Busy weeks don’t require trips through the drive-thru, delivery service on speed dial, or PB&J every day of the week. Use your BRILLIANCE and these meal prep ideas for the week ahead with easy meals that can be used for lunch or dinner – like this Chicken, Asparagus, and Corn Quinoa Bowl.
This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Rubbermaid®. All thoughts, opinions, and recipes are my own.
Sometimes weeks just hit our house like a bomb. Not only do we end up stressed all week but we eat late and/or nutritionally lacking meals, and all end up grumpy and blah feeling. Most busy families can relate to this feeling. Not only that, but we parents have a tendency to eat a poor lunch on top of it. The last thing we all need when we’re running on fumes is a lack of the fuel that keeps our bodies going.
I tend to be somewhat unorganized so this year I’ve really been working on looking at the week ahead and assessing what we are going to need to make it run smoother. Sometimes that means purposefully scheduling a night of takeout but it always means the need to meal prep ahead. If I don’t, evenings are more stressful and turn disastrous. Last week was C-rrrra-zy and this week is shaping up to be the same! We had 2 added children for a couple days last week and work is a little busier right now so I am nipping mealtime stress in the bud with some meal prep with Rubbermaid BRILLIANCE.
I am so happy Rubbermaid sent me these new containers because I saw an advertisement and thought I wanted to give them a try since my husband is ALWAYS forgetting our food storage containers at work. I keep telling him we need more and he keeps replying with “We have plenty” to which I reply “We would if you brought them home!” I love that man but he is quite forgetful. (Stay tuned to see how you can win your own set of Rubbermaid BRILLIANCE.)
When I meal prep ahead I plan out all our meals and make what I can ahead of time or during regular evening meal prep. It’s easy to make a double batch of rice ahead of time or make quinoa then refrigerate it to add to dishes like this quinoa bowl.
Yes, it means I need to have my refrigerator (somewhat) organized too so nothing gets lost in it but that’s so much easier to do with my new containers because they stack like a dream – seriously! I want to use them to compartmentalize my whole kitchen. They have 5 different sizes that you can buy individually or in sets, so you have just the right size when you need it. They are also crystal clear (including the lid), which makes it easy to identify what’s inside at a glance without opening the container.
I prepped tonight’s dinner (this recipe for the second time in 2 weeks) and several other meals ahead of time then set some aside in these containers for my husband and I to have for lunches. It’s so much easier and much less mess to make the week’s salads at one time and salad stays crisp and fresh in these containers because the lids have an airtight leak-proof seal (100% guaranteed) and latches that clip tightly into place. It’s such a huge pet peeve for me when lids don’t stay on tightly.
I also make a little extra in my meals so I can have a couple heartier lunch options. This chicken, asparagus, and corn quinoa bowl is a perfect Monday meal because it works nicely into my prep ahead meal plan. Sunday evening I can pre-cut the chicken and cook the quinoa then pull it all together in about 20 minutes on Monday evening. Best of all, this recipe makes enough for 1 person to have leftovers as a warm dish or cold salad by itself or on top of lettuce for lunch the next day.
Chicken, Asparagus, Corn, and Quinoa Bowl
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- 1 c. quinoa (uncooked)
- 1 lb. chicken
- 1 medium onion (approximately 1 c. diced)
- 1 lb. asparagus
- 1 c. fresh or frozen corn
- 1 tbs. oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Juice from 1 1/2 limes
- Prepare quinoa per instructions on package.
- Meanwhile, dice onion while oil heats in large frying pan over medium high heat.
- Add onion to pan and fry, stirring occasionally, until soft.
- While onion is cooking, cube chicken into 1/4 or 1/2 inch pieces*.
- Add chicken to onion and continue cooking.
- Wash and cut asparagus into 1 inch pieces, removing woody stem.
- Add corn and asparagus to pan when chicken is just about cooked through.
- Add salt, pepper, and lime juice, stirring to incorporate.
- Add cooked quinoa**.
*Can cut chicken ahead of time for quicker prep.
**Will be approximately 4 c. once cooked.
- Calories: 320
Need more reasons to love Rubbermaid BRILLIANCE? These food storage containers also have a splatter-resistant design for microwave use and are made of stain-resistant, heat-resistant BPA free material so you can take your meal from fridge to microwave. What’s not to love about that?
Quick Meal Prep Ahead Tips
- Have containers in a variety of sizes – clear containers such as Rubbermaid BRILLIANCE that seal well make it easier to identify food and keep it fresh.
- Plan ahead.
- Make meals that preheat well or can be served cold as leftovers (this quinoa bowl is a great example as you can serve it hot or cold, by itself or over salad greens).
- Prep all the veggies you need for a couple days’ worth of meals at one time – saves time, dishes, and mess.
- Make large batches of starches ahead of time – rice, quinoa, pasta, and potatoes are all easy to prepare ahead of time.
