Enough with the boring grain bowls.
Credit: Sara Tane

People typically lend themselves to one of two categories: They either spend their Sundays diligently laboring over proteins, veggies, and grains for a week of efficient, planned-out eating, or they spend their Sunday scrolling through Instagram, double-tapping all of their favorite influencer’s meal prep spreads that they just wish they had the self-discipline and motivation to make for themselves. Siiiiiiigh.

This is the week that you’re a proud member of the former.

In a world full of quinoa bowls, roasted chicken, and veggie stir-fries meticulously packed away in uniform plastic containers, there’s one clutch meal prep staple food that we’re not talking about but should be. Guys...I’m talking about MEATBALLS. If you’re not living in the dark and are no stranger to including a good ol’ batch of meatballs in your weekly rotation of foods to crank out on your meal prep day, then bravo! You are already living your best life without any help from me. That said, if you’ve never even considered taking the time to make such a classic dish instead of another dreadful week of hard-boiled eggs, rice, and beans, then it’s time to shake up your Sunday prep game. And that means one thing and one thing only, it’s time to make some meatballs.

Watch Now: How to Make Basil Chicken Meatballs

In my eyes, what makes a particular food or recipe great for week-long meal prep is that it’s versatile. While an arrangement of five, identical plastic containers laid out side by side, lined up for Monday through Friday might be eye candy for a Type-A personality, that’s just not the way that I want to eat. Most of us are probably going to be sick of whatever it is we made by day 2. With meatballs, there’s nothing to worry about, because you can work them into your meals in a variety of ways that keeps things exciting and new, without forcing you to strap on the apron and spend an inordinate amount of time in your kitchen every day.

Whether you opt for a pork, beef, turkey, lamb, or chicken meatball (or any combination that you so choose), you’re setting yourself up for a week of delicious eating. You can make them a little bit more indulgent with the addition of breadcrumbs and cheese, but as long as you’ve got some ground meat, spices, some fresh herbs, and a beaten egg to tie it all together, then you’re good to go. From there, you can opt to eat your meatballs straight-up, or stir them into your sauce of choice (jarred is very acceptable).

Not to mention, you can tuck them into subs, pitas, and sandwiches for a happy desk lunch that is way more exciting than a deli container with last night’s leftovers. You know where else little baby spheres of meat are extremely welcome? SOUP. Get a brothy, vegetable-friendly concoction going, and finish it off with a handful o’ balls. Additionally, you can crumble up the meatballs and incorporate them into stir-fries, casseroles, omelets, and salads. If you went a little bit overboard on your meatball prep (it happens) and you’re not sure you can plow through them all, seal some away in a zip-top bag and stash them in your freezer for up to 3 months. Regardless, pat yourself on the back because you did meal prep like a boss. #MEATBALLIN.’

By Sara Tane and Sara Tane