If you’ve ever attempted a keto diet (known officially as a ketogenic diet), then you know how hard it can be to find food that you 1) like to eat, 2) that is affordable, and 3) won’t take you forever to cook. The answer to all three of these issues is this incredible list of easy keto meal prep recipes.
As a former wrestler, and long-time gym-rat, I think I’ve learned a few things along the way when it comes to eating healthy and doing it for cheap. Meal prepping has simplified my life, bought back hours a week of my time, and it has saved me thousands of dollars.
If you want to get straight to the list of cheap keto meal prep recipes just scroll down a bit.
Meal Prep Resources I’ve Written:
- How to Meal Prep: The EPIC, Step-By-Step Meal Prep for Beginners Guide
- 46 Easy and Cheap Meal Prep Recipes You Can make for $2 or Less Per Serving
- How Meal Prepping Can Save you $215,000
- 28 Easy and Cheap Vegetarian Meal Prep Ideas to Eat Healthy
- 40 Easy One Pot Meals to Rock your Sunday Meal Prep
- 54 Easy Healthy Meal Prep Ideas for Weight Loss
What is Keto / What is a keto diet?
- What is Keto / What is a keto diet?
- How long does it take to get into ketosis?
- How to get into Ketosis fast
- 43 Easy and Cheap Keto Meal Prep Recipes
A keto diet is a style of eating that is focused on getting your body into what is called Ketosis (a a state where your body burns fat for energy instead of carbs). In the most simple terms, a keto or ketogenic diet is a no-carb diet that allows for a high intake of protein and fat.
When you eat carbs, your body converts them into glycogen and stores them up in your muscles. Everything extra gets stored up as fat. When you starve your body of new carb sources and burn up all of the glycogen in your muscles, then your body is forced to start using all of the fat you have stored up for energy.
It can be an incredible diet for weight loss if you have an appetite for meat and you have the discipline to refuse carbs. It’s absolutely not easy to stick to, but it is effective. There are a lot of benefits of the keto diet, but the weight loss and the extra energy are my favorites.
How long does it take to get into ketosis?
This is the golden question for all keto dieters! The sooner you can get your body into ketosis, the sooner you start using fat for fuel! Most people who have studied keto diets say that it takes between 2-4 days to get into ketosis and it can take up to a week.
The first time you try a keto diet, it will take your body longer to make the switch. But every time after that, your body will make the switch quicker.
How to get into Ketosis fast
If you want to get into ketosis as fast as possible, you need to do a couple of things right.
1. Skip the pre-diet carb binge
The worst thing you can do for getting into ketosis is to eat an insane amount of carbs right before you start. Imagine you are trying to use up all the gas in the car. When you eat a high-carb meal right before starting keto, you are basically topping off your gas tank and filling up a few extra gas cans. This will just take you longer to get into ketosis.
You MUST avoid having an all-out binge the night before starting your keto diet.
2. Deplete your energy
You need to get rid of all that energy (glycogen from carbs) you have stored up as fast as possible. The easiest & most painful way to do this is to do high intensity fasted cardio the first few days of your keto diet. The higher intensity, the more of that stored up energy you’ll use up.
3. Do a mini-fast
One of the most effective ways to get into ketosis fast is to to a short fast before actually starting your keto diet. Let’s say you wanted to start your keto diet on a Monday, you might eat your last meal Sunday at around lunch-time and just have a handful of nuts or veggies for dinner.
4. Ramp up your fat-intake
When you’re in ketosis, your body is using fat for energy. This means you need to give your body the energy it needs! My favorite keto meal prep recipe to get started on keto is #29 on this list. I love to add in half an avocado to really increase the fat intake.
If you want more help, check out this guide on how to get into ketosis faster.
Want more recipe ideas? Here’s an incredible list of 140 of the best make ahead meals out there for whenever you’re on a break from keto!
Want to save more money on meal prepping?
Have you ever heard of Ibotta? Ibotta is an awesome app that helps you save money on groceries. All you have to do is download the app, find offers that work for you, snap a quick photo of your receipt, and you’ll start earn cash back!
