10 Meal Prep Ideas for Muscle Gain

10 meal prep ideas for muscle gain

Every training goal ultimately starts with nutrition. Meal prep is your greatest ally

IF YOU’VE MADE it your mission to reap the full benefits of those hours in the pain cave, dialling in your nutrition is the most effective way to go about it. But you know that already.

You’ve read Men’s Health before. That a breakfast of scrambled eggs will fuel your muscles better than a chocolate-filled croissant will come as no surprise. And when fat loss is your focus, it would probably help to swerve the biscuit tin every now and again. It’s hardly rocket science.


The problem is, knowing doesn’t always equate to ‘doing’. You snack when you’re not supposed to. You eat out because you don’t have time to cook a healthy meal. The good news is, you might not be entirely to blame – turns out, your empty stomach isn’t the only thing compelling you to grab a slice of pizza from the work canteen.

It’s a psychological phenomenon called ‘decision fatigue’. You make around 35,000 decisions every day on average – hit snooze or get up? Toast or porridge? White shirt or blue? And the more you make, the more taxing each one becomes until eventually, your exhausted brain looks for shortcuts and it starts acting impulsively.

Willpower isn’t something you either have or you don’t – it’s a form of mental energy that gets depleted every time you make a decision, a series of experiments conducted by Florida State University found. And that’s not all.

Your brain is the most energy-demanding organ in your body, and it uses glucose as its primary fuel source. As your mental energy drains with each fleeting decision, your body looks for a quick way to replenish its dwindling stocks: sugar. Such is the fat-loss paradox. You need willpower to stop yourself from grazing – but in order to fuel willpower, you need to eat.


This is why meal prep is your greatest muscle-building, fat-torching ally. By pre-batching breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks ahead of time, you deal with a decision-making double-whammy: not just what to eat and when, but also how much.

“When our schedules are packed, meal times can go to the wayside,” says Kevin Curry, founder of food blog Fit Men Cook. “We eat mindlessly, paying little attention to the caloric and nutritional value of the food, and we skip meals, which leads to overeating at the next meal in order to satisfy our intense hunger.

“Having healthy meals and snacks ‘at arm’s length’ enables us to continue our hectic and busy lifestyles but with more nutritious food so we can accomplish our fitness and wellness goals at the same time.”

Here, you’ll find everything you need to meal prep like a pro, freeing up brain space for other, more pressing decisions: chest day or leg day?

The pros and cons of meal prep

Granted, it’s not all plain sailing. If you don’t like your lunch, you’re stuck with it for another day or two. You’re forced to dedicate a chunk of your Sunday afternoon to cooking. Your weekly shopping list requires meticulous planning, because one missed ingredient could throw off a week’s worth of meals. You have to carry containers everywhere. And if your plans change, the food goes to waste.


But as they say – if it was easy, everyone would do it. By giving an hour or two of your weekend to meal prep, you’ll free up your weekday evenings. The only thing you’ll have to wash up is the plastic containers. Not only will your scales be lighter without those high street sandwich lunches; your wallet will be thankful too. And if you’re the macro-counting kind and have a specific training goal in your sights, you can map out a week’s worth of meals down to the very last gram.

“Preparing our meals in advance gives us a better estimate of monthly food costs while reducing miscellaneous food purchases,” says Curry. “Knowing what you’re going to eat on a daily basis will make the difference in both your health and your wallet.” Plus, it gets results. “I don’t just preach the importance of meal prep,” he adds, “I practice it, because it enabled me to obtain the results that I so desperately wanted.” Sounds like all that chopping might be worth it.

Meal Prep Ideas

The first step is to map out recipes for the meals you’re prepping i.e. breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. In its most stripped-back form, the foundation of a muscle-building meal contains approximately “two handfuls of vegetables, one fist-size portion of carbs, and a palm-size portion of protein,” Jo Travers, registered dietitian and author of The Low Fad Diet.

Protein-wise, stick to lean options like chicken, fish, turkey, lean beef, eggs, tofu, and greek yoghurt. Keep carbs complex where possible, and don’t forget healthy fats – olive oil, avocado and nuts will keep you fuller for longer.

The best breakfasts for every fitness goal

Feed your gains first thing with these fab five foods.

That said, man cannot get jacked on turkey, broccoli, and sweet potato alone. Well, he can, but his taste buds won’t thank him. Focus on cooking foods “that you love to eat and are easy to prepare,” suggests James Long, co-founder of health food blog When Harry Met Salad, particularly dishes you enjoy both hot and cold, in case you can’t access a microwave.

