Brown-bagging the same old PB+J for lunch is sure to get old fast, but it’s hard to argue with the ease of a sandwich and some snacks. With a little advance planning though, you can enjoy tucking into a far more exciting meal at your desk all week long. These 14 make-ahead meals will make you the envy of the office, but that’s not all. Since each is far more budget-friendly than ordering out, your bank account will look even better come payday. What’s not to love about that?

1. Tropical Lentil Lunch Bowls With Coconut-Lime Dressing: This tropical-inspired salad will help cure any winter woes, and add some pep to help get you through the rest of the workday without the munchies. (via Sweet Peas and Saffron)

Tropical Lentil Lunch Bowls With Coconut-Lime Dressing

2. Kale Tabouli Pockets: This healthy salad keeps for days in the fridge. Simply toss a container full of the stuff into your bag along with a few pita pockets, and lunch is served. Enjoy it sans bread for a totally gluten-free, yet no-less-satisfying meal. (via Brit + Co)

Kale Tabouli Pockets

3. Creamy Tomato Basil Soup With Parmesan: Make a big batch of this tomato soup on the stovetop or in a slow cooker, then freeze individual portions for a quick, homemade meal that’s ready in just minutes. (via Tastes Lovely)

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup With Parmesan

4. Pull-Apart Garlic Bread Pizza: As much as we love cold ‘za, it’s always better when served piping hot. Now we’re in luck: This pull-apart pizza bread reheats beautifully in the microwave. (via Recipe Tin Eats)

Pull-Apart Garlic Bread Pizza

5. Chicken and Vegetable Salad Rolls: These rolls are a great grab-and-go way to eat a salad. Stuffed with a melange of colorful veggies and shredded chicken, they’ll please all of your senses. (via Cooks With Cocktails)

Chicken and Vegetable Salad Rolls

6. Quinoa With Roasted Vegetables, Feta and Almonds: Roast up a big batch of in-season produce and you’re half way to a healthy midday meal. Simply add some fluffy steamed quinoa, a little tangy cheese and a sprinkle of chopped nuts, and mix it all together. (via Dani California Cooks)

Quinoa With Roasted Vegetables, Feta and Almonds

7. Baked Spaghetti Pie: Twirling strands of spaghetti at the lunch table can be a risky endeavor. Happily, this meaty, baked pasta pie is here to save the day (and your wardrobe). (via Baked in Arizona)

Baked Spaghetti Pie

8. Turkey Meatball and Pasta Soup (Gluten-Free): Make this hearty, minestrone-esque soup with brown rice pasta to get some whole grain and (naturally) gluten-free action. (via iFOODreal)

Turkey Meatball and Pasta Soup

9. Tofu Banh Mi Collard Wraps With Wasabi Peanut Sauce: Sturdy collard leaves are the perfect solution for soggy sandwiches. Enjoy these banh mi-inspired wraps that just so happen to cut carbs at the same time. (via Food-Fitness-FreshAir)

Tofu Banh Mi Collard Wraps With Wasabi Peanut Sauce

10. Gado Gado: If you’re looking for a change of pace from the same ol’ Cobb, give this Indonesian salad a go. Simply toss in the dressing and shrimp chips just before serving. (via An Aussie Appetite)

Gado Gado

11. Lemon Tahini Tuna Salad (Paleo): This tuna salad is a far cry from the mayo-laden ones we grew up with. Instead, a little garlic powder, nutty tahini and a spritz of lemon juice brighten up the flavors big time. It’s terrific served over mixed greens or with crackers. (via Stupid Easy Paleo)

Lemon Tahini Tuna Salad

12. Walnut, Grape, Kale and Quinoa Salad: You’ll love how all the different elements burst in your mouth. Juicy pears and grapes, crunchy walnuts and tangy blue cheese crumbles keep every last forkful interesting. (via The Housewife in Training Files)


13. DIY Instant Noodle Cups (Gluten-Free): While off-the-shelf ramen packets may win on price, they certainly can’t compete with these DIY noodle cups when it comes to flavor and overall deliciousness. The combo of fresh ingredients and a lower sodium (yet still delicious) seasoning mix will rock your socks. (via Gluten-Free on a Shoestring)

DIY Instant Noodle Cups

14. Balsamic Chicken Salad With Lemon Quinoa: Not only is this salad a terrific, well-balanced make-ahead option, it also comes together in a jiffy. Enjoy it hot, cold or somewhere in between. (via Cafe Delites)

Balsamic Chicken Salad With Lemon Quinoa

Share your favorite make-ahead lunches with us below! (Bonus points for budget-friendliness.)