43 Easy and Cheap Keto Meal Prep Recipes
8 Keto Breakfast Ideas
One of the biggest challenges to eating keto is breakfast. Sure, the idea of eating eggs and bacon everyday sounds appealing at first. After a week though, you’ll start to crave variety. The key is to change things up and find what works for you.
If you struggle giving yourself enough time each day to cook before work, then give any of these keto breakfast ideas a try!
This first recipe comes from one of my favorite resources for low carb recipes! This sausage and egg sandwich is basically a keto friendly egg mcmuffin and it is seriously delicious. The eggs might be a bit difficult to prep, but I recommend making the sandwiches and then sticking them in the freezer once you’ve got them all prepped.
Make these on Sunday and every morning you can heat one up before you head out the door for work! Super easy & keto friendly.
My go-to breakfast used to be a homemade english muffin sandwich. I could make a dozen of them ahead of time and all I had to do was stick it in the oven or toaster for a few minutes before walking out the door. This recipe has been the perfect substitute!
You can make several sandwiches at a time, wrap them in parchment paper, and freeze or refrigerate them. They are delicious, easy to make, and no-carb. The perfect, cheap keto meal prep recipe for breakfast.
If you’re trying to get some extra “hidden” veggies into your keto diet, then this spinach quiche is perfect for you. If you’re on a keto diet, the more greens you eat, the better you’ll feel.
This quiche is super easy to make & tastes surprisingly good reheated! I recommend eating it within a few days of first making it though.
Honestly, this might be my favorite recipe on this list of keto breakfast ideas. The peppers stuffed with sausage and an over-easy egg is impossible to beat. The recipe is super simple as well: cook sausage, stuff it in a bell pepper, add an egg and bake until ready.
For meal prepping, I recommend keeping the egg pretty runny on the first cook through. That way, when you reheat it, it isn’t tough or overdone.
Finding breakfast meal prep ideas that taste good days after is tough, but the secret for me has been these keto egg muffins. They heat up easily and with a little bit of sriracha or cholula, are great to eat for several days. I usually make 24 at a time and eat 4-6 a day for breakfast or a quick protein packed snack.
You can also change up the meat and veggies used each time you make it! Once made, they take about a minute to heat up and can easily be eaten on the go.
The only thing you need is a good non-stick muffin tray and don’t forget to spray the pan before cooking!
If you’re on a keto diet, I really think that breakfast is the most important meal of the day to get right. If you can start your day off feeling full & happy, you’ll be a lot less likely to slip up throughout the day.
This low carb pizza is the perfect answer if you’re looking for easy keto meal prep recipes. It’s loaded with eggs, veggies, and you can top it with bacon, sausage, steak or whatever else your heart desires.
The best part of this recipe though is how well it heats up throughout the week.
7. Mostly Prepped Sausage and Eggs
This one right here is sort of a half-done meal prep.
If you have a bit of extra time in the morning or you’re willing to get up a few minutes early, then this is what I recommend: meal prep your meat + veggies and then each day cook the eggs fresh.
- Dice onion, bell peppers, mushrooms
- Saute sausage, bacon, or whatever else
Once you’ve got your base prepped and ready, all you have to do each day is wake up, crack some eggs into a pan and when they’re halfway done, add the sausage and veggies you’ve already prepped.
This lets you have a fresh breakfast every day while also cutting down on the time you have to spend each morning.
8. Green Smoothie
If you’ve never run a keto diet before, let me break something down for you. Keto diets are high in fat and protein, but have no or very low amounts of trace carbs. You know what you’ll never find in meat or cheese?
After a week of eating keto, you’ll start to feel stopped up–literally. The lack of fiber in your diet keeps things from, ahem… moving.
When you’re on a keto diet, you have to be eating lots of green veggies to get enough daily fiber. Breakfast is the hardest though. No one wants to eat broccoli or brussel sprouts for breakfast!
