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20 Budget Friendly Meal Prep Recipes Ideas

Chef Cindy Mooney , On April 1, 2023

20 Budget Friendly Meal Prep Recipe Ideas You Won't Want to Miss.

Table of Contents for these 20 Budget Meal Prep Recipe Ideas

    Chicken Budget Friendly Meal Prep Recipes

  1. Shredded Chicken

  2. Marinated Chicken

  3. Rotisserie Chicken

  4. Grilled Chicken

  5. Chicken Salad

  6. Chicken Wings

  7. Turkey Budget Friendly Meal Prep Recipe Ideas For Meal Planning

  8. Turkey Ragù

  9. Turkey Chili

  10. Turkey Lasagna

  11. Turmeric Turkey

  12. Beef Budget Meal Prep Recipe Ideas

  13. Tender Tri Tip Recipe with a Quick Pan Sauce

  14. Steak Sandwich

  15. Beef shank Ossobuco

  16. Flank steak

  17. Lamb Budget Friendly Meal Prep Recipe

  18. Herb Crusted Pan-Fried Lamb Chops

  19. Slow Cooker Lamb Shank

  20. Meal Prep Budget Recipe Ideas for Seafood

  21. Shrimp Scampi (Use Frozen Shrimp)

  22. Tilapia meal prep recipe

  23. Branzino with blistered tomatoes

  24. Tuna salad (Canned Tuna)

Where there are 10 techniques for meal prepping on a budget below are some concrete examples of recipes you can make in batches while meal prepping on a budget.

1. Shredded Chicken Breast Meal Prep Recipe

This shredded chicken breast meal prep recipe is affordable and easy to make.

Our shredded meal prep chicken breast recipe is ideal since it is easy to prepare and due to the poaching cooking method remains tender and moist. Making it at home is fairly easy, and you get to choose your freshest chicken, add seasonings to your taste, and even make your own mayonnaise if you so desire. After you’ve made this recipe that includes several ingredients known to lift flavor without fat, you can make it in advance and keep in the fridge for a quick and healthy snack or sandwich. See shredded chicken breast recipe >

2. Marinated Chicken Recipe

Italian marinated chicken recipe.

This Italian marinated chicken breast recipe uses savory herbs, some light salt and pepper and vinegar to give you a juicy and tender chicken breast that will keep your taste buds wanting for more. Not only is this a delectable protein option but it is a versatile dish that goes well with a plethora of sides from pasta dishes to mashed potatoes or as an “antipasti” with a toasted bruschetta or layered with a fresh basil pesto sauce. The possibilities are limitless. View Italian marinated chicken >

3. Organic Rotisserie Chicken Meal Prep Recipe Idea

This organic rotisserie chicken meal prep recipe is delicious and healthy.

This homemade herb crusted organic rotisserie chicken meal prep recipe can be used in a couple of different meal prep recipe ideas so one rotisserie chicken can be distributed across meals. It is also sooo easy to make. With the savory herb seasoning on the outside it gives the skin a little bit of crunch while leaving the inside tender and juicy. View rotisserie chicken recipe >

4. Grilled Lemon Chicken Recipe

Lemon chicken ingredients are healthy and affordable meal prep ingredients.

This easy grilled lemon chicken recipe yields a tender, juicy chicken with slight zest and pick-me-up flavor. The fresh herbs give this lemon chicken recipe a deep, rounded flavor and aroma in every bite, making this a lemon chicken recipe you won’t want to miss. Grilled lemon chicken recipe >

5. Low Calorie Chicken Salad

Chicken is a Budget Friendly Meal Prep Recipe Served over an Affordable Salad.

Chicken salad is a wonderful accompaniment to any plain green salad for lunch or dinner, but also especially wonderful on its own for a sandwich or with crackers. When you buy premade chicken salad at the store, it’s definitely difficult to control how much fat and other undesirable ingredients it contains. Making it at home is fairly easy, and you get to choose your freshest chicken, add seasonings to your taste, and even make your own mayonnaise if you so desire. After you’ve made this recipe that includes several ingredients known to lift flavor without fat, you can make it in advance and keep in the fridge for a quick and healthy snack or sandwich. Low calorie chicken salad recipe >

6. Chicken Wings are a Budget Friendly Meal Prep Recipe Idea

Oven Baked Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings Meal Prep Recipe.