Batch cooking is the name of the game. To keep things interesting, try having a culinary theme for each week, Long suggests, such as ‘Mexican’ and ‘Indian’. Cooking and pre-portioning chilli or curry, for example, is far more practical than juggling multiple recipes. Once you have your meals mapped out, make a list of all the ingredients you need – along with quantities – and hit the shops.

Easy hacks to take the hassle out of meal prep for muscle gain

To keep your meals as fresh as possible, let them cool down completely before you refrigerate them, says Long. You’ll avoid the condensation that makes food go soggy. That said, don’t leave your food at room temperature for more than two hours.

If you’ve seen the ‘ripe avocado’ memes, you know how temperamental veg can be. To reduce food waste, make frozen and tinned foods your best friend. “I’ve been buying way more frozen vegetables such as chopped peppers, onions, peas and sweetcorn because I was getting fed up of binning bags of spinach and other vegetables that kept going off,” says Long.


If frozen really isn’t an option, consider buying an ethylene-absorbing gadget for your fridge. They can really extend the shelf life of your veg, says Travers, particularly the crunchy kind such as bell peppers, carrots and celery. “A coleslaw mix – without the mayo dressing; add that at the last minute – will keep better than chopped tomatoes and cucumbers,” she says.

Think of meal prepping as a high-intensity gym workout, says Curry. “Keep going until the routine is finished – while your food is cooking, clean up the kitchen. When the food is nearly complete, prep your food containers and spread them out on the counter or table.”

You could even blast your favourite gym playlist while you’re cooking. “Not only does the music energise me, but also it’s also subtle reminder of why I’m doing this: to get lean and mean,” he adds.

Use meal prep to pimp your protein

When you’re prepping meat or fish, don’t slice it until you’re ready to eat to prevent it from drying out. About 30g of protein per meal is ideal for fat loss – that’s roughly a palm-sized portion.




Season a 1in-thick steak with salt and pepper and grill on medium-high to your desired doneness – about three minutes per side for medium rare. Let it rest for five minutes, then transfer.


Heat some oil in an ovenproof pan on medium-high. Season and cook until brown, two to three minutes per side. Transfer to the oven and roast at 200°C; five minutes for medium rare.




Place some extra-firm tofu on a cutting board between paper towels. Top with a baking sheet and heavy cans to weigh it down. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then slice. Heat oil in a pan on medium-high. Fry until golden brown, two minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel and season.


Break firm tofu into large pieces on a baking sheet. Toss with oil, season and roast at 200°C, flipping once. Cook until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.


Chicken breast


Rub with oil, then season and grill on medium-high, four to six minutes per side. Use a griddle pan to add some smoky char.


Heat some oil in an ovenproof pan on a medium heat. Season the chicken and cook until golden brown, about three minutes per side. Transfer to an oven and roast at 200°C until cooked through – about 10 minutes.




Heat some oil in a frying pan on medium-high. Season and cook the fish until it’s golden brown and opaque throughout – roughly five minutes per side.


Place the salmon on a baking sheet. Season and roast at 200°C until it’s opaque – this will take roughly 10-12 minutes.


Season the salmon to taste and grill it on a medium-high heat for around four minutes per side.

Use meal prep to revamp your veg

This is where most meal prep for muscle gain falls short. Cucumber slices and carrot batons might make you feel virtuous, but an unsatisfying lunch will only set you up for mid-afternoon snacking. Many vegetables are made more nutritious by cooking – and doing so will extend their shelf life, too.

Extra sizzle

Rapeseed, sesame and olive oils are all good options for sautéing, though extra-virgin olive oil has a lower smoke point (save that for your dressings). Heat a large pan on medium-high. Add a dash of oil, then the veg, and season. Toss well and then cook until tender.

  • Peppers: 6min
  • Green beans: 5min
  • Cherry tomatoes: 4min
  • Mushrooms: 11min

Roast to your health

On a baking tray, toss your veg with oil and season with salt and pepper. Throw in a few garlic cloves, too. Roast at 200°C until golden brown. Applying heat to veg makes it easier for your body to absorb nutrients such as beta-carotene and certain minerals.

  • Broccoli florets: 20min
  • Asparagus: 15min
  • Mushrooms: 25min
  • Cauliflower: 20min
  • Peppers: 15min
  • Cherry tomatoes: 15min

Blanch Out

Boiling vegetables causes nutrients to bleed into the water. Blanching preserves them – as well as keeping the veg crisp. Bring a pot of water to the boil with a pinch of salt. Throw your veg in and cook until just tender, then immediately transfer to ice water. Drain and pat dry.

