Ultimate meal prep recipe (13 in 1) – the orange base

The last meal prep recipe you will ever need!

8 freezer-friendly meals with 4 different flavors, all made in one go.

Super-versatile because you can pick from 13 different flavors. Fewer dishes to wash as it is a one-pot meal. Each portion accounts for 3 out of the recommended 5 portions of vegetables a day. Low in calories, but keeps you full for long. High in complex carbs and fiber, and ultra-dense in nutrients.

Learn how to master meal prep with just 1 versatile recipe – the Orange Base!

(PS: It can be made vegetarian or completely vegan if you swap out the chicken. Instructions underneath)

The Orange Base infused with the flavors of the Eastern European Borscht. Just 1 of the 13 variations

13 flavors to choose from! Pick 4

The best part: Pick and choose your favorite flavors. You never have to eat the same meal two days in a row!

You have a meal prep base made from pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, and chicken. It’s orange – that’s your orange base. Then it’s time to add different flavors to your base and transform it into different dishes.

Japanese, Russian, Vietnamese, and Cajun flavors added to the Orange Base

This recipe gives you 8 portions of the orange base in total, you can add 4 different flavors to it. You will have 2 portions of each flavor you choose. Here’s what you can choose from:

  1. Italian
  2. Tex-Mex
  3. Turkish
  4. Thai
  5. Indian
  6. Vietnamese
  7. Japanese
  8. German
  9. Chinese
  10. Cajun
  11. French
  12. Spanish
  13. Russian

You simply add the flavor components to your 8 food containers, pour your cooked hot orange base on top, give it a good stir, DONE! The flavors will properly marry when you re-heat your prepped portions.

Yes, 4 completely different dishes, all made in one go, with 2 portions each! Meal prep has never been this easy!

You can find all 13 flavors and their ingredients at the bottom of the post.

(My 4 personal favorites are the Russian, Japanese, Thai, and Italian)

One-pot meal – fewer dishes to wash!

All 8 portions come from a single pot, so you can spend less time washing dishes and more time doing the things you love.

While your orange base is cooking, you can already start chopping up your herbs and vegetables for the different flavors that you will add later. Use your meal prep time efficiently.

As a rule of thumb, your peeled and cut onions, pumpkin, carrots, and sweet potatoes should together weigh-in at around 2 kilos. You will need a big pot – I recommend you use a 5-liter pot. If you don’t have a pot that big, it might be better to use 2 medium-sized pots for cooking the orange base. Simply divide the ingredients among the two pots.

Italian, Tex-Mex, Turkish and Thai flavors added to the Orange Base

Filling and super dense in nutrients

This meal prep recipe was designed with nutrition and full bellies in mind. All combinations come it at between 260 and 440 kcal.

Vegetables make up the vast majority of the different recipe variations. The orange base itself is ultra-high in Vitamin A, C, K, potassium, manganese, and antioxidants. The olive oil and fat from the chicken help your body to absorb all these vitamins and minerals.

The flavor combos also contain legumes and additional vegetables. Pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, and legumes all contain high amounts of fiber that help you feel full for longer. The protein from the chicken and legumes gives you a saturated feeling as well.

Read here about the health benefits and nutrients of pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, and legumes.

Helps to eat 5 portions of veggies a day

One portion of this meal prep (regardless of which flavor you choose) accounts for about 3 of your recommended 5 portions of vegetables a day.

Most of us do not eat enough vegetables in a day. 5 portions is the recommended daily amount and eating more vegetables is the easiest way to lose weight. Each portion helps you to already get 3 portions in already.

Spanish, German, Indian, Chinese and French flavors added to the Orange Base

Freezer-friendly office lunch or dinner

This meal prep recipe is your solution to make lunch and dinner more healthy with ease. Once your portions are cooled, cover the meal containers with lids and store them all in the freezer.

Many of us struggle to eat healthy for lunch while in the office. Do you have a microwave at work? In the morning, you can just take a frozen portion with you to work and let it defrost on your desk. Plus, as the meal is still frozen while transporting, there is no chance of leaking in your bag.

Had a long day at work and no creativity or energy to cook? Fetch a portion from the freezer! Cheaper, just as fast as a takeaway meal, and definitely more nourishing for your body.

Spontaneously having friends over for dinner? This meal prep is so good, you can serve it to friends without feeling embarrassed. (Trust me, I have tried! People will have no idea, you fetched this from the freezer 15 minutes ago)

Want it vegan? or vegetarian?

More and more people eat fully-plant based. If you want to leave out the chicken, you may want to replace the protein and fat from the chicken thigh with beans and olive oil.

Swap out the chicken stock for a high-quality vegetable one. Leave the chicken thigh out. After you have blitzed your orange base, add two cans of white or mixed beans (drained, 400g each) and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Tip: Re-use the vegetable-chicken stock

After cooking the vegetables and chicken you need to drain half the liquid. Otherwise, your meal prep base would be too liquid. Reserve this stock! It is super-rich in flavor and nutrients.

Once cooled, store it sealed in the fridge for a few days or freeze it.

You can use this stock in all recipes that ask for stock. Rice dishes and risotto, in particular, are perfect for it. Or just eat/drink it straight.

The Orange Base infused with the flavors of France with pungent blue cheese and mushrooms

Enough for 8 portions of lunch or dinner

Ingredients for the orange base

  • 4 onions (red or yellow)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pumpkin
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 400g chicken thigh, skinless, without the bone, little fat left on
  • 1,5 liters stock, use vegetable or chicken

How to make the orange base

Peel and roughly chop the onions. Finely chop the garlic.

