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Make Meal Prep a Breeze with These 11 Kitchen Items

Tri-fold of cookie sheet with cookies, bento box container, and egg cooker
Nordic Ware/EZ Prepa/DASH

Meal prepping isn’t just for bodybuilders and fitness gurus. Making some (or all) of your meals for the week ahead of time can benefit just about anyone. Whether you’re trying to eat healthier, or just want to save money and time, these items will make your meal-prep day much easier.

How many times have you come home from work and stared in the fridge for 20 minutes, only to decide you’re too tired to make dinner? Instead of pulling up your favorite fast-food app, what if you could easily grab a pre-prepared meal to heat up?

All you have to do is set aside a few hours once or twice a week to prepare several days’ worth of meals ahead of time. We highly recommend the following items to make your meal-prepping dreams a reality.

Salad Containers

Salad container with salad in bowl and compartments of toppings

Prepping salads ahead of time can be tricky. Greens will wilt quickly when exposed to moisture that comes from add-ins like veggies and salad dressing. Who wants to pull out a soggy salad for lunch? No, thank you.

Pack healthy lunches like a pro with this salad container. It has a large compartment on the bottom for your greens with four removable trays that can be nestled on top. It also comes with a dressing cup that has a leakproof lid so you don’t have to worry about spills. The whole thing comes apart when it’s time to clean and it’s dishwasher safe.

Clear Food Containers

Person coating chicken in flour with clear containers

A solid set of leakproof food containers is essential for any meal pepper. This set comes with seven BPA-free triton plastic containers in four different sizes so you can store a wide variety of foods. The airtight lids will keep your food fresh for longer as well.

The clear view allows you to see exactly what’s inside so you can’t use the, “Oh no, I think I’m out of chicken and broccoli,” excuse when you’re browsing the fridge for meal ideas. The lids also have special vents underneath so you can reheat food in the microwave with the lid on, meaning no more spatter messes.

Large Egg Cooker

Double-decker egg cooker

Eggs are full of protein and healthy fats, making them a satisfying snack for home or the workplace. But hard boiling eggs takes a while and usually doesn’t feel worth the effort when you’re hungry now.

This egg cooker preps up to 12 at once and gives you perfectly cooked eggs without needing to watch a pan of boiling water for 20 minutes. You can also poach eggs and make omelets. The device is well-reviewed and well-loved by thousands of customers for its ease of use.

Meal Planner

Meal planner on refrigerator
Sweetzer & Orange

If you’ve never meal prepped before, it can be intimidating trying to cook so many different foods at once. Make grocery shopping and cooking easy with this magnetic meal planner.

The large notepad contains plenty of space for breakfast, lunch, and dinner options for each day of the week. It also has room for a shopping list on the same sheet so you never forget anything you need. With 52 sheets, you’ll stay organized for every week of the year.

Kitchen Shears

Person cutting turkey with kitchen shears

A little bit of chopping isn’t a big deal until you have a bunch of cilantro, two handfuls of parsley, a head of celery, and six slices of bacon to get through. Kitchen shears are the magic tool you never knew you needed.

These can replace your knife and cutting board in dozens of food situations, including chopping vegetables, cutting fruits, scaling fish, and even deboning poultry. They’re faster than a knife, easier to use, and create less of a mess to clean up later.

Extra-Large Cookie Sheet

Cookie sheet with cookies on top
Nordic Ware

Nothing is more annoying than trying to cook a big batch of veggies in the oven and realizing you can’t fit everything on one cookie sheet. This extra-large version gives you a little more added space that can make cooking simpler and saves you from dirtying a second one.

It will just barely squeak into a standard oven, so measure yours before buying to make sure it’s big enough. The commercial bakeware is easy to clean and won’t warp or bend in the oven.

The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook

Page from cookbook with cookies and breakfast recipes
Rockridge Press

Want to start meal prepping but aren’t sure what kind of food to prepare? Not all meals store well, so it’s not a bad idea to get some help during your first attempts. The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook by Toby Amidor has over 100 simple and healthy ideas for prepping breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks.

Recipes are broken down into food categories (i.e., grains, vegetables, fish, etc.) so you can piece together whatever looks good and store everything correctly. It also shares advice on the advantages of meal prepping, how to keep track of your meals, and what kinds of foods don’t store well.

Food Processor

Person putting food processor in cabinet
Hamilton Beach

If a pair of kitchen shears isn’t enough, get a food processor. This machine can perform a variety of food prep tasks in just seconds, from finely chopping veggies to shredding cheese to puréeing pestos and dips.

This model holds up to eight cups at a time and features two speeds. It also has a tall chute that allows you to safely send down blocks of cheese and large vegetables for easy chopping. You’ll make easy work of any meal prep recipes that require cutting something up.

Vegetable Chopper

Vegetable chopper cutting up red onion
Mueller Austria

Or, instead of a food processor, opt for this vegetable chopper. It’s smaller and lighter than the previous option, which may be easier to manage if you’re in a small kitchen. It comes with plenty of attachments and blades that allow you to quickly chop onions, garlic, vegetables, and more.

The container on the bottom holds your freshly cut food to make cleanup fast and easy. The entire thing is dishwasher safe, and the compact size can be stored almost anywhere.

Bento Box Containers

Food container with three compartments
EZ Prepa

Whether you’re meal prepping because you’re trying to hit fitness goals or just working on improving your diet, these bento box-style containers can help. They make it easy to portion out food for a well-balanced meal.

This style also keeps saucy or heavily seasoned food from seeping over into the other compartments. These are microwave- and dishwasher-safe and reusable.

Herb Stripper

Person pulling herbs through herb stripper

Some vegetables and herbs, like kale, rosemary, and chard, have leaves that have to be removed from the stems. This can be a time-consuming process, especially if you’re meal prepping large amounts.

This herb stripper makes the task easier by pulling the leaves from the stems quickly and efficiently. It comes with multi-sized holes to fit a variety of foods and comes with a sharp blade edge to cut the leaves when you’re done.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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