Make Ahead Meals: Stuffed Peppers & Chicken Fajita Bake

In our last post we gave you a few tips on how to create an easy and effortless weekly meal plan. This week we’re giving you some more tangible tools: two make-ahead meals, a complementary shopping list, and a step-by-step guide on how to prepare these ingredients ahead of time.

We recommend taking some time at the beginning of the week to chop and marinate (see our specific guidelines below) so you can prepare both of these recipes in a pinch. Each recipe serves 6-8 people so you can enjoy it with the whole family, or store the leftovers for later-in-the-week lunches. Either way, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the recipes in the comments below.

Let’s get cooking!

Stuffed Peppers

Makes 8 peppers

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 4 sweet Italian chicken sausages (find theses fresh in the meat section of your grocery store)
  • 8 bell peppers, tops cut off and seeds removed
  • 1, 15 oz can cannellini or white beans
  • 4 cups raw spinach (or 2 cups frozen).
  • 1 cup fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped or shredded

Step 1

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Step 2

In a large skilled over medium heat, add 2 cups water and 1 cup quinoa. Let simmer until cooked through and all of the water is absorbed. Add the Italian sausages and saute until cooked. Fold in the beans and spinach and stir until spinach is wilted. Add extra water if necessary to prevent sticking.

Step 3

Turn off heat and fold in mozzarella. Spoon the mixture into each pepper and put the top back on. Place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes, until peppers are cooked and tops are browned. Remove and enjoy!

To store: Place in a container, cover, and refrigerate.

To reheat: Enjoy cold or heat in the oven at 425 F or in the microwave until hot.


Chicken Fajita Bake

Serves 6-8

  • 2 lbs chicken breast, chopped
  • 1 packet fajita seasoning
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced into half moons
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup monterey jack cheese
  • 100% corn or whole grain tortillas

Step 1

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Step 2

In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil, chicken, and fajita seasoning. Stir until browned. Add peppers, onions and tomatoes, cook until tender, and water from vegetables has evaporated. Salt to taste.

Step 3

Place contents into a 9x9 baking dish and top with cheese. Bake for 5-10 minutes, until cheese is melted. Enjoy with 100% corn or whole wheat tortillas.

To store: Cover and refrigerate.

To reheat: Place desired amount in oven and heat at 425 F or microwave until hot.


Shopping List

Produce

  • 12 bell peppers (variety of colors)
  • 1 package raw or frozen spinach
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tomatoes

Meat

  • 4 sweet Italian chicken sausages
  • 2 lbs chicken breast

Grocery

  • 1 package Quinoa
  • 1, 15 oz can cannellini or white beans
  • 1 packet fajita seasoning
  • 100% corn or whole wheat tortillas
  • Olive Oil

Dairy

  • Mozzarella cheese (fresh)
  • Monterey jack cheese

To Prep Ahead:

Bell Peppers

Remove the tops and seeds from 8 bell peppers. Set aside in an airtight container until ready to make the Stuffed Pepper dish.

Take the remaining peppers and slice into 2 inch pieces. Place in a container.

Onion

Slice onion into half moons. Add to the container with the sliced bell peppers.

Tomato

Dice tomatoes. Add to the container with the sliced bell peppers and onion.

Chicken

Dice chicken and place in a plastic ziplock bag. Add the packet of fajita seasoning. Store in fridge until ready to make the fajita bake.

Now, all of your ingredients are prepped for quick and easy weeknight meals!