#11 How to plan a meal prep party
Have ever thought of hosting a meal prep party?
The idea is pretty genius actually. Get together with a few of your closest friends, spend the day in the kitchen together and go home with some completed meals to save you precious times on that weeknight cooking gig.
Listen to my podcast episode on planning your first meal prep party
Normally I find marathon cooking sessions a little overwhelming, but doing it with friends or family makes it so much more enjoyable, and going home with 10 meals?? That’s serious motivation right there for 10 days in the next month or two that I don’t have to kitchen.
That’s a win in my book!
How to plan a meal prep party
When I planned my first meal prep party, I discovered that the planning process for timing a bunch of meals with a bunch of people in the kitchen can be pretty stressful.
I figured if I’ve already done the work, you all can enjoy it and host a meal plan party of your own without the planning.
To help you out I’ve created a FREE printable guide that will have you well on your way to hosting your meal prep party. The guide comes complete with recipes for 10 make-ahead meals to stock your freezer with, tips and tricks, a shopping list, and a general task list/timeline for each person you invite!
Get your free printable guide How to plan a meal prep party!
10 steps to make your meal prep party a success
Step #1: Invite your friends and schedule a time
You’ll want a full day to make sure you get everything done (bonus if you can get done early!)
Step #2: Gather preferences and allergies:
You would hate for your friends to come help with meals only to go home with meals they can’t eat or that they don’t like. If they have allergies or preferences, try asking them what kinds of meals they have at home to combat their allergy.
Step #3: Plan your menu for your meal prep party:
Be sure you research what meals freeze well and try to be efficient in your planning (ie use the same base recipe for shredded chicken or pork to save time!
Step #4: Gather supplies and staples:
When you are preparing a large volume of food you might not have everything you need in one kitchen. Write out everything you think you’ll need and see what your guests can bring. I also like to take inventory of staple items to avoid buying things at the store that we already have.
Step #5: Order or pick-up your groceries
I love using grocery pickup when I have a meal prep party because it’s such a large volume of food, it’s so convenient to just pick it up at the store instead of shopping for it, but you can shop any way you like. Don’t forget to stock up on freezer bags, and potentially some disposable pans depending on what you are cooking.
Step #6: Make a general schedule and timeline for your meal prep party:
If you use my FREE guide and recipes, this part is already done for you. You will be much more efficient if you assign out everyone’s tasks ahead of time so you spend less time delegating and figuring out what to do, and more time doing. If there will be kids at your party, I recommend having one person with the kids at all times to minimize fights and give your guests a break from standing. This person can rotate with the other guests every hour or so.
Step #7: Get slow-cookers started early before guests arrive:
During my meal prep party, I found myself waiting on slow cookers so if you have the chance, get them started before everyone gets there and you might be able to get done a little earlier.
Step #7: Plan Lunch:
You will be cooking for a good chunk of the day and you’re going to get hungry! It doesn’t have to be fancy, but plan to either bring sandwiches or order a pizza so no one gets too hangry while you are meal-prepping.
Step #9: Plan Entertainment for any kids:
If you have kids, you’ll definitely need them to be on their best behavior for this to work (Find some extra tips for cooking with kids here) Try planning some really fun activities for them to do while you cook and maybe even purchase some brand new crafts and toys to try to hold their attention for longer! They can also help out with age-appropriate tasks in the kitchen.
Step #10: Bring coolers and ice:
We all cleared out space in our freezers for our meal-prepped meals that we knew we would be bringing home, but we didn’t think about how we were going to keep our meals cold (and safe) as we were preparing them. We ended up getting some boxes and filling them with ice, but that wasn’t the best solution. We decided the easiest way to solve this problem the next time is for each guest to bring their own cooler and ice to transport their meals home in to get int o the freezer.
…and just in case you missed it, here’s one more chance to get your FREE printable guide that will make planning your meal prep party a breeze!
Have you ever thrown a meal prep party!? Tell me about it in the comments below!
I didn’t see a link for the printables. Are they still available?
Hi Holly, Thanks for pointing that out. We recently went through a redesign and the forms must have gotten disconnected in the process. I added them back so if you add your email address to one of the forms in the post the printable will be emailed to you!