14 Healthy Make Ahead Dinner Recipes

Busy weeknights are no match for these easy make ahead healthy dinners.

Try this healthy make-ahead dinner recipe any night of the week!

Preparing your meals at home is a great way to stay on track with your health goals. That said, we understand that not everyone has the time or energy to make a home-cooked meal after a long, busy day! For this reason, making some of our 14 make ahead healthy dinners– when you do have some extra time to spare— will make sticking to your healthy eating plan much easier to do! The healthy make-ahead dinner recipes below will have you looking forward to dinner time!

Reasons to Make Your Meal Ahead of Time

Cooking your own food at home can save you calories, stress, and money!

Homemade meals are so much better for you than fast food, take-out, and frozen microwave dinners. These options might be easy, but they’re also typically loaded with saturated fat, sodium, calories, and more. Preparing your meals at home allows you to know exactly what you’re putting into your body, which is essential to losing weight and getting fit! You can avoid these unhealthy additives and fill your meals with nutrients that are conducive to your goals!

In addition to being better for you, having make ahead healthy dinners in your refrigerator will make your life easier and less stressful! You won’t have to worry about figuring out what’s for dinner, because it’s already at home waiting for you! All you’ll have to do is heat it up, kick back, and dig in.

Preparing your meals at home will usually help you save some money, too. The price of fast food, take-out, and microwave dinners are on the rise these days. Regularly depending on any of them can put a serious dent in your budget. When you cook at home, you can buy ingredients in bulk and shop sales to get the most out of every dollar. 

14 Healthy Make Ahead Dinners

broccoli and sweet potato chicken dinner

The following make ahead healthy dinners can all be made ahead of time and then reheated whenever you’re ready for them! Once you see how easy, nutritious, and delicious they are, you’ll never feel the need to go back to frozen dinners and fast food ever again!

1. Slow Cooker Everything Chicken

This slow cooker everything chicken is so versatile, you can enjoy it in a number of ways!

Versatile recipes are a must have in your healthy make ahead dinner arsenal. Having a protein cooked and ready to go is a huge time saver, and with this everything chicken, you can enjoy a number of different, quick and easy meals. Throw it on top of a salad, into a sandwich or wrap, inside of a quesadilla or taco, or add it to a soup or casserole!

Try it here: Slow Cooker Everything Chicken 

2. One Pan Broccoli, Sweet Potato, and Chicken Dinner

This nutritious dinner is perfect for meal-prepping!

This tasty and nutritious dinner is definitely an all-in-one recipe! Prepare it ahead of time, divide it up into single-portion containers, and grab one out of the fridge when you get home!

Here’s the recipe: One Pan Broccoli, Sweet Potato, and Chicken Dinner 

3. Protein Packed Black Bean and Lentil Soup

black bean and lentil soup

Soup of any kind is a great make-ahead meal, but this protein-packed black bean and lentil soup takes things up a notch. Not only is it loaded with protein and fiber, but it’s also full of flavor and easy to reheat!

Try it here: Protein Packed Black Bean and Lentil Soup 

4. Greek Chicken Kebabs

greek chicken kebabs

We love making these Greek chicken kebabs on a Sunday evening and then enjoying the leftovers for a few days afterward. Whip up a batch of rice or quinoa to serve with them if you need a meal that’s a little more filling. 

Here’s the recipe: Greek Chicken Kebabs

5. Skinny Chicken Taco Casserole

This Skinny Taco Casserole has chicken, black beans, cheese, and a number of other ingredients.

Casserole is another fantastic meal prep option! This particular recipe offers your favorite southwest ingredients, flavors, and plenty of protein. Cut yourself a slice, place it on a microwave-safe dish, cover it, and heat on high for 30 to 60 seconds! So easy!

Try it here: Skinny Chicken Taco Casserole 

6. Simple One Pan Lemon Salmon with Roasted Asparagus 

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This sheet pan meal takes less than 30 minutes to make but is a great make-ahead option, too. Store each portion in a separate container in the fridge and reheat it when you need a delicious and nutritious dinner!

Here’s the recipe: Simple One Pan Lemon Salmon with Roasted Asparagus 

7. Slow Cooker Chunky Beef and Potato Stew

Slow Cooker Chunky Beef and Potato Stew

Much like soup, stew is another wonderful meal-prep option. This hearty beef and potato stew makes an excellent dinner on cold evenings or on days where you’re just extra hungry!

Try it here: Slow Cooker Chunky Beef and Potato Stew 

8. Perfect Instant Pot Pulled Pork Shoulder 

This versatile pulled pork can be serve on a bun, in a taco, on, a salad, or on its own!

Tender pulled pork in less than 90 minutes? Yes, please! Serve this dinner on a Sunday afternoon and enjoy the delicious leftovers all week! We love adding some sugar-free BBQ sauce and enjoying it on a whole wheat bun!

Here’s the recipe: Perfect Instant Pot Pulled Pork Shoulder 

9. Amazing Black Beanadillas 

Indulge in these vegetarian-friendly beanadillas the next time you're craving Mexican food!

Not only are these beanadillas vegetarian-friendly, but they’re also just so darn tasty! You can whip up several of them at one time and grab one out of the fridge whenever hunger strikes! We recommend allowing them to cool to room temperature, wrapping them in wax paper, and then storing them in an airtight Ziploc bag. 

Try it here: Amazing Black Beanadillas 

10. Slow Cooker Orange Chicken 

Try this sweet and zesty slow cooker orange chicken the next time youre craving Chinese food!

Just because you’re preparing your meals at home doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your favorite take-out recipes! This slow-cooker orange chicken is bursting with yummy orange flavor and is a whole lot healthier than take-out. Plus, it tastes just as good the next night!

Here’s the recipe: Slow Cooker Orange Chicken 

11. Cheesy Pizza Pasta Bake

This cheesy pizza pasta bake is an excellent, healthy dinner that will satisfy your cravings.

Craving pizza? Put the phone down– there’s no need to order in! Our cheesy pizza pasta bake is one of our favorite healthy make ahead dinners. It will provide your taste buds with everything they’re looking for and your body with all of the nutrients it needs! This recipe will have you looking forward to dinner time all week long!

Try it here: Cheesy Pizza Pasta Bake 

12. Pineapple Honey Shrimp Taco Bowl 

Pineapple Honey Shrimp Taco Bowl

Brown rice (or quinoa), crushed pineapple, meaty shrimp, jalapeno, honey, and more, come together to create a seriously tasty dish. This flavorful recipe can transport your taste buds to the islands on even the busiest of weeknights.

Here’s the recipe: Pineapple Honey Shrimp Taco Bowl 

13. Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

Our instant pot chicken noodle soup is one of our favorite make-ahead dinner recipes.

Homemade chicken noodle soup is so much better than canned soup, and this 30-minute instant pot recipe will prove it. Make a big batch at the beginning of the week and come home to a soothing, satisfying dinner all week long. Just add it to a microwave-safe bowl, cover, and zap it for a minute or two!

Try it here: Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup 

14. Cold Sesame Shrimp Zoodles

Meal prep this recipe for cold sesame shrimp zoodles to enjoy a healthy meal any night of the week.

This final recipe doesn’t even need to be reheated! Cook up the shrimp, prepare your veggies, mix up the dressing ahead of time, and toss it all together whenever you get home from work or school!

Here’s the recipe: Cold Sesame Shrimp Zoodles 

Which of these delicious and make ahead healthy dinners are you going to try? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to share your thoughts after you make them!

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Erin Miller

Erin is an NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist. She is also a Performance Nutrition Coach, certified through the Clean Health Fitness Institute. Some of Erin’s favorite hobbies include hiking, kayaking, and hanging out at the beach, although weight lifting is her greatest passion. She says, “Weight training is one of the most empowering things a person can do. Not just seeing, but feeling yourself transform… There’s just nothing else like it.”

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