Stress-Free Sizzle: Easy BBQ Meal Prep For Busy Weeks

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Firing up the grill for a single meal can be a chore, but the smoky goodness of barbecue is hard to resist. The solution? Easy BBQ meal prep! With a little planning and these delicious recipes, you can enjoy perfectly grilled favorites all week long without spending hours over the grill each night.

The Art of BBQ Meal Prep:

Meal Prep Plan: How To Grill Once For A Week of Dinners  The Kitchn
Meal Prep Plan: How To Grill Once For A Week of Dinners The Kitchn

There are two main approaches to BBQ meal prep: prepping the raw ingredients or prepping the cooked food. Both have their advantages:

Prepping Raw Ingredients: This method involves marinating meats, chopping vegetables, and preparing sides in advance. When dinner time rolls around, all you have to do is toss everything on the grill and heat up the prepped sides. This is a great option for those who enjoy the grilling process itself.

  • Prepping Cooked Food: This method involves grilling everything in advance, then portioning it out for the week. This is a fantastic time-saver, perfect for busy schedules.

  • No matter which method you choose, here are some essential tips for successful BBQ meal prep:

    Choose the Right Cuts of Meat: Opt for leaner cuts like flank steak, chicken breasts, or pork tenderloin. These cook quickly and reheat well.

  • Marinate Wisely: Marinades add flavor and tenderize meat. Use a flavorful marinade that complements your chosen protein.
  • Don’t Overcook: Overcooked meat dries out on reheating. Aim for a slightly undercooked finish when grilling for meal prep.
  • Portion Control: Divide your prepped meals into containers for easy grab-and-go lunches or dinners.
  • Reheating Matters: Reheat gently over low heat or in the microwave to avoid drying out your food.

  • Easy BBQ Meal Prep Recipes:

    1. Marinated Chicken Kabobs with Grilled Veggies:

    These kabobs are bursting with flavor and come together in minutes!


    1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes

  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 red onion, cut into wedges
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • Directions:

    1. In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, oregano, garlic powder, and black pepper. Add chicken and vegetables, tossing to coat. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
    2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Thread chicken and vegetables onto skewers. Grill for 8-10 minutes per side, or until cooked through.

    2. Smoky Chipotle Pulled Pork with Cilantro Lime Slaw:

    This pulled pork is perfect for sandwiches, tacos, or salads.


    2-pound pork shoulder roast

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 cup chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (adjust for spice preference)
  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • Directions:

    1. Rub pork shoulder with olive oil and spices. Place in a slow cooker and pour in chicken broth. Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until pork is fork-tender.
    2. Shred pork with two forks and toss with some of the cooking juices for extra flavor.

    Cilantro Lime Slaw:

    2 cups shredded cabbage

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • Directions:

    1. In a medium bowl, whisk together lime juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss with cabbage, cilantro, and red onion.


    BBQ meal prep is a fantastic way to enjoy delicious, healthy grilled food throughout the week without the hassle of daily grilling. With a little planning and these easy recipes, you can have satisfying, smoky meals ready in minutes!


    1. How long will prepped BBQ meals last in the refrigerator?

    Properly stored, prepped BBQ meals can last in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

    2. Can I freeze BBQ meal prep?