Healthy Lunch Ideas

11 healthy lunch ideas that pack well for work! You'll look forward to lunch with these yummy veggie bowls, salads, sandwiches, soups, and more!

Healthy Lunch Ideas

I think lunch is the most important meal of the day. Ok, that’s not true, I think ALL meals are the most important meal of the day, and it’s a rare day that I would skip breakfast, lunch, or dinner because when one is over, all I can think about is the next!

When I worked in an office, the lunches that I packed were the best lunches I’d eat that week. They were the meals that kept me on a healthy track because when 12pm rolls around and you’re starving, it’s easy to go out and grab the closest unhealthy thing. So here are a few of my favorite healthy lunch ideas! And because I get so many questions about food storage, these snapware glass containers are my go-to for keeping food fresh.

To go to each recipe, click directly on the photos. And if you have any favorite healthy lunch ideas, let me know in the comments!

Bowl Lunch Recipes

With a little meal prep, bowls can be excellent make-ahead lunch ideas. Make and assemble the components ahead of time, and then dig in at lunchtime!

Pictured above:

Taco Salad with Jalapeño Ranch
This recipe has a base of spiced quinoa and black beans. The taco toppings are customizable – if you’re packing lunch for multiple days, use finely chopped kale instead of romaine lettuce. The creamy cashew sauce will last about 4 to 5 days in the fridge.

Pictured below:

Spring Broccoli Pesto Quinoa Salad

I realize it’s not spring, but quinoa, chickpeas, and broccoli are all available year round, and the pesto in here is made with frozen peas. Plus, eating this in the winter will make it feel like spring?

Healthy Lunch Ideas - Broccoli Pesto Quinoa Salad

Broccoli Tahini Pasta Salad
With broccoli, green beans, zucchini noodles, and sun dried tomatoes in a creamy mayo-less tahini sauce, this pasta salad is mostly veggies. It’s really healthy if you use brown rice pasta!

Healthy Lunch Recipes

Rainbow Bowls with Almond Ginger Dressing
All of the vegetables here (and there are a lot of them) are good packable ones. Because the creamy, tangy almond ginger dressing soaks in nicely, this recipe is even better on the second day.

Easy Lunch Ideas

Roasted Delicata Squash Kale Salad
While there’s nothing better than squash roasted just out of the oven, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved having these leftovers for lunch. You may want to pack the sauce separately.

Healthy Lunch Ideas

Easy Power Lunch Bowls
More bowls (last one, I promise) and more kale! I love this bowl because the combination of sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and kale is a hearty enough to get you through the day. Those little meatball-looking things are veggie balls – I love them, but you can toss in whatever protein you want here.

Healthy Lunch Ideas

Soup Healthy Lunch Ideas

Soups are my favorite healthy lunch recipes because they pack up well and always always taste better on the second or third day. Just reheat when you’re ready to eat!

Healthy Lunch Recipes

Pictured above:
Zucchini & Sweet Potato Noodle Minestrone
It’s fun to eat the vegetable “noodles” in this recipe, but if you don’t have a spiralizer, just chop the sweet potato and zucchini. It’s delicious either way.

Pictured below:
Vegan “Cheesy” Broccoli Soup.

Full of cheesy, tangy goodness, this soup is great on a cold day. You can keep the croutons in a separate baggie so they don’t get soggy, or just skip them if you’re low on time or space.

Healthy Lunch Ideas

Sandwich and Wrap Healthy Lunch Recipes

Obviously, sandwiches and wraps make excellent lunches. Find three of my favorites below, along with tips for packing them up and taking them on the go!

Spinach Hummus Lunch Wraps
I made these for our flight to France earlier this year (which we missed…), but we enjoyed these wraps nonetheless. I purposely didn’t put tomatoes or avocado in them so that they wouldn’t get soggy or messy while traveling. Wrap these in foil, and they can withstand being tossed in your bag (or in our case, an Uber ride to the airport and then directly home… sigh).

