Meal Prep: 8 Budget Friendly Lunches

Today we are taking minimal ingredients, and making them last! Two awesome dishes made into 8 easy and budget friendly meal prep lunches! This post is made in partnership with my friends at Ello and I am so excited to work with them!  Here’s how this works: We are making two different dishes that will each make 4 meals. So if you are cooking lunches for 2 people, you will each have 4 lunches for the week, a total of 8 prepped lunches. The Asian Chicken and Veggies and Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Broccoli Pesto recipes are budget friendly, nutritious, and made quickly! A meal prep win!

Meal Prep: 8 Budget Friendly Lunches

Meal Prep: 8 Budget Friendly Lunches

Making lunches can often be overlooked when planning meals for the week, resulting in unhealthy take-away choices made on-the-go while at work. While sometimes there is a little leftover from dinner that is enough to take to work the next day, it isn’t something you can count on unless you’ve planned ahead. We wanted to brainstorm an easy way to get lunch ready for two adults at home for almost the entire week (saving one free day for an office lunch or meeting) using one shopping list that could easily be pepped together! We came up with a shopping list with 10 items (not including pantry staples) that will cook our new Asian Chicken and Veggie dish and Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Broccoli Pesto. The dishes are both unique on their own and don’t leave you feeling like you’ve ate the same thing all week. So go ahead and use this easy meal prep plan for your lunches all week!

Tips For Cooking Both Meals at Once:

Want to make both of these meals at once? Use these prep tips to make cooking a breeze:

  1. Cut the chicken at the same time: 1-1/2″ pieces for the kebabs, and 2″ pieces for the Asian Chicken! Go ahead and marinate the meat for the kebabs ahead of time while you prepare the Asian Chicken dish!
  2. Prep the broccoli at the same time: 3 cups (6-3/4 ounces) small 1/4″ florets for Asian chicken and 1 cup florets (2-1/2 ounces) for Broccoli Pesto:
  3. Make cauli-rice at the same time: Cook both 16 ounce bags of cauli-rice ahead of time in a large saute pan. Add half from the pan to 4 Ello meal prep containers, and then leave the other half in the pan to add with the prepared broccoli pesto before placing in containers.

Meal Prep: 8 Budget Friendly Lunches

I am seriously so in love with my Ello DuraGlass Food Storage Containers. With other glass tupperware I have tried, sometimes the lids don’t pop on well, sometimes they don’t stack easily, and so on. These containers are so well-made and are my new go-to! I also love the silicone colors because they grip well too! Perfect for stacking.

  • Mighty tough: Silicone sleeve protects glass from chips + scratches.
  • Everything tastes better in glass: Won’t stain or smell.
  • Nobody likes a lunch bag leak:  The clear air tight lids won’t leak.
  • Easy-to-pair color match lids: Because life’s already hard enough.
  • Wash away: All parts top rack dishwasher safe, sleeve and all. No need to remove sleeve for oven + cleaning!
  • Comes in all different sizes: For sides, mains, leftovers, and more!
  • Safe for cooking: Freezer safe, microwave safe without lid, and oven safe up to 450F without lid.
  • Free of: BPA, phthalates, PVC, lead and cadmium free.
  • Where I get mine: Available at Target now and Amazon next month!

Meal Prep: 8 Budget Friendly Lunches

I love that they are colored so I don’t loose my lids, and know what dish is for who and for what day!


Take this shopping list to the store to make both the Asian Chicken and Veggies and Chicken Kebabs with Broccoli Pesto!

Shopping List:

  1. 2-1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1.5″ cubes
  2. 2 medium heads of broccoli (organic whenever possible)
  3. 1 onion
  4. 1 head garlic
  5. 1 red pepper (organic whenever possible)
  6. 1 pint cherry tomatoes (organic whenever possible)
  7. 1 bunch basil (organic whenever possible)
  8. 1-8oz container mozzarella ciliegine or bocconcini (aka small mozzarella balls!)
  9. 1 lemon
  10. 2-16 ounce bags Cauliflower Rice

Pantry Staples (that you likely already have):

  • Olive Oil
  • Rice Wine Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Coconut Aminos (soy sauce substitute)
  • Fish Sauce (optional)
  • Italian Seasoning

