Lunch ideas for work


If you’re like me, packing lunch for the workday is an afterthought at best. The problem is, I’m not a fan of spending the time, calories, or money eating out. After countless sad desk lunches, wasted dollars, and unsatisfying meals, I finally have it down. I’ve created a list of food items and tools to keep at work to make even the transform even the most haphazard effort into a filling, nutritious, and tasty meal.

The list below won’t be quite as helpful as your home pantry, but it will provide a nice foundation to supplement any incomplete meal you pick up or bring from home. For me, these are most often: leftovers, undressed salad greens, raw veggies, yogurt, an apple, an avocado, hummus. The items below help transform these bases into something substantial.

Keep these foods by your desk

  • Oatmeal (such as Nature’s Path and Purely Elizabeth)

  • Nuts

  • Nut butter

  • Chia seeds

  • Individual tuna packed in olive oil

  • Mustard packets (for impromptu dressings)

  • Small bottle of olive oil

Keep these foods in the fridge if you have access to one

  • Individual cheese serving (cheese stick, babybel, mozzarella balls)

  • Yogurt of choice

  • Boiled egg

  • Salad dressing

Helpful tools to have handy

  • Bowl

  • Spoon, fork, knife

  • Good sharp knife

  • Plate

  • Napkins

With these office items always available, you can easily grab just one or two fresh items from home, a cafeteria, or a small grocery store to create some semblance of a meal. Ideally, a balanced meal includes up to 2 cups of veggies (or a serving of fruit for breakfast) and a source of protein and healthy fats.

Lunch ideas

  • Salad greens and tuna with some nuts

  • Crudite with a hummus pack, crackers, a boiled egg, and piece of cheese

  • Leftovers with a hardboiled egg

  • Yogurt with fresh fruit, chia seeds, and nuts

Breakfast ideas

  • Oatmeal with peanut butter and chia seeds

  • Yogurt with nuts, chia, seeds, and fruit

  • Apple with peanut butter and a cheese stick

  • Egg and avocado