  • Broccoli florets: 4min
  • Asparagus: 4min
  • Cauliflower florets: 5min
  • Green beans: 5min

Best meal prep equipment


You don’t need a Michelin star-worthy kitchen to whip up a few meals ahead of time, but there are a few fundamental pieces of kit that will make the process a whole lot more efficient – particularly if your culinary skills currently amount to beans on toast (no judgements here).

  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring jug
  • Slotted turner
  • Food scale
  • Set of mixing bowls
  • Colander
  • Baking dishes, or at the very least, a baking tray
  • Non-stick frying pan
  • Casserole dish
  • Steaming basket
  • Chopping board
  • Kitchen knives
  • Set of saucepans

Best meal prep equipment

Best meal prep containers

A word on meal prep containers, because you’ve got to store and transport all those meals somehow. There are a few options available, from glass to multi-compartment plastic, with benefits and drawbacks to each style depending on what you’re making. Plastic containers are light and durable, while glass varieties are less likely to stain and keep food fresher for longer. Mason jars are ideal for keeping salads fresh, and Bento boxes make packing snacks and lunches super simple. Stainless steel containers look great, but they tend to be pricy and aren’t microwave-friendly.

How to meal prep on a budget

Unless you’re serving up lobster thermidor every day, meal prep is going to save you money. However, there are easy ways to make your pounds stretch even further – they just require a little bit more thought.

Keep recipes simple with easy-to-source, affordable ingredients, Long suggests. Think: potatoes, rice, pasta, lean protein and vegetables. Where possible, buy in bulk, and stick to supermarket own brands for oats, nut milks, and so on.

Focus on frozen and tinned foods, and if you must buy fresh, “stick to vegetables and produce that is in season,” Long says. Oh, and buy foods you need to prep yourself, adds Travers. “You will pay a premium for ready chopped carrots, for example.”

10 meal prep recipes for muscle gain

Now, finding the right recipe is easier said than done. You think you’ve hit the meal prep for muscle gain recipe jackpot, but six paragraphs later the author is still banging on about their most recent holiday. Forget self-indulgent multi-paragraph manifestos – these easy-to-follow recipes from Curry are waffle-free.

15-minute prawn chipotle bowl


You’ll get three meals from this recipe. You can substitute the shrimp for chicken, tofu, or beef, says Curry, and the brown rice for cauliflower rice.

Calories: 410
Protein: 40g
Fat: 3g
Carbs: 56g


560g raw jumbo shrimp, 1 1/2 tablespoons taco or fajita seasoning packet, 1 small white onion, chopped, 1 red capsicum, chopped, 1 green capsicum, chopped, juice from 1 lime, 3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed, 425g can black beans (no salt added), 225g instant brown rice, freshly mashed avocado, chopped coriander, lime wedge


  1. Heat up brown rice in the microwave according to the package instructions. Empty black beans into a microwavable safe bowl and warm those too.
  2. Rub the shrimp with taco or fajita seasoning.
  3. Set a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Once hot, spray with olive oil. Toss in the bell peppers and onions and sear for 3 to 5 minutes. As it cooks, squeeze in fresh lime to help caramelise and soften the veggies. Once the onion is translucent and the edges are seared, remove from the skillet.
  4. Increase the heat of the skillet to high, then add the frozen corn. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, enough to thaw and sear the outside of the corn, then set aside.
  5. Reduce the heat of the skillet to medium, and if needed, spray with a little more olive oil, then toss in the shrimp. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the shrimp is white and plump with seared edges.
  6. Assemble the bowl by evenly dividing up the ingredients into your meal prep containers.

Sesame tuna steak burger


This recipe will make at least two patties. Macros below represent patties without the burger.

Calories: 267
Protein: 44g
Fat: 8g
Carbs: 3g

Ingredients for the patties:

340g raw tuna steak, 40g chopped green onion, 1 tablespoon freshly chopped mint, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1.5 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds, 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, pinches of sea salt and pepper

Ingredients for the burger:

1 sprouted wheat bun, tomato slices, avocado slices, red onion slices, 1 teaspoon safflower mayonnaise, 15g goats cheese


  1. Set a grill to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Chop the tuna steak into cubes and place all the ingredients for the patties into a food processor. Pulse blend until there’s a consistent texture of ground tuna.
  3. Form patties of equal size, then place them in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes so they can become more firm.
  4. Place the patties on the grill and cook them for about 6 to 8 minutes, flipping halfway through. Look for the pink areas of the tuna to turn white; however, provided the tuna is fresh and good quality, you can leave some parts of the tuna pink i.e. raw. You can also cook the patties in a non-stick skillet on medium high heat.

