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Meal Prepping Vegetables: Quick and Delicious Cooking Methods

As a dietitian, I have worked with many people who tell me they don’t like vegetables. I’m convinced that those people have had a bad experience with vegetables. 

Most likely, they have eaten vegetables that just didn’t taste good and were turned off all vegetables. If this feeling sounds familiar, please don’t give up! 

Let me show you all the different ways you can easily meal prep tasty vegetables you want to eat. We’ll cover fast cooking methods to prepare vegetables and tips to help you succeed.  

Roast Vegetables

Roasting is a great way to bring out the earthy flavors of vegetables. 

By choosing more tender vegetables, your cooking time will take less than 10 minutes!

Simply toss veggies in a sheet pan with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast while you prepare the rest of your meal. 

Vegetables to Roast in Oven at 400 Degrees for 6-8 Minutes:

  • Asparagus
  • Green beans 
  • Broccolini 

If you plan on eating your veggies the next day, reduce the cooking time to allow for a crunchier texture when you reheat them.

Seasoned asparagus on a sheet pan

Grill Vegetables

Who doesn’t love the smokey flavor grilling adds to any food? You only have to cut the vegetables and place them directly on the grill. No need to season before grilling.

Cook the vegetables for about 5 minutes on each side, and don’t move them so they cook thoroughly and get that signature grill mark.

After the veggies are done, add a marinade or sauce to serve them as a side, or eat them in a salad or sandwich.

Best vegetables on the grill for less than 15 minutes:

  • Zucchini
  • Eggplant
  • Bell Peppers
  • Mushrooms
Vegetables cooking on a grill

Stir-Frying and Sauteing Vegetables

Stir-frying and sauteing can be very similar, but there is a difference. Stir-frying is quick cooking with high heat. Sauteing uses medium heat and can take just a bit longer to cook.

 Both stir-frying and sauteing are versatile and quick cooking methods. 

All you need is oil to stir-fry or saute, and you are left with tender yet crisp vegetables. Cook with some garlic, salt, and pepper, or add a sauce for more flavor. 

Best stir-fry vegetables:

  • Broccoli
  • Snap peas
  • Bell peppers

Best Vegetables to Saute: 

  • Kale, spinach, and other hardy greens
  • Shaved brussels sprouts
  • Mushrooms 
Vegetables sautéing in a cast iron pan on stovetop

Steaming Vegetables

Steaming plain vegetables may yield a less flavorful result but can be a great way to cook vegetables faster.

I like to steam vegetables that take longer to cook, like broccoli, in the microwave and then finish them off by sauteing them with garlic and a little bit of olive oil. 

This helps to have a more flavorful vegetable but cuts the cooking time in half. 

Air-Frying Vegetables

An air fryer is a small convection oven that surrounds the food with heat, resulting in a crunchy texture similar to fried food minus tons of oil. 

Air fryers cook food quickly and are beginner-friendly. 

Along with cooking veggies quickly, air frying is also excellent for reheating leftovers for a just-cooked fresh taste that will make it your favorite appliance. 

Vegetables to air fry:

  • Potato
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus
  • Green beans
Greens and onion cooking in a pot on the stove top

Tips and Tricks

Cook Smart

Try to chop veggies in the same size so they all finish cooking at the same time.

A small amount of oil goes a long way. Using too much oil to season your veggies can make them mushy. 

Eat seasonally

In the U.S., you can go to any grocery store and find any produce you want. However, that doesn’t mean that all vegetables are in season year-round. 

Do some research to see what foods are in season in your area during the time of year that you are in. Perhaps you had a vegetable out of season that didn’t taste great. 

Eating foods when they are in season will give you the best flavor, and the vegetables will be at their nutritional peak. It’s a win-win. 

Think Ahead

As I mentioned earlier, if you plan on reheating vegetables, try to reduce the cooking time by 2-3 minutes so that they are not soggy when you reheat them. 

Roasted or air-fried vegetables also reheat well in an air fryer, so if you have one available, try it! 

Follow your taste buds

Think about salads or vegetable sides from your favorite restaurants and recreate them. 

I recently did this when I ate lunch at a Mediterranean restaurant. I loved this light arugula salad, found a simple recipe, and threw it all together at home.

It can be easy to bring a tasty dish to your everyday meals. Get inspired. 

Summary

There are many ways to cook tasty vegetables for your meal-prepping needs that are easy to learn.

I recommend you start with sauteing or stir-frying your favorite vegetable and then explore the other methods.

Feel free to share with me on instagram your culinary journey as you try to cook veggies at home to enjoy with your everyday meals. 

If you want to learn more about how to make a healthy and well-balanced meal, grab my free guide to learn more.

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