeal is you don’t have to make several individual servings (like you do with overnight oats).

This apple cinnamon baked oatmeal is a great place to start. Just make a batch in the beginning of the week then cover and store in the fridge to reheat each morning for an easy plant-based breakfast. 

9. Eat Dinner Leftovers for Lunch

This one is so simple and yet so many of us forget to do it! You don’t have to prepare lunch and dinner. Simple double your dinner and eat the rest tomorrow for lunch. 

10. Stock Your Fridge, Freezer, and Pantry with Plant-Based Meal Prep Staples

Your pantry and your freezer are your meal prep besties. Keeping them stocked with go-to items will make preparing healthy meals so much easier.

Keep your freezer stocked with frozen fruits and vegetables and frozen grains.

Time-saving plant-based pantry staples include: oatmeal, canned beans, diced tomatoes, salsa, veggie broth.

And keep your fridge stocked with whole food plant-based meal starters from MamaSezz to build your dinner around, like MamaSezz Garlic Ginger Protein Strips, MamaSezz Veggie Loaf, and MamaSezz Walnut Taco “Meat.”

12. Choose One Bowl Easy Plant-Basd Recipes for Quick Cleanup 

Cut down on clean up time with one-bowl recipes like chilis, soups, pastas, and healthy vegan casseroles

Don’t want any cleanup at all? We don’t blame you a bit! Doing dishes is not our favorite way to spend the evening either. Skip the cleanup altogether with ready-made meals from MamaSezz. Just heat, eat, and enjoy.

12. Use Your Slow Cooker

Slow cookers are a great tool for the time-crunched meal prepper. It’s a great way to batch cook and especially useful in the summer months when your kitchen can get unbearably hot during meal prep. Here are 22 healthy plant-based slow cooker recipes to try out. 

13. Make a Big Salad and Keep It In Your Fridge (Undressed!)

At MamaSezz, we always try to eat a big salad with lunch and dinner. It’s a great way to eat your fruits and veggies, plus it makes for an easy side dish. Make a big salad at the beginning of the week and keep in an air-tight container in the fridge, un-dressed, then pull out what you need for each meal as you go throughout the week. Top with your favorite oil-free salad dressing

Need salad inspiration? Grab our top tips for making hearty delicious salads.

14. Keep a Master List of Meals You and Your Family Love

Anyone else sit down to plan their meals for the week and have their mind go completely blank? Avoid the Pinterest rabbit hole and instead keep a master list of your favorite easy plant-based recipes on hand. Be sure to include the ingredients for each recipe so you can cross-reference to see which recipes have overlapping ingredients.

15. Keep Your Fridge Organized 

Easier said than done, we know. A good rule of thumb for keeping your fridge organized so you don’t waste your prepped food (or risk making something that you already have in the back of the fridge):

  • Produce in the front
  • Plant-based protein in the back
  • First in, first out

So you’ll want to move the foods you’ll eat first to the front, including fresh or prepared vegetables. Foods that’ll be part of your meal plan later in the week can go in the back, along with your plant-based proteins that need refrigeration (like tempeh, tofu, MamaSezz Garlic Ginger Protein Strips). 

Also, clean your fridge weekly to make sure you didn’t leave anything behind and give you a fresh start each week.

30 Easy Plant-Based Recipes (That Are Actually, In Fact, Easy!)

Ok, now that we’ve covered the plant-based meal prep shortcuts, let’s get down to the business: what to make!

We’ve gathered some of our most popular plant-based easy recipes to include in your meal planning.

10 Easy Plant-Based Recipes for a Healthy (Quick) Breakfast

smoothie

We love a good bowl of oats, but there are plenty of options for a quick, easy, and healthy plant-based breakfast. Try these 10 easy plant-based recipes for breakfast (that you can make in under 10 minutes).

10 Easy Plant-Based Recipes for a Healthy (Quick) Lunch 

chickpea salad sandwich

Got kiddos at home? These 5 kid-friendly plant-based easy recipes make lunchtime a breeze. 

Need to clean out the fridge? Make this everything-but-the-kitchen-sink vegan sandwich recipe

Only have 5 minutes? Make this refreshing 5-minute chilled cantaloup and avocado soup. Or these two delicious raw blenders soups.

Only have 3 minutes? Make this easy vegan lunch bowl

10 Easy Plant-Based Recipes for a Healthy (Quick) Dinner

avocado pasta

Yes, pasta can be part of your healthy lifestyle! And good thing, too, because pasta dishes often happen to be easy and quick to make. Some of our favorite plant-based pasta recipes when you’re crunched on time:

This creamy plant-based avocado pasta recipe. (It’ll take 20 minutes to make!)

This easy vegan Alfredo with broccoli uses Mama’s Mac Sauce as the Alfredo sauce base which makes for a zippy prep time. 

Another super quick pasta recipe using MamaSezz meal starters as a base: Marinara Alla Mama Vegan Pasta Dish. Ready in 18 minutes!

Recreate your favorite takeout at home in just 25 minutes (minus the oil and sugar!) with this oil-free vegan fried rice

In the mood for comfort food? How about this 2-ingredient creamy vegan tomato soup, made with MamaSezz Mama’s Mac Sauce and MamaSezz Marinara Sauce. Unlike the store-bought tomato soups, this one’s low in sodium and free from preservatives and oil. Pair with your favorite salad for a healthy, familiar weeknight meal. 

Avoid the grocery store and look to your pantry for inspiration! Start with these 5 quick and easy plant-based pantry meals

Key Takeaways

  • Eating plant-based doesn’t have to mean spending your whole weekend meal prepping. Learning easy plant-based shortcuts can save you hours each week. 
  • Focus on easy plant-based recipes with 30 minutes or less of combined prep and cook time to save your sanity and your time.
  • Don’t want to meal prep at all? You don’t have to with ready-made and fresh meals from MamaSezz. Get plant-based dishes delivered to your door. You heat, eat, and be on your merry way. 

What you should do now

  1. We have been where you are and we’ve helped thousands of people (just like you) transition to eating a plant based diet. If you are looking for a guide that can help you with some of the big questions, and dramatically reduce your stress, this FREE Ultimate Little Guide to Plant-Based Eating is a great place to start.
  2. If you're interested in Weight Loss, Download this fantastic FREE guide Ultimate (little) Guide to weight loss
  3. If you’d like to learn about plant-based living go to our MamaSezz Blog where you can read hundreds of “How To” articles. If you’d like to learn about plant-based cooking go to our Recipes Section for easy step by step favorites.
  4. If you enjoyed this article, then so will your friends, so why not share it on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Email




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