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11 Healthier recipes for meal prep on a budget

healthier meals

Try our go-to recipes for how to prepare your weekly meals on a budget

With most of us getting back into the swing of the new year, it’s a great time to look for ways to stay on top of our goals and routines, be a bit more organised, and save money. Meal planning can be a great way to start your week right, whether that week is busy with school, work or study!

Fresh Ideas expert Tamara

"Meal prep is a way to plan, shop and bulk cook healthier meals to have ready for your week ahead, but it doesn’t need to be overwhelming or super time-consuming. I find that it’s a great way to make the most of my budget by using what I already have in the freezer or pantry, or to use what’s in season or great value each week. These recipes are my go-tos to prepare in advance as they are nutritionally approved and super easy to whip together. Also they all come in under $5 per serve!"

- Tamara

Healthier zucchini fritters


Healthier zucchini fritters

Great value, versatile and delicious, a good zucchini fritter is a true crowd pleaser. You can make a double batch of these in advance, and then freeze them for later or pack them straight into lunch boxes with your choice of grain and salad. This whole recipe is nutritionally approved and the use of tinned chickpeas packs a super affordable hit of protein.

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Teriyaki chicken sushi salad


Teriyaki chicken sushi salad

Sushi is a popular lunchtime takeaway, but why not save your spare change and make this deconstructed version ahead of time? Make a healthier marinade for teriyaki chicken, then cook it and refrigerate your chicken breast whole before slicing it up when you pack your lunch. Making the most of the microwaveable rice in your pantry is a perfect way to save time on this meal as well. Just prep the rest of your salad ingredients and you're good to go.

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Healthier chicken pesto pasta salad


Healthier chicken pesto pasta salad

This chicken pesto pasta salad is the perfect recipe to cook in a big batch on a Sunday night and keep at the ready for easy weekday lunches or reheated as a quick weeknight dinner. All the ingredients can be prepped, tossed together and kept in the fridge as the ultimate one-container wonder.

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Super Salad Sandwich


Super salad sandwich

This cafe-quality salad sandwich recipe is the perfect stack of crunchy veggies and creamy herb dressing, held together in soft multigrain bread. This healthier lunch idea is sure to get you through your work day.

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Mediterranean-Inspired Pasta Salad


Mediterranean-inspired pasta salad

This pasta salad recipe ticks all the boxes – it’s perfect to prepare ahead, easy to travel and tastes delicious. Layer all your ingredients in a jar, and once you’re ready to eat, either dump it all out into a bowl, or shake it up and eat straight from the jar. This easy recipe will quickly become a go-to.

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Mexican-Inspired Black Bean & Brown Rice Bowl


Mexican-inspired black bean and brown rice bowl

A filling burrito bowl that’s ready in a flash and easy to prepare ahead, and doesn’t need to be heated up so it’s great for lunch on a hot day. This fresh and flavourful dish is the perfect lunch to put some pep in your step for the rest of your work day.

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Healthier Zucchini Slice


Healthier zucchini slice

Using time-saving zoodles, this sensational zucchini slice is perfect for prepping ahead. Treat your future self by keeping extra portions in the freezer at home for grab-and-go lunch options for another week*. Easy to reheat with a simple microwave. *Allow to defrost in the fridge before consuming or reheating.

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Tuna-melt Toastie


Tuna-melt toastie

Our healthier tuna melt toastie is a delightful combination of flavors and textures,making it a delicious and satisfying meal that's also good for you. Whether you're looking for a quick and easy lunch or a hearty and healthy dinner, our healthier tuna melt toastie is sure to hit the spot. The whole grain bread provides a hearty base, while the tuna packed in olive oil adds a rich and savory taste. Fresh spinach adds a touch of green and a burst of nutrients, and low-fat cheese melts smoothly, creating a gooey and satisfying filling.

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Healthier Lamb Korma Meatballs


Healthier lamb korma meatballs

Our healthier lamb korma meatballs are a nutritious and flavorful twist on a classic dish. Made with lean lamb, fresh herbs, and aromatic spices, these meatballs are packed with protein and flavor. Served in a creamy, homemade yogurt-based korma sauce, they become even more indulgent. This dish is not only delicious but also a healthier alternative to traditional korma, as it uses lean lamb and reduced-fat yogurt. It's perfect for those looking for a satisfying meal without compromising on taste or health.

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Crunchy Rice-paper Wraps


Crunchy rice-paper wraps

Our crunchy rice paper wraps are a delightful combination of fresh, flavorful ingredients and crispy rice paper. Each wrap is filled with a variety of colorful and crunchy vegetables, such as carrots, cucumbers, and cabbage, along with grilled chicken or your choice of protein, such as tofu, or shrimp. The wraps are then fried on both side to create that crispy texture, then drizzled with a tangy and flavorful dipping sauce, creating a delicious and refreshing meal that is perfect for any occasion.

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Healthier Chilli Con Carne


Healthier chilli con carne

Our flavorful chili con carne is a delicious and satisfying dish that will satisfy your cravings. Made with lean ground beef, black beans, and a blend of aromatic spices, this chili is packed with protein and fiber. Simmered to perfection, the rich and hearty sauce is a perfect balance of smoky, sweet, and tangy. Whether you enjoy it on its own or with your favorite toppings, such as corn onions and chillies, this chili con carne is sure to become a meal prep favorite.

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*The cost per serve is calculated by dividing the approximate cost of the ingredients (excluding ingredients marked as "extra to serve") by the number of serves in the recipe. Ingredient prices are based on standard shelf prices in NSW Woolworths Supermarkets as at [9/12/22].  Prices and products may vary by State and may not be available in all Supermarkets, Woolworths Metro, MetroGo, Woolworths Online (including Everyday Market) and Ampol Woolworths Metro. Where a specific brand is not listed for an ingredient, calculations are based on the price of the Woolworths own brand version of the ingredient or the next cheapest alternative.

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