- Organize your refrigerator to make it easy to see what you have.
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I was actually craving for chicken and asparagus and this is simply just perfect.
Glad that I have all the ingredients available and we’re having this for dinner. Thank you for the recipe.
Let me know how it turned out for you.
steam veggies with pan fired boneless chicken
This sounds delicious and a great healthier meal for busy nights.
I put together my lasagnas the night before!
Lasagna is a great meal to prep ahead. It tastes better.
I love to have soup or chili on hand at all times.
I do too. They are so easy to prep ahead and freeze.
I love making Mississippi pot roast for a busy night. Just throw it in the crock pot and mmmm….dinner ready in 8 t 10 hours.
And pot roasts always slow cook amazingly! Now I’m hungry for pot roast.
I have a cheesy chicken and rice meal that goes over so well with my family!
Yum! We love chicken and rice. With cheese is even better.
My favorite meals to prep ahead for a busy night is Tacos and pizza.
Both are family favorites in our house.
My favorite meal prep is chili. It is a family favorite of ours.
Chili is a popular dish. I love taking it to potlucks too because it is everyone’s favorite.
I like to prep ahead a nice pasta salad with Farfalle and peas, black olives, with a mayo base and olive oil and soime herbs and spices.
This sounds lovely. I am always looking for new pasta salads for summer.
I love to meal prep my pasta night for my homemade sauce, having everything ready to go makes it so much easier to cook up quickly.
I cook a whole bunch of eggs then store them for the week. It’s so easy to just add cheese or veggies or toast or potatoes or anything! Even though it’s eggs, I don’t mind having them for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
You know, I love to except they always seem to make my fridge smell funky. I’ve been testing peeled hard boiled eggs in my Rubbermaid BRILLIANCE for 2 days now and NO SMELL. Woot! I need to get my mom a set because they always bother the rest of the fam who still lives at home.
I always prep ahead my casseroles, such as chicken and broccoli casserole.
Matt favorite meal to Prep ahead is definitely homemade spaghetti. It makes life in the afternoons we are so busy so much smoother.
I like to prep for pork chops, rice and homemade gravy
My lasagna is my favorite meal to prep the night before
I like to make enchiladas ahead if time. Also just grilled chicken.
My favorite meal to prep ahead is usually lasagna or teriyaki chicken.
I love to make lasagna ahead of time so I can just put it in the oven. Helps to make one to freeze too!
I prep spaghetti and meatballs ahead of time.
I like prepping spaghetti ahead of of time.
Lasagna is my favorite. Easy to freeze & heat and eat on busy nights.
Meatloaf or meatballs can make them and throw them in the freezer until ready to use
We prepare ahead soup.
Lasagna and casseroles are my favorite make ahead meals.
We like to make pasta.
Chicken casserole is my favorite prep ahead meal! I also like to do hashbrown casserole ahead. Thanks!
I like to prep a pasta salad ahead of time.
My favorite meal to prep is beef stew!
I love cooking up a bunch of couscous to use later for lunch and dinners.
Soups or a chicken and rice dish are my favorite meals to prep.
I like to prep stir fry ingredients the night before I cook it.
I like to make lasagna ahead.
I don’t do much meal prep, but I’ve been looking forward to trying stuffed french toast that is a prep ahead, and of course I do prep toppings for tacos!
We like to make potato soup. Thank you
I prep chili for the the crock pot the next day.
My favorite meal to prep ahead for a busy night is lasagna.
I love prepping chili and letting it cook in the crockpot!
My favorite meal to prep ahead is casserole. I also like to cut up veggies beforehand and store them for quicker meals! 🙂
Hot dogs, beans, and potatoes.
arroz con pollo
When I am making a casserole or baked pasta recipe, I like to double it and make one pan for that night, and another to put in the freezer to make later!
Favorite meal to prep ahead is taco lots of prepping
I am not sure But it would probably be for dessert like apple pie.
Crock pot pulled chicken! Toss it in and dinner’s ready when you get home, easy as pie!
And it’s so versatile because you can serve on a roll, over salad, on rice, or in a taco shell.
My crockpot veggie minestrone! There are a ton of veggies in it so it is much easier to prep the night before and just toss it all in the next morning.Can’t wait to try this recipe by the way,it looks awesome!
Thank you. It has quickly become a family favorite. I love when I have things together enough to prep a bunch of veggies at one time. Sounds like your veggie prep is also a great time to prep veggie sides and salads at the same time.
Any chicken dinner in the crock pot!
I like to have the onion already chopped in the freezer. I do it for peppers as well. Having the veggies already chopped is always a great prep ahead.
I always feel like I am winning when I can pull peppers or onions out of the freezer for meal prep. Boom! One step done. It’s also a great way for me not to waste jalapenos because I buy them at ALDI in 8 packs and don’t tend to use them before they start to go.