I started making these simple green smoothies. They don’t taste good. I don’t like them. But they are tolerable and keep me healthy. That’s what adults do right?
3 Step Green Smoothies:
- Fill blender with spinach, kale, or mixed greens
- Fill halfway up with water & blend thoroughly.
- Add cucumber, celery, or both. Blend some more.
Jar it up and drink one every morning.
7 Easy Keto Lunch Meal Prep Recipes
Most of these cheap keto meals would work well for dinner, but I thought I’d give you a few of my favorite keto lunch meal prep ideas! I prefer lighter and easier to re-heat meals for lunch so all of these will definitely be on the healthier side for keto.
If you can’t tell by now, we have a serious addiction to mexican food. Tacos are basically a food group of their own and if I had it my way, every day would be taco Tuesday.
But when you’re on keto, the next best thing is a good taco salad. The key to meal prepping for taco salad is to prepare the meat ahead of time and then have a ziploc container for the salad & veggies.
This right here is super easy to make ahead of time and is a great healthy keto meal prep recipe.
10. Chicken Salad in Lettuce Wrap
A few months ago I had the most amazing chicken salad from a coffee shop in my area. I immediately went onto pinterest and found a couple of recipes to test out!
My favorite so far has been this one: Savory Chicken Salad Quick and Easy
I’ve made a few adjustments that fit my taste, but that one is a great place to start. Instead of a croissant or bread, use the chicken salad to make a lettuce wrap! I highly recommend adding in some horseradish to give it a bit of a kick! This is one of the easiest keto meal prep recipes because it doesn’t involve re-heating anything.
Most people know that mediterranean food is healthy! Almost every dish is loaded with veggies, chicken or fish. This greek chicken is one of my favorites! The flavors come together so well and the marinade is super easy to make!
This is definitely one of my favorite keto lunch meal prep recipes because it is light and filling at the same time. I can eat a good amount to stave off the hunger without getting tired from all the fats of most keto recipes.
Few foods bring me to my happy place faster than a plate full of delicious greek good with plenty of tzatziki. These greek meatballs are the perfect protein packed snack or keto friendly lunch. You’ll need to skip the breadcrumbs to make sure they stay keto, but they’ll still hold up decently well without them.
I recommend getting 2 lbs of meat (half turkey, half lamb) and cooking a few dozen of these meatballs. They heat up well and are super easy to pack into your favorite meal prep container.
Now it’s pretty obvious that if you’re on a keto diet, you’re going to be consuming A LOT of meat. The diet really is designed for people who have an appetite for meat and like it so much they can get by without eating carbs.
But even for the carnivores out there like me, sometimes you need a break from chewing on chicken and steak.
This hot and sour soup recipe is a delicious keto friendly meal! The tofu makes it *somewhat* filling but if you aren’t feeling like eating a big meal and want to save a few bucks, this is a great option for you. Just make sure to go light on the cornstarch or skip it all together! A few whole eggs or egg yolks dropped into the soup can provide it a good, rich consistency.
I’ll be real, normally I’m not a huge fan of ground turkey, but if I’m trying to keep my fat intake in check while eating keto, then it is a great sub for ground beef.
These turkey burgers fit almost every healthy “fad” diet around: whole 30, paleo, keto, gluten-free, grain-free. Pretty much everything free.
This keto turkey recipe is clean eating at its absolute purest form.
Best part is?
They taste amazing. Seriously.
Back in high school I’d eat tuna during wrestling season when I needed a lot of protein with no extra calories…
Nowadays though, I actually like to enjoy my food.
This tuna recipe is super easy to make & tastes great with any kind of lettuce or vegetable. You don’t have to worry about re-heating it or anything like that! Just make a batch and enjoy it all week. This is by far one of my favorite keto meal prep recipes.
8 Beef Cheap Keto Meal Prep Recipes
These sheet pan fajitas right here are one of my go-to recipes! My wife and I eat fajitas probably once a week, at least! If I’m on a keto diet, I’ll eat the meat and veggies by themselves or on a salad. The spice blend Melissa recommends here is absolutely perfect for bringing out the meat flavor of the steak without being over-seasoned.
