If ever meal prep is essential, it's in the busy fall season. These 21 fall meal prep recipes are the BEST fall foods for meal prep.
I'm a huge proponent of meal prep all year long. It lets me feed my family well without the stress of constantly rushing to get meals together. If I HAD to pick just one season for meal prep though, it would be fall. The combination of back-to-school, approaching holidays and so many activities makes meal prep essential in my book.
But what to prep? I've assembled a list of the best fall foods for meal prep. The below fall meal prep recipes will help you enjoy all of the festive flavors of the season, without the unnecessary stress.
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Why You NEED Fall Meal Prep in Your Life
Not convinced you need to implement a fall meal prep routine? Let me share just a few of the benefits I've seen in my decade plus as a professional meal prep enthusiast:
- EASY, Healthy Fall Dinners: Fall isn't just about pumpkin spiced lattes and sugary treats. There are so many delicious, healthy fall items like apples, real pumpkin and butternut squash. Prepping meals ahead will help ensure you get the chance to enjoy all of those beautiful fall flavors, and to share them with your family. Items like squash take a bit of time to prepare and cook but that doesn't mean you can't include them in your weeknight meals! When you incorporate even a small meal prep session into your routine, these foods become doable, even on busy weeks.
- Simple Fall Lunch Ideas: When people ask me what I feed my boys (or myself) for lunches, I have pretty much one answer: leftovers. Sure, I keep a few items like fresh fruit and cheese sticks on hand, but I rely heavily on leftovers when it comes to lunches. Why? It takes virtually no extra effort for me to double or triple a dinner recipe to provide healthy lunches for the next couple of days. When you prep healthy fall meals, you have automatic lunches on-hand. So easy. (Read more about how I use batching here.)
- Major Efficiency Gains: Everyone knows fall is a super busy season for most people, making fall meal prep a must in my book! Even simple tasks like washing and chopping your produce all at once results in major efficiency gains. Devoting just 1-2 hours to weekly meal prep makes dinners throughout the week SO much easier!
Convinced? Good because it's time for some of my all time favorite fall meal prep recipes!
Best Fall Foods for Breakfast Meal Prep
When you make your fall meal prep list, don't forget breakfast! There are so many delicious recipes that take full advantage of the season's flavors. Below are a few of my favorites.
This sweet and savory breakfast hash packs in a ton of protein and veggies, leaving you feeling great for the day ahead.
Pumpkin smoothies are the perfect solution for those of you who live somewhere hot like I do, but don't want to miss out on the seasonal goodness.
How fun are these? The orange color is particularly festive around Halloween time.
Creamy and savory, this cozy breakfast is lovely on a chilly fall morning.
Whether or not you're paleo, this grain free paleo “oatmeal” is a great choice for fall meal prep. Who doesn't love a hot, cozy breakfast this time of year?
Smoothie bowls offer so many possibilities for toppings! Nuts, seeds, dried fruit, fresh fruit, mini chocolate chips, a drizzle of peanut butter…have fun with it!
Apologies for the super old photo but I couldn't leave this one out. It seems like pumpkin gets all of the attention sometimes but butternut squash is just as good in baked goods. You can sweeten these with either maple syrup or dates, both variations are lightly sweet and 100% delicious.
Meal Prep Friendly Fall Lunch Ideas & Fall Meal Prep Dinners
Whether you're looking for fall lunch ideas or fall meal prep dinners, I've got you covered. I love adding one of these recipes to my weekly meal plan to enjoy throughout the week. I always love leftovers for lunch, but especially in fall, when a hot meal often seems more appealing. I also snuck a couple of fall-inspired salads in there though, which work well for an autumn lunch or a lighter fall dinner paired with soup.
While I admittedly crave salads more in the warmer months, there are some truly epic fall salad combinations that should not be overlooked. Butternut squash, pomegranate, oranges and walnuts come together here for a hearty and festive salad. This is great if you're looking for fall lunch ideas, or to go with soup for a simple but seasonal fall dinner.
Pork and apples are a classic combination, why not take advantage of the flavors while apples are at their best?
With a bit of meal prep, you can enjoy meals like this stuffed acorn squash even on weeknights. Yes, really! All of our Prep Dish recipes are designed with meal prep in mind so make sure to scroll down below the recipes for tips on how to prep ahead.
This easy Autumn recipe is lovely as a packed lunch, or a lighter fall dinner.
This bison stuffed spaghetti squash is seasoned with smoked paprika, cumin, oregano and garlic powder for a super flavorful dish.
This stuffed sweet potato recipe includes not one, but two, homemade sauces! Homemade ranch and homemade buffalo sauce totally make this dish.
It doesn't get much more classic than chicken soup when it comes to fall comfort food. Make a double batch and stick some in the freezer for the next time someone comes down with a cold.
Pair this soup with a simple green salad and some crusty bread (gluten free if needed) and you're good to go!
Meal Prep Snacks & Desserts for Fall
Some of the best fall foods, like apples and pumpkin, lend themselves so well to sweet treats. These fall meal prep snacks and desserts take full advantage of the seasonal goodness, while packing in some nutrition as well.
Sweetened with honey, these deeply chocolatey brownies include a lovely pumpkin swirl, perfect for fall.
This simple fall treat requires just 4 ingredients. It needs to be refrigerated for at least an hour, making it an ideal meal prep dessert.
These healthy baked apples work for a snack, dessert or even a festive fall breakfast!
If you need prep-ahead school snacks for your kiddo, these will be a huge hit. Plus they're nut-free, no no worries if your school has nut restrictions.
Definitely add these gluten free pumpkin bars to your list of fall meal prep ideas. They're surprisingly nutritious while still packing in a ton of delicious fall flavor.