With temperatures breaching the 100s in Los Angeles this past weekend, the last thing I wanted to do was turn on my stove or oven. But Sunday night was fast approaching, and I knew I would regret skipping my meal prep for the week if I didn’t get my act together. That’s when I had the brilliant idea of doing a no-cook meal prep.
We’ve featured a no-cook meal prep before, so I knew it was possible to create a week’s worth of healthy meals without heating up the kitchen. I modified the menu to 1,200–1,500 calories and drafted my grocery list. Then, with a small army of fans at my side (my apartment doesn’t have central air conditioning), I set up shop in the kitchen to prep for the week to come.
Though moving at all was enough to make me sweat, the no-cook meal prep plan allowed me to assemble healthy meals with fresh, flavorful ingredients in record time. Juicy berries in an oatmeal jar for breakfast, crunchy tuna lettuce cups for lunch, savory Asian chicken wraps for dinner…
Although the chilled meals were a delight to eat in the middle of June, I did have one warm dish; I popped a frozen veggie patty into the microwave (I hate to break it to you, but this doesn’t really count as cooking).
This meal prep is ideal for a summer heat wave, or if cooking isn’t one of your strengths, or if you don’t have a lot of time to spend on meal prep.
This no-cook meal prep follows the Portion Fix (a.k.a 21 Day Fix) meal plan for the 1,200-1,500 calorie level. It uses color-coded portion control containers to measure out the amounts of foods you’ll eat each day so you’ll get the right combination of macronutrients and won’t have to count calories. Green is veggies, purple is fruits, red is protein, yellow is carbs, blue is healthy fats, and orange is for seeds and dressings. Each day you get:
- 3 green containers
- 2 purple containers
- 4 red containers
- 2 yellow containers
- 1 blue container
- 1 orange container
- 2 teaspoons
Follow this guide to make your own no-cook meal prep, complete with step-by-step instructions and a grocery list. It’s made for the 1,200–1,500 calorie range.
Here’s what your no cook meal plan for the week will look like when you’re done.
No Cook Meal Prep Menu
Breakfast: Overnight Oats with Greek Yogurt and Berries
Lunch (M/W/F): Tuna Niçoise Lettuce Cups
Lunch (T/Th): Roast Beef Salad
Snack (M/W/F): Shakeology, frozen fruit, and unsweetened coconut
Snack (T/Th): Shakeology, banana, and nut butter
Dinner (M/W/F): Asian Chicken Wraps
Dinner (T/Th): Turkey or Veggie Burger with vegetables and hummus
Overnight Oats with Greek Yogurt and Berries
(¼ cup oats, ¾ cup Greek yogurt, 1 cup fruit = 1 Yellow, 1 Red, 1 Purple)
M/W/F: Tuna Niçoise Lettuce Cups
(4 lettuce leaves; ½ cup frozen green beans, thawed; ½ cup cherry tomatoes; 1 can tuna in water; 5 olives = 2 Green, 1 Red, ½ Orange)
T/TH: Roast Beef Salad
(1 cup lettuce, ½ cup cherry tomatoes, ½ cup shredded carrots, 4 oz. deli roast beef,
½ cup beans of any kind, 2 Tbsp. dressing = 2 Green, 1 Red, 1 Yellow, 1 Orange)
M/W/F: Shakeology with 1 cup frozen fruit and 1 Tbsp. unsweetened coconut = 1 Red, 1 Purple, ½ Orange
T/TH: Shakeology with ½ banana and 2 tsp. nut butter = 1 Red, 1 Purple, 2 tsp.
M/W/F: Asian Chicken Wrap
(4 oz. rotisserie chicken breast; 8 raw, unsalted cashews; one 6-inch whole wheat tortilla; 1 cup shredded cabbage, cilantro or parsley; green onion; 1 Tbsp. Peanut Lime Dressing = 1 Green, 1 Yellow, 1 Red, 1 Blue, 2 tsp.)
T/TH: Turkey or veggie burger with vegetables and hummus
(1 turkey burger or veggie burger patty [microwave or put in toaster oven to heat], lettuce leaf, tomato slice, mustard, ½ cup baby carrots or chopped bell peppers, ¼ cup hummus = 1 Red, 1 Green, 1 Blue)
Your step-by-step plan to assemble the no-cook meal prep:
1. Make the overnight oats. Place ¼ cup oats and ¾ cup Greek yogurt in a Mason jar or food storage container. Top with one cup of fresh or frozen fruit.
2. Thaw the frozen green beans, then prepare the Tuna Niçoise Lettuce Cups. Between four lettuce leaves, divide one can of tuna, ½ cup thawed green beans, ½ cup chopped cherry tomatoes, and five chopped olives. Dress with a lemon wedge or balsamic vinegar.
3. Prepare the Roast Beef Salad. Combine 1 cup lettuce, ½ cup cherry tomatoes, ½ cup shredded carrots, 4 oz. deli roast beef, ½ cup beans of any kind, and dressing. If you are using a mason jar, place the dressing at the bottom and the lettuce on top. If you are using a food storage container, place the lettuce at the bottom. You can dress the salad during the meal prep, or wait until the day you eat it.
4. Make the Peanut Lime Dressing. Place 2 Tbsp. water, ¼ cup smooth peanut butter, 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar, 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger, 2 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce, and 2 tsp. raw honey in a blender, and blend until smooth. (1 Tbsp. dressing counts as 2 tsp. for Portion Fix)
5. Prepare the Asian Chicken Wrap. Set out three food storage containers and place one 6-inch whole wheat tortilla in each. Chop 8 raw, unsalted cashews; chop cilantro or parsley (to taste); and chop green onion (to taste). On top of the tortilla, add 1 cup shredded cabbage, 4 oz. rotisserie chicken breast, cashews, cilantro or parsley, and green onions. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. Peanut Lime Dressing.
6. Prepare the turkey or veggie burger. Set out two food storage containers and place a lettuce leaf and a tomato slice in each. Serve with one turkey burger or veggie burger patty that has been microwaved or toasted and topped with mustard. For a side, serve with ½ cup baby carrots or chopped bell peppers and ¼ cup hummus.
No Cook Meal Prep Shopping List
3 cans of tuna in water
12 oz. rotisserie chicken breast
8 oz. deli roast beef
2 frozen turkey burger or veggie burger patties
Greek yogurt (32.5 oz.)
8 cups frozen fruit (or 3 cups frozen fruit and 5 cups fresh fruit)
14 lettuce leaves
3 cups lettuce
1½ cup frozen green beans
2½ cups cherry tomatoes
3 cups shredded cabbage
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch green onion
1 knob fresh ginger
1½ cups shredded carrots
1 cup bell peppers
Dry and Canned Goods
1¼ cups oats
1 jar peanut butter (smooth)
15 kalamata olives
Three 6-inch whole wheat tortillas
½ cup hummus
1 cup beans (any kind)
Low-sodium soy sauce
Photos by Hannah Rex