Want to learn how to calculate containers for the 21 Day Fix for your favorite recipes? Follow these easy steps and I’ll show you how easy it really is!
How do I figure out 21 Day Fix containers for a non-Fixed recipe?
Guys, I get this question all the time, so if you ever wondered how to calculate containers for a recipe, especially when cooking a soup, casserole, or a chili where different food groups are mixed together, you are not alone!
In fact, this question gets asked ALL THE TIME in our 21 Day Fix Facebook Community. And while we would love to help you all, calculating containers all day keeps us from doing what we LOVE most – creating our OWN Fix Approved recipes and sharing them with you all.
Now if you follow my blog, you know I have 21 Day Fix Containers in all my recipe cards, and in the little heart icons at the top of my posts!
But if you want to do this work yourself, how do you go about it?
The good news, it’s really a simple process – it just takes two steps!
For example – let’s take this 21 Day Fix Recipe – one of the most popular on my site – and I will show you how I figured out the containers:
21 Day Fix Mexican Lasagna – This recipe is one of our favorite casseroles with tortillas, veggies, cheese, and meat all mixed together.
I count up the total amount of each container in the recipe. Tip – It helps to have this 21 Day Fix Container sizes document with you if you are new to the FIX!
2 bell peppers – 2 GREEN (after measuring a bunch of times, I realized that one bell pepper usually equals 1 green!)
1 medium onion – 2 GREEN (onions are deceivingly big! Always measure – I bet your onion gives you more green than you ever realized)
1 lb lean ground sirloin or other protein – 4 RED (I typically count 1 pound of meat for 4 reds)
2 T salt free taco seasoning – FREE (salt free seasonings are free!)
1 1/3 cups shredded cheddar cheese – 4 BLUE
3/4 cup of refried beans – 1.5 YELLOW
1/4 cup of corn – .5 YELLOW
1 (15 oz) can of Rotel – 2 green (here’s a whole post on FIX approved tomato products)
olive oil cooking spray – free
8 gluten free corn tortillas, cut in half – 4 YELLOW (you can have 2, 6 inch corn tortillas for one yellow on the fix!)
- cilantro – free
- 2/3 cup of diced avocado – 2 BLUE
So the total amount of each container for the entire recipe is:
Blues: 6 (with the avocado topping)
Now we are ready to move on to step two!
After you know the totals for each color, you can figure out the container counts by dividing the container totals by the number of servings in the recipe.
Mexican Lasagna serves 6, so the container totals are figured out in the following way:
Greens: 6÷6 = 1 green per serving
Reds: 4÷6 = 2/3 red per serving
Yellows: 6÷6 = 1 yellow per serving
Blues: 6÷6= 1 blue per serving
That means, for this recipe, each 1 ¼ cup serving would be 1 green, 2/3 red, 1 yellow, and 1 blue!
It’s as simple as that!
How do I figure out the number of servings in a recipe?
This is a great question! If you are cooking a recipe you found online or in a cookbook, chances are the number of servings and serving size is listed in the recipe. If not, you need to determine what a good, FIX approved portion size would be!
I usually start by dividing a recipe by 4 serving and I see how the containers shake out. If I am using too many containers for one meal, I try dividing the recipe by 6 to see if that’s better.
How do I know if the ingredients in my recipe are FIX approved?
Another great question! Always consult your Food list; if you need an updated list, this one is really helpful: 21 Day Fix Updated Food List
If I see a Recipe on Pinterest, how do I know if the 21 Day Fix containers are correct?
Well, you don’t…so it is ALWAYS good to double check your container counts. I double and triple check my container counts BEFORE posting any recipes, but mistakes can still happen. And I have seen a TON of recipes on Pinterest and even in Fixate that have incorrect container counts. Knowing where your container counts are coming from and double checking them yourself is always a good idea, especially if you are getting this info from a source you aren’t familiar with! Don’t compromise your results!
Still confused by Calculating 21 Day Fix Containers?
It gets easier with practice! But remember – all of my recipes have container counts figured out for you already because I am here to make your life easier! Some of my favorite “mixed together recipes” with container counts are:
Healthy Instant Pot Baked Ziti
Healthy Chicken Ramen Noodle Stir Fry
Here are some other 21 Day Fix posts that might help you out!
