18 Healthy Lunch Ideas To Pack For Work
Looking for some simple, healthy lunch ideas to pack for work? These 18 lunch recipes are perfectly portable and can be enjoyed cold (no microwave needed)!
This post was originally shared on 09.03.2019. It was updated with more helpful content and recipe ideas on 01.01.2020.
Whether you’re spending the day in the office or at school, or simply in need of some make-ahead lunches while you work from home, I’ve rounded up 18 of my favourite easy, healthy lunch recipes from the blog to help you decide what to make!
As a dietitian, I know how important it is to have something nourishing, tasty, and satisfying to get you though your busy day.
Each of the recipes below meets certain criteria to make them perfect to enjoy for lunch, no matter where you may be!
What Makes A Healthy, Packable Lunch
To make it on this Healthy Lunch Ideas List, the meals had to meet certain requirements for a good packed lunch:
- They can be packed and carried on your commute without getting soggy/making a mess.
- They can be enjoyed cold, so no need to reheat them if you don’t have access to a microwave.
- They can be made in advance, so no scrambling in the morning to get something together. You can make these dishes the night before and keep them in the fridge to grab and go. TIP: try to make some larger batches of these meals, so you can cook once and eat multiple times!
- They are nutritionally balanced, giving you some protein, healthy fats, complex carbs, and lots of veggies. These types of foods and meal combinations will keep you energized and able to focus through your busy workday.
- They are easy to make and not too time-intensive – I know your schedule is a busy one!!
Keep reading to see 18 of my favourite healthy work lunches below.
1. Kale Butternut Squash Salad With Farro
2. Winter Pasta Salad
3. Roasted Broccoli Salad
4. 20-Minute Healthy Tuna Pasta Salad
5. Strawberry Quinoa Tabbouleh With Feta
6. Shrimp Taco Salad Bowl
7. Cold Chopped Quinoa Salad
8. Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad With Shrimp
9. Cold Soba Noodle Salad With Tempeh
10. No-Mayo Tuna Salad
11. Pesto Quinoa Bowl
12. Massaged Kale Salad With Sweet Potato & Goat Cheese
13. Easy Caprese Pasta Salad
14. Cucumber Avocado Salad With Quinoa
15. No-Mayo Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich
16. Tuna Pasta Salad With Pesto
17. Chimichurri Grain Bowl
18. Canned Mackerel Pasta Salad
And there you have it – 18 Easy, Healthy Lunch Ideas to pack with you to work (or school)! I hope you guys find some inspiration from this list, and I hope that it saves you some time, energy, and stress when deciding what to make.
If you make any of these recipes, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram or Pinterest – seeing your creations always makes my day. You can also subscribe to my email list to never miss a new recipe or nutrition education post!
More Healthy Recipe Roundups
- 20+ Easy, Healthy Vegetable Side Dishes
- 27 Healthy Meal Prep Snack Recipes
- 25 Dietitian-Approved Healthy Breakfast Meal Prep Ideas
- 30 Healthy Meal Prep Ideas For Lunch & Dinner
- 25 Meal Prep Component Recipes To Mix & Match
Get the Recipe: 18 Healthy Lunch Ideas, Including Kale Butternut Squash Salad
- 1 large bunch kale, curly or lacinato
- 3 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
- 1/2 a lemon, juice only
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- Salt + pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup farro, dry
- 2 cups butternut squash, peeled + cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
- 3 Tbsp dried cranberries
- 2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- Preheat oven to 400F and bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Remove kale leaves from stems before washing and drying. Place kale in a large salad/mixing bowl and drizzle 2 Tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and pepper overtop.
- Using your hands, squeeze and massage the oil-lemon mixture into the kale, similar to how you would knead dough (about 1 minute). Cover the bowl and let sit while you cook the rest of the ingredients.
- Cook farro in the pot of boiling water using the "pasta method" or according to package directions. Drain when done.
- Place butternut squash cubes on a baking sheet and toss in remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil, cinnamon, and salt. Transfer to the oven for 30 minutes, tossing halfway.
- Once both farro and squash are cooked, add them to the massaged kale along with goat cheese, dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds. Toss well, adding more salt + pepper if desired. Serve and enjoy!