Joanna Gaines’ Time-Saving Meal Prep Tips She Lives By

When it comes to keeping to a schedule and staying organized, the Gaines family has it totally under control. From their restaurant to their realty company to their many events (and, of course, taking care of five kids), Chip and Joanna Gaines need to plan everything ahead in order to be as productive as possible. And instead of eating out all the time or hiring their own personal chef, Joanna Gaines has her own meal prep tips she uses every week to ensure her family can eat delicious, homemade food all week long.

Joanna takes 30 minutes per week to write out her meals

Joanna and Chip Gaines

Joanna and Chip Gaines | Joanna Gaines via Instagram

Joanna has written about her meal prep tips before on her Magnolia blog — and one of the most helpful tips she offers is the idea of putting pen to paper to plan out every meal in advance. Using this template, she takes 30 minutes of her week to sit and write out each meal she’s planning on making for each day of the week. Then, she adds the ingredients she needs to grab from the market in a list next to the meals.

“When I plan out my meals a week ahead of time and do all the shopping at once, I’m much less likely to give in and grab takeout on my way home from work,” she writes. “And when I plan a night to go out to eat, I see it up on my meal calendar and look forward to it all week.”

Joanna also says that once she’s finished with her list, she’ll take a photo of it with her phone to take with her to the store and leave the actual list on her refrigerator. That way, her entire family can see what’s on the menu, too.

She often preps breakfast the night before

French toast

Joanna Gaines’ French toast | Magnolia via Instagram

Her meal prep doesn’t stop at just planning out her meals. When it comes to back-to-school season, there’s little time in the mornings for her, Chip, and the kids to sit down and have a full breakfast — so she often preps overnight to have a delicious homemade meal ready for the entire family.

One of her favorite breakfasts that she preps the night before is her overnight French toast. And her banana bread is another favorite of hers that she makes ahead of time. “My kids love homemade banana bread, and on a morning like this one, it’s priority to me that my kids get a good breakfast — no matter how much time we don’t have,” she writes on the blog. Both of these recipes keep for several days, too, so leftovers are also a great option.

Joanna preps all of her veggies for the entire week at once

Joanna Gaines' roasted veggies

Joanna Gaines’ roasted veggies | Joanna Gaines via Instagram

If you’re not prepping your veggies as soon as you bring them home from the store, you could be wasting valuable time. On Instagram, Joanna posted a photo of perfectly roasted veggies with a helpful caption on how she preps them. She mentions that at the beginning of her week, she sets aside 30 minutes to clean and chop all of her fresh produce. Then, she oven roasts her veggies since her kids prefer them this way rather than steamed or raw.

“It’s simple- line your pan with foil and drizzle your veggies with olive oil (I like to stir around to make sure it’s all coated) and then sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground pepper,” she writes. Then, she bakes them at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes until they’re tender. She can then store them and add them into dishes all week long.

She’ll buy store-bought rotisserie chickens to help

When she’s in a serious pinch, Joanna has been known to employ the help of store-bought rotisserie chicken. Cooking Light reports Joanna told The Kitchn that she was on a chicken enchilada kick for awhile. And thanks to her meal prep tips, the dish was coming together in as little as 20 minutes.

It wasn’t just her meal planning that helped her with this dish, however. Joanna also mentioned that she used leftover store-bought rotisserie chicken to make the dish as simple as can be. There’s absolutely no shame in this, either. When you’re in a pinch, rotisserie chicken can be a huge time and money saver. If it’s a Joanna-approved tip, we’re willing to try it, too.

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