When it comes to keto meal prep recipes, this is one of the best!
This recipe is amazing. If you love fajitas and want the ease of doing them all at once in the oven, this is the recipe for you.
I almost didn’t include this recipe because the site is covered with ads. I mean filled to the brim. 15-16 in this one recipe. Frustrating, but the recipe is SO good that I couldn’t not include it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
I’m not exaggerating when I say that this oxtail stew is one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. Rich in flavor, great texture, and one of the most savory dishes I’ve ever made. The best part is that if you skip putting it on a bed of rice, you’ve got yourself a great keto meal prep recipe.
Oxtail itself is pretty high in fat and not the cheapest cut of meat, so I recommend putting in a few other cuts of beef like boneless short ribs. If you want to cut the cost in half, substitute a chuck roast for the oxtail. You’ll get more meat for half the price.
No I haven’t made this one yet, but it is on my list of upcoming recipes to test out. You can use any cut of beef, chicken, or pork. To make sure it is keto friendly, skip the brown sugar, but it shouldn’t affect the taste too much.
There are some more unique ingredients to this recipe, so it may not be the cheapest. But it looks amazing!
20. Philly Cheese Steak
Philly cheese steak without the bread is a keto dieter’s dream. Sauteed peppers, mushrooms, and all the cheese you want on a bed of thinly sliced steak. This is one of my go-to meals whenever I’m deep into a keto diet and need to reward myself. Not the healthiest, but it is keto friendly!
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil.
- Saute 1 Onion, 1 Green bell pepper, and 8oz mushrooms. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- Thinly slice 1 lb steak (ribeye is ideal) but sirloin can work if you’re on a budget. Saute in pan. Add veggies back in and stir all together.
- Serve in a bowl & put cheese on top
As someone who was born and raised in Texas, I grew up eating chili on a weekly basis in the fall and winter. I don’t blame my mom for making this a staple in our house. Super easy to make, cooks plenty for leftovers, cheap, and healthy. Everything we’re looking for.
What set’s Texas chili apart is the use of non-ground beef. Get yourself a chuck roast, trim the fat, and you’ll be set. To make sure this is a keto friendly recipe, you may want to skip the pinto beans and the brown sugar.
Even if you aren’t on a keto diet, this recipe is amazing and you need to try it today. This week. Try it.
It’s usually hard for me to find asian recipes that are keto friendly because they tend to use a lot of honey, brown sugar, or cornstarch to thicken the sauce.
This mongolian beef recipe is based off one a PF Chang’s classic and it actually works! The sauce isn’t as thick, but the flavors are still amazing even without the added sugar.
If you want a great asian dish to add to your list of keto meal prep recipes, this one is your best bet!
Full disclosure… I haven’t made this recipe yet myself, but I’ll be cooking it sometime in the next week and I will absolutely update this post.
But it looks freaking amazing! Skirt steak, veggies, and a fried egg to mix it all together with sounds amazing. Someone please try this as soon as possible and let me know how it is.
Meal Prep Ideas: 8 Keto Chicken Recipes
24. Loaded up Chicken Caesar Salad (My recipe)
This is a super quick recipe we eat ALL the time! It takes about 15-20 minutes to prepare and can easily make you 5-6 meals.
- Romaine lettuce
- 2 lbs chicken breast
- Caesar dressing
- Chop the romaine & cube the avocado
- Cook the bacon however you like (I prefer to cook in a pan and then use the bacon grease for the chicken).
- Season the chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder. Cook for 5-6 minutes per side or until cooked through. Let rest & slice when done.
This is another great recipe by Melissa of the “Number-2-pencil” blog!
What I love about this recipe is how well it holds up in the days after meal prepping. Some recipes have a pretty short “shelf-life” after cooking, but the chicken and veggies here almost taste better the next day when the flavors have time to sink in.