Updated 21 Day Fix Food List- Free Printable
The Ultimate 21 Day Fix Container Guide | The Foodie and The Fix
21 Day Fix Container Sizes | Carrie Elle
The Ultimate Portion Fix Recipe Guide | 31 Days of Ultimate Portion Fix Recipes
How would you calculate a canned soup? For example Progresso light chicken noodle. 130 calories.
Hard to say without knowing how much of each type of ingredient is in the soup
Where did you get the “1 ¼ cup serving” from?
“That means, for this recipe, each 1 ¼ cup serving would be 1 green, 2/3 red, 1 yellow, and 1 blue!”
That’s the serving size of the recipe being used in the example
I’m still learning how to calculate container counts when I cook but a lot of times I will do single servings.
For example, this morning I made some baked oatmeal but I just used the basic ingredients.
1/3 cup of dry oatmeal
1/2 cup of coconut milk
1 cup sliced peaches
Now I would assume that would count as 1 tsp, 1 yellow, 1red and 1 purple
But reading these so posts I am still unsure.
Sounds pretty good! Your eggs are 1 red and peaches are 1 purple. Measure your oats in your yellow container after cooking to be sure you have 1/2 cup. And the coconut milk depends… if you are using coconut milk beverage the food list says 1/2 cup would be 1/2 tsp. But if you are using canned coconut milk, it needs to be counted as a blue. Hope that helps!
Patti LeBlanc says
How can I save this for future reference? such as a pdf document?
a PDF is a good idea, thanks! In the meantime, if you’re on Pinterest you can save it there!
I’m not sure how you keep up with all the questions but THANK YOU for your posts!
I’m new to this container system and trying very hard to learn staying on track. It can (and is) at times, very confusing.
Your recipes and meal plans are exactly what I’ve been hoping to find. The only page I’ve had trouble with is the self-calculating spreadsheet. I made a copy, saved it to an external hard drive but when I open it, the cells do not automatically populate. : (
Again, thank you for being here virtually to help us out!
Keep an eye out for an email from Nicole – the Confessions spreadsheet guru- so we can troubleshoot this together!
So glad you love the recipes and meal plans, so let’s get this figured out!
If you have a portion fix recipe, for example like the one you listed above and you decide to cut the recipe in half. Is it still the same portions or do you cut the containers in half as well? For example your recipe per serving had 1 green. If I cut the recipe in half, would I still have 1 green per serving or only 1/2 green?
Up to you! You can either keep the servings the same and half the containers, or half the servings and keep the containers the same. I hope that makes sense!
Amber Roberts says
I have a similar question as Megan. Say you made your Mexican lasagna. which is 6 serving sizes. What do you portion out to put on the plate, so you are not over eating? Is it enough to fit into a green container or multiple containers? Thanks
You divide the pan into 6 equal squares before dishing out!
Brittany Mullins says
Hi. I’m still confused on how to calculate my containers. If I make 2 cups of rolled oats and use 2-3 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, and 2 cups of blueberries. I get about 12 servings at 4oz. Dry the oatmeal was 4 yellows and 2 purples for the berries. So do I divide 4/12 for my yellows? Thank you! —Brittany
one serving of oats is 1/3 cup dry and 1/2 cup cooked…so 2 cups dry would be 6 yellows total. Then you have 2 purples and six teaspoons. I would make this 6 servings and count each 1/2 cup of oats 1 yellow, 1/3 purple, and 1 tsp
How do I know what a portion size is when serving onto a plate?
It depends – if it’s a one skillet or pot kind of meal, you will need to divide it into however many servings it call for. So a pot of soup that serves 6 and doesn’t indicate serving size means you need to portion out 6 equal servings before eating. Does that make sense?
I don’t get how 4 divided by 6 is 2/3 a cup? was never good at math.
For Amanda, and others who are wondering the same question:
4/6=0.6666 (this goes on infinitely).
When we do the decimal-to-fraction conversion, you think about what the initial fraction is (0.66/1) and then multiply both the top and the bottom by an appropriate unit to eliminate the decimal (so since we’re doing 0.66, we use 100 — there are 2 digits after the decimal point, so we need two zeros to clear the decimal). So we get 0.66/1 X 100/100. Now we have 66/100. We can divide this out to its simplest form using basic reduction techniques, and when we do, we get 2/3. (Of course, we might also just see earlier that 4/6 is 2/3, and stop all of the rest of the math, right? We could have reduced the 4/6 easily, but the process by which you determine the whole process for any set of amount/servings is now here for you.)
OMG my mind is blown! Thank you so much!!
So welcome, Cassie!