A garlic parmesan wing in American cuisine is an un-breaded chicken wing that is dipped in a sauce consisting of a vinegar-based cayenne pepper, hot sauce, and butter. Our easy garlic parmesan chicken wing recipe is a healthy spin to this classic recipe. It’s a delicious way to cook juicy and crispy better-than-restaurant quality wings. See garlic parmesan wings recipe >

7. Budget Friendly Meal Prep Recipe Using Turkey Ragù

High protein and low carb ragù made with lean turkey

This turkey ragù is a slow-cooked meat stew that is traditionally made with beef and vegetables — but we modified it to lean turkey as the protein used in this budget meal prep recipe idea. budget ragù meal prep recipe >

8. Turkey Chili Meal Prep Recipe Idea

Turkey chili is an easy budget friendly meal prep recipe

Unlike the traditional beef chili this meal prep idea for budget uses lean ground turkey. Plus, with the kidney beans you get some additional protein while adding the right amount of texture to give this chili recipe a little bit of punch. Turkey chili recipe >

9. Affordable Turkey Lasagna Meal Prep Recipe

Turkey lasagna is a healthier version of beef lasagna while also being a more budget friendly meal prep recipe

This turkey lasagna recipe meal prep idea for budget will make it feel like you are having an indulgence meal. Replacing the ground beef with lean turkey meat gives you the added benefits of the lean protein while still having something you will enjoy. Don’t expect the deep beefy bold flavor, but a light turkey which makes for a good meal prep recipe idea for budget diet. See turkey lasagna recipe >

10. Turmeric Turkey Meal Prep Recipe Idea

Turmeric is a delicious spice with anti-inflammatory properties

This turmeric turkey recipe uses lean ground turkey and turmeric seasonings to bring together a wonderful healthful protein, combined with peas, yellow squash and brown rice. The medicinal and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric seasoning make this a great meal prep recipe while also being delicious. When making this anti-inflammatory turmeric turkey recipe use 90%+ lena ground turkey from the store or grind your own meat from whole pieces of turkey.Anti inflammatory turmeric turkey recipe >

11. Pan Seared Tri Tip Recipe with a Quick Pan Sauce for Meal Prep

Tri Tip is a tender and affordable cut of beef to be used in a meal prep recipe

This easy tri tip recipe is incredibly easy to make, and uses just one skillet – making it easier to clean up. Slice your tri tip steak and have it in a pub style sandwich or over a salad. In summary, this tri tip piece of meat is an great meal prep recipe idea for budget since it can be used over a salad or over a bed of cauliflower rice for a diet meal you won’t want to miss. Tri tip recipe >

12. Pub style steak sandwich recipe for meal prep

Using leftover steak is great way to make a budget friendly meal prep recipe.

This pub style steak sandwich is a good budget meal prep recipe idea since it can be made using leftover steak. Say you make steak or roast and opt to serve it over a salad. It can be an effective meal prep idea to purchase a larger sized roast or a larger piece of meat and you can get two days of meal prep out of it by making a steak sandwich using a sourdough or whole wheat toasted bun. Not only is this delicious but it is also portable and great to have on the go! See steak sandwich prep instructions >

13. Beef Shank Meal Prep Recipe

Beef Shank is Affordable and Delicious.

A great budget meal prep idea while also being healthy is that of using a piece of meat that is both delicious and affordable. Since meal prep can take a toll on your food budget this is one for the books. Beef shank is a tougher cut of meat, however if you brine the product overnight it can inject moisture which keeps it nice and tender for when it is cooked. Another way to make this affordable meal prep recipe for budget is to cook it low and slow in a crockpot. See beef shank recipe >

14. Flank Steak Meal Prep Recipe

Flank Steak Meal Prep Recipe

Flank steak was once known as the “butchers cut of meat”. With perfect marbling the butchers would keep this for themselves. Today, this cut of meat can be found at local markets and in can be quick and easy to prepare. This recipe is great when you want a hearty meal with big flavor but are short on time. The homemade chimichurri sauce acts almost like a dressing, removing the need for marination. Simply season the steak, sear, make the sauce and plate. Below, you will see how to prepare the easy flank steak recipe pan seared over a stove top. Flank steak recipe >

