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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. Chicken Wings

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

  5. Turkey Ragù

  6. Turkey Chili

  7. Turkey Lasagna

  8. Turmeric Turkey

  9. Beef Budget Meal Prep Recipe Ideas

  10. Beef Meatballs

  11. Stuffed Bell Pepper Recipe

  12. Steak Sandwich

  13. Beef shank Ossobuco

  14. Flank steak

  15. Pork & Lamb Budget Friendly Meal Prep Recipe

  16. Ribs

  17. Herb Crusted Pan-Fried Lamb Chops

  18. Pulled Pork Sandwich

  19. Meal Prep Budget Recipe Ideas for Seafood

  20. Shrimp Scampi (Use Frozen Shrimp)

  21. Tilapia meal prep recipe

  22. Branzino

  23. Meal Prep Budget Breakfast Recipe Ideas

  24. Pancakes

  25. Scrambled Eggs

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

meal prep on a budget

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. Chicken Wings are a Budget Friendly Meal Prep Recipe Idea

Chicken Wings

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 >

4. 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 >

6. 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 >

6. 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 >

7. 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 >

8. Beef Meatball Recipe

meatball recipe idea

Meatball recipe can be made with leftover meat.

This easy beef meatball meal prep recipe can be made with leftover beef, that is finely ground or you can purchase some ground beef from the store. Feel free to mix in some ground chicken or ground turkey as well to make this meat blend truly unique and more affordable since you are using the meat on-hand. Beef meatball recipe >

9. Stuffed Bell Pepper Recipe

Stuffed bell pepper recipe

Stuffed Bell Pepper Recipe

This easy stuffed bell pepper recipe is incredibly easy to make, and uses just one skillet – making it easier to clean up. Plus, this recipe can break the redundancies of meal prep and adds some variety to your meal prep plan. Since it uses ground mea, this is a great meal prep recipe on a budget since you can cross-utilize meats used to make other meal prep recipes.Stuffed bell pepper recipe >

10. 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 >

11. 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 >

12. 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 >

13. Pork Baby Back Ribs or St Louis Ribs

Pair this scrumptious rib meal prep recipe with a side of choice.

This homemade baby back ribs meal prep recipe can be served with a side of roasted rosemary potatoes, roasted vegetables or cauliflower mash. 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. See Ribs Recipe>

14. 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 >

15. Pulled Pork Sandwich Meal Prep Budget Recipe

Pulled Pork is Affordable and Easy to Make

This pulled pork sandwich is quick and easy to make. Pulled pork can be slow-cooked overnight and it makes for a scrumptious snack that can be used in a sandwich with some fries, and can be enjoyed over lunch or dinner. Pulled pork lamb shank recipe >

16. 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 >

17. Tilapia Budget Friendly Meal Prep Recipe

affordable 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 >

18. 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 >

19. Classic Pancakes

Classic pancake recipe

Classic Pancakes

This classic pancake meal prep recipe is easy to make and can be cooked in batches. The batter can be made with or without sugar depending on the flavor profile you would like and you can also add protein powder to make these pancakes into protein pancakes. Protein Pancakes >

20. Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled Eggs are Versatile. Have with Vegetables or Meat.

Scrambled eggs are a great recipe to make at home. Cook gently to keep the texture fluffy and add vegetables or ham to taste. Fluffy scrambled eggs >

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.