I like to prep turkey wraps.
I like to prep ahead the makings of a big chef salad.
I always have a couple of my Grandma’s Stuffed Cabbage Casserole recipe in my freezer!
Oooh, yum! I love stuffed cabbage.
I prep for Taco Night — chopped onions, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, etc.
Tacos are a favorite with people. Such an easy meal already but prepping ahead makes it perfect for evenings with little time. It’s even faster if you premake the meat and freeze it.
I like chili
I love to make 2 batches of chili and freeze one.
Cut up onions in the fridge so they don’t make my eyes water.
My family is on board with that. It seems like it is so hard to find onions that aren’t super strong anymore. Prepping them for the week all at once is a huge help.
my favorite meal to prep ahead for a busy night is a hearty soup. It reheats well and makes plenty.
Soup is definitely a favorite “stretch” meal here and it tastes better if it’s been made ahead.
I love prepping my burritos.
Good one! My family loves burritos but I never make them because I never plan ahead for them and everyone likes different things in them.
I like to have all the ingredients for a salad prepped ahead of time.
Me too! I find I eat healthier throughout the week when I prep salad ingredients ahead of time.
I don’t do any meal prep. I probably should as I’m so frazzled by dinner time.
I understand the feeling! And once I am frazzled I just don’t feel like making anything. Starting a routine of prepping ahead definitely helps meal times be less stressful during the week.
I like to make chili ahead. It reheats well and actually tastes better a couple days later.
You are so right. The flavors blend together so much better after a day or so.
My favorite meal to prep ahead are oatmeal for breakfast and any type of soups or meat
Yes! Speaking of which, I need to make a batch of oatmeal and hard boiled eggs for this week. I’ve been doing horrible at eating breakfast.
My favorite meal to prep is hoagies I plan on having that night. I like having all my ingredients in containers ready to go.
That makes it much easier. I need to add them to our meal plan. It’s been a long time since we made them.
homemade veggie soup and taco soup; it freezes nicely and fast to warm up
It’s a rainy day so I am in the mood for soup. I think I will start a few pots to throw in the freezer. I also find they are perfect for last minute company or potlucks. Throw them in the slow cooker on low and done.
I like cooking on Sunday for most meals for the week.
Thanks for the contest.
You are welcome. I am trying to get in the swing of prepping on Sunday evenings. My week goes much smoother when I make the effort to make meals ahead of time and when I set Monday as the day, inevitably it doesn’t happen.
Hamburger soup in the crock pot.
My slow cooker and Instant Pot are so helpful in prepping soup ahead. It feels winning to have soup cooking for a meal later in the week while I get dinner ready for the evening.
I like prepping for enchiladas
Oooo, enchiladas. It’s been forever since we had them.
I like making a hearty pasta salad for quick meals when we’re busy.
This is a great idea. I don’t utilize pasta as a cold salad nearly enough! I have some chicken I cooked up over the weekend. Maybe I will make a chicken Caesar pasta salad for dinner one night this week.
My favorite thing to meal prep is chicken stew.
This sounds tasty.
My favorite is Fried Chicken. I get the chicken fried up ahead of time and then just pop it in the over to heat it up when it’s time to eat.
Perfect! Fried chicken can be so tedious to make so prepping it ahead is appealing to me so I can actually enjoy it when we eat it. I bet it would even taste delicious cold with a salad.
All my salad fixuings for the next day! All my romaine, and cut up Bell peppers, mushrooms, even my caramelized onions and/or shallots. And my grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese, mama mia! Sometimes I add more, like berries, but these are the basics. Wonderful to have them all ready & ready to enjoy!
I don’t use caramelized onions and shallots nearly enough. I think I need to make some today for salads and my favorite pizza – prosciutto with goat’s cheese and caramelized onions.
I like to make and freeze soup. It’s versatile, and just having to put together a side dish makes things much easier.
It definitely does make things easier! I love when I have soup going and salad prepped. Then I can either pick up a loaf of Italian bread or make some cornbread. So easy, filling, and healthy.
My favorite meal to prep for is stuffed green peppers.
Me too. Stuffed peppers always taste better prepped ahead.
My favorite meal to prep is pulled pork in the crock pot!
Pulled pork, chicken, or beef are so tasty and easy to make. I’ve been making it in my Instant Pot these days and love this garlic lime pulled chicken, which I sometimes swap out for other protein.https://www.realthekitchenandbeyond.com/garlic-lime-chicken-and-corn-tacos/
I like to prep chili. It does take a little work at the beginning, but I can forget it the rest of the day!
It also tastes better when the flavors have time to blend. I like to make a double batch and freeze one.
My favorite meal to prep ahead is pretty much anything for my crock pot. Stews, soups, casseroles… I absolutely love early prepping meals.
Doesn’t it make you feel that much more successful about your week?
lasagna its time consuming
Lasagna does take a while to make!
