20+ Meal Planning Recipes and Tips

Meal Planning Recipes and Tips

These meal planning recipes and tips are perfect for creating healthy meals for the entire family. Meal prepping is a great way to plan your weekly menu!

Meal planning and preparation can help to achieve many healthy eating or healthy living goals. Batch cooking with a slow cooker saves so much time in the meal planning process. Be sure to check out these Crockpot Freezer Meals that I make all the time!

Most often I use our crockpot to cook easy weekday dinners and some of my favorite recipes in. Healthy food is easy to prepare for the whole family when using a weekly meal plan like this.

Meal Planning Recipes and Tips

Meal planning tips:

  • Start by determining what ingredients you already have in the pantry. Plan meals around fresh food and groceries that you may have at home to reduce food waste.
  • Select recipes that use common ingredients whenever possible. One-pot meals and slow cooker meals are a good choice for menu planning.
  • Plan a theme night each week to keep it interesting like meatless Monday or taco Tuesday.
  • Create a grocery list to take grocery shopping for each of the different recipes.
  • Shop the sales or bulk shop at Costco with your shopping list to help save money on your grocery bill.
  • Batch cook ground beef in large batches all at once.
  • Cut raw meat like chicken breast all at once.
  • Chop up the vegetables all at the same time and place them in bowls to later separate into individual dishes.
Meal Planning Recipes and Tips

For quick clean up in the kitchen, tuck a garbage bag around a drawer to act as a catch all for food scraps.

Best tips for meal planning:

Meal Planning Recipes and Tips

Organize all of the ingredients on your kitchen counter.

Open jars and cans for easy pouring into each recipe.

Meal Planning Recipes and Tips

For freezer meals that can be baked in the oven, use large aluminum casserole pans found at the dollar store. These make the perfect last-minute meals for a busy week or busy day.

Meal Planning Recipes and Tips

Baked sausage pesto pasta and lasagna get built right in the pan with all of the ingredients including pasta and cheese.

Meal Planning Recipes and Tips

Wrap them in tinfoil and label each meal before storing it in the freezer for up to three months. Extra servings can be used by family members for lunches the next day.

Our favorite crockpot recipes:

Crockpot Lasagna Recipe

Crockpot Lasagna Freezer Meal Recipe

Crockpot Lasagna Recipe

Yield: 5 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef, browned and drained
  • 8 lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 5 1/2oz can tomato paste
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, diced
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. Parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper

Instructions

    1. Place all ingredients in a crockpot.
    2. Stir at the half way point to ensure that all of the noodles are covered in sauce.
    3. Cook 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 781Total Fat: 37gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 164mgSodium: 1360mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 7gSugar: 14gProtein: 60g

Did you make this recipe?

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Crockpot Coconut Curry Recipe

Coconut Curry Chicken Freezer Meal

Crockpot Coconut Curry Recipe

Yield: 5 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1-2 Tbsp of red curry paste
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup red peper, diced
  • 1 cup zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2 cup carrots and celery, diced

Instructions

    1. Place all ingredients into a crockpot.
    2. Cook 8 hours on low or 6 hours on medium.
    3. Serve over rice {optional}.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 428Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 541mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 41g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Crockpot Pesto Pasta Recipe
Crockpot Sausage Pesto Penne Pasta

Crockpot Sausage Pesto Pasta

Yield: 5 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 250g pkg ground sausage, cooked
  • 10 oz container of pesto
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 16 oz pkg pasta, cooked

Instructions

    1. Place all ingredients {except pasta} into a crockpot.
    2. Cook 6 hours on low.
    3. Serve over pasta.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 784Total Fat: 54gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 34gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 1181mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 7gSugar: 9gProtein: 29g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Crockpot Taco Recipe
Crockpot Beef Taco Recipe

Crockpot Taco Meat Recipe

Yield: 5 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground beef, browned and drained
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup bell peppers, diced
  • 1 cup carrots and celery, diced
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning mix

Instructions

    1. Place all ingredients in a crockpot.
    2. Cook 4 hours on low.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

This taco meat is great because it can be used as a starter for a variety of meals! Keep it as is for Taco Night with the family or add pasta sauce for easy spaghetti. Which of these delicious meals would you use on busy nights?

If you loved these meal planning recipes and tips, please help me share them on Facebook and Pinterest so that others can enjoy them too!

about heather

Hello, I’m Heather!

I'm an active mom of twin boys who is always looking for opportunities to inspire creativity through fun crafts, do-it-yourself projects and delicious recipes. This blog has been an integral part of supporting my little family and I am so grateful to have you become a part of our journey! Let's create together... Read more...

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Thank you so much for posting this. I’ve seen several plan ahead and yours are simple and easy to fallow and great ideas :)

Michelle

Hey! Excited to try the taco meat and lasagna!

When freezing and then putting into the crockpot do you need to thaw first?

Thanks!

Are the cook times for freezer meals for thawed or still frozen food?

Oops! Saw your previous reply. Frozen it it! I love frozen meal and am excited to try this one!

Just to make sure u throw the cheese in from the beginning also?… 38 weeks Prego w my 3rd and Gna do some of these so I can relax w the new baby!.. thanks!

So how do you prepare sausage pesto pasta in the casserole – not the crockpot way?! Would love to know. I’ll check back or watch at kelly7_16@yahoo.com!

For the chicken coconut curry do we mix all the ingredients in a mag and freeze it?? Including the coconut milk? I didn’t see where it says how to freeze.

Do you freeze the pasta sauce for the lasagna in the bag?

Love this –my college student went back to school with a new crock pot and 6 bags of meals!!