17 Make-Ahead Lunch Recipes to Get You Through the Work Week
There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a lunch rut. Whether you’re growing tired of your go-to sandwich or feel a restlessness with the nearby salad bar, a lackluster midday meal can throw your whole afternoon into a funk. It’s time to say goodbye to boring lunches and hello to satisfying, healthy and flavorful plates. And the best part? You can make all of these recipes on Sunday night to last you through the week. Just do us a favor, take a break from your desk and pack these lunches to go!
1. Deviled Egg Salad: Traditional egg salad may be too boring, and deviled eggs may be too fussy. Why not combine them into one delicious spread? This new take on an egg salad has the creamy flavors you love in your deviled eggs spread between two thick slices of bread. (via The Fountain Avenue Kitchen)
2. Mashed Chickpea Salad: This one is for all the vegetarians out there who are looking for a hearty sandwich. Mash protein-packed chickpeas with other healthy veggies like carrots, scallions and celery, then throw it on a sandwich or a bed of lettuce. It will keep you full all day long. (via The Simple Veganista)
3. Strawberry and Goat Cheese Salad in a Jar: Gather up your collection of mason jars, because you’re going to want to use ’em! With careful layering, you can pack a week’s worth of salads into jars without worrying about soggy salad ingredients. That’s right! This lunch can wait in the fridge until you’re really ready for it. (via Food and Other Stuff)
4. Black Bean Freezer Burritos: After you’ve whipped up a month’s worth of these quinoa and black bean burritos, wrap them in foil and throw them in the freezer. When you’re craving some Tex-Mex for lunch, just pull one out and let it thaw at your desk until you can pop it in the microwave. (via The Muffin Myth)
5. Shredded Chard, Apple and Tuna Salad: The great thing about this healthy salad, loaded with spiralized apples, chard, crunchy walnuts and tuna, is that you don’t have to cook anything at all! Mix up batches of it in just 10 minutes the night before, put it in a container and eat it right out of the office fridge. (via Inspiralized)
6. Skinny Bistro Box: Save the $10 you’d spend at Starbucks and make your own protein-packed bistro box. Pack apples, cheese, hard boiled eggs and peanut butter in a container to fill you up for the rest of the afternoon. (via The Skinny Fork)
7. Carrot Ginger-Lime Peanut Salad: It’s your choice whether you want to nuke this carrot pasta salad or eat it cold. Either way, you’ll love that this recipe can make it through a whole week of lunches without you ever getting bored of the citrusy peanut flavor. (via The Roasted Root)
8. Tequila Flank Steak Fajita Salad: All you have to do to make this salad work all week is leave the dressing on the side. Bottle the chile lime vinaigrette in a mason jar to keep in the office fridge during the week, then pack Monday through Friday containers loaded with the tequila marinated flank steak, corn salsa and black bean salad. (via How Sweet Eats)
9. BLT Pasta Salad: It’s hard for a BLT sandwich to make it through the week without getting soggy. But you can make a giant bowl of BLT pasta salad that will make it all the way to Friday without any problems. This pasta bowl is loaded with the classic BLT flavors you love and a bold Italian dressing. (via Gluten-Free With L.B.)
10. Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad: Chicken salad is a lunch staple that can be tossed over lettuce, eaten on crackers or sandwiched in between two pieces of bread. You’ll love this skinnier version, made with Greek yogurt and corn. (via How Sweet It Is)
11. Meatballs alla Parmigiana: Make these mozzarella-topped meatballs Sunday night, then dish them out over pasta in containers for the week. They can also be tossed in a sub or made carb-free by being eaten on their own — they’re that good! (via I Breathe… I’m Hungry)
12. Quinoa and Sweet Potato Cakes: These crunchy and savory patties are loaded with fiber-rich, flavorful quinoa and sweet potatoes. Eat them alone, on top of a salad or topped with chicken or avocado. They’re seriously delicious reheated for lunch. (via Citron Limette)
13. Cold Soba With Miso Dressing: Soba noodles are a great thing to eat for lunch, mainly because you can eat them cold. This dish is packed with carrots, edamame and cucumbers, and only tastes better each day as the homemade miso dressing marinates the buckwheat soba. (via May I Have That Recipe?)
14. BLT Spring Rolls: Asian flair meets American classic in this spring roll packed with crispy, salty bacon, fresh tomato and lettuce. Wrap up a handful of them to make it through Friday. (via White on Rice Couple)
15. Creamy Zucchini Pasta: This spiralized zucchini pasta has so much flavor, from a creamy avocado and walnut dressing to fresh tomatoes. It makes the ultimate pack-and-go lunch to brighten up your day. (via Katy’s Kitchen)
16. Quinoa Burrito Bowls: Instead of heading to Chipotle, make your own burrito bowl — it’s much easier (and healthier) than you think. Sub in quinoa for rice and pile on delicious veggies. If beans and corn aren’t enough for you, top your ready-made bowls with grilled chicken. (via A Beautiful Mess)
17. Spicy Tuna Salad: We don’t have to tell you that tuna is a sure bet for a make-ahead lunch. But why not give yours a little extra somethin’? Try this recipe for tuna salad mixed with cottage cheese, ricotta, chili sauce, lemon and eggs. It’s good enough to eat on its own, but can be turned into a sandwich or salad, too. (via Twin Food)
Which of these make-ahead meals will you be trying out this week? What do you usually take to work for lunch? Share with us in the comments below or on Twitter.
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