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Meal Prep: Chicken with Green Beans
Meal Prep: Chicken with Green Beans
Angelina Ho

How to Meal Prep (It’s Actually Not Too Hard)

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Irvine chapter.

Let’s talk about meal prep, baby. I know as we college students juggle with school, extracurriculars, and just trying to maintain a normal social life. We don’t have time to cook every single day and eventually resort to buying food. This option can come at a hefty price and sometimes is unhealthy for you but meal prepping is healthier, nutrient-packed, and cheaper alternative. 

Patrick Spongebob Money

I started meal prepping since my sophomore year and I still meal prep to this day–though I admit that sometimes I do get tired of consuming the same foods everyday. However, meal prepping has saved me lots of money and gave me security that I had food available to eat during busy school days. I know meal prepping may not be for everyone especially to someone who does not enjoy cooking, but I recommend to just try it out for one week and see if it is for you.  Here are some tips for meal prepping that I have learned and a healthy but delicious recipe to get started on that meal prepping journey! 

First of all, if you don’t have the Vons/Albertsons (Safeway if you’re from NorCal) app, download it now! Beyond club price deals, the app offers lots of other deals and coupons for your favorite snacks, fruits, pasta, etc. #notsponsored! In addition, if you rack up enough rewards, you can get free groceries or save money on your purchase. I have saved lots of money using the Vons/Albertsons app and bought many of my favorite foods for less. 

Secondly, for days when I am not sure of what I eat, I google meal prep for inspiration for the days. Most meal prep recipes are fairly easy to execute if you have little experience in cooking but also require some time. Set aside about two to three hours on Sundays or a day that is convenient/less busy for you. Remember to reward yourself after meal prepping!

Third of all, do not choose a recipe that you will not like. Mind you, you will be eating this food for a week. Which brings me to my next point, always adjust the recipes according to your own taste. Don’t be afraid to add more meat or vegetables or substitute certain ingredients. Cooking is all about you and your little taste buds!

Lastly, you don’t have to buy those meal prep containers that you see all over the internet. Save some money by buying large reusable containers from Daiso or DollarTree and pack your food in those containers. This style of meal prepping is called, “Buffet-style Meal Prep.” When you want to eat, just scoop your food onto your plate from the container and microwave! 

Don’t be intimidated by the meal prepping process. The large quantities of ingredients and cooking for a long period of time may be time-consuming but does not equate to deciding what to eat everyday and starving yourself. Try it for a week and you will see the benefits and convenience of meal prepping. Good luck and happy meal prepping! Check out my recipe below to get started on the meal prepping journey! 

Spicy Chipotle Chicken with Stir-Fry Garlic Green Beans 


  • For the chicken marinade: 

    • 3-5 chicken breasts 

    • 1 canned chipotle adobo sauce

    • 2 garlic cloves

    • ¼ cup chopped onion

    • 2 tablespoon olive oil

    • 1 tablespoon paprika

    • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

    • 1 teaspoon salt

    • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • For the stir-fry garlic green beans:

    • A bag of fresh green beans (approx 1 lb) 

    • ½ onion, sliced

    • 3-4 garlic cloves

    • 1 teaspoon of olive oil

    • Salt and pepper to taste 


  • For the chicken:

    • Marinating: 

      • In a blender, put in the canned chipotle adobo sauce, garlic cloves, chopped onion, olive oil, paprika, ground cumin, salt, and black pepper and blend until it becomes a smooth sauce. 

      • Place chicken (you can also cut the chicken in cubes before placing in the bag – optional) and pour sauce in a large gallon Ziploc bag and mix thoroughly. 

      • Let the chicken marinade for at least 2 hours or overnight.

    • Cooking:

      • Heat up your pan on medium heat until hot. 

      • Place your chicken on the pan and let it cook for 10 minutes on each side. The cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of your chicken breast and if the pan is hot enough. You can test if the chicken is ready by cutting it from the middle. If it is still pink/uncooked, then let it keep cooking. Do not overcrowd your pan and cook each chicken breast if you can. 

      • Rest your chicken before slicing the chicken! 

  • For the garlic green beans

    • Mince your garlic cloves and sliced your onions. 

    • Heat oil in a pan for 1-2 minutes on medium heat. 

    • Stir fry in the garlic and onions until soft and fragrant.

    • Then, toss in the green beans until it is tender and cooked thoroughly (approximately 5 – 10 minutes). How you like your vegetables done is entirely up to you.

    • Season with salt and pepper according to your taste! 

Angelina Ho

UC Irvine '21

Angelina is a fourth-year majoring in Psychological Science and minoring in Management at UC Irvine. You can always find her watching Netflix, hanging out with friends, listening to chill music, and cooking during her free time.