My one piece of advice is to give it a little spurt of lime juice after reheating them!
This recipe is almost exactly like the salad recipe up above, except instead of a salad, you’re eating lettuce wraps.
Obviously the easiest way to make any recipe keto-friendly is to make any meat & veggie heavy dish and instead of putting it in or on carbs, put it over lettuce.
The combination of chicken, bacon, and ranch is impossible to beat. Avocado on top just takes these wraps to the next level.
The food I miss most when dieting are chicken wings. There truly is no substitute for good wings, but this buffalo chicken can *almost* satisfy the craving when I’m a few weeks into a cut cycle. I love using the chicken to make some mini lettuce tacos. Add some ranch & blue cheese to jazz it up.
I made this chicken dish for some friends a few months back and we all fell in love with it! The spice blend & marinade is amazing and I’ve used it on a bunch of other chicken dishes. The coconut milk in the marinade gives the chicken a richness that is hard to beat.
It was super easy to prepare and it should absolutely be a staple in your list of keto chicken recipes.
If you want to lower the fat content of the meal, you can sub in chicken breast for the thighs.
I’m pretty sure this is the last lettuce wrap recipe I’ll include, but this chipotle copy-cat recipe is insanely good. I’ve made this chicken a few times now and it is a forever staple in our cooking toolbelt.
My wife makes fun of me, but every time I meal prep chicken or steak I will put at least a pound of meat into 4 different small containers. They are the perfect protein-packed snack when you want something filling and healthy!
30. Thai Chicken Noodle Soup, without the noodles, obviously!
I’ll warn you up front that this recipe takes quite a bit of prep, but it is absolutely worth it! The flavors are seriously amazing and it is one of the best keto meal prep recipes out there. You can use chicken, shrimp, and I bet any kind of flaky white fish would go really well with it.
I recommended this one in my list of 46 easy & cheap meal prep recipes that can all be made for less than $2 a serving! It is one of my favorite keto chicken recipes and comes from my favorite food blogger out there: Fit Men Cook.
With only 4 ingredients, it is one of my favorite, keto meal prep recipes for rookies in the kitchen. Loaded with flavor, this chicken curry is a great high-protein option. The best part is, this recipe only takes about 20 minutes start to finish, so you can pull it off when you’re in a hurry!
You could easily put the chicken on a salad or in a veggie wrap to jazz it up some.
2 Turkey Keto Meal Prep Recipes
This recipe right here is one of the few soups that I love to eat! The veggies and turkey meatballs make it a soup that actually fills me up. It takes a bit of time to prep the turkey meatballs, but once they’re done, it takes no time at all.
One tip though: To keep this one keto friendly, you’ll need to use almond flour or another low-carb flour option. Standard flour will knock you out of ketosis.
Chelsea’s blog is one of my go-to for healthy meal prep recipes. Almost every single one is loaded with veggies and I’m pretty sure she might be the best food photographer out there.
This sheetpan sausage and veggies recipe is by far one of my favorite easy meal preps out there. You simply cut the veggies and sausage, season it all up, and stick it in the oven.
To make this recipe keto friendly, skip the red potatoes.
2 Lamb / Pork Keto Meal Prep Recipes
This egg roll in a bowl recipe is about as addicting as it sounds. The combination of ground pork, cabbage, and all the asian sauce/seasonings, makes for a perfect keto meal prep recipe.
Whenever I’m on a keto diet, this recipe is one of my go-to’s. Lots of keto meal prep recipes just don’t taste quite “finished” without the carbs, but this one truly does not need them.
A few months ago we were craving lamb meatballs and I stumbled across this recipe by William Sonoma (weird, right?). Anyways, it looked amazing and it absolutely freaking was.
Honestly, this is easily one of the top10 meals I’ve made this year. The lamb & spices are perfect. The tzatziki is amazing, but there are much easier recipes out there. Skip the breadcrumbs and add some low-carb flour to help bind it all together.