Healthy Lunch Ideas

Tempeh Vegan Club Sandwiches
Here’s one of my favorite healthy lunch ideas for when I’m in a sandwich mood. This one can be a little messy, so I wouldn’t pile it quite so high as what I have in the photo. I would also wrap it well with foil. If you haven’t tried tempeh, you’ll love this meaty, smoky sandwich filling. It’s sure to keep you full till dinnertime!

Easy Lunch Ideas

Chickpea Salad Wraps with Avocado Dill Sauce
Pack the chickpea filling separately from the lettuce leaves and assemble these at your desk. Because the chickpea filling is so good on its own, you can even skip the pickled onions and the sauce if you want to!

Healthy Lunch Ideas

If you love these healthy lunch ideas…

Check out our Healthy Breakfast Ideas, Easy Dinner Ideas, Dinner Meal Prep for Two, or Healthy Lunch Meal Prep Ideas next!


Healthy Lunch Ideas
 
Prep time
Cook time
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These taco bowls are one of my favorite easy, healthy lunch ideas.
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
Spiced Quinoa
  • 2 cups cooked red quinoa
  • 1 cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice + ½ teaspoon zest
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika, more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 scallions, chopped
Topping Choices
  • 6 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • Kernels from 3 medium ears of corn
  • 2 tomatoes, diced, lightly salted
  • 1 avocado, pitted and diced
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • Baked tortilla strips
  • Creamy Cucumber Jalapeño Ranch Sauce
  • Lime slices, for serving
  • 1 jalapeño, stem and ribs removed, sliced (optional)
Instructions
  1. Make the Spiced quinoa: In a medium pot, combine the quinoa, black beans, olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, chili powder, smoked paprika, maple syrup, salt, and several grinds of black pepper. If desired, heat until warmed through, then stir in the scallions. This can also be served cold.
  2. Assemble the bowls with the romaine, Spiced quinoa, corn, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, tortilla strips, and jalapeños, if desired. Drizzle with the Cucumber Jalapeño Ranch dressing. Serve with the lime slices and extra sauce.

 

11 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Adriana
    01.17.2018

    How do I pick just ONE for lunch!

  2. Renee A Cowan
    01.17.2018

    I found this post incredibly useful and forwarded to a lot of my friends…I would love a post on great make-ahead/meal prep recipes

  3. sabrina from newkitchenlife.com
    01.18.2018

    wow, very inspired set of recipes, even if for dinner instead of just taking them to lunch, and of course love the healthy ingredients, thank you for all of them!

  4. Kelly
    01.21.2018

    A cold pasta salad that’s actually somewhat healthy? Something I can use to trick myself into actually eating broccoli? Now THAT’S something I can get behind!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.22.2018

      Ha, I hope you enjoy the salad 🙂

  5. Manja
    01.22.2018

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for this! My husband and I are planning on going completely plant-based very soon. For at least a month to try it out (to see what it does for our health). But we might even make it a permanent thing. My husband usually takes the standar me bread with cheese and lunchmeat to work and I was looking for alternatives that I can prepare a day beforehand and that he can just take to work in the morning. This really helps a lot!!

  6. Tany from paleseptember.com
    02.04.2018

    I’m always the type of person who just reads and never comments but this post I need to say THANK YOU. I love cooking but on the week days is something I just hate. I cook all my food monday night so I can eat during the weak. I try eating healthier as I can but it’s always interesting to change the menu with good but easy ingredientes. With these recipes I have new flavors for WEEKS. So yes, thank you and I hope you continue with more posts like this.

    xx

  7. Taylor from wikitpro.com
    07.04.2018

    I am always trying to find new healthy recipes to add to my meal plan. These will surely fit in nice with my lifestyle.

  8. Haley
    01.03.2019

    I need to try those spinach hummus wraps. They look so delicious.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.