Ultimate low-carb deep-dish lasagne


You’ll get nine hearty servings from this dish.

Calories: 319
Protein: 33g
Fat: 16g
Carbs: 16g

Ingredients for the sauce:

1/2 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon garlic minced, 150g chopped onion, 900g lean beef, 1 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning, pinch of sea salt and pepper, 1 1/2 jars low-calorie marinara sauce

Ingredients for the layers:

550g part-skim ricotta cheese, 2 egg whites, 40g shredded parmesan (optional), 2 medium squash, 2 medium eggplants, 2 medium zucchini

Ingredients for the topping:

150g shredded mozzarella


  1. Set oven to 220 degrees celsius.
  2. Set a nonstick skillet on medium high heat, add olive oil, garlic and chopped onion. Sauté and brown the onions, being careful not to burn the garlic.
  3. Increase the heat of the skillet and add the ground beef. Chop up as it cooks with the onions. Sprinkle Italian seasoning, sea salt and pepper, and continue cooking until the meat is well chopped in the skillet (note: it’s ok if there are still pink pieces).
  4. Add the marinara and fold everything together. Reduce the heat to low, then simmer and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes to allow the flavours to meld.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta and egg whites. Set aside.
  6. Using a kitchen mandolin or a sharp knife, slice the veggies vertically into strips, around the thickness of a pound coin. Pat them dry on a paper towel and allow them to rest on the paper towels for about 20 minutes to reduce the amount of water in the lasagna.
  7. Build the lasagna – in a baking pan, add a layer of squash, followed by the meat sauce, then half of the ricotta mixture and a sprinkle of parmesan. Then, add a layer of eggplant, followed by meat sauce, the remainder of the ricotta mix, and a sprinkle of parmesan. Then, layer zucchini, top with the remaining meat sauce, and garnish with mozzarella.
  8. Cover with foil, and then bake for 35 to 40 minutes. For the last 5 minutes, remove the top foil and allow the top to brown.

Caribbean-inspired chicken & plantain curry meal prep

4 servings

Calories: 480g

Protein: 46G

Fat: 16G

Carbs: 42G

Ingredients for cauliflower rice:

1 1/2 large head of cauliflower, just florets and no leaves, 1 teaspoon bouillon season, 2 teaspoons dried thyme, 2 tablespoons avocado oil, 2 medium plantains peeled and sliced on a bias

Ingredients for chicken sauce:

1 225g chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces, 1 teaspoon olive oil, 3 garlic cloves, minced 2 green onion stalks, finely chopped green parts only, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon cayenne, pinch of sea salt & pepper, 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder, 2 cups canned lite coconut milk (about 1.5 cans) alternate: 1 can + 150ml water, sea salt & pepper to taste

Ingredients for garnish:

Red pepper, red onion, fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley


  1. Add chicken to a mixing bowl and add the seasonings and oil as a binder. Toss together then cover and set aside to marinate for 20 minutes.
    To prepare the cauliflower rice, follow the steps here. Once the rice is created, simply mix in the seasoning and set aside.
  2. Set a large nonstick skillet on medium high heat. Once hot, add oil and the plantain pieces. Lay the pieces flat in the skillet and allow them to cook undisturbed until sear marks appear, about 3 minutes, then flip to sear the other side, about another 3 minutes. Then remove from the skillet.
  3. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook until the outside is seared, about 4 – 6 minutes, do not worry if the chicken is not cooked throuhg. Add the plantains back to the skillet and sprinkle in the curry powder and gently fold everything together.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium, then pour in the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. Stir to combine and then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 12 – 15 minutes. Then remove from the heat and allow to cool and thicken. PRO-TIP: if you prefer a creamier texture but do not want to add full fat coconut milk, then simply mix 1 tablespoon of arrowroot or cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of water, then pour into the skillet along with the coconut milk.
  5. Evenly divide the rice among the meal containers, then top with chicken & plantain mixture. Garnish and enjoy! Meals should last for 4 – 5 days in the fridge but for best results, freeze any meal you will not eat within 2 days.

