These Healthy Meal Prep Lunch Ideas for Work are perfect for busy weeks! These make-ahead meal prep recipes are delicious and easy.
What's Included in this Roundup
Benefits of healthy lunches
There are so many amazing benefits to packing a healthy lunch! Here are 6 reasons why you should try meal prepping healthy lunches:
- They save time
- They save money so you're not buying lunch out
- You're more organized
- You're less stressed in the morning – no wondering what to eat and when
- You're eating healthy, unprocessed food on a consistent basis
- You'll have more energy because you're eating better
Wraps & Sandwiches
Where would we be if I didn't list some wrap and sandwich options?! I really dislike the traditional types of sandwiches with cold cuts so I try to cook up chicken breast and shred it to use in wraps or sandwiches but from time to time lean cold cuts like turkey are ok. Even just cheese and vegetables will give you enough protein to sustain yourself for the day, too! Try these great wrap and sandwich ideas below. Looking for even more ideas? Here are the best ever sandwich recipes!
Soup Recipes for Lunch
Soups are really great options for work and are easier to transport than you think! And before you think soups aren't filling enough think again! I've included some thicker soups/stews in this round up to give you some ideas of ways you can add protein to your soups. Most are also vegan/vegetarian-friendly so soups can be super budget-friendly as long as you have access to a microwave at work.
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One Pan Lunch Ideas
If you're meal prepping ahead of time, these are my favourite type of healthy lunches to make! You basically throw everything on a sheet pan or in a skillet, cook, then divide into glass meal prep bowls. You can often switch up the veggies you're using too, these one pan recipes are so versatile and customizable!
Vegetarian Lunch Ideas
Vegetarian lunch ideas are great for when you're looking to eat lunch on a budget. Typically all you need is a can of beans or chickpeas, or some tofu that has been quickly marinated along with a killer sauce and veggies. Sometimes you can even get away with a couple no-cook recipes where you can just throw everything in a meal prep bowl or jar and call it a day!
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Low Carb Lunch Recipes
Low carb lunches are great options because they keep you from getting too weighted down with that midday meal. Oftentimes all you need to do is cook up a lean protein, add some veggies (raw or cooked) and season everything with the same spice blend or sauce. Plus, you end up saving time because you don't have to cook any grains. It's a win-win!
Similar to the low carb options above, salads are of course a go-to for healthy lunches but they don't have to be boring! Be sure to mix up the toppings and salad dressings. I like keeping my salads in mason jars when meal prepping them for the week because you can keep the dressing and protein in the bottom then layer in your veggies. This is especially important for lettuce to make sure it stays fresh!
Healthy Bento Box Lunch Recipes
Want an easy grab-and-go lunch? These Healthy Bento Box Recipes are perfect. You can make them in minutes and store them in the fridge for up to 5 days!
Kids and adults will love these lunch box ideas:
- Meat & cheese
- Chickpea salad
- Egg & cheese
- Turkey & hummus
Meal Prep Bowls & Rice Bowl Lunches
When I really have time to prep ahead, I like to prep meal prep bowls! The Korean Chicken and Mango Chicken are my faves because the sauces are just SO good, but burrito bowls are also super easy to throw together and you can also take shortcuts by using pre-chopped veggies and store-bought salsas, which are a great low-calorie option for your bowls!
Instant Pot Lunches
I love making my lunches for the week in the Instant Pot. You can make all sorts of lunch-friendly recipes like rice bowls, casseroles, pastas, taco meat, etc. I personally like to batch cook a big pot of pasta to take for work week lunches like the Pesto Chicken Pasta linked below – it's one pot for minimal clean up, you can easily transport it to work and it reheats well. Tip: Add a splash of water overtop of your pasta before microwaving. It will help retain moisture!
Lunch packing tips
- Start with making one lunch recipe a week. It's easy to get overwhelmed when you start meal prepping but I recommend just trying one quick and easy lunch recipe each week. Spending 30 minutes on a batch of lunches is not a huge time commitment upfront and will save you so much time throughout the week.
- Bring leftovers for lunch. When I'm meal planning, I always account for leftovers. Leftover sheet pan dinners, stir fries and one pot pasta dishes, in particular, make great easy lunches.
- Invest in the right containers. Ditch the brown bags and package your lunch in reusable glass containers. Using proper meal prep containers will keep your food fresh for longer.
- Consider your office. Some workplaces don't have microwaves, so cold lunch ideas are best. On the other hand, if you're working from home, you'll have the most flexibility for reheating your lunch.
Lunch Containers & Meal Prep Tools
Here are my favourite lunch containers and tools to help make meal prep quick and easy!
- Glass meal prep bowls are so great for microwaving and reheating your food safely.
- Mason jars are perfect for salads since they keep lettuce separated from dressings.
- Salad containers are another awesome option for keeping your greens and proteins separated so nothing gets soggy.
- My rice cooker saves me so much time in the meal prep process because I can cook my grains ahead of time.
- These bento box containers are perfect for packing snacks and lunches together!
- Meal prep with your freezer! Butcher Box, conveniently delivers a variety of meats to your door frozen.
- **Get my full list of tools here**
The best work lunch is one you're excited to eat! Any of these recipes fit the bill for being healthy and nutritious. Anything that can be eaten cold or reheated in easily in the microwave is perfect.
While sandwiches are a lunch staple for many people, they can get boring! Instead, I love packing lettuce wraps, meal prep bowls, or salads. There's a bunch of options available to you.
These recipes are great for both adults and kids! You know your kids best, though, so if they're picky eaters, they may not like some of these lunches. If you're looking for kid-friendly recipes, these meal prep school lunch ideas are great!
I work from home most days of the week, so I can often make myself a fresh lunch from scratch like a grilled cheese sandwich or a pita pizza. I typically meal prep my lunches in advance on the weekend, though, as it saves me time during the work week.
Lunch Recipes & Weight Loss
I always used to struggle with lunch meal prep for the work week because I had trouble planning ahead and let's just say this was long before I discovered food blogs! I used to rely primarily on cookbooks to whip together delicious dinners but would struggle when it came to making my lunches for work and school.
You can learn more about my 25lb weight loss and meal prep journey over on my About Page, and this page will also help you navigate how to use my website to its full potential. I've got a ton of other amazing resources and recipes that will help you with so many more healthy lunch ideas!
40+ Easy & Healthy Meal Prep Lunch Ideas for Work
- 16 deli turkey slices
- 2 cup mixed veggies (cucumbers, carrots, cherry tomatoes)
- 1/2 cup hummus
- 4 cheese sticks
- Add ingredients to each bento box container.
- Store in the fridge until ready to eat, then enjoy!
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