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Efficient Meal Prep in 30 Mins: 4 One Pan Dinner Ideas

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Figuring out meals, trying to be creative in your nutritional regimen while also keeping within your macros and/or daily caloric intake can be challenging. Then throw summer time, vacations, holidays & busy schedules into the mix & we are all turned around! Oftentimes, we simply need a source for new ideas, someone who has tried something, loved it & that you can steal from. Hey, sharing is caring & I care about your nutritional regimen, supporting you in one you crave, supports your goals & always keeps you coming back. Subscribe below to receive blog posts just like these as soon as they're launched!


If meal prepping and planning is an area you struggle with, download my free Meal Prep 101 video guide + workbook & start building a strategy around your meals, saving you time, energy and all the headache!


These 4 meals are fall-inspired, but can truly be made anytime of the year, based on your cravings or where you are in the world! We have soups, pasta, salmon, greens & a whole lot of deliciousness. Each of these meals are great to make in bulk to have for meal prep throughout your week, for the family, or if you're looking for a healthy alternative to bring to that holiday potluck! And better yet, you can make these in 30 mins or less! So, let's get cookin'!


  1. Instant Pot Chicken, Rice & Veggie Soup


Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Servings: 6-8


Time until eating your delicious creation: 30 minutes!





Ingredients list (take me to the grocery store with you!)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (can use alternative such as avocado, coconut or ghee butter)

  • 1/2 small yellow onion diced

  • 1 bell pepper (color of choice)

  • 6 garlic cloves minced

  • ½ cup of largely diced mushrooms

  • 10, cut in half, grape tomatoes (or can used ¾ cup of chopped tomatoes, I love these)

  • 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts

  • 1 cup brown rice

  • 5 cups low sodium, no added preservatives (organic if you can) chicken broth

  • 1 1/2 cups filtered water

  • 2 bay leafs

  • 2 bunches of kale

  • Cilantro leaves as desired

  • Liberal seasoning of: Italian Seasoning, Oregano, Basil, thyme

  • salt to taste

  • black pepper to taste

  • Serve with this sourdough toast on the side if you'd like it to melt in your mouth!


Instructions:

  1. ​​Chop up your vegetables first. Then heat up your Instant Pot by pressing the "sauté" button on your Instant Pot ( takes about 2 minutes). Chop your chicken into chunks while this heats up.

  2. Add oil and let it heat for another minute. Meanwhile, season with salt and pepper.

  3. Add onions, bell pepper, tomatoes, mushrooms. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Toss your garlic in a food processor or mince if you don’t have one & add garlic and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.

  4. Add chicken and sauté for 3-5 minutes. As the chicken starts to turn white, add bay leaves and additional spices as you’d like. Keep stirring until the chicken is almost cooked, you'll want to leave it a little uncooked as it will continue to pressure cook in the next steps. Press the "cancel/off" button when finished.

  5. Add in rice, broth and water, then stir. Close lid, set valve to "sealing" position. Press the "manual" or "pressure cook" button and make sure it is set to "high pressure." Increase the time to 4 minutes and allow it to start on its own.

  6. Wash and rip your kale into medium size pieces, I discard the stems. Pull off as much cilantro leaves as you’d like.

  7. When the timer is done, turn the valve to allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes or until finished.

  8. Open the pot and stir everything together. Add in fresh ripped kale and cilantro leaves and stir. Add in salt and pepper, liberally as needed to taste.

  9. Serve with this sourdough toast on the side if you’d like & store in your refrigerator for up to 7 days.

 

2. Instant Pot Cozy Fall Sausage Kale Soup


Prep Time- 10 mins

Cook Time- 30 mins

Servings 6-8


Time until eating your delicious creation: 30 minutes!





Ingredients:

  • 5 cups chicken stock (can sub for vegetable stock)

  • 1 cup water

  • Olive oil

  • 1 cup uncooked wild rice (should be black)

  • 4 Amylu Chicken Sausage links (we used the purple pack from Costco, you can also forgo these to make it vegan)

  • ½ pack of pre-sliced mushrooms

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 5 medium carrots, chopped (medium size rounds)

  • 1 large sweet potato, diced (you can peel if you like- I love the skin so I peal spots & keep some on)

  • 1 small white onion, diced

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning

  • 1, 13.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk (organic with no preservatives)

  • 2 large handfuls of kale, discard the stems and rip into medium size pieces

  • Sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper to taste (will need!)

  • Cilantro leaves if you like!

Instructions:

  1. Add some olive oil to the Instant Pot and press statue, add 8 minutes to the timer. As the pot is heating up, chop up your onion, carrots, sweet potato, mushrooms & mince your garlic in a mini food processor or by hand. Add in all of these ingredients & stir for at least 3-4 minutes.

  2. Add in chicken stock, water, rice, bay leaves, Old Bay seasoning & stir. Once all is combined, pressure cook (this button or manual button) for 25 minutes on high pressure. Ensure the lid is closed tight and the valve is sealed.