Tex-mex style burrito

2 servings

Calories: 490

Protein: 33G

Fat: 18G

Carbs: 52G

Ingredients for Meat Mix:

1 red bell pepper chopped, 1/2 (white) onion sliced, 225g 93% lean ground turkey, 5 tablespoons pimientos (plus juice), 1 tablespoon chilli powder (or paprika), 2 teaspoons cumin, 1/4 cup (or 4 tablespoons) salsa or enchilada sauce

Remaining ingredients:

Two 8-inch tortillas, 5 tablespoons (~1/3 cup) black beans, 2 tablespoons jasmine rice, 1 cup shredded romaine (or leafy green of choice), 2 tablespoons cotija queso (optional), 2 tablespoons avocado mash


  1. Set a nonstick skillet on medium high heat. Once hot, lightly spray with avocado oil then add onion and bell pepper. Cook for 3 – 5 minutes until the veggies are softer with dark edges.
  2. Add the cooked turkey and rehydrate with the salsa, then add in seasonings.
  3. Warm a tortilla in the microwave for 30 seconds to help soften it.
  4. Add the turkey and veggies mix, add beans and rice, pour in the sauce and top with romaine and cotija queso.
  5. Set a nonstick skillet on medium high. Once hot, spray with oil then toast in the skillet on all sides of the burrito to make it crispy and seal it closed.

West african inspired peanut stew

6 servings

Calories: 580

Protein: 42G

Fat: 31G

Carbs: 38G


3 tbsp olive oil, 1 ½ lbs thick-cut whole skinless chicken breasts, 1 medium yellow onion, chopped, 1 thumb-piece ginger peeled and minced, 5 cloves garlic minced, 2-3 medium sweet potatoes (4 cups worth) peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons coriander, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 3/4 cup natural peanut butter, 1 can  diced tomatoes, 6 – 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth (begin with 6 cups and add more as needed throughout cooking), 2 bay leaves, 1 bunch kale or chard, ribs removed and coarsely chopped or torn

Ingredients for garnish:

1 large handful fresh coriander + more for serving finely chopped, Juice of 1 lemon, Salt & pepper to taste, 1/3 cup (5 tablespoons) roasted peanuts finely chopped


  1. Pat the chicken breasts dry and season with salt & pepper.
  2. Place a large dutch oven pot on medium heat and add in half of the oil and the chicken breast. Brown the chicken breasts on both sides, about 2-3 minutes per side, and then remove and set aside.
  3. Add in the remaining oil, onions, ginger, and garlic and saute until translucent, or about 4-5 minutes. Next, add in the sweet potatoes and seasonings cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add in the peanut butter, tomatoes, chicken broth, chicken breasts and bay leaves.
    Once it reaches a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook until the chicken is fork tender, or about one hour, and then remove and shred using two forks.
  5. Add the chicken, along with the kale, back into the pot, and cook for another 10-15 minutes. If the stew becomes too thick, add a splash of water or leftover broth.
  6. Adjust for seasoning and stir in the cilantro and lemon juice. Serve up with more cilantro and peanuts and enjoy!
  7. For an even heartier meal, serve over top of jasmine rice or cauliflower rice. TIP: Store any extras in the fridge for up to 5 days but I recommend freezing anything you will not eat in 3 days.

Black rice grain bowl

Calories: 500

Protein: 21g

Fat: 11g

Carbs: 89g

1 1/2 cups uncooked black rice, 1 tablespoon avocado oil, 1 large red bell pepper chopped, 3 garlic cloves minced, 3 large portobello mushroom caps, stems and gills removed and sliced into strips, 3 tablespoons low sodium teriyaki sauce OR low sodium tamari (or soy sauce), 2 cups frozen shelled edamame thawed, 1 cup spinach (optional), 1 cup matchstick carrots, Juice from 1/2 lime


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add black rice and cook until desired softness, generally about 20 minutes. Note: Black rice is also chewier so please be aware that it does not automatically mean the rice is not cooked through. Then drain, rinse and set aside.
  2. Set a carbon steel wok or large pan on medium high heat. Add avocado oil and bell pepper and cook until sear marks appear on the edges, about 2 minutes. Then add in garlic and toss.
  3. Add sliced portobello mushroom caps and a few tablespoons of water to create steam to help them wilt a bit if needed. Then add 1 (one) tablespoon of the teriyaki sauce and toss everything together.
  4. Add the edamame, spinach and carrots and toss together. Squeeze in fresh lime and the remaining teriyaki sauce and cook/toss for another 2 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and serve! You can enjoy this meal either hot or cold. Season each serving to taste using red chili garlic sauce, Sriracha and/or low sodium soy.

