Meal Prep Plan: A Week of Gluten-Free Meals in Under Two Hours
If you or a member of your family has a dietary restriction, cooking meals that satisfy it, especially on busy weekdays, can be a challenge. Getting ahead with a solid meal prep session, however, can make all the difference.
The focus of this Power Hour is gluten-free meals. In just about an hour-and-a-half, you'll be set up with a week's worth of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that not only fit this dietary restriction, but are also tasty and filling enough to please those who aren't gluten-free as well. Here's your plan.
This meal prep plan is for anyone following a gluten-free diet who wants to get ahead on the week's breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. There's a little cooking required each night, but no more than 30 minutes, and all the meals are wholesome.
Meal Prep Goals
- Breakfast: Quick and simple option that my husband and I can reach for and not be tired of by Friday (five days).
- Lunch: Options for my husband and I that are pretty much all ready to go and help clear out the fridge (five days).
- Dinner: Fast gluten-free dinners that are far from boring. These should also all work well as leftovers that can be repurposed for lunch (four days).
- Nutritional Goals: A gluten-free week of meals that are well-balanced with lots of produce, gluten-free whole grains, and lean protein.
Meal Prep Plan Snapshot
- Feeds: Two people
- Prep Time: About 1 1/2 hours
- Meals Covered: About 75% (no Friday night dinner or weekend meals)
- Weeknight Cooking Required? Moderate (25 to 30 minutes of light cooking to bring dinner together)
- Gluten-Free Granola with yogurt
- Fresh fruit
- Chickpea Salad with Red Onion, Sumac, and Lemon over baby kale
- Leftover chicken carnitas quinoa bowls
- Leftover vegetable stir-fry tacos
- Easy Crispy Chicken Carnitas
- Sheet Pan Roasted Tomatoes & Mushrooms over Creamy Polenta
- Weeknight Vegetable Stir-Fry over Quinoa
- Leftover roasted tomatoes & mushroom tossed with gluten-free pasta
This week's shopping list is heavy on produce and pantry items, with just a bit of meat and dairy to round it out. It assumes staples like olive oil, salt, and pepper are already on hand.
- Produce: Bag of clementines, 1 bunch bananas, 1 red onion, 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, 1 lemon, 1 box baby kale, 1 yellow onion, 1 head garlic, 1 lime, 2 avocados, 1 bag coleslaw, 2 pints cherry tomatoes, fresh thyme, 1 1/2 pounds cremini mushrooms, 2 medium heads broccoli, 2 medium bell peppers, 1/2 pound snow peas, knob of ginger
- Meat & Seafood: 2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- Refrigerated: Large tub of plain yogurt, pico de gallo, unsalted butter, Parmesan cheese
- Pantry: Gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats, honey, ground cinnamon, pecans, raisins, 4 cans chickpeas, sumac, chili powder, quinoa, dried oregano, ground cumin, balsamic vinegar, tamari, white or red miso paste, cornstarch, salted peanuts, polenta, gluten-free pasta
- Other: Gluten-free corn tortillas
Power Hour: How I Get the Prep Done
- Cook chicken: Prepare and bake the chicken according to recipe instructions.
- Cook quinoa: While the chicken bakes, prepare one batch of quinoa on the stovetop.
- Prep and roast tomatoes and mushrooms: Once the quinoa is done and while the chicken continues to bake, prepare the tomatoes and mushrooms on a baking sheet. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F once the chicken is finished and transfer the vegetables to the oven to roast.
- Prep and bake granola: While the vegetables roast, prepare the granola on another baking sheet. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F once the vegetables are done.
- Make the chickpea salad: While the granola bakes, make the chickpea salad using the canned chickpea variation. Skip the pomegranate syrup and use balsamic vinegar instead.
- Prep the stir-fry vegetables and sauce: Cut the broccoli, mushrooms, bell peppers, garlic, and ginger for the stir-fry and assemble the sauce. Store the broccoli and mushrooms in separate containers, the remaining prepped vegetables and aromatics in another container, and the sauce in one more container, all in the fridge.
A Week of Easy, Gluten-Free Meals
I pack a Mason jar with yogurt and granola for my husband and serve the same to myself in a bowl. We each grab a clementine or a banana to go with it depending on our mood.
- Monday and Wednesday: Chickpea Salad with Red Onion, Sumac, and Lemon over baby kale. I pack up containers of the chickpea salad over some baby kale for my husband, which won't wilt by the time lunch rolls around. I make the same at home.
- Tuesday and Friday: Leftover chicken carnitas quinoa bowls. I assemble grain bowls using some of the quinoa, leftover chicken, avocado, and pico de gallo.
- Thursday: Leftover vegetable stir-fry tacos. I pack up a container of the leftover vegetable stir-fry along with a couple of corn tortillas for my husband. He'll warm both in the microwave and assemble them desk-side while I'll do the same from my home office.
- Monday: Easy Crispy Chicken Carnitas. I heat the oven to 375°F and rewarm half of the chicken in a baking dish covered with foil. I wrap 4 corn tortillas in foil and toss them in the oven to warm up at the same time. I serve the chicken carnitas with sliced avocado and pico de gallo and make a quick coleslaw by tossing the bagged mix with a few spoonfuls of plain yogurt, a big squeeze of lime juice, and a bit of salt and pepper.
- Tuesday: Sheet Pan Roasted Tomatoes & Mushrooms over Creamy Polenta. I prepare the creamy polenta according to recipe instructions, adding both butter and grated Parmesan cheese to make it extra creamy and flavorful. While it cooks, I rewarm half the veggies in a skillet over medium-low heat.
- Wednesday: Weeknight Vegetable Stir-Fry over Quinoa. I assemble the stir-fry using the prepped vegetables and sauce. I rewarm a cup of quinoa in the microwave, divide it among two bowls, and spoon some of the stir-fry over each serving.
- Thursday: Leftover roasted tomatoes & mushrooms tossed with gluten-free pasta. I bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook half a pound of gluten-free pasta. I rewarm the remaining half of the tomatoes and mushrooms in a skillet over medium-low heat while the pasta cooks and use it as a sauce for the pasta.
- Friday: It's been a seriously successful meal prep week! We take the night off as a reward and order sushi.
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Enjoy making easy skillet dinners? Here's a handful more to check out and add to future meal plans!
Power Hour Meal Prep is the series where we help you put it all together. We show you how to eat well during the week with an hour or two of Power Hour prep over the weekend. Every plan is different; mix and match to find your own personal sweet spot.