Chef Michael Chernow shares easy meal-prep recipes for a Sunday night

Sunday nights can provide a perfect time to prepare hearty meals.

January 16, 2024, 7:49 AM

Meal-prepping is a time and cost-efficient way to make healthy, filling meals with a tight budget and cramped schedule.

Before the week ramps up, Sunday nights can provide a perfect time for meal-preppers to make sure their week is filled with hearty meals for several days of the week.

New York City-based chef and entrepreneur Michael Chernow, creator of Kreatures of Habit, provided "Good Morning America" with an easy Sunday meal-prep plan.

Lara Spencer joined by chef Michael Chernow on "GMA."
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"I believe nutrition is truly the gateway to wellness in general," the restaurateur and podcast host told "GMA" on Tuesday. "What we put into our body is how we're gonna feel and how we feel is how we perform. So I like to meal prep."

Meal Prepped Breakfast

Various flavors of homemade overnight oats.
ABC News

Rolled oats
Almond milk
Fresh berries, banana, apples or other fresh cut fruit
4 jars, ideally ball jars, but can be any jar with a lid

1. Add 3/4 cup of almond milk to each jar.
2. Add a different flavor of rolled oats to each jar and stir very well so incorporate all powder, and make sure nothing is stuck in the corner of the jars. Stir for 30 seconds or so.
3. Cover and put in the fridge.
4. That's it - It will "cook" overnight.
5. In the morning pull out a jar, add a little more milk to loosen the oats and you can whatever toppings you'd like fruit, nuts, cacao nibs, granola etc.

Meal Prepped Dinners: Chicken, Vegetables, Ground Beef

A healthy brown rice and roasted vegetable bowl.
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"You can do whatever you want, these are my go-to's," Chernow said of the suggested veggies.

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pound of ground beef
1 yellow onion
2 bunches of asparagus
2 heads of broccoli
1 Head of cauliflower
2 zucchinis
2-3 sweet potatoes
1 medium-sized delicata squash
Spray coconut or avocado oil
Pink sea salt
Curry or chili powder
5 half sheet trays or roasting tray
Parchment paper


For the chicken and vegetables: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Chop all veg in the below directions.

Zucchini 1/2-inch thick discs on the bias.
Asparagus cut off bottoms, then cut spears in half.
Sweet potato - leave skin on - cut into 1-inch cubes.
Delicata squash - Leave the skin on - Cut in half the long way, remove seeds with a spoon and the cut half moon slices about half-inch thick.
Broccoli and cauliflower - cut into medium florets all the same size.
Chicken - on different cutting boards for meat - cut into 1-inch cubes.

Season all veg separately in a large mixing bowl with oil, salt and pepper. Can use the same bowl for each veg as you will be seasoning all veg with the same stuff.

Season chicken simply with olive oil and salt, or you can add any spices you like such as curry or chili powder, make sure chicken cubes are completely covered in spice of choice if you are using spices. Season the chicken last in the same mixing bowl.

Line the roasting trays with parchment, you can roast sweet potato and squash together, broccoli and cauliflower together, and asparagus and zucchini together- do the same for the chicken. Spread evenly. Cover the trays with foil.

Place the sheets trays in the oven for 25 minutes - the asparagus and zucchini will be done first, you can pull them out at 25 minutes, then take the foil off the broc/cauliflower tray and the potato and squash tray and let roast for another 5-10 minutes uncovered. Sweet potato/squash, chicken, broccoli and cauliflower will all be done together after about 35 minutes in the oven.

Let everything cool for 20 - 30 minutes before putting it in containers and into the fridge.

For the ground beef: While the veggies and chicken are cooking you can then do the ground beef.
Cut onion into small quarter-inch pieces.
Bring a pan up to temperature over medium heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil, and let the heat up a bit.
Add your chopped onion to the pan and let sweat till translucent.
Now add the pound of ground beef and season with a few pinches of salt and cook while mixing the meat and onions every minute or so.
Let it cook until all the meat looks cooked through, but not dry, around 7 minutes or so.
Taste the beef and add more salt if necessary.
Pull off the heat and let it cool.
Once cooled off, put meat into a container/Tupperware in the fridge.
Now you have food for the next four days for lunch and dinner.

Chicken Stir Fry (serves 2)

"Because everything is cooked already for dinners, this is the easiest thing to do," Chernow said.

1. Cook a cup of rice or quinoa - add one cup of grains and two cups of water in a small pot. Bring to a boil and then down to a simmer. Stir every few minutes and let cook until there is no liquid in the bottom of the pot.
2. While rice/quinoa is cooking bring a saute pan up to temp over medium heat on the stovetop add a tablespoon of olive oil and let the oil warm up.
3. Throw a small handful each of broccoli, asparagus, and squash, about 5 ounces each in the pan and let warm up for a few 3 to 5 minutes.
4. Add your chicken to the pan once the veggies are warm, add a few tablespoons of teriyaki sauce and let heat up for another 3 minutes .
5. Serve a big scoop of grains in the middle of a bowl or plate and split the stir fry in half and serve on top of the grains...delicious and made in about in about 10 minutes.

Ground Beef Quesadilla

A healthy quesadilla made with meal prepped ingredients.
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Serves 2

Additional Ingredients
4 large whole wheat or corn tortillas
1 avocado
Shredded mozz

1. Bring a pan to medium heat, spray pan with a little oil spray or just use some olive oil
2. Put one tortilla down on the pan and sprinkle mozz to lightly cover the tortilla.
3. Then add some asparagus, zucchini, sweet potato, half of the avocado in small dice, and beef to cover the tortilla, don't pile the ingredients high, but be generous, think 3oz of each veg and 3-4oz ground beef.
4. Sprinkle a little more cheese on top of the ingredients and then the second tortilla on top, press down on the top tortilla.
5. Let cook for 3-5 minutes and then flip the quesadilla to cook another few minutes on the other side.
6. Repeat for the second quesadilla or do two at the same time in two pans.
7. Pull off the pan and cut into 4 wedges.
8. Serve with some salsa, hot sauce, and sour cream if you would like.

Chicken and Broccoli Penne Pasta

A healthy chicken and veggie pasta that can be made with meal prepped ingredients.
ABC News

Serves 2

Additional ingredients
Tomato sauce
Pesto sauce
Grated parmesan cheese
Olive oil.

1. Cook pasta for two people in a pot with salted water (season your pasta water with salt before you start boiling into, just throw in 3-4 pinches of salt, it should taste like salt water).
2. While your pasta is cooking, warm up your chicken and broccoli in a pan with around a cup of sauce of choice over low/medium.
3. When pasta is done, place pasta into the pan with the chicken and broc and add a small ladle of the pasta water to the pan to help incorporate with the sauce.
4. Mix the ingredients together so that all pasta is coated in the sauce, can add a touch more water as needed, but shouldn't be watery.
5. Serve in two bowls split in half.
6. Grate a little parm on each dish.

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