Batch Cooking: How To Prep Meals Weeks in Advance - Home & Texture
Kitchen Batch Cooking

How To Prep Meals Weeks in Advance With Batch Cooking

Planning your meals ahead of time can be a great way to save money and eat healthier.

March 25, 2024 at 11:22 PM PST
Kitchen Batch Cooking

How To Prep Meals Weeks in Advance With Batch Cooking

Planning your meals ahead of time can be a great way to save money and eat healthier.

March 25, 2024 at 11:22 PM PST

If you have a busy schedule, cooking healthy and tasty meals for the week can be quite the challenge. So to maximize their time, many people take to batch cooking to make mealtime a lot easier.

Batch cooking involves preparing large quantities of food in advance, typically over the weekend or on a designated day. The meals are then portioned out, and eaten during the week or even month. This not only makes cooking more convenient, it frees up your time so that you can focus on more important matters.

To learn more about how and why you should cook your meals in advance, take a look at this quick guide on batch cooking.

Three prepared meals in containers
Photo credit: Ella Olsson via Pexels

The Benefits of Batch Cooking

Batch cooking is beneficial for a number of reasons. Here are three perks to making your meals in advance:

Batch cooking saves time.

When you prep your meals in advance, you don’t have to cook from scratch every day. So instead of spending hours marinating meats and chopping veggies, you can tend to other important matters during the day.

Batch cooking is cost-effective.

Without having prepared meals on hand, you’re more likely to order takeout, especially on a busy weeknight. To avoid this, have a batch of pre-cooked meals ready to go in the fridge or freezer, so you can enjoy a healthy meal while saving money in the process.

Batch cooking reduces food waste.

Another benefit of batch cooking is that it helps minimize food waste by encouraging you to use up ingredients before they go bad.

Two women preparing a meal
Photo credit: August de Richelieu 

How To Batch Cook Like a Pro

If you want to work smarter, not harder, in the kitchen, batch cooking is the way to go. To learn how to maximize your meal prepping, here are six important steps to follow:

Plan your menu.

The most important part of batch cooking doesn’t even involve cooking. Instead, planning your menu is critical if you want to truly maximize your time and effort.

When meal planning, you have to take three things into account: your schedule, any dietary preferences, and whatever ingredients you have on hand. Then, pick tasty recipes that are easy to make in batches — i.e. soups, stews, casseroles, and one-pot meals.

Collect your supplies.

Before you dive into cooking, be sure that you have everything you need. This includes Tupperware containers for storing your meals, plus basic kitchen tools like knives, cutting boards, pots, and pans.

Prep ingredients in bulk.

After picking your recipes, it’s time to begin prepping your ingredients in bulk. This might involve chopping vegetables, marinating meats, or cooking rice, quinoa, or beans in advance. By doing the prep work upfront, you can save yourself the headache later on.

Cook in batches.

Now that you’re prepped and ready to go, it’s time to start batch cooking.

If you’re making a big pot of chili, for example, you can double or even triple the recipe. But rather than try to cook everything at once, be sure to concentrate on one recipe at a time. Doing so is not only a more efficient option, but it’s a lot safer, too.

Store and label your meals.

After cooking everything, place each serving into airtight containers, then label them with the date and what food is inside. This helps you keep track of what you have so that nothing goes to waste.

Four prepared meals in containers
Photo credit: Ella Olsson 

Tips for Success

To guarantee you have the best shot at success, here are some quick tips to keep in mind when cooking:

  • Cooking for multiple people in a short time isn’t easy, so be sure to start small and work your way up to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
  • Shop for quality storage containers that are both freezer-safe and microwaveable for maximum versatility.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different recipes and flavor combos to keep your mealtime exciting and enjoyable.
  • Clean up your mess while you cook to avoid having to spend hours cleaning later on.



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