It’s 12:30pm. Your stomach is growling. You woke up too late to make a lunch, so you head to the closest deli to get a sub-par salad that you eat your desk. It leaves you unsatisfied and at the vending machine a few hours later. Womp womp. But girl, it really doesn’t have to be this way. Save yourself from this fate by resolving to whip up make-ahead meals on the weekend to last you through the week. Meals like pasta salads, soup and kale salads get better after a few days in the refrigerator, making them prime candidates for this kind of meal planning. Dedicate your Sunday to whipping up one of these easy healthy lunch recipes and save yourself from #SadDeskLunch.
1. Quick and Easy Lentil Quesadillas: You’ll look forward to Meatless Monday with these beautiful quesadillas. Lentils will keep you full until dinner thanks to their protein and fiber. (via Pinch of Yum)
2. One Pot Chili Mac N’ Cheese: Making lunch for the week doesn’t mean making a kitchen full of dishes in the process. You’ll only dirty one pan in this delicious marriage of chili and Mac N’ Cheese. (via Brit + Co)
3. The Ultimate Chickpea Salad Sandwich: Curry and chutney mix together perfectly in this meatless sandwich alternative. Leave a loaf of bread at work, bring in a big container of this salad, and don’t stress about lunch again. (via Delish Knowledge)
4. Crockpot Chicken Gnocchi Soup: The best thing about this recipe is that it features two of the best comfort foods — pasta and soup. The second best part of this recipe is that it cooks itself, so you can enjoy your Sunday without worrying about meal prepping. (via Pinch of Yum)
5. Greek Chicken Wrap: Rotisserie chicken might be one of the most versatile things you can buy at the grocery store. Use it up in this recipe for a protein-packed lunch that will make you think you’re on the Greek Isles rather than at your desk. (via Garnish With Lemon)
6. Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sliders: You only need four ingredients for this BBQ lunch. Pork shoulder, BBQ sauce, onions and garlic make for one of the tastiest sandwiches ever. Top with a healthy coleslaw to add some extra veggies to your day. (via Beth Dunham)
7. Italian Chicken Pasta Salad: This pasta salad is a quickie to make — you just need to boil pasta and chop up your veggies before mixing with a tangy Italian dressing. The best part of pasta salad is that it tastes even better after soaking up the dressing for a few days. (via Breezy Bakes)
8. Tomato and Goat Cheese Frittata: Frittatas aren’t just for lunch. They can be eaten hot or cold, making them an awesome make-ahead lunch. Pack a small salad to make this a complete meal. (via PDXfoodlove)
9. Creamy Chicken Enchiladas: Stuffed with cheese, corn and chicken, these enchiladas are so delicious you might want to lick the pan after you pack them up for the week. (via Natural Comfort Kitchen)
10. Five Ingredient Sweet Potato Turkey Chili: This chili will have you watching the clock until lunchtime because you can’t wait to eat it. Packed with sweet potatoes and ground turkey, this protein-packed recipe is a total power lunch. (via Pinch of Yum)
11. Stuffed Acorn Squash: Stuffed squash is the ultimate portable food because it is self-contained! This yummy version is made from the ultimate pairing of pork and apples and stuffed with wild rice to make it a balanced meal. (via Self Proclaimed Foodie)
13. Mini Pumpkin Empanadas: Do you love sandwiches but wish they were easier to eat on the go? Turn them into empanadas instead! These vegan pumpkin empanadas are made from spelt flour, which gives them an even more distinctive taste. (What’s Cooking Good Looking)
14. Cauliflower Cashew Bowls: Bowls are *so* trending right now, but you won’t be in a food coma with this nourishing lunch filled with barley, chickpeas and, of course, cauliflower. (via Sweet Peas and Saffron)
15. Baked Spaghetti With Kale, Mushrooms and Tofu Ricotta: You’ll want to dig into this pasta straight from the oven because it smells so good. If you don’t have spaghetti on hand, you can swap out any pasta for this yummy hot lunch. (via Hummusapien)
What’s your favorite make-ahead lunch? Find more quick + easy (+ delicious!) recipe ideas on our Pinterest!