Few things become more mundane than eating the exact same salad for lunch every day at work (trust us—we've been there). While some routines allow you to be more efficient, chowing down on the same combination of five ingredients every day come lunchtime shouldn't be one of them. If you're hoping to save a buck by making your meals in advance and forgoing the $20 delivery bill, why not have a little fun with your mid-day grub?
Admittedly your options for lunches that can withstand a hectic commute, stay fresh in the refrigerator, or reheat well in the community microwave are limited, but there's still room for a bit of creativity and innovation. There are plenty of ways to revive your weeknight dinner and combine ingredients in new ways for a lunch that's fresh and inspired.
You can turn kitchen staples like quinoa, vegetables, and chicken into a tasty grain bowl. You can experiment with a homemade soup that comes to life simply by adding boiled water in the kitchen. Or you can put a twist on a traditional sandwich by adding a standout ingredient like berry preserves. Find a chic lunch bag and pull out the Tupperware, you're going to want to try all of these work lunch ideas.
Santa Fe Grilled Chicken Sandwich
Trade in typical bread for a healthy flatbread and throw together a yummy grilled chicken sandwich that's bursting with southwest flavors. Whip up your own homemade herb mayo in advance to give this basic sandwich the kick of seasoning your usual work lunches may lack. Grilled chicken breast, bell peppers, avocado, and cheese melt together perfectly. Reheat the creation in your office microwave or pop it in a toaster oven for a crispier finished dish.
Roasted Vegetable and Quinoa Harvest Bowls
For something nutritious and satisfying, bring a roasted vegetable and quinoa harvest bowl with you to work. Spend some time meal prepping during the weekend so your veggies, quinoa, and sauce are ready to pack up in the morning.
Mediterranean Avocado Chicken Salad
A twist on a traditional chicken salad sandwich, this is one work lunch you'll want to make on repeat. It's made with avocados, shredded chicken, hard-boiled eggs, sun-dried tomatoes, and feta cheese. Make the base ahead of time and spread it on your choice of toasted whole grain topped with fresh arugula in the morning before you head into the office.
Thai Curry Noodle Soup
If you think homemade soup has no place in the office kitchen, this recipe will change your mind. This Thai curry noodle soup is easy to make and transport with you on your commute. All you have to do is add all the ingredients into a sealable jar or container and pour in boiling water when you're ready to eat. After a few minutes, you'll be left with a tasty, fresh meal.
Not your typical work lunch wrap, these rainbow wraps are filled with unexpected ingredients sure to make your workday a bit more interesting. Think beetroot hummus, micro-greens, veggies, chicken, avocado, and baked pumpkin and sunflower seeds. You'll be left with a bright, colorful, healthy lunch that's easy to pack up and take to-go.
Mediterranean Quinoa Bowls
The key to creating the perfect Mediterranean quinoa bowl is cooking the quinoa with tomato paste for extra flavor. Then you can combine this kitchen staple with fresh baby spinach, chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, eggs, and feta cheese.
Chicken Salad Sandwich with Rhubarb-Raspberry Preserves
You'll think you've ordered in when you bite into this gourmet chicken salad sandwich topped with rhubarb-raspberry preserves. For easy prep, use a rotisserie chicken from the market and combine with ingredients like mayo, mustard, celery, and pecans. Take this simple sandwich to the next level by spreading on a layer of preserves and baby arugula.
Mediterranean Chickpea and Egg Salad Jars
These Mediterranean chickpea and egg salad jars were made for taking to work. Simply gather ingredients like chickpeas, artichoke hearts, quinoa, carrots, cucumbers, hard-boiled eggs, and arugula, layer them in a jar, and remember to toss it in your work bag before you leave the house. When you're ready to eat, pour the contents of the jar in a bowl and toss in avocado, lemon, and a sprinkle of salt.
Kale, Apple, and Avocado Wraps
Add an unexpected crunch to your workday lunch with this kale, apple, and avocado wrap. Full of vitamins and healthy fats, this is one work lunch idea that will keep you full and focused on the tasks at hand. Just spread a bit of goat cheese on a tortilla and top with a combination of kale leaves, avocado, apples, lime juice, and olive oil.
Quinoa "Fried Rice"
Instead of shlepping greasy Chinese takeout leftovers with you to the office, make your own healthy version of the classic dish. This recipe for quinoa "fried rice" calls for just 10 ingredients (none of which are rice). Make it for a quick weeknight meal, and pack up the leftovers for lunch the following day.
Do you have any exciting lunch options to add to this list? Let us know.