I like to fix lasagna ahead of time.
I like to do the same and also double the batch and put one in the freezer.
I’ll sometimes make a batch of burritos to freeze. Then I just pull them out and microwave them for a quick supper!
I like to prep ahead when I am planning to make a gigantic salad.
My favorite meal to prep ahead is beef stew.
It’s always better the second day too!
I will prepare a pizza dough and cut up the toppings….throw in oven next day!
Great way to make an easy meal. Have you ever partial baked a pizza crust and frozen it? That’s handy too.
I like to perpare meat for tacos ahead of time, also sloppy joes!
Pre-prepped meat always makes things go faster and some great easy meals taste better when they’ve been prepped ahead and the flavors have time to absorb.
My favorite prep ahead meal is Chili. It is always better re-heated.
Yes, it is!
I like to have ingredients for tacos, burritos, or other latin american dishes prepped ahead 🙂
I prep meatballs ahead of time. I freeze them and then put them in the Crock-Pot when we want to eat them.
I need to get in the habit of setting aside the extra batch when I double them and freeze it right away. Otherwise my family goes crazy eating them.
I like to make chicken pesto pasta bake ahead of time if possible. It freezes well and feeds a lot!
Ooh yum! Do you have a link to a recipe you like?
Tator tot casserole
I love tater tot casserole and it would be a great change up for our meals since we don’t have it often.
I like to cut up meat and vegetables for a stir fry ahead of time.
It makes dinner so much easier, doesn’t it?
Taco meat for taco salads
Precooking meat for tacos is so huge. It makes the meal even quicker and easier. Everyone is talking about tacos or taco salad and making me hungry for them. I have precooked chicken in the fridge. We might be having tacos for dinner!
Beef and broccoli….
That’s a great one to prep ahead. We love beef and broccoli. This one is a favorite – https://www.realthekitchenandbeyond.com/quick-easy-meal-ginger-garlic-beef-broccoli-stirfry-recipe/
My favorite meal to prep would have to be marinated chicken!
Yes! Fridge or freezer, prepping this ahead always makes it extra tasty.
When pressed for time, I like to fry up some onion, pepper & andouille to put on rice. I do all the chopping in the afternoon so it’s easy to put together before dinnertime.
Onion, pepper, and andouille with rice or potatoes is one of our favorites too. I often throw it in the oven too – https://www.realthekitchenandbeyond.com/andouille-sausage-potato-and-pepper-bake/.
We eat a lot of chicken dinners. My favorite prep ahead meal is cheesy chicken and broccoli. It is easy and can be made in one pan. cook chicken, I steam the broccoli which is already cut in a dish in the microwave for a few minutes. add it to the pan. let it cook together for a few minutes and add cheese.
This is a fantastic meal idea. I’m adding it to my next meal plan.
My favorite meal prep ahead is lasagne. We like it better the next day anyway lol. I a lot of times will make it the night before so it just needs to be warmed up.
Lasagna is ALWAYS better the next day. All those flavors meld together. My husband has been wanting lasagna. I need to add it to my meal plan.
I love the ease of a crock pot and pot roast is what I make extra of and then I freeze packages that the kids can just reheat.
Making packages to freeze is a great idea. Do you package individual servings or 1 big one so they can pull it out and make an easy meal for the family?
I love prepping crockpot meals like pulled pork or pot roast!
Me too! Pulled pork is a great one to make ahead too and I think it tastes better because the flavors get richer.
My favorite make ahead meal is soup
Soup is always a perfect meal.
My veggies for my tacos
Agreed! Do you have a favorite type of taco?
I lot to chop as much of the veggies in advance so I can have a healthy salad at lunch. Work has been crazy so it’s a huge timesaver to help me eat healthy.
You are super busy and it is so right that prepping veggies ahead of time helps you eat so much healthier! I’m on a roasted veggies kick and I know prepping ahead and keeping in the fridge will make dinner so easy.
Love to make lentils w/ chicken & prepping it all the day before, really cuts down on the time that it takes to cook them 🙂 It’s my kid’s favorite meal 🙂
SCORE when a kid loves lentils. They are so tasty. Prepping them ahead sure is a time saver!
My favorite thing to meal prep is a huge chicken stew to last me all week. I love comfort food.
I love comfort food too. My favorite is beef stew but I love most types of soup.
My favorite meal that i like to prep ahead for a busy night is stuffed cabbage rolls!
Yum! I love stuffed cabbage rolls.
I like to prep ahead of time for making stir fry or all the fixings for tacos.
These are such great meals to prep ahead for! I know my life is always easier when I have meat pre-cut or pre-browned then frozen for stir fries and tacos especially. I’ve gotten off track in doing that and need to pick it back up. Same goes for prepping the veggie for these dishes ahead of time. They are always family favorite meals too!