15. Budget Friendly Meal Prep Recipe Using Lamb Chops

Herb Crusted Pan-Fried Lamb Chops Recipe

Lamb chops are so tasty, and this recipe is very simple. It comes out tender and juicy on the inside with just a little crispy deliciousness on the edges. I think people might be a little intimidated to make lamb at home but will order it at a quality restaurant. The grocery store price might be a factor in the hesitancy, but after trying this recipe, I believe you will feel very confident in splurging and add this to your occasional high-end meal at home list. Herb crusted lamb chops recipe >

16. Affordable Lamb Shank Meal Prep Budget Recipe

Slow Cooked Lamb Shank is an Affordable Meal Prep Recipe Idea

Lamb shank is a great buget meal prep recipe since it is a healthy and affordable source of protein. Since meal prepping using lamb shank is that it can be a tough piece of meat. For this reason we cook the shank low and slow in a slow cooker. This braising technique makes the lamb shank delicious. Slow cooker lamb shank recipe >

17. Ten minute pan seared shrimp recipe

Ten minute pan seared shrimp recipe

If you’ve never tried cooking a pan seared shrimp recipe, you’re in for a treat! It’s a quick, easy way to cook shrimp and give it amazing flavor. 10 minute pan seared shrimp recipe >

18. Tilapia Budget Friendly Meal Prep Recipe

This tilapia meal prep recipe for budget meal prepping is quick, easy, and healthy.

Tilapia meal prep is a common fish used to prepare healthy meal preps. Tilapia is a lean whit fish low in calories and high in protein. Tilapia fish is frequently consumed in breaded form, however, in this paleo tilapia recipe we will be baking plain tilapia fillets to maintain a low carb nutrition profile. Line caught and wild would be ideal, but I know that it can be hard to find and more expensive. The roasted vegetables provide a good balance to this budget meal prep recipe when seasoned with simple herbs and a little caramelization with the avocado oil takes it to another level of rustic deliciousness! See tilapia meal prep recipe >

19. Branzino Meal Prep with Blistered Tomatoes

Branzino is a lean, white fish

Branzino, or European Bass is a hot culinary item. Featured on many restaurant menus around the country, around the world as it is a wonderfully flaky white fish that’s easy to cook and delicious to eat while being full of lean protein and vitamin D. Its flavor is similar to sea bass or halibut and either one makes a fantastic substitution in this dish. Perfect for a healthy midweek stunner of a meal, this dish has few ingredients but packed with bold flavors. Blistered tomatoes are a fun preparation, the browner the better, and more like a side dish than a sauce. But spooned over the fish fillets they are a perfect visual and culinary accompaniment. Branzino with blistered tomatoes recipe >

20. Tuna Salad Meal Prep Idea with Canned Tuna

Tuna Salad Without Mayo is High Protein and Low in Calories

Tuna is a star ingredient from your pantry. In a pinch, you can make a simple sandwich or salad topped with this yummy powerhouse of protein and taste. Tuna is not only a wonderful source of lean protein, but also omega 3s, iodine, selenium and vitamins D and B12. In spite of this, many times tuna salad gets a bad rap. Especially since many of the tuna brands on the market contain extra fats and a higher sodium content than is best for most people to consume. When choosing a tuna for making this tuna salad recipe without mayo reading tuna labels are very important to read. Ideally, look for a tuna that has been sustainably harvested and is lower in mercury counts. There are several brands that pride themselves on harvesting from smaller fish, which means a smaller amount of mercury per serving, and also usually a fish that is not in danger of being overfished. Other nutrition considerations to look for when purchasing tuna include sodium content and whether it’s packed in water or oil. As always, do the best you can to find a product that meets your specific nutritional needs and is affordable. See tuna salad recipe for budget >

Chef Cindy Mooney

With a personal mission to spread the good name of nutrition through mouthwatering recipes, Chef Cindy's philosophy around nutrition is deeply rooted in food as medicine. In the kitchen, she offers a conscious, restorative, and functional approach to cooking; an approach she has cultivated during her years working in farm-to-table restaurants.