Skip to main content
healthy for your kids
and healthy for you

Delicious and healthy meal prep ideas for big families

Feeding a big family can be a challenge, but with the right meal prep ideas, it doesn’t have to be!

We’ve gathered some of the most delicious, healthy, and creative meal prep ideas to please the whole family. From slow cooker sensations to versatile veggie meals, you’ll find something for everyone in these recipes. So let’s dive in and discover the fantastic flavors that await!

For busy weeknights

  • Slow cook delicious and healthy family meals with ease
  • Create nutritious grain dishes, veggie meals, and crowd-pleasing ideas for unforgettable dining experiences!
  • Host a DIY sandwich station or build your own taco bar for fun family nights filled with flavor.

Slow cooker sensations

Slow cookers are a lifesaver when it comes to meal prepping for big families. They allow you to prepare large quantities of food with minimal effort, giving you more time to enjoy your family.

In this section, we explore some delicious and effortless slow cooker recipes that will surely become family favorites, such as succulent shredded chicken, creamy mashed potatoes, and yummy pulled pork leftovers. Get ready to discover the magic of slow cooking!

Shredded chicken

Shredded chicken is a versatile ingredient that can be used in various dishes such as salads, sandwiches, and tacos. With a slow cooker, you can easily prepare large batches of juicy and flavorful shredded chicken. All you need to do is cook the chicken in the slow cooker, let it rest for 10 minutes, and then shred it using a stand mixer or two forks.

Serve it with some crusty bread or over egg noodles for a satisfying meal that will please even the pickiest eaters. Plus, it’s a great way to use up leftover skinless chicken breasts!

Mashed potatoes

Nothing says comfort food like a big bowl of creamy mashed potatoes, and making them in a slow cooker is a game-changer! Boil the potatoes in salted water until softened, then mash them with a potato masher, adding milk and butter for a smooth and fluffy texture that will tantalize your taste buds.

Pair it with a well-seasoned chicken breast for a complete meal. And if you want to take your mashed potatoes to the next level, try adding garlic or herbs for extra flavor.

Leftover pulled pork

Transform your leftover pulled pork into a new and mouthwatering meal with this slow cooker recipe. Simply combine 2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce with 2-3 cups of cooked pulled pork in a slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours. The result is a delicious and tender pulled pork dish that can be served over rice, baked potato or in sandwiches.

Say goodbye to boring leftovers and hello to a delicious and freezer-friendly meal!

Nutritious rice and grain dishes

Rice and grain dishes are excellent options for providing healthy and filling meals for big families. They’re versatile, nutritious, and can be easily adapted to accommodate different dietary preferences. In this section, we’ll explore some of the most delicious rice and grain-based meal ideas, including brown rice bowls, quinoa salads, and grain-based casseroles.

Get ready to nourish your family with these tasty and satisfying dishes!

Brown rice bowls

Brown rice bowls are a fantastic way to create customizable and nutritious family meals. Start by cooking brown rice according to the package instructions and then add your favorite toppings, such as roasted vegetables, leafy greens, chickpeas, and a delicious dressing or sauce. You can even add protein like shrimp or tofu for a complete and balanced meal. For a touch of sweetness, consider sprinkling a bit of brown sugar on top.

The possibilities are endless, so get creative and design the perfect brown rice bowl for your family!

Quinoa salads

Quinoa salads are not only delicious, but also packed with protein and fiber, making them a healthy choice for family dinners. To create a mouthwatering quinoa salad, cook quinoa according to the package instructions and then add your favorite ingredients like vegetables, nuts, and herbs. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper for a flavorful dish that everyone will love.

Try Mediterranean quinoa salad, Mexican quinoa salad, or Asian quinoa salad for a taste adventure!

Grain-based casseroles

Grain-based casseroles are a hearty and wholesome option for feeding a large family, especially when made with gluten free grains. They can be created with various grains, such as rice, quinoa, or barley, and combined with vegetables, proteins, and seasonings for a satisfying and nutritious meal.