  3. Once the timer goes off, turn the valve to vent for the pressure to release for about 10 minutes. As this is venting, splash some olive oil into a pan, slice up your Amylu Sausage, we used the purple pack from Costco. They are pre-cooked, so you just want to give them a charred edge, about 3-5 minutes. You can omit this completely or opt for a different protein.

  4. Remove the lid & add the sausage, ripped kale, cilantro, coconut milk (may need to stir a bit if it has hardened on top), salt, pepper and any additional herb seasonings you’d like to sprinkle in.

  5. Taste and season to your liking & enjoy! Store in your refrigerator for up to 7 days.

 

3. Oven Baked Tomato & Onion Alaskan Salmon

Prep time- 10 mins

Cook Time - 10-20 minutes depending on salmon size


Time until eating your delicious creation: 25 minutes





Ingredients:

  • Alaskan salmon (bone free)

  • About 12-15 grape tomatoes

  • ¼ diced white onion

  • Olive oil

  • Pepper, oregano & thyme

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

  2. In a flat sheet pan, place a long piece of foil to fully cover the pan and hang off the edges on both sides (we will be fully wrapping the salmon in the foil to cook, so you'll want to have enough for this.

  3. Spread some olive oil on the foil to prevent sticking. Season the salmon with each seasoning, less is more!

  4. Dice up your onion and cut your tomatoes in half and spread these across the top of your salmon. Pour a tad bit more oil across the top of the salmon.

  5. Fully cover and wrap the salmon in the foil so it is now on the pan fully covered.

  6. Place in the oven for about 12 minutes to start for smaller salmon and 18 minutes for larger salmon. You will want your salmon to be about 120 degrees if you have a food thermometer. Be sure to not overcook- taking out to check and putting it back in is better than overcooking.

  7. Once done, serve with brown rice a veggie stir fry or even top over a bed of salad with all the fixings for lunch! Store in your refrigerator for up to 5 days.

 

4. Green Machine Chicken Parm Spaghetti



Prep time- 10 mins

Cook time- 30 mins

Servings: 6-8


Time until eating your delicious creation: 40 minutes




Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ lbs chicken breast

  • 1 bag of spinach

  • 2 bunches of green onions

  • 1 bell pepper (your choice of color, I like orange for this one!)

  • Handful of cilantro

  • 1 large handful of grape tomatoes

  • 1 large handful of pre-sliced mushrooms

  • 3 tbs of pine nuts

  • 4-6 garlic cloves (depends how garlicky you like it!)

  • Fresh basil leaves (can use dried if you don’t have fresh)

  • ½ pack of Barilla Protein Pasta - we used angel hair (this or spaghetti would be best type)

  • Shredded parmesan (1 medium container) or can sub for nutritional yeast

  • Olive oil

  • Salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, Italian seasoning, Old Bay seasoning


Instructions:

  1. Start by pouring some olive oil on a sheet pan- this will be to oven bake your chicken breasts. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees & start your pasta water on the stove top.

  2. Season your chicken with pepper, reliant seasoning and a little bit of Old Bay seasoning (less is more). Place in the oven and set the timer for 25 minutes. When you remove it, you want your chicken to be at about 160 degrees if you have a food thermometer.

  3. While the chicken is cooking, chop up your vegetables and place the white & firmer parts of the scallions, bell pepper, mushrooms (chopped), and tomatoes in a pan to statue on low.

  4. Add your pasta to the water and cook on medium until it boils.

  5. Meanwhile, add ¾ of your spinach bag to a blender along with the green part of your scallions, cilantro, pine nuts, garlic cloves, 2 large pinches of shredded parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves if you have them. Set aside before blending until pasta is finished and ready to be strained.

  6. Pull your chicken out of the oven and begin to slice or shred.

  7. Strain your pasta, but ensure you have a bowl under your strainer to save the pasta water- this will be used as the liquid for our sauce (in the blender).

  8. Add your pasta back to the pot with some oil and mix thoroughly. Add in the sauteed vegetables, don't mix until we add the sauce.

  9. Grab a cup of pasta water and pour into the blender. Blend until smooth. Add pasta water if needed to thin out the sauce.

  10. Optional step: Place shredded chicken in the same pan the vegetables were in with some oil and statue to give the chicken a little char.

  11. Add the chicken to the pasta and then the sauce. Mix it all together and add salt, pepper, dried basil and additional seasonings of choice.

  12. Serve and slip your delicious, high protein, green machine pasta! Store in your refrigerator for up to 6 days.

 

Try these out and comment below with your favorites, what you enjoyed and any substitutions or additions you made to any of these recipes to make it your own!


Seeking greater meal prep support? Check out my FREE Meal Prep 101 video guide & downloadable workbook to support you in building a meal planning strategy that works with your schedule, saves you time, and is one you crave every week!




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