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. Click directly on the photos to go to each recipe.

For more tips on meal prep and packing healthy lunches, and for more recipe ideas, check out my healthy meal prep ideas.

If you have some healthy lunch ideas, let me know in the comments!

Pictured above:

Quinoa Taco Bowls with Cucumber 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.

Healthy Lunch Ideas

Soups are my 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.

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.

This soup is full of cheesy, tangy goodness and 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

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 here so that the wraps wouldn’t get soggy or get 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

The next four healthy lunch recipes are bowls, which are always easy to pack and eat later:

Spring Broccolini, Kale & Quinoa Bowls
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
Tahini sauce makes everything better! Broccoli, green beans, zucchini, and sun dried tomatoes in a creamy mayo-less tahini sauce. This one is really healthy if you use brown rice pasta.

Healthy Lunch Ideas - Broccoli Tahini Pasta Salad

Rainbow Bowls with Almond Ginger Dressing
All of the vegetables here (and there are a lot of them) are good packable ones. This is one of those recipes that’s even better on the second day – the creamy almond ginger dressing is so yummy and tangy and really soaks in nicely.

Healthy Lunch Ideas - Rainbow Bowls with Almond Ginger Dressing

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

Healthy Lunch Ideas - -Roasted Delicata Squash Kale Salad

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

Healthy Lunch Ideas - Easy Power Lunch Bowls

Tempeh Vegan Club Sandwiches
Here’s one of my favorite healthy lunch recipes when I’m in a sandwich mood. This one can be a little messy – I wouldn’t pile it quite so high as what I have in the photo and I would wrap it well with foil. If you haven’t tried tempeh, this smoky baked tempeh is SO good.

Healthy Lunch Ideas - Vegan Tempeh Club Sandwich

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

Healthy Lunch Ideas - Chickpea Salad Wraps with Avocado Dill Sauce

For more healthy lunch ideas, check out this post that’s full of our Healthy Meal Prep Ideas.


Healthy Lunch Ideas - Taco Bowls
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
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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  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.