Eating a healthy lunch is important for getting through the workday with energy and focus. But taking time to prep lunch every day can be a challenge when you’re busy. The solution? Having grab-and-go lunch options ready to pack and take to work.
In this beginner’s guide, we’ll share 10 easy recipes for grab-and-go lunches you can make ahead of time. They come together quickly, pack well, and will satisfy you through the afternoon slump. Many of the recipes can be prepped on Sunday to have healthy lunches ready for the entire work week.
Let’s start meal prepping! Here are 10 quick and delicious grab-and-go lunch recipes for busy work days:
Chicken Salad Wraps
Chicken salad makes for an easy high-protein lunch that can be prepped ahead in big batches. To put a fun twist on traditional chicken salad, try using different flavors like buffalo, ranch, or curry.
To create an, on the go meal place your chicken salad inside a wrap or pita pocket along, with lettuce, tomatoes and avocado. Wrap it tightly using plastic wrap or foil. Make sure to keep it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to savor it. When you add vegetables they give a crunch and a burst of flavors.
Chicken salad wraps are filling thanks to the protein from the chicken and fiber from the veggies. The flavor combinations are endless too – get creative with different seasoning blends!
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Loaded Veggie Hummus Wraps
Veggie hummus wraps are a vegetarian lunch option that’s super easy to prep in advance. Just smear hummus inside a tortilla or wrap, and load up with your favorite sliced veggies.
Cucumbers, red peppers, tomatoes, roasted eggplant, roasted red peppers, shredded carrots, sprouts and spinach or kale are a few vegetables that make excellent complements. Tightly roll the wraps and keep them chilled until you’re ready to eat them.
The fiber, protein, and nutrients from the hummus and vegetables will keep you full and energized through the afternoon. Hummus adds creaminess, and you can find so many flavor options like roasted red pepper, basil pesto, lemon garlic, and more.
Build your own burrito bowls by combining brown rice, black beans, veggies, avocado, cheese, and salsa in meal prep containers. Store them in the fridge until ready to grab for work.
When lunch time hits, just give the container a shake or stir to mix it all up. The rice, beans, and veggies provide balanced nutrition to power you through the day. And the flavors and textures make it a filling lunch.
Some fun add-ins for burrito bowls are roasted sweet potatoes, corn, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, guacamole, and a drizzle of Greek yogurt sauce on top. The possibilities are endless for delicious DIY burrito bowls!
Mason Jar Salads
Mason jar salads have revolutionized healthy grab-and-go lunches! To make them, simply pack washed and chopped salad ingredients in layers inside a mason jar.
When ready to eat, give the jar a shake and the dressing will coat the salad. Tip it upside down onto a plate to serve it.
Some mason jar salad combinations to try are Greek salad (tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta), veggie & quinoa (mixed greens, roasted veggies, quinoa), taco salad (greens, black beans, corn, avocado) or Hawaiian salad (chicken, pineapple, veggies).
Dress them with a simple vinaigrette, creamy dressing or even salsa. Mason jar salads make it so easy to have fresh greens anywhere.
Bring back childhood nostalgia with grown-up homemade “lunchables”! Prep them in advance by pairing up your favorite proteins, cheeses, crackers, fruits, and veggies in meal prep containers.
Great protein options are sliced deli turkey and ham, grilled chicken breast, hard boiled eggs, tuna salad, and chickpeas. Pair with sliced cheese, whole grain crackers, grapes, carrots, snap peas, bell peppers, and cherries.
These balanced bite-sized combos make lunches fun again. You can prep different themed adult lunchables each week like antipasto, Greek, Southwestern, charcuterie, etc. The variety will help beat the lunchtime boredom blues.
Quinoa Veggie Bowls
Warm quinoa bowls with sauteed veggies are easy to make in bulk. Try cooking quinoa in vegetable broth for extra flavor. Then saute veggies like peppers, onions, mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, spinach, etc until tender.
Portion the quinoa and veggies into meal prep containers and refrigerate. Reheat at work and enjoy this balanced vegan bowl. Take it to the next level with crushed avocado, seeded salsa, cashews, or a poached egg on top.
The protein from the quinoa plus fiber from the vegetables will give you lasting energy. Quinoa bowls also have a comfort food flair. Flavor them with your favorite seasonings like garlic, cumin, curry powder, or Italian herbs.
Zucchini noodles (or zoodles) make the perfect healthy pasta replacement. Spiralize zucchini into noodles, and boil until tender but still crisp.
Create zoodle bowls to have quick lunches. Combine zoodles with a variety of options, like marinara sauce, shrimp, chicken sausage, meatballs, pesto or roasted veggies. The choices are limitless.
Zoodles have a fun noodle texture without all the carbs and calories of regular pasta. Zoodle bowls are lower carb but still hearty and filling. Store them in meal prep containers and reheat at work for a fast lunch.
Bento Box Lunches
Bento box lunches are a fun way to prep balanced grab-and-go meals. Prep them just like a bento box by including portions of protein, vegetables, carbohydrates, and fruit in meal prep containers.
Good bento box lunch ideas are turkey meatballs with rice and roasted broccoli, teriyaki chicken with stir fried veggies and edamame over rice, or tofu veggie stir fry with raspberries.
The compartments help keep the elements separate. Then just assemble into a delicious bowl at lunch time. Taking your lunchtime presentation up a notch can make it more enjoyable.
Ranch Chicken Wraps
Ranch chicken wraps make for a simple yet satisfying lunch that’s easy to prep ahead. Just cook up seasoned diced chicken breast, cut or shred it, and portion it into containers.
Then assemble wraps with the ranch chicken, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, cheddar cheese, and Greek yogurt ranch dressing. Wrap in foil or plastic wrap to pack. The creamy, crunchy combo is a winner.
Ranch chicken wraps provide a good balance of lean protein, fiber from the lettuce, and some healthy fat from the cheese. This classic flavor combo provides comfort and fuel to power through the day.
Vegan Buddha Bowls
Buddha bowls are the perfect vegan lunch because they’re infinitely customizable. The formula is simple – grain + veggies + protein + sauce.
Prep the elements in advance to layer into meal prep containers. Then combine and enjoy! Some ideas: quinoa + roasted sweet potatoes, chickpeas & greens + tahini dressing. Lentils + kale, edamame & carrots + peanut sauce.
Buddha bowls provide balanced nutrition from whole food plant-based ingredients. The variety of flavors, colors, textures also makes them fun and satisfying. Add your favorite seasonings and toppings like avocado, nuts, or hot sauce.
Now you have 10 creative and delicious recipes to make grab-and-go lunches a breeze! These balanced meals help you stay nourished, energized and productive through busy workdays.
Prepping lunches in advance saves so much time while still allowing you to eat healthy home-cooked meals. Make sure you have a range of these easy lunch options so you won’t have to rely on eating out or settling for unsatisfying desk snacks anymore.
With a little planning, you can enjoy satisfying lunches that are good for your body, mind, and schedule. Ditch the lunchtime blues and get excited to fuel up with these 10 grab-and-go recipes!