It’s time for a sandwich makeover.
What’s your go-to lunch looking like these days? If tasteless salads, same ‘ol sandwiches, and crusty leftovers come to mind, we’ve got some major inspiration that’ll help you overhaul your lunch plate.
We’re all super busy. But just because you’re tapping away on your keyboard a million miles a minute throughout the day doesn’t mean your lunch has to be insufferable. Instead, think of your mid-day pit stop as an exciting break you can actually look forward to.
A nourishing lunch can re-engergize your mind and body when it’s filled with wholesome ingredients that actually taste good (dare we say, gourmet) when paired together. Trust us: Piecing together a healthy, delicious salad, sandwich, or bowl doesn’t have to break the bank or take up a lot of your time.
We’ve done the initial work for you and asked five food influencers to share the easy-to-replicate lunch recipes they turn to time and time again. From a black bean mason jar salad to homemade spring rolls to a vegan caprese salad sandwich that tastes like it just got back from a trip to Italy, below you’ll find plenty of healthy lunch recipe ideas that can shake up your deskside view come noon tomorrow.
The Best Easy and Healthy Work Lunch Recipe Ideas
Black Bean Mason Jar Salad
“Mason jar salads are the easiest way to take salads to the office and this black bean mason jar salad with a lime jalapeño dressing is crunchy, colorful, and filling,” says Brittany Mullins, a holistic nutritionist and author of the food blog Eating Bird food. Don’t have mason jars at home? Grab a set of six from Amazon for less than $16.
Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
“This greek yogurt chicken salad is one of my go-to recipes for lunches throughout the week,” says Mullins. “It stores well and can be used as a sandwich filling, in lettuce wraps, or as a dip with crackers.”
Slow Cooker Chicken Fajita Soup
“Soups are great for meal prep and can easily be heated up for a quick lunch,” says Mullins. “This slow cooker fajita soup makes for a comforting and healthy meal that’s packed with protein and a hint of spice.”
vegan Caprese Sandwich with Parsely Pesto
“This vegan caprese sandwich layers thick slices of fresh tomato with herbaceous parsley pesto and creamy plant-based mozzarella, all on a crusty bread,” Jessica Hylton shares on her blog Jessica in the Kitchen. “It’s the perfect summer lunch!”
Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
“This salad is loaded with delicious and filling veggies,” Hylton shares. “This healthy salad is made in just 15 minutes, and it’s perfect for meal prep — lunch or dinner!”
Fresh Spring Rolls with Peanut Ginger Sauce
“There’s something about a rainbow of veggies that makes them even more appealing than usual,” Hylton shares. “These are colorful, crunchy, and super healthy — perfect for a light lunch…Don’t skip the sweet-and-savory Peanut Ginger Sauce.”
Pesto Pasta Salad
“This pesto pasta salad makes for a great lunch on the go,” says Kylie Mazon-Chambers, founder of Cooking with Cocktail Rings and author of Share + Savor: Create Impressive + Indulgent Appetizer Boards for Any Occasion. “It’s loaded with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and mozzarella balls, and you can easily add grilled chicken.”
Tuscan Turkey Sandwich
“This Tuscan turkey sandwich is made on focaccia with roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomato mayo, spinach, provolone cheese, and pesto,” says Mazon-Chambers. “Assemble it ahead of time and store it refrigerated for an easy work or school lunch!”
Gluten-free Taco Casserole
“This gluten-free taco casserole is a perfect healthy dinner and the leftovers make for a healthy lunch at work,” says Kayla Cappiello, author of the cookbook Easy Allergy-Free Cooking. “It’s easy to carry and heat up at work in the microwave. Each serving is packed with taco flavoring, but also with vegetables! Not only does it have roasted peppers and onions, but the rice is, again, a low-carb mixture of brown rice and cauliflower rice.”
Vegan Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
“These stuffed sweet potatoes are the perfect way to spice up a boring weekday lunch. Each potato is stuffed with vegetables and taco seasoning, then topped with as much hot sauce as you can handle,” says Cappiello. “Each serving travels easily to work in glass Tupperware and can be simply reheated in a microwave for an easy lunch on the go.”
Gluten-Free Chicken Casserole
“This chicken casserole is an easy recipe to throw together to prepare for the week. It uses chicken sausage instead of beef or pork sausage to keep it low fat,” says Cappiello. “Plus, not only does it have roasted peppers, onions, and tomatoes, but the rice is a mixture of brown rice and cauliflower rice, making it low carb, too.”
Cheesy Grits with Seared Mushrooms
“Made to be enjoyed any time of the day, this beloved Southern staple becomes a complete meal with seared garlicky mushrooms and runny eggs,” Wendy Lopez, MS, RD, CD, shares on her blog Food Heaven.
Nopales Summer Salad
“A beloved ingredient in Mexican cooking, nopal cactus can be enjoyed both cooked and raw,” shares Lopez. “Here, we cook it and toss it with tomatoes and corn for an impressive summer salad that doesn’t break the bank.”