4 Seafood Keto Meal Prep Recipes
When you first start on a keto diet, the idea of stuffing your face with meat and cheese is amazing. But after a few weeks, you’ll be tired of chicken and beef. This shrimp salad is AMAZING and incredibly easy to make. It seriously takes about 10-15 minutes to have 3-4 salads worth of food.
The shrimp taste great with cajun seasoning, blackened, or simply salt/pepper/garlic. It’s refreshing, light, and packed with flavor.
If you want a recipe that checks all the “healthy eating” options, this one is it: Keto friendly, gluten free, paleo, and whole30.
My wife and I LOVE salmon. Unfortunately, it is usually out of our budget, especially because she is all about that fresh-caught, atlantic salmon. I can get by with the farm stuff, but even that is expensive for us.
This spinach stuffed salmon though is freaking good. Like, mouth-watering, stomach growling, kind of good. If you want to finish your dinner and feel like you just ate out at a fancy restaurant, then you need to make this salmon.
Here’s another bomb salmon recipe for you that is a bit more sweet/spicy than savory. This asian-style, sweet chili salmon is one of the easiest keto meal prep recipes on this list because you simply put the fish in a baking dish, cover it with marinade, and bake it.
SO easy and really good to eat throughout the week.
So the past few months I’ve had a crazy new obsession with all things African food. It started when a friend took me to a restaurant here in Houston and I’ve been searching out new recipes since then.
The great thing about African food is that it is generally pretty healthy and they are really well seasoned/spiced!
This is the third recipe I’ve recommended from African Bites (my favorite food blog for African food)!
I actually haven’t made this one yet, but it looks amazing and easy to make. I’ll test it out soon to see if it re-heats well and I’ll report back soon!
4 Keto Side Dish Recipes
One of the keys to having success with a keto diet is to make sure you’re eating plenty of vegetables. The more green veggies you can eat, the better you and your stomach will feel. A diet without carb sources tends to be severely lacking in fiber, so eating lots of vegetables are an absolute necessity.
Here are a few of my favorite side dishes that I make when I’m on keto. They’re all super easy, tasty, and go well with most of the dishes on here.
If you haven’t noticed already, I love me some sheet pan recipes. They are a staple of easy meal prep recipes because the clean-up is so minimal.
This sheet pan recipe of broccoli and green beans is a perfect side dish. You can prepare 6-8 servings in less than 15 minutes!
41. Brussel Sprouts (My recipe)
This brussel sprout recipe is one of my own and it takes about 20 minutes to prepare, but they are freaking delicious! If you have any kind of chicken or steak dish, these brussel sprouts are the perfect keto side dish for you.
They aren’t the healthiest way to prepare them, but you’ll never go back to eating plain brussel sprouts again.
- Chop the ends off and rinse.
- Slice into thirds or do a rough chop on all the sprouts.
- Cook in pan for 10ish minutes with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Once browned, add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.
- Add in a ½-1 cup of parmesan. Mix it all in and serve hot.
Asparagus is one of those super easy to cook green veggies. If you can buy them in season, you can usually get bunches of them at a decent price.
Here is my super quick, go-to recipe:
- Rinse and cut the ends off the asparagus. Dry off.
- Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder.
- Cook in oven at 350 for 8-12 minutes depending on your texture preference. The longer you cook them, the softer they will get.
This past week I made a round of green smoothies (#8 way up above) and I had some leftover kale that I needed to cook. With a bit of searching on Pinterest, I found this recipe for kale chips.
Now for starters, I hardly consider kale to be food. It’s basically dirt.
But it is healthy dirt so I act like an adult and eat it anyways.
I have no clue if this is the best kale chips recipe out there, but it worked for me, so I’ll call that a win!
If you’ve got any recommendations for the following, hit me up:
- Low carb meal prep recipes
- Keto meal prep recipes
- Cheap meal prep recipes
I’m hoping to add to this list over time! I’m currently not running a keto diet, but I’m always on the lookout for good low-carb recipes that I can eat throughout the week.
If you’ve got any favorites, share them in the comments below!