As a professional, finding lunch ideas for work may be far from the first thing on your mind. But your work lunches are an important opportunity to contribute to a healthy diet and lifestyle.
The challenge is finding easy lunch ideas that are made from healthy ingredients. Fortunately, there are plenty of great lunch recipes out there.
These lunch ideas are not only healthy. They’re also easy to make. In this article, take a look at some work lunch ideas that will taste great and save you time in your daily routine.
What Should You Put In A Packed Lunch?
Contrary to what you may believe, your work lunch doesn’t need to be boring. Your midday meal is a chance to get vital nutrients and enjoy a nice break from work.
Taste is very important to your enjoyment. But you should also focus on achieving a balance of healthy ingredients.1
As with any meal, work lunches contribute to your daily nutrient balance. In general, you want to make sure you are eating reasonable amounts of the following.
- Healthy Fats
The first three items on that list are known as macronutrients. These are essential to your health. Your first goal in making lunch ideas for work should focus on adding high amounts of these types of nutrients. The fourth item represents a wide range of vitamins and minerals. People need these nutrients in smaller amounts, but they are also vital to overall health.2
These nutrients can come from numerous healthy ingredients. Below, you’ll find some easy ways to add them in bulk to your lunch recipes.
What Are Some Good Lunch Recipes? 5 Healthy Lunch Box Ideas
Here are five easy lunch recipes to get you started. Each of these lunch ideas is nutrient-rich and relatively easy to make.
If you’re pressed for time, you can make many of these lunch recipes in bulk at the start of the week. Meal prep recipes are a great way to save time each day.3
1. Chicken Club Lettuce Wraps
This lunch recipe is a healthier take on a classic sandwich. Skip the white bread, which is high in calories with limited nutrient density. Instead, opt for a lettuce wrap as a substitute. This will incorporate more micronutrients into your diet.
- 2 cups chicken breast (shredded or chopped)
- ½ pint diced cherry tomatoes
- 8 large leaves romaine lettuce
- 1 medium avocado, diced
- Dijon mustard dressing (¼ cup Dijon mustard, ¼ sour cream, and fresh ground pepper)
- Treat the lettuce as a substitute for bread.
- Fill lettuce with ingredients and add dressing on top.4
2. Korean Cauliflower Rice Bowl
Here is another variation on a traditional dish. This lunch idea makes slight alterations to a popular Korean rice bowl. Much like with the chicken club, the suggested substitution reduces calories and increases nutrients. In this lunch idea for work, remove the more common sticky rice. In its place, use cauliflower rice.5
- 4 medium carrots sliced into matchsticks
- 2 medium zucchini sliced into matchsticks
- 1 red pepper sliced into strips
- 1 ½ cups bean sprouts
- 2 cups ground beef or ground meat of your choosing
- 1 head cauliflower (or riced cauliflower)
- BBQ sauce to taste
- Chutney to taste
- Sriracha to taste
- Sauté carrots, zucchini, red pepper, and bean sprouts.
- Sauté ground meat.
- Grind cauliflower in a food processor.
- Combine BBQ sauce, chutney, and sriracha.
- Combine all cooked ingredients into equal portions.
3. Slow Cooker White Bean Soup
This work lunch idea offers some flexibility. You can add meat if you choose. You can also freeze this white bean soup for long-term storage. Another great aspect of this lunch recipe is that offers a balance of the three macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and fat.6
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 yellow onion
- 4 medium carrots
- 4 celery sticks
- 1 pound dried white navy beans
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried paprika
- Cracked black pepper to taste
- Mince garlic and dice onion. Slice the celery and carrots. Add these ingredients to a slow cooker.
- Rinse navy beans and add them, along with the spices, to the slow cooker.
- Cook on high for four hours.
- Stir while mashing beans to thicken the soup.
4. Baked Chicken With Sweet Potato
This baked chicken and sweet potato dish is simple and easy to make. This lunch recipe is easy to scale. To prep in bulk, simply increase the amount of chicken and sweet potatoes you make. To round out the meal, consider adding brown rice or a side salad.7
- 3 sweet potatoes
- 4-8 skinned, boned chicken thighs
- 1 Tbsp of olive oil
- 1 tsp of smoked paprika
- 1 tsp of ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp of ground cumin
- Bake sweet potatoes at 400 degrees for one hour.
- Mix chicken with oil and spices.
- Cover chicken with foil.
- Bake chicken at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.
5. Stuffed Bell Peppers
This Italian inspired dish is another great bulk lunch idea for work. It’s also healthy. Your bell peppers will be filled with lean protein, whole grains, and flavor.8
- 4 large bell peppers
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1 ½ cups cooked brown rice
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup parmesan
- 2 Tbsp fresh basil
- Cut bell peppers in half and remove seeds.
- Cook chicken and spices in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add tomatoes to chicken and simmer.
- Stir in brown rice and parmesan.
- Fill bell peppers with mixture and top with parmesan.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.
Easy Lunch Ideas When You Want A Salad
Salad lovers, rejoice: When it comes to work lunch ideas, salads are one of the healthiest options. This is especially true if you reject the idea that salads can’t stand alone as a meal. When made well, salads can be a substantial option for work lunches.9
You can tailor your salads to meet your nutrient needs. For example, let’s say you want a salad with plenty of protein. Below are some great salads that will give you just that.
- Chicken salad
- Tuna salad
- Cheese salad
But, of course, salads are one of the best ways to add veggies and whole grains to your diet. If that’s your goal, consider some of these options.
- Pasta salad
- Greek salad
- Quinoa salad
As you know, there are countless salad recipes out there. Most can easily become a healthy bulk meal for your work week.
Lunch Packing Tips: Invest in Meal Prep Containers
Now that you have some great bulk work lunch recipes, you’ll want to be sure you pack them properly. Consider looking into some meal prep containers. They’re useful for several reasons.
First, they help you to create perfect portions. Most meal containers will clearly indicate their volume.10 This will make it easy for you to know exactly how much you are eating per meal and per week.
Meal prep containers are also uniform. This means that they’re usually easy to clean. Many of these containers are stackable, making them easy to store.
Bulk work lunches are an awesome way to help save you time and money. A good container will make it that much easier to bring these meals wherever you go.
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