Try Mexican-style quinoa casserole, cheesy broccoli and rice casserole, or barley and mushroom casserole for a flavorful and filling dinner that will have everyone asking for seconds!

Soup's on!

Nothing warms the soul like a hot bowl of soup, and we’ve got some delicious and comforting soup recipes that are perfect for big families. In this section, we’ll introduce you to classic chicken noodle soup, hearty vegetable minestrone, and flavorful bone broth ramen.

So grab your soup ladle and let’s dive into the world of comforting and nourishing soups!

Chicken noodle soup

A classic chicken noodle soup is not only comforting but also nourishing. Start by sautéing onions, carrots, and celery in a large pot for a flavorful base. Then add chicken broth, diced chicken, and egg noodles, simmering until the noodles are cooked.

Season with salt and pepper to taste for a mouthwatering dish that the whole family will love. Make a big batch of this delicious soup and watch it disappear in no time!

Vegetable minestrone

Vegetable minestrone is a delicious and healthy soup that’s perfect for big families. Start by sautéing onions, carrots, celery, and garlic in a large pot, then add vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, and any other vegetables you’d like. Simmer until the vegetables are cooked and add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot and enjoy the rich flavors of this satisfying soup. It’s a great way to get your daily serving of veggies and keep everyone’s taste buds happy!

Bone broth ramen

Bone broth ramen is a delicious and nutritious meal that’s full of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Start by simmering bone broth in a large pot, then add your favorite ramen noodles and any other veggies you’d like. Simmer until the noodles are cooked and season with salt, pepper, and any other desired spices.

Top with your favorite toppings like boiled eggs, cooked shrimp, mushrooms, seaweed, scallions, and sesame seeds for a unique and tasty meal. Enjoy a comforting bowl of bone broth ramen and treat your family to a delicious and wholesome meal!

Creative pasta dishes

If your family loves pasta, why not get creative and try some unique pasta recipes? In this section, we’ll explore some delicious and inventive pasta dishes that are perfect for big families, including crab cake Alfredo, ground chicken bolognese, and pizza dough lasagna.

These recipes are sure to impress and delight your family, so let’s get cooking!

Crab cake Alfredo

Crab cake Alfredo is a decadent and indulgent pasta dish that’s perfect for special family dinners. Combining succulent crab cakes with a creamy Alfredo sauce, this dish is a true treat for the taste buds.

Simply cook your favorite pasta, such as fettuccine or linguine, and top it with the mouthwatering crab cake Alfredo sauce. It’s a luxurious and delicious meal that will make any family dinner feel like a special occasion.

Ground chicken bolognese

Add a healthier twist to a classic pasta dish with ground chicken bolognese. This scrumptious pasta dish is made with ground chicken, tomatoes, and herbs, creating a lighter yet still full of flavor alternative to the traditional beef bolognese.

Simply sauté onions, garlic, and ground chicken in a large skillet, then add the flavorful tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and seasonings. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, and serve over cooked pasta for a truly delightful meal that will have everyone asking for seconds.

Pizza dough lasagna

Pizza dough lasagna is a creative and fun pasta dish that combines two family favorites - pizza and lasagna! Layers of pizza dough, ricotta cheese, marinara sauce, and parmesan cheese create a delicious and unique meal that everyone will love. To make this dish, simply layer the pizza dough, ricotta cheese, and marinara sauce in a baking dish and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serve hot and enjoy the delicious combination of flavors in this creative pasta dish.

Versatile veggie meals

If you’re looking for some tasty and nutritious veggie-based meal ideas for your big family, you’ve come to the right place! In this section, we’ll explore some versatile veggie meals, including stir fry with frozen veggies, stuffed bell peppers, and plant-based protein bowls.

These dishes are not only delicious, but also packed with essential vitamins and minerals, making them perfect for keeping everyone healthy and happy.

