Learn the importance of batch cooking for easy, nutritious meal prep and find the best gluten free batch cooking recipes to fit all your flavor preferences and dietary needs! We cover what exactly batch cooking is, tips to make it a breeze, the best foods to prepare in bulk, and more!
What Exactly Is Batch Cooking, Anyway?
Batch cooking is exactly what it sounds like! A popular type of meal prep, it is simply the process of preparing a lot of a single food or different foods at once. Typically, this involves preparing a single ingredient or two like chicken and beans, but it can also include entire meals. The key is that whatever is being made is easy to prepare, can be made in bulk, and keeps throughout the week.
Why We Do It
As much as we love to cook and enjoy our time in the kitchen, we don’t always have time to whip up complete meals from scratch. That’s where batch cooking recipes come into play! Rather than opt for fast food or frozen dinners, we set aside an hour or two each week to prepare staple ingredients that can easily be mixed and matched. Then, it’s easy to assemble complete meals in a matter of minutes without sacrificing flavor or nutrients!
The Best Foods for Batch Cooking
When it comes to batch cooking and gluten free eating, a common misconception is that it’s difficult and expensive to do. After all, what are you supposed to eat without bread or pasta?! Of course, we have gluten free options for both like our Homemade Nut and Seed Paleo Bread and Creamy Tomato Gluten Free Pasta. However, when it comes to simple meals and real food, you might be surprised to learn that there’s a pretty extensive list of gluten free, budget-friendly basics, and we’re listing our favorites below!
How to Batch Cook
Alright, now that you know what it is, let’s talk about how to actually do it! The first step is to plan in advance. Take a look at what you have in your pantry and fridge, and plan out meals you’d like to make. Then, create a shopping list to make sure you have everything you need!
The Best Tools to Use
When it comes to batch cooking, kitchen appliances and tools are your best friend! Not only do they help speed up the cooking process, but they also allow you to cook multiple items at once without becoming overwhelmed. Some of our go-to tools include:
- Sheet Pans
- Large Pots
- Sharp Knives and Cutting Boards
- Slow Cooker
- Instant Pot
- Air Fryer
- Airtight Storage Containers
Simple Tips for Easy Meal Prep
- Double Recipes. The easiest way to begin batch cooking is to simply take what you already cook and make a double batch. Then, enjoy one right away, and freeze the rest for later!
- Label Your Leftovers. To prevent food from going to waste, make sure to label everything you store or freezer with the date it is made. This makes it easy to sort through your fridge and freezer, using the oldest foods first.
- Prepare in Advance. One of the best ways to make batch cooking quick and easy is to clean, prepare, and slice as much as you can before you begin. Then, all you have to do is put them together, and cook away!
- Make Cleaning Easy. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when cooking a lot of food at once. To prevent this from happening and cut down on clean-up time, we recommend washing dishes, wiping down counters, and throwing out scraps as you work. Then, you don’t have to do it all at once!
- Utilize Different Sides. If you don’t enjoy eating the same exact foods day after day, try preparing several different sides or just a main dish. Then, create different combinations using a variety of sides, sauces, and condiments throughout the week!
Gluten Free Batch Cooking Meal Prep Recipes
Alright, now that you know what batch cooking is, which foods to use, and the best tips and tricks, it’s time to put your skills to use with our gluten free batch cooking meal prep recipes below!
Note: All of the recipes below can be prepared in advance. However, specific storage instructions will vary based on the recipe. So, be sure to take a look at the individual recipe cards for tips to ensure your food stays fresh!
Batch Cooking Breakfast
Fuel up for your day no matter how busy your mornings may be with these easy make-ahead breakfast recipes!
Sheet Pan Chocolate Protein Pancakes – These nutritious gluten free pancakes are low in carbs, high in protein, and loaded with chocolate flavor. Even better, they’re made on a sheet pan and great to make in bulk!
Instant Pot Oatmeal in a Jar – Make a big batch of these superfood oats in minutes with the help of the Instant Pot! Loaded with fruit, veggies, and flavor, they’re easily customized to fit all your needs and guaranteed to leave you feeling full.
Pro-Tip: Once cooked, divide the eggs up into 1-cup portions (or appropriate portions for your needs. Then, they’re easy to grab and add to all your favorite meals and recipes!
Noatmeal – Thick and satisfying like oatmeal, this gluten free recipe is completely grain free and ready in 20 minutes! Try all 3 flavor options, or choose just one for a filling breakfast everyone will love.
Meal Prep Tip: To prepare oatmeal in advance, combine all of your ingredients. Just be sure to leave out the milk until just before you’re ready to serve!
Breakfast Sausage – Just like your favorite diner but better, this recipe is grain free, egg free, low carb, and gluten free. Plus, it’s absolutely packed with warm spices and tons of flavor that will have you jumping out of bed and ready to eat!
Batch Cooking Lunches
Whether you’re packing for the office, looking for lunchbox options, or just something quick to grab for lunch, we’ve got you covered with the easy gluten free options below!
Crock Pot Chicken Salad Sliders – Not your average chicken salad, this recipe utilizes leftover shredded chicken and contains zero mayo for a quick recipe that’s creamy, tangy, and unbelievably easy to make!
Mason Jar Salad Recipes (3 Ways) – Pick your favorite or make all 3 recipes for light, filling, and nutritious meals you can take on the go wherever your day takes you.
Gluten Free Gnocchi Pesto Pasta Salad – Take your pasta salad up a notch with the addition of blistered veggies and an herbaceous pesto sauce. Served hot, cold, or at room temperature, this gluten free recipe is perfect for all your needs.
Batch Cooking Snacks
Gluten Free Coconut Orange Muffins – Made with fresh orange juice and coconut shreds, these protein-packed muffins will transport you to a tropical island with just one bite.
Multiseed Homemade Healthy Crackers – Made without any flour or nuts, these crunchy, seedy crackers are super tasty and full of health benefits, too!
Apricot Fig Energy Bites – The best quick, wholesome snack recipe to help fuel your day, these tasty bites are made with real food ingredients and no added sugar and are ready in a matter of minutes!
Batch Cooking Dinners
Instant Pot Gumbo (Vegetarian/Vegan) – The ultimate gluten free, budget-friendly comfort food, this quick gumbo is inspired by the classic New Orleans dish but is completely plant-based.
Air Fryer Salmon – Topped with a simple sauce for added tenderness and flavor, this salmon is easy to make in bulk and can be paired with all your favorite sides for new meals every day of the week!
One Skillet Mexican Quinoa – Easy to make with leftover scraps, this gluten free dinner is hearty, flavorful, and loaded with nutrients for a quick dinner the whole family will love.
Tuna Noodle Casserole – Dairy free, gluten free, and easy to freeze, this casserole is made with just 7 ingredients for a protein-packed dinner that makes enough to feed a crowd.
Coconut Milk Chicken – Made in the oven, Instant Pot, or on the stovetop, this moist, nutrient-rich chicken is great to make in bulk and pair with sides like rice, quinoa, and more.
Do you have questions, feedback, or tips about this recipe? Leave a comment below with any questions or feedback you’d like to share!