One of the biggest things people share that they struggle with most is finding healthy, yet easy lunch ideas for work. Most of the time, I try to plan our dinners so that we will both have enough leftovers to take the next day! BUT, I know this isn’t always possible, especially if you have hungry kiddos, make a dinner that may not hold well enough for the next day, or are busy at games or practices the night before.
Making healthy lunches for work or to have on hand at home all comes down to planning and meal-prepping! Some of you may get the horrid picture of plain chicken and broccoli when you think of meal-prepping. However, there are SO many awesome and easy lunch ideas out there that don’t suck or lack in flavor!!
Dietitian Leanne Ray is ALL for simplifying healthy cooking for working professionals. Mason jar salads are great lunch ideas for work because they’re quick, portable, and easy to clean up! Prepping a few of these at the beginning of the week would be a breeze. Plus, the salad doesn’t get all soggy, because the dressing stays on the bottom, while the greens and more susceptible items stay on top! Bonus points if you choose seasonal ingredients – click here for a “what’s in season” chart!
Healthy lunch ideas for work don’t have to be complicated. Josten, RD from Muscle & Manna was inspired by Starbucks’ bistro boxes, and decided to make her own (but MUCH cheaper). The concept is simple. Find a protein/fat – eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, nut butters, tuna etc. Add a veggie – tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, celery etc. Finish with a high-fiber carbohydrate – whole grain pita, seed crackers, hummus, etc.. Voila! Order some of these glass bento boxes here (affiliate link)
Meal prepping is a super easy way to have easy lunch ideas that are also healthy. Dietitian Shanna from Wellness for the Win gives us a mediterranean inspired quinoa bowl that would take barely any time to prep on Sunday! This is a vegetarian dish rich in plant-based proteins from quinoa, pecans, and chickpeas.
Another excellent vegetarian meal prep lunch idea comes from the She Likes Food blog. You can eat these in a lettuce cup, throw it over a bed of greens or use it as a dip for seed-based crackers. If you tolerate beans with no issue, these make great lunch ideas because beans are high in fiber and plant-based protein to keep you fuller, for longer! I made this recipe the other week, and it was delicious. My favorite type of mayo is the Chosen Foods Avocado Mayo (affiliate link). You can also find it at Sprouts or any type of health food store.
This cobb salad meal prep from the My Salad Daze blog is a year-round lunch win! It’s packed with lots of protein and healthy fats (with a SUPER simple homemade dressing) for an easy lunch idea that will keep you satisfied and limit those afternoon sugar cravings.
If beans ain’t yo thing, then you’ll love this paleo chili made in LESS than 20 minutes with an Instant Pot (affiliate link). These things are like magic 😂. If you’re thinking that chili is maybe a weird lunch idea, consider this: chili holds up really well as leftovers, and is a great way to sneak in lots of veggies. Aka chili is one of the best, easy lunch ideas for work out there! This particular recipe from Well Plated has cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin! If you don’t have an Instant Pot, don’t worry, she offers a stovetop and slow cooker version, too.
Dietitian Maggie from the Meals With Maggie blog gives a 5-ingredient chicken salad that is uber versatile for tons of lunch ideas. Crackers, lettuce cups, packed into a sandwich (Dave’s Killer Bread or Udi’s sourdough is my fav), or thrown over a bed of greens is a few ways to make this lunch idea for work. Meal prep at the beginning of the week, and then mix it up by eating it different ways!
As much as we all love Chipotle, it can get expensive going to lunch every day! Plus, the portions are usually way bigger than they need to be. These meal prep chicken burrito bowls from A Pinch of Healthy are a great alternative for an easy lunch idea! You can always replace the corn for an additional veggie (like sautéed zucchini or shredded leafy greens) to amp up the nutrient density a bit, too!
Tuna is a great source of protein, but I know no one wants to be the guy/gal in the break room busting out the smelly can! Hide your love for tuna in this Spicy Tuna Wrap instead 😉. This recipe from Goodie Godmother incorporates avocado slices as well, to give a boost of healthy monounsaturated fats and folate. You could prep and chop most of the ingredients beforehand, but you’d probably want to slice the avocados and wrap it up the night before or morning of to prevent browning! Consider Siete Almond Flour tortillas if you prefer/need gluten-free or lower carb lunch ideas!
The last of the lunch ideas for work brings this creamy and tasty alternative to a BLT! Made by the Real Food RDs, you can whip up this easy lunch idea in no time. Butter lettuce works best for these type of lettuce cups!
Wanting more healthy lunch ideas for work? Follow my Pinterest board dedicated to these easy lunch ideas!