Stir fry with frozen veggies

A quick and easy stir fry with frozen veggies is a great way to whip up a healthy family meal in no time. Simply heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the frozen mixed vegetables, and cook until just tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Don’t forget to add your favorite soy sauce to coat the vegetables and make them even tastier! Serve over rice or noodles for a delicious and nutritious meal that everyone will enjoy.

Stuffed bell peppers

Stuffed bell peppers are a flavorful and nutritious meal that can be customized with various fillings. To make them, simply cut the tops off the peppers and remove the seeds. Cook your preferred filling mixture, such as ground beef, rice, onions, and tomato sauce, and stuff the peppers with the filling. Place the stuffed peppers in a baking dish, cover, and bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes.

Remove the cover, top with cheese, and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy the deliciousness of these versatile veggie meals!

Plant-based protein bowls

Plant-based protein bowls are a satisfying and protein-packed meal option for a healthy family dinner. Start by choosing a base such as quinoa or brown rice and then add plant-based protein sources like tofu, seitan, edamame, or beans. Include vegetables and toppings of your choice, such as leafy greens, roasted vegetables, or avocado.

Mix and match ingredients to create your own unique and delicious plant-based protein bowl that everyone will love.

Crowd-pleasing meal ideas

Bring the family together with fun and interactive meal ideas that everyone will love. In this section, we’ll explore some crowd-pleasing meal ideas, including build-your-own taco bars, DIY sandwich stations, and family-style pasta nights.

These interactive and customizable meal options will not only provide delicious food but also create lasting memories as everyone participates in the meal preparation.

Build-your-own taco bar

A taco bar is a fantastic way to let family members craft their own scrumptious tacos. Set up a taco bar with a variety of toppings, such as ground beef or chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, and salsa, and let everyone assemble their own tacos.

This fun and interactive meal idea is perfect for bringing the whole family together in the kitchen and creating a memorable dining experience.

DIY sandwich station

A DIY sandwich station is a fun and customizable meal idea for big families. Provide a variety of bread, meats, cheeses, and condiments, and let everyone create their own delicious sandwich masterpiece. This interactive meal idea encourages creativity and allows everyone to enjoy their favorite sandwich combinations.

Plus, it’s a great way to use up leftovers and pantry staples!

Family-style pasta night

Cook up a variety of pasta dishes and serve them family-style for a fun and interactive dinner. This meal idea encourages everyone to try new pasta dishes and share their favorite recipes. From classic spaghetti and meatballs to creative pasta bakes, a family-style pasta night is a delicious and entertaining way to bring everyone together around the dinner table.

It’s easy to customize the meal to everyone’s tastes and dietary needs. Consider adding a variety of options.

One pan or more

In conclusion, meal prepping for big families doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With these delicious, healthy, and creative meal prep ideas, you can easily create meals that will please everyone in the family. From slow cooker sensations to versatile veggie meals, there’s something for everyone in these recipes. So gather your family, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to create some unforgettable meals and memories!

Frequently asked questions

What are best foods for meal prepping?

For your meal prep, focus on healthy and nutritious proteins like chicken and fish, whole grains, dried beans and legumes, and roasted vegetables to fuel your body and maximize nutrition.

Is it safe to meal prep for 5 days?

With proper storage, it is generally safe to meal prep for up to five days. Be sure to follow the USDA guidelines on storage times and containers for food safety.

Is meal prepping the best way to lose weight?

Meal prep is an effective tool for weight loss as it helps to control caloric intake and provides variety. It also eliminates the temptation of takeout meals, reduces morning hunger, and removes the stress of daily meal planning.

What to make a large family for dinner?

Feeding a large family is simple with these ideas! Enjoy 51 Quick-Prep Meals, 34 Simple Recipes, and Large Family Meal Ideas.

Bon appétit!

Can I make a healthy meal with frozen vegetables?

Yes, you can make a healthy meal with frozen vegetables - just whip up a quick and nutritious stir fry for the family!

Start by heating a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add your favorite frozen vegetables and stir-fry for about 5 minutes. Then, add a tablespoon of soy sauce and a tablespoon of peanut butter.