Chicken & broccoli stir-fry over sweet potato

3 servings

Calories: 460

Protein: 37G

Fat: 15G

Carbs: 44G


450g lean chicken thigh diced into ½-inch pieces, 1 red capsicum  chopped, 5 cup broccoli, chopped into pieces, 3 medium sized sweet potatoes

Ingredients for sauce:

5 tablespoons low sodium soy, 3 tablespoons coconut sugar, 1 tablespoon sriracha, 1 tablespoon arrowroot + water, 1 tablespoon ginger, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 2 tablespoons water, sesame seed garnish – 3 tablespoons


  1. Set oven to 200C. Poke a few holes in the sweet potato using a fork or knife. Place them on a baking tray and bake for 45 minutes, or until the potato is cooked through and can be sliced open.
  2. Add the ingredients for the sauce to a bowl or cup and stir. Set aside.
  3. Set a large wok on medium-high heat. Once hot, spray with avocado oil and add chicken. Let the chicken rest in the wok untouched for about 2 -3 minutes or until sear marks appear. Toss the chicken in the skillet then add the bel pepper and cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Toss in the broccoli and toss everything together. Reduce the heat of the pan to low, then make a hole in the middle of the skillet. Pour the sauce in the hole and stir immediately to prevent the sauce from getting slimy. You may also need to remove from the wok from the heat completely during this step if it is too hot.
  5. Slice open the sweet potato and flake the flesh with a fork. Evenly divide the stir-fry among the sweet potatoes and garnish with sesame seeds.

Chicken & couscous meal prep in 30 minutes

3 servings

Calories: 560

Protein: 44G

Fat: 14G

Carbs: 63G


450g chicken thighs fat trimmed, generous pinches of sea salt & pepper, spray (avocado) oil, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 medium onion diced, 2 garlic cloves minced, pinch of sea salt, 1 cup dry couscous, 2 teaspoons cumin, 2 teaspoons ginger, 9 sun-dried tomato pieces, chopped into smaller bits, 1 medium zucchini grated, 5 cups low sodium chicken broth or water, 3/4 cup frozen peas, sea salt & pepper to taste


  1. Generously season chicken thighs with sea salt & pepper. Set a pan on medium high heat and once hot, spray with oil. Add the chicken and sear for 6 – 8 minutes per side, or until deep sear marks appear and the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan, then reduce the heat to medium.
  2. Add butter and onion and saute for 1 – 2 minutes before adding the garlic. Add a pinch of salt to the onions while they sear to draw out some of the sweetness.
  3. Add the dry couscous, cumin, ginger and sundried tomatoes and cook everything together for about 3 minutes, ensuring the couscous is toasting and being covered in the seasonings. Add the zucchini and the chicken broth. Pro-tip: warm up the chicken broth in the microwave or on the stovetop before adding to help speed up the cooking process. Stir, turn off the heat, then cover the pan and let it rest for about 5 – 7 minutes or until the couscous has absorbed the liquid.
  4. Flake with a fork, then evenly divide the couscous among meal containers and add a serving of chicken to each container. Freeze any portion you are not going to eat within 2 days in order to maximise freshness at meal time.

High protein abundance bowl meal prep

3 servings

Calories: 670

Protein: 32G

Fat: 28G

Carbs: 78G

Ingredients for salad:

3 cups cooked (red) quinoa, 1 1/2 cups (frozen) shelled edamame thawed, 1/2 cup raw or toasted pepitas, 1 large red capsicum diced, 1 medium red onion diced, 1 cup shredded or matchstick carrots, 1/2 cup parsley, roughly chopped and torn, 1 cup pineapple diced

Ingredients for dressing:

3 tablespoons raw tahini, 1/3 medium avocado, 2 garlic cloves, 1/2 cup water (more as needed for thinning), juice from 1 lemon (or lime), 2 teaspoons cumin (or cumin seed), 1 tablespoon white vinegar (optional)sea salt & pepper to taste


  1. In a large bowl, toss together the ingredients for the salad.
  2. For the dressing, add all the ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Add water to adjust consistency to your liking and season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
  3. Evenly divide the salad between your meal containers.
  4. Then evenly divide the dressing. If desired you can keep the dressing separate until you are going to enjoy it.
  5. Enjoy the abundance bowl meal prep recipe.

All recipes courtesy of Fit Men Cook.

This article originally appeared on Men’s Health UK.


I outsourced my meal prep for a week; here’s what I learned

A Beginner’s guide to meal prep

More From