Life can be busy, and often there isn’t a lot of time to cook tasty, nutritious meals from scratch.especially on busy weekdays. But that’s where batch cooking comes in. Here’s why meal prepping can save you time, plus some of our favorite vegan recipes to try.
What are the benefits of batch cooking?
Batch cooking can save your life. Well, maybe not to this extreme, but it can definitely save you time, money, and calories. This isn’t new, and there’s a reason this “trend” isn’t going away: it works. With ready-made meals in the fridge or freezer that you can reheat and eat throughout the week, batch cooking makes your life easier when the workday has left you in a state of serious decision fatigue. From roasted veggies to marinated vegan proteins, stock up on Sunday so you can give the Uber Eats app a rest.
12 recipes to make now and eat all week
1 Grilled vegetables
Not all vegans swoon at the thought of fresh vegetables, but a plate of tender, carefully seasoned roasted vegetables has a lot more appeal. Suitable for all seasons, a vegetable blend can be used to add bulk and nutrition to any meal. Roll them in a wrap with beans or hummus, pile them on toast, pour them over grain bowls, toss them with pasta or put them in a giant bowl, drizzle with tahini dressing and dive in, fork first! Try this recipe: Whole roasted cauliflower with herbs and garlic
2 Marinated tofu
Tasty and simple, this basic plant-based protein complements virtually any meal. Tofu will keep in the refrigerator for at least five days if sealed in an airtight container. Pair it with these roasted veggies and grains, toss it into salads, or add a tasty protein boost to wraps and sandwiches. Try this recipe: Sticky tofu with orange and sesame
3 Baked pasta
The beauty of baked pasta is that it keeps in the fridge and freezer, so even those who live alone can follow a recipe that feeds a vegan army without worrying about food waste. Fill this casserole dish with your favorite noodles, a generous amount of sauce to prevent drying out, and plenty of vegan sausage and mozzarella. Add a handful or two of frozen spinach to satisfy your greens quota. Try this recipe: Sausage and Ricotta Stuffed Shells with Vodka Sauce
4 Vegan Chili
When you have a large batch of vegan chili on hand, your options are limitless. Snuggle up in a big bowl topped with all the toppings and a side of cornbread, or spoon some over baked sweet potatoes, baked fries, spaghetti squash, or nachos. Give leftovers a new lease of life later in the week by using chili as a stuffing in burritos. As we said, the possibilities are endless. Try this recipe: Chili Con Chili with Vegan Lentils and Meat
5 Vegan bolognese sauce
Don’t settle for buttered noodles and nooch (unless that’s your thing, then go for it). When there’s nothing left in the fridge, a box of dried pasta and homemade sauce from the freezer will be your savior. A robust bolognese conveniently captures everything you need in a meal: vegetables, texture, flavor and comfort. Thaw your pre-made bolognese sauce while your pasta boils and cure hangries in seven to nine minutes. Try this recipe: Spaghetti Squash Boats with Bolognese and Lentils
6 Taco filling
With a stellar taco filling, you’ll want Taco Tuesday every night of the week. From breakfast burritos to enchiladas to taco salads, a batch-cooked taco filling can be so much more than the name suggests. Try this recipe: Soy-Free Vegan Ground Beef
7 Vegan Casserole
There are few things that can satisfy like a cheesy, creamy casserole. It brings leftovers back to life and is a reliable leftover in its own right. Revive dying produce by dipping it in a cashew-based sauce, tossing it with cereal or noodles, and cooking the five-pounder until golden brown to perfection. Try this recipe: Chickpea, Lemon and Rosemary Pasta Casserole
8 One-pot soup or stew
Even those hesitant to meal prep can conquer an all-in-one wonder. Get out your biggest soup pot and make a batch to last all week. Do you still have any leftovers? Soups and stews can be stored in the freezer for months. Try this recipe: Vegan Brazilian Moqueca
9 Scrambled tofu
Yes, it holds! If you’re tired of plant-based milk and basic cereal or oatmeal, prepare a pan full of scrambles for several days. This dish doesn’t freeze well, but it can definitely get you through hump day when stored in an airtight container. Don’t like to eat early in the morning? Breakfast for dinner is something to look forward to on a hectic work day. Try this recipe: Scrambled tofu with mixed vegetables
Whether you prefer them for breakfast or dessert, waffles are a great option for batch cooking. In fact, they freeze well (provided they have not been covered with filling beforehand!). You can therefore treat yourself to a hearty breakfast whenever you want, without any preparation. Try this recipe: Vegan Blood Orange Waffles with Berry Compote
Smoothies are a simple and tasty way to start your day with a boost of nutrition. Although they don’t take much time if you make them from scratch, you can save even more time by making them at the beginning of the week. This means you can fill up and go in no time. Try this recipe: Vegan Tropical Blueberry Smoothie
Burritos are a great meal prep choice: they can be put in the freezer for a few months, then quickly defrosted on days when you’re in a hurry. Fill them with beans and veggies so you can have a nutritious and delicious lunch on hand whenever you need it. Try this recipe: Black Bean Breakfast Burritos
Stephanie Dreyer is a plant-based meal planning expert and the founder ofBatch Cooking Cluba weekly meal prep subscription that makes mealtime easier and helps families live more deliciously.