Dish number 1: Asian Chicken and Veggies

Meal Prep: 8 Budget Friendly Lunches

Dish number 2: Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Broccoli Pesto

Meal Prep: 8 Budget Friendly Lunches

Recipes:

Print

Asian Chicken and Veggies

  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
Scale

Ingredients

Asian chicken and Veggies:

  • 2 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, diced finely
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups broccoli florets, cut into about 1/4” small florets
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 11/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced to 2″ pieces
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 216 oz bags cauli-rice
  • 3 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
  • pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions

For Asian Stir Fry:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and red pepper and cook until beginning to soften 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and broccoli florets and stir to combine. Carefully add 1/2 cup water and let broccoli cook until beginning to soften, 3-5 minutes.
  3. Move the vegetables to the sides to clear a space in the middle of the pan, and add 1 tablespoon oil and then the chicken. Season with salt and pepper and let brown on one side, undisturbed for 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, cook 16 ounce bag cauli-rice: heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 teaspoon of oil. Once hot, add cauli-rice and salt and pepper to taste and cook for 3-5 minutes until hot.
  5. After 5 minutes, flip chicken and add coconut aminos, rice wine vinegar and fish sauce, if using, and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes until chicken is cooked through and sauce has barely reduced. (See note about thickened sauce)
  6. Divide asian chicken and cauli-rice between four Ello meal prep containers. Let cool completely in refrigerator before covering.

Notes

  1. To thicken coconut aminos sauce make a slury with 1/2 teaspoon arrowroot powder  whisked with 1/2 teaspoon water and add to sauce at the end of cooking

    Nutrition

    • Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
    • Calories: 205
    • Sugar: 5g
    • Sodium: 1500mg
    • Fat: 10g
    • Saturated Fat: 2g
    • Carbohydrates: 11g
    • Fiber: 3g
    • Protein: 18g
    • Cholesterol: 44mg

    5.0 rating
    2 reviews

    Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Broccoli Pesto


    Yield 4


    Total Time 25 minutes



    Author: Lexi

    Ingredients

    • 1 lb. boneless, skinless breast, diced to 1-1/2" pieces
    • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
    • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
    • 3 garlic cloves, divided
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
    • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
    • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
    • 1 cup broccoli florets
    • 1/4 cup basil
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
    • 1 8oz. container mozzarella bocconcini

    Directions

    1. Combine chicken, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon italian seasoning, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and toss to coat.
    2. Assemble 8 skewers by alternating two pieces chicken and two grape tomatoes, leaving room on both ends for mozzarella balls after grilling.
    3. Prepare a grill, or heat a grill pan over medium heat.
    4. Place skewers on grill grate or pan, being careful not to overcrowd, for 5 minutes. Cover the grill, or the grill pan. Flip the chicken, and continue to cook uncovered for an additional 3 minutes, or until chicken has cooked through and reached 165º and let cool briefly.
    5. Combine remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, broccoli, basil, lemon juice and zest and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a high-speed blender and blend until completely combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
    6. Meanwhile, cook 16 ounce bag cauli-rice: heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons broccoli pesto and add cauli-rice and cook for 3-5 minutes until hot.
    7. Once skewers are cool enough to handle, place mozzarella balls on each end.
    8. Divide caulirice and skewers in 4 Ello meal prep containers and top with broccoli pesto, or place in small container.

    Recipe Notes

    1. These are the small mozzarella balls about 2" in diameter.

    Nutrition

    Loading nutrition data...

    Print

    Asian Chicken and Veggies

    • Total Time: 25 minutes
    • Yield: 4 1x
    Scale

    Ingredients

    Asian chicken and Veggies:

    • 2 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
    • 1 yellow onion, diced finely
    • 1 red bell pepper, cored and sliced
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 3 cups broccoli florets, cut into about 1/4” small florets
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 11/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced to 2″ pieces
    • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 216 oz bags cauli-rice
    • 3 tablespoon coconut aminos
    • 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
    • pinch red pepper flakes (optional)

    Instructions

    For Asian Stir Fry:

    1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and red pepper and cook until beginning to soften 5-7 minutes.
    2. Add garlic and broccoli florets and stir to combine. Carefully add 1/2 cup water and let broccoli cook until beginning to soften, 3-5 minutes.
    3. Move the vegetables to the sides to clear a space in the middle of the pan, and add 1 tablespoon oil and then the chicken. Season with salt and pepper and let brown on one side, undisturbed for 5 minutes.
    4. Meanwhile, cook 16 ounce bag cauli-rice: heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 teaspoon of oil. Once hot, add cauli-rice and salt and pepper to taste and cook for 3-5 minutes until hot.
    5. After 5 minutes, flip chicken and add coconut aminos, rice wine vinegar and fish sauce, if using, and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes until chicken is cooked through and sauce has barely reduced. (See note about thickened sauce)
    6. Divide asian chicken and cauli-rice between four Ello meal prep containers. Let cool completely in refrigerator before covering.

    Notes

    1. To thicken coconut aminos sauce make a slury with 1/2 teaspoon arrowroot powder  whisked with 1/2 teaspoon water and add to sauce at the end of cooking

      Nutrition

      • Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
      • Calories: 205
      • Sugar: 5g
      • Sodium: 1500mg
      • Fat: 10g
      • Saturated Fat: 2g
      • Carbohydrates: 11g
      • Fiber: 3g
      • Protein: 18g
      • Cholesterol: 44mg

      Print

      Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Broccoli Pesto

      • Total Time: 25 minutes
      • Yield: 4 1x
      Scale

      Ingredients

      • 1 lb. boneless, skinless breast, diced to 1-1/2″ pieces
      • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
      • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
      • 3 garlic cloves, divided
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
      • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
      • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
      • 1 cup broccoli florets
      • 1/4 cup basil
      • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
      • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
      • 1 8oz. container mozzarella bocconcini

      Instructions

      1. Combine chicken, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon italian seasoning, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and toss to coat.
      2. Assemble 8 skewers by alternating two pieces chicken and two grape tomatoes, leaving room on both ends for mozzarella balls after grilling.
      3. Prepare a grill, or heat a grill pan over medium heat.
      4. Place skewers on grill grate or pan, being careful not to overcrowd, for 5 minutes. Cover the grill, or the grill pan. Flip the chicken, and continue to cook uncovered for an additional 3 minutes, or until chicken has cooked through and reached 165º and let cool briefly.
      5. Combine remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, broccoli, basil, lemon juice and zest and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a high-speed blender and blend until completely combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
      6. Meanwhile, cook 16 ounce bag cauli-rice: heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons broccoli pesto and add cauli-rice and cook for 3-5 minutes until hot.
      7. Once skewers are cool enough to handle, place mozzarella balls on each end.
      8. Divide caulirice and skewers in 4 Ello meal prep containers and top with broccoli pesto, or place in small container.

      Notes

      1. These are the small mozzarella balls about 2″ in diameter.

      Nutrition

      • Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
      • Calories: 482
      • Sugar: 2g
      • Sodium: 790mg
      • Fat: 36g
      • Saturated Fat: 10g
      • Carbohydrates: 7g
      • Fiber: 2g
      • Protein: 33g
      • Cholesterol: 100mg

      P.S. Enter the giveaway over on Instagram here.

      This post is sponsored by Ello Products. All thoughts and opinions are always 100% my own! I love the integrity of their products and think you’ll love them too. Thank you for continuing to support LCK and the brands I work with!

      19 comments
      July 6, 2018

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      Join The Discussion

      19 Responses

      1. I love this ! I always lost when it comes to meal prep. I wish there were more posts like this. Its straight forward and easy.

        5.0 rating

      2. I love the silicone sleeves. As a nurse I am often reheating /microwaving my leftovers for lunch- I prefer to use glass when possible. Thank you for sharing this brand. Target and Amazon make them super accessible too!

      3. So I keep trying to get into meal planning but I get grossed out by meat by day 4. Do you find it still stays good by thurs/fri if you prep it on Sunday? Maybe I’m just being weird about it?

      4. Your picture shows nice large slices of red pepper but your instructions say to finely dice the pepper. I followed the directions an I wish I didn’t…..Which way is the right way? 🙁

      5. These meals look delicious, and I’m looking forward to trying them both. However, I’m not finding the recipe for the Grilled Chicken Kebobs. Both recipes listed are for the Asian Chicken and Veggies.

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      Author: Lexi

      Ingredients

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