Life can be hectic, and often, there isn’t a lot of time to cook tasty, nutritious meals from scratch—especially on busy week days. But, that’s where batch-cooking comes in. Here’s why meal prepping can be the ultimate time-saver, plus a few of our favorite vegan recipes to try out.
What are the benefits of batch cooking?
Batch cooking can save your life. Well, perhaps not to that extreme, but it can definitely save you time, money, and calories. It’s nothing new, and there’s a reason this “trend” isn’t going away—it works. With pre-made meals in the fridge or freezer that you can reheat and eat throughout the week, batch-cooking simplifies your life when the workday has left you in a state of serious decision fatigue. From roasted vegetables to marinated vegan proteins, stock up on a Sunday so you can give the Uber Eats app a rest.
12 recipes to make now and eat all week
1 Roasted vegetables
Not every vegan swoons at the idea of fresh vegetables, but a sheet pan of thoughtfully seasoned, tender roasted veggies has much more appeal. Suitable for whatever is in season, a medley of veg can be used to add bulk and nutrition to any meal. Roll them into a wrap with beans or hummus, pile them on toast, spoon over grain bowls, toss with pasta, or mound them into a giant bowl, drizzle with tahini dressing, and dive in, fork-first!
Try this recipe: Garlicky Herb-Roasted Whole Cauliflower
2 Marinated tofu
Flavorful and simple, this staple plant-based protein complements virtually every meal. Tofu will keep in the fridge for at least five days if sealed in an air-tight container. Pair it with those roasted veggies and grain, toss with salads, or add a flavorful protein boost to wraps and sandwiches.
Try this recipe: Sticky Orange Sesame Tofu
3 Baked pasta
The beauty of baked pasta is that it keeps both in the fridge and the freezer, so even those who live alone can follow a recipe that feeds a vegan army without fear of food waste. Load up that casserole dish with your favorite noodles, a generous amount of sauce to prevent dryness and hearty amounts of vegan sausage and mozzarella. Throw in a handful or two of frozen spinach to satisfy your greens quota.
Try this recipe: Sausage and Ricotta Stuffed Shells With Vodka Sauce
4 Vegan chili
When you have a big batch of vegan chili at the ready, your options are limitless. Cuddle up to a large bowl topped with all the fixings and a side of cornbread, or ladle on top of baked sweet potatoes, oven fries, spaghetti squash, or nachos. Give leftovers a makeover later in the week by using chili as a stuffing in burritos. Like we said—the possibilities are endless.
Try this recipe: Meaty Vegan Lentil Chili Con Chili
5 Vegan bolognese sauce
Don’t settle for buttered noodles and nooch (unless that’s your thing, then go for it). When there’s nothing left in the fridge, a box of dried pasta and homemade sauce from the freezer will be your savior. A robust bolognese conveniently captures everything you need in a meal—veggies, texture, flavor, and comfort. Thaw your pre-made bolognese sauce while your pasta is boiling and cure the hangries in seven to nine minutes.
Try this recipe: Lentil Bolognese Spaghetti Squash Boats
6 Taco filling
With a stellar taco filling, you’ll crave Taco Tuesday every night of the week. From breakfast burritos to enchiladas to taco salads, a batch-cooked taco filling can be so much more than its name implies.
Try this recipe: Soy-Free Vegan Ground Beef
7 Vegan casserole
There are few things that can satisfy like a cheesy, creamy casserole. It brings leftovers back to life and serves as a reliable leftover in its own right. Revive produce that is on its way out by drenching it in a cashew-based sauce, mixing it with a grain or noodles, and baking the five-pound dish to golden perfection.
Try this recipe: Lemon Rosemary Chickpea Pasta Casserole
8 One-pot soup or stew
Even those who cringe at meal prep can conquer a one-pot wonder. Bust out your largest soup pot and make a batch to last you the week. Still have leftovers? Soups and stews can keep for months in the freezer.
Try this recipe: Vegan Brazilian Moqueca
9 Tofu scramble
Yes, this keeps! If you’re tired of plant milk and cereal or basic overnight oats, make a skillet full of scramble to last you for days. This dish doesn’t freeze well, but it can definitely get you past hump day when stored in an air-tight container. Not an early-morning eater? Breakfast for dinner is something to look forward to during any hectic workday.
Try this recipe: Tofu Scramble With Mixed Veggies
Whether you prefer them for breakfast or dessert, waffles are a great option for batch-cooking. This is because they freeze well (as long as they haven’t been smothered with toppings first!). So you can treat yourself to a lavish breakfast whenever you like, without all the prep.
Try this recipe: Vegan Blood Orange Waffles With Berry Compote
Smoothies are an easy, tasty way to start your day with a boost of nutrition. While they don’t take long if you make them from scratch, you can cut down on even more time by meal-prepping them at the start of the week. This means you can be fuelled up and out the door in no time at all.
Try this recipe: Tropical Vegan Blueberry Smoothie
Burritos are a great meal prep choice—they can be popped in the freezer for a few months and then defrosted quickly on those days when you’re in a rush. Load them up with beans and vegetables so you can have a nutritious, delicious lunch on hand whenever you need.
Try this recipe: Black Bean Breakfast Burritos
Stephanie Dreyer is a plant-based meal planning expert and the founder of Batch Cooking Club, a weekly meal prep membership that makes meal time easier and helps families live more deliciously.