Peel the pumpkin, remove the seeds, cut into cubes. Peel the sweet potatoes, cut into cubes. Cut the carrots into cubes or slices, depending on the thickness.

Put your biggest pot onto high heat. Add the olive oil, onions, and garlic. Reduce heat to medium-high and stir fry for 4 minutes. Stir regularly.

Add the pumpkin, sweet potato and carrot to your pot. Add the stock, it should just cover your ingredients. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and cover with a lid. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Carefully drain half the liquid from the pot (reserve it, see tip above). Remove the chicken from the pot. Shred the chicken with two forks.

Generously season the orange base with salt and pepper. Blitz with an immersion blender.

Mix the base with your 4 favorite flavors

Start with your first flavor: Chop up the veggies and herbs. Divide them among 2 meal containers and add the spices. If your flavor calls for legumes (beans or lentils), divide them among the containers too.

Repeat for flavor 2, 3, and 4.

Divide the shredded chicken and the blended orange base evenly among your 8 food containers with the flavor. Stir to combine.

Once cooled, refrigerate or freeze your individual portions!


Ingredients for all 13 different flavors

In Johnnys Kitchen meal prep recipe orange base cajun

Cajun (Louisiana sweet BBQ)

Total calories per serving: 302 kcal

Dice 1 green bell pepper and 1 small can pineapple (drained, 140g). Mix with 10g chopped fresh parsley, 0,5 tsp chili peppers, 0,5 tsp smoked paprika powder, 0,5 tsp garlic powder, and 0,5 tsp onion powder.

In Johnnys Kitchen meal prep recipe orange base chinese

Chinese (sweet & sour)

Total calories per serving: 342 kcal

Finely slice 2 spring onions, finely mince 1 cm ginger. Mix with 1 glass/can Asian mixed pickled vegetables (drained, 230g), 2 tbsp concentrated tomato puree, and 2 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine (or dry Sherry).

In Johnnys Kitchen meal prep recipe orange base french

French (blue cheese & mushrooms)

Total calories per serving: 356 kcal

Slice up 250g button mushrooms, mix with 50g crumbled blue cheese, and 4 twigs fresh thyme leaves.

In Johnnys Kitchen meal prep recipe orange base german

German (piquant horseradish)

Total calories per serving: 262 kcal

Shred or grate 1 carrot and mix with 2 tbsp grated horseradish, 4 tbsp fresh cress, and 1 tsp lemon juice.

In Johnnys Kitchen meal prep recipe orange base indian

Indian (exotic & flavourful)

Total calories per serving: 398 kcal

Shred or spiralize 1 courgette and mix with 1 can lentils (drained, 230g), 10g chopped fresh cilantro, 1 tsp curry powder, 1 tsp turmeric/curcuma, and 1 tsp cumin.

In Johnnys Kitchen meal prep recipe orange base italian

Italian (fresh & hearty)

Total calories per serving: 410 kcal

Cut 250g cherry tomatoes into quarters and mix with 1 can white beans (drained, 230g), 15g chopped fresh basil, 2 tsp dried oregano, and 2 tsp balsamic vinegar.

In Johnnys Kitchen meal prep recipe orange base japanese

Japanese (warming taste of miso)

Total calories per serving: 299 kcal

Shred or grate 1 courgette. Mix with 2 packets instant miso soup, and 10g chopped fresh cilantro.

In Johnnys Kitchen meal prep recipe orange base russian

Russian (Borscht with beetroot)

Total calories per serving: 437 kcal

Mix 1 glass cooked beetroot (370ml, drained), 1 can white beans (drained, 230g), and 4 twigs fresh thyme leaves.

In Johnnys Kitchen meal prep recipe orange base spanish

Spanish (smoky olive & pepper stew)

Total calories per serving: 338 kcal

Dice 1 red bell pepper and 1 handful black olives. Mix with 1 tbsp smoked paprika powder, and 4 twigs fresh thyme leaves.

In Johnnys Kitchen meal prep recipe orange base tex-mex

Tex-Mex (smoky & spicy)

Total calories per serving: 400 kcal

Dice 1 yellow bell pepper. Mix with 1 can black beans (drained, 230g), 10g chopped fresh cilantro, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp smoked paprika powder, and 3 tsp chili or hot sauce,

In Johnnys Kitchen meal prep recipe orange base thai

Thai (fresh & spicy)

Total calories per serving: 275 kcal

Dice 1 green bell pepper, finely mince 1 cm ginger, grate or shred 1 carrot and mix with 10g chopped fresh cilantro, and 2 tsp green Thai curry paste.

In Johnnys Kitchen meal prep recipe orange base turkish

Turkish (warming & deep)

Total calories per serving: 380 kcal

Dice 1 red bell pepper and mix with 1 can chickpeas (drained, 230g), 10g chopped fresh parsley, 2 tsp cumin, and 1 tsp cinnamon,

In Johnnys Kitchen meal prep recipe orange base vietnamese

Vietnamese (slightly sour, fresh & light)

Total calories per serving: 276 kcal

Slice up 250g button mushrooms, finely mince 1 cm ginger, mix with 10g chopped fresh cilantro, 2 tsp lime juice, and 2 tsp fish sauce.


Comments are always welcome! What are your favorite 4 flavors? Did this meal prep help you to eat better? Have some other ideas for flavor combinations? We want to know it all! Leave a comment and make the world a more delicious and nutritious place.

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