Save Time with this Buffet-Style Meal Prep for Any Calorie Level
Save Time with this Buffet-Style Meal Prep for Any Calorie Level

No time for a whole week of meal prep? Try this buffet-style approach to meal prep with simple ingredients that can be mixed and matched to create a variety of meals.

Social Media Manager and meal prep maven Amanda Meixner enjoyed the last buffet-style meal prep so much, she did it again! Instead of planning all of her breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for the week, she prepared a selection of her favorite ingredients and then chose different combinations of those foods at each meal. “I love buffet-style meal prepping because it’s much easier to plan than when you cook different dishes for each meal. If you’re just starting out with a meal prep routine, this approach will save you time and make it a lot easier to wrap your head around,” says Meixner.

Her favorite thing about buffet-style meal prep? “The ability to mix and match as you go,” Meixner says. “Traditionally you’d have meals portioned out ahead of time. This style of meal prep lets you mix things up with different carb, veggie, and protein pairings. I tend to end up with a lot more variety in each meal when I prep this way!”

For her buffet-style menu, Amanda limited her cooking to just a few essential things. She made baked salmon fillets, soft-boiled eggs, steamed Romanesco (the vegetable that looks like a cross between cauliflower and broccoli — and for you Star Wars fans, it’s the fractal-looking veggie that Rey munches on in Maz Kantana’s pub), steamed broccolini, steamed mixed veggies, sautéed brussels sprouts with mushrooms, and a large batch of oatmeal.

Everything else in her buffet-style meal prep menu was purchased pre-cooked or required no cooking. She had baked chicken breasts, ready-to-eat cauliflower rice that she blended with a pre-chopped vegetable mix, lentils, canned red beans, mini peppers, apples, hummus, goji berries and almonds for snacking, and a bottle of balsamic vinaigrette.

This simplified menu made shopping faster, and it took Amanda less than 90 minutes to cook everything for the week! Scroll to see what meals she created from the buffet style meal prep.

Buffet Style Meal Prep

 

Shopping List for the Buffet Style Meal Prep:

Proteins
boiled eggs
baked salmon
baked cod
baked chicken breasts

Veggies
steamed Romanesco
sautéed brussels sprouts and mushrooms
steamed broccolini
steamed broccoli, cauliflower and carrots combo
cauliflower rice sautéed with pre-chopped mixed veggies
mini bell peppers

Starches/Carbs
red beans
lentils
oatmeal (not shown)

Fruit
bananas
goji berries (not shown)
apples (not shown)

Healthy Fats
avocados
hummus (not shown)
almonds
balsamic vinaigrette dressing

 

Healthy Meals You Could Create From the Grocery List

Meal 1:
Baked cod, steamed Romanesco, sautéed brussels sprouts and mushrooms, lentils, and mini bell peppers.
Buffet Style Meal Prep

 

Meal 2:
Baked chicken with cilantro, red beans, cauliflower rice sautéed with veggies, mini bell peppers, roasted brussels sprouts, and mushrooms.
Buffet Style Meal Prep

 

Meal 3:
Salmon, steamed Romanesco broccoli, cherry tomatoes, lentils, and cauliflower rice sautéed with veggies.
Buffet Style Meal